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04-15-2010, 06:08 PM   #1
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I'm in with a K-7

I've been obsessed for weeks now, and when I finally settled on Pentax (again - a K1000 25 years ago was my first and only SLR for many years, then nothing but P&S, most recently a Canon S5IS, which got me hooked again.) I agonized over whether I should go K-X or K-7.

Anyway, the Canon didn't do it in low light at all, so I wanted to get back to SLR and fast(er) lenses. I realize that the KX seems to be the de rigeur recommendation for shooting in low light, but I'm a gotta have the best I can afford type. That, and I made the mistake of handling them both, and the K-7 won that contest hands down.

So reassure me that I made a good - not necessarily right, but reasonable - choice with your input, please. I would love to hear that I got a good deal, too. My wife would like to know (and so would I if it stays bad at home over my pulling of the trigger here) that one of you Pentaxians would be interested in my gear at the price I paid if harmony trumps must haves. Here were my considerations:

1) I like to shoot when traveling, a lot. A trip to Europe next month prompted this purchase.

2) I shoot candids. The "family photographer," I think is the term.

3) I have some minimal knowledge, but really only enough to be dangerous. Frankly, my eye is better than my skills.

4) I almost got the K-X for precisely that reason, but then I talked myself into the big boy because I didn't want to chicken out and shoot it like a p&s anymore.

Tips? Advice? Kudos? Curses?

Here's my kit. All in at $1180, 500 shutter clicks, all as new.

Pentax K-7 (with 18-55mm SMC DA f/3.5 - 5.6 AL WR); additionally there is a Pentax 50-200mm SMC DA f4.5 - 5.6 ED WR, D-BG4 Battery Grip, extra D-L190 Lithium Ion Battery, Sandisk 4gb SDHC memory card with MicroMate for downloading imagies, and new Pentax AF 200FG flash.






Last edited by jedcaum; 04-15-2010 at 07:51 PM.
04-15-2010, 06:26 PM   #2
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Yes it's a very nice deal. The addtional parts (grip/lenses/flash etc) are worth more than $500 and the best deal you can find a K-7 new is at or over $900.00

The camera will do well in low light. It's very similar to the k20D which I have and up to ISO 1600 it's not bad, ISO 3200 is a bit noisier but with a little assistance from you, you can get decent shots. But remember that ISO 1600 >3200 is only one stop and not always a deal killer for most situations. To get cleaner high ISO shots, just dial in +0.7 Ev in dark situations and +0.3 Ev in better light. That will help quite a bit in low light shooting.
04-15-2010, 07:07 PM   #3
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You're going to love the K-7, it's such a nice camera and there's so much that you can do with it.

I'm curious though, you said that Canon in low light didn't do it for you, what did that mean? Which Canon cameras did you try? (not that it really has anything to do with your post, but I use Canon cameras frequently, and never have low light problems in any way)

The high ISO of the K-7 is probably the only thing that's going to get you if that kind of thing bothers you, but it really isn't all that bad, as long as you don't expect it to be a miracle camera.
04-15-2010, 07:38 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
You're going to love the K-7, it's such a nice camera and there's so much that you can do with it.

I'm curious though, you said that Canon in low light didn't do it for you, what did that mean? Which Canon cameras did you try? (not that it really has anything to do with your post, but I use Canon cameras frequently, and never have low light problems in any way)

The high ISO of the K-7 is probably the only thing that's going to get you if that kind of thing bothers you, but it really isn't all that bad, as long as you don't expect it to be a miracle camera.

It was a canon point and shoot, the megazoom S5IS. Not a bad camera at all, just limited in some pretty significant ways - very tough to get shots without the flash, and a not so great flash set up. Very, very. very rough in low light, no matter what I tried. Bad WB, horrible noise, just generally abysmal. Great in daylight, and a surprisingly good long zoom for what it is. I'll be keeping it.

So, anything dslr will be an improvement, I'm sure. I am trying with this purchase to not buy one I know is limited in several ways to keep myself from suffereing upgradeitis so soon.

I do know enough to know that unlike some of my other compulsions, past a certain point (and I'm sure the K-7 qualifies) its the person behind the equipment, not the equipment, that is the limiting factor. So I jumped a grade higher than I was comfortable with in the hopes that I'll grow into it and keep it a long time.

