Pentax K7 DSLR

0Comments

Pentax have just announced their latest DSLR – the Pentax K7 a significant update to their previously released K20D.

Pentax K7 DSLR

The Pentax K7 is pitched at the middle range of DSLR owners – certainly not an entry level camera but not quite at the Pro level either this will suit enthusiasts.

The Pentax K7’s features include:

  • 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 3.0 inch LCD (920,000 dot)
  • 77 segment metering system
  • Shutter speed of up to 1/8000 second
  • updated shake reduction (it now reduces shake not only on a vertical and horizontal direction but rotating shake)
  • 30 frames per second movie mode (720p//1080i HD video)
  • 5.2 frames per second burst mode
  • updated dust removal system
  • in camera 3-shot HDR capturing
  • new magnesium-alloy chassis

The Pentax K7 DSLR will have a price of $1299 USD for body only configuration when it ships in July. You can also get it with an optional D-BG4 battery grip for an extra $229.95.

You can order the Pentax K7 at Amazon.

Get full details, specifications and news of the Pentax K7 DSLR in the official announcement from Pentax below.

Pentax K7 DSLR News Release

Pentax Introduces Advanced Pentax K-7 Digital SLR

New Camera Boasts Variety of Technological Firsts and Major Improvements Over Previous K Series Cameras

PENTAX Imaging Company announced today the launch of the PENTAX K-7 digital SLR camera. This latest PENTAX K series camera is designed for advanced photographers seeking high-end design and features without the cost of a professional DSLR system. The PENTAX K-7 features a rugged, yet compact new body design, a new 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor rebuilt from the ground up, and advanced features such as HD Movie Capture and new, unique-to-PENTAX camera controls. Compatible with every PENTAX lens ever made, the high-end K-7 features an abundance of long-anticipated new and improved features that are exclusive to the camera and combine to make it a tremendous photography tool.

“The K-7 will appeal to many current PENTAX SLR photographers who have been asking for more advanced features, but in a smaller, solid, comfortable-to-hold body,” said Ned Bunnell, president, PENTAX Imaging Company. “We also believe the combination of the K-7’s smaller, high quality construction coupled with the growing line-up of our Limited compact prime lenses will appeal to serious shooters who currently don’t own or previously hadn’t considered adding a PENTAX to their camera bag.”

The most significant features of the PENTAX K-7 that have never been offered before in any K series digital camera, and in some cases any camera, include:

  • A compact, magnesium alloy body that is one of the smallest in the advanced photo enthusiast category to reduce bulk and allow users to travel light while maintaining durability and build quality (seven percent smaller than the K20D and up to 25 percent smaller than other cameras in the same class).
  • A new 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor rebuilt from the ground up to minimize noise, adds four channel output for fast image capture, and the ability to capture HD quality movies. It is the ideal combination of resolution and file size, allowing very large (poster size and larger) prints and cropping flexibility.
  • A new 77-segment metering system quickly and accurately determines exposure for even the most complex and dynamic lighting situations.
  • HD Movie capture features adjustable quality and resolution settings, aperture control, as well as mechanical Shake Reduction, and an external microphone terminal for recording stereo sound.* The K-7 will capture video at the default standard of 1280×720 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio (equivalent to 720p), 1536×1024 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio, or 640×416 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio (equivalent to VGA quality), all shot at 30 frames per second.
  • An HDMI port with selectable output resolution (1080i, 720p, 480p, and auto) offers high resolution playback of images and video on modern high definition TV’s.
  • A Dedicated AF-assist lamp further improves autofocus response and accuracy in low light conditions.
  • An Electronic Level function ensures that images have truly level horizons to minimize post-capture editing.
  • An innovative in-camera Lens Correction function that electronically adjusts for Distortion and Lateral Chromatic Aberrations to maximize image quality with DA series lenses.
  • A dedicated Mirror Lock-up function eliminates image blur due to mirror movement during long exposures.
  • A High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture mode captures three images then combines them in camera to widen the exposure gamut to bring out detail in all exposure areas of images.
  • A composition adjustment feature in Live View allows minor shifts in the framing and composition of images using the Shake Reduction mechanism without having to physically move the camera. This feature is ideal for tripod use.
  • A programmable embedded copyright function preserves artistic integrity and image ownership during capture via a keypad that may record ownership in metatag data.

