[Mini-Review] My New Pentax K-7


mdc

Link Posted 08/10/2011 - 03:52
So my first semi-pro body arrived a few days ago, courtesy of MarkTheSpark, along with the kit 18-55 WR lens. Price for all of this was 410, including shipping by RMSD, which I thought was a pretty fantastic deal.

When the camera arrived, I was pretty amazed to find it basically in mint condition; I've had an Alpha A350 and a K100D second hand, and this was by far the cleanest of the lot. Shutter count was low too, less than 3,000 actuations which is very impressive given the price.

I took it out for quick spin today, and I've gotta say it's by far the best designed SLR I've seen. Compared to the Alpha the controls are far more efficient, and the menu system far more sensible (no scrolling up and down through the menus; instead of scrolling, items are split across multiple pages in each section). The double scroll wheels take some getting use to at first, but all higher-end DSLRs seem to have them these days.

The best feature for me, as an HDR photographer, is the one-press AEB. On the K100D, and on every other DSLR I've used for that matter, AEB requires either firing the shutter separately for each frame, or using continuous shooting and holding it down while the sequence fires. For me, it's actually more difficult to hold the camera steady with the shutter depressed, so to be able to press and release, then have the body fire the sequence itself is a godsend. Also, it offers 5-shot bracketing compared with the K100D's 3-shot, which means AEB will give you an 8-stop bracketing rather than the K100D's 4 stops, and the Alpha A350's 4/3rd stop. I'll be doing an HDR shoot tomorrow so I'll post some shots up here for you guys

The kit lens seems reasonably good; even though I usually shoot with KM and M42 primes, the fact that the 18-55 is weather sealed offers me an incentive to leave it on when the weather looks questionable, rather than just switching over to a cheaper prime as I've been doing previously. Performance seems better than the bargain-basement 50/1.8s and 28/2.8s I usually shoot with though, even wide-open.



Shot with 18-55mm WR in a moving car (she was driving).

All in all, it's a pretty fantastic combination, and one I see relegating my other DSLRs to the "rarely used" shelf along with two thirds of my film camera collection (you'd still be surprised at the amount of different bodies I shoot with every day). I'm now after a battery grip and a decent flash for it

On a final note, I just want to say thanks to MarkTheSpark once again, as without him agreeing to sell it to me for such an amazing price, I - as a poor student - would have had to settle for a K10D/K20D, which while still good cameras (the girl in the photo above just bought a K10D on my advice), just don't seem to be on the level of the K-7. I'd highly recommend buying from him, as he clearly takes fantastic care of his equipment and the level of communication and flexibility I had from him was excellent.

As a student, I'm often not around during the day because of lectures etc, but he was willing to post it out RMSD on the day before a day when I had no lectures in the morning, meaning it was guaranteed to arrive while I was home. You'd be lucky to get that sort of flexibility from an eBay seller

And if anyone else is in the market for a new body, I'd suggest taking a serious look at the K-7. The only reason I can think of NOT to get one is if you're getting a K-5 instead.

spinno

Link Posted 08/10/2011 - 15:28
mdc wrote:



Shot with 18-55mm WR in a moving car (she was driving).


hopefully not like that all the time....
David

snappychappy

Link Posted 08/10/2011 - 17:15
Good to hear of a positive experience when buying kit, hope you enjoy the new kit.
My piccies.

Pentaxophile

Link Posted 08/10/2011 - 18:02
Although the noise performance is pretty much eclipsed by the newer models, the K7 is an absolute bargain second hand. The small size of an entry level model, the advanced control of a 'pro' body, and (almost) the handsome proportions and metal build of a classic film SLR.
[link=https://500px.com/will_brealey/[/link]

cabstar

Link Posted 08/10/2011 - 18:57
Don't let the noise performance on the new k-5 worry you, the noise reduction software in Lightroom puts my gx20 on par with the k-5...
PPG Wedding photography Flickr
Concert photography

Currently on a Pentax hiatus until an FF Pentax is released

mdc

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 10:45
Yeah I mostly shoot at ISO100 anyway tbh, so high-ISO performance isn't really an issue for me Btw, I still use your old K100D regularly

Anyway, here are the first 12 finished shots taken with the camera:



































arno

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 11:32
what processing did you do on those?

johnriley

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 11:55
I like the images for architecture, but all the time would get a bit samey I think. For portraits of people I don't think it's flattering, although for some styles even then it could be the right approach. Maybe for Goth images?
Best regards, John

mdc

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 12:04
Processed using Lightroom and Photomatix 4.1.2

Yeah I know what you mean about samey; basically this is a darker series for a project at uni (I'm doing BA Photography)... the girl in the first, non-HDR picture in this thread screwed me over a lot recently, so I'm expressing my depression and misery through the stylings of my HDR. Or at least, that's what I'm telling the tutors; they like hearing that sort of thing

Algernon

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 13:31
The effect is similar to what you get using a diffuser on
an enlarger. The shadows bleed into the highlights. It's
the opposite effect to what you get with a diffuser on the
camera.

It's OK for a couple of shots now and again but I wouldn't
do a whole bunch like that

It looks like a good building to photograph in the traditional
manner.
Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Algi

col55555ine

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 14:04
Great photo's, do you only shoot hdr images, could you possibly put a before and after photo showing the real benefit on hdr.
k-5 IIs, Pentax 60-250, 17-70, 100macro WR, 50mm F2,
AF50 F1.4, Siggy 10-20, Siggy 100-300 F4, ..Pentax Af 160 ring flash

mdc

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 14:08
Just uploading some of the original shots for comparison sake

mdc

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 14:10






col55555ine

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 14:16
thank you, for me hdr sometimes looks like cartoon images, thats just me i think, great work, good luck on your course...
k-5 IIs, Pentax 60-250, 17-70, 100macro WR, 50mm F2,
AF50 F1.4, Siggy 10-20, Siggy 100-300 F4, ..Pentax Af 160 ring flash

Transit

Link Posted 09/10/2011 - 23:09
I don't think much of hdr but I really like these
Those internal shots are quite powerful to me, slightly disturbing even.

Pete
K-1 K-01 Q-7
some len

Close to the Edge
Down by the River
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