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05-23-2009, 09:26 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Pentax K-7

The Pentax K-7, released in 2009, is the successor to the K20D and the Pentax's new flagship DSLR. It features a sturdy yet compact weather-sealed body, 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor, 5.2 frame-per-second shutter, and a 3-inch LCD screen with a resolution of nearly one megapixel. K-7 reviews, details, and specifications can be found below!

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Pentax K-7
Year introduced
2009
Availability
Worldwide
Mount
KAF2 (without coupling for aperture ring)
Meter range
0 to 21 EV
Meter pattern
m (77 segments) c s
ISO range (expanded)
100 - 3200 (100 - 6400)
Expanded dynamic range
Yes, highlight and shadow
Exposure modes
Green, HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, HyM, X, B
Restrictions
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M
Program modes
Auto, Normal, Action, Depth of field (two), MTF
Scene Modes
None
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV
Exposure lock
Yes
Shutter speeds (auto)
30s - 1/8000s (stepless)
Shutter speeds (manual)
B, 30s - 1/8000s
Mirror lock-up
Yes
Shutter life
Shutter life: At least 100,000 actuations
Self timer / Interval shooting
Yes / Yes
Continuous shooting
Hi: 5.2 fps to 40 frames (JPG), 15 frames (PEF), 14 frames (DNG)
Lo: 3.3 fps until card is full (JPG), up to 17 frames (PEF/DNG)
Shake reduction
Yes
Auto bracketing
Yes (3 or 5 frames, one-push bracketing)
HDR mode
Yes
Multiple exposures
Yes
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 13
TTL flash
No
P-TTL flash
Yes
Sync speed
1/180s
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Extra external flash functions
Wireless, High-speed, Contrast control
Autofocus
Yes (SAFOX VIII+, 11 focus points)
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 to 18 EV
Autofocus with SDM
Yes
AF Assist
Dedicated lamp (can be disabled)
Front/Back focus corr
Yes (adjustments for up to 20 lenses)
Power zoom
Limited
Lens correction
Yes
Viewfinder
0.92x, 100%
Viewfinder type
Pentaprism
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Yes
Exchangeable screen
Yes
Depth of field preview
Yes
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnificaion)
Live view
Yes
Video/Movie Mode
1536x1024 (3:2) at 30 fps
1280x720 (16:9) at 30 fps
640x416 (3:2) at 30 fps
HDMI out
Movie mode restrictions
The aperture is fixed during recording. Autofocus is not available during recording.
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (external mic)
Mono (built-in mic)
Camera controls
2 control wheels. Many dedicated buttons
Custom Functions
37
(One programmable USER Setting)
Sensor
14.6 MP CMOS
Image size
15.8 x 23.6 mm
Color Depth
3 x 12 bit (RAW)
Dust removal / alert
DRII (ultrasonic) / Yes
Pixel mapping
Yes
File format
DNG, PEF, JPG, AVI
Memory card type
SD, SDHC (max. 32GB), SDXC via firmware update
Tethering
No
Back LCD
3 in. 921,000 pix
Top LCD
Yes
Weather resistant
Yes
Battery
D-LI90 lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery grip
D-BG4 with D-LI90 or 6x AA
Size (W x H x D)
130.5 x 96.5 x 72.5 mm
Weight
670g (750g with battery and SD card)
Latest firmware
Features from the K-5 were added in version 1.10. SDXC support in Version 1.11



Comment
Embed copyright information in EXIF.
Image plane indicator.
In-camera RAW development.


Attached Images
         

Last edited by Ole; 01-18-2011 at 07:39 PM.
07-12-2009, 08:35 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 1
Bought K7- Happy

Hi everyone, Doug here from Sunshine coast Australia. I have had my eye on this K7 since I heard about it a few months ago, soon as the shop had it I took my K20 and ALL my lenses in and spent a couple of hours playing. I started with a 50-500 mm sigma, what I noticed was an amazing machine gun rattle of shots fired - whisper quiet unlike the clunk clunk clunk of the K20, infact more like a Nikon. handheld with the anti shake on at 500 mm I managed some good shots, due to the speed i grabbed a few sharp one. !!!! very fast processing with the 16GB extreme III sandisk.

