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04-01-2010, 07:57 AM   #1
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How to check a new DSLR

I'm new to DSLRs. I just received the K-7 and smc DA* 16-50 from B&H. I'm very disappointed in the packing job they did. the large box held the two smaller Pentax boxes and they banged around inside. They only used those air pillows on top of the camera and lens and nothing under them or on the sides. So I would like to find out if someone has a script of the basic functions I should check out. It is going to take me some time to get through that 300 page manual.

So far, it turns on, focuses, flash works, takes nice pictures (okay, stellar pictures compaired to my Kodak P&S). What else could be subject to damage due to the UPS shake, rattle and roll test?

04-01-2010, 08:12 AM   #2
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I am having the exact same experience. When my new K7 arrived last night from Willoughby’s ordered on Amazon the box was just as you said and there was no seal on the inside box. I posted a question about this this morning and found that several people have received their K7 with no box seal. I guess this is just the way Pentax does it.

I did my best to check my camera over as well, but will admit that I don't know all of the in depth things to look for. One respondant suggested that I check the number of shutter snaps for my camera. I have no idea how to do this, but would be interested in finding out.

I look forward to seeing responses to your post so that I can check my new baby out as well.
04-01-2010, 08:18 AM   #3
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There are a few things I can think of:

1. You could place the camera on a table, have a look trough the viewfinder and see if the table is in line with the bottom of the view. Older Pentax camera's sometimes had their viewfinder views tilted after strong shocks.

2. Focus precision. If autofocus makes mistakes with the lens, you can correct this with AF correction in the camera settings. There are several posts on this forum you can search for explaining how to do this.

3. Find out if the elements of the lens are not out of plane. By making a picture of a newspaper on the wall with f2.8 (lens wide open). Make sure the camera in exactly (!!) 90 degrees horizontal and vertical aligned to the wall. This is an important element of the test. If not well aligned you will see false results. Now, inspect the corners of some pictures taken. Corners are allways softer than the center point, however, one corner should *not* be worse than the other corners. If, for instance, the lower left and upper right corners are out of focus while the upper left and lower right are not, some glass elements may have been tilted in the lens.

I hope you will find no problems, I'd be having a bad day if that would happen to me....

For the rest, welcome and you've got yourself a great camera and a super lens!

- Bert
04-01-2010, 08:25 AM   #4
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Bert,

thanks for the recommendations. I'll give it a try once I get home...and find my old Bogen tripod.

-Frank
P.S. What part of Netherlands? I was born in Alkmaar

04-01-2010, 08:40 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by photoholic Quote
Bert,

thanks for the recommendations. I'll give it a try once I get home...and find my old Bogen tripod.

-Frank
P.S. What part of Netherlands? I was born in Alkmaar
I was born in Amsterdam, now living in a small town called Mijdrecht, somewhere between Amsterdam and Utrecht.
However, the Netherlands is soooo small. Compared to most countries everything is nearby, except during the morning / afternoon road congestions....

Alkmaar is a nice old town, if you ever go back, take that camera with you!

- Bert
04-01-2010, 10:25 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jon in SC Quote
I am having the exact same experience. When my new K7 arrived last night from Willoughby’s ordered on Amazon the box was just as you said and there was no seal on the inside box. I posted a question about this this morning and found that several people have received their K7 with no box seal. I guess this is just the way Pentax does it.

I did my best to check my camera over as well, but will admit that I don't know all of the in depth things to look for. One respondant suggested that I check the number of shutter snaps for my camera. I have no idea how to do this, but would be interested in finding out.

I look forward to seeing responses to your post so that I can check my new baby out as well.
To check the number of shutter actuations open the last picture you took with a program like PhotoME. If you a Mac user and don't have Parallels, VMWare, Virtual Box, or Crossover you are probably out of luck. I have yet to find a Mac program that will report shutter actuations.
04-01-2010, 11:59 AM   #7
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You can use exiftool to get the shutter count. It should work on any platform if you have perl.
04-01-2010, 09:54 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mxguy Quote
You can use exiftool to get the shutter count. It should work on any platform if you have perl.
I didn't realize all that information was in the file. Thanks

04-02-2010, 04:50 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by boriscleto Quote
To check the number of shutter actuations open the last picture you took with a program like PhotoME. If you a Mac user and don't have Parallels, VMWare, Virtual Box, or Crossover you are probably out of luck. I have yet to find a Mac program that will report shutter actuations.
Be aware that all new camera's have gone through a series of factory tests after manufacturing.
So, your camera will not start counting its actuations at #1 when it comes out of the box...

- Bert
04-02-2010, 05:12 AM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
Compared to most countries everything is nearby
Last town I lived in in the Netherlands was Hoofddorp. Nothing special, but the beach is only 20 km away or so, so in the weekends I used to take my dogs for walks there. Now the nearest beach is around 600km away.

QuoteQuote:
except during the morning / afternoon road congestions....
Ach, hoe erg kan het zijn* My record is 105 minutes for 20km (by car) from home to work, just in town. That's why I usually travel by motorbike.

* Translation: how bad can it be
04-02-2010, 09:03 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Last town I lived in in the Netherlands was Hoofddorp. Nothing special, but the beach is only 20 km away or so, so in the weekends I used to take my dogs for walks there. Now the nearest beach is around 600km away.

Ach, hoe erg kan het zijn* My record is 105 minutes for 20km (by car) from home to work, just in town. That's why I usually travel by motorbike.

* Translation: how bad can it be
Then you must be aware of the weather and motorbike issues we have over here.

And for RSA, the last town I lived (and worked) in South Africa was Newcastle (1978), I guess Roodepoort can only be better than that, except that Newcastle is more or less in between Durban and J-Burg.
On the beach subject, I can remember some very nice days in Richards Bay, Strandfontein or Plettenberg Baai on the beach. Strong waves and surfing.
There are some nice beach options available in RSA if you can make a living out there.

- Bert
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