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07-11-2009, 04:40 PM   #1
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K-7 first Wedding

I used my new K-7 for a wedding job today and I can say I am very pleased with the results. The wedding was in an old (poorly lit) church so it was a good test for AF performance and high ISO images. Shooting was a combination of flash and available light. I used the K-7 as my primary body with DA* 16-50 and 540 FGZ, My backup body was the K20D with 31 F1.8 and DA* 50-135. (I formerly used the K20D as my main body & K10D as backup)
Overall I was pleased with the K-7...here is a brief list of what I liked & what I didn't compared to the K20D

Likes:
> White balance is much improved
> AF performance was better in low light but still had a few problems locking on in a few instances.
> P-TTL exposure is more consistent
> Write speed is much faster, both cameras had SanDisk Extreme III 8GB cards and the K-7 wrote files much faster than the K20D.
> Dedicated ISO button, I love being able to change ISO without having to remove my eye from the view finder.

Dislikes
> AF point selection. I really don't like the new way of selecting an AF point, I much prefer the K20D/K10D approach.
> Size, I like the slightly larger feel of the K20D but I like the shape of the K-7. I just wish it were a little bigger. And I have the battery grip on both bodies.

Anyway, not bad for a first real outing with the K-7. I am hoping that Pentax will tweak the AF selection in a future firmware update.


Last edited by jbcampbell; 07-11-2009 at 04:46 PM.
07-11-2009, 06:35 PM   #2
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Just so you know, you can change the ISO on the K10d and K20d without taking your eye off of going into menu, as long as you have current firmware. It's in the user preferences. You just have you hold down the 'ok' button with your thumb and adjust with your front dial.
07-11-2009, 06:38 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneralBenson Quote
Just so you know, you can change the ISO on the K10d and K20d without taking your eye off of going into menu, as long as you have current firmware. It's in the user preferences. You just have you hold down the 'ok' button with your thumb and adjust with your front dial.
Indeed; it's a great feature.

Jer
07-11-2009, 07:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbcampbell Quote
I used my new K-7 for a wedding job today and I can say I am very pleased with the results. The wedding was in an old (poorly lit) church so it was a good test for AF performance and high ISO images. Shooting was a combination of flash and available light. I used the K-7 as my primary body with DA* 16-50 and 540 FGZ, My backup body was the K20D with 31 F1.8 and DA* 50-135. (I formerly used the K20D as my main body & K10D as backup)
Overall I was pleased with the K-7...here is a brief list of what I liked & what I didn't compared to the K20D

Likes:
> White balance is much improved
> AF performance was better in low light but still had a few problems locking on in a few instances.
> P-TTL exposure is more consistent
> Write speed is much faster, both cameras had SanDisk Extreme III 8GB cards and the K-7 wrote files much faster than the K20D.
> Dedicated ISO button, I love being able to change ISO without having to remove my eye from the view finder.

Dislikes
> AF point selection. I really don't like the new way of selecting an AF point, I much prefer the K20D/K10D approach.
> Size, I like the slightly larger feel of the K20D but I like the shape of the K-7. I just wish it were a little bigger. And I have the battery grip on both bodies.

Anyway, not bad for a first real outing with the K-7. I am hoping that Pentax will tweak the AF selection in a future firmware update.
Thanks jb. Any chance of you posting a couple shots, or would that be a problem because it was a commercial shoot? It would be nice to see K-7 shots in such a challenging environment.

IMO if you had any problems with AF locking on, it may have to do with the fact that you were using primarily SDM lenses. All my lenses have locked on lightning fast in all sorts of lighting conditions (including pitch darkness) except my DA* 50-135. (No it is not broken, it just came back from Pentax brand new after I sent it in for SDM failure) Every once in a while it still does that "deer in the headlights" behavior that only SDM lenses seem to do.


Last edited by PentaxPoke; 07-11-2009 at 07:46 PM.
07-11-2009, 07:49 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneralBenson Quote
Just so you know, you can change the ISO on the K10d and K20d without taking your eye off of going into menu, as long as you have current firmware. It's in the user preferences. You just have you hold down the 'ok' button with your thumb and adjust with your front dial.
I have the latest firmware, but didn't know about that. I will make that change asap, Thanks.
07-11-2009, 07:54 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Thanks jb. Any chance of you posting a couple shots, or would that be a problem because it was a commercial shoot? It would be nice to see K-7 shots in such a challenging environment.

