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04-08-2011, 03:41 AM   #31
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I think the K7 has a decent sensor for two or three years ago, but the technology has advanced a lot since then. I do shoot with the K7 up to iso 1600 and the images clean up decently. The issue as others have said is really to get good exposures. All Pentax cameras tend to under expose (the K7 not as bad as the K10 or K20) and if you are boosting brightness or shadows on even a medium iso image (like iso 400) you can start to see noise develop pretty quickly.

I really like the colors on the K20 and K7. I know that is not what the question is about, but that is where I think the K20 and K7 beat the Kx. Just a different look from the Sony sensors, I guess. Anyway, I like them.

04-08-2011, 08:22 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I really like the colors on the K20 and K7. I know that is not what the question is about, but that is where I think the K20 and K7 beat the Kx. Just a different look from the Sony sensors, I guess. Anyway, I like them.
So Sony sensors still produce a certain "look"? Can it be quantified? i've memories of the DSC-R1 producing images that had a grey and neutral look, more mid-tones than dark shadow. A look i've always associated with cheap-jack mid-1980's cop shows shot on video.

The K-7 doesn't look like slide film, but at least the only bad acting coming out of it is mine. Watch the birdie!
04-08-2011, 08:42 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by conradj Quote
So Sony sensors still produce a certain "look"? Can it be quantified? i've memories of the DSC-R1 producing images that had a grey and neutral look, more mid-tones than dark shadow. A look i've always associated with cheap-jack mid-1980's cop shows shot on video.

The K-7 doesn't look like slide film, but at least the only bad acting coming out of it is mine. Watch the birdie!
I guess I wasn't clear -- I like the look of the Samsung sensors better than the look that comes from some of the Sony sensors. I particularly noticed it with the K7 versus Kx that I saw. Something about the way greens are handled and skin tones.
04-08-2011, 08:54 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I guess I wasn't clear -- I like the look of the Samsung sensors better than the look that comes from some of the Sony sensors. I particularly noticed it with the K7 versus Kx that I saw. Something about the way greens are handled and skin tones.
me too, i like the K-7 sensor colours more. Remember the DSC-R1 (sony cam with sony APS-C sensor) had kindo pinkish and light skin tones and grass looked undersaturated. So the K-X 12MP sensor still does that? Does the K-5 16MP sensor do it as well?

04-08-2011, 11:54 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by conradj Quote
me too, i like the K-7 sensor colours more. Remember the DSC-R1 (sony cam with sony APS-C sensor) had kindo pinkish and light skin tones and grass looked undersaturated. So the K-X 12MP sensor still does that? Does the K-5 16MP sensor do it as well?
That's not how I'd characterize the rendering of the K-x sensor, but it definitely is different than the Samsung sensors. Not the same as the R1, though. I definitely preferred the K20D for skintones... the K-x renders them a bit more "gray," I guess is how I'd describe it. On the flipside, I shoot mostly nature/landscape, and I found that the K20D's colors got wierd/muddy if you tried to do much in post. Kind of like how the shadow data holds up better from the K-x, the colors seem to stand up to more manipulation as well. Hard to really quantify, but that's my experience.

For portraits I often find myself adding a slight tint to skin areas with the adjustment brush in lightroom. Fortunately, that seems to be all it takes.
04-08-2011, 12:35 PM   #36
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I've gone through a few generations of Pentax dSLRs varying from models with the classic Sony 6Mp and 10Mp CCD sensors (still my favoured for skin tones) to the Samsung 14Mp CMOS sensor, the Sony 12Mp Exmor CMOS sensor and now the Sony 16Mp CMOS sensor.