My big worry is its too much camera for my neophyte skills.

I loved my old K1000 - I'm hoping lightning strikes 2x.


Last edited by jedcaum; 04-15-2010 at 07:56 PM.
04-15-2010, 08:02 PM   #5
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Well, you're not going to do any better than the K-7 in the Pentax camp unless you pony up 10 grand for the 645 digital.

You got a great package deal. If you find you don't need the grip, flash or extra lens you will be able to sell them no problem. Once you've got your camera and taken some shots, be sure to come back here with any questions.

All the best on the relationship front.
04-15-2010, 08:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by jedcaum Quote
It was a canon point and shoot, the megazoom S5IS. Not a bad camera at all, just limited in some pretty significant ways - very tough to get shots without the flash, and a not so great flash set up. Very, very. very rough in low light, no matter what I tried. Bad WB, horrible noise, just generally abysmal. Great in daylight, and a surprisingly good long zoom for what it is. I'll be keeping it.

So, anything dslr will be an improvement, I'm sure. I am trying with this purchase to not buy one I know is limited in several ways to keep myself from suffereing upgradeitis so soon.

I do know enough to know that unlike some of my other compulsions, past a certain point (and I'm sure the K-7 qualifies) its the person behind the equipment, not the equipment, that is the limiting factor. So I jumped a grade higher than I was comfortable with in the hopes that I'll grow into it and keep it a long time.

My big worry is its too much camera for my neophyte skills.

I loved my old K1000 - I'm hoping lightning strikes 2x.
Ah yes the S series doesn't have the best of anything really, well maybe the zoom is pretty nice, I had the S3 IS. I thought you were talking about the Canon DSLRs though, and that you had tried some of them out. I love Pentax and all, but I also know that Canon is the leader of low light photography, and Pentax is unfortunately at the end of it. Of course the K-7 and other Pentax cameras have so much to make up for that and improve upon the other brands cameras. I hope you like your K-7 and show us some of your photos!
04-15-2010, 08:24 PM   #7
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All cameras make some type of compromise. I find the K-7 fits me very well, and while I'd love to be able to afford to add a K-x to my camera collection, I wouldn't replace my K-7 with one.

As far as being concerned about your skills - my husband occasionally like to snap pictures. He's never owned a camera, and has little interest in the technical aspects of photography. He shoots when we are on vacation because otherwise he gets bored waiting for me to finish taking my pictures. About all he knows is how to turn the camera on, how to operate the zoom and he's aware of how to change lenses. He has no clue what the word aperture means, so I put my K20 on "P" and let him shoot away. He's got a great eye and some of the pictures he takes end up being my favorites, he does fine with it. You shouldn't have a problem, since you know more than he does (or ever will). Just read the manual and ask lots of questions when you run across something that doesn't make sense. Make sure you figure out how to reset the camera to default settings in case you get things out of whack and can't figure out what you did.

Get one and have a great time taking pictures.
04-15-2010, 08:26 PM   #8
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Typically, Pentax DSLRs come from the factory with 250-300 clicks anyway. The grip on most days goes for $200. I paid $1100 for the K7 and the 18-55 back in November. The 50-200 WR lens is (last time I looked) in the neighborhood of $200. The only thing I would upgrade is the card.

So, Kudos and welcome to the club (from another family photographer)..



04-15-2010, 09:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jct us101 Quote
Ah yes the S series doesn't have the best of anything really, well maybe the zoom is pretty nice, I had the S3 IS. I thought you were talking about the Canon DSLRs though, and that you had tried some of them out. I love Pentax and all, but I also know that Canon is the leader of low light photography, and Pentax is unfortunately at the end of it. Of course the K-7 and other Pentax cameras have so much to make up for that and improve upon the other brands cameras. I hope you like your K-7 and show us some of your photos!
I'm a big Canon fan, actually. Their p&s line takes amazingly good shots for such simple cameras; a couple of those are what took me to the S5. Which I also thoroughly enjoyed, but quickly got to the apex of, I think.

My buddy is a full-time freelancer and he swears by his Canon gear. I checked out many at the local camera shop, and Nikons too. The action on both felt good, the shots looked nice, the menus seemed usable, the lenses for kits were plenty fast. The K-X was the same, and even more compelling to me for all its capabilities. I think it was a combination of nostalgia, snootiness, and price that kept pushing me back to the K-7.

