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03-03-2011, 12:04 PM   #1
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Does the K-7 get a bad rap or not much of a chance?

So I scan the marketplace on a daily basis and have noticed what seems to be a large amount of K-7's up for sale. Some upgrading to the K-5, while others leaving for greener pastures. In addition, many seem to only have 2000-4000 actuations. These are babied considering they're supposed to live past 100k actuations. Has the K-7 become the ugly step-child for Pentax these days? Was it that bad of a camera?

03-03-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
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I just got my K-7 yesterday and my first impression is that it's a great camera. My only gripe is the fact that I bought it to replace my K-x and the K-7 does not do nearly as well in low light as the K-x. The only other gripe I have heard about it is the fact that you cannot turn off noise reduction for bulb mode photos longer than 30 seconds.

Here is my post on the low-light situation
03-03-2011, 12:36 PM   #3
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Hel-looo, Mr. Troll!

Actually I don't doubt your sincerity in posting this question. But beware the ravening K-7 fanbois!

I am perfectly happy with mine. I would love to have a K-5 -- the autofocus improvements and especially the lower noise at higher ISOs would be ever so swimmy -- but I'd love to have my 21-year-old body back, a million bucks, and a new glass cockpit panel for my airplane, too.

No question that the technology in the K-5 is better, but given the state of the art when the K-7 was released, I think Pentax did a very good job balancing "solid" vs. "leading-edge". The 7 is currently going for ~ $850US and the 5 for ~ $1500. For my needs, the K-5 is nowhere near twice as much camera. YMMV; if you absolutely, positively had to get noiseless results at ISOs over 1000 or were shooting sports professionally...

...(you'd get an EOS 1D Mark IV)...
03-03-2011, 12:47 PM   #4
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I shoot a lot of medium format film and do it for the fun of shooting manual cameras and metering my own scene. But I needed a dSLR for those times. I wanted Pentax because of my existing 135 format Pentax glass. I waited until the K-7. It looked promising. As it turns out, when I do shoot digital, it is mostly in low light. Just what the K-7 is not good at. I've had it since it came out and only have 2335 for a shutter count which includes what it came with. The camera does fine otherwise but I want a low light performer.

Needless to say I want to upgrade and I'm old-school and don't like the crop factor using my glass. So I'm waiting to see what the new generation of FF cameras have to offer that should be out this year. If the supposedly new D900 is priced in the ball park and is good in low light, which I assume it will be, It just might be what I'm looking for.


Last edited by tuco; 03-03-2011 at 12:55 PM.
03-03-2011, 12:55 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by einstrigger Quote
So I scan the marketplace on a daily basis and have noticed what seems to be a large amount of K-7's up for sale. Some upgrading to the K-5, while others leaving for greener pastures. In addition, many seem to only have 2000-4000 actuations. These are babied considering they're supposed to live past 100k actuations. Has the K-7 become the ugly step-child for Pentax these days? Was it that bad of a camera?
As a general rule, any electronic device drop to half its value when you open the box. People who try to sell their "almost new" cameras "with boxes" for 80-90% of the price for a new camera live in a dream. And the price for new K-7 have droped a lot with two new models.
And the reason you see it now is that people upgrade to K-5 or K-r, some maybe even to a K-x that they can get for very good prices (and is an upgrade in low light even if it is a downgrade in most other ways).
Here in Sweden I've seen an increased flow of second hand Pentax gear of all types from people saving up to a K-r, K-5 or even a 645D. Plenty of 67 and 645 bodies and lenses, and even whole LX sets, special pro assecoires to LX that I haven't even seen before. And I've asked enough of them to know that the majority ain't jumping ship. It had the good thing with it that the price on used Pentax lenses, at least the manual focus lenses, have dropped the last 3-5 months. Saw a K105mm go for 45 Euro and a M85 for about 70Euro just recently. Time to buy I'd say.
03-03-2011, 01:07 PM   #6
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My god, where at sweden? I live in Finland, and I'd love to get my hand on those lenses at that prize... 8)
03-03-2011, 01:12 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by fewayne Quote
Hel-looo, Mr. Troll!

Actually I don't doubt your sincerity in posting this question. But beware the ravening K-7 fanbois!
Don't know what you meant by either statement, as my question was asked to illicit a response. Duh. That's the point of a discussion forum isn't it? So how is that trolling?

My main point again was in asking if the K-7 doesn't get a fair shake and are people dumping them off prematurely. For those of you who have owned one or still do, do you feel you've tapped out all you can from this camera? The low-light deficiency is well known, but what about some of your well-lit shots? This camera is billed as a rugged, out-doorsy, all-weather camera isn't it? Yet it doesn't seem to be used much for that purpose.
03-03-2011, 01:33 PM   #8
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There is no question that it is a good time to look for upgrade or beginners going from P&S to DSLR. I purchased my k-7 last year when it hit the lowest price near Father's day, and haven't regretted that decision as it is so much nicer than my k10D. And I understand that k-5 is another big jump from k-7 in terms of improved iso performance as well as AF speed. Those additional advantages are nice but not absolute must for my usage and application as I use flash a lot (almost everywhere when permitted). Besides, there is also an option of using tripod to avoid high iso. Therefore k-7 meets all my requirements for now... k-5 may be in the future (if CBA strikes me again), and my strike price point would be below $1k or even $800 if it ever gets to that point.

03-03-2011, 01:38 PM   #9
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I don't really think that my K-7 has given to me all it could/will give. I'll put it through a lot more and I just know that there is still a lot in it. ISO-feat and DR is only thing wich is some how lower that it is for other models, but I do like that it is WR and has 5.3 FPS and has good AF, back 3"- LCD panel...for me it is better that my 'ist Ds and it has SR for dark scenes. But even more comes from your own skill, and vision + lenses. Way of using light...you know.

