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09-29-2010, 06:27 PM   #1
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Appreciation of k-7 ergonomics

I stopped by in the local store B** today to check out whatever new (or old) DSLR they have on display. They have the 7D, D90, D5000, D3000 and the latest D3100 plus a couple of Rebels series.

I don't think I appreciate that much about the ergonomics of K-7 until I held those other cameras in my hand -the sales guy was looking at me - can I help you with anything?, I just said "I wonder which one of these cameras I should buy - only if I am impressed". He then left me alone. Yeah, the AF are fast alright.

The two things that stands out for me are: 1) the curvature where my thumb is rested and 2) is the mode dial. Since I don't have sweaty hands, I rely pretty much on the friction of pad to get a firm grip. On the D5000, the pad come off as it is roughed up by so many hands (apparently glued on). The 7D is very chunky as if I am holding a brick. I can not hold any of those camera without worrying about it slipping out of my hand. Now, I checked both my K-7 and K-10D, I wonder if the designer had given some thoughts for people with dry hands. The rear dial on D90 (only other camera with two dials) is positioned right above the thumb rest. One needs to twist the thumb to turn the rear dial. On the 7D, there is only one dial in the front, so I guess I need to hit one of the buttons first and then turn the dial (two operations using the same index finger). As for the mode dial, I had some problems before with my K10D when I usually go manual mode with flash. The mode dial gets changed without being noticed when I handed someone to take a picture for me with my camera because it is easy to knock it off. Now with the K-7, I need to hold the button and turn - this acts as a safety lock to avoid any unintentional mode changes - obviously I don't have the same problem. Speaking about the mode dial safety lock, it is funny to watch the video from DigitRev TV on the introduction of 60D, the guy "whose name is Lock C" was saying "Oh there is a new feature here - you have to press and turn to change shooting mode so you don't have to worry about accidentally change the mode. He made it sound like a new feature unique to C** (K-7 had this last year). The knobs on the D90 and 7D are not easy to turn so may be that acts are safety lock; but I don't like it though because there is not enough grip.

I also stopped by S** store to check out the new A33/55 SLT camera, I like the interface of the new models but somehow, I am not sure about the ergonomics of the camera itself. Also, with the 16x9 format LCD, I wonder if it is really for video enthusiasts or for still photographers. Also, their kit lens looks very cheap indeed. I am not sure if other camera makers offer lens hood for kit lens. Now, I appreciate the Pentax kit lens as they all came with hoods (not sure about the new models though).

Anyway, this is just my personal opinion; some like it chunky and some like it small. But the K-7 or even K-10D is small enough with a sturdy feel. This thread is not intended to bash any other brands; just want to share my thoughts and a feeling that my choice is not a bad one at all and see if you agree or disagree.

09-29-2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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How it fits in one's hand is very much a Goldilocks experience. I came from S***'s A200, seeking more advanced features: the A700 had them but it was too big, the newer 5-series was too .. something (plus weird egronomics). For me, the K-7 is just right! Not surprising in this case, as quoted dimension are nearly a match to the A200. Had S*** behaved like any other maker & used higher-level camera features in the next generation of mid-level cameras, I might still be there - thank you S***

(whoa, maybe I shouldn't use 3 asterisks that looks rude!).
09-30-2010, 05:44 PM   #3
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Yes, K7 is Bad a$$ as far as handling goes. Really good with the grip.
The best thing is that K5 has the same form-factor.
10-02-2010, 05:36 PM   #4
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I must agree though I haven't even bothered handling a Canikon in over a year. But I presume the Canons still have that bad real wheel and the Nikons don't have proper mode dials?

Pentax wins for ergonomics. For sure.

10-03-2010, 08:35 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Pentax wins for ergonomics. For sure.
+1
I handled the D90, D5000, 500D, 1000D, K-x and K-7. By far the K-7 had the best ergonomics incl. compared to the K-x, although I agree with jimr-pdx that the hand feel of a camera is unique to each individual.

Yet a better appreciation of k-7 ergonomics, in my opinion, is that the K-5 has the same ergonomics as the K-7 with little if no enhancement. It says a lot ...

