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04-01-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
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Upgrading to K-7; any tips?

Have had my k100d super for a little over 1 year (got it used in excellent condition). I've really enjoyed using it, so much so that my appetite was whetted for an upgraded Pentax. Giving my 100ds to my husband, and am eagerly awaiting a k-7 I just purchased.

I'm a bit nervous that I'll be "in over my head" with it at first. I think I jumped up about 2 or 3 steps instead of 1.... If anyone has either had both of these models or has made the jump up from a similar "starter" DSLR, what things will I be lost on? Or, do you have tips to make the transition easier? I have found the k100ds to be pretty intuitive to use, but I don't do a lot of manual adjustments with it. Mainly use it in program, aperture priority, shutter priority, and macro modes, and adjust sensitivity and white balance as needed. This gives me the quality I need for my purposes. I'll be using the k-7 mostly with my FA 28-105mm lens and sometimes with my DA 18-55 II kit lens.

Thanks in advance for any insight!

04-01-2012, 04:45 PM   #2
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If you want something closer to the K100ds, you might also want to look at the K-x and K-r. However, as both of those lack a top LCD, you might prefer the K-7 even if it's a little more advanced. If I were to choose, I'd go for the K-7 because of the two e-dials.

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04-01-2012, 04:53 PM   #3
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I have the K100 and 3 years ago I upgraded to the K20 the predecessor to the K7. In January, I upgraded to the K5 the successor to the K7. The step up should be relatively easy. There were many reasons for my upgrade from the K100. Things will be both familiar and different. The largest change is the two wheels - along with the additional controls on the back of the camera. They all make things much easier.

A bit of reading and playing with the unit and it will all fall into place.

One thing that you will find different is the reporting on the rear screen. It was new and different to me and it works great.

I think that you will transition easily to the K7....

04-01-2012, 05:28 PM   #4
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Thank you both!

QuoteQuote:
However, as both of those lack a top LCD, you might prefer the K-7 even if it's a little more advanced.
I did look at both the k-x and the k-r, and that's one of the reasons I chose the k-7.... Plus the size of the k-7 seems pretty close to the k100ds, which I like. Although I don't have very large hands, I like a "heftier" camera.

QuoteQuote:
The largest change is the two wheels - along with the additional controls on the back of the camera. They all make things much easier.
That sounds encouraging!

I'm sure I'll be OK in the long run with the k-7, but it's those initial differences that have me skittish....

04-01-2012, 05:47 PM   #5
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I went from K100D to the K7, the transition is not that difficult, I believe you will like your K7 a lot.
04-01-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
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I can't say much about the comparison between the two models, all I would suggest is not too over whelm trying to understand the whole working of the camera in one go. As you say, you mainly use a set of functions AV mode, SV mode and Program mode (you won't find a macro mode)... get use to where these same functions are, maybe one at a time. Besides you are in the right place to ask questions if you get stuck. I personally went from a K1000 to the K7 with a 20 year gap (some P/S's in between).

And even though the manual might look big, I found it very helpful for working out where most used functions are and how to set it up to my liking, I've page tabs all over mine and kept it in my camera bag for the first half of the year I've had it.

The good thing about digital camera, you can take 1000's of test shots at no cost.

Maybe you could think of you transition like this... Going straight to the K7 there maybe some functionality you may never learn how to use, but if you took the incremental set (Kr Kx) there may have been some functionality you wish you could have had.
04-01-2012, 06:46 PM   #7
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I had a disastrous week of results recently after I had the foolish notion to change my K-7's D-Range settings to enable both Highlight Correction and Shadow Correction. From the manual:

"D-Range Setting: Expands the dynamic range and enables a more ample gradation expression by the CMOS sensor and reduces the occurrence of overexposed and underexposed areas."

Sounds like a good thing, right? Unlike in the K-5 manual, they don't mention that with Highlight Correction on, minimum sensitivity becomes ISO-200. It appears to me that with Highlight Correction and Shadow Correction on, the camera underexposes and then selectively pushes the image brightness which is typically NOT a good thing on a K-7 (shadow noise at ISO200?)

Other gotchas are the settings for Lens Correction, Lateral Chromatic Aberration Adjust and Horizon Correction. Turning those features on drastically slows down the camera due to the extra processing required. My advice would be to test carefully if you choose to turn any of those things on. The results may not be what you were expecting. The K-7 (and K-5) has a ton of advanced features so it's well worth reading the manual - something I usually don't do. Enjoy your awesome new camera!

Hopefully, you're not too bothered by the new "Unilateral Pricing Policy" that Pentax put into effect today. I just last week ordered a new K-5 to upgrade my own K-7 but given the pricing news I'm inclined to return it now.
04-01-2012, 07:24 PM   #8
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I've never had a K100 but do have a K20d and a K7. I suspect that whichever way you used your K100 would be a good approach to begin with when you get your K7. In my case I prefer the manual mode; and any camera (and I have several Olympus DSLRs as well as these two Pentax cameras) that has this mode will function in the same way -- taking into account that the controls will be in different places. Once you learn where the controls are, and you stick to your favorite shooting mode, then you shouldn't have any trouble with the K7.