Colour rendition is far superior to the K20, without the yellowish tinge and frankly better looking, with skin tones referring to realistic pinks and reds etc.

Its true ISO is clearer at higher levels. Took a bit of getting used to changing the values with the button, but all is good.

They also have this great in camera watercolour feature , which turns everything into a remarkably realistic coloured sketch, I had to save firstly as a HDR filter ( not to be confused with the HDR fuction) then save as a water colour to bring the picture out, play with it is really good. I am in melbourne and for something different this week I am shooting a series which I will print as a watercolour feature. To do this in photoshop is hours of work, when I can do this in camera so well.

Overall I am really happy. I use my K20 as a backup with a wide angle lens on it and this as my primary shooting unit.

I have had it a week, so time will tell, but its a great camera and from what I hear aimed directly at the Nikon 300.

here are an example of some of the shots taken

Thanks Pentax





Last edited by douglasmizzi; 07-14-2009 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Photoss added
08-25-2009, 08:29 PM   #3
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Posts: 750
Okay, well I'll toss in my thoughts on the k-7 based on a little over a month of use. Keep in mind I came from a k10d so some of these thoughts might not apply to anyone coming from a k20.

1) Ergonomics: I love the more pronounced grip of the k-7. The k10 was too shallow and the body was a bit large, meaning I didn't find it very secure. The k-7 is small, but it feels very secure. The comfort of the camera with the D-BG4 grip is very good as well, but I wish the grip was a bit taller or had a bit of a cut-away where my pinky falls when shooting horizontally. Without the grip, I don't mind the small size and it makes for a perfect light match to my 43mm for walks during lunch.
With the grip: 8/10. Without the grip, 10/10 Average, 9/10

2) build quality. It's a small, solid brick of a camera. Have only tested the sealing a few times, but it's taken splashes and sand without problems. Unless that changes, this is a 10/10. However, I'm concerned with the mic and speaker holes in the body. I'm sure they're sealed, but if water gets in and sits?.....My head tells me Pentax would have thought of this and sealed it but it's still a point that concerns me.
10/10 logically. 8/10 when I over-think it.

3) Image quality:
At ISO 100, I think (for my purposes) the k10d has an edge as far as noise goes. The k-7 yields brilliant results, but the k10 didn't have any noise, whereas the k-7 does. At ISO 200, and beyond, the k-7 noise is by far a revolution to me. I wouldn't use the k10 beyond iso 400 and then, grudgingly. The k-7 @ 1600 does better than the k10 @ 400.
9/10

4) Auto-focus and Auto-Exposure:
On the AF side, my DS2 was slow but reliable and my k10 was quick and dirty (all AF-C). The k-7 is the best of both worlds. It's faster (screw-drive) than the k10 and just as accurate or more-so than the DS2. On the SDM front, I'm not seeing any - or very little improvement in speed but the accuracy is still greatly improved. All this goes for AFC and AFS.
I have no doubts this is the best Pentax has come up with as far as AF goes. I also don't have enough experience with any other camera makers to compare it to, so when I give the k-7 a 10 in AF, please keep in mind my experience is limited.
For AE, the DS2 and k10 both underexposed. The k-7 keeps the exposure where it should be, as near as I can tell. I can rely on the camera to deliver the goods. This earns a 10 in comparison to the other models.

5) Live View and Movie Mode:
Live-view is good enough for manually focusing - especially when zoomed way in. However, beyond that, I don't use it or the Movie mode right now. I'm sure they're brilliant features to use regularly, but for most of my shooting, I'm doing stills and using the view-finder. I'm therefore leaving this void of any rating. Playing has been fun, but I'm not using either seriously or regularly enough to make a judgement one way or the other.

6) 100% viewfinder, mag. alloy body: I'm in love!

7) I could never quite get the right WB with the k10 indoors in artificial light. For the brief overlap, where I had both cameras, I couldn't believe how much better the k-7 WB was than the k10's. Even with the custom temperature and fine-tuning, I couldn't get the k10 to match the k-7 using AWB!

