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06-08-2009, 08:59 PM   #1
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Experiences with the new K-7 Camera (lots of imgs)

Hi All,

Sorry for the delayed review. I've been playing this camera (pre-production w/ a firmware of V0.3) for several days. What a great little camera! After playing this one, I just can't live w/ the K10D camera (thanks James who lent this one to me to play until I got the K-7 ).

Here are some of my findings so far:

1. The camera is a beauty! It's small and classic, way better looking than any dSLR camera available on the market (to me at least). It is small, but feels very sturdy w/ its magnesium alloy shell over stainless steel chassis.
2. The shutter is so quiet, never had any camera which has a quieter shutter sound.
3. The shutter lag is so short, almost non exist, makes the camera even responsive.
4. 100% viewfinder makes composition much easier, what you see is what you get!
5. AF speed is quite a bit improved both under good light and low light, and the improvement for non-SDM lenses is even more obvious than SDM ones.
6. AF accuracy is improved too, especially under tungsten light.
7. Auto White Balance is improved, especially indoor under complicated light condition.
8. Shake reduction is even more effective.
9. 5.2 FPS might not be useful to guys like me, but I'm sure quite some guys would benefit.
10. The big 3" LCD is a big improvement over previous models, great for reviewing photos, live view or taking videos.
11. The LCD screen will rotate to any of the four directions automatically when you turn the camera, yes, even you turn it up side down. What a cool feature.
12. 77 multi segment metering makes matrix metering even accurate.
13. AWB under tungsten light has two level of adjustment: subtle or strong correction, to suits users preference.
14. The new battery lasts even longer than the K10D/K20D ones, can easily take 900 to 1k shots on one charge.
15. The green AF assist lamp is effective, makes AF possible under very low light.
16. HD Video is really cool, but since there is no AF at the moment, not so easy to use, yet.
17. The improved CMOS sensor still take great sharp photos w/ excellent colors.
18. The new WR kit lens is a great pleasure to use under light rain.

I might forget something. Will add in later. Are these good enough for upgrading from K20D to K-7? You bet






Here is the body comparison between K-7 and K10D:









You can see the K-7 is slightly smaller, but when you hold both, you'd feel the difference is quite big. K-7 just feels better balanced when held in hands.


The new D-LI90 battery vs the old D-LI50 battery, they are pretty much the same size, but have different profiles and contact pins. The new battery has higher capacity, lasts longer than the D-LI50 in my experience:





The new charger is quite a bit smaller than the old one, a good news for travelers I guess:




Under Tungsten light the AF accuracy is much improved. AWB is a lot improved too. Previous Pentax dSLR cameras all have some front focusing issues when used under Tungsten light, seems K-7 fixed this problem.

K10D + FA77 under Tungsten light:


K20D + FA77 under Tungsten light:


K-7 + FA77 under Tungsten light w/ subtle AWB correction:


K-7 + FA77 under Tungsten light w/ strong AWB correction:


Matrix metering is much improved:




Shake reduction is even more effective, I can take reasonable good shot w/ a 250mm lens at 1/20s speed:



I feel very comfortable to use even a tele lens under low room light condition:



The new WR kit lens is really a plus for such a small K-7 camera:





This combo takes excellent photos w/ great colors. Here are some photos taken in light rain, w/o any post processing except resize and slight sharpening:







Some more photos by the kit lens:





And I really love the color produced by this new camera. Here is one taken w/ the FA*80-200:



Two more w/ a FA77:





Sorry I have to post a couple of bigger photos to show the potential of the new camera mounted w/ a lens like FA*80-200:






I've got a lot sample photos to show. But left them at home. Can't show them until tomorrow...


Last edited by Damn Brit; 06-08-2009 at 10:23 PM.
06-08-2009, 09:16 PM   #2
and
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great report and with good image examples.
one question, on the WB sample there is a purple halo around the letters on the top of the page, is this PF? And if it is, was the lens correction activated or not.
And regarding the lens correction have you tried that out and did the camera get slower because of it, seem to remember reading it took a while to do the processing for each shot.

regarding the af its so inconclusive to read. I have now read a statement that
-af is much improved in general
-af is pretty much same with non sdm but faster with sdm
-af is faster but more so with normal than sdm
-af is not much different in speed, just more accurate

hard to draw a conclusion here without trying the camera myself I guess. I did try the km myself and that seemed a lot better than the k10 and k20.
06-08-2009, 09:18 PM   #3
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one more observation...
Seems the strong wb correction is doing a better job than the normal one. but then why is strong not the default, is there a catch.
06-08-2009, 09:23 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
great report and with good image examples.
one question, on the WB sample there is a purple halo around the letters on the top of the page, is this PF? And if it is, was the lens correction activated or not.
And regarding the lens correction have you tried that out and did the camera get slower because of it, seem to remember reading it took a while to do the processing for each shot.

regarding the af its so inconclusive to read. I have now read a statement that
-af is much improved in general
-af is pretty much same with non sdm but faster with sdm
-af is faster but more so with normal than sdm
-af is not much different in speed, just more accurate

hard to draw a conclusion here without trying the camera myself I guess. I did try the km myself and that seemed a lot better than the k10 and k20.
The WB shots were taken with the FA 77, and the lens correction feature only works with DA and DFA lenses. And it's not PF, it's longitudinal CA, which the K-7 can't correct (only corrects distortion and lateral CA)

