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07-14-2009, 10:08 AM   #31
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I'm still on the fence, but have about 400-500 shots or so. A few observations (at the risk of some heresy).

Pros:

AWB is almost perfect under any lighting.
AF is quicker than K20d, though since I always use single center point I think it is less of a jump as the K20d is usually ok in that regard.
Solid build.
Quiet shutter. Best I've ever heard. Going back to the K20d afterwards is annoying.
Good looking noise (especially for B&W conversion) at higher iso.


Cons:
Can sometimes blow highlights. This is shooting "P" mode. Happens both indoors and outdoors under bad lighting. The k20d will consistently underexpose (I prefer that) while the K7 will tend to sometimes go too hot.
Images with the 77ltd are inconsistent. This lens is magic on the K20d.
The new card door - I prefer the flip/twist setup.
The new port access door. I prefer a real door, not some piece of rubber
Body size is too small for my hands - I can cramp up when carrying for long periods as there isn't enough mass to fill my hand.
Small buttons - I found the K20d 4-way easier to manipulate.
AF confirm beep is too loud - should be able to change volume (I just turned it off - maybe I missed a menu option). K20d is much quieter and discrete.

Others:
While AF speed is better, accuracy seems about the same.
Live view is better than before but still doesn't feel useful to me, which is odd as I am used to framing that way with my p&s.
I'm not sure that Aperture is developing the raw files well. They don't yet "support" the K7, so it may be the default profile isn't great.

While it may look like more cons, please note that I'm not mentioning the new features (like video). And some are particular to my hands and my bias so take an appropriate salt lick. What it does seem to indicate is that the K20d is actually a quite good camera. When shooting back to back the only thing that I could really say was night and day was the AWB is better on the K7. While the metering on the K7 is "better" I also have to say that I prefer a darker look and preserve highlights at all cost. The K7 images look "better" on first glance and the histograms are better, but I might actually prefer the more subdued look of the K20d. Feh...I'm confused now.

07-14-2009, 10:23 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I have no issues with performance - marked improvement in most of the K20d shortcomings and nice new features. My only quibble, and one that I'm not decided on yet, is physical size. It might be too small for my hand/grip.
I completely agree with you about the size. I don't understand Pentax's motive for making a DSLR smaller. By nature, it is automatically a bulkier camera than a point and shoot! Making it slightly smaller adds absolutely NOTHING to its value.

Save the smaller form-factor for the consumer, beginner, and P&S models!

Have you considered the body grip? At least, IMHO, the new body grip is a huge improvement over the K20D's grip. I applaud Pentax's decision to allow for AA batteries in the grip!
07-14-2009, 10:37 AM   #33
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
have not had enough time to fully comment yet, at 9 days, but here's my list so far.

Bad points
- no time out on info screen, and it tends to come on all by itself wrecking night vision. there shoud be an option to have it time out after 3 seconds, like the confirmation image.
Dimming the LCD doesn't help enough?
07-14-2009, 10:45 AM   #34
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
I completely agree with you about the size. I don't understand Pentax's motive for making a DSLR smaller. By nature, it is automatically a bulkier camera than a point and shoot! Making it slightly smaller adds absolutely NOTHING to its value.

Save the smaller form-factor for the consumer, beginner, and P&S models!

Have you considered the body grip? At least, IMHO, the new body grip is a huge improvement over the K20D's grip. I applaud Pentax's decision to allow for AA batteries in the grip!
As far as I can see, the grip won't address the core problem - there just isn't enough mass to fit into my palm. The grip just gives my pinky a better place to fit.

The G1 is worse. My g/f loves it but she has much smaller hands than I do. There is in fact a "too small" point for any particular device. For instance you don't see phones getting much smaller at this point, as they become unusable when too small. If you want to go small the trick is the form factor and picture quality. I think that Olympus may have gotten it right with the EP-1. While it is not as small as a p&s, the form factor is such that you can easily hold it with a variety of grip positions. With a dSLR, if your hand doesn't fit the grip, you either have to modify or live with it.

07-14-2009, 10:57 AM   #35
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
What it does seem to indicate is that the K20d is actually a quite good camera.
Okay, believe it or not, I can almost entirely agree with that comment.

It it weren't for the forced DFS and to a lesser extent, the poor AF... I would absolutely adore my K20D.

I only began disliking my K20D after the embarrassment of suddenly discovering the forced DFS during a job. I had to delay my work and get hold of a Canon D50 to complete the job! A few of my Canon friends did a little rib poking b/c of that situation.

Anyhow, aside for those big issues... I love the feel of the K20D, the placement of controls, and even the images. The IQ is not the best, but it is certainly a more than acceptable film replacement. I haven't taken a single film frame since I purchased the K20D.

IMHO, Pentax would have done much better if they had simply improved the K20D and used the same body. Canon does this all the time and they continue to enjoy marketing successes!
07-14-2009, 11:12 AM   #36
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I disagree - being smaller is A LOT OF VALUE to some people. If you want larger, you can always buy a grip. There's nothing inherently ties being smaller than "consumer" and "beginner". I go from K10D to the K-7 - one of the reasons is it's smaller and lighter - if I needed large I would have jumped to a D700 instead.

Now I can fit more into my camera bag.

I wonder why back in the film days nobody complained about Pentax's small bodies (like the pro-spec LX) but in the digital age, somehow, the bigger=better mindset settles in.

I think the size of the K-7 is perfect. The *ist D was a bit too small, though - but of course there would be people with even smaller hands who found that perfect.

Also, smaller bodies also appeal more to female buyers, which can make up to 50% of the purchases if you market it well.

