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09-21-2009, 02:07 PM   #1
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K-7 experiences (by an amateur)

After having shot 2000+ pictures with my K-7, mostly in Zambia, in a wide variety of conditions, I'd like to share some experiences with you.
For what it is worth, from an amateur:

Errors that I've made several times (therefore, things I don't like):

1) The AE-L button is in a place where I easily press it before I've taken the lens cap off.
The effect is that the next pictures taken within 30secs are grossly overexposed.
This has ruined a few priceless shots.
I will need to learn to turn the camera on, after having taken the lens cap off.

2) The so much praised K-7 Auto White Balance does not produce the right results in dry grass daylight environments, the colours become to cold.
Since I shoot RAW, it is easy to repair in Lightroom, but otherwise black sections in many images have become blue.
I need to learn to not trust AWB too much. My K10D makes less mistakes OUTDOOR.

3) The AF selection in firmware 1.01 with the Ok button is something I cannot get used to.
It makes me press too many buttons, losing time, missing shots.
I need to learn better to press the right button sequences.

4) I have no idea what is the best JPG setting for getting the results that I like.
There are to many options and it feels I've tried them all.
I've decide to stop worrying, tried so many settings without satisfaction, at last I bought a 32Gb card and stopped using JPG....

5) The DBG 4 buttons and wheels are not right positioned for my fingers.
I guess my fingers are to long.

6) LV: it is soooo slooow. Useless.

What I do like VERY much:

1) AF is extremely reliable, also in very low light.
Shooting next to Nikon and Canon shooters, my K-7 was always faster finding focus in (very) low light.
Pentax really did it this time!

2) The penlight grip option is great in the bush where there is no facility to recharge your batteries.

3) The info button / screen works very well for me. Ergonomics there are great.

4) The responsiveness. It is great!
Fast capture, fast focus, fast shooting.
In combination with my DA* lenses it is GREAT! So much better than my K10D!

5) The level indicator and auto level function.
I use it all the time!

6) Size. With most camera's bigger seems to be better, not with Pentax!
I'm 1.98m, big hands, it is no problem. Hanging firmly on my fingers with a 60-250mm attached feels like its made for me.
I like its feel better than my K10D.

7) The switch lock on the function dial and AF function switch is great.
I've ruined many K10D shots because these switches were accidently misplaced.

8) I cannot proof this, but I believe PTTL flash gives better results in combination with my Metz 54 than in combination with my K10D.

- Bert

09-21-2009, 02:30 PM   #2
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Hi, Bert,

Glad to get some field experience report on the K-7 which is my next target upgrade from K10D. I am glad you think the K-7 size is good as I have tried it in my hands in a recent trip to the camera store. Also, with the DA* lens on, the weigh of the K-7 also seems quite balance even without a grip.

Thanks for sharing,
-Alfred

Last edited by aleonx3; 09-21-2009 at 02:37 PM.
09-21-2009, 02:32 PM   #3
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Interesting on the auto white balance, I find my K20D shots are always on the cool side too when outdoors using AWB - I always tend to warm them up in Camera Raw later on. It's only a small adjustment, but I do have the same concern with the K20D. The praise for the K-7's AWB is under tungsten; I believe that is much improved.

As for JPG settings, my own personal opinion is that I wouldn't miss JPG settings on any camera I use - I'm a raw shooter, always .
09-21-2009, 02:36 PM   #4
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Thanks for sharing. It's usefull

QuoteQuote:
2) The penlight grip option is great in the bush where there is no facility to recharge your batteries.
What do you mean by that ?

And also, in M mode how do you see the exposure/meter if you have the horizon auto level ON ?

About jpeg I'm using now NATURAL with + 1 in colour, (others 0 in colour), and + 1 in contrast. All the rest in 0. Works for me now

09-21-2009, 05:33 PM   #5
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Penlight batteries = AA batteries - can be used in grip.
09-21-2009, 06:58 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Arpe Quote
Penlight batteries = AA batteries - can be used in grip.
Thanks for the "slang" explanation
Always learning
09-21-2009, 07:49 PM   #7
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Sounds like a pretty good report overall. Maybe some more time with it will erase a couple of the reported problems as you become more accustomed to the layout of things. Any chance we might view some of the photos? Sounds like an interesting experience, I would love to see some of what you saw.
Regards
Rupert
09-21-2009, 08:05 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
Thanks for the "slang" explanation
Always learning
Its a sign of age in the USA - a "Pen-Lite" was a brand of pocket flashlight that used the then-new AA batteries. It came with a clip to put in your shirt pocket similar to the clips on ballpoint pens of the time.

I recall my father gave them as order premiums. They were quite expensive at the time, and he got a lot of nice orders. He said it was the best promotion he had ever thought of.

