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08-03-2009, 08:13 PM   #1
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K-7 terminal cover

One of the funny things about the K-7 is that they've switched to the "flexible cover" for the port access area (whereas I guess previous models had a little door).

Given the K-7 emphasis on a higher-quality body, this seems oddly low-end, but I don't really know whether it's better or worse in practice. I think at least the USB port will be used often, so it's not one of these "never opened anyway" things (as the mike port cover may be for many people).

Does anyone have an opinion on whether a flexible cover like that is more or less robust in the long term than a plastic door like they had on earlier models? While I'm somewhat leery of flexible materials that degrade over time, I suppose it may be a high-quality plastic that stands up well.

Any idea why they switched? Maybe earlier models needed a lot of repairs for snapped-off door covers?

08-03-2009, 08:29 PM   #2
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I would not worry..

We have Panasonic Toughbook laptops at work that are six years old that use the rubber covers over the USB, Network and Power ports. Never had any issues and you can dunk them in a bucket of water and they keep going. (yeah, one of our reps dunked one in water to show a client.)

Of course, it all depends on the rubber compound used. Some rubber materials harden over time. But for the money the camera costs I would suspect they used a good material.
08-03-2009, 08:41 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by snogglethorpe Quote

Given the K-7 emphasis on a higher-quality body, this seems oddly low-end, but I don't really know whether it's better or worse in practice. I think at least the USB port will be used often, so it's not one of these "never opened anyway" things (as the mike port cover may be for many people).
Nikon has it on the D300 and D700. And on the D300 it is really crappy - the one I saw in a local shop was unable to be reseated.

So not necessarily "low end." I will admit that I prefer the hard gasketed door on the K20d.
08-03-2009, 09:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
Nikon has it on the D300 and D700. And on the D300 it is really crappy - the one I saw in a local shop was unable to be reseated.
It's hard to tell, but from pictures, the Nikon covers look a lot more "secure" -- they have little baffles and ridges near the edge of the opening, and seem to be pretty hefty, and made of a stiffish kind of rubber. The K-7 cover material looks a bit cheezier and more flexible, seems a bit thinner, and it just sort of wedges in the opening with nothing obvious to really provide any positive hold on it.

None of this means it doesn't work well in practice of course.

But still...

08-03-2009, 09:17 PM   #5
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Is this to do with weather sealing?


Neil
08-03-2009, 09:45 PM   #6
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Although I liked the door on the k10, I don't know that it was better or worse than the rubber on the k-7. Both are easy enough to open and tight enough to create the seal. The only thing I can think is with a solid piece of rubber instead of just a gasket, it offers a more sure protection. That's only a guess though.
08-03-2009, 10:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by snogglethorpe Quote
It's hard to tell, but from pictures, the Nikon covers look a lot more "secure" -- they have little baffles and ridges near the edge of the opening, and seem to be pretty hefty, and made of a stiffish kind of rubber. The K-7 cover material looks a bit cheezier and more flexible, seems a bit thinner, and it just sort of wedges in the opening with nothing obvious to really provide any positive hold on it.

None of this means it doesn't work well in practice of course.

But still...
go handle the nikons in person. You won't be impressed. The sales guy pointed it out to me - was thinner and cheezier than the one on my d70. That said I don't care for the one on the k7 either.
08-04-2009, 07:56 AM   #8
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The Nikon ones had an issue after a while. From what I understand, Pentax didn't have space for the solid doors on the K7 or they would have put them in...

08-04-2009, 09:07 AM   #9
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If they are the same rubber covers that were on the ist*D that sucks for me.

All of those covers tore off long ago....
08-04-2009, 09:16 AM   #10
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It's easier and cheaper to make a peel off rubber door than to make a hinged and gasketed lid from a weather seal perspective. There isn't anything below the covers that I'll us all that often, but the cover for the remote is quite fiddly, and I do use a remote fairly regularly. I suspect I will make more use of the self timer with the K-7 than I did with previous cameras and I'm thinking I will need a get some tweezers to assist with removing cards. The designers really buggered up on the card slot door, there just isn't enough clearance to easily remove the card, especially with it's habit of getting fouled on the strap.
The K10/K20 was much better in this regard.
08-04-2009, 09:08 PM   #11
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Not great

The rubber door makes it much easier for me to not have a K-7 right now.

My K100D has nice solid, hinged and (sort of) spring-loaded doors.

My old, cheap and nasty P&S has a rubber door like the K-7. Hate it (the door).

I don't think the old school lugs, the magnesium body and the rubber door go well together.

I reckon cost (weather-sealing) and size made the scale tip towards a rubber door. I'll have to see and feel it in real life but from pictures I don't like it at all.
08-04-2009, 10:29 PM   #12
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A thick piece of rubber makes a better seal than a thin gasket.
There's nothing in there which I would use often - in fact I only tried peeling open the door after reading this post, more than 2 weeks after I got the K-7.
But I agree it feels flimsy, and may not survive a lot of punishment if the user is rough in closing and opening it.
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