Well, enough of the Love-in. Here's the down-sides, as I see them. Keep in mind, I'm not going to touch on any of the reported problems which haven't affected me. This is just the negs. as I've seen them.

1) Although the AF-C is much improved, the slow-down to between 3 & 4 fps burst is a bit of a negative. It's still better than the k10d at it's best, but it's not keeping the 5 fps you get in AF-S or Manual focus. Also, while the AF-C is faster and more reliable, swallows in flight still elude the AF....and I tried!!!

2) Using the okay button as a shift sucks! Firmware 1.01 improved this greatly for selecting focus points but the flip-side is I now have to shift to get at the wb or drive mode, etc... - which usually involves accidentally changing focus points before I hit the okay button hard enough to actually engage the options.

3) burying the protect image feature instead of a direct key as in previous models is a pain in the A$$. As a result, I don't bother with it anymore.

4) It'll be a while before I can afford another one, as I ditched my k10 and think a back-up camera is likely a good idea.

5) As cool as the filters are and the HDR and all the other in-camera processes, I'd just as soon skip all that and let PPL cover off the filters or have a separate suite. I'd sooner keep the options in-camera to a minimum as far as those things go to keep the interface as clean and clear as possible.

6) The ever-coming-on LCD illumination was annoying. I finally disabled that. It would have been nice having a button to control it or limit it's time on, or have the duration selectable between 2 and 20 seconds in the menu. However, my details on this may be a bit off because I turned that light off about a month ago and haven't gone back to it yet.

So, I'm going to pass on giving this a final score of xx/10. It's not much help as I'm sure everyone else has their own opinions on where it fits in. Rather, I'll leave you with a final thought:
Pentax listened. They gave us the 100% viewfinder, the 5+ fps (limited), the mag. alloy body, the sealing/dust/cold proof body, they improved the pre-flash, they greatly improved the exposure and AF, and they returned to a smaller, more ergonomic (IMO) body. It's not perfect, but this is the revolution that was worth upgrading to. I'd say they've come the closest to my perfect camera as they could at this point in time.

I'm sure other annoyances and benefits will come up as time goes on, but so far, I've quickly come to trust what I can do with this body - moreso than the k10. And that's my final rating!

2010-11-18
After using the k-7 for over a year now, I've only got a few things to add to my ramblings.

First off, as far as the weather-sealing goes, I've put the k-7 through some pretty brutal trials. It's been rained on for two weeks strait, smeared with ocean mud fresh from the bay of fundy, snowed on and has had to be 'bathed' twice. My concerns about the mic area were unfounded as this camera has never slowed down.

With the good, comes the bad though; star-trails at ISO 100 have more noise than an old b&w TV stuck between channels - and that's with DFS.

Auto-focus is about 75% of where I'd like it to be, now that I've had plenty of time to miss a few shots . Overall, it's still a vast improvement over the k10d.

I'm not left wanting for any more fps. 5 is perfect for me.

Resolution and image quality are brilliant....still. YMMV, but I've got no complaints about it at all. Keep in mind, I generally stick to ISO 100 and while I will go as high as ISO 1600, I seldom need to go there.

So the big question is whether I drop the k-7 and go for the k-5 or not. The simple answer is 'no'. The k-7's doing exactly what I want so there's no new camera coming up for at least a year. And when I do get a k-5 next fall, the k-7's going to remain as an active part of my kit.

Last edited by Andrew Faires; 11-18-2010 at 08:13 PM. Reason: giving some follow-up
09-01-2009, 03:06 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Lévis, Canada (Québec)
Posts: 143
Satisfied owner.

Hi,

Here's the story...

After looking at the samples from a pre-production K-7, after developping some RAW files from a pre-production K-7, doing intense pixel-peeping and comparing the pros with the cons, I came to the conclusion that the K-7 would not give me enough additional features, image quality and general performance to justify upgrading from my K10D to a K-7, especially since I could use the money on new lenses I was starting to ache for.

