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07-13-2010, 06:00 AM   #1

So, was K-7 a success??

I hear whispers, not just here, that the new models are right around the corner.

So, perhaps it is time now to start thinking about K-7's legacy, so to speak. This camera had more pre-release hype than any cameras that I can remember in recent memory. In the minds of forum members here, did K-7 live up to the hype? Were you disappointed??

Then, there is that question about what "success" means in this context. Commercially? Technologically? Not sure about this one.

For me, it was a huge success. I almost consider it legendary. Despite some apparent and suggested short comings in noise handling department, I love the sensor. So much more film like. I think of K-7 as the connoisseur's camera. To me this is a camera that I want to hang on to for rest of my life. For my needs, the camera was very complete.

So, how was is it for you guys?

07-13-2010, 06:38 AM   #2
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Nice post. I think for the community it was a success, but for the company it didn't do much. I bought one a month ago for $768, which is greatly discounted from it's starting price. That tells me the camera isn't getting the demand that the manufacture expected. In contrast, the K-x has been a huge success, and is selling steadily close to the starting price.

I'm of your opinion of the K-7; I expect the camera to last me quite a while, and it's imho the best package of any camera on the market. This has been voiced by plenty of reviewers, giving it the best camera of the year award.
07-13-2010, 07:03 AM   #3
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Having followed updates since the K100 Super, I can't help but say that the K-7 was controversial. And for what its worth, the look and feel of the camera were superb! size and handling were second to none, and the quite shutter bordered on unbelievable. But alas... for K20D owners, the wonders of the K7 came at the cost of noise and DR which would be(in many cases) something so many longed for since the days of the K10D that it would simply make it to difficult to absorb.

TBH. I really(REALLY!) hope the K-7 Super is a reality because I have the glass and work to justify the upgrade and allow us me to replace our K20's
07-13-2010, 07:12 AM   #4
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I think the thing that is missed with a lot of reviews is how the differences between cameras really are quite small. The biggest differences have to do with things like ergonomics and size. To me the K7 is something special, a tool that feels perfectly crafted and the fact that it is a little weak in high iso doesn't change how much I love to use it.

My K20 may be a little better at high iso, but I don't care, I would rather pick up my K7 any day of the week. I can see using the K7 for many years to come.

07-13-2010, 07:25 AM   #5
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I do not have one or owned one for that matter. I have one in my hands and the size is definately the plus over the K20D/K10D. Nice walk around camera and with a limmiter set of lenses, a very nice hiking package.

I want one! Too bad I can't affort it now.
07-13-2010, 08:02 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffshaddix Quote
Nice post. I think for the community it was a success, but for the company it didn't do much. I bought one a month ago for $768, which is greatly discounted from it's starting price. That tells me the camera isn't getting the demand that the manufacture expected. In contrast, the K-x has been a huge success, and is selling steadily close to the starting price.

The K-x quickly found a bottom at around $500.00 - it is a great camera at an even better price. If you know Pentax's pricing history, you'd actually find the K-7 is doing a better job at retaining its value than either the K20d or K10d did after a year (and those were both sold primarily with kit lenses, rather than the body-only K-7, which seems to be the primary seller). It has also resisted going too far south of $800 (the price you paid is about the lowest I have read of). If you take into consideration that there is a clamoring for a new model with an improved sensor that has risen in the last month or two (something that should theoretically reduce sales, and drive down the price further - which hasn't happened), I think the K-7 has done very well for Pentax. Like many of K20d users, I didn't feel the need to upgrade, but am anxiously awaiting the K-7 follow-up.
07-13-2010, 08:03 AM   #7
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I am also of a similar mind to the OP. The K7 was my third Pentax body and far and away the best. High ISO abilities are inconsequential to me and I find the AF quite capable (in most situations). At this point I can't imagine getting rid of it, though I will almost certainly buy its successor fairly quickly after its introduction. That statement in itself is a tribute to the K7. I am still so taken with it (and I was an early buyer) and now they're about to tell me that they've got something better? Yes, please. I, too, love the sensor and the images it produces. In short, the K7 just makes me feel like I'm better than I probably (OK, certainly) am. I wouldn't mind something that gravitates back to more of the size of the K10/K20, though. I have fairly small hands so the K7 should be perfect for me, and I thought it was, until I recently handled my old K10 in preparation to sell it. Man it felt good in my hands. Not quite as solid as the K7, of course, but the size, to me, was better. But I know that if I had actually tried to use it, I wouldn't have been able to get back to my K7 fast enough.

