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10-21-2010, 08:04 PM   #1
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Is size worth changing cameras?

About a month ago, I bought a used K20D here on the marketplace. I love the camera. I am having all kinds of fun playing with it and learning how to use it. I figure it will take years, with no need to upgrade for my hobbyist activities for quite some time.

However, I am a smallish woman, with very small hands, and often I find the camera big and bulky to hold and use. Since I was switching from a P&S to my first DSLR, I thought this was just something to get used to. But then a friend recently picked up a K-x, and I got the chance to hold it. What a difference! It just seems to fit naturally in my hands.

However, I really like the weather resistance and options on the K20D. A little bit of research yielded that the K-7 is lighter and smaller, so I think it might be worth it for me to sell the K20D and spend a little extra money on a K-7. It's just a couple hundred outside my original budget, so I'm hedging. I don't feel I need to upgrade for any features - the K20D feels like plenty of camera to keep my busy for some time to come! It's literally just a size and comfort of use issue. So, those of you with more experience using different camera bodies, have you found that ergonomics make a pretty big difference for you?

10-21-2010, 08:10 PM   #2
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Skip the K-7 and go with the K-5. Or if budget is an issue, go with the K-r.
10-21-2010, 08:11 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by suliabryon Quote
About a month ago, I bought a used K20D here on the marketplace. I love the camera. I am having all kinds of fun playing with it and learning how to use it. I figure it will take years, with no need to upgrade for my hobbyist activities for quite some time.

However, I am a smallish woman, with very small hands, and often I find the camera big and bulky to hold and use. Since I was switching from a P&S to my first DSLR, I thought this was just something to get used to. But then a friend recently picked up a K-x, and I got the chance to hold it. What a difference! It just seems to fit naturally in my hands.

However, I really like the weather resistance and options on the K20D. A little bit of research yielded that the K-7 is lighter and smaller, so I think it might be worth it for me to sell the K20D and spend a little extra money on a K-7. It's just a couple hundred outside my original budget, so I'm hedging. I don't feel I need to upgrade for any features - the K20D feels like plenty of camera to keep my busy for some time to come! It's literally just a size and comfort of use issue. So, those of you with more experience using different camera bodies, have you found that ergonomics make a pretty big difference for you?

Yes! I believe how a camera feels to you will show up in your images. You'll love the K-7, guaranteed
10-21-2010, 09:17 PM   #4
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If you're sure the K-7 won't bore you for years to come, then go with it. Since you recently bought the K20D you'll probably be able to sell it on for little or no loss in value.

Buying and selling equipment is more or less part of photography. You have to use something for a while to realise it doesn't actually work for you. I had the DA12-24 lens, but didn't like it (too big), I sold it, bought a DA15 and I'm much happier now. Same goes for a bag I used to have.

10-21-2010, 09:19 PM   #5
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It might be a good idea to find a local camera shop or friend who has a K-7/K-5 that you can hold. I have a K10D and K-7 and think the K-7 overall is more solid/compact and around 50 grams lighter (0.1 LB...eg not really that noticeable weight wise).

The K-7/K-5 body is probably one of the most innovative well thought out DSLR bodies ever. The K-7 being a good deal new or used these days at around $600-900 less than a K-5 at the moment.

Admittedly my favorite setup is the K-7 with battery grip. It's weighty but very comfortable in the hand as a lot of the weight goes to the lower part of the hand putting less stress on the fingers.
10-21-2010, 10:11 PM   #6
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Sadly, no one I know has a K-7, and no local camera stores carry Pentax. But if it's somewhere in between the K20D and my friend's K-x in size, I think it'll be much more comfortable to use and shoot for me than the K20D is.

I've read a couple of things about the K20 having some options that the K-7 doesn't? Are these important options, or just things someone not shooting professionally probably won't even notice? (The comment above about possibly getting bored of it makes me wonder if that's in relation to this? Because that is certainly one complaint I don't have about the K20 - I think it would be a very long time before I would ever be bored by it!)

