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06-15-2009, 10:02 AM   #1
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My K-7 alpha test report and blog

I am one of a few lucky so-called "K-7 alpha testers" from Pentax Germany.

I posted a short notice about this here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/624725-post41.html
but didn't find a lot of time to post my findings. I've just now started to get things out and my first rather general blog report is out. Some stuff jumped into my way when I ījust wanted to do K-7

But I've compiled quite some material now and will keep the stuff flowing (I hope).


I plan to use this thread to do so. Whenever I have something new to say, I'll add an entitled posting here rather than starting a new thread. While I will post stuff pretty complete here, some details (like images in original size etc.) may be missing from the forum post. So I'll post a link to a blog post or separate web page if there is extra information to be found. I hope this isn't in contradiction to forum rules.

In the next couple of postings, I will study a number of details, e.g.:
  • Continous autofocus
  • Autofocus
  • Image resolution
  • Noise (when final firmware is out)
  • Experience with tethering, both USB and HDMI
  • Video
  • How to have fun with the camera
The next post will be my first actual contribution

UPDATE:
Because it may be hard to find all my actual test articles within this thread and the link to the blog was somewhat hidden, I post the blog link here again (it is in my signature as well):

http://falklumo.blogspot.com/


Last edited by falconeye; 06-15-2009 at 04:10 PM.
06-15-2009, 10:02 AM   #2
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K-7 in the rain

[IMGWIDELEFT]http://falklumo.smugmug.com/photos/564211145_8nX6t-X3.jpg[/IMGWIDELEFT]
The saturday after fetching my K-7 was a rainy day. I.e., a perfect day to go out and do some test shots! This allowed me to get aquainted to the K-7 more and also enjoy shooting in bad weather conditions.

The K-7 is not only sealed for the worst of weather conditions; but its kit lens(es) is/are too! Needless to say that the K-7 really liked to get wet and for the first time ever, I didn't have any bad emotions seeing it getting wet

(Upon special request: Me shooting with the K-7 :ugh:
Special handholding technique to uncover the logo;
shot with a K-m)


First impressions:

As noted by many on the web already, it is a real pleasure to hold and handle the K-7. In comparison, the K20D feels older than the core technical data would suggest. It feels solid, almost unbreakable and seems to offer timeless value. Of course, no dSLR can offer this with progress in semiconductor physics being this fast. Nevertheless, the K-7 just feels "right" -- as a serious photographer's tool. I like its size. It is rather small for what it does (smallest APS-C semi-pro body in the industry, look up the technical specs) but does not feel small because of the excellent grip. I could carry it around just holding its grip, for hours ... With its steel magnesium alloy body, it definitely feels solid rather than hollow; giving a nice balance to most lenses.

The first observations jumping to mind are: It does focus fast, it does shoot fast, and it does it in stealth mode (all compared to, e.g., a Pentax K20D or K-m). The shutter and mirror slap are so quick, silent and damped that it one wants to press the shutter in burst mode just for the joy of it (and my girl friend likes it too). Also, the live view (LV) operations are now fast enough to actually be useful. The K-7 is a lot faster to operate though without LV. Of course, for most discrete usage, the constant mirror up during LV, combined with SDM or manual focus, is an added benefit. Unfortunately, the mirror will unlock after a while, in some way or another.

Also, on first inspection, the image quality is very good. With the excellent image quality of the K20D, this is no surprise. I cannot yet tell if it is better or worse, though.

Some more photos in the rain ...

(Warning: all samples on this page are heavily post processed. You may want to look at the gallery page linked below to see unaltered originals.)

Black drops[IMGWIDELEFT]http://falklumo.smugmug.com/photos/564211340_EobUH-X3.jpg[/IMGWIDELEFT]

Red drops[IMGWIDELEFT]http://falklumo.smugmug.com/photos/564231988_de7k7-X3.jpg[/IMGWIDELEFT]

Better stay dry[IMGWIDELEFT]http://falklumo.smugmug.com/photos/564232043_k48oH-X3.jpg[/IMGWIDELEFT]

Very green
[IMGWIDELEFT]http://falklumo.smugmug.com/photos/564232073_Awhqb-X3.jpg[/IMGWIDELEFT]

Unexpected flower[IMGWIDELEFT]http://falklumo.smugmug.com/photos/564232066_6HHA3-X3.jpg[/IMGWIDELEFT]

Peace[IMGWIDELEFT]http://falklumo.smugmug.com/photos/564232049_4ZCVn-X3.jpg[/IMGWIDELEFT]

Please, visit the gallery page to access full size and unaltered sample images. All original images have been taken with the camera's factory settings, in DNG raw format, and been converted to JPG in Lightroom with standard settings. You may download and print the original files but please note that the photos carry my copyright.

Full size gallery page

Short link to full blog article:
Falk Lumo: K-7 in the rain

Last edited by falconeye; 06-15-2009 at 12:26 PM.
06-15-2009, 10:42 AM   #3
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Thanks one questions I have is can you adjust the built in flash exposure with e/v steps? like I could on my old *ist DL?

any more video samples?
06-15-2009, 10:56 AM   #4
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If English is not your first language, I'm impressed with your writing skills. Nicely presented as well.

I'm interested to see your feelings about predictive AF among other topics.

Keep up your fine work.

Nic

06-15-2009, 11:07 AM   #5
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K-7 in the rain, original DNG files

As a courtesy to this forum, here are download links to the original raw files:
The raw files are compressed DNG (out of camera) and can be opened in Lightroom or ACR. And probably most other raw converters as well.