I had fewer issues of white balance in tungsten lighting with the Samsung sensor but the colour reproduction and long exposure performance were just not up to scratch IMO and I found myself going back to the CCD sensors. Until the K-x came along and gave me new hope in the CMOS technology. Now both the newer Sony CMOS sensors reproduce colours with similar richness and balance to the older CCD sensors (well done Sony) whilst maintaining excellent definition and noise control at high ISOs. Specifically, if I shift the auto white balance for all my images by A2 then I get beautifully rendered skin tones under all lighting conditions, and I keep the AWB in tungsten light option to subtle adjustment.
04-09-2011, 05:53 AM   #37
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rondec Quote
I really like the colors on the K20 and K7. I know that is not what the question is about, but that is where I think the K20 and K7 beat the Kx. Anyway, I like them.
I do agree on that statement.
04-09-2011, 09:46 AM   #38
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I think the only problem with the sensor on the K7 is that it wasn't new. When that sensor came out it was considered quite an improvement over the sensor in the K10D. Pentax probably should have released the K7 with the sensor in the Kx which came out at the same time. I think the marketing people were scared to death about introducing a new model with less megapixels than the previous model it was replacing even though most photographers know that more megapixels don't mean better IQ. I'm happy with my K10D even though it's "dated". There are a lot of guy's still shooting with Nikon D200's that share the same sensor as the K10D. Those camera's still bring a very good price on the used market. The K7 had a lot of upgrades over the K10/20D so it would still be a worthwhile camera to buy.

04-09-2011, 03:52 PM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I think the only problem with the sensor on the K7 is that it wasn't new.
Mu understanding is that the K7 sensor was a complete redesign of the K20 sensor, though I expect it shared at least the platform of the K20 sensor in that it has the same number of pixels.
The shift from a two channel output to a four channel output implies that there was a lot new under the hood, I don't know enough to know if the Bayer array and AA filters and whatnot were the same or not.
People made a big deal about nothing though, in that the K20 was pretty much useless above 800ISO (unless one was willing to either put up with a huge amount of noise or mush any detail that was there with noise reduction), and the K7 didn't improve on this, and may actually have been very slightly worse in this regard.
However, the K7 was a great big performance increase over the K20, with more or less the same imaging characteristics.
04-09-2011, 04:22 PM   #40
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I don't find the K-x colors bad, at least compared to my K10D. I always shoot RAW and tweak, though, starting with the adobe standard profile, not embedded/pentax, and it definitely makes certain colors better.
04-09-2011, 04:34 PM   #41
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I for one will never go back to a K-7...
04-09-2011, 04:54 PM   #42
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K-7 is a very good camera. I think it does a really good job up to 800 ISO and in even light. If you get into a situation where the light is challenging then the K-7 will show its weakness. Narrow DR and shadow noise are its biggest problems.

If you are shooting in RAW/DNG then is can compare with the Canon 7D or the Nikon D300 up to 800 ISO.

In the world of cameras everything is relative and everything is being compared to the K-5. K-5 is currently the king of the hill.
04-09-2011, 05:09 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Winder Quote
K-7 is a very good camera. I think it does a really good job up to 800 ISO and in even light. If you get into a situation where the light is challenging then the K-7 will show its weakness. Narrow DR and shadow noise are its biggest problems.

If you are shooting in RAW/DNG then is can compare with the Canon 7D or the Nikon D300 up to 800 ISO.

In the world of cameras everything is relative and everything is being compared to the K-5. K-5 is currently the king of the hill.
I agree with what you're saying. I actually had a K-7 on it's way until I found out about it's "noise" "problems" and decided to refuse the package and send it back to amazon before it even got here. Indeed the biggest issue with the k7 is it's sensor. In this fast evolving world of digital photography, it was a mistake. I have the kx and it spoils me everytime. I can't imagine upgrading to a k-7 and dealing with such a lesser performing sensor. You can compensate for the k-7's shortcomings in a roundabout way by tweaks in camera and post processing, or admire the photos for their film look, but I think ultimately people are too spoiled by advancing technology to forgive. They'd rather shoot fearlessly and add noise and character rather by choice rather than deal with it this or that way. I can't wait to get the k-5. Hopefully most if not all of the stained sensors are filtered out of the market by now.
04-09-2011, 08:47 PM   #44
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that picture's bad for many reasons other than a sensor that performs poorly in low light...
04-09-2011, 09:19 PM   #45
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Even if it means using a tripod, I'd rather shoot at the lowest possible ISO and retain detail. The only thing the K-5 has over the K-7 for me is its dynamic range.
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