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03-15-2010, 03:17 PM   #1
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Which Camera has a quieter shutter? K-x or K-7

Hope this is the right forum. Iím almost ready to make a choice between the K-7 and K-x but my intuition vs reason is making it difficult. This is my first digital SLR. I shoot mostly Nature Photography and often use a tripod in many terrains. Within the next five years I plan to move to Joshua Tree Calif, but will be visiting friends at the end of April where I will photograph at a retreat setting. Using a PowerShot last year was ok but frustrating not being able to control settings or do macro outdoors, etc.

Iíve been a Pentax user for 20+ years using the ME-super, PZ-1p and a used MX with lots of old Pentax paraphernalia. A few years ago the PZ-1p stopped rewinding the film. I kept finding reasons not to send it in for repairs thinking it was time to buy a digital Pentax but wasnítí photographing much to invest.

I have an array of lenses too many to mention, from the original pancake 40 lens to FA. My favorites are
FA-100 2.8 macro (most used); FA-300; FA-24; 200 Macro 1:4 my favorite lens and why I stayed with Pentax; and the SMC Asahi 1:8 85 mm excellent capture of Hale-bop comet!

Iím a photography enthusiast but have produced photos for a retreat brochure and a color calendar of the desert retreat with 300+ copies made.

After days of reading these Pentax forums, Iím almost ready to buy. While this is my first DSLR, I would shoot in manual mode on the PZ-1p and use Automatic setting with the FA lenses (or switch to manual). The price of the K-x with the 2 kit lenses 18-55 & 55-300 is tempting on Amazon. However, getting close to retirement and being furloughed, Iím not interested in buying the entry level and then moving up to the K-7 or replacement in a few years. I want this to be the camera I'll use for several years. I was extremely satisfied with the Pz-1p using the grip strap and tripod with quick release. The more I read about the K-7 the more Iím questioning the K-x.

My intuition says K-7 body only and perhaps purchase a compatible zoom used or new later. The K-7 attracts me for the build and weather proofing but my financial reasoning says K-x with two lenses. Unfortunately I cannot find a local seller to check out each camera. I could probably live with the K-x and the kit lenses but if most of my photography is nature based outdoors would investing in the K-7 be a better long term investment? I know the answer is yes. However, Iím not professional and my hobbie interest isnít as strong as in the past. Iíve also been reading the forums and there have been some complaints on the K-x. Part of me says spend more for the solid K-7 body but my wallet says get more for the money right now.

I will shoot indoors at the retreat in April so I prefer a quiet shutter. Iíve read in one post the K-7 shutter is very quiet. This point may make or break my decision to go with my intuitive choice of the K-7 without the kit lens. I want to ask anyone who has used both K-x and K-7 cameras if the K-7 is quieter or not? One post mentioned a ďmirror-slap problem with the K-xĒ. Also when in video mode is either camera quieter than the other? I can live with an entry level dslr camera but will it survive in a dusty/windy desert environment? I also hike around Pt. Reyes in Calif., which is often foggy. And with many older Pentax lenses would buying the K-7 body be a good buy if I forgo the kit zoom lens for now or do I really need a digital lens to start? Iíve read the sealed 55-300 lens is a better buy which I would get with the K-x. I have one manual zoom lens up to 150 but rarely use it.

Both camera bodies would work but I'm very interested in feedback from experienced folks which camera is quieter.
Thanks, Pat

03-15-2010, 03:42 PM   #2
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No, you don't nead a digital lens. K-7 shutter is one of the quietest i ever heard. K-x is loud as hell, much louder than my K20D
03-15-2010, 03:43 PM   #3
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The K-7 is quite quiet. The K-x... not.
03-15-2010, 03:44 PM   #4
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K7 is the quietest DSLR ever, in my opinion.


03-15-2010, 04:04 PM   #5

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Welcome to Pentax Forums.

With your list of requirements, I'd go with the K-7.

No-one here will dispute that the K-7 has a quieter shutter than the K-x. The K-7 has about the quietest shutter on ANY DSLR, period. I've used both - the K-7 is hands-down quieter. There are also Youtube videos that you can look up that let you audibly check out the shutter noise of both too, if interested. This is not to say that the K-x shutter is deafening, but the K-7 is certainly quieter, because for one thing they designed it to be quieter.

Also if you like outdoorsy things, then the K-x certainly can't hold a candle to the weather-sealing, strong body and build quality of the K-7. If you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors in harsh environments, get the K-7. The K-7 was designed to handle tough environments, the K-x wasn't. But on the other hand exercise reasonable care with your equipment and the K-x could also do fine too, especially if all it has to cope with is a bit of dust and fog from time to time.

Luckily you have lots of Pentax glass already. If I was getting the K-7 though I'd get it with the 18-55WR kit lens, just so that you then have a completely weather-sealed camera/lens combination should you ever need it. The only affordable WR zoom is however the DA50-200mmF4-5.6ED WR. The other weather sealed telephotos in the lineup are the 60-250 DA Star and the 200 and 300mm DA Stars, which are big bucks.
03-15-2010, 04:10 PM   #6
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As others have said, the K-7 shutter is my no means silent but is the quietest DSLR I've ever heard. I shoot a lot of street stuff, and it was a big deal when I was considering the D300S/7D options. K-7 won for size, sound and price. Very impressed with it, the shutter is barely audible in a street environment.

