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10-28-2010, 07:02 AM   #16
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Becoming increasingly affordable, very well built, reliable, Great ergonomics, good image quality from 100-1600
Cons Mainly ISO 2500+ isn't as good as competitors
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) 1300
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Great auto white balance
Solid image quality
More accurate metering than Pentax bodies before it
Small body
Great ergonomics
Weather sealing
Pretty good autofocus and frames per second, especially in a small body
Silent shutter

Camera Review
Yes, this camera does not have the best high ISO performance, especially beyond ISO 3200. This is its one major flaw.

Still, if you are a photographer that shoots primarily from ISO100-1600 -- most good photos come in good light, after all -- then the K-7 is a whale of a camera. Solidly built, small in size for what you get, with a deep grip that just melds into your hand. Once you pick it up, it feels in every way like the perfect instrument for taking photos.

Really in my experience the K-7 is best experienced as one of two cameras, and this depends on the lenses you buy for it.

Buy a few DA Limiteds to go with the K-7 and you have a very light and capable camera package, perfect for things like travel, hiking or documentary photography.

On the other hand, if you slap the optional grip onto the K-7, and use it with some WR or DA* zooms, you'll have a hefty weather sealed camera package, good for outdoor photography.

Of course nothing says you have to do either of these paths, but I wanted to note that the feel of the camera definitely changes depending on what lenses you use with it.

11-15-2010, 11:05 PM   #17
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Ergonomics, Viewfinder, Plethora of features to play with
Cons Image quality
Rating 6
Price (U.S. Dollars) 1,700
Years Owned 1+

I can recommend this camera: No

Value, Features, Performance & Size
It is an excellent photographic machine, that is a device to take pictures with. Ergonomics are top notch, AF is improved over previous Pentax models, viewfinder is comfortable if a little small (APS-C), but you can buy a magnifying eyepiece that makes things more tolerable, reliable metering. It is a good camera. When it comes to image quality, in my opinion good old K10D still outdoes this camera by a fair margin (as long as you shoot between ISO 100 and ISO 640.

Camera Review
Initially I was moderately happy about this camera. But it is quite a let down in the sensor department. I still can extract the pictures that I find to my liking but the amount of processing and "tricks" (graduated filters, brushes in LR 3.0 and Topaz Noise Reduction) required is significant. Depending on your preferences both in shooting and processing it can be a non-issue or even an advantage or a problem. For me it is a problem. I remember sufficiently many pictures from K10D that I would simply load to my LR (2.x at the time) and see that no adjustment is necessary whatsoever. With K-7 I have to do relatively extensive post processing.

With Topaz Noise Reduction I still can get tolerable pictures between ISO 2000 and ISO 3200. LR 3.0 also has powerful NR facility. Without NR I wouldn't recommend shooting with this camera in low light.

Another problem with IQ or actually the sensor is the abysmal dynamic range. The variety of curves that I could apply to K10D has been reduced with K-7. I almost always have to open up the shadows and downplay the bright areas.

Everything else about it is just right. It is small, light, easy to operate. The only minor nit pick is that the LV button is positioned so that when I move the AF points mode selector wheel with my thumb when the camera is at my eye, 8 times out 10 I switch the camera to the LV mode. That's a nuisance.

Unless you have to have a video mode, a 100% viewfinder or a two wheel operated hyper modes, I wouldn't recommend this camera. You will be better off with K-x. It also seems that more modern K-r is even better option considering its capabilities and price. It is of course subject to how K-r fares over time.
12-02-2010, 10:01 PM   #18
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros lightweight, compact, weather-sealed
Cons none so far
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) $650
Years Owned Only a few weeks so far

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The build of this camera is immediately apparent once holding it. This is my first DSLR, as I have done all previous DSLR shooting with my dad's Nikon. The Nikon is in comparison very bulky and heavy, and yet doesn't offer the weather sealing of the much more travel-friendly K-7

Camera Review
I bought this camera because I am a fly fisherman and wanted to get a DSLR that would produce top notch images while being compact and light for travel, and providing weather-sealing for surf, rain, mud, sand, etc. I had previously been shooting with a Nikon (my dad's) and this camera made me want to just take my little optio W30 because of it's bulk. The much smaller K-7 is producing really nice images with the DA 18-135 lens I have put on it, and I am pleased to say the least. I guess the short-coming of this system is the lack of high ISO capabilities of the K-7 along with the lack of speed of the DA lens, but as soon as Pentax gets rid of the faulty SDM system in the DA* lenses I will get 2 of these, probably the 16-50 and 50-135, and the fixed 2.8 should really help with lower light situations. Seeing as I do the majority of my shooting in the day time this isn't an issue most of the time though. My first impression of this camera is a very good one...I am really pleased I got it! A K-5 one day for the high ISO, but for now I am more than thrilled with the K-7.
12-03-2010, 02:13 AM   #19
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Excellent build quality. Tough magnesium body. Weather resistant . Great anti shake feature. Inbuilt custom filters, Very easy to use out of the box, Menu is easy to follow. Accepts older Pentax lenses. Video mode. Long battery life.
Cons Auto focus speed a bit sluggish
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) $1045
Years Owned 2 Months

