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Author Topic: K7 Hands on feelings  (Read 3394 times)

tetsuo77

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K7 Hands on feelings
« on: October 08, 2009, 08:16:37 pm »

"    UPDATE: A number of readers of this review during the first hours online were update about the above, because, as they rightly point out, "this is only the case if you have the lens aberration and distortion correction features turned on".

    Fair enough. When turned off preview is effectively instant. But, I expect that with corrections turned on is the way that most serious photographers will use the camera. And, there are other cameras that have similar capability which do not take as long. A faster processor is likely needed, which I believe would also help autofocus, as seen below."

When shooting RAW, no lens corrections are applied on the K7. Hence, the review is [and should be] instantaneous.


"I'm not sure what to say here. When sitting quietly and testing the camera, whether with stationary or moving subjects, autofocus seems to do its thing properly, whether one is using multi-point or single point. But, in the heat of rapid shooting, when subjects are moving quickly, such as dancers or athletes, I have the impression that the AF hunts more than I'm used to with either current Canons, Nikons or Sonys. It's almost as if the camera is taking a moment to consider what to do next."

Indeed, it does. The SAFOX system is well known to make a double check when autofocusing; being the reason for the apparent -and real- slower responsiveness of it [yet another Pentax quirk]

As with most current DSLRs there is a plethora of menus to wade though to find the various settings, including in this camera a large number of custom settings. But what is missing is any means of organizing these into a custom menu set so that the ones that you need frequently are easily accessible. This is such an obvious requirement on a camera with deep menus that it's surprising that Pentax has omitted it.


I guess that this is another way to see it, but most menu options and tabs have direct access buttons, such as the hexagon on the four way controller.

I guess as well that, due to close competition, Sony,Canon, and Nikon menu systems tend to work the very same way. When working with a Pentax, or an Olympus dSLR, menus seem to be weird. And the reverse happens so that often. Reversing back from an Oly or Pentax menu system to others more cluttered or more structured tends to be a bit of a nightmare.

It's been a long time since I paid close attention to Pentax's lens line up. But a bit of research showed that a couple of the good quality zooms to consider were the SMC Pentax-DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED [IF] and the SMC Pentax-DA 12-24mm F4 ED AL [IF]. Both of these appear to be very highly regarded by the Pentax user community, and were the ones that I requested for testing. Pentax also has a well deserved reputation for their prime lenses, particular their "Limited" series. So if first rate lenses are your thing (and they should be) there are some really honeys in the Pentax line-up.

I did not shoot enough with these two lenses though to draw and conclusions as to image quality.


You forgot to mention the pristine backwards compatibility of the current Pentax bodies. All K mount lenses ever made will be able to be used as they were designed for [you can not have a lens without A aperture setting be automatically stopped down by the body, or an manual focus lens made Autofocus but for the AF converters], with no adapter required.

The sensor shift image stabilization should be there as well: all the lenses are stabilized.

The hyperprogramme and green button function is a very helpful tool for ANY photographer to get a good exposure.

The K7 tends to underexpose, as all digital Pentax bodies had before. This was explained before on their manuals as a way to prevent highlights from clipping, as sensors work the other way round to film photography [white pixel means no information at all].

This truly is trying not to nitpick on the hands on commentary about the body. Just to show some features worth mentioning that are missing, and can be very helpful to the photographer. Specially for street shooting, where the hyperprogramme and the green button are easily and very fast the photographers best friends.

Cheers.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2009, 08:17:22 pm by tetsuo77 »
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DarkPenguin

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K7 Hands on feelings
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2009, 02:30:50 am »

What does "pristine" mean in this context?
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tetsuo77

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« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2009, 07:36:36 am »

Quote from: DarkPenguin
What does "pristine" mean in this context?

That you donĀ“t need to modify the lens in order to use it on the camera, if it is the K mount. Not the KR [ricoh variant] or some KC [Chinon variant], which require sanding the aperture control lever. Therefore, you can use very straightforwardly any K mount lens with the bodies as the lens was originally designed to be used.

That includes the Angenieux lenses, by the way.
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John Clifford

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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2009, 03:37:17 am »

I agree: Pentax dSLRs may not be for everyone, but the performance and featureset of the K20D was compelling enough to me that I purchased one.

While Michael may see some minor issues with image quality, I have a hard time believing that, for a 16" x 20" print or smaller at ISO 400 or lower, the viewer could differentiate between identical subjects taken with the K20D, D300, 40D, or 50D.

A big advantage of the Pentax dSLR line over many others is in-camera image stabilization; no need for stabilized lenses. Combine this with the advantage of being able to use a wide variety of K-mount lenses (and M42-mount lenses, with an adapter), and you have a pretty compelling digital camera system for the serious amateur.