But eventually, my K10D broke and I had to buy a new DSLR immediatly. Here's a thread I started on the dpreview.com Pentax DSLR forums on that subject:

K-7: unwanted upgrade.: Pentax SLR Talk Forum: Digital Photography Review

Since then, I had the chance to test the camera a bit more and I was able to get used to it very well, so here are my final conclusions about this DSLR... Remember that my conclusions are made in regards of the improvements of the K-7 over the K10D (not the K20D). Also, these conclusions are based on my own, real-world experience, and were not conducted as exacting laboratory tests to come up with an in-depth review of the camera.

Pros:
  • Excellent image quality at low ISO (shooting RAW and developping with Capture One Pro).
  • Very good image quality at high ISO, up to 3200 (again, shooting RAW with NR turned off and using Capture One Pro for developpement).
  • Bright, 100% coverage viewfinder.
  • Great AF speed improvement (and slight accuracy improvement) in AF-S mode.
  • Tough, magnesium body feels like a tank.
  • Improved Shake Reduction and Dust Reduction.
  • Decent Video Mode (aperture control), but perfectible (see "Cons").
  • Lots of very useful features (horizon level indicator, Copyright embedding, etc.)
  • Excellent control over noise reduction level.
  • Number of settings and custom functions almost equal to that of a fully professional DSLR.
  • Improved metering (although initially difficult to adapt to, coming from an underexposing K10D).
  • Much, much quieter shutter.
  • Auto white balance improved under incandescent light.
  • Improved menu layout and ergonomics (buttons for ISO and WB).

Cons:
  • ISO 6400 pretty bad looking (still good for a DSLR using an APS-C size sensor).
  • Needs very good glass to make the most of its 14.6 megapixels.
  • AF speed and accuracy still poor in AF-C mode, way behind competitors with similar specifications or price tag.
  • D-Range results in pretty noisy shadows.
  • Video Mode still needs improvement: jelly-cam effect, artifacts, jittery behavior at times.
  • No user-selectable ISO in Video Mode.
  • Liveview still behind competition (no good magnification, slow AF).
  • Toggle-AF selection still less than intuitive (even after installing the new firmware).
  • Dynamic range improved by about a stop (over K10D), but still a bit limited.

It's all a matter of taste:
  • Noise visible even at base ISO, but has a very film-like, unintrusive look.
  • New grip very comfortable (for my small hands).
  • Lightweight and compact for a weather sealed, magnesium semi-pro body.
  • White balance (in this case, a 5600K preset) a bit too cool for me.
  • A bit over-priced.
  • More DA* and WR lenses needed to match this weather-proof body, especially in the expert range (17-70mm F/4, 16-45mm F/4, 12-24mm F/4, etc.)

Rating:

Features:
9.0 / 10

Handling:
9.5 / 10

Build quality:
9.0 / 10

Performance:
7.5 / 10

Image quality:
9.0 / 10

Overall:
8.8 / 10


My feeling about the K-7 is that the camera is very responsive, has lots of interesting and useful features and has very good to excellent image quality with proper glass (my DA 16-45mm F/4 is starting to show its limits, here, especially in the corners when used wide open). It's a great improvement over the K10D, more than I initially thought so...

The high ISO quality is great when developped using a proper RAW converter (I never shoot in JPEG, so I can't comment on that). The AF is better overall, but the AF-C could use some more improvement.

The unique features of the K-7 (100% viewfinder, Copyright embedding, HDR, in-body Shake Reduction, weather sealing, horizon level indicator, etc.) are not all innovative, but their sum make this DSLR worth consideration for an advanced or semi-pro photographer, along with the often impressive image quality at low ISO and general feel and performance.

All-in-all, a very interesting alternative to the D300 and 50D, but many might wait for the price to drop a bit, or turn to a cheaper camera, as I feel the K-7 is a bit overpriced when compared to similar products: 1600$ vs. 1800$ for the new D300s (both body alone). At least that's the price, here in Canada. I think Pentax is on the right track with the K-7 and that such a line of DSLRs might help them reclaim the fair share of the market they deserve to have, alongside the big two.

So while my upgraded was unwanted, I now confirm that I'm a real K-7 fan. If you think about buying one, I say go for it! You'll be more than satisfied, unless you're shooting sports on a regular basis, in which case the AF-C might leave you a bit... unexcited! But besides that little complain and the rather high price tag, the K-7 is real winner, so don't hesitate if you thinking about upgrading.

