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08-14-2009, 02:17 PM   #1
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K-7 receives top ratings in Swedish magazine review

Swedish photography magazine FOTO, the most well respected in the country and established 70 years ago, reviews the Pentax K-7 in their latest issue.

This magazine differs from a lot of reviewers in that they don't do grades. They have only three awards and these are only given to the cameras that truly stand head and shoulders above the pack. The awards are "Top class", which is only awarded to cameras that truly live up to the highest of expectations, "Recommended", only awarded to cameras that can truly be recommended in the light of their competition, and "Very affordable", only awarded to cameras that have a very competitive price when compared to similar cameras. Furthermore, "Top class" and "Recommended" are contradictory awards, ie if a camera gets one, it can't get the other (and in the light of that, "Recommended" can be considered a slightly lesser award than "Top class").

Of previous Pentax DLSRs reviewed, the K100D and K10D both were awarded with "Very affordable" and "Recommended", the K200D with "Very affordable" and the K20D with "Recommended". That's it. No other Pentax DSLR has been given an award. Looking through their entire review database, the most notable thing is just how few cameras do receive any award at all. For example, the last four Canon APS-C cameras were not awarded at all.

This is turning into quite the background to the review, so let's move on to that. The text starts with the following passage, something I can very much relate to myself: "Every now and then, a camera shows up that even the most jaded and picky of reviewers finds fun and entertaining to use. Pentax K-7 is one of those cameras." The review then goes on to basically celebrate every feature of the camera, including AF and IQ. The only negatives mentioned are that some buttons and levers are a bit too small, that there's not a detail battery status indicator, that selected AF points are not constantly visible in the VF and that the AF could have been even faster (however, the camera does perform similarly in focus speed to the D300...).

In the end, the K-7 receives both the "Top class" and "Very affordable" awards, being one of only four APS-C cameras ever to receive a "Top class" award (the others being the Fuji S-5, the Nikon D200 and D300) and only one of five cameras ever to receive combined awards for being both outstanding in quality yet at the same time very affordable (the others being the Canon 5D mkII, the Nikon D200, D300 and D700).

While this might not sway anyone into buying a K-7, hopefully it will make it clear that Pentax is still very much a force to be reckoned with when it comes to putting out a camera that delivers not only where it counts but that also adds new features that actually help making photography even more enjoyable.

Well, hopefully someone found this interesting...

Thomas

08-14-2009, 02:30 PM   #2
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Thanks I did find it intheresting to read.
08-14-2009, 02:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for that post, folk are starting to say just how good the K7 is.
08-14-2009, 03:15 PM   #4
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Wow very nice. The K-7 certainly deserve it.

08-14-2009, 10:10 PM   #5
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Excellent I will have mine next week
What was their take on IQ though, must have been great.
08-15-2009, 02:32 AM   #6
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They say that the 14+ MP give images very high sharpness and detail, provided a good lens is mounted. Colour and contrast is generally very good but both can be adjusted with the image adjustments that you access with a single button press. The metering is overall very reliable and exposures are good and sufficiently bright. Slight noise in the red channel at ISOs above 100, can be noticed in eg a blue sky.

They did a sharpness comparison with the D300 and the EOS50D. The Pentax had the 17-70/4 mounted, the Nikon the 16-85 and the Canon the 17-55. I find it a bit odd that they tested the Pentax at f/5 but the others at f/6.3 and it could be seen as unfair that they test the Canon with the stellar 17-55 - I think a fairer comparison would have been with the Sigma 18-50 on all three. Still, the Pentax has the highest overall resolution with 2550 horisontal lines and 2650 vertical. The Canon does 2550 on both and the Nikon 2500/2550.

Thomas
08-15-2009, 09:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ktwse Quote
They say that the 14+ MP give images very high sharpness and detail, provided a good lens is mounted. Colour and contrast is generally very good but both can be adjusted with the image adjustments that you access with a single button press. The metering is overall very reliable and exposures are good and sufficiently bright. Slight noise in the red channel at ISOs above 100, can be noticed in eg a blue sky.

They did a sharpness comparison with the D300 and the EOS50D. The Pentax had the 17-70/4 mounted, the Nikon the 16-85 and the Canon the 17-55. I find it a bit odd that they tested the Pentax at f/5 but the others at f/6.3 and it could be seen as unfair that they test the Canon with the stellar 17-55 - I think a fairer comparison would have been with the Sigma 18-50 on all three. Still, the Pentax has the highest overall resolution with 2550 horisontal lines and 2650 vertical. The Canon does 2550 on both and the Nikon 2500/2550.

Thomas
Very good I also have the DA 17-70 that is great
did they say good things about High ISO which looks good anyway.
08-15-2009, 12:06 PM   #8
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Thanks, Iíve many times read FOTO. A great mag. Good to hear how they like the K7

08-15-2009, 12:52 PM   #9
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IR review compared to Foto Review

Hi Thomas,

First of all thank you for posting!

The resolution numbers seem different from the yet to be totally finished review at imaging-resource.com. IR numbers are much lower rez for the K-7

[On a side note and somewhat OT: One thing I think is a very good idea from the IR testing, they use the same make of lens, the Sigma 70mm F2.8 EX DG macro for most of the tests on all brands of cameras... goes a long way to getting things on more of an even field for testing. In fact, IR changed their copy of the Sigma pentax mount lens due to complaints that theirs was a dud, seems they didn't test it out first to make sure it was a good copy!]

