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07-15-2010, 03:33 PM   #1
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Pentax K-7 "Image quality falls short" ??

I'm just curious because I have never shot with anything other than my Pentax K10 and once with my brothers Canon something or other (probably about 5 years old) and I really love my K10. But I rarely ever read any great reviews on pentax. Maybe I"m reading the wrong stuff. In Popular Photography this month, in their "every DSLR tested and rated" once again pentax gets only 3 out of 5 stars and it says "Image quality fall short of similarly priced competitors" So I'm curious if Nikon and Canon really takes that much of a better picture? or is PP Magazine biased towards the two most common brands? I see it every time I pick up their magazine. Since I've never really used anything but my Pentax, I'm wondering how much better image quality must the other brands produce? Or is this just a biased publication and should I look elsewhere for my photography reading material?

07-15-2010, 03:53 PM   #2
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I would look else where.

My Pentax shoots ever bit as well as my Canon. Now, if they were comparing it to a FF body, then yes, I would most certainly fall short.

Most people will tell you camera bodies are so close in image quality it doesn't matter what you shoot with.
07-15-2010, 04:04 PM   #3
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Magazines get paid by advertisers and they certainly do not want to upset the advertisers. Pentax does not advertise much, so guess who gets shafted.

As mentioned, when comparing cameras in the same range the K7 is not deserving of the comments and low ratings.
07-15-2010, 04:07 PM   #4
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The high ISO on the K-7 is a bit nosier than competitors which is probably what they are discussing. The grain pattern is fine and even with no banding so it's not that bad. I can't really speak for the IQ vs. a K10, but I'm certain there are many here who can tell you about that.

Some of Popular Photography's reviewers probably have a tinge of bias. They did name the K-7 Advanced DSLR of the year (along with the D90) last July though.

07-15-2010, 04:20 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
I'm just curious because I have never shot with anything other than my Pentax K10 and once with my brothers Canon something or other (probably about 5 years old) and I really love my K10. But I rarely ever read any great reviews on pentax. Maybe I"m reading the wrong stuff. In Popular Photography this month, in their "every DSLR tested and rated" once again pentax gets only 3 out of 5 stars and it says "Image quality fall short of similarly priced competitors" So I'm curious if Nikon and Canon really takes that much of a better picture? or is PP Magazine biased towards the two most common brands? I see it every time I pick up their magazine. Since I've never really used anything but my Pentax, I'm wondering how much better image quality must the other brands produce? Or is this just a biased publication and should I look elsewhere for my photography reading material?
I read that, too (it's in there every month), and it definitely irks me. If they had said "AF not quite as fast as competition" or "limited high-ISO use" we wouldn't have much of an argument. But to say that IQ falls short is really a slap in the face and patently untrue. I suspect that their tests showed these "handicaps" and they got lazy and made a blanket summary. I am sure that space limitations in that column are hurting the K7, though, as it needs more words to accurately describe its performance. I assure you the K7's IQ does not come up short against any other APS-c camera. Maybe they're just a-holes.

OTOH, they generally give excellent reviews to Pentax lenses. Like the DA*16-50 just this month.
07-15-2010, 04:21 PM   #6
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There's a noticeably difference at extremely high ISO (3200 and above), especially if you shoot JPEG using the default settings (less so if you shoot RAW or customize your settings to your liking). Aside from that, no, the others are not going to take noticeably better pictures.

Overall, I don't think PopPhoto is particularly anti-Pentax. The same roundup rated the K-x a "Steal", and called the 16-50 "Best in Class". Mostly, you just have to ccept that this kind of stuff is quite subjective.
07-15-2010, 04:39 PM   #7
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the issue really is that the magazines all use the JPEG standard settings for comparisons and like the oversaturated over sharpened canon images, even though they are not realistic of the subject.

as marc said, switch to raw and process them all neutral and you get a different comparison.

In reality, they should spend the time to tune the cameras to their tastes before doing the comparisons.
07-15-2010, 04:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Magazines get paid by advertisers and they certainly do not want to upset the advertisers. Pentax does not advertise much, so guess who gets shafted.

As mentioned, when comparing cameras in the same range the K7 is not deserving of the comments and low ratings.
Agree with this!
Most writers..if not magazines get paid by advertisers and you know who those companies are that are doing the advertising..plus these camera companies always give the magazine reviewers their latest cameras to test.
Guess who doesn't do this most of the time (give test cameras) and does it only part of the time.
So, most writers would rather review those that does this than go out of their way and get a brand that might not want to be tested by writers anyways.
Pentax's advertising is by word of mouth..I believe they want to follow how are ancestors did it with their myths and legends.

07-15-2010, 04:52 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
the issue really is that the magazines all use the JPEG standard settings for comparisons and like the oversaturated over sharpened canon images, even though they are not realistic of the subject.
It reminds me of wine reviewers who taste wines all day,so the one with lots of fruit and alcohol that smacks them in the face always gets the big scores.
07-15-2010, 05:11 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
the issue really is that the magazines all use the JPEG standard settings for comparisons and like the oversaturated over sharpened canon images, even though they are not realistic of the subject.

as marc said, switch to raw and process them all neutral and you get a different comparison.

In reality, they should spend the time to tune the cameras to their tastes before doing the comparisons.
Yes this is probably one of the biggest issues.

Reviews are often burned out very quickly with as little tweaking as possible and out the door to be the "first".
07-15-2010, 05:19 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by BethC Quote
I'm just curious because I have never shot with anything other than my Pentax K10 and once with my brothers Canon something or other (probably about 5 years old) and I really love my K10. But I rarely ever read any great reviews on pentax. Maybe I"m reading the wrong stuff. In Popular Photography this month, in their "every DSLR tested and rated" once again pentax gets only 3 out of 5 stars and it says "Image quality fall short of similarly priced competitors" So I'm curious if Nikon and Canon really takes that much of a better picture? or is PP Magazine biased towards the two most common brands? I see it every time I pick up their magazine. Since I've never really used anything but my Pentax, I'm wondering how much better image quality must the other brands produce? Or is this just a biased publication and should I look elsewhere for my photography reading material?

No doubt in that article is the phrase "JPGs straight out of the camera". The End.
07-15-2010, 05:32 PM   #12
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Agree with above (and other posters). Too many lazy reviews look at the cameras default software affects on images and call it IQ.
07-15-2010, 06:35 PM   #13
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If Popphoto just looked at JPEG output at default settings...yes, I would say the Canon 50D, for example, produces more crowd-pleasing pictures..
The difference is more pronounced at high ISOs 3200 or above, as the 50D has smoother in-camera JPEG noise reduction

For RAW output, the K-7's Image capture is as good or slightly better than anything out there in the same class.

I get to use the Canon 40D & 50D at my workplace -not a pro photographer at all, just job-related stuff for report writing and documentation purposes, but I sure can compare with my own K-7.
07-15-2010, 09:07 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by amoringello Quote
Magazines get paid by advertisers and they certainly do not want to upset the advertisers. Pentax does not advertise much, so guess who gets shafted.
This is not the reason - Pentax actually advertises a lot these days - I keep seeing photos of K-7 in Popular Photography and I'm wondering whether the frequent reviews of Pentax lenses are also due to that.

But good reviews are hard - I can find issues with reviews written everywhere, but the ones in magazines I find the least useful.
07-15-2010, 09:34 PM   #15
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Reviewers will mitigate the shortcomings of Canon and Nikon while exaggerating the shortcomings of Pentax. Not badmouthing your major advertisers can be a major factor, but I've seen on average very good reviews for Panasonic and Olympus products. Do they advertise that much more?
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