Certainly a K7 or K20D will produce as good or better images than the Leica M8 under identical conditions, and lenses like the new Limiteds or the older SMC Takumars (particularly the 50/1.4, the 35/2, the 85/1.8, and the 135/2.5 6/6 variant, among the best lenses of their day and able to outresolve any 14 MP dSLR) help get every bit of image quality from a Pentax dSLR.
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Er1kksen

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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2009, 06:02:18 pm »

Quote from: John Clifford
While Michael may see some minor issues with image quality, I have a hard time believing that, for a 16" x 20" print or smaller at ISO 400 or lower, the viewer could differentiate between identical subjects taken with the K20D, D300, 40D, or 50D.

Being a current owner of a Canon 40D, and having previously owned a K20D, I am confident that at 16x20, low ISO the K20D would show visibly superior IQ (though not to a drastic degree) and even moreso at high ISO. This is after learning the ins and outs of each camera and how to get the most I could out of each.

Given Michael's statements when the 40D came out that it provided IQ on par with or better than the 5D classic, well... I'm having a hard time finding these "issues" with image quality. It's not perfect, certainly, but in the context of what it is, it is fantastic. The imaging response reminds me more of a mini-MF digital camera than it does of the other DSLRs I've used. The way the images are "handled" by the jpeg engines and most RAW converters is a bit different than Canon and Nikon files, so I have to wonder if that may play a role. If you treat the RAW files the same, the K20D definitely came out on top of my current 40D. I use the 40D now for the speed/responsiveness and the 85mm 1.8, though I found the Pentax UI far more intuitive and flexible.

Someday I'd love to have a K-7 and 77mm 1.8 limited, but that takes money I don't currently have.
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aaykay

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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2009, 10:40:16 pm »

For me personally, without a Full-frame anywhere on the horizon, Pentax was never a serious contender.  I did shoot Pentax Film in the good old days but with their APS-C-only strategy, Pentax digital was never something that I had any interest whatsoever in.   I do plan to add an APS-C or 4/3 camera, but it will have to be a micro-APS-C or micro-4/3 camera, where the smaller size of the sensor is taken advantage of by a proportionately tiny body, than tiny APS-C sensors floating in the center of a classic 35mm sized mount.  

I do hope Pentax survives, however, even though based on their presence on retail shelves (which is next to nothing), I am not too hopeful.
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dunmunro

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« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2009, 10:19:50 pm »

Quote
This became apparent to me in two ways. The first was as I was choosing which camera to take out on a shoot each day (I had four different new cameras to test in a one month period). After a full day of initial familiarization I rarely found myself reaching for the K7 by choice. Not because of any particular failing, but simply because there were features or capabilities of other cameras available that simply were more compelling and which I felt would help me take better images more effectively.

It is too bad that the reviewer didn't explain what other "features or capabilities" that the other cameras had over the K7 that were more compelling, but what he's really saying is that the K7 is inferior for a photog who can lug around 4 different cameras!!! This is a bit of an absurdist position (really, I mean take a deep breath and consider what the reviewer is really saying...  ) I bought a K10D because it was the most all round competent camera on the market at that time, and from what I can see the K7 now occupies that position. Yes, other cameras can do better than the K7 in specific areas, but most of us choose a camera on the basis of all round ability, and as a "Jack of all trades", the K7 is pretty much unbeatable.
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DarkPenguin

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« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 11:47:14 pm »

Quote from: dunmunro
It is too bad that the reviewer didn't explain what other "features or capabilities" that the other cameras had over the K7 that were more compelling, but what he's really saying is that the K7 is inferior for a photog who can lug around 4 different cameras!!! This is a bit of an absurdist position (really, I mean take a deep breath and consider what the reviewer is really saying...  ) I bought a K10D because it was the most all round competent camera on the market at that time, and from what I can see the K7 now occupies that position. Yes, other cameras can do better than the K7 in specific areas, but most of us choose a camera on the basis of all round ability, and as a "Jack of all trades", the K7 is pretty much unbeatable.

No, we don't.  All these cameras are just fine as a jack of all trades.  Any DSLR (other than Sigma) does a nice all around job.  We pick an individual camera because it does something for us that the others do not.
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dunmunro

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« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2009, 12:33:31 am »

Quote from: DarkPenguin
No, we don't.  All these cameras are just fine as a jack of all trades.  Any DSLR (other than Sigma) does a nice all around job.  We pick an individual camera because it does something for us that the others do not.


In that case why did the reviewer not state that he preferred one camera over all the others? Why did he state "other cameras"?

In any event your statement is simply wrong. Take the feature that you prefer most and place that feature, but even better implemented, in a camera that weighs 10 lbs...would this camera be more desirable to you than what you choose? The overall package is important, as is the ability of the camera to function well across a wide range of activities, unless, of course, you have access to many different cameras, as the reviewer does, and can pick and choose based upon their respective strengths, but again this just isn't a viable option for most of us.
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DarkPenguin

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« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 01:54:40 am »

Whatever.
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