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04-06-2010, 07:50 AM   #1
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K-7 free loaner on way from Pentax, how should I test it?

As a member of the Pentax Professional Services program, I get to borrow Pentax equipment directly from Pentax in Golden, CO. And it's free!!! I just have to pay to have it shipped back.

Anyhow, I am finally getting to borrow a K-7 for a couple of weeks. I read up on it extensively on this site, but was wondering if any of you have suggestions on how to put it through it's paces.

I'm very happy with my K10 and K20, so I need to be knocked over by this "new" one to purchase it. So what tricks do you know about the camera to "knock me over?"

I shoot weddings and indoor studio shots mainly.


04-06-2010, 08:00 AM   #2
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Focus on something in low light. Then listen to the shutter sound.
04-06-2010, 08:14 AM   #3
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As Pasipasi said, listen to the shutter sound...
First time I took a pic with mine, I panicked and thought "Damn! Mirror is broken or something!".

Then, the burst mode... I simply laughed while trying this (maybe not so impressive if you come from Canikon upper models, though).

AWB is really great!

Exposure is more spot-on, slight clipping in contrasty situations (direct sunlight), still a 1Ev underexposure in tungsten.

Last, low-light AF... It's day and night (arf!) coming from K10/K20...

You'll be disappointed with the wireless controller mode, I'm afraid (too strong for high-iso shots)...
04-06-2010, 12:11 PM   #4
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I think that you should just use it in your normal photographic activities, rather than seeking out the limits of the camera, in areas and features that you may never use.

How many times does a newbie come to these forums and ask which camera to buy? The responses usually begin something like "what kind of photography do you do?". This is in recognition of the fact that what makes a great camera for one photographer may be almost worthless for another. For example, many people bemoan the fact that Pentax cameras do not have super-high continuous frame rates. I, on the other hand, have used continuous shooting on my K10D, perhaps three times, and two of those were just to see how it works. I really couldn't care less if the next Pentax dslr even HAS continuous shooting.

My point is that you should determine if the K-7 makes a difference to YOU, in the kind of shooting that YOU normally do, not what the forum members think is important to THEM.

OTOH, if you have found yourself saying "if only my K20D had feature xxxx" a lot, them you should explore whether the K-7 has that feature or something like it. Perhaps there are some features that would allow you to expand your repetoire. Is there any kind of photograph that you have wanted to take, but found to be impossible or impractical with your existing cameras?

04-06-2010, 12:59 PM   #5
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How do I sign up for the Pentax Professional Services program? I'd like to borrow a K7 for a few weeks too :-)
04-06-2010, 01:10 PM   #6
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Do you ever go to the Enchanted Lens Camera Club meetings? If so, we could meet up at Satellite before and go over K7 specs. I own one and live in town. I shoot weddings occasionally. I'm not sure exactly how much more you're going to get out of this camera than a K20D or K10D. I enjoyed my K10D a lot but upgraded when the K10D was damaged. Otherwise, I'd have just kept it going.
04-06-2010, 01:44 PM   #7
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What noblepa and the others said +

Mentioning the low-light AF capabilities above, you probably already know that the K-7 features an AF-assist-LED (very bright green)..
When I bought my K-7 last September as a replacement for my K10D, I took it to the wedding of my brother. I had not much time shooting photos but when I had I tried to take some portraits, and after 5 dazzled/distracted persons (mostly children) I turned it off..

AF is faster and more accurate (starting from moderate lightning conditions), thats a plus. You will like it! But make sure, your lenses are properly "calibrated" (use the AF adjustments prior to shooting!).

I like the smaller size and less weight over the K10D (fits my hands almost perfectly). But try to use the BG for the K-7, if possible.

ISO noise improved a bit too, comes in handy when you want to limit the flashs power to get more available light from the indoor-scenery, IMHO.

Cant tell anything about AWB though, I always go the safe way and shoot RAW.

IMHO, the Dynamic-Range in RAW is not as good as my beloved K10D, but the nominal-sensity of ISO 200 and the Highlight/Shadow-Correction of the K-7 is nice.

Have fun and good light !

04-06-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
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I found for outdoor weddings the k-7 was dramatically different from k20. So if you do that type of event take it outdoors and shoot some portraits at 1-3pm in the afternoon (worst time of day to take pictures - most popular time of day to get married). The colors and stronger and the highlights are hotter. I owned the camera for more than a month before I was comfortable taking it to my first wedding. I've gotten used to it now but in terms of how the images look - it was like switching to a completely different brand.

In many ways I still prefer my K20 but the obvious advantages of k-7 that you will appreciate in a wedding environment is the improved AF and the longer battery life

04-07-2010, 08:19 AM   #9
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I just moved into town a few weeks ago, so I've not heard of the camera club.
04-07-2010, 08:21 AM   #10
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Thanks all!!! When the UPS guy gets here, yes I am staring outside to greet him, I'll take my 4 year old to the park and test out the AFS, FPS and everything. That should be a good start!!
04-07-2010, 08:37 AM   #11
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Love the 100% viewfinder. Also real mirror lockup with wireless remote. The level in the viewfinder is a nice touch.

The colors are different than the K20D. Not as saturated (more accurate). You can always bump them up in menu or in PP. K-7 just feels so much better built.

Check out POINT & SHOOT CONTEST #29 in compact camera forum. Enter #30. Any brand camera. Enter now!
04-07-2010, 06:47 PM   #12
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Oh what fun

Low light, extended exposure, HDR, image stabilization versus it works with mf lenses....
04-07-2010, 06:49 PM   #13
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buttons / menu

I guess the biggest thing that worries me about upgrading to the K7 is the change in the control system, with buttons becoming dedicated for flash wb and such, instead of under the menu control. I guess I am concerned how it will affect controlling the AF point, as I am constantly changing that when out shooting certain events.
04-07-2010, 07:20 PM   #14
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Got the K7 a few hours ago. The biggest thing I've learned is the layout of buttons vs. menu stuff is a change. Much smaller, and that's not a good thing as I have big hands and am tall. I like my tools big and heavy. Very silent shutter. Much quicker FPS. AF, still haven't seen it on the computer. I've only played with it on pure auto with my 50-150 *DA. I'm sure in a few days I'll have more to say. But at this point, I'm not about to spend the money to upgrade from the K20. That can easily change though. I might have to make this my primary camera, the K20 a backup and the K10 a backup to the backup. We'll see!

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