*Due to the compact size of the K-7 camera and the in-body Shake Reduction mechanism, a camera mounted microphone is a highly recommended accessory for optimal audio quality when capturing video.

A variety of K series camera features that are significantly improved in the PENTAX K-7 include:

  • A striking 3 inch LCD with 921,000 dot resolution is perfect for detailed image or movie capture and review using the Live View function.
  • A weather, dust and cold resistant (to 14° F or -10° C) body makes the K-7 the perfect camera for use in any environment, inside the studio or when travelling in any weather.
  • Fast 5.2 frame-per-second shooting with a new PRIME II Image processing engine, which features fast circuitry and 4 channel output that is ideal for sporting events or any fast action situation.
  • A top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec freezes even the fastest action in well lit settings.
  • Live View mode, now with contrast AF, Face Detection, and optional histogram, grid, and bright/dark area display, allows you to quickly compose your images without having your eye against the viewfinder.
  • A 100 percent field-of-view viewfinder (92X magnification) and bright focusing screen are ideal for accurate image composition and accurate focus.
  • The PENTAX 11-point autofocus system features improved focus algorithms over previous generation K series DSLR cameras, providing faster, more responsive AF.
  • The PENTAX-original Shake Reduction system now compensates for rotational sensor movement improving the sharpness of your images at the moment of capture.
  • The K-7’s Dust Reduction system, improved over previous K series cameras, features a piezo-ceramic vibration action to the sensor’s low-pass filter for dust-fee image capture.
  • A new high capacity battery features extended battery life, ideal for travel photography or video work.
  • Advanced image capture settings, digital filters, and aspect ratio provide outstanding flexibility and creativity while minimizing the need for computer image manipulation.
  • Custom Image modes with advanced parameter settings including new Key adjustment allow users to customize the processing mode to suit personal creative style.

Other K series innovations featured on the PENTAX K-7 include:

  • Multiple exposure settings, including Green, Program, Sv, Tv, Av, TAv, M, Bulb, X-sync, and USER modes, provide extensive creative control over the exposure for photographers of all experience levels.
  • Advanced white balance settings include highly customizable white balance fine tuning, color temperature adjustment, and post image capture manual white balance selection for perfect pictures in even the most difficult lighting.
  • Dynamic Range setting with adjustable shadow correction brings out hidden or lost details in both highlights and shadows for even the highest-contrast, dynamic lighting.
  • Dedicated PC socket for studio flash offers convenience for the studio photographer without adding hot shoe adapters.
  • Advanced capture options include multi-exposure and interval shooting for creative special effects and time-lapse photography.

Along with the body, PENTAX announced a D-BG4 battery grip for exclusive use with the PENTAX K-7. This battery grip may be used in combination with the camera’s rechargeable lithium-ion battery to double camera’s battery life. The D-BG4 also accepts 6 AA batteries in a alternate battery tray for added freedom when shooting in the field. With a vertical shutter-release button, e-dials, AE-lock and a new focus button, the grip features the same weather-resistance, dustproof and coldproof construction as the PENTAX K-7.

PENTAX also announced two weather-resistant lens models developed specifically for PENTAX digital SLRs. The smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR and the smc DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR kit lenses feature weather-resistant seals to handle damp, inclement conditions. Complementing K series camera bodies, both lenses blend versatility with affordability, giving the casual photographer a broader canvas without having to carry a multitude of lenses.

The PENTAX K-7 body only will ship in July 2009 for $1,299.95 USD. The PENTAX D-BG4 battery grip also will ship in July 2009 for $229.95. The newest weather-resistant lenses will be priced at $199.95 for the DA 18-55mm and $249.95 for the DA 50-200mm. These products also will ship in July 2009.

