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08-11-2011, 02:00 AM   #1
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K10D/K20D to K-7 upgrade?

Hi, all.

I'm stuck and need your help. My K10D recently died (RIP) and I'm debating whether to replace it with another K10D, a K20D or a K-7. Nope, I can't afford a K-5.

I've read enough reviews to know the K-7 is "better" than the K10/20. Yet, the only K-7 improvements over the K10/20 that matter much to me are the effective (?) sensor dust removal and "usable" live view. Otherwise, I'd be happy to save some $$ and stick to the familiar, beautifully full figured K10/20 body.

I really enjoyed my K10D, but I had a terrible time fighting to keep the sensor clean. (Yes, learning proper lens changing technique would've probably helped.)
So, to those of you who've used a K10/K20 and the K-7, I ask:

In your experience, is the K-7's dust removal system merely an upgrade from the K10/K20, or is it truly effective? And is the K-7's live view actually more useful than the K20's?

Thanks,
Tim


Last edited by .a.t.; 08-11-2011 at 09:51 AM. Reason: clarity
08-11-2011, 03:21 AM - 2 Likes   #2
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Hi Tim,

The K-7 is a very different camera in many respects.
I've had the K10D, K-7 and K-5, sold the K10D 6 months ago.

To answer your question: YES. The K-7 dust removal system is extremely effective, much more so if compared to the K10D.
I've cleaned my K10D many times, rocket blower, wet swipes etc.
An occasional blow into the K-7 once a year to get the dust out is all I've ever done.

What I do not understand is that it is the *only* improvement that matters to you...
You'll get a *lot more* camera:
- Much better, larger display
- In camera level indicator, you never had that, so you don't miss it (oh, how I like that feature!!)
- Lens calibration (need debug mode in K10D), makes your pictures more sharp
- In camera lens correction (makes it slow though)
- A much better, faster, AF system, including a AF support light.
- More resolution
- Lighter camera, with better grip
- HDR, digital filters
- Better ergonomic (takes some use to time)
- .. all the things I forgot to mention

Get the K-7 and you will not be disappointed.

- Bert

A few appetizers (a random selection of locations and subjects):

























08-11-2011, 05:06 AM   #3
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I haven't had dust on my sensor since I switched the K-7/K-5, and the DR system is also much quieter, which is nice. I'd definitely upgrade as both these bodies are more responsive than the K10 and K20, but considering that a new body is due to be announced in a few months, it might be worth waiting and getting a K-5 for its improved IQ.

Adam
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08-11-2011, 09:48 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
...I'd definitely upgrade...
Thanks, Adam. I think I'm just too impatient to wait for a cheaper K-5, though. I've been only a couple of weeks without a dslr and I'm already suffering withdrawl.

QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
...Get the K-7 and you will not be disappointed.
Bert - thank you for such a thorough reply and for the lovely pictures!

I typically shoot at iso 100 and use manual focus lenses more often than not (flower portraits, scenery, still lifes). So, I've never really felt that I needed more capability than the K10 had. But, as you say, the K-7 does have a lot of improvements.

Thanks for your advice, guys. It's good to know the K-7 is better at dealing with dust. I think it's probably the best choice for me.

Still, I'm curious about live view. Can anyone comment on the K20's live view vs the K-7's? Earlier this year I used a K20 for a few weeks. I thought the live view was very helpful in some situations. Is the K-7's live view better or easier to use for manual focusing?

Tim

08-11-2011, 10:17 AM   #5
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the K7 actually has usable live view. With the K20, the implementation was pretty abyssmal and seemed like it was a struggle to use. Pretty much manual focus only with a lot of lag. With K7 both phase and contrast focus options are pretty decent.

I'd echo what others said about dust removal. I set it to go at start up and change lenses fairly frequently. At most have gotten dust on the sensor a couple of times over eighteen months of usage. With both K10 and K20 I had to clean then sensor monthly, more or less.
08-11-2011, 12:30 PM   #6
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Thanks, Rondec.