I may add that I used extensively my K-7 over the past 4 weeks, with a series of shootings close to the waves and rivers, in sometimes ahiry situations, where the holding/handling of the K-7 was brilliant. An old sailor say could be re-worded: "one hand for the camera and one hand for yourself". The K-7's ergo was superb with one hand handling....
10-03-2010, 09:00 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hcc Quote
An old sailor say could be re-worded: "one hand for the camera and one hand for yourself". The K-7's ergo was superb with one hand handling....
Get a wrist strap... this really helps! Since replacing my neck strap with a leather wrist job from Gordy's Camera Straps I've been a lot more capable.
10-03-2010, 09:25 AM   #7
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I agree with Pentax handling being great. The weight distribution on my K-x is awesome, I can walk around with only one finger on the grip with the camera swinging by my side, and never does it feel like the camera is about to leave my hand.
10-03-2010, 11:04 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Get a wrist strap... this really helps! Since replacing my neck strap with a leather wrist job from Gordy's Camera Straps I've been a lot more capable.
Here is another vote for Gordy's wrist strap(s). I have one for my Leica IIIf; it works really nicely. I think that I may get the strap and pad when I spring for a K5.


Last edited by MikeW; 10-03-2010 at 11:10 AM. Reason: typo
10-03-2010, 08:23 PM   #9
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I was actually surprised at how well the K-7 just hangs in my hand! But only when I'm feeling daring. The rest of the time, I use a simple Op/Tech USA strap that has a removable neoprene-padded middle section. Undo the Fastex buckles, buckle the short ends to each other, and you have a secure short strap that you can wind your wrist through.

This strap is old enough that it has film-canister holders on it, yet is in great shape!

OP/TECH USA
10-03-2010, 10:02 PM   #10
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My K200 felt like a toy after switching to a 7D. I could never find a good place for my pinky on the K200 until I got a battery grip, and then it was too big. The 7D fits like a glove for me. No need for a battery grip because all my finger fit comfortably and all the controls are immediately accessible. I tried out a K-7 and it too felt like my K200, just a lil toy. I guess I like big cameras. EOS 1D Mark V here I come!
10-04-2010, 06:35 AM   #11
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Had the chance to play with K20D and K-7 side by side today, I have to say I totally prefer the ergonomics of K-7,

A few points:

1. Maybe because I've got K-x and K-7 got similar control layout so it makes more sense to me than K20D.

2. I haven't got big hands so the grip of K-7 is a better fit for me.

3. I am not sure about the resolution but the LCD screen on the K-7 felt much better

4. K-7 is more responsive somehow.

5. and this is a biggie, AF speed of K-7 (in normal indoor store lighting condition) feels much faster, using the same 18-55 WR lens.

Although the floor stock K20D carry a rather tempting price tag of AUD$799(with manufacturer warranty), the K-7 just feel more 'now', and if the amount of improvement from K20D to K-7 is something we can expect of K-5 then I am seriously considering getting a K-5 some time next year.
10-04-2010, 08:46 AM   #12
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The form factor and grip of the K-7 are preferable, but the button placement of the K20D is better for me. The LV button is simply too easy to hit. I prefer having this on the on-off switch as a third setting. And this allows more space around all the important back buttons.
10-05-2010, 09:19 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Get a wrist strap... this really helps! Since replacing my neck strap with a leather wrist job from Gordy's Camera Straps I've been a lot more capable.
Great website! Thanks for the link. The destruction tests where the ring deformed before the strap took any damage is great.

QuoteQuote:
If the leather is good enough to hold up your pants, it's good enough to hold up your camera!
10-05-2010, 09:33 PM   #14
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Indeed. K-7/5 ergonomics are hard to beat. I understand that it depends on hand size/shape and what you're used to, but I would wager that anyone who took the time to get used to the K-7/5 would prefer it over whatever else they use. I've handled K-7, K20d, K-x, D90, D300, Rebels, 5DmkII, 1Ds and so on. Nothing feels like the K-7. I can hold onto the K-7 with about a 90% relaxed hand and it just stays right in. With other cameras, particularly C*n*n, I have to engage a lot more hand muscle to hang onti it. If I'm not actively holding onto the camera, it feels like it's going to fall out. Not to mention how much more they weigh...
10-06-2010, 03:10 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by r0ckstarr Quote
Great website! Thanks for the link. The destruction tests where the ring deformed before the strap took any damage is great.
No problem -- I enjoy passing on good finds when I locate them... which is not that often! And that test was reassuring, because it sometimes does seem that a small bit of string has to bear a lot of weight. Then again, I am not usually dangling the camera from my wrist! It just adds a bit of extra reassurance. If I slip or somehow let the camera go I am not going to lose it on the floor.
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