If Pentax realised a new DSLR and it's not quiet, I'll be keeping the K-7 I think.
03-15-2010, 04:36 PM   #7
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as far as shutter noise goes, they are on opposite sides, k7 very quite and kx very noisy.
03-15-2010, 06:58 PM   #8
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I recently took delivery of a K-7 but sent it back for replacement (not a big deal.) I have to smile at the testimonials regarding how quiet the K-7's shutter is. Before I went digital, I used a Contax G2 rangefinder. In comparison to the G2, the K-7 is like a gunshot, and in comparison to an M6, it is like a canon. But, in comparison to other SLRs, it is, indeed, very subdued.

03-15-2010, 07:12 PM   #9
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K-7 is nice and quiet. You already have lenses. You like to do outdoor work too. A little more expensive but worth it in the long term (IMHO).
03-15-2010, 07:13 PM   #10
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like being on opposite ends of the spectrum. the K7 is extremely quiet, the Kx is very loud.
about the only things going the Kx's way is the better high ISO (3200 6400) jpgs and lower price.

everything else is K7.

you have to handle a K7 to appreciate the refinements the K7 has to offer.

this however, doesn't mean the Kx is a slouch. OTOH, it's much better than the entry level options of canon/nikon/oly/sony.
03-15-2010, 07:16 PM   #11
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The K-7 has one of the quietest shutter sounds out there while the K-x is just opposite having one of the loudest. If you don't mind superb high-ISO and costs, you could pick up the K-7 and have WR with decent high-ISO noise levels.
03-16-2010, 01:53 AM   #12
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going in the opposite direction

Some years ago I lived in 29 Palms (voluntarily) and worked out of Joshua Tree. That was back when I still shot with Olympus Pen-FT, YashicaMat 124G, etc. Then I moved to the Bay Area and spent many years on the Russian River not far from Pt Reyes. Would I go back in the opposite direction? Hmmm...

In my High-Desert days I was outside A LOT, with ambulance EMT work and backcountry rescue, and doing botanical field research in the summer. In my Sonoma-Marin time I was also out in weather, often biking the coast, valleys, mountains. Here's my take on environmental conditions:

The Yucca Valley-Joshua Tree-29 Palms region (aka Morongo Basin) can be cold and even foggy in winter, blazing hot in summer unless you take refuge at higher elevations (like rock pools high in JTNP). It was not especially windy. Wind-driven sand could scour the paint from cars parked overnight down in Whitewater Pass between Cabazon and Palm Springs, but moving sand and dust were not a concern up in the basin and mountains. Winds around the dusty Borrego Valley and Salton Sea weren't pleasant; and the Salton Sea itself... ickkkk.

For advise on what to expect in the Mojave and Colorado deserts and mountain areas, you might contact: Mojave Desert Information Center, Barstow; Joshua Tree Nat'l Park, 29 Palms; Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Borrego Springs. NOTE: early spring wildflower displays in the valleys, late spring blooms in the mountains, and midsummer cactus blooms, go beyond merely spectacular. My cactus garden in 29 Palms turned absolutely fluorescent at noon in June-July.

IN CONTRAST: The Sonoma-Marin coastal valleys could be cold and miserable in winter, to exceedingly pleasant in summer (tourists excepted); but that coastal environment is quite caustic and corrosive to camera gear. Whereas car-carried photo stuff could be safely kept in cheap foam coolers on the desert, I needed sealed containers on the coast, and I kept my gear stored with dessicants. Biking the coast, I kept my camera kit in ziploc bags when not being used. That coastal humidity & salt & wind could just devour consumer electronics and optics (and the fog ate my books, dammit!) Off the coast, pollen was the enemy.

The coast and inland desert are not mild environments. Weather-resistant photo gear will survive longer in both. I consider the coast to be harsher. A WR lens or two will definitely be on my K20D when I return to the Sonoma coast. Shutter noise aside, I'll vote for the K-7 and WR lenses.
03-16-2010, 06:05 AM   #13
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I have both the KX and the K7. They are very different cameras and I use them for their individual strengths. I would recommend the K7 for your needs. It's a solid camera with pro features. The build quality is exceptional at the price. The shutter is very quiet for a DSLR. The extra resolution will suit your glass and your macro work.

The Kx really excels at low light high ISO shooting, that also makes it useful for longer glass and nature work, not that the K7 will not work for these situations but the KX definitely has the advantage in low light.

Have fun with your new camera whichever you choose.
03-16-2010, 07:16 AM   #14
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he he he

Kind funny you asked this, because as you can see, they are exactly at the opposite ends of the spectrum...

The Kx is definitely VERY loud, and the K7 is very quiet..
03-16-2010, 01:44 PM   #15
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Original Poster
Everyone, Thank you for the all the thoughtful feedback. Your comments were great in helping me make my decision.
I'm convinced the K7 is my next camera for many reasons since I do outdoor shooting but having a quiet shutter is a positive for what I hope to take at the retreat!

Now I need to decide between Amazon or B&H and getting extra items (batteries, charger, extra extended warranty, etc.) and if I should order one of the WR lenses now or later. Amazon has the Magic Lantern Guide for the K7 which I've read is helpful. I also noticed a Leather Hand strap. My guess is my Grip Strap for the PZ-1p won't work on the K7.

Thanks again and I'll keep reading through the forum to figure out what extra's I'll need to get started.


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