Just wanted to share this with you

10-08-2009, 10:52 AM   #5
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Location: Montreal
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Detailed Review of the Pentax K-7

Here's my detailed review of the K-7: Pentax K-7 Full Review | NeoCamera.com

I really try to cover usability and ergonomics and what makes this camera different from others, highlighting precise differences with the K20D for those considering to upgrade.

Enjoy!

- Itai
02-22-2010, 11:09 PM - 1 Like   #6
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Location: Minneapolis - St. Paul
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I have a Pentax K-7. Great camera, big improvement in low-light AF from previous Pentax DSLR's. One thing you must know is Pentax is one of the very few companies who make in-body stabilized DSLR's and used the same mount since film, allowing all current 3rd party lenses and manual lenses from 30 years ago to work on this body and still maintain optical stabilization. Huge advantage for Pentax over it's competitors, but sadly the world is brainwashed by what they see in Best Buy and the advertisements.

Pentax builds cameras for photographers and hobbyists at the best of their ability. Pentax does not create 3 DSLRs in the same class, pricing them one over another after stripping features. Pentax are a loyal company to their loyal consumers; you will never see them screw their consumers over by producing a bunch of half-baked bodies and advertise them as everything. They make one DSLR for entry-level and one DSLR for semi-pro and putting all they have to offer for a more than reasonable price.

Aside from the quality of Pentax's craftsmanship throughout the years, the superb build quality of the K-7 is not to be forgotten, that Pentax is the first Japanese company to release the SLR and their creativity literally created everything that made the DSLR what it is today. Over 50 years of producing some of the finest film SLR's and DSLR's, one of the oldest companies to still produce cameras today, all of Pentax's innovation and time spent have been put into creating this masterpiece. 77 weather-seals making it resistant to dust, rain, and cold temperatures, this is truly one of the most powerful Pentax built to date.

Sometimes the best just don't get talked about, in fact most of the best things in life don't get talked about. Most people can't think for themselves. Out of all the people in the world, only a very select few who knows what's best for themselves. People don't come to realize the best things in life until it's too late. I'm glad to be part of the few who figured it out for myself. I do things in life that's best for me, not what others think is best for me. I go Pentax when others say otherwise, because when I held a Pentax in my hands for the very first time, I knew that was it. This camera was it. This company was it. These lenses are it. This is it, this is Pentax.

Last edited by LeDave; 03-18-2010 at 12:52 AM.
05-07-2010, 05:12 AM   #7
bfo
Senior Member




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Location: Bærum, Norway
Posts: 102
Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Cons Only slight downside: high ISO and AF.C
Pros Everything except Cons mentioned. Especially WR and bulid quality. "Pro level" on available ajustments an functions
Rating 10
Price ~ 1000
Years Owned <1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Great value for money
Great build quality
Weather sealing
Front and rear e-dials.
In camera SR (works with any lens)
AF assist light
Dedicated buttons for most used functions
Lightweight and small (compared to similar products)

Camera Review
Everything is at absolute top level (for the $) except for high ISO quality, and AF.C capability. Still the camera is very capable in these areas as well. If you don't do professional style sports- or low light photography you really don't need much more IMHO.

I chose the K-7 mainly for it's build quality and weather sealing. To my knowledge no other brand can offer anything remotely similar in this aspect for less than 1.5 the price.
Lightwight and small. Again: no other brand is anywere near whith comparable build quality and features.

AWB is by a fair margin the best I've used. So far very few "mistakes" from the camera AWB.

Anyone less than semi professional photographers will get a camera that by a fair margin "outperforms" the photographer (my self most definetly included ).

Menu system is easy to use/navigate.

Built in SR works great.

Continous shooting at 5.1 f/s is very good, altough slightly less than compareable products from other brands (Canon/Nikon).

If you mainly shoot high ISO, the K-x might be better deal, if ruggedness and weather sealing doesn't matter that much. For the record: The K-7 offers a lot of functions and "outperforms" the K-x in most other ways also.

Even thogh there is room for improvement, I'd like to emphesize what a great camera the K-7 is.