IMO if you had any problems with AF locking on, it may have to do with the fact that you were using primarily SDM lenses. All my lenses have locked on lightning fast in all sorts of lighting conditions (including pitch darkness) except my DA* 50-135. (No it is not broken, it just came back from Pentax brand new after I sent it in for SDM failure) Every once in a while it still does that "deer in the headlights" behavior that only SDM lenses seem to do.
I will post some shots soon, maybe tomorrow night after I go through them again.
You are probably right about it being a SDM issue with focussing. At the reception I put my 50 1.4 on the K-7, the lighting was still really low and it seemed to do better, but then again that lens is a stop faster than either of my SDM lenses.
07-11-2009, 07:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the quick review, I found the K20D to be a bit lacking when shooting a recent wedding. Both in chroma noise at high ISO, white balance, and AF speed.
07-11-2009, 08:58 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbcampbell Quote
I will post some shots soon, maybe tomorrow night after I go through them again.
You are probably right about it being a SDM issue with focussing. At the reception I put my 50 1.4 on the K-7, the lighting was still really low and it seemed to do better, but then again that lens is a stop faster than either of my SDM lenses.
The 50mm 1.4 is definatly on my next lens buy. I tested it at local store and loved it. Also on the k7 it was very light and the camera very comfortable.

07-12-2009, 10:57 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneralBenson Quote
Just so you know, you can change the ISO on the K10d and K20d without taking your eye off of going into menu, as long as you have current firmware. It's in the user preferences. You just have you hold down the 'ok' button with your thumb and adjust with your front dial.
Wow, didn't know that, thank you for pointing that out.
07-12-2009, 11:09 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cosmo Quote
Wow, didn't know that, thank you for pointing that out.
You can even assign ISO to one of the e-dials in Av and Tv modes. No button press needed.
07-12-2009, 11:21 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
You can even assign ISO to one of the e-dials in Av and Tv modes. No button press needed.
True, but I prefer to have exposure compensation on the front e-dial & shutter or aperture control on the rear edial depending on which mode i am in.
07-12-2009, 04:12 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by jbcampbell Quote
> AF performance was better in low light but still had a few problems locking on in a few instances.
Out of curiosity, what were the few instances?
It still won't be able to focus on areas w/ no contrast (e.g., a solid color wall)...
07-12-2009, 04:29 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentaxPoke Quote
Thanks jb. Any chance of you posting a couple shots, or would that be a problem because it was a commercial shoot? It would be nice to see K-7 shots in such a challenging environment.

IMO if you had any problems with AF locking on, it may have to do with the fact that you were using primarily SDM lenses. All my lenses have locked on lightning fast in all sorts of lighting conditions (including pitch darkness) except my DA* 50-135. (No it is not broken, it just came back from Pentax brand new after I sent it in for SDM failure) Every once in a while it still does that "deer in the headlights" behavior that only SDM lenses seem to do.
To jbcampbell, This AF point issue is something I sure hope they address in a soon to be released firmware update. I have a friend inside Pentax Canada and have sent this and a 2 other issues (AE-L timeout and LCD illumination control) to them to consider looking at. Let's hope.

PentaxPoke. I was wondering if this was only me but some users say the same thing. My DA*16-50mm is a great lens optically but it has these moments where it can't lock focus at all. Scenes with good contrast and enough variety and light in the scene that it shouldn't have any problem. Then I'll be shooting a reception in crappy light and poor contrast and it locks on perfectly and quick. The lens just has a mind off it's own and I'll switch to something like the FA50mm f1.4 and it has no problem with the same situation.
07-12-2009, 05:24 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Peter Zack Quote
.

My DA*16-50mm is a great lens optically but it has these moments where it can't lock focus at all. Scenes with good contrast and enough variety and light in the scene that it shouldn't have any problem. Then I'll be shooting a reception in crappy light and poor contrast and it locks on perfectly and quick.
My 16-50 sometimes acts this way, but never as much as my 50-135. When it happens, most of the time, if I nudge the focus ring manually, it will focus, but I never have that problem with screwdrive lens.
07-12-2009, 06:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Out of curiosity, what were the few instances?
It still won't be able to focus on areas w/ no contrast (e.g., a solid color wall)...
Well, i wasn't there to take pictures of solid color walls ;-)

The instances were just random, I would fire off a shot during the ceremony (no flash allowed) and then recompose for another shot, just a few seconds later , no change in lighting, still focusing on the bride or grooms face and it would just flake out and not focus. I believe it is more of an issue with the SDM lens than the camera. But I was really hoping for more consistent AF performance with the K-7/SDM lens combo.
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