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03-04-2010, 02:52 PM   #1
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purchase advice: K-7? K-x? Wait?

I don't desperately NEED a new camera right now. However, I have been thinking about getting something this year. I currently have an *ist DS, a K10D and a K20D. I gave the K-7 a pass because I didn't see huge benefits over my K20D and also because I thought Pentax was going to be releasing something else this year. But now I'm guessing that they won't be releasing something better than the K-7 any time soon. (If they came out with a full frame this year priced at $2500, I wouldn't be able to buy it, so that's not really an issue.)

So what do I do? Here's what I'd most like to have in a new camera:
  1. Video
  2. Better high ISO performance
  3. A higher-res/larger LCD display

The K-x looks like it would satisfy those needs. I gather that it's a consensus that the K-x does better at 1600 or 2400 than the K-7 or the K20D. (Am I right about that consensus or is this disputed?)

And the K-x does video, too. But does it capture sound, too?

Does it have a better display than my K20D?

The big problem for me is that, unless I'm mistaken, the K-x has only one e-dial. I've sworn here in public that I'll never again buy a camera without 2 e-dials. If you're a controlling sort of guy, as I am, it's hard to have to do everything with 1 edial. I'd get a K-7 but it's still a bit expensive....

I'm even thinking of getting the new Pentax superzoom camera when it is released soon. It won't help me with the high-ISO performance but it will do video.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Will

03-04-2010, 03:19 PM   #2
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Sounds to me like you need to wait. The K-x has a low res LCD, 1 e-dial, 720p (vs full HD) video, and no external jack for audio. The K7 ticks all the boxes except “better high iso performance”. The K7 replacement would very likely address all your needs, so my view is you’d be better of waiting.
03-04-2010, 03:25 PM   #3
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I'm waiting a couple of months ... I think that's about all my K10D will last though.
03-04-2010, 03:34 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by twitch Quote
Sounds to me like you need to wait. The K-x has a low res LCD, 1 e-dial, 720p (vs full HD) video, and no external jack for audio. The K7 ticks all the boxes except “better high iso performance”. The K7 replacement would very likely address all your needs, so my view is you’d be better of waiting.
Twitch,

When you say "the K-7 replacement," you are speaking of a product not yet announced or rumored, right? I saw a rumor about a new camera this year to fit into the line BELOW the K-7 and above the K-x. But you're not thinking of that, are you? Is there any reason to expect another ~15MP, two e-dial, weather-sealed camera from Pentax in 2010? Or should I just sit tight until 2011?

Will

03-04-2010, 03:46 PM   #5
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I went from a 100D to a 20D and i cannot imagine going back to an entry level camera, it just annoys me being handicapped like that. The 20D is such a great camera to shoot with.
03-04-2010, 03:52 PM   #6
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You say you don't NEED a new camera but I'm guessing you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket from your OP. Is Video the only reason you are looking?

As to the ISO thing, it, as you should know by now, really depends on what you are shooting at. I just got hold of a PEF from a Kx at ISO 1600 and there is plenty of noise in the photo. It isn't highly objectionable and probably would be minimally noticed when printed, even large sizes, at a normal viewing distance. That's only one example but it leaves me wondering, how good it REALLY is.

So, if it's really just the video, or you have cash burning a hole in your pocket, get yourself a nice new lens or just wait. I love the K7, but barely use the video and could have suffered along () with the K20d.

03-04-2010, 04:06 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Alfisti Quote
I went from a 100D to a 20D and i cannot imagine going back to an entry level camera, it just annoys me being handicapped like that. The 20D is such a great camera to shoot with.
I know what you mean, but I have to say the K-x menus are much better than the K100D menus and the camera is more responsive all around. It's no K20D though.

Will, I think you would get on just fine with a K-x. Given the low cost, it makes a great companion for the K20D. The extra stop in sensitivity and the improved AF would help in your work. The increased DR may be noticeable to you too, with all the black and white clothing (although I haven't seen a difference).

I'm not the guy to judge the movie mode, but it seems to do the job and it does record sound with the built-in mike (especially any sound that the photographer or camera makes).
03-04-2010, 04:11 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I don't desperately NEED a new camera right now. However, I have been thinking about getting something this year. I currently have an *ist DS, a K10D and a K20D. I gave the K-7 a pass because I didn't see huge benefits over my K20D and also because I thought Pentax was going to be releasing something else this year. But now I'm guessing that they won't be releasing something better than the K-7 any time soon. (If they came out with a full frame this year priced at $2500, I wouldn't be able to buy it, so that's not really an issue.)

So what do I do? Here's what I'd most like to have in a new camera:
  1. Video
  2. Better high ISO performance
  3. A higher-res/larger LCD display

The K-x looks like it would satisfy those needs. I gather that it's a consensus that the K-x does better at 1600 or 2400 than the K-7 or the K20D. (Am I right about that consensus or is this disputed?)

And the K-x does video, too. But does it capture sound, too?

Does it have a better display than my K20D?

The big problem for me is that, unless I'm mistaken, the K-x has only one e-dial. I've sworn here in public that I'll never again buy a camera without 2 e-dials. If you're a controlling sort of guy, as I am, it's hard to have to do everything with 1 edial. I'd get a K-7 but it's still a bit expensive....

