DPR review of K-7

Tom C cakaltm at gmail.com
Sat Oct 3 13:16:59 EDT 2009

I basically agree.  I thought because of the sensor, CMOS vs. CCD,
that the K20D/K10D difference was considered quite large.

Here's my chagrined viewpoint on the K-7, with my own rationale
applied, and I reserve the right to change my mind:

1. First I have really been close to purchasing a Canon EOS 5D MK II
and still am, so there is an issue of  'do I want to spend a
significant amount of money on the K-7'?
2. I've been very unhappy with the K20D, mainly in the area of
exposure accuracy. A very high number of images require adjustment and
it's unpredictable at times. I thought Pentax 'got it right ' before,
at least that's what all the cheering for their two prior top-end
cameras would lead one to believe. So I'm left wondering... have they
really got it right this time?
3. The review on dpreview states the K-7 has "More RAW noise than
predecessor (but in line with competition)".  That sounds like a
potential 1/4 step backwards in image quality from the K20D. It also
reveals "In numerical terms the K-7 teams up with its predecessor in
being the noisiest camera in this group of four cameras".
4. The review on dpreview states the K-7 has "Less dynamic range than
direct competitors" and "At it default settings the K-7 produces
slightly less dynamic range than its predecessor".  Again that sounds
like a potential step backwards in image quality.
5. The review states "Therefore, purely from an image quality point of
view, there is no pressing need for K20D users to upgrade".

All of that being said, I realize that these reviews are often
splitting hairs on the numbers, and the testing really only covers
performance in one set of conditions, and graphs don't always tell the
true story.

There is much to like about the K-7.  Some of the features that
especially appeal to me are the magnesium body being smaller/lighter,
100% viewfinder, the in camera composition adjustment feature, the
level indicator and level adjust features, and the CTE white-balance
setting (to keep sunsets looking like sunsets), and maybe a 77-segment
meter will help with exposure accuracy.

So I'm undecided at this point, and I have not held the camera in my
hand, nor had first-hand experience using it.

When I look at what the money is buying, I'm unsure that I'll see a
difference in image quality.  Of course, the #1 determinant of that is
the human behind the viewfinder, but considering that to be equal,
will there be a difference? The Canon has a 6.5 MP advantage which I
believe will make a noticeable difference.

As one other poster noted, and I'll paraphrase, 'maybe waiting for the
K-7 successor is a viable option for K10/20D owners'.   I sort of feel
we're on the disposable camera bandwagon here.  The K10/20/7 all have
the same nominal sensor resolution, and similar noise issues, similar
AF systems still regarded as slow, and by all accounts regardless of
desirable features, little if any inherent difference in image quality
(can't speak for K10D).  My K20D is not even two years old.  Having
paid $1100 for it, I now would feel lucky if I could get $500
reselling it. If I buy a K-7 and a year from now Pentax decides to
release a 20+ MP body, I'd guess I would be in the same boat... having
just spent upwards of $1000 on what is a disposable camera due to the
fact that it will be considered obsolete by today's standards.  Of
course the same can be said regardless of manufacturer.

I've got an *istD and another derivative of it sitting on the shelf
collecting dust, and I see the K20D soon becoming a paper-weight as


On Sat, Oct 3, 2009 at 9:29 AM, AlunFoto <alunfoto at gmail.com> wrote:
> 2009/10/3 paul stenquist <pnstenquist at comcast.net>:
>> I had a K20D and a K10D. The K20D was my every day camera, and the K10D was
>> a backup. When the K7 was introduced I bought one and sold the K10. Believe
>> me, the K7D is a big step up from the K20. Exposure is much better, the
>> faster write speed is a blessing, and the autofocus is superior in every
>> situation I've encountered. I find it difficult to use the K20 these days,
>> although it's fine for when I have to shoot with two cameras.
> Now it's time for my "me too". However I have sold my K20D and picked
> up a second K-7 the day before yesterday. The AF speed is my killer
> feature.
> When the K20D I was a bit surprised by how all the forums blabbed
> about it being a "minor upgrade" from K10D, despite the facts. They
> are two very, very different beasts. The K10D was probably as good as
> any APS-C CCD sensor could get, and Pentax used a 22 bit A/D converter
> to make sure they got the best signal achievable out of it. From there
> to K20D's CMOS is nothing short of a new paradigma. The K-7 also
> introduce a new tech platform since they've changed the operating
> voltage, but the technological difference between K20D and K-7 is much
> less of a revolution than the previous leap. Yet it receives so much
> more attention. :-)
> Jostein
> --
> http://www.alunfoto.no/galleri/
> http://alunfoto.blogspot.com
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