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05-01-2010, 08:37 PM   #1
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K7 vs. Kx vs. just wait...

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Great Forum Guys! Hoping to get some input on my shopping. So i've never owned a dSLR before and I've decided on Pentax. Now I have to decide a few things...Model, Timing, and where to purchase...

So, the model decision is pretty straightforward. The K7 vs. the Kx is the choice right now, i'm not considering a used model. The issue is since I'm a beginner, the Kx is probably sufficient, but I do like the weather-sealed nature of the K7, the slightly better video, better LCD, better continuous mode, but other than that, any other major advantages of going K7 over Kx? Any things the Kx has that the K7 doesn't have? I'll be getting the kit lens, so are those identical (except weather sealing on the K7)?

The other option is "wait" -- i.e. just wait until there is a successor to the K7 announced (the only thing the K7 is missing from my wish list is 1080p video capture). The thing is, I definitely want the camera within the next 6mo...anyone willing to guess odds on whether there will be a new model in the next 6mo?

Finally...Where to get it? I've seen the K7 (with kit lens) for consistently below $1,000. In fact it's currently at (no-name company, but they have decent reviews at reseller ratings) for $849 + 15 shipping. They also have a big package over at ebay for a little under 1,000 but they throw in an SD card, a couple "lenses", tripod, and a few other things. Or should I just get camera & lens kit at Amazon or B&H for about $980.

Or do I spend half that price, and just get the Kx and then upgrade to the latest & greatest when it comes out....eventually.

Any thoughts are appreciated.

05-01-2010, 11:57 PM   #2
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I don't have either. Some points that I can think of:

The Kx is well known for its very good high ISO capabilities; as far as I know better than the K7.

The K7 has the advantage that you can 'calibrate' the autofocus yourself. So if a lens/camera combo consistently misfocuses (to the front or the back), you can adjust it instead of taking it to the repair center. For me a reason not to go for a Kx.

The K7 has dual dial; I have a K100D and a K10D and do not really miss the dual dial on the K100D. I don't think a beginner will miss dual dial (I consider myself just a little above the beginner level )

The K7 has a AF assist beam that helps autofocus in the dark. The Kx uses the internal flash for this which can be annoying; you need to buy an external flash for the Kx to get this functionality. An additional flash is never a waist, by the way.

The price difference between the two is a nice down-payment to the flash or an additional lens (in future). You might not need an additional lens now and you might not need another one in the rest of your life. But you might somewhere along the line discover something like 'ah, I wish I could get this closer' or 'I wish I could do another step backwards to get everything in the picture'

With regards to waiting. Your timing is bad; if you would have posted this question in august/september, it would be a different story as that is closer to the time that new models are revealed. I think we can only guess which new models Pentax will release so waiting for that is, in my opinion, not relevant if you want to buy a camera now.

If I was prepared to spend the money, I would go for the K7 now (and don't look back when new model come out).

Good luck in the decision
05-02-2010, 12:25 AM   #3
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Given your points, I recommend you buy the K-x and wait. You can bide your time having invested less, yet still acquire an extremely competent camera that is beginner friendly, yet capable of growing with your skillset. If the next generation camera arrives, you'll be ready to upgrade yet keep the k-x as a backup, and if it doesn't, then you'll still be able to pick up the K-7 too

Try not to let the gear distract you from focusing on your skillset! We've all been there....
05-02-2010, 12:52 AM   #4
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You can always wait to get the best bang for your buck, but you'll wait forever.

Considering the alternatives, I'd take the K-X and with the extra money buy a better lens.

05-02-2010, 02:52 AM   #5
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Since this is your first DSLR, I'd get the K-x. It's a phenomenal starting platform. As far as the weather sealing goes, I've had my K-x out in light rain and fairly heavy snow and it performed great. Just make sure to shield it as best you can.

This would also be my suggestion considering the K-7's lifespan. A successor is likely to be released or announced at Photokina in September. Buying the K-x now will allow you to learn the ropes and by the time you out-grow it the K-7's successor will have been released, and in the middle of it's product life (most affordable).
05-02-2010, 05:43 AM   #6
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You can always wait, but one day you must make a decision. Buy the camera when you deem it right for you, not when the market is 'this or that'... The price of the cameras will always drop with time. (This is not true for the lenses.)

