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08-02-2009, 01:11 PM   #1
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K10D owner moving to K-7: Early "Review"/thoughts on the K-7. (link to Images)

UPDATE:

Having used and tested the k-7 for a while now, I can say it is probably the best APS-C Dslr in the market. The K-7 trumps the K10D in all aspects......I think Pentax has made the perfect APS-C camera.

A quick snapshot taken at iso 3200 and run through Noiseware



ORIGINAL POST

I've had the opportunity to take the K-7 out for a quick session. This is not usually my style of shooting, but was enough to form an opinion on the camera. I(I may miss a lot, and I will update it as I think of features to mention)

Things that I couldn't use with the K10D but wanted to, now I can with the K-7

Green/Evaluative metering: I always used spot metering in the K10D as the green metering was random.

AF-C: In the K10D it gets in the way, and it was better to use AF-S for action. In the K-7 it is very usable. Not perfect, but much much improved. More than enough for me.

AWB under tungsten: Obviously the K10D screws this up royally, but no big deal, as I have a custom setting. With the K-7 AWB is almose perfect.

TAv Mode: I never used this before, but now it is usable because of the higher usable iso. But, the full story is not all peachy here, as I will explain later.

LV manual lens focus: in live view, I can magnify and focus and get very accurate metering with manual lenses. Time consuming process, but for static objects and with more experience this will be very welcome.

AF Fine-Tune: Absolutely incredible. I Love it, love it, love it...K20D had this.

Built-in Flash: I think the exposure and usability of the built-in flash is a huge improvement. Works very well.

Movie mode: Haven't used much, but it's there.

Much Improved over the K10D

AF: 95% of the time it is very good and locks focus much faster in good conditions and in poor lighting. But I would say 5% of the time, in poor condition it hunts and refuses to lock focus even with moderate contrast. The green light should fire in these instances, but it doesn't.

P-TTL: Seems to expose much much better.

LCD: It is nice to have the higher resolution and larger screen.

Button layout: I love it...extremely intuitive and much much better IMO.

Viewfinder: A DSLR by definition should have a 100% viewfinder. I thought it wouldn't matter, but I like the idea of getting the composition spot on from the get go, so I like this.

Low light accurate focus: The focus is much more accurate in low light.

ISO Performance: Is much improved over the K10D in most instances, especially in retaining detail, contrast and overall rendering. Color and noise is not that great. Some colors bleed in high iso, and lot of noise in the pixel level. So, very useful in most instances, not so good for massive cropping &/or large prints.

Some improvements over the k10D

ISO performance: Pixel level noise is only a stop or more better. BUT, like I said above, it is much better in rendering in all other ways in high iso, that iso is usable for almost 2 stops more than the K10D (400 vs 1250/1600)

Size and shape: It was awkward in the beginning, and then I got to like it very much. Balances well even with the Sigma 100-300. I Like the new size.

Better with the K10D

Focus selector switch: The lever that chooses AF-C, AF-S, MF is flimsy and will break off

Lack of SR lever

I am fine with the SD card slot, and the battery slot. Some may not like this. I don't use bracketing so don't miss that button either.

Conclusion: In features and usability there is no doubt that the k-7 is leaps and bounds ahead of the K10D. My next statement is probably going to upset a lot, and I really need to spend more time with the camera. But, my early opinion is such that, for my style of shooting, I think IQ wise the K-7 is better in 50% (as in a 9 for the K-7 and a 8 for the K10D) of the time, even for about 30% ( 9 for both cameras) of the time and 20% of the images I would rather have my k10D ( 9 for the K10-D and 8 for the K-7) . I will update this later as I get to know the camera. (I really can't give you more detail on this oinion, it is just the feeling I get as I critically look at the images). (UPDATE: Having used the K-7 for a while, shooting in RAW and using LR2.4 and CS2 and noiseware, the final IQ wise the K-7 is better almost always...so, IQ wise i like the K-7 almost 100% of the time)

Images are posted here (If exif is missing, let me know and I will get the iso).