===================================

PENTAX K-7 Fact Sheet

A durable, functional body, smaller than any other in its class The K-7 is built exceptionally solid and durable with a chassis made of a highly rigid stainless-steel alloy and a housing made of a durable but lightweight magnesium-steel alloy. Construction includes 77 seals for weather, dust and cold-resistance for reliable operation even under harsh conditions and at temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). The camera also features a newly designed shutter unit providing a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second and the outstanding durability to withstand 100,000 shutter releases.

Despite all these features, the K-7 is one of the most compact and functional photo enthusiast level models in the market.

High-quality image reproduction

The K-7 incorporates a newly developed CMOS image sensor measuring 23.4mm by 15.6mm and featuring a high-speed, four-channel image data readout. With approximately 14.6 effective megapixels, this image sensor more accurately produces fine-detailed, gradation-rich images. With the adverse effects of digital noise significantly reduced, the sensitivity may be increased from ISO 100 up to the highest level of ISO 6400 (via a custom function).

High-performance, high-speed PRIME II imaging engine

The K-7 features the newly developed PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II, an upgrade of the original PRIME, as its imaging engine. This new imaging engine offers faster data-processing speed for higher quality images with richer gradation and more accurate color rendition. The system also offers high-speed movie data transmission.

High-quality movie recording at 1280 x 720 pixels; 30-frames-per-second

The K-7 adds a new movie recording function, extending the benefits of SLR photography to the world of movie shooting: For instance, reduce the depth of field to make the subject stand out, or use different lenses to create distinctive visual effects. Beautiful movie clips can recorded at different sizes — 640 x 416 pixels, 1536 x 1024 pixels, or 1280 x 720 pixels (16:9 high-definition TV proportions) — at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. The K-7 is also equipped with an HDMI terminal and an external microphone input terminal for high quality sound to match your videos.

Large, easy-to-view 3.0 inch wide-view LCD monitor with 921,000 dot resolution

The K-7 features a large 3.0 inch color LCD monitor with 921,000 dot resolution. The wide-view design allows the photographer to check the monitor image from approximately 170 degrees both vertically and horizontally, facilitating low and high-angle shooting using the Live View function.

High-speed continuous shooting at approx. 5.2 images per second

The high-speed continuous shooting mode captures as many as 40 images (in JPEG recording format) at a maximum speed of approximately 5.2 images per second, allowing photographers to follow the movement of an active subject or preserve a sequence of the subject’s expressions.

New 77-segment multi-pattern metering

Newly-developed for the K-7, a sophisticated 77-segment multi-pattern metering system greatly improves light-metering accuracy. By accurately analyzing various types of data (such as the image’s composition and format between upright and horizontal, and the subject’s distance and magnification) transmitted from the sensors in the camera body, this system greatly improves the accuracy of exposure control.

Live View image confirmation with Face Recognition AF and high-speed continuous shooting modes

The K-7 features the Live View function, which allows the user to view the image on the LCD monitor during shooting. This function is available not only in the Contrast AF mode, which optimizes the focus based on the subject’s contrast, but also in the Face Recognition AF mode, which automatically and accurately focuses on the subject’s face. A newly developed diaphragm-control mechanism allows the Live View function be used during Continuous Shooting mode with the mirror at lock-up position.

Optical viewfinder provides 100 percent field of view

The K-7 glass prism finder offers 100 percent field of view and an approximately 0.92X magnification to facilitate focusing and framing operations. A new Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screen improves focusing accuracy during manual-focus operation.

New 11-point wide-frame AF sensor

The K-7’s new SAFOX VIII Plus wide-frame autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). By adding the light source type to its data range, and driven by a greatly improved algorithm, PENTAX improved the AF system assuring reliable, responsive autofocus operation superior in speed and accuracy to the previous system. The K-7 also incorporates an AF-assist spotbeam projector in its built-in flash unit to improve autofocusing accuracy in the dark.

Next-generation Shake Reduction mechanism*

The K-7 features the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively compensates the adverse effect of camera shake by approximately 2.5