When you are ready, and if you are ready now, you will not be wrong with the K-x or K-7. But, first you must try both camera bodies and feel if you like the hand feeling. Go to your local camera store and try both models. Try also a couple of Canikon: e.g., D3000, 500D, ... You do not want to be disappointed by your investment (your camera).

If you shoot outdoor frequently, the weather resistance (WR) is worth to consider, and the K-7 with the kit lens 18-55mm WR, and a SD card, are probably the best value for money on the market. Full stop.

If not, consider this: the K-x is an entry camera, and the K-7 is a semi-pro: that is, the K-7 has a lot more features. Do you need these extra features? In the negative, the K-x will be a good choice and save you some lot of money that you can invest in glasses (ie. good lenses). If you are interested by the extra features of a semi-pro camera like the K-7, then go for it.

I waited nearly 12 months before I bought my first dSLR. I made the move when the time was right for me, after I tried the K-7, K-x, 500D, D5000 and D90. I am very happy with my choice and would do it again: ie, go for the K-7.

Hope that the comments will help....
05-02-2010, 07:13 AM   #7
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Tough Decision...

So it sounds like the KX might be the better bang for my buck. Does the Kx have better low light performance than the K7? That seems a bit strange to me considering that the Kx is so much more affordable than the K7.

Some other features I may have neglected to mention in my first post:

-K7 has HDMI -- I could see this coming in handy for showing pictures/videos if you're at a friend's/relative's house

-I've been reading the Auto focus on the K7 is better and shows you the focus point by flashing a red dot where it has locked on.

-Batteries: K7 has a pack, Kx uses AA... Kx might have the advantage here because I've heard that "eneloop" rechargeable batteries are actually quite good, then again if the battery on the K7 is good, why waste money on buying batteries/charger?

-Megapixels - obviously K7 has more, but I don't think this really matters as they both have more than I need coming from an 8mp P&S

-Video performance: Can anyone comment on whether there is any real difference between 1280x720 @ 24fps vs. 30fps? (i'm still baffled why the K7 would support

-EDIT: I also see that the K7 has the black/white LCD panel on the top of the camera to quickly view your settings--important or not?

As you've said, if I start w/ the Kx (at ~$500) and then want to upgrade to the K7's eventual successor, I could probably get $300-400 for the Kx on ebay when i eventually sell it. Also, if I end up not being as serious about photography...i haven't spent twice as much money...


Oh and I did find the pricing on the Kx somewhat funny (these are from B&H):
Kx with 18-55mm lens - $549
Kx with 18-55 & 55-200 - $599
Kx with 18-55 & 55-300 - $679
Kx Body only - $549(!!) -- Why would anyone buy the body only when it's the same price as the one w/ the lens?

Thx for everyone's input.

05-02-2010, 08:00 AM   #8
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I went through the same quandary recently, and ended up with a very slightly used K-7, both WR kit lenses, and a battery grip. Here's why:


I tried both, and several Canikons as well, at the local camera store - full of very helpful and knowledgable folks, by the way. I asked them many questions about the minutia that you are rightly researching, and they all said that I would be fine with any of the cameras I was looking at, that what mattered most is the one I was comfortable with. Fact is, according to them, all modern dslrs are close enough in performance that you really can't go wrong.

The differences just aren't that great, whether you are talking about video performance, high ISO, auto-focus speed, really any of it. Maybe if you are a grizzled veteran photog it would matter, but certainly not to me. My skills aren't such that I'm going to outrun any camera any time soon.

So the K-X, right? Rather spend the money on lenses, or not at all, for someone who doesn't need all the bells and whistles of the K-7 pro oriented body. I really tried to convince myself of that, and frankly I probably could have been satisfied (though probably not content) if I'd gone that route. But then I handled them both for a while. The K-7 felt so much better than the K-X, no amount of inner "you know the K-X is the more rational choice for you" would have been enough. I was bound to lust after that better-feeling body until I had it.

The K-X is a fine camera. I think that part of the real dilemma in this choice is the better high-iso performance in the K-X, which is reality for jpeg, somewhat debatable when shooting RAW, which most that shoot the K-7 will suggest. But the high iso performance in the K-7 even in jpeg isn't as awful as you might think reading these forums, and is certainly better than whatever you are coming from in the p&s world.

The difference for me was clear. The K-X is a nice bit of kit, but compared to the K-7 it felt downright cheap. The Canikons, frankly, felt plasticky and cheap compared to either Pentax. The K-7, well, it just felt right. Like it belonged in my hand.