Would rate it a 9.6 if that was possible.

Last edited by bfo; 05-07-2010 at 05:54 AM.
05-09-2010, 03:53 PM   #8
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Small, Backwards Compatible, Easy Menu System, FPS is good, DNG capability
Cons "kitsch" features like HDR and video, Slow sync speed.
Rating 9
Price 999
Years Owned >1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Small size is wonderful coming from a Nikon D40 convert. Ability to use old lenses (and new ones without electrical connections) with little to no inconvenience is huge to me (I love my Lensbaby).

In the studio, the K-7 is a good performer. The sync port is a must have for studio strobes, and works well.

In the field, the LCD blacks out (something my D40 didn't do to the extent my K-7 does), but can be seen reasonably well by shielding glare.

Camera Review
The camera is fairly small, more like a Nikon D90 than a D300s (I consider the D300s to be the K-7's true competitor). I love the ability to print large prints from a file (I have a 30x40 canvas over my fireplace printed from the K-7). The camera represents a real value for photographers; the camera is much less expensive than its competitors (again, the D300s v K-7). This is shrouded by lens prices; you don't save any on lenses compared to the competition at least when bought new. In some cases, they are more expensive but generally built better.

Kitsch features like HDR, video, Live View are useless to me, though I suppose they may be useful to people who use them. Personally, I would rather not have to pay for those features but it is necessary nowadays on mid to high end bodies.

The menu system is very easy to grasp, coming from a Nikon convert. It's utilitarian looking but functional.

The x-sync port and weather sealing are also nice features; I use the x-sync port often. There is but one improvement to this camera I can think of: increased flash sync speed!

06-28-2010, 11:08 PM   #9
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 5
Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Extremely Sharp
Cons Non
Rating 10
Price 685
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
All Standard Attributes

Camera Review
Nothing short of a 10. The value proposition is unbelievable.
07-01-2010, 01:06 AM   #10
Inactive Account




Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Wakefield
Posts: 31
Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Very versatile camera, which is built like a tank
Cons None so far
Rating 9
Price £1100
Years Owned 1 year

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
I moved from the Pentax K10 to the K7 and was amazed at the improvements. The build quality of this camera is outstanding and its size is perfect. As I am into the great outdoors the camera has been on numerous trips in the rain and snow and has performed flawlessly, I did up grade the kit lens, but even the kit lens is a good buy for the price.
There are a lot of comments on the web about the K7s noise at higher ISO and that it is poor for low light photography, well I disagree, I do a lot of low light photography and the images I have captured seem more than OK to me. I think the K7 will always be over shadowed by anything in the same class made by Canon or Nikon due to the marketing and inability some people have to think for themselves rather than just listen to a review in a magazine or on the web. Just hold and use a K7 for a week and I think you will be very surprised.
I think LeDave from St Paul Minneapolis made a very good point when he said “Sometimes the best just don't get talked about, in fact most of the best things in life don't get talked about” I agree with him totally. Pentax make some very good photographic equipment and it’s learning how to get the most from it that is the hard part. It is very easy to spend large amount of money on a camera and think my photography will move to the next level, but for me Pentax does what it says on the tin, so I will remain a Pentax die-hard.
The most important thing is to enjoy your photography, keep learning and developing your skills, be able to trust your chosen brand and the equipment it produces and pay a fair price for it. Pentax you have earned my money
Fletcher Davies
Wakefield UK

Camera Review
Go to a camera shop that stocks a Pentax K7 and pick one up and use it would be the best review advice I can give.

Fletcher Davies

Last edited by Fletcher Davies; 05-08-2014 at 12:02 PM.
07-05-2010, 01:56 PM   #11
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Location: Gothenburg, aka Göteborg
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Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Rugged, yet sofisticated! Water-resistant!
Cons Not brilliant high ISO like the K-x!
Rating 8
Price $1300
Years Owned A few months
I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Quiet, superslick, water-resistant, rugged, just the right size for my hands! You get a lot of performance for not that much money, except high ISO brilliance!

Camera Review
I had had my K-x for a few months when I decided to get myself a K-7, as having two camera bodies had become more an addiction, as the K-x seemed to have become, more or less, married to the Tamron 70-200/2.8.