09-21-2009, 08:36 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by bymy141 Quote
2) The so much praised K-7 Auto White Balance does not produce the right results in dry grass daylight environments, the colours become to cold.
Since I shoot RAW, it is easy to repair in Lightroom, but otherwise black sections in many images have become blue.
I need to learn to not trust AWB too much. My K10D makes less mistakes OUTDOOR.

- Bert
Even the K-7's much improved AWB doesn't work optimally under all situations.
I didn't expect it too.

Where I live, the daytime sunshine outdoors can be as intense as on the African savannah. Switching to Daylight WB helps warm up the shot to the effect I prefer. All it takes to make the decision (Stay with AWB / set Daylight WB) is to examine the First shot before I start my actual shooting.
The K-7 even allows you to change the WB on the most recent shot without any loss of IQ (like working on a RAW file)

The camera continues to do Automatic White Balance while in Daylight WB, but with a warmer bias.

Its just so much "smarter" than anything I've experienced on the K10D/ K20D...sorry if I sound too much like a K-7 fan...which I am...
09-22-2009, 12:24 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Sounds like a pretty good report overall. Maybe some more time with it will erase a couple of the reported problems as you become more accustomed to the layout of things. Any chance we might view some of the photos? Sounds like an interesting experience, I would love to see some of what you saw.
Regards
Rupert
Hi Rupert,

Yes, I agree with you, I will need to learn to work with the K-7 some more.

Have a look at this posting: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/74063-zambia-3-weeks-many-pictures.html

Most of the pictures taken were done with the K-7.
If you like I could add more photos to that post

- Bert
09-22-2009, 12:28 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Sounds like a pretty good report overall. Maybe some more time with it will erase a couple of the reported problems as you become more accustomed to the layout of things. Any chance we might view some of the photos? Sounds like an interesting experience, I would love to see some of what you saw.
Regards
Rupert
I agree, the AE-L issue first made me think that the camera was sometimes at fault, producing white images.
It took me some time to realise that it was me pressing the AE-L button with the cap on the lens that made this happen.
The AE-L button is in a place where I will naturally place my thumb, unfortunatly.
I wish there was a fast selection option to enable/disable that button....

- Bert
09-22-2009, 12:31 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kittykat46 Quote
Even the K-7's much improved AWB doesn't work optimally under all situations.
I didn't expect it too.

Where I live, the daytime sunshine outdoors can be as intense as on the African savannah. Switching to Daylight WB helps warm up the shot to the effect I prefer. All it takes to make the decision (Stay with AWB / set Daylight WB) is to examine the First shot before I start my actual shooting.
The K-7 even allows you to change the WB on the most recent shot without any loss of IQ (like working on a RAW file)

The camera continues to do Automatic White Balance while in Daylight WB, but with a warmer bias.

Its just so much "smarter" than anything I've experienced on the K10D/ K20D...sorry if I sound too much like a K-7 fan...which I am...
Yes, you are right, in general terms the K-7's AWB is much better than the K10D's.
EXCEPT is this yellow / redish environment in daylight.
It is then far of the scale, way to cold. I first thought that there was something wrong with the camera, producing blue instead of black shadows.

It is something for JPEG shooters to be aware of. Black becomes far to blue to correct nicely in PP.

By the way, if people do shoot JPEG, what settings do you use? Natural? Portrait? Landscape? What?

- Bert

PS I'm a big fan of my K-7 as well, no green line issues etc....

Last edited by bymy141; 09-22-2009 at 12:36 AM.
09-22-2009, 01:41 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kittykat46 Quote
Even the K-7's much improved AWB doesn't work optimally under all situations.
I didn't expect it too.
It is physically impossible to measure the temperature of light falling on an object from the reflected light on this object. If the object has strong color it will _always_ fool a AWB system.


QuoteOriginally posted by kittykat46 Quote
The camera continues to do Automatic White Balance while in Daylight WB, but with a warmer bias.
Yes, and luckily this can be turned of with a custom function. Small adjustments of WB is very, very annoying in video recordings and it is better to use a fixed WB setting with no automatic adjustments.

Every WB setting on K-7 (and K20D, K10D) can be adjusted with your own bias. So why not use AWB with a warm tone bias?
09-22-2009, 02:34 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
......

In M mode how do you see the exposure/meter if you have the horizon auto level ON ?

...
Anyone ?
09-22-2009, 04:19 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by netuser Quote
Thanks for sharing. It's usefull



And also, in M mode how do you see the exposure/meter if you have the horizon auto level ON ?

About jpeg I'm using now NATURAL with + 1 in colour, (others 0 in colour), and + 1 in contrast. All the rest in 0. Works for me now
Ok, sorry, I missed your reply.

About M mode, I don't use that, only in extreme circumstances. I'm not using manual lenses any more. Working with the dials for Aperture and Speed takes too much time in the field. However, the level indicator is just a seperate indicator in the viewfinder and on the top side LCD.
I do use manual focus often in environments where you need to focus on an object behind grass, branches etc. But that is besides the point here.

I'll try your JPG suggestion and see how it works for me.

- Bert
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