Yes, my plan would likely be to sell the K20D here on the forums, hopefully for what I paid for it, or close, and then buy a gently used K-7 also from the marketplace, as new they still run close to $900-1000.
10-21-2010, 10:40 PM   #7
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Hi suliabyron! My first digital slr was the K10D and I had a similar problem with the size and weight of the camera. It led me to upgrading to the K7. It is a wonderful camera and much less fatigueing for me with my small hands to use. I chose the K7 over the Kx for its build and for the LCD screen on the top of the camera which is present on the K10 and K20D, but is absent on the Kx and I think the Kr as well. It makes it much easier to see the relationship between the different settings like exposure compensation, shutter speed, iso, etc. I also appreciate having a dedicated button for accessing the white balance menu, which was buried in the menu sections on the K10 and K20. I am not planning to upgrade to the K5 any time soon. The higher ISO and quicker auto focus are not issues for me at this stage and other than a couple of million more pixels there really isn't much difference between the K7 and the K5. Better to put the money into some good lenses sooner rather than later. Sometimes what we mistake for poor technique is really the artifacts of a mediocre lens (contrast, sharpness, etc.). If you go to the Pentax website there is a gallery of photos that can be searched by type of camera and type of lens used. You'd be amazed what a 6megapixel istD can do with a good lens attached. I go there to compare the characterisitics of different lenses as seen in the photos. That and the lens review database here are invaluable in helping to decide which lenses to try out. I think you are on to the most important element of all, which is having fun taking pictures:-)
10-21-2010, 10:48 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by sjwaldron Quote
It might be a good idea to find a local camera shop or friend who has a K-7/K-5 that you can hold. I have a K10D and K-7 and think the K-7 overall is more solid/compact and around 50 grams lighter (0.1 LB...eg not really that noticeable weight wise).
+1. There is nothing better than to try hands-on a camera. Try to get to a store that has the K-7, K-5, K-x and K-r to compare the body.

Alternately, try to see if there is any Pentaxians in your area and organise a meeting face to face to compare cameras. I believe that there are a number of Pentax forums members from Oregon, and you could post a message to them?!

The K-7 is an excellent camera, but the body is slightly larger than the K-x. I have relatively small hands and I felt that the K-x was slightly too small for my hands. The k-7 was perfect fit. If you have small hands, the K-x and K-r might be a better try.

However, do not forget to try the camera with your lens(es). My main lens is the DA18-250mm, that is heavier than the kit lens. With the 18-250mm, I felt that the K-x was not as well balanced as the K-7. Again it is a personal/subjective feel but this your camera, your lens, your decision.


10-21-2010, 10:48 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by suliabryon Quote
Sadly, no one I know has a K-7, and no local camera stores carry Pentax. But if it's somewhere in between the K20D and my friend's K-x in size, I think it'll be much more comfortable to use and shoot for me than the K20D is.

I've read a couple of things about the K20 having some options that the K-7 doesn't? Are these important options, or just things someone not shooting professionally probably won't even notice? (The comment above about possibly getting bored of it makes me wonder if that's in relation to this? Because that is certainly one complaint I don't have about the K20 - I think it would be a very long time before I would ever be bored by it!)
There isn't anything significant missing from the K-7 that's on the K20D (the bracketing button is the only thing I can think of, and that's not a big deal). It's just, if you're going to buy a camera, make sure you'll be using it for some time. If you think you'll be updating again in 6 months it's not worth your while. (Maybe I shouldn't have said it )

I've felt up the K-7 numerous times (I've never owned one but will buy a K-5 hopefully this week), and the body is amazing. I have a K10D (same body as K20D), and it just doesn't compare. The only comment I've ever heard about the K-7 body in a negative sense is that it was too small for some people - which I think won't apply to you.
10-21-2010, 10:52 PM   #10
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Agree with many here. When selecting a brand (Nikon vs Canon vs Pentax vs Olympus) one of my considerations was how the body feels in my hand, especially over long periods of time. K10D felt absolutely great (I have relatively bigger hands) D80 the next best. Didn't quite like the Canon ones and Olympus too. if you feel K20D is bulkier and K-7 or K-r are a better fit, you should go for it.
10-22-2010, 12:24 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by suliabryon Quote
Sadly, no one I know has a K-7, and no local camera stores carry Pentax. But if it's somewhere in between the K20D and my friend's K-x in size, I think it'll be much more comfortable to use and shoot for me than the K20D is.