I'm even thinking of getting the new Pentax superzoom camera when it is released soon. It won't help me with the high-ISO performance but it will do video.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Will
Numbers 1 and 3 from your requirements say K-7 to me, while number 2 would be better served by a k-x. If you want to upgrade for the video, I'd say pick the K-7, as the ability to attach a mic (even a cheap mic) to your camera makes a big difference when it comes to video sound (On the k-7 the sound from the shake reduction is recorded by the internal mic, so you really can't benefit from shake reduction to your video unless you have an external mic attached)

Last year, I upgraded from the K20D to the K-7 when the K-7 was new and at full price, and I'm still glad I did it, as the K-7's improvements like better low light focusing and higher frame rate have helped me at a lot of the events I've had to do since then. I also really love the K-7s ergonomics.

Still, I'm waiting for something new from Pentax before I buy a second camera body to go with the k-7. The K-7 can do about 85-90 percent of what I want it to do, but I want to see if there's something I can pair with it that will give me that final 10 percent.

Pentax may not release anything higher specced than the K-7 this year, but I would be extremely surprised if they don't release a new camera at all (645D doesn't count). If you're not feeling a pressing need, why not wait until this next camera is announced so you can weigh it into your decision. Meanwhile, the price of the k-7 and k-x are going to continue to drop as the year goes on, so you benefit either way.

03-04-2010, 04:20 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
You say you don't NEED a new camera but I'm guessing you have some cash burning a hole in your pocket from your OP. Is Video the only reason you are looking?
No, don't have any extra cash either. If the conclusion here is, don't buy a new camera this year, I'll be happy. However, I've been thinking of a new camera every other year, and this is the other year. (I got the K20D in 2008, skipped 2009...) I waiting for news about something higher than the k-7 coming out. Then I read a rumor here that the only camera (not counting the 645D) to come out this year will be LOWER in the lineup, and I started thinking about my options.

What I actually NEED is a new computer, and that is a purchase I probably WILL make.

And yes, if I do suddenly discover that I have some spare money, I'll probably try to get the Sigma 20 f/1.8 (next item on my lens list).


QuoteQuote:
As to the ISO thing, it, as you should know by now, really depends on what you are shooting at. I just got hold of a PEF from a Kx at ISO 1600 and there is plenty of noise in the photo. It isn't highly objectionable and probably would be minimally noticed when printed, even large sizes, at a normal viewing distance. That's only one example but it leaves me wondering, how good it REALLY is.
Yeah, I can accept this. I was told that the *ist DS's high-iso performance was lots better than the k10d's, but I never could see the big difference.

Instead of spending money on cameras claiming to be able to take GREAT photos at, oh, 100,000 ISO (Nikon D3s), I'm pretty sure that the best way to take better photos is let more light into the camera.

Will
03-04-2010, 04:57 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote



Yeah, I can accept this. I was told that the *ist DS's high-iso performance was lots better than the k10d's, but I never could see the big difference.

Instead of spending money on cameras claiming to be able to take GREAT photos at, oh, 100,000 ISO (Nikon D3s), I'm pretty sure that the best way to take better photos is let more light into the camera.

Will
Pretty much the same as my thoughts. For me though, the video WAS a factor. Not for making nifty videos but more for recording events on the fly that are not going to repeat themselves. Like the FZ20 videos I have of my (now passed away) mother laughing with her great grandson. Since she now occupies a small box on my sister's bookshelf, I don't think it'll happen again anytime soon.

As for the DS vs K10d, I'm willing to wager that the people who said that didn't want to buy the K10d and used that as the reason Not to. All well and good I guess but they are two completely different cameras. My first, Was the K10d so I can't make any real compares..

03-04-2010, 06:15 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JeffJS Quote
As to the ISO thing, it, as you should know by now, really depends on what you are shooting at. I just got hold of a PEF from a Kx at ISO 1600 and there is plenty of noise in the photo. It isn't highly objectionable and probably would be minimally noticed when printed, even large sizes, at a normal viewing distance. That's only one example but it leaves me wondering, how good it REALLY is.
when i am inside house and light is very low, i set my kx to iso1600. Having used for few months i can say that on kx, iso 1600 is new iso 400. (its like iso400 on other cams). I would not call iso1600 on kx noise by any means.


As for OP:

i think you should remember that kx does not have stereo sound, while k7 has it.

About 1 dial 2 dial thing, i think it is very subjective. I am 99% manual kinda guy and 1 dial did not bother me. But i think i am in minority on this one.
03-04-2010, 09:02 PM   #12
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2 dial thing is indeed personal. I bought a K100D when I already had a K10D and I must admit that it's not the biggest issue, specially not with lenses with an aperture ring (your second dial).

More important might be the individual AF adjustment of lenses.
03-04-2010, 11:00 PM   #13
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I'm another for waiting, Will. The K20D is a fine camera and although it offers no video mode, the burst mode may just suffice until the next flagship model comes around (unless you really want an entry-level or simply a lighter model).
03-05-2010, 12:11 AM   #14
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I've owning a K20D a little bit over a year now, and last summer that I used it almost everyday. I notice that the more I use it the more I love it . That's why I didn't want to replaced it with the K7 which doesn't give much benefits to what I need . So I rather wait for the next flagship model come out, probably K8 (in K7 body) or K30D (in K20D body) which packs all the goodies of the K7 and K-x and some more attractive things (like maybe a swivel LCD).
03-05-2010, 12:39 AM   #15
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Just get the K-7 if you want best Pentax has to offer at the moment (feature set). Who knows that the next offering will be and when it will be out and for what price? Sure, we can make an educated guess that something down the line will have better noise performance, manual HD video (or partly manual) and a few other bells and whistles, but what do you do in the mean time if you want the features you stated in your OP right now? The K-7 has dropped in price by $400...surely it will fall further, but over the course of the next year or more? Why wait?

Jason
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