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04-29-2012, 10:30 PM   #1
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Why is the K7 so terrible? or rather why am i having such a problem with it?

So I'm a big film shooter and a while back i grabbed a Kx for my first digital and i loved it. But eventually i felt the need to step my game up a little bit and i really wanted a slightly bigger camera ( huge hands). So i got my hands on a K5 at a camera store and i LOVED how it felt in my hands. I loved the controls, the battery grip, it was all what i was looking for that my Kx didn't have. Now i looked across the specs between the K7 and the K5 and i couldn't really justify the extra $300 for a camera that appeared to be nearly comparable to the K5 in every way. Or at least in every way that i cared about. So i lurked Ebay and found a mint K7 body with a battery grip and i snatched that up for $500.

And i have been constantly disappointed since.
I LOVE the camera itself but eveything else . . is dick.
the sensor is nothing but noise, even at ISO 100 its noisier than my Kx was at 400. At 400 the K7 feels like its at 1600-3200.
The sunny 16 rule is about 3 stops under exposed on the sensor. Even the auto modes on the K7 are almost black all the time. And if i open up to grab some shadow detail ALL my highlights blow the **** out pretty much always. its like BOOM Highlight head shot, PICTURE MEGA KILL!!

Has anyone else experienced this? or is it just me? All my firware is up to date and im using the same manual lenses that i did with my Kx.
Is there some magic setting in this camera? a button to turn off the suck option?

04-29-2012, 11:34 PM   #2
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In terms of handling, build quality, etc., the K7 is an upgrade over the Kx. In terms of sensor, unfortunately, K7 is a downgrade from Kx. I am sorry to hear of your plight.

Suggest you sell the K7 and buy a K5 instead.
04-29-2012, 11:41 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by runslikeapenguin Quote
So I'm a big film shooter and a while back i grabbed a Kx for my first digital and i loved it. But eventually i felt the need to step my game up a little bit and i really wanted a slightly bigger camera ( huge hands). So i got my hands on a K5 at a camera store and i LOVED how it felt in my hands. I loved the controls, the battery grip, it was all what i was looking for that my Kx didn't have.

And i have been constantly disappointed since.
I LOVE the camera itself but eveything else . . is dick.
the sensor is nothing but noise, even at ISO 100 its noisier than my Kx was at 400. At 400 the K7 feels like its at 1600-3200.
Haha.. I share your pain. I made this thread just 45 minutes before you made this one - https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/184277-k-x-k-7-k-5-a.html

Last edited by alstauffer; 04-30-2012 at 12:18 AM.
04-29-2012, 11:42 PM   #4
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sunny 16 rule is about 3 stops under exposed:
Nothing like that happens with my K-7.

04-29-2012, 11:42 PM   #5
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The only thing wrong with the K-7 is its sensor. I agree- get a K-5, and you'll fall in love

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04-29-2012, 11:45 PM   #6
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My K7 was also disappointing. I was told by inhouse pentax people that the K20 was a much better camera than the K7. My k7 is the camera i let other people borrow.
04-30-2012, 12:05 AM   #7
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Setting aside your extreme opinion of the camera's performance, I think the K-7 Is a very good camera overall. Yes It has some noise issues above about ISO 800 but nearly everything else is better, having said that though, I shoot in RAW and have reasonable shots up to ISO 2000(see below) though not gems, they more than usable for A4 Prints. I find that If you run your shots through a decent noise reduction process (I use LR 3.6 for everyday shots or Topaz de-noise for more refined control) you will not have any trouble.

K-7 (RAW) ISO2000, F/10, 1/640's (With Adjustments in LR3.6) (this is a test shot with a 400mm hand held)

.

I also suggest that you dial in an exposure compensation, if your having highlights blow out.

Sure If you go looking for trouble you will find it. But If your finding that the k-7 is a:
QuoteOriginally posted by runslikeapenguin Quote
PICTURE MEGA KILL!!
I think there is probably some fault with the light meter or technique refinement required (Ie using the correct metering mode for the situation). Well at-least the PPG suggests the K-7 is capable of really great shots. PENTAX : Select a PENTAX interchangeable lens camera or a lens model


If you are in a situation where you can buy the k-5 though there is a marked improvement as others have mentioned. Allowing for "stuffed up" shots to be recovered. (in terms of exposure at least)
04-30-2012, 12:09 AM   #8
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Agree with the above.
I reckon my K-7 is a brilliant camera and I get very consistent results - while it's mostly a hobby, I sometimes get paid for my shoots so I wouldn't use it if it made my life difficult. But you need to expose correctly or it's bad luck because you only get plus or minus 0.7ev to fix your shot in PP.

What software are you all using to process your RAW files? I use Pentax's PDCU software and get results that I've been really happy with.

I might add that:
Set the image tone to Natural - Bright has too much contrast.
Also turn off highlight correction and shadow correction as they're not necessary if you're shooting RAW. Highlight correction introduces noise.

