DPR review of K-7

John Francis johnf at panix.com
Sat Oct 3 14:07:18 EDT 2009

On Sat, Oct 03, 2009 at 12:16:59PM -0500, Tom C wrote:
> Here's my chagrined viewpoint on the K-7, with my own rationale
> applied, and I reserve the right to change my mind:
[ . . .]
> 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 must admit I've wondered about this, too.  I don't have a K20D,
but I have noticed more complaints about K20D exposure issues than
I remember seeing for the K10D.  On one PDML meetup an the San Jose
Rose Gardens Larry complained a lot about his K20D having exposure
problems, while my K10D seemed to be getting it pretty much right.
I'm not sure whether it's a problem with the CMOS sensor technology
(most of the complaints seem to have been about images with a lot of
red in the frame), with Larry having a bad K20D, or just that he's
pickier than I am.

> 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 think that will be a long, long wait; I don't see anything much
better than the K-7 showing up in the next couple of years or more.
But that depends on how you define "better", of course - I regard
the high frame rate as a must-have item.

> The K10/20/7 all have the same nominal sensor resolution . . .

         K10D: 10MP       K20D & K7D:  14.6MP

>   . . . AF systems still regarded as slow . . .

All reports seem to confirm my (brief) impression that the AF is
much improved over the previous models.  It isn't a Nikon D700,
but it's definitely a step up.

> 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.

If pixels are really what you want, K-7 probably isn't for you.
Personally I find even the 10MP of the K10D to be more than
enough; there isn't anything I do that would need 20MP.
Fortunately the emphasis now seems to have shifted away from
the megapixel race; people are beginnig to realise that there
is a cost in image quality to be paid for cramming too many
pixels into the same amount of silicon.  If you want a lot of
pixels, go for a bigger sensor - possibly even the 645D.

> 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
> well.

My *ist-D still comes out occasionally; either as backup for
the K10D, or (with the 18-55 kit lens) when I want something
smaller and lighter than the K10D as a walk-around camera.
But a K-7D would remove both of those reasons; the only time
I would see myself using the *ist-D then would be if I wanted
two cameras with flash; I've only got one AF-540, but the old 
AF-500 from my pre-digital days works nicely on the *ist-D.

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