You will probably have trouble when you begin exploring the K7s other features. I have gotten into trouble much like that described by Clones123. It ought to be fun to have learning experiences like this, but unfortunately it isn't. :-(

Lawrence

04-01-2012, 07:43 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteQuote:
Upgrading to K-7; any tips?
Be nice to your mother. ;-)
Shoot RAW - the noise levels and dynamic range of the K7 is often (wrongly) criticized. At the time of release it was comparable with any other camera, it's just the k5 blows everything else away, which took the gloss off the K7. However, if you're shooting RAW you can still PP the K-7s images for fantastic results.
04-02-2012, 03:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Clones123 Quote
I had a disastrous week of results recently after I had the foolish notion to change my K-7's D-Range settings to enable both Highlight Correction and Shadow Correction. From the manual:

"D-Range Setting: Expands the dynamic range and enables a more ample gradation expression by the CMOS sensor and reduces the occurrence of overexposed and underexposed areas."

Sounds like a good thing, right? Unlike in the K-5 manual, they don't mention that with Highlight Correction on, minimum sensitivity becomes ISO-200. It appears to me that with Highlight Correction and Shadow Correction on, the camera underexposes and then selectively pushes the image brightness which is typically NOT a good thing on a K-7 (shadow noise at ISO200?)
Like Calson said shoot raw and most of this is not an issue.... on the other hand, when you use the the D-Range settings in the need enviroment it work just fine for me (K-7). I use it oftern without to much trouble.
04-02-2012, 03:42 AM   #11
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What software do y'all use for when you shoot RAW? I tried shooting RAW with my k100ds, and just using the Pentax software (which is old 'cuz it's what came with the camera) and had less than satisfactory results. I adjust the sharpness and contrast in camera depending on what I'm shooting, and it's worked well. However, I've had better luck shooting jpeg, then needing none or little PP. With my new/old lens, I'm finding I can use many jpeg images "as is" out of the camera. Which is surprising, because accurate color reproduction is key for me, and the k100ds has given me much better color accuracy than all my previous digital cameras (good "bridge-type" cameras). Lately I rarely need to sharpen shots.

Of course my RAW results could be due to "user" issues, LOL!
04-02-2012, 04:13 AM   #12
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Pentax software that comes with the camera (normaly) is a good start, some would say Adobe, but only if you can aford it. I've been use some new software from Corel called 'AfterShot Pro' its fairly cheap and very easy to use IMHO.
04-02-2012, 04:22 AM   #13
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I upgraded from a K100D Super to a K7 last year, and initially I found the K7 a challenge. Mainly, learning the different controls (the green button is my new best friend - every time you go too far with your exposure adjustments, just press the magic green button and you're back on track!). The shutter is the first thing you'll notice. Quiet, and silky smooth, totally unlike the coarse 'slap' of the K100DS.Ergonomically, the K7 just feels great. I think you'll enjoy it, specially after the first few hundred shots or so.

Regards
04-02-2012, 04:37 AM   #14
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I went from K10d to K-7, so not such a leap. Things that still catch me out:

1)it's easy to knock the front or rear dials, and I don't find it that easy to see the display in the viewfinder. My rear dial is set to exposure compensation (I use P mode a lot) so I sometimes end up with a sequence of pictures a few stops under or over.

2) live view hammers the battery

If you do a lot of manual adjustments the two dials will be a real boon to you as you can change things so much more easily.

I used to use A mode a lot but now I generally use P, with the front dial for exposure bias (smaller aperture/slower shutter one way and larger aperture/faster shutter the other) and the back one for exposure compensation. I find this set up is basically the same as using Manual, pressing green and adjusting, but faster. What each dial does in each mode is configurable in the menus - it's worth experimenting to get something that suits you.

More than any other camera I've had, the K-7 seems susceptible to exposure errors if the viewfinder isn't covered - if you're not using it, use the little slip on cover thingummy, or do a test shot or two first.

Apart from that, they're great cameras and pretty robust. Mine takes some abuse and has lost a fair amount of paint of the bottom and been bounced about a fair bit (remember, if you hook it on the back of a buggy along with a bag with a picnic in, the buggy will tip over as soon as the child gets out ...) but it is still going strong. Have fun!
04-02-2012, 04:40 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by amc654 Quote
What software do y'all use for when you shoot RAW? I tried shooting RAW with my k100ds, and just using the Pentax software (which is old 'cuz it's what came with the camera) and had less than satisfactory results. I adjust the sharpness and contrast in camera depending on what I'm shooting, and it's worked well. However, I've had better luck shooting jpeg, then needing none or little PP. With my new/old lens, I'm finding I can use many jpeg images "as is" out of the camera. Which is surprising, because accurate color reproduction is key for me, and the k100ds has given me much better color accuracy than all my previous digital cameras (good "bridge-type" cameras). Lately I rarely need to sharpen shots.

Of course my RAW results could be due to "user" issues, LOL!
I can't recommend Darktable (darktable | the photo workflow software) highly enough, and it's free. I've tried the Pentax software under OSX and Windows and never got on with it - it seems so slow and clumsy.
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