As for why the exposure is wrong - no idea, only guesses. Mine works and you can't blame the sensor for getting the exposure wrong.
Rotate the exposure mode dial a few times, maybe it's not switching properly? Do the photos show multi-mode or center point exposure?
Were you fill flashing? You could under or over expose badly if fill flashing in Aperture priority?

04-30-2012, 12:13 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by calsan Quote
I notice I'm in the minority here. I reckon my K-7 is a brilliant camera and I get very consistent results - while it's mostly a hobby, I sometimes get paid for my shoots so I wouldn't use it if it made my life difficult.

What software are you all using to process your RAW files? I use Pentax's PDCU software and get results that I've been really happy with.

I might add that:
Set the image tone to Natural - Bright has too much contrast.
Also turn off highlight correction and shadow correction as they're not necessary if you're shooting RAW. Highlight correction introduces noise.

As for why the exposure is wrong - no idea, only guesses. Mine works and you can't blame the sensor for getting the exposure wrong.
Rotate the exposure mode dial a few times, maybe it's not switching properly? Do the photos show multi-mode or center point exposure?
Were you fill flashing? You could under or over expose badly if fill flashing in Aperture priority?
I think the K-7 is great as well; if I hadn't owned my K-x, I would be in love right now. I'm just having trouble justifying bringing a camera that I get worse results from just because it's more comfy to use, and because I feel 'cooler' because the shutter sound is more professional...

I use LR3 and most of Topaz's products (Denoise is great!). Tone is always on Natural, I like to adjust to taste in PP. I have highlight correction on, but shadow correction off (I like shadows ) - maybe I should try turning that off.

I've never had a problem with exposures though.. I've actually found my K-7 is much more accurate than my K-x was in this regard.

EDIT: Whoops, sorry, I thought this was my thread. [/threadjack]
04-30-2012, 12:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by runslikeapenguin Quote
the sensor is nothing but noise, even at ISO 100 its noisier than my Kx was at 400. At 400 the K7 feels like its at 1600-3200.
The sunny 16 rule is about 3 stops under exposed on the sensor. Even the auto modes on the K7 are almost black all the time
No. The K-7 is an excellent camera at low ISO on par if not better than the K-x.

The K-7 remains an excellent camera in terms of WR, handling, viewfinder, low ISO. On all these issues, the newer Pentax dSLRs are no better (excluding the 645D). The main weakness of the K-7 are the high-ISO (above ISO 800).

Based upon your comments, I think that either your camera is damaged or the photogtapher does not know what he/she is doing.

Sorry to be honest and direct, but this is my impressions. I simply hope that these can help you to address the problem.
04-30-2012, 12:26 AM   #11
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I suggest you post some shots from your K-7 at low ISO, by all accounts the sensor is as good as the one in the K20D which is still being used by a prominent forum member for high-end fashion shoots with supermodels etc.

But you could just get a K-5, which has a fantastic sensor.
04-30-2012, 12:36 AM   #12
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Anecdote follows:
using my K-7 at iso 6400 and my FA50 at 1.4 I was able to take some shots of people dancing (ie moving - so I needed a high-ish shutter speed) in a room lit only by a single candle. Afterwards, my friend said the photos were 'noise city'! But then i reminded him that his camera hadn't been able to either expose or focus at the time. So there are cases where the K-7 gets panned because it was able to take a noisy shot where lesser cameras don't get a noisy photo because they didn't work at all.
04-30-2012, 12:39 AM   #13
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I agree with the other members opinion. My K-7 exposes accurately and even if it's sensor is certainly not as good as the k-x or K-5 ones, it is very capable. Have you reset the camera to factory settings when you received it?
04-30-2012, 12:40 AM   #14
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I have a K-x, K-7 and K-5

There is absoloutely no way the K-x is better than the K-7 at low ISO levels. There is no way the K-7 behaves in the way you describe. I believe you have a faulty camera. Possible a wonky exposure meter. Have you tried doing a manual exposure calculation and using those settings on the camera?

Here is a shot by the K-7 at ISO 2000 in mixed lighting. Looks pretty good to me
Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K-7  Photo 

Last edited by wizofoz; 04-30-2012 at 01:03 AM. Reason: wrote ISO 200, I meant ISO 2000
04-30-2012, 12:57 AM   #15
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I would agree ...

QuoteOriginally posted by timh Quote
I suggest you post some shots from your K-7 at low ISO, by all accounts the sensor is as good as the one in the K20D which is still being used by a prominent forum member for high-end fashion shoots with supermodels etc.

But you could just get a K-5, which has a fantastic sensor.
Bonjour,

I had a (used) K-7 for many a month until a K-5 sales promo made me bite back in Nov. 2011... no regrets at all. A much better sensor overall for the K-5, but the K-7 sensor was "richer" in outdoor environments and put out some great quality images. The K-5 Sony sensor is a lot better on noise, indoors, lower light, etc. IMHO.

My used K-7 had to be "repaired" twice (metering problem + other), thus it could be a problem with your copy ... as suggested, post and get some input ... it could help maybe.

Salut et bon courage, John le Frog
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