So my advice would be handle both, and let your fingers be your guide. They will tell you which one you like more.
05-02-2010, 08:55 AM   #9
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The K-7 will be to daunting for you as a beginner, so i say get the Kx.

Keep in mind, all the Kx has over the K-7 is better *HIGH* ISO, the K-7 is better in every other way imaginable.
05-02-2010, 10:18 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by yeatzee Quote
The K-7 will be to daunting for you as a beginner, so i say get the Kx.
That's what I was afraid of, too. But really, not so much. If you are really worried, put it in green and forget about everything. I've been shooting hyperprogram, and playing with both dials to great effect. If you get lost, press the green button and you are right back where you started.
05-02-2010, 12:34 PM   #11
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I recently (mid April) bought the K7 as my first DSLR after having been shooting film on a Pentax ME Super. I would also certainly class myself as a beginner. There were three reasons I went for the K7 over the K-X:

1) Dual dials, this was important for me because I like to have complete control over the photo when I need to with no fuss.
2) Although it's by no means essential, it's nice to have the LCD on top of the camera to quickly view settings.
3) Mag-alloy body and weather resistance. The last one is particularly important to me, I recently took the K-7 on a Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition where it had to stand up to some pretty nasty conditions. The camera handled excellently throughout and the WR was a real benefit considering how damp conditions got.

In terms of High ISO, you have to ask yourself... how often are you going to be using such large ISOs anyway. If you do find that this becomes an issue, you can get some really fast and really cheap manual lenses that do REALLY help in low light conditions if you don't want to use the flash.

Anyhow, I hope that my reasons for choosing the K-7 over the K-X help you decide which one you'd rather go for!
05-02-2010, 01:14 PM - 1 Like   #12
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1) Cost: kx over K7 by a mile.

2) Dials: It's a wash. Anyone can learn to get comfortable with any controls.

3) ISO: Do not underestimate the superiority of the kx's high ISO performance. It is revolutionary, and it has K7 owners drooling here. When the next incarnation of the K7 has the same capability, which they're also drooling over, it's going to cost what the K7 goes for now--a little more at first, but then the same. So why go for K7 now?

4) Video: For most people, the video functions are a side issue. If you really think you're going to use a DSLR to shoot serious video, okay. But that's a whole other issue, when you look at the low cost of digital camcorders specifically designed to do this.

5) WR: A major, major issue depending on your shooting conditions. I live in monsoon country, but still do not shoot in heavy rain.
05-02-2010, 01:40 PM   #13
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With the exception of high ISO JPEGs, the K-7 is a far superior camera. In RAW mode, the two cameras are much closer. Since you are a newbie, you may be tempted to shoot JPEG initially, but RAW is so simple with a good RAW conversion program, that I can see no reason not to shoot RAW from the start. I did. In any case, unless you expect to do a great deal of low light photography, the K-x's high ISO advantage is of little value to you.

My advice: If you can afford it, get the K-7. It is selling at bargain prices now, so you will be able to sell it for only a small loss if it does not suit you or if you want to upgrade to a K-8 is when it becomes available.

05-02-2010, 01:57 PM   #14
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For me, being able to capture low light shots without a flash is a big plus. And in situations like concerts where a flash wouldn't work anyway, there's no comparison.

I wish I could link to one of our members here who uses the kx for bars, coffee clubs, etc., but the shots will blow you away. (Help me guys. Who am I thinking of?)

In addition, superior high ISO processing is not restricted to low light indoor. It helps in many situations.

Finally, I disagree with the above statement that shooting in RAW as opposed to JPEG somehow narrows the kx's ISO benefit/advantage, because it doesn't. Noise is still noise, even if captured in RAW.
05-02-2010, 02:37 PM   #15
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I like the K-X SO much, I have my K20D for sale. Get the K-X with the two lens kit if you have no lens. Put your money in some good lens if you want to upgrade. You can take great photos with any of the cameras out there if you know what you are doing. When I first upgraded to the K20 I was disappointed that it was no better than my K10. After I spent some time with it, I found the it was better than the k10. I like how the K-X is lighter that the k20 but the k7 is also light. If you buy the K-X now and decide to sell in a year or two, you will find that you lost less. The lens should hold value. The tow lens are worth about $300 combined. That means the camera is $300 to $400. You can sell the camera in a few years and get $200 - $250. My K20D was $1200 Two years ago and is only worth $500 -$600.

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