Last edited by falconeye; 06-15-2009 at 03:56 PM. Reason: new links
06-15-2009, 11:17 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dopeytree Quote
one questions I have is can you adjust the built in flash exposure with e/v steps? like I could on my old *ist DL?

any more video samples?
Yes. If I understand your question.

You can open the flash options and dial flash ev compensation, ranging from -2.0 to +1.0. But then, this looks the same on my K20D

Yes, I have more video samples. I am a bit short on time right now and I wanted to compile a somewhat longer video...

QuoteOriginally posted by solar1 Quote
If English is not your first language, I'm impressed with your writing skills.
Physicists speak English or die trying
06-15-2009, 11:21 AM   #7
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ah ok thanks I have a k10d didn't realise you can do that on a k20d :S
06-15-2009, 11:30 AM   #8
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Are you at liberty to say what version of the firmware you are using?

06-15-2009, 11:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
most of these photos look heavily processed..... the roses in particular are just blown in the red channel.. what happened?
06-15-2009, 12:27 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lawsonstone Quote
Are you at liberty to say what version of the firmware you are using?
The firmware version says 0.00 in the EXIFs. And some more detailed info (like the true version or 77 meter values) is missing from the EXIFs. I suppose that it is version 0.34 or 0.35, i.e., the most recent 10 days ago.

QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
most of these photos look heavily processed..... the roses in particular are just blown in the red channel.. what happened?
Oh, well. That was my artistic eye, not my falcon eye

I've put a warning mark into the original post now.

For those wanting to see what the camera (w/o the photographer) did, please click on the gallery page link above and look at the images following each processed image. The unprocessed images are all there.

The roses are amplified in the red (and green) channel. And all other colors are heavily desatured. I liked the resulting image. If you look at the original, you'll see why this kind of processing seemed appropriate to me for this particular subject BTW, the reds aren't blown out prior to export according to LR. But they are according to PhotoME. Interesting topic by itself

Last edited by falconeye; 06-15-2009 at 12:39 PM.
06-15-2009, 02:42 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
The firmware version says 0.00 in the EXIFs. And some more detailed info (like the true version or 77 meter values) is missing from the EXIFs. I suppose that it is version 0.34 or 0.35, i.e., the most recent 10 days ago.


Oh, well. That was my artistic eye, not my falcon eye

I've put a warning mark into the original post now.

For those wanting to see what the camera (w/o the photographer) did, please click on the gallery page link above and look at the images following each processed image. The unprocessed images are all there.

The roses are amplified in the red (and green) channel. And all other colors are heavily desatured. I liked the resulting image. If you look at the original, you'll see why this kind of processing seemed appropriate to me for this particular subject BTW, the reds aren't blown out prior to export according to LR. But they are according to PhotoME. Interesting topic by itself
I was pretty well assuming an odd export error. Thanks for the clarification. I do suggest you try the CC40m technique w/ a custom white balance... The UniWB thing.

Last edited by jeffkrol; 06-15-2009 at 02:47 PM.
06-15-2009, 02:51 PM   #12
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opening the RAW

I noticed when opening the raw it does open in Camera Raw for CS3 however in the example I included it has the horizonal adjustment applied, and when you open it it is adjusted. Is there any particular way to not apply it and tell it you want to keep the original image.

I do like it adjusted but I figure one would end up in a situation where they are taking a picture of a slope or a hill and don't want it to crop and rotate automatically.

06-15-2009, 03:30 PM   #13
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Thanks for starting this thread. You have started with one aspect that is one of the most important ones to me: the handling. Good to hear your positive comments. I'm not into "as small as possible" and glad to hear that the K-7 is apparently not too small for male hands. Do you prefer it over the K20D in terms of getting a comfortable grip and reaching all controls with ease?

QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
I've just now started to get things out and my first rather general blog report is out.
I guess this thread isn't the blog, so where is the blog you are referring to?

Congratulations on your artistic eye; nice images!
What do you think of the sharpness of the images? This may sound stupid but I've yet to see a K-7 image (processed or not) that bowls me over with crispness. (EDIT: Unlocker's parrots are rather impressive, though!) I have downloaded some of your originals and tried to sharpen them but before the crispness sets in I'm looking for, the artefacts show up. My K100D produces images with more detail then the ones I've seen so far from the K-7. If I had to settle for the image with the highest "crispness factor" (I'm talking about a subjective sensation of detail) of your gallery shots, I'd go for the K-m image.

Also, I noticed that when I crank up levels in an attempt to sharpen the image, I start to see a strange criss-cross pattern (zoom in on the window and (un-)sharpen to the max). Is that the Lightroom demosaicing algorithm showing through? It looks odd. I have never seen this from the K100D or a RAW converter.

Looking forward to your forthcoming posts!

P.S.: Let us know if you'd prefer having in-depth discussions somewhere else to keep this a clean "K-7 report" thread.

Last edited by Class A; 06-15-2009 at 06:06 PM.
06-15-2009, 03:59 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeffkrol Quote
I do suggest you try the CC40m technique w/ a custom white balance... The UniWB thing.
This is an interesting option. I should give me better control over single blown out channels.

In this particular case however, it was me blowing out the red. It is fine in the original. I was hunting for this most brilliant red a little bit to eagerly
06-15-2009, 04:04 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Dr_who Quote
it has the horizonal adjustment applied
Thanks for pointing this out. This wasn't my intention. Adobe obviously found a way to store post processing commands into the DNG format and LR - of course - was keen to make use of them. I said "export as original" ...

I have uploaded new files and changed my prior post so that you now really should get copies unaltered by Adobe...
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