I've read a couple of things about the K20 having some options that the K-7 doesn't? Are these important options, or just things someone not shooting professionally probably won't even notice? (The comment above about possibly getting bored of it makes me wonder if that's in relation to this? Because that is certainly one complaint I don't have about the K20 - I think it would be a very long time before I would ever be bored by it!)

Yes, my plan would likely be to sell the K20D here on the forums, hopefully for what I paid for it, or close, and then buy a gently used K-7 also from the marketplace, as new they still run close to $900-1000.
The only feature the K20D has over the the K-7 that I can think of is PC tethering. They have the same sensor and for everyone besides pixel peepers they are equivalent in ISO noise (K20D being slightly better). The K-7's auto white balance and exposure metering are stellar, it has more fps, better AF, magnesium alloy body panels, video, and 100% coverage viewfinder.

Adorama currently has new K-7 bodies for $889.95 and B&H for $895.09. Keep in mind prices fluctuate a lot, so it's a good idea to monitor store prices. If you can't get a used K-7 body for say... $800 or less I'd just buy a new one!
10-22-2010, 01:00 AM   #12
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I'm a big guy with big hands and my K20D seems like a natural fit. But it's a bit oppressive with a big heavy lens, so I find myself gravitating towards smaller lighter glass, like the cheap manual primes I accumulate. For instance, two 28/2.5's arrived in the last couple days, both with nice optics. But the Tamron (US$4) is just 230g while the Vivitar-Kiron (US$20) weighs a whole 360g. So I expect the Tamron will be in my bag much more often. Of AF zooms, I still dearly love my big DA18-250 (450g) but I just got an F35-70 (US$11, 230g) that's a tad smaller than the DA18-55 (250g) and only slightly bigger than the FA50/1.4 (210g).

Comfort is very important. And I've used both smaller and larger film cameras. (That Graflex 9x12 press cam -- what a pain!) But even if my hands were smaller, I'd be hard-pressed to give up my K20D because of tethering, and all the external controls, and input for a wired remote. I don't know if K7 or K5 use wired remotes -- I know Kx and Kr don't. If you do any substantial in-studio or outside tripodding, the K20D is probably the better choice. If most of your shooting is extemporaneous and hand-held, and smaller lenses still don't make for a feels-right package, then consider a smaller camera.
10-22-2010, 03:02 PM   #13
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I have a K20 also. The K20 and K7 are very close, so close that other than the ergonomics a lot of K20 users did not move. As for holding a K7, try Fry's Electronics. I see that there is one in Oregon...

frys electronics oregon - Google Maps

Fry's Electronics- more info
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29400 SW Town Center Loop W, Wilsonville, OR (503) 570-6000 () ‎ 150 mi NW

10-22-2010, 04:00 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by suliabryon Quote
However, I am a smallish woman, with very small hands, and often I find the camera big and bulky to hold and use. Since I was switching from a P&S to my first DSLR, I thought this was just something to get used to. But then a friend recently picked up a K-x, and I got the chance to hold it. What a difference! It just seems to fit naturally in my hands.

I'm in exactly the same situation as you. I originally had a *ist D, and bought it because at that time it was the smallest DSLR in the market, and the size was perfect for me.

Then I bought the K10D and felt it was too big and heavy for me. I think I am used to it now, but would prefer the smaller size/weight.

Nearly bought a K-x last year.

I was in a shop the other day and they had the K-7, K-x and K20D side by side. I couldn't believe how small the K-7 was (this is the first time I have seen one in person) - it was almost the same size as the K-x. The K20D sitting next to them look ginormous in comparison.

Based on this, I'll probably buy the K-5 (waiting for a good price). The main downside of the K-x and K-r is the pentamirror and the lack of controls. It's probably good for point and shoot scenarios but probably frustrating for times when I want to fiddle.
10-22-2010, 05:10 PM   #15
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Ergonomics is just as important as any other feature on the camera and maybe more so. If you're not comfortable with it and have difficulty using the controls then yes, it's a good reason to get another camera. It was the great feel in my hands that caused me to buy the K10D on the spot. I have large hands and I find it a good fit for me. Way back in the day, ergonomics was one of the big selling points of Pentax cameras. Their ads enticed potential buyers to go to a dealer and pick one up.
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