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01-22-2012, 08:06 AM   #1
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K7 vs. Oly E3

Hi folks, this is my first post here. I am looking to get back into a DSLR and am currently shooting an Olympus EP2 system.

I am very attracted to the Pentax K5 or, because of price, K7 because of the weather sealing. My first DSLR was an Oly E1 (the weather sealing is important to me) and loved the ergonomics and images from it. I don't have any current lenses so am thinking of something different, thus the attraction to Pentax.

Anybody have direct experience with the two cameras (K7 and E3) The K7 is smaller, but with a bigger sensor. I like the primes and legacy lenses available without adapters, and, well, I've never used Pentax. The zoom lens failures I read about are a bit of a concern though.

The E3 I know and its a fine camera, the zoom lenses are great, and weather sealed. But few primes are available, and I like primes.

Give me your thoughts ...

01-22-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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Welcome Jeff, I cannot comment on the Oly but as a longtime Pentax shooter, I am a little biased. This past summer I stepped up from a K2000 to the K7 and could only happier if I had spent the extra dollars and got the K5 and that is not saying there is anything wrong with the K7. There are a lot of folks here with more digital experience than me. I did get the K7 used from Usedcameras.com . There is also KEH, B&H and Adorama as well. Also the K5 is becoming available on the used camera market at affordable prices.....Happy decision making and again welcome. Take many pics and post often.......Cliff
01-22-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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The discontinued E3 4/3rds DSLR is a great camera but you would have a much larger choice of lenses if you stay with m4/3rds since there are some great primes like the 12mm F2.0, 45mm F1.8 Olympus, 25mm F1.4 Leica/Panasonic, 25mm F0.95 Nokton etc. I have the K-7 and instead of getting the K-5 in Dec 2010 I purchased the Panasonic GH2 because I wanted the best hybrid still/video camera that I could use with my Pentax lenses and so far it's been great. Olympus, Panasonic and Pentax will be coming out with the OM-D, GH3 and K-01 soon so I would wait a bit to see what the specs are if I were you. Also Panasonic has the 12-35mm F2.8 and 35-100mm F2.8 lenses for Micro Four Thirds coming later this year.

Last edited by jogiba; 01-22-2012 at 09:40 AM.
01-22-2012, 09:59 AM   #4
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I do not about all the prices, but here in Holland, the few K-7's that are left, are pricier than a K-5.

01-22-2012, 10:15 AM   #5
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k-5 at current prices is hard to beat. Should be very close to $1,000 usd if you shop carefully. The advantage to Pentax are great ergonomics, weather sealing, prime lenses, solid support for legacy lenses going back to 1957. Other brands have other advantages.

Since you have no lenses you are free to look at all systems so have look at Canon and Nikon as well. Obviously this is a Pentax forum so most here are a little biased, but not rabid about it. Any modern dslr will take great pictures, the technology is fairly level across brands so it is the details that matter. The k-5 just plain felt better in my hand than other brands.

I would not be overly concerned about about zoom failures, not to say there have not been any, the DA*16-50 has gotten a bad reputation for instance. However, many, many people including myself use it daily with no issues. And there are 3rd party equivalents which some say are better optically anyway such as the Sigma 17-50.

If you have a shop in your area where you can handle the cameras then that is best so you can see how it fits in your hand. I made a similar choice a few years ago, getting back into slr after using point & shoots for years. Tried Canon and just did not like the way they felt. Ended up with a k-x and really loved that camera. It has been passed on to my wife and I bought a k-5.
01-22-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
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JeffryScott:

I don't have the K-7 but I have the K20d. I also have the E-3. I plan to get the K-5 someday and the E-5 as well because I like both systems. If you look at Jatrax comment above, he is partially right, but he is wrong in saying that Pentax has "the advantage" over Olympus in "great ergonomics," and "weather sealing." I like the ergonomics of the K20d but the E-3 ergonomics are just as good. Also, the E-3's weather-sealing may be a bit better than that of the K20d. Whether or not it is, I'm sure it is just as good. Everything seems a bit more buttoned up on the E-3. But he is right about prime lenses and legacy lenses. Olympus will permit the adaptation of legacy lenses, even K-Mount legacy lenses but you have to use an adapter. Third-Party lenses are another great advantage Pentax has.