Incidentally, my wife has a K2000 and I can assure you that that is an under-rated camera. She has only a passing interest in photography and yet has been able to produce some spectacular images using less-than-spectacular glass (which I have also now sold). If I was less secure in my abilities it would, ahem, piss me off. Yet you never hear of anyone even mentioning that camera since the Kx came out. The used market for it is virtually non-existent. A true forgotten jewel in my book.
07-13-2010, 08:06 AM   #8
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I think the K-7 is a big step forward for Pentax. The K-7 did not hold its value because the D300s and 7D are both better cameras is in different ways. If the K-7 had the AF of either the Nikon or Canon I think the price of the K-7 would have remained higher.

Pentax still has things to improve (AF, SR, DR), but the body of the K-7 is a huge step forward.

07-13-2010, 08:09 AM   #9
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I'm very happy and impressed with the K7. With Topaz Denoise 4 I no longer feel the need to retain my Kx, but it too is a nice camera. It just doesn't feel or handle anything like a K7. I'm not too concerned with what Pentax releases next. If anything, I'm tempted to buy another K7.
07-13-2010, 08:13 AM   #10
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I think that the camera was a notch above its predecessor, and therefore a success for Pentax. The k-x probably won the medal for sales volume, but the K-7 was very nice overall, and certainly a good gap-filler before a full-frame / high-MP model is released.

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07-13-2010, 08:23 AM   #11

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I almost bought the K-7 - this camera is certainly very fine. It surely cannot fully compete with more expensive APS-C models (D300, 7D) but it beats the 50D and D90 in my eyes.
If there was no K-x with its spectacular High ISO I'd probably already got myself a K-7. In the present situation I'm waiting.
07-13-2010, 08:35 AM   #12
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Perhaps the K7 cannot compete with 7D or D300 when it comes to operational features. But it absolutely competes (and surpasses, in my book) on image quality. I've yet to see an image from a 7D that is anywhere near as pleasing as the ones from my K7.
07-13-2010, 08:40 AM   #13
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What raises my curiosity is why some of these messages (including the OP) refer to the K-7 in the past tense? To the best of my knowledge it is a current model and it is unlikely (according to current rumor) that it is slated to be retired any time in the immediate future. Just because a new high end camera is anticipated does not mean the K-7 is dead. After all, both the K20D and K-m are still in the Pentax line-up, just not in N. America.

As for its success...There is no question that it was a ground-breaking camera when it was introduced over a year ago. Unfortunately, it has been poorly promoted in the N. American market, is not easy to buy, and almost impossible to see/touch prior to purchase. I think that it is safe to say that there are more new Leica in the stores in my area than there are Pentax. It is also unfortunate that it falls short of its current competition in a couple of key areas such as AF (and some would add, high ISO). All things taken together, its market is limited to photo enthusiasts for whom it fits their needs, who know their gear, appreciate high value, and are willing to risk purchase sight-unseen of an expensive piece of equipment.

Has it helped Pentax's bottom line? Probably not hugely. Higher end products seldom do in any direct fashion. Its main value is in establishing a point of excellence for the brand, technology attainment for generalization to other models, and its position as a stepping stone to future improvements.


P.S. I was shooting the other day with a friend who has a 50D. Nice camera, but even my K10D looks like a midget in comparison.