I could have waited for the new models, that are in the pipeline, but I did not - silly me! I bought it after having read a lot of good about it on the net, showing me that it had qualities I would like to have, which the K-x lacked, like the water-resistant design of both camera body, and lens, and its very quiet shutter, and mirror mechanism. Also a HDMI socket can be helpful at times, not least when doing macro work :-)!

In all it feels like an older brother to the K-x, a little more capable, and having higher resolution. In short: a little more adult, if with worse night vision, which is common to older idividuals!

Last edited by Tord; 08-10-2010 at 12:53 PM. Reason: Found the $ key!
08-19-2010, 01:26 PM   #12
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Posts: 78
Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Built like a brick and weather sealed!
Cons No tethering
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) $979.00 (new kit) & $650.00 used
Years Owned 3 months & 2 months

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance &amp; Size
Magnesium alloy construction. WEATHER SEALED! Small size and low weight. In-body shake reduction 100% viewfinder. DNG RAW format. Amazing value.

Camera Review
Did quite a bit of research before purchasing the K-7... at this price and it seemed almost too good to be true. Outstanding build in a tiny water resistant package, it's packed with usable features. I have nerve damage, so a huge selling point was the size, weight and balance. The ergonomics are spot on for me. In-body shake reduction is another huge plus.

At first, had some problems with low light sensitivity and noise. A few setting adjustments have pretty much solved the problems. Now, there are only issues with extended handheld exposures in super low light; then it's time to pull out the tripod.

On the downside... wish tethering was available.

The first K-7 was such a good fit that I ended up purchasing a second K-7 off the forum and had it IR modified.
09-18-2010, 01:39 AM   #13
Pentaxian




Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Texas
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 3,430
Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Weather sealed
Cons Lack of tethering
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) 1100.00
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance &amp; Size
Nothing beats it when it comes to the price of a weather sealed camera.

Camera Review
Not much more can be said that hasn't already been said. I will be picking up a 2nd K7.
09-29-2010, 10:44 AM   #14
Inactive Account




Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan, USA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 7,485
Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros See Text
Cons See Text
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) $1099.00
Years Owned 1

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance &amp; Size
See Text

Camera Review
I purchased the K7 in October 2009 with the WR Kit lens from Adorama. Coming from a K20d, my initial impression was, Too Small for me. However, after adding the grip, it's just right.

The Dislikes (coming from the previous models)
The Locking mode dial. I would prefer to just be able to rotate the dial without having to press a release.
The relocation of the buttons that use to be on the left side of the screen. My big fumble fingers don't play well with the playback and delete buttons.
The SD card door. I prefer the release that is on the K10d/K20d to the slide out and release design of the K7.
The Relocation of the AE-L button. I'm continuously hitting it when I don't want to.
The built in flash. This isn't K7 specific, I think All built in flashes are terrible. It'll get you there in a pinch but a shoe mount flash is a must in my opinion for best results.
There are a couple other minor things but not really worth mentioning.

The Likes (for new features over the K20d).
The AF assist light/LED. This is something that should have been included from the get go. The strobing flash on the K10/K20 scared my dog out of the room.
The redesign of the body on the right side makes it easier to carry around without a strap (for me). I've grown to hate neck straps and feel much more secure using this camera without one than previous models.
Proper Strap lugs. This may not seem a big deal to most but to me, a HUGE improvement in ergonomics.
The Live View (especially after the v1.10 firmware update) and the ability to maneuver the focal point to anywhere on the screen.
The Video.. Nice to play with once in awhile. Sometimes there is something that you just have to capture motion with (but I still say the video is a gimmick on the K7). It would be nicer for me to use if it weren't for the lock release on the mode dial.
A dedicated ISO button. Nice to have for the modes that don't allow mapping the ISO to one of the e-dials.

Performance...

Overall, this is quite an improvement on the K20d which was an improvement on the K10d. Noticeable to me was faster AF as well as more Accurate AF. When using AF in Live View however an annoying trait is that with most if not all of my lenses, the focus will cycle from one extreme to the other and back again before locking on. LV is better suited for manual focus shooters. It may be new model euphoria but I believe the metering, the auto white balance to be improved as well. It still misses once in awhile but a low keeper rate is more due to the photographer than the camera.