06-08-2009, 09:26 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
one more observation...
Seems the strong wb correction is doing a better job than the normal one. but then why is strong not the default, is there a catch.
I think Pentax's philosophy has been to keep some of the color in the photo to make it look more like it does in real life, but they've added the "strong correction" option for those who prefer to keep everything neutral.
06-08-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
great report and with good image examples.
one question, on the WB sample there is a purple halo around the letters on the top of the page, is this PF? And if it is, was the lens correction activated or not.
And regarding the lens correction have you tried that out and did the camera get slower because of it, seem to remember reading it took a while to do the processing for each shot.

regarding the af its so inconclusive to read. I have now read a statement that
-af is much improved in general
-af is pretty much same with non sdm but faster with sdm
-af is faster but more so with normal than sdm
-af is not much different in speed, just more accurate

hard to draw a conclusion here without trying the camera myself I guess. I did try the km myself and that seemed a lot better than the k10 and k20.
On the focusing testing photo, I used FA77 lens. As far as I know, the lens correction only works for DA/DFA lenses

No, I haven't tried the lens correction part yet 'cause I only used the new kit lens in the rain for a very short while, w/ both distortion correction and lat-chromatic-ab adjustment disable. I'll do a test later and report here :0

I have K10D, K20D and K7 w/ me at the same time, and I tested DA 18-55 WR, DA21, DA*16-50, FA31, FA77, FA*80-200 on all three cameras. What I feel is the AF w/ new K-7 camera is indeed quite a bit improved both indoor or outdoor, and the improvement w/ non-SDM lenses is greater than w/ SDM lenses. It's understandable because AF speed w/ SDM lenses is decided by the built-in SDM, not the camera body. The camera can only improve its accuracy and make it less hunting (thus faster).
06-08-2009, 09:34 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
one more observation...
Seems the strong wb correction is doing a better job than the normal one. but then why is strong not the default, is there a catch.
Well, some people prefer the natural warm look under tungsten light, but some people like to see 'correct' colors. It's just preference I guess. I still can't understand why the default setting for 'Using Aperture Ring' is Prohibited ...
06-08-2009, 09:36 PM   #8
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Frank,

Thanks for taking the time to show some images, and the report.

06-08-2009, 09:54 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
Well, some people prefer the natural warm look under tungsten light, but some people like to see 'correct' colors. It's just preference I guess. I still can't understand why the default setting for 'Using Aperture Ring' is Prohibited ...
hm, I see. That may be so, although we should know from experience that the camera would get better reviews if it defaulted to the strong setting And better reviews would help sell the camera. So I would think if there is no big catch that strong should be the default.
06-08-2009, 09:56 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by mutedphotos Quote
The WB shots were taken with the FA 77, and the lens correction feature only works with DA and DFA lenses. And it's not PF, it's longitudinal CA, which the K-7 can't correct (only corrects distortion and lateral CA)
ah FA indeed, didnt think about that. Oh it doesnt correct that, I see
06-08-2009, 10:05 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
On the focusing testing photo, I used FA77 lens. As far as I know, the lens correction only works for DA/DFA lenses

No, I haven't tried the lens correction part yet 'cause I only used the new kit lens in the rain for a very short while, w/ both distortion correction and lat-chromatic-ab adjustment disable. I'll do a test later and report here :0

I have K10D, K20D and K7 w/ me at the same time, and I tested DA 18-55 WR, DA21, DA*16-50, FA31, FA77, FA*80-200 on all three cameras. What I feel is the AF w/ new K-7 camera is indeed quite a bit improved both indoor or outdoor, and the improvement w/ non-SDM lenses is greater than w/ SDM lenses. It's understandable because AF speed w/ SDM lenses is decided by the built-in SDM, not the camera body. The camera can only improve its accuracy and make it less hunting (thus faster).
Yes it does make sense that way, Im just saying reports are quite different depending on the source. You have very good grounds for comparison having 3 cameras available.

I guess even with sdm it is theoretically possible that it can accept more current from the body to make the motor stronger/faster. I guess af can be divided into algorithm and motor, and with the k10d the main difference was in the more powerful motor, but with the km it seems the algorithm is a lot better, without the move-check-move-check-move-check-move-check stuttering hunting that I have come to know from the k10.
06-08-2009, 10:18 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by and Quote
I guess af can be divided into algorithm and motor, and with the k10d the main difference was in the more powerful motor, but with the km it seems the algorithm is a lot better, without the move-check-move-check-move-check-move-check stuttering hunting that I have come to know from the k10.
And K-7 has an even powerful motor and definitely better algorithm then the Km
06-08-2009, 10:24 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by frank Quote
And K-7 has an even powerful motor and definitely better algorithm then the Km
Then it should be a winner Actually the km seemed improved enough to me
06-08-2009, 11:27 PM   #14
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Frank, do u mind give me a favor and check:
whether the K7 and shoot multiple-exposure in high speed (5.2fps)?
06-08-2009, 11:59 PM   #15
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is it July already?
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