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07-09-2009, 11:44 PM   #1
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What I like about the K-7 compared to the k20d

I have had my K-7 for over a day now, and I thought I would add my observations to the forum.

Here is what I like when compared to my k20d:

Metering: More consistent especially at lower light levels. My K20d is very good, down to a point. Below a threshold, it will have troubles and underexpose. The metering on the K-7 has been fantastic so far.

Flash: Much more consistent with my 540 FGZ. That was one thing that really bothered me about my k20d when using the 540FGZ. I would have to boost the EV for flash in the camera by +1, and sometimes, would have to boost it on the flash as well. No such problems with the K-7 yet.

Size: Small for a DSLR with so much packed into it. I have large hands and thought it would bother me, but I really like it. The grip is deep and well designed. It also fits better into my bag. In fact, I think I am going to pass on the battery grip. I like how compact this camera is. (understand that I use the word compact in a relative sense. I have used D300's and relative to that, this K-7 is compact.) After handling this camera, I have to wonder how long the other manufacturers will continue to build those bohemoths. It makes no sense. they certainly don't need all that volume to house thier anti-shake!

LCD: Wow. Big difference.

New menu system: More intuitive, and no more scrolling to find things.

Battery life: Another wow. How the heck is it that I have been using this camera all day, with heavy use of the lcd while learning all the menus, and I am still showing "full?"

white Balance and D-range (highlight and shadow correction): Yes I know these are not needed for RAW, but I shoot RAW+, and if the jpeg is good, I keep it to reduce processing time. I like the dynamic range enhancement better than that on the k20d because you can now control shadows and/or highlights.

Sound: People are not kidding. This shutter is quiet! I also like the fact that the "kluck-a-kluck" sound of the dust reduction is now a gentle buzz.

The dials feel better: I have a "thing" about mechanical switches, levers, etc. The dials have a very "positive" feel that give feedback to the user. The build of this camera is just fantastic. You gotta love the feel of the metal contruction!

And the best for last:
SPEED: AF is clearly faster with all my lenses, (except for the 50-135, confirming to me yet again, that the SDM micromotors are now the limiting factor in our Pentax AF speed) It is even fast in the dark, with the built in greed LED assist lamp. (I just went into a pitch black room, and focussed on myself in the mirror, in 1 second.) The camera is much more responsive in every way. 5+ fps is also fun, although I am not the "spray and pray" type. In fact it is so quick that if you have the camera in the burst mode but want to take a single picture, you may fire off a couple before you can get your finger off the shutter button! The k20d is an excellent camera when it comes to IQ, but after using the K-7 for a bit, the k20d feels a bit sluggish.

If I had to describe the comparison in one word it would be "refined." The IQ may not be any better than the k20d (I havent fully tested that yet but I don't expect major differences since the sensor is the same. I never had complaints about the k20d IQ) but it just makes it easier to get the picture. When it comes to operation of the camera, everything is just faster, smoother, better. Using an automotive analogy, the k-7 feels like a finely-built, luxury sportscar.


Last edited by PentaxPoke; 07-10-2009 at 12:35 AM.
07-10-2009, 12:22 AM   #2
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QuoteQuote:
Flash: Much more consistent with my 540 FGZ. That was one thing that really bothered me about my k20d when using the 540FGZ. I would have to boost the EV for flash in the camera by +1, and sometimes, would have to boost it on the flash as well. No such problems with the K-7 yet.

I just love the k-7 and agree with what you say.. AF and the above are the 2 biggest things for me... close third is the sound.. music to my ears. I had mentioned in another thread about the great improvement with flash. I have the 540 FGZ and I have done everything I can regarding reading manuals etc.. even paid for a text file on Pentax flash from a UK site and still was beating my head against the wall.

Now I am all smiles.. consistent yes... and I would add that its better than consistent, it darn good. I feel so confident with the K-7 that I am now looking for a wedding
07-10-2009, 12:38 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by nulla Quote
I just love the k-7 and agree with what you say.. AF and the above are the 2 biggest things for me... close third is the sound.. music to my ears. I had mentioned in another thread about the great improvement with flash. I have the 540 FGZ and I have done everything I can regarding reading manuals etc.. even paid for a text file on Pentax flash from a UK site and still was beating my head against the wall.

Now I am all smiles.. consistent yes... and I would add that its better than consistent, it darn good. I feel so confident with the K-7 that I am now looking for a wedding
Thanks for the feedback nulla. You must really feel confident. There is nothing that would make me brave enough to shoot a wedding!
07-10-2009, 12:50 AM   #4
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Great info here.
Thanks for sharing it.
The flash exposure issue was one point I really wanted to see improved with the K-7.