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/68716-my-first-outing-k-...tml#post691282


Last edited by pcarfan; 09-10-2009 at 03:41 AM.
08-02-2009, 02:51 PM   #2
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Nice review.
Certainly confirms the advances Pentax has made in its cams over the last few years.
It's probably worthwhile to add that some of the advances the K-7 has over the K10D were added to some degree in the K20D - AWB in tungsten light, P-TTL and high ISO performance amongst others.
08-02-2009, 03:07 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
My next statement is probably going to upset a lot, and I really need to spend more time with the camera. But, my early opinion is such that, for my style of shooting, I think IQ wise the K-7 is better in 50% (as in a 9 for the K-7 and a 8 for the K10D) of the time, even for about 30% ( 9 for both cameras) of the time and 20% of the images I would rather have my k10D ( 9 for the K10-D and 8 for the K-7) . I will update this later as I get to know the camera. (I really can't give you more detail on this oinion, it is just the feeling I get as I critically look at the images).
Doesn't upset me, but rather I found about the same thing. In fact there were a couple of conditions where the K7 just didn't get what I was seeing. Sadly it was late golden hour in my neighborhood which is a typical shooting time/space for me. For some reason the K7 insisted on turning things purple. It was frustrating as the AWB with the K7 is spot-on most of the time and awesome indoors in low light. But for some reason it just got confused in this one light situation.

The other thing to consider is that I think the K7 is optimized for DA ltd lenses. I've always found that DA ltd lenses tend to underexpose on the K20d - much more so than FA ltd glass. In my experience the K7 with FA ltd isn't the ideal combination - I got a lot of hot images that way. With the 35ltd though it was about perfect.

My own experiences along with what I've read so far give me insight into how these cameras work (or not) for me. FA ltd and K20d gives you as good an images as you'll get with any APS-C camera. Period. I don't have AF issues (but I don't shoot sports), and the colors are very nice. The K7 with DA ltd primes (15/21/35/40/70) is the perfect hi-quality small/light setup. I do not think there is a camera/lens combo in that size/weight that can give you the IQ and functionality.

I did not find the K7 and FA ltd combo to thrill me, and I didn't like the handling with the K7 and 50-135* (I didn't like the balance). So I can see myself picking up a K7 down the road to use with 15/35/70 combo (have to buy a 70 though), and keep the K20d for the FA ltds and longer zoom.

Everyone is different and has different styles/subjects and more importantly, ergonomic and feature needs so ymmv.
08-02-2009, 03:42 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by pcarfan Quote
The lever that chooses AF-C, AF-S, MF is flimsy and will break off
Maybe you got a bad copy, but I can't actually imagine this happening on mine. It's well solid!

08-02-2009, 05:49 PM   #5
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AF: 95% of the time it is very good and locks focus much faster in good conditions and in poor lighting. But I would say 5% of the time, in poor condition it hunts and refuses to lock focus even with moderate contrast. The green light should fire in these instances, but it doesn't.


The green light only comes on in AF-S mode! I thought mine was defective for awhile!

By the way, I also just went from the k10D to the k7 - and I am loving it. I still have a lot to learn though.
08-02-2009, 06:42 PM   #6
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Nice photos. I have to say that as I see real photographers taking photos, it makes me want K7 too. Still, I need to wait a while for the price to come down (and truthfully my K20 and K10 are still working fine too).
08-02-2009, 07:59 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Sadly it was late golden hour in my neighborhood which is a typical shooting time/space for me. For some reason the K7 insisted on turning things purple. It was frustrating as the AWB with the K7 is spot-on most of the time and awesome indoors in low light. But for some reason it just got confused in this one light situation.
Maybe it saw that everything was yellowish and concluded "aha, tungsten!"

AWB seems pretty much a black art after all -- in the end it's really just making a guess based on some common patterns.
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