Nostalgia - It just felt really good in my hand, and brought me back to those wonderful days of discovery with the K1000 I bought with my own money (actually a Sears-branded K1000 - remember those?) when I was 11, trying to keep up with my sister and her Canon AE-1. Hers was awesomer, easier to use, and she took great pictures. But I loved mine even more, and I learned a lot for a little kid about shooting. Even led me to darkroom class and pinhole experiments for a while.

Snootiness - It is the top of the Pentax DSLR line. I like the idea of that, even though I rarely need it. I was raised in Trax shoes, "They're just as good as Adidas, son; they've even got an extra stripe!" generic - brand foodstuffs, and Buffalo tools. I got really tired of having to buy the same thing over and over again due to not buying quality products in the first place. And the kids making fun of my clothes. Shallow, yes, but compelling all the same.

Price - For the money, I couldn't get anywhere near the capabilities of this camera in the Canon or Nikon realm within a few hundred dollars as far as I could tell, and when I started pricing lenses, that difference seemed even starker. It also took me from the K-X to the K-7, as I didn't mind paying a couple hundred more for the extra kit, the WR, and the much more solid heft in all the pieces.

So that's my story; more than I'm sure any of you wanted to know. I will happily post some shots once I get her home and get to snappin'. I really appreciate all your suggestions and well wishes, and look forward to learning a bunch with your assistance!
04-15-2010, 09:19 PM   #10
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Welcome aboard

enjoy the ride...

I really love my K-7 and have a growing addiction to the wonderful primes available.


cheers


Neil
04-15-2010, 11:02 PM   #11
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Welcome to the forum and welcome to the K-7 community. We love our K-7 and we look forward to see your shots.

Again welcome and congrat ....
04-16-2010, 12:04 AM   #12
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Welcome and hope you're liking your cam... what a first step into the DSLR world! More like a giant leap! You certainly have a lot of cam to work yourself into. I plan on getting the k7 eventually (kitchen remodel currently has my wallet). I've used it at a Pentax event and I just love that shutter sound! And of course all the other capabilities, including the solid, rugged weather resistant housing.

Hopefully you kept some of your old glass from your k1000 days... I know the old m series 50's are still pretty highly regarded. In fact, the my old m macro 50 is one of the sharpest lenses I own and I have quite a few lenses. And of course if you have some others, you'll find that they work great (minus auto focus for some) as long as you set your camera to allow for aperture ring in the setup menu.

Have fun on your Euro trip and feel free to post some of your images here as this community is very supportive and will offer some good constructive comments so you can improve. And be sure to bring a tripod with you... Europe has lots of opportunities for great night shots (use the 2 second mirror lock up on a tripod so that it disables shake reduction - shake reduction and a tripod will actually end up giving you a less sharp image so the 2 second mirror lock up automatically disables the shake reduction).

Congrats!
04-16-2010, 12:14 AM   #13
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Tip: perhaps you still have some old lenses from your K1000, 25 years ago, somewhere in your closet.
They will still fit your new K-7, though it needs some practise to work with them (see: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-beginners-corner-q/59272-shooting-...x-dslrs-f.html)
It would be great if you'd still have a M135mm, f2.8, a M50, f1.7 or something.

- Bert
04-16-2010, 12:18 AM   #14
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Sweet deal! And the K7 is a great camera, have no doubts about it! WR is great for those rainy days (yep, those happen on vacation too!)

Well, now being the official family paparazzi, you'll need two things:
- a fast lens, the kit lenses are not really fit for portraits. Old manual lens are a treat, and cheap!
- a 3 meters F5P flash sync cord, as your AF200 is not a swivel/tilt/wireless design, so it's nothing more than a boosted on-board flash as it is. (be careful to take a PK-A manual lens, if you go this way)

Enjoy your camera!
04-30-2010, 01:15 PM   #15
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K-7 is a great camera, polished in every aspect and so compact, there's nothing quite like it in the market. The zoom lenses you have are great, now you just need to spend lots of time w/ it and take fabulous photos!

I'd suggest a 40mm for those things you mentioned, like travel and street photography, I'm referring to the Limited 40mm f/2.8

I intend to keep my K-7 as long as I can, very happy that *somebody* made a compact, top of the line DSLR.

Shawn
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