07-10-2009, 01:04 AM   #5
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what about AF assist? Is it useful?
07-10-2009, 02:30 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Size: Small for a DSLR with so much packed into it.
I have never seen a K-7 with my own eyes, but the reviews and comments have given me the impression that it is significantly smaller than a K20D. Recently I bought a cheap K200D to accompany my K20D and while it is smaller, there isn't really a day and night difference. So I assumed that a K-7's still much smaller than a K200D, but to my surprise (according to the measurements DPR gives), a K-7's just 1-2.5 mm smaller in different lengths. Practically the same.

Of course it could be that the volume and the subjective feeling due to the shape are smaller though.
07-10-2009, 02:37 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by emr Quote
I have never seen a K-7 with my own eyes, but the reviews and comments have given me the impression that it is significantly smaller than a K20D. Recently I bought a cheap K200D to accompany my K20D and while it is smaller, there isn't really a day and night difference. So I assumed that a K-7's still much smaller than a K200D, but to my surprise (according to the measurements DPR gives), a K-7's just 1-2.5 mm smaller in different lengths. Practically the same.

Of course it could be that the volume and the subjective feeling due to the shape are smaller though.
I think it is hard to tell the difference in size unless you place them side by side... even then for me it is not that obvious, it is more abvious when you hold them, the grip does seem to make it feel smaller.


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07-10-2009, 05:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by kent Quote
what about AF assist? Is it useful?
VERY useful.

07-10-2009, 06:09 AM   #9
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How much faster/more accurate is AF assist on the K-7 than K20D's P-TTL flash-based AF assist? I assume higher on both counts... Anyone care to test this?

Does this also mean that K-7 no longer needs flash-based AF assist?
07-10-2009, 08:42 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
How much faster/more accurate is AF assist on the K-7 than K20D's P-TTL flash-based AF assist? I assume higher on both counts... Anyone care to test this?

Does this also mean that K-7 no longer needs flash-based AF assist?
I haven't quantified it, but the AF assist is quite good in the simple tests I did so far (including total darkness.) IMO, now I see no reason to use the external flash for AF assist in my use. I will of course use it if I have the flash attached and I need it.
07-10-2009, 08:53 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
SPEED: AF is clearly faster with all my lenses, (except for the 50-135, confirming to me yet again, that the SDM micromotors are now the limiting factor in our Pentax AF speed) It is even fast in the dark, with the built in greed LED assist lamp. (I just went into a pitch black room, and focussed on myself in the mirror, in 1 second.)
yeah low light AF is very fast - tried same test in pitch dark room - focussed almost instantly!

For me very nice upgrade from K200D
07-10-2009, 10:42 AM   #12
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Size wise, the K-7 size difference is more felt than seen. Numerically, it's just a shade smaller and lighter. But when you hold it, you feel it.

I've shot a lot with the K20D and the K2000. The depth of the grip on the K-7 is the first thing I noticed. Also, the "notch" on the K2000 is on the K-7 but is much deeper. You really get a positive purchase on the camera when you grab it.

Maybe balance is also in the picture somehow.
07-10-2009, 02:52 PM   #13
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I've seen a lot of comparisons between the K-7 and k20, but I still haven't seen anything on the difference between vibration reduction effectiveness between the two. Also, if anyone is running dual systems, how would you compare it to the lens mounted redution in Nikon/Canons? While I like my K20, i have never been very impressed by the amt. of vibration reduction. I have compared it to my son-in-laws D300 and it's like night and day. Any actual experiences?
07-11-2009, 09:36 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by AV82GOLF Quote
I've seen a lot of comparisons between the K-7 and k20, but I still haven't seen anything on the difference between vibration reduction effectiveness between the two. Also, if anyone is running dual systems, how would you compare it to the lens mounted redution in Nikon/Canons? While I like my K20, i have never been very impressed by the amt. of vibration reduction. I have compared it to my son-in-laws D300 and it's like night and day. Any actual experiences?
I think that the SR on the k20d and the K-7 are quite good compared with others. If you want to see how effective it is, turn on live view sometime, and you can really watch it damp the vibrations.
07-11-2009, 09:57 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
I think that the SR on the k20d and the K-7 are quite good compared with others. If you want to see how effective it is, turn on live view sometime, and you can really watch it damp the vibrations.
Yeah using K-7 today and image stabilisation was pretty good when i was hand holding the K-7 and taking photos while i was coughing (got the flu)
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