Color reproduction seems good but as with any other digital, is white balance defendant. Dynamic range also seems improved as I have an easier time capturing detail with historically difficult colors (red/white) that would tend to bleed over details. Noise handling seems to be pretty good for those who prefer to use out of camera JPGs. Even though it will go to ISO 6400 (expanded), I would recommend that setting for emergency must capture something use only. Your mileage may vary on that.

They've put some interesting features into the JPG creation of the camera. I don't use them much as I prefer to create my own from PEF RAW files. Out of the camera the JPGs are definitely usable but there is always some (user created) error that I feel is better corrected from the RAW file. They've given us an HDR mode and a couple other features. They for some reason however do not write the RAW files to the card. Unless you want to lug a tripod of some sort, the HDR is completely useless. 1 of the 3 shots it takes will be out of alignment and the JPG engine does not align them. Far better off to take a bracketed shot and use proper software to create the HDR final photo.

This is definitely a photographer's camera requiring some knowledge of the basics (as with any camera) to get the most out of it. Even after a year, I'm still learning how to use it. Overall, the K7 is (was) a winner for Pentax and most who purchased one. I would easily recommend it to someone wanting a pro-ish camera body without going broke. Room for improvement? Yes. Always is. I gave this camera a 9/10 because I don't like (and still don't) what they did with the button layout. To someone without K10/20 experience, these gripes will mean nothing.

Buy it, you'll like it!

99% of anything taken after mid October 2009 in my flickr was taken with this camera. In many cases, lenses used are noted in the photo title.

10-08-2010, 07:05 PM - 1 Like   #15
New Member




Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 10
Pentax K-7 Camera Review

Pros Very well constructed, lots of features, inexpensive
Cons high sensitivity noise
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) 869
Years Owned less than a month

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance &amp; Size
The K-7 is a great value, significantly better built and featured than any other camera in its price class. It also is significantly more compact than its competitors. A K-7 with a couple of limited primes packs a lot of camera into a small space, making it easy to bring with you instead of leaving at home.

Camera Review
The last time I used a Pentax camera was when I took photography classes in high school and was issued a K1000. I assumed, when I went camera shopping this fall, I would be getting a Nikon D90 or 300s. I have shot with Nikon equipment for years and used it as my standard equipment for professional work (mostly photojournalism).

I decided to try out a K-7 for several reasons.

Price: With the K-5 coming out, K-7s are quite reasonably priced. While they have the features of a 7D or a 300s, they cost the same or less than a D90.

Limited lenses: These lenses are beautiful, fun to use, and constructed of finely finished metal and glass. They remind me of why I found photography so interesting in high school. And, they take really nice images as well.

Construction: As a photographer who has lost camera equipment to the hard knocks of life (and an occasional hockey puck), the K-7's metal, not plastic, construction weather sealing and low temperature rating were very attractive.

Small size: I was also attracted by the K-7's small dimensions. The best camera in any situation is the camera that you have with you. Over the years, I have learned that smaller cameras always go with me more places than larger ones. The K-7 is really compact. It feels significantly smaller than a D90 and an order of magnitude smaller than Canon's current enthusiast cameras.

Issues:

The only thing I wondered about was how much of a real issue the much-reported high noise levels at high sensitivity settings would be. On that front, I have to say that the K-7 does produce noticeable noise at any ISO setting over 400. I've found it usable through 1600, particularly for anything that won't be bigger than 8x10. But, there is no getting around the fact that it does lag at least a stop, possibly two, behind what my work's D90 is capable of.

For me, it's been a worthwhile trade off. The K-7 is fun to use, inexpensive, and altogether more satisfying to me than the enthusiast and pro level Nikons I have used for years. Yes, if I was working a high speed indoor sporting event, there are better cameras out there, even at this price point. But that's not what I'm doing with this camera. Instead I'm making images I love and reconnecting with why I picked up photography in the first place. The K-7 has proven to be a great choice for that task. I'm glad I picked it up.
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