Perhaps IR's K-7 copy is a bit of dud sensor, it is an early production run after all. Either Foto has a better functioning sensor in their copy or Foto is listing different rez numbers in a way that doesn't meet some sort of standardized testing, if standardized testing even exists when it comes to this topic.

We here in the states that don't read Swedish have no way to know, perhaps you would be kind enough to look at both reviews time permitting and let us know if they are looking differently at the rez numbers? Are they testing differently in any way?

Questions questions!

thanks!


Nic

Edit/Addendum: Perhaps I need to look at the numbers again!

Here is the IR summary for resolution

"The chart above shows consolidated results from spatial frequency response measurements in both the horizontal and vertical axes. The "MTF 50" numbers tend to correlate best with visual perceptions of sharpness, so those are what we focus on here. The uncorrected resolution figures are 1,606 line widths per picture height in the horizontal direction (corresponding to the vertically-oriented edge), and 1,486 lines along the vertical axis (corresponding to the horizontally-oriented edge), for a combined average of only 1,546 LW/PH. Correcting to a "standardized" sharpening with a one-pixel radius increased the resolution score by quite a bit, resulting in a much higher average of 2,545 LW/PH. The corrected numbers put the K-7 pretty much on par with its competitors." (note: it looks like I was confounding two different sets of numbers, my mistake).

"To see what's going on, refer to the plots below, which show the actual edge profiles for both horizontal and vertical edges, in both their original and corrected forms. Here, you can see that very little if any in-camera sharpening is applied in the horizontal direction (undersharpened by 20.6 %), as well as in the vertical direction (22.8 % undersharpened), explaining why standardized sharpening increased the MTF 50 numbers so much."

"As with the K20D, we found these results a little paradoxical, given that we definitely saw sharpening artifacts in most of our "real world" images. (The far-field shot and the Still Life, in particular.) In-camera sharpening appears to vary depending on the density level of structures in its images. At very high and low densities (the black and white areas on the resolution target), it applies almost no sharpening at all. For densities away from the extremes of the tonal scale (the branches against the sky in our far-field shot and some of the details on the bottle labels in the Still Life shot), more sharpening is applied, resulting in slight halos around contrasting objects."

"Overall (as is almost always the case), you'll extract the most detail from the Pentax K-7's images by careful processing of its DNG RAW files."




QuoteOriginally posted by ktwse Quote
They say that the 14+ MP give images very high sharpness and detail, provided a good lens is mounted. Colour and contrast is generally very good but both can be adjusted with the image adjustments that you access with a single button press. The metering is overall very reliable and exposures are good and sufficiently bright. Slight noise in the red channel at ISOs above 100, can be noticed in eg a blue sky.

They did a sharpness comparison with the D300 and the EOS50D. The Pentax had the 17-70/4 mounted, the Nikon the 16-85 and the Canon the 17-55. I find it a bit odd that they tested the Pentax at f/5 but the others at f/6.3 and it could be seen as unfair that they test the Canon with the stellar 17-55 - I think a fairer comparison would have been with the Sigma 18-50 on all three. Still, the Pentax has the highest overall resolution with 2550 horisontal lines and 2650 vertical. The Canon does 2550 on both and the Nikon 2500/2550.

Thomas

Last edited by solar1; 08-15-2009 at 01:34 PM.
08-15-2009, 03:12 PM   #10
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Thanks for posting. Found it very interesting.
08-15-2009, 08:39 PM   #11
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Thanks for taking the time to post this.

I like that rating sytem by FOTO.

Sometimes marks out of 10 is hard to judge, so an all over comments review and then a final verdict is more important for me than how many starts out of 10 it gets.

Saying that, I've never bought a camera solely on any reviews in magazines/websites, neither have they influenced my decision.
User reviews/comments, yes.
Magazine reviews, no.
08-15-2009, 11:55 PM   #12
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I like it when reviewers realise that in order for the Best Camera They've Ever Used to get out there and have photos taken with it, people have to be able to buy it first.

Or that price isn't always a direct indication of quality.
08-16-2009, 06:46 AM   #13
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Spartanwarrior, they say that the camera performs well up to ISO 3200, but don't really compare that specific detail to other brands and cameras.

Nic (solar1), glad to hear that the results seem to match up after all. I saw that the test results had been published but didn't read through them fully. I've already got the camera so I won't bother with the technical aspects of reviews much unless they can help me improve performance with the camera.

I shoot only RAW. JPGs are IMO worse than those from Olympus and Nikon cameras, but thanks to DNG, imported RAWs in Lightroom look much better than RAW files from those two brands. The downside is having to buy more SD cards, of course...

I find reviews can sometimes be helpful in buying decisions and I generally pay about as much attention to the professional reviews as to the consumer reviews (if only because most consumers seem to use review sites as a means to decrease any post purchase cognitive dissonance they may be experiencing!). However, I ordered the K-7 in May, so obviously that decision was a shot in the dark. Worked out well enough.
08-17-2009, 04:57 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ktwse Quote
Swedish photography magazine FOTO, the most well respected in the country and established 70 years ago, reviews the Pentax K-7 in their latest issue.
Thanks for posting. Hopefully that means that further reviews will be quite enthusiastic as well.


QuoteOriginally posted by solar1 Quote
Here is the IR summary for resolution
Thanks for the summary. I hope they have finished their review soon, so that I can read it without having to re-read it.
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