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08-01-2013, 08:07 AM   #1
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Pentax Kr vs Pentax K7

I have been disturbed by so many negative reviews abou the Kr.
I have a K100D and am looking for an upgrade to get better low light and ISO shooting than the K100D had.
Would the K7 be a nice upgrade from a K100d from the low light perspective.
I think I would not need a huge boost in low light performance but the higher mgpixels of the K7 would probably
mean that when I reduce to my usual print sizes of 6 by 4 or 8 by 10 the noise would be comparatively less in
the K7 than the K100D which only has a 6 mppxl count.
Any input will be appreciated. I think I could also get a used K7 between $300. and $350 .
Freddy

08-01-2013, 08:43 AM   #2
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I think most of the negative feeling towards the K-r was because it was just an incremental improvement on the K-x, rather than a huge step up. I've used both, and they both have quirks (all cameras have quirks). When I had the choice of a K-7 or K-x (going from a K100D), I was tempted by the high-end features of the K-7, but the K-x was generally considered the better low-light performer. Either would be a step up from the K100D, but if I had to make the choice today, and low-light was my biggest priority, I'd still go with the K-x/K-r.
08-01-2013, 08:50 AM   #3
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I have a *ist DS, same sensor as the K100D, and a K-7. My initial impressions were that the K-7 was a stop better in high ISO than the *ist DS. Maybe 1.5 stops at the most. The K-7 also has the option to set ISO in less than a full stop, and better controls over noise processing in the JPG files. The 77 segment metering helps get the exposure right, which helps with noise because you don't have to adjust exposure in processing.

The K-7 is faster in autofocus, roughly twice as fast as the DS. It has the focus assist light too, also on the K-r. I have found almost every feature to be useful. I have used the K-r briefly, and tried to reproduce the tungsten light AF problem. I couldn't but that doesn't mean anything. The camera handles well and shares some stuff with the K-7, such as the rear LCD. The K-r is better than the K-7 in high ISO, both in the upper limit and noise.
08-01-2013, 09:24 AM   #4
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Have you considered waiting until the end of the year? There is speculation that Pentax will release a new body to replace the K-5II/s, if they do the price of a used K-5 should drop down to close to your budget. It's a whole lot more camera for only a little bit less.

08-01-2013, 10:14 AM   #5
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The K-7 is not a great camera at high-ISO and hence this limits the K-7's ability in low light with a cheap lens. Most comments at PF suggest that the K-x and K-r are better cameras at high-ISO than the K-7.

On the other hand, if you really want to work in low light, the K-7 (and other cameras) can do nicely with a fast lens (large aperture, or low f). With a fast lens, the K-7 can work at low ISO even in relatively low light and give great results.

An anedoct: A few years ago, I was shooting at sunset with my K-7 and a friend was shooting besides me with a Nikon FF. I switched to a fast prime (VL 58mm f1.4) at about 19:10 because it was too dark with my DA18-250mm. My friend, with his expensive Nikon, was using a f2.8 lens and he stopped to shoot about 19:30. (It was too dark for him.) I was able to continue to shoot with my K-7 and VL58mm f1.4 until nearly 20:00. and I got great shots. (See for example https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/125577-landscape-tidal-bore.html.) For me, this story says a lot about the potential of a fast lens and the ability.

I hope that the comment may help.
08-01-2013, 10:17 AM   #6
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The K-x was very popular and the K-r didn't beat it by much. It was a little bigger, not as cute, its main advantage was the AF overlays in the viewfinder. And there were the famous AF issues. That's why the K-r wasnt received as well. But its not a bad camera.
Either way, I have the K-r and the K-01, and they both have pretty decent ISO performance. The K-01's sensor (noise, sharpness) is better than the K-r, though. And the K-01 has essentially the same sensor as K-5, K-30, K-50, K-500, and K-5II.
The problem is that used K-7 are still pretty expensive. As are the K-r's. Honestly, the K-01 and K-30 have some amazing rebates, it might make sense to pay just a little more and get a much newer camera.

Edit: But the K-7 has some "pro" features that the K-r doesnt have. I think that is the bigger difference than just MP and noise performance between those two

Last edited by Na Horuk; 08-01-2013 at 10:57 AM.
08-01-2013, 10:58 AM   #7
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More comments: the K-r gave me the impression of build quality like a K100D or my *ist DS. The grip is different than those cameras but handling is similar, nothing to complain about really, but nothing outstanding either. The K-7 gives the impression of a step above that. It may be like having a cheap watch or an expensive watch - both tell time. I like the K-7 feel. (My youngest brother has a Canon T3, which feels like a mockup or non-working model.)

The single control dial makes me use Av mode; all the other modes feel a little off (with A or newer lenses). With two dials and the ability to customize what they do, I can set the camera up so the controls make sense to me in other modes. The difference is subtle at first.

I only take advantage of WR when something unexpected happens, like a sudden shower. But it is fun to see everyone around you panic to dry off their camera, then ask you why you aren't doing anything.

Going from 6Mp to 14Mp meant upgrading some hardware and software for me.
08-01-2013, 01:49 PM   #8
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I have a k-r and didn't realise it is known for having focus issues. That certainly explains a few things for me!

Anyway, back to original question I reckon you're better off looking for a good deal on a K-5. That's what I'm planning to do. Hopefully a new model will be out for Xmas and it will drive prices down more.

08-01-2013, 02:02 PM   #9
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The K-r had a hardware issue that prevented it from focusing accurately in tungsten light. This was a real problem with fast lenses.
08-01-2013, 02:59 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
The K-r had a hardware issue that prevented it from focusing accurately in tungsten light. This was a real problem with fast lenses.
I found that when I switched autofocus mode from AF.A (automatic) or AF.C (continuous) to AF.S (single), the problem went away. It seemed like AF.A always wanted to choose AF.C, and AF.C would guess wrong in low light.
08-01-2013, 03:01 PM   #11
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When I had the K-r I always used AF-S.
08-01-2013, 04:19 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by krebsy75 Quote
When I had the K-r I always used AF-S.
Was the lens a Tamron 17-50 / 2.8 by any chance? That one seemed to give me more trouble than any other lens on the K-r. The Tammy was fine on my K100D, and the Sigma 18-50 / 2.8 worked fine on the K-r. Weird.

Nota bene: I've always used fast lenses to shoot handheld in dim places that don't allow flash or tripods without resorting to grainy ISOs, and not for thinner DoF - quite the opposite - so what is 'fine' for me may not be for others.
08-01-2013, 04:22 PM   #13
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FA 50 1.4 and 18-55
08-02-2013, 03:32 AM   #14
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I use AF-S. The lens I have most trouble with though is my Tamron 28-75. I love the lens focal length etc but have a real front focus issue with it. I set the AF fine tune to -10 and it is a bit better but still not right. Also K-r only allows you to store one adjustment so I then forget to reset it when I put a different lens on.

I will upgrade at some point mainly for this issue as it is causing me to miss shots of family. Once a new camera comes out I'm hoping prices for a K-5 or K-5II will be more justifiable as hopefully they will improve things. At least I'll be able to set lens specific AF adjustment.
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