So in short, it will serve me well for years...and it is sturdy, solid, fits to my hand. Besides, I do feel confident to take it to woods no matter, what is weather out side...it is same with K-5, but I'm happy with my K-7.
03-03-2011, 01:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by einstrigger Quote
For those of you who have owned one or still do, do you feel you've tapped out all you can from this camera?
Not even close.

QuoteOriginally posted by einstrigger Quote
This camera is billed as a rugged, out-doorsy, all-weather camera isn't it? Yet it doesn't seem to be used much for that purpose.
That billing is correct. I've been using mine in rain, snow, blowing sand, salt spray, you name it.

Edit: I'll also add that at the current marketplace prices - around $650 with shutter counts typically under 10k - this is a steal.

Last edited by Kammerer; 03-03-2011 at 01:52 PM.
03-03-2011, 01:43 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by einstrigger Quote
...My main point again was in asking if the K-7 doesn't get a fair shake and are people dumping them off prematurely. For those of you who have owned one or still do, do you feel you've tapped out all you can from this camera? The low-light deficiency is well known, but what about some of your well-lit shots? This camera is billed as a rugged, out-doorsy, all-weather camera isn't it? Yet it doesn't seem to be used much for that purpose.
Neither does my 4wd truck.

The K-7 can't be that bad. It's physically a lot like a K-5, missing a handful of the features and small upgrades, with a sensor that's a step behind the latest technology. It's similar to any older model DSLR: what makes it look bad is the new camera just out.
03-03-2011, 01:55 PM - 1 Like   #12
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The K-7 is a great camera. The production has been discontinued and the K-5 is taking over as the semi-pro Pentax dSLR. All these contribute to the lower 2nd marketplace prices and the K-7 is a very attractive offer now for many.

Make no mistake that the K-7 is still one of the best dSLRs on the market for its ergonomics, its viewfinder, its handling and solidity. All these features were re-used without any improvement on the K-5, and that does say a lot...

The weakness of the K-7 is its low-light conditions where the K-x (and now K-r & K-5) excels. However there are some well-known techniques to improve drastically the performances of the K-7 in low light:
* shoot with zero (no) in-camera processing and PP your shots with dedicated noise reduction softwares; I use Noiseware, others use Noise Ninja and co; importantly this works very well;

* use Adam's solution with in-camera High-ISONoise Reduction: {https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success.html};

* use a fast prime lens (large aperture, low f like f1.4)

There have been several threads on the topic:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/121531-k7-high-iso-noise.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/118450-post-your-k...iso-shots.html
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/118044-k-7-opinion...-shooting.html

All in all the K-7 is a great camera, As time passes by, it has been superseeded and the marketplace prices reflect the situation. It is however one rare Pentax dSLR that did not have some fundamental flaw like others (battery drain in K-x, sensor stain of K-5).

A key feature of the Pentax line-up is also the compatibility of lenses. Indeed the lenses are more important than the camera body: "a lens is worth every penny".

Food for thought from a very happy K-7 owner.
03-03-2011, 02:09 PM   #13
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My $0.02

For what it is worth (perhaps $0.02 as suggested in the title) I think the K7 gets a bad rap due to the fact that while it is a large step forward in many respects from the K20, it was surpassed in terms of HIGH ISO capability by the K-x very quickly and then came the K-r and K5 in short order.

Something similar happend to the K10D, which was out for only a short time before the K20D came out.

Having had a K7 for almost 2 years now, I can honestly say I am happy with the camera, as it represents a huge improvement over the K10D which I upgraded from, but I still use both cameras. In fact I still use my *istD as well.

I am presently sitting on the fence with respect to a K5 only because it is an improvement over the K7 in several areas, but that does not mean I will stop using the K7 either.

I think the biggest issue is the speed of sensor technology lately. It took a long time for any significant change upward from the 6MP sensor in my *istD, but the K10D was surpassed within about 9 months, then things stabalized (sensor wise) for another 3 years. Now we have another big jump, and the question is, is this a plateau again, or will things move quickly.

I bought the K7 not just for the sensor, if that was all I wanted I would have taken a K20. The K7 had greatly improved metering and other features that made it worth purchasing over a K20, which , after all was a K10D with a different sensor, but the same poor metering.

Regardless, the K7 is a good camera, and should get a better reputation than it seems to be getting.
03-03-2011, 02:38 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
Regardless, the K7 is a good camera, and should get a better reputation than it seems to be getting.
I second that. My K7 has given me some wonderful images and continues to do so. It has also been rock-solid reliable (of course, it will break tomorrow since I said that). I just ordered my K5 today because I think of the K5 as a K7 with faster AF and better high-ISO performance. What a coincidence, that's exactly what I wished for! I will still be happily using my K7 as a second body.
03-03-2011, 02:49 PM   #15
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I think the big thing with the K-7 is actually that the difference between the K-7 and much-beloved K20d wasn't *that* great: the K-7 more or less made slight upgrades and changed the body (Nicely) and added video. Nothing to blow you away, basically: but I think the lead-up to the K-7's introduction had everything to do with Pentaxians hoping the company would show to be heades in directions we'd like.

The K-5 specs out real nice, so that's sort of the one everyone's been psyched about by comparison. Apart from a facepalm-inspiring QC glitch, there, it's the one that really looks to be caught up with the other makes, (and not just per unit price) on most grounds.
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