I think I'll go for a K-7. I was already pretty sure that would be my choice, but I just wanted some hand holding to ease any doubts.

Much obliged, all.

Tim
08-15-2011, 02:16 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
I haven't had dust on my sensor since I switched the K-7/K-5, and the DR system is also much quieter, which is nice. I'd definitely upgrade as both these bodies are more responsive than the K10 and K20, but considering that a new body is due to be announced in a few months, it might be worth waiting and getting a K-5 for its improved IQ.

wowcb


drool
08-16-2011, 06:59 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by all thumbs Quote
Bert - thank you for such a thorough reply and for the lovely pictures!

Still, I'm curious about live view. Can anyone comment on the K20's live view vs the K-7's? Earlier this year I used a K20 for a few weeks. I thought the live view was very helpful in some situations. Is the K-7's live view better or easier to use for manual focusing?

Tim
Youre welcome!

The K-7 live view auto focus is slow, real slow.
For macro and still objects it is Ok, else of little use.
This is one of the 4 areas where the K-5 is a big improvement over the K-7.

K-5 > K-7:
1) ISO performance
2) AF speed
3) LiveView AF speed
4) Multiple USER settings
There is more, not so relevant to me.

The K-7 however has two advantages over the K-5.

K-7 > K-5:
1) Portrait photos are rotated when camera is rotated by 90 degrees.
2) Overall processing speed

Bert

08-16-2011, 07:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by all thumbs Quote
Thanks, Rondec.

I think I'll go for a K-7. I was already pretty sure that would be my choice, but I just wanted some hand holding to ease any doubts.

Much obliged, all.

Tim

You won't regret the choice, I went to the K7 from the 10 last December, though really only started using it in January
Not much I can add to Bert's comments he nailed them all
the one thing that took a little getting used to was the K7 is smaller (and actually feels better built it's a little brick)
once you adapt to the small changes in operation it's a joy to use
the only edge i would give my K10 is i think it's very marginally better at iso 100, but across the board the K7 is nicer. And if you shoot landscapes etc once you use the level you'll wonder how you lived without it, it's a fantastic feature. Die hard that i am I resisted the idea of video, but i find myself using it more than i thought i would, with an m50 f1.7 it's a very cool little tool
08-16-2011, 02:36 PM   #10
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I went from the K10 to the K20 and really enjoyed the switch. It seems like an incremental upgrade, but there were a bunch of small (but noticeable) changes that really added up to a significant upgrade in my opinion.

- better AF
- my 16-50 stopped showing purple fringing (though my DA*200 still does on occasion) and yes, microlenses on the sensor do make a difference in PF
- more resolution
- much better high ISO performance
- live view (though it's first generation, it's still usable)
- the 20fps burst mode was useful for some action shots, it's no substitute for video though
- AF adjustment
- pixel mapping
- dust mapping
- sensor cleaning - I cleaned my sensor once or twice in the 3+ years I owned the K20, so it must have worked pretty well

Plus, you get to keep the nice K10D ergonomics you're used to, and the batteries are the same, and the grip is the same.

For the K7, you'll get about the same high ISO as the K20D (which ain't bad at all), plus video, second generation live view, smaller body and different batteries and grip (the K10/K20 batteries aren't compatible).

For me, the K7 wasn't enough of an upgrade to make me switch from the K20. The K5 finally moved me and I'm really loving it.

If you want to save a little on accessories, go with the K20D and have fun. It will be a significant upgrade from the K10D.

Alternatively, go ahead and get the K7 and accessories, and you'll be ready for the K5 when the price drops.
08-17-2011, 07:59 AM   #11
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I switched from K10 to K-7 few months ago.