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Represents good value for this spec camera compared to other brands. Biggest plus for me is that you can use older lenses which can save you big dollars. The performance has been extremely satisfying except perhaps in very low light conditions. It is a great size for touring with and has the advantage of being dust and weather resistant

Camera Review
Ok where to begin? After a few years away from my film SLR camera and only using a compact digital, I got the itch to get back into photography. Not that I am very experienced in this field. So after a long search on the net comparing all the major cameras and their attributes, the Pentax K7 won me over because it matched or bettered most of the opposition in most areas. The bonus being it was the only DSLR that would take older lenses. I could see this as a major cost saving benefit. And so I purchased the K7 with two lenses a 18-50mm and a 50-200mm lens. As I said I was basically new to DSLR and yet after a short read of the very comprehensive user manual (it also came with a quick reference guide) I inserted the battery set-up the camera (language, Time & Date) and was ready to play. I must stress how easy the camera menu and user manual are to use Then it was outside to take a few photo's and explore the cameras features. I have posted some of the results below and whilst not award winning my lack of experience is to blame not the camera. The battery life is quite exceptional and shooting in raw and using flash it would outlast most photo shoots. I haven't had time to try out the video mode yet as I am having to much fun taking photographs. The lenses are only the cheaper versions of the Pentax DA range but boy they produce great results. I am madly saving now for a pentax macro lens as I dabbled with macro with my old SLR. The LCD lens produces great clarity and is easy to see. The live view giving you a "What you see is what you get" look at the subject. The camera fits nicely in the hands and the controls are all easy to manage. Continuos shooting mode produces 5 frames a second in Jpeg mode. The camera shake reductions works a treat all photo's I have taken have been sharp. The filters available during process on the camera include Toy Camera, Retro, High Contrast, Extract colour, Soft, Star Burst, Fish Eye, Monochrome, Colour (adds a colour filter), Water Colour, Pastel, Slim, HDR high dynamic range. Magic! try that with any other brand! I have included a photo of a paddle steamer and have included a water colour one as well. So whilst this is not a professional photographers in depth review it is designed to show prospective DSLR beginners that you do not have to purchase a cheaper less featured camera to cut your teeth on only to have to update it in the future to get a more challenging and rewarding camera. This baby does the lot> I have added this review to Product Review Web Site

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12-03-2010, 06:14 AM   #20
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros DUrability, Features like auto level and in camera stabilization. Weather sealed body, using old prime lenses that can be bought for 40 dollars.
Cons a little noisey above 800 ISO
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) $999.99 with 18-55 weather resistant lens
Years Owned 4-6months

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
compact, magnesium alloy body, Kit includes Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL weather-resistant lens, Weather resistant, dustproof, and coldproof ,5.2 fps shooting with the new PRIME II Image processing engine; top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec

Camera Review
So far this camera is outstanding. I regret not making this my first dslr purchase. (bought a nikon d5000 and it broke in 8 months)

Build:

The camera body is not plastic like my Nikon D5000 was. The Canons in this price range are plastic as well, and I remember wondering if there was anything behind the plastic on the front of the body where I held the camera and often felt the plastic flex. I have not yet had the chance to take it out in the rain to test the 77 in body seals and the sealed kit lens. The view screen actually does not seem so fragile that I want to keep it under a piece of protective plastic. If you have ever had the chance to do any welding, and you know what that glass in the old welding masks was like, that is sort of what the view screen reminds me of. very rugged, like the rest of the camera. even the neckstrap is attached through leather and metal D rings.

User Interface:

Honestly it seems a little dated. Only because it does not look like a menu on a video game like my nikon did. It is still very functional and everything is easy to get to. If you ever have to go to the menus considering there is a dedicated button on the camera for all the important stuff. ISO, RAW, the most incredible feature of all- the green button. It is fantastic, if you are shooting manual or something and you're so under or over exposed it would take you a lot of spinning the thumb wheel to get it back to center on the light meter, you just press the green button anytime and it brings you back to metered exposure, effin sweet Pentax
12-03-2010, 04:39 PM   #21
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Compact, Weather sealed, value for money
Cons autofocus still is the weakness
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) 685
Years Owned 2 months

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Compact, rugged, WR, fast shutter.

