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07-08-2009, 07:25 AM   #1
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K-7 Liveview report

I was playing this morning with the K-7 Liveview. Of course there are a lot of improvements here vs the K20D which was barely useable.

One thing I noticed right away, the Liveview doesn't show the effect of the aperture chosen like the K20D, it always uses the lens wide open. Fortunately I just found that you can use the DOF preview to see LV at the chosen aperture AND it will also meter. Something that will be useful for those with manual lenses.

Speaking of metering, LV respects the metering mode (spot, CW, Multi) and you can see the changes, as well as the blinking highlights and shadows and the histogram (luminance only though) in real time. The multi-segment algorithm is a bit weird (for me) and will happily burns highlights! You can play with the exposure compensation and see once again the effects in real time. Same thing for picture style and WB.

Autofocus. We have now 3 choices, Contrast, Contrast with face detection and phase detect. On the K20D only phase detect was available and it was very cumbersome with the mirror going up down and up. On the K-7 this action is much faster and smoother. If you choose Contrast AF, you can move the focus point freely around the frame although for an unknown reason you cannot reach the extreme borders. I also not have found a way to get back to center with a button press. Face detect works well and could prove very useful in some situations (ex: self-portrait), it will even track the face moving. Interestingly in AF-C if you leave your finger pressed on the AF button, it will track the point you focused on. The bad news is of course that contrast AF is rather slow, it's rather common agmonst DSLR, I tried the Nikon D5000 and it does exactly the same sequence of going back and forth with big jumps followed by small steps until it finds the correct focus.

Manual focus. Again much improved over the K20D. The magnification is now much clearer. Annoyingly you cannot use the zoom dial directly like the K20D but this is normal because the dial is now used to change exposure settings, something the K20D didn't allow you to do during LV. You can to press Info once and then you can use the back dial to zoom in or out. For an unknown reason magnification is limited to 6x in autofocus mode and 10x is only available in manual focus. I found that a bit annoying because quickshift lenses allow fast manual focus, now you have to switch to MF to benefit from this 10x magnification. I hope Pentax will change that in the future.

Going through the menus during LV will switch it off. Annoying but understandable since it's heating the sensor a lot.

That's it for now. If you have any comments or tips to share I want to hear them.


Last edited by ManuH; 07-08-2009 at 11:02 AM.
07-08-2009, 07:37 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by ManuH Quote
The bad news is of course that contrast AF is rather slow, it's rather common agmonst DSLR, I tried the Nikon D5000 and it does exactly the same sequence of going back and forth with big jumps followed by small steps until it finds the correct focus.

I've found that, if you have a lens that allows QSF, it helps a lot to manually focus as best as you can before hitting the AF button. The contrast based AF will "wiggle" the minimum amount before locking, instead of going through the entire range.
07-08-2009, 09:57 AM   #3
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ManuH:

Thank you for the post--very informative.
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