My impressions?
well,

K10D I slightly prefer the colours and per pixel sharpness is better.
K-7: smaller, lighter, better placed buttons, ISO button, higher resolution, tad better skin tones, better VF (the 100% view is fantastic, no more nasty surprises like: this wasn't in the frame...).
My 2 biggest issues are: because of stronger AA filter the per pixel sharpness suffers along with noise at 100ISO. K10 produced noticeably sharper images with the same lenses. (Yatzee made comparison between K-7 and K200D [which has the same sensor as K10D], it wold be worth looking at so you are not disappointed). And the high ISO noise. While ISO 1600 is definitely more usable than with K10D and of course you have options of going even higher, between 100-400 K10 isn't really worse than K-7! At ISO 100-200 I'd say it's even better.
Problem is that because of lack of sharpness you will end up sharpening bit more and that will bring the noise up
While on screen the noise isn't really so visible as it's rather fine (and on small prints it's going to be the same) when you zoom in, start cropping and printing bigger the issue is apparent.

All in all though, I'm happy with K-7 but if I had the money I'd go for K-5 in hartbeat....
08-18-2011, 01:15 AM   #12
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More food for thought:

QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
The K-7 live view auto focus is slow, real slow.
For macro and still objects it is Ok, else of little use.
This is one of the 4 areas where the K-5 is a big improvement over the K-7...
QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
...I went to the K7 from the 10 last December...the only edge i would give my K10 is i think it's very marginally better at iso 100, but across the board the K7 is nicer...
QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
I went from the K10 to the K20 and really enjoyed the switch...
Plus, you get to keep the nice K10D ergonomics you're used to, and the batteries are the same, and the grip is the same.
QuoteOriginally posted by axl Quote
I switched from K10 to K-7 few months ago.
...K10 produced noticeably sharper images with the same lenses. (Yatzee made comparison between K-7 and K200D...
All in all though, I'm happy with K-7 but if I had the money I'd go for K-5 in hartbeat....
Thank you all very much for taking the time to share your thoughts. Your answers have really helped me.

Having to choose between Pentax DSLRs is a good kind of problem. For my purposes, I can't go wrong.
I'd be happy to have another K10D, but I'm still leaning toward a (new) K-7 - for the warranty as well as the features.
If I ever make up my mind, I'll let you know.

Tim

edit: Here's the link to the yeatzee comparison axl mentioned:https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/110725-pentax-k-7-...ison-imgs.html

Last edited by .a.t.; 11-23-2011 at 01:24 PM. Reason: update
08-18-2011, 01:43 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
...but considering that a new body is due to be announced in a few months...
QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote



Blue drool? I learn something new on Pentax Forums every day.


Anyhow, is that old news or did Adam give us a scoop?

Last edited by .a.t.; 08-18-2011 at 02:31 AM.
08-18-2011, 05:41 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by all thumbs Quote
Ask and it shall be given you. Seek and ye shall find.

Well, I certainly asked for it!
More food for thought:

Thank you all very much for taking the time to share your thoughts. Your answers have really helped me.

Having to choose between Pentax DSLRs is a good kind of problem. For my purposes, I can't go wrong.
I'd be happy to have another K10D, but I'm still leaning toward a (new) K-7 - for the warranty as well as the features.
If I ever make up my mind, I'll let you know.

Tim
On the K10D AA filter thing, the K10D has no way to calibrate AF per lens.
I'd say that AF calibration is of much more influence over all photo's taken on sharpness than the AA filter.

On the ISO 100 noise, it depends on the photo. I've been shooting K10D and K-7 side by side for 2 years. Still couldn't nail it.
With some compositions I liked the K10D colour rendering better, on others the K-7...

It is not so easy, still I prefer the K-7 over the K10D. It is a better camera in overall.

Bert
08-19-2011, 04:21 AM   #15
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I liked the sensor of the K10 at low iso (100 to 400), really well. However most everything else about the K7 is more advanced. In particular auto focus is much speedier and continuous auto is actually usable on the K7 (just gave me a lot of blurry photos on the K10). If all you took were landscapes and macro shots, the K10 actually might be a better choice, but for things that are moving, the K7 is more likely to give you in focus shots.

The auto focus calibration thing is a big deal. I have a number of lenses that were off just a little bit and it saves all kinds of trouble to be able to dial in a setting that fixes them so they are tack sharp from wide open.
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