Last edited by stevebrot; 07-13-2010 at 08:46 AM.
07-13-2010, 10:08 AM   #14
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I feel the legacy of the K-7 as a commercial success is similar to that of the K20D, in that it wasn't really embraced by the user base to the degree it probably deserved, and probably won't be until it is replaced. It seems to me, at least in the past two or three years of being an active Pentax user, that the Pentax flagship is traditionally panned by its own users and Dpreview reviewers , only to be lifted up by independent reviewers like Steve Huff or Sean Reid and maybe a few users out there who still enjoy their cameras, flawed though they may be.

I think part of the K-7s relative lack of commercial success really isn't the fault of the camera, even though it had its faults, it's more that many of the users who would have been K-7 owners have switched to other brands for things like full frame or EVIL systems or better AF, due to the perception that the Pentax lineup was limiting their photography. These things are not as much of a concern for someone who is going to be in the market for a K-x, so I think the numbers reflect that in the sales. In this way it is a reflection on the way photographers view Pentax as a brand.

As a project, though, I think the K-7 was a smashing success. Not only did Pentax get a great camera out of it in the K-7, they also were able to reuse much of the K-7's technology in the (ironically) much more popular low end K-x and high end 645D. In this way, I feel that it was a worthwhile R&D investment by Hoya, and should be an encouragement to them that they should invest in such technology again in the future.
07-13-2010, 11:04 AM   #15
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I think the most successful camera for Pentax image was the K10D, it was truly an award winning ground breaking dSLR for the performance and features it had. It brought available features such as WR that were once only available to Pros with budgets for $6000 dSLRs to the masses. This established the benchmark for all other Pentax dSLRs to follow.

The K20D IMHO and probably biased because I own it. Is of course an upgraded K10D, but this is a great thing because the K10D did many things right and some better than any, speaking of ergonimcs, feel, everything. Some problems such as high ISO noise, and some needed/wanted features such as PcSync port, AF fine tuning, improved JPEG engine. The K20D gave all the things we wanted plus a new Samsung 14.6Mp CMOS sensor that had the highest resolution to noise ratio of any APS dSLR at the time of launch. We found out that truth over one year latter when DPR tested its RAW output against the D300. In any case it was and still is a very solid dSLR, problem free. Problem free because its apparent Pentax watched and listened to every legitimate complaint against the K10D and addressed it. Even the poor SD card reader mounting was addressed something we never saw. AF fine tuning, two different JPEG sharpness settings, all from us and reviews.

The K-7 was a completely different camera and it has perhaps the best body, build, feature package versus any APS dSLR at the time of it release date. Smaller metal shell, very tough build with improved seals to withstand colder temps. This alone should say what Pentax is about. They are not built to be the best on sports sidelines, but be the best climbing a mountain during a snowstorm, or walking down a dusty road, or hiking and it starts pouring rain harder than you have ever seen. I could write much more but...

Was the K-7 a success, honestly not as much as I had hoped. It was a better camera, it was a smaller body, more features than any before. Pentax said before its release it would not replace the K20D but be a whole different dSLR higher performing of course. And Pentax Japan still has the K20D listed as one of its main products. Then comes the K-x which had the high ISO we thought the K-7 would have. Now I don't shoot much above ISO400 so... but many bought the K-x for its clean or usable ISO6400. I believe the Samsung 4 channel (the K20D was a two channel) CMOS sensor let Pentax down, I bet Pentax was hopping for much more performance than it got.

No one is right or wrong, this is just IMO, how I feel, true or not. I feel the K-7 concept was a success, its body and features were ground breaking almost as much as the K10Ds, it was a superbly designed body and dSLR; the best in that catagory for sure even today. Pentax can build bodies-dSLRs second to none and I really believe that. But I feel it has much more potential, becuase its performance was no better than any of its peers and in many cases not as good (say a D300s) it just needs a few upgrades and it would be among the finest APS dSLRs ever made, or overall the finest! And this is from a die-hard Pentax Fanboy...

Last edited by jamesm007; 07-13-2010 at 11:16 AM.

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