If you don't understand Pentax's motive to make a DSLR smaller, let me tell you this: Pentax has always been about small bodies, right back from the K, M and the MZ series. The K-7 is also here to answer the call people often have, that they want a true successor to the *ist D. I think it has arrived, in the form of K-7.

QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
I completely agree with you about the size. I don't understand Pentax's motive for making a DSLR smaller. By nature, it is automatically a bulkier camera than a point and shoot! Making it slightly smaller adds absolutely NOTHING to its value.

Save the smaller form-factor for the consumer, beginner, and P&S models!

Have you considered the body grip? At least, IMHO, the new body grip is a huge improvement over the K20D's grip. I applaud Pentax's decision to allow for AA batteries in the grip!
07-14-2009, 11:12 AM   #37
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I love it.
The AF is significantly improved over my K10D, although I haven't put it to the real test of shooting birds in flight or just fast moving passerines.
The 100% viewfinder is really nice, but the first couple of times I took it out I ended up composing like I did with the K10D and sometimes had part of the subject out of the frame.
The quieter shutter is great.
I actually like the smaller form factor, and I have very big hands. At first it seemed cramped with the tips of my index and middle fingers hitting the body, but then I picked up the K10D and realized the same thing happened with it, I just didn't notice it any more. after using the K-7 more I prefer its grip ergonomics to those of the K10D. On top of that, when doing handheld macro shots the smaller body feels easier to control as far as small movements that can cause blurring go.
The bigger, higher resolution LCD is nice.
All around it is just a huge improvement for me.

The two cons I've noticed so far have been the AF point selection that everyone is bugged by, and the SD card door. I prefer the type of latching door used on the K10D and find the new door to be too close to the card slot. I have quite a hard time removing the SD cards.
07-14-2009, 11:19 AM   #38
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QuoteOriginally posted by wolfier Quote
I disagree - being smaller is A LOT OF VALUE to some people. If you want larger, you can always buy a grip. .
A grip doesn't make it larger - it makes it taller. The ergonomics of the main grip area remain the same. I totally agree that smaller does not necessarily mean amateur, and I also realize that ergos are a personal thing. It is just that for me and my hands, I find the K7 to be too small and in fact after just carrying it to coffee and back and shooting along the way my thumb is aching.

I can see how for someone with smaller hands this shape is excellent. The K20d isn't very "contoured" and is somewhat of a brick. But for me there is enough mass to sit in my hand. With the K7 I'm holding it essentially by my fingertips.

There is no right/wrong answer. But the topic is pros/cons. For me the shape is the primary con. I briefly had a K2000 but that was way too small for me to comfortably use. If I'm going to go smaller than the K20d, then I need a different form factor.

07-14-2009, 11:41 AM   #39
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxmz Quote
I completely agree with you about the size. I don't understand Pentax's motive for making a DSLR smaller. By nature, it is automatically a bulkier camera than a point and shoot! Making it slightly smaller adds absolutely NOTHING to its value.

Save the smaller form-factor for the consumer, beginner, and P&S models!

Have you considered the body grip? At least, IMHO, the new body grip is a huge improvement over the K20D's grip. I applaud Pentax's decision to allow for AA batteries in the grip!
it's made for shooters' with small hands like us !

though the added battery grip could solve that dilemma. nobody wants to carry a heavy camera with an added battery grip, especially for small people like us.
07-14-2009, 04:49 PM   #40
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
it's made for shooters' with small hands like us !

though the added battery grip could solve that dilemma. nobody wants to carry a heavy camera with an added battery grip, especially for small people like us.
What are you, a Leprechaun?

I don't have particularly large hands, however, I very happy with the size of the K20D. I've been a photographer long enough to know that smaller camera bodies are "generally" less steady in the hands. I need a place to hold on, especially with short lenses. At least, long lenses offer an addition grip.

Yes, yes.... I know that many of the older film cameras were much smaller. I know, I know... but since my MZ-S film camera, with body grip... I appreciate the advantages of a larger form factor.

Anyhow, this is all moot! Pentax has made it quite clear that the K7 is NOT a pro camera. Rather, it is marketed to the average pro-sumer and most want the smaller form factor.
07-14-2009, 07:09 PM   #41
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just to add up to the small size advantage. I do really appreciate the size of the K-7 since it would generate more space inside the bag/holster, thereby be ably to put more stuff in. I do find it helpful since I dont have to carry the burden of having to bring 2 bags at once or have to carry the dslr out of the bag since there is no more space where I could put it. it has been always a problem for shooters to find space for their big bodied dslrs and find it inconvenient. right now, I could fill up 5 lenses with the K-7 as opposed to having only 2-3 lenses before. not to mention the added weight.
07-14-2009, 07:32 PM   #42
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I would like to add one more question: Has the Tungsten focus issue been addressed?

Other than that (I don't know if it's an issue or not), I think this is a great camera that will keep me in the Pentax system.
07-14-2009, 07:44 PM   #43
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxor Quote
I could fill up 5 lenses with the K-7 as opposed to having only 2-3 lenses before. not to mention the added weight.
C'mon it's not that much smaller!
07-14-2009, 07:47 PM   #44
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QuoteOriginally posted by GLXLR Quote
C'mon it's not that much smaller!
it's called proper arrangement.

I could show you a picture if you want.
07-14-2009, 07:50 PM   #45
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QuoteOriginally posted by laissezfaire Quote
I would like to add one more question: Has the Tungsten focus issue been addressed?

Other than that (I don't know if it's an issue or not), I think this is a great camera that will keep me in the Pentax system.

I didn't experience any problem regarding Tungsten focus. or it's not even an issue. that goes for me.
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