Camera Review
The bright side:

I'm not a super photography expert, I started 3-4 years ago. After owning a K100D Super, a K10D, I made the big upgrade to the K-7. I could not be any happier, feels like a tank, excellent ergonomics, perhaps focusing is not as fast as nikons but it's plenty for me. The ways this camera can be customized to your needs are, at least for me, more than enough. The viewfinder coverage is fantastic. The horizon level is a nice touch as well as the self adjusting rotating mechanism for the rear display. The resolution of the rear display is a great improvement. The mode selector "wheel" lock button is also a nice addition. The battery lasts for a loooong time. I don't have any fancy lenses but still I get superb images! Overall excellent value for your money, specially if you get a lightly used one!

Thing to improve:

Does not have a stellar performance in high iso. I would say above 800 and with no flash you start getting a lot of noise. I guess this has been taken care of with the new K-5.

The lever to select focus point (auto, SEL, center) is not the smartest design, it's tiny and hard to move. I believe this is still prevalent on the new K-5.

The liveview is kind of funny because it does not work like in a point an shoot. Once you have your frame ready and press the shutter the screen goes black and goes back to normal after you take the picture.

The options to operate backlight in the small LCD display are very limited, it's either on after measuring or permanently off. It would be nice to be able to customize one button and being able to turn it on and off at any time in any mode. If I'm not wrong my K10 was able to do this.

I still don't understand why pentax keeps giving us a crappy cheap strap...

Last edited by chrisca70; 12-05-2010 at 03:48 PM. Reason: improved review
12-08-2010, 11:54 AM   #22
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros weather resistence, many features
Cons none
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) 1100.00
Years Owned 1 year

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
This camera offers so many features in such a compact body. The preview screen has great clarity and the buttons make moving around so easy. And to add, it's durable in damp, wet weather!

Camera Review
So many choices, but I am here to tell you that this camera is tops. My K-7 is awesome! I have thoroughly enjoyed my 1st year of ownership & continue to learn new things about it every time I use it. Sure, itís got a whole lotta features, but don't let its many attributes intimidate you. Instead, let them give you the opportunity to express yourself in a whole new way thatís easy and comfortable to grip your hands (and eyes) around. It is rugged and has proven to be weather worthy on multiple occasions. Just Saturday it snowed and rained and there I was out in the elements just snapping away without worrying about my camera outfit. Canít say I would have ever thought of doing that with my other little digital Canon Sureshot (honest, it was a gift- Iíve been a Pentax and 35mm owner lover since I was 19!)

And whatís more, I was so impressed with the use of the video feature and the Uncle Jack video, that not only have I suggested this is THE CAMERA for fellow videographers, but for amateurs like me who just want to capture the movie moment. If you havenít seen the video, look it up on the Pentax site, and I assure you that it will not only captivate you, but it will reassure you that the decision you are about to make is an excellent quality investment and one you will not regret. When I first ordered mine, I thought, ďWhat did I just do?Ē Iíll tell you what I did; I made one of the best decisions in my life. I recommend this camera to anyone who wants a dependable DSLR. Oh yes, and one that allows you to interchange lenses too. What other brand does that? Couldnít name one could ya. I took the plunge and love it. Go ahead, you will too.
12-10-2010, 03:39 PM   #23
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Build, handling and colors
Cons High JPEG ISO noise
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) $939.00
Years Owned 2 months

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Value for the money
Great image quality
Great build quality
Fast Frame per second rate
Amazing control over the picture taking process and the pictures the camera produces

Camera Review
This camera just screams to be used. It genuinely seems eager to take pictures, which of course is precisely what a camera should do. I had the K10D before buying the K-7 and I am extremely pleased with the improvements found here. The K10D was a fine camera, but it pales in comparison to the K-7. The K-7 is simply much more refined: the body feels better sealed, the shutter fires much more quietly and is as smooth as butter. It's truly a pleasure to use.

As if all that wasn't enough the 5.2 fps speed is really welcome. At least for my applications, it's plenty fast. The autofocus is more refined as well. It locks on more rapidly and gets the picture taken.

Coming from the K10D there are so many different upgrades that I am not even sure where to begin. I don't use live view often, but sometimes when taking landscape shots it's really nice to have, especially when I want to get the camera close to the ground. While high ISO performance isn't this camera's forte, I still like having the capability of shooting in light that would have made me put my K10D away. In RAW, noise is much better controlled than it is in JPEG.