On the other hand, I moved from the E-1 to the E-3, or rather added the E-3 to my E-1; so you might like the E-3 if you like the E-1. There is a family relationship. Those two cameras will last a long time. My impression is that Olympus tried a little harder than Pentax for longevity, but whether they succeeded is another matter. Most people aren't going to put 150,000 shutter actuations on any camera anyway. I don't miss primes because I hike and zooms are better than primes on hikes.

I shoot in manual, but on occasion that little green Pentax button is nice. If you move from one lighting situation to another and need to take a photo in a hurry, then that little green button will help you out. Olympus doesn't have one of those. Usually though I'll just use the green button for reference -- find out what Pentax thinks I should be using. Sometimes that influences me and sometimes it doesn't.

Lawrence
01-22-2012, 12:18 PM   #7
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Thanks for the replies folks. I figured posting the question here, people could tell me the good and bad of the K7 and the lenses ... I know the Olympus system, so need to educate myself on the Pentax system before making any decisions.

I'm mostly satisfied with my current setup, however, want a weather sealed system and know the new OMD m43 is rumored to be weather sealed, but the price will be out of my range. Thus, I'm looking used, and the Pentax seems to have great bang for the buck.

To get decent weather sealing in Nikon or Canon, we're talking too much cash.

Thanks, keep the info coming
01-22-2012, 01:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffryscott Quote
Thanks for the replies folks. I figured posting the question here, people could tell me the good and bad of the K7 and the lenses ... I know the Olympus system, so need to educate myself on the Pentax system before making any decisions.

I'm mostly satisfied with my current setup, however, want a weather sealed system and know the new OMD m43 is rumored to be weather sealed, but the price will be out of my range. Thus, I'm looking used, and the Pentax seems to have great bang for the buck.

To get decent weather sealing in Nikon or Canon, we're talking too much cash.

Thanks, keep the info coming
If it's weather sealed primes you want you will probably be disappointed in Pentax. Right now there are only 4. The DA* 55, 200 & 300, and the D FA 100mm WR macro.

01-22-2012, 03:55 PM   #9
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Jeff, additional info can be found under the camera pull down menu in camera reviews.....Cliff
01-23-2012, 08:57 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
If it's weather sealed primes you want you will probably be disappointed in Pentax. Right now there are only 4. The DA* 55, 200 & 300, and the D FA 100mm WR macro.
The primes wouldn't be the primary bad weather tools .... I would want a couple of zooms for the weather, as changing lenses in inclement weather defeats the purpose of weather sealing.
01-29-2012, 07:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffryscott Quote
Thanks for the replies folks. I figured posting the question here, people could tell me the good and bad of the K7 and the lenses ... I know the Olympus system, so need to educate myself on the Pentax system before making any decisions.
I have a K7, it's a great camera. Compact for an APS-C dslr, lightweight, good viewfinder, great ergonomics, durable construction, quiet shutter, built in image stabilization.

Cons?

- Not as good at high-ISO as the latest generation of sensors, but still pretty decent at ISO 800 and slower.
- Some people have issues with the shutter blur issue around speeds of 1/80-1/125, I think I have noticed some of this on mine.
- Video control options are poor compared to most other brands.
- Pentax has some issues with QC on the e-dials on their SLRs. Both my DS and my K7 had malfunctioning e-dials. The K7 was still in warrantee so I got it repaired and it's working fine but my DS never got fixed. Something to consider if you're buying used, it would probably be a couple hundred to fix if you had to pay out of pocket.

Otherwise, I'm quite happy with mine, have used it in wet conditions a couple of times, and have no thoughts of replacing it anytime soon.
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