There is always room for improvement and that is true of this camera as well. As I just mentioned high ISO performance isn't a strong point. In JPEG, it's not pretty. Auto focus has been substantially improved, but it's not quite what it could be especially in AF constant.

If you can afford it and you're a really serious photographer by all means go for the new K-5. The image quality is better, the ISO performance is superior and the auto focus is finally up to the highest standards from what I'm reading. However, if you don't have that extra $600+ to spend, the K-7 is certainly a credible option. The shooting experience is very similar with both cameras. This is a camera that instills confidence in the photographer.

I've included a couple of shots taken with the K-7. The second one is taken with the Fisheye setting, which I have found to be quite nice.

This camera really is a fine piece of photographic equipment.

Thanks Pentax!




12-10-2010, 06:49 PM   #24
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Ergonomics, small size, build quality, shake reduction, weather resistance
Cons AF could be faster (especially in LV mode), SR is good but not amazing
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) $900
Years Owned 1 month
I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
See below.

Camera Review
Overview: a solid, pro-sumer level camera body with pro-level features.

Build quality: In a word, "solid." It's a beautifully built piece of camera gear, with a magnesium body and a steel chassis. Feels like it was milled from a solid piece of metal, no creaking/flex/play in the body. The water/dust seals on the body are a special bonus, especially after being caught out in a sudden downpour without any rain protection nearby. It's nice to have the confidence to take your camera out in inclement weather without having to worry about the electronics being at risk.

Handling: Compact size combined with great ergonomics. The K-7 is not much bigger than the DS I had before and is much smaller than other prosumer bodies from other major brands. This works out great for me, since I have small hands and like to travel light and compact. If you have big hands it may be an issue, so I'd recommend handling one before you buy it. Balances well in the hand, with a deeply sculpted finger grip. Button placement is excellent, and the user controls are highly intuitive. This is a camera you could easily start shooting from day 1 without ever opening the manual (which is what I basically did).

Things I don't like - AF could be a little faster, especially in LV mode where it is almost painfully slow. While it is overall much better than the DS (which was rumored to have the worst AF speed of all the Pentax bodies), and works pretty well in low-light situations, it still doesn't come close to the likes of the "Big Two."

Image quality: Very good to excellent, at least in my experience. The 14 megapixel sensor provides much better resolution than the old 6 mp sensor in the DS. A lot has been made of the K-7's high ISO noise in comparison to newer sensors, however I personally rarely shoot more than ISO 800 and find (especially at lower ISOs) that I can pull a good amount of shadow detail out of RAW files despite the supposed higher noise of this sensor. White balance is noticeably better with this body than on prior Pentax bodies, and the color rendition is as good or better than the 6mp sensor on the DS.

Value: I waited a long time before pulling the trigger on the K-7. Although I was hoping for the price to fall even lower with the release of the K-5, $900 is still a pretty good bargain for the build quality and feature set you get. The K-5 offers substantial improvements in low-ISO capability and AF speed, but to me it wasn't remotely worth the extra $500 price premium. Unless you need either of those two features specifically, the K-7 still makes for a compelling value more than 1 year after it was initially released.

Last edited by anthers; 12-10-2010 at 11:28 PM. Reason: word choice
12-19-2010, 11:59 AM   #25
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Water-resistant,dust-prood,cold resistant,excellent built quality,compact. An easy to follow user interface. Older Pentax lenses compatibility.
Cons none, so far.
Rating 10
Price (U.S. Dollars) $1100
Years Owned one month
I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
It is compact, very well built and once the hands are on it the ergonomic design of the body feels like it has been carefully thought and developed. Magnesium alloy body, water, dust and cold resistant, 3” LCD with 921,000 dot resolution, older lenses compatibility and custom functions are top-notch functions. Although I have just got it for one month, its performance has been very enjoyable so far. Its size is another goal, ideal for travelling, hiking and going around.

Camera Review
I had been taking photos with my Ricoh KR10M for 19 years, until it stopped working, and it was not possible to fix it. I was wondering if I should buy another SLR or jump to the digital era, finally I thought the time for a DSLR had come. After six month of reading and searching on the net, I have chosen the K-7 to replace my old Ricoh mostly based on my own experience and needs rather than on the reviews, which seemed not to be fair with this great camera.
I do climbing and mountaineering, so I take pictures to capture the beauty of landscapes and nature in a harsh environment. Therefore, having a DSLR camera with the K-7 features was a must. Despite the fact I couldn’t test it in the countryside yet, I did had the chance to try it in the city I live in during a rainy day. I carried the camera over my neck all the time (it was a difficult decision to make, believe me!) and everything worked perfect, from the body itself to the dials and the 18-55mm lenses kit; nothing was affected by the water.
I have read a lot of negative reviews where high ISO performance was a down side on K-7, but I have nothing to say about this issue as all my pictures look fine, at least for an amateur photographer like I am.

The most important thing is that after having the K-7 on my hands and read the excellent user manual, I have revived my passion for photography, I can’t wait to go to the countryside to take the pictures that I like most!
01-16-2011, 07:30 PM   #26
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Size, lovely white balance, long lasting battery, video, sealed, level, quiet, viewfinder.
Cons Noise at ISO 100, narrower DR than previous DSLR's, shadow noise.
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) 1499
Years Owned 15 Months

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Perfectly reasonable camera.
Good white balance, speed, customisation, live view, LCD screen, sealing.

Camera Review
Lots has been said that is accurate.
This is my third DSLR. I am an amateur who uses their camera for travel, documenting family, and gets outdoors/leaves the camera outdoors. I shoot raw (DNG).

Ergonomically, I love using this camera. My one criticism (and this is personal preference), is that this camera is a little heavy when paired with any zoom above the kit. It tops the 1kg mark, and this gets a little heavy for me to tote around and shoot with all day. I do not use the grip. With primes, it rocks. However, toddlers don't wait until you change lenses. So, I recommend the 18-135mm for this purpose which works well, and is not too bad in terms of weight.

It is easy to use with a remote control, love the live view and the level and composition adjust - really smart idea.

As others have noted, I don't think the sensor holds a candle to the K200d (K10d sensor) at ISO 100-200. There is not the same cleanness to the images, especially in the shadow noise area. I even find this when looking back at my *IST DS shots.

However, to be fair, you can crop a heck of a lot more with this sensor.
I find the image quality to be a bit double edged. It's fine, not brilliant. However, it may be operator error.

I find pulling the shadow areas up to be really bad with this camera - there always appears to be lots of noise in the mid tones if done.

Related to this - this is the trickiest camera I have owned in terms of exposure of a scene. If done correctly, I can get it to *shine*. However, if not completely accurate, the result is muddy and flat to my eyes. Flash makes it shine. I have found the metering to be a little too conservative in bright light.

So, I have found I needed to invest more time to learn it than previous DSLR's. After over a year and several thousand exposures, I'm not sure I have. However in saying that, I have had some decent shots, and lack of subject matter and operator time probably have something to do with it.

The video is excellent, and being 30fps MJPEG is quite malleable.

Shooting Recommendations.
Auto ISO 100-500 range.
High iso NR, start at 400, low (reduces chroma noise).
If shooting RAW, turn off the auto lens corrections and the CA removal, and the highlight correction tools to improve performance.

The film reversal mode is excellent.

Would I buy it again. Yes. The good parts make up for the deficiencies noted. The WB alone is worth it relative to previous models (pretty much from any brand), and the video is an excellent addition for me. The fact it is very quiet to operate is a wonderful touch. And it is built like a small brick.
With a 40mm or 15mm on the front (or the 21mm for that matter), it is an extremely portable package.
Attached Images
     

Last edited by Clarkey; 01-16-2011 at 08:20 PM.
02-06-2011, 12:24 AM   #27
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros a tank
Cons ISO above 800 sucks
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) 950
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
feels good, shutter is great, nearly indestructible, easy controls, most pictures pop

Camera Review
The only bad things I can say about the k-7 are the standards; lack of high ISO performance and weak dynamic range, the latter being the most frustrating at times. I shoot mostly back country wilderness-scapes here in Wyoming and have found that my more complex images have a crammed look to them. Most pictures turn out great but things like canyons that have tons of competing details tend to get flattened. The k-5 seems to have answered both my complaints and I am now counting the days until the price finally drops.
The k-7 has turned out to be an amazing camera for portraits and architecture. It has an almost 3-D look at times.
Overall a great camera and well worth the relatively small dollars one can pay now to acquire one.
Andy
04-08-2011, 08:34 AM   #28
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Ergonomics, easy to carry size
Cons Availability of
Rating 10
Price (U.S. Dollars) 700 Gently used
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Excellent value. Full of all the necessary features plus more. With good lenses excellent image quality is easily achieved. Is a very comfortable camera to handle and carry around.

Camera Review
This is a great camera and I don't believe it gets it's due credit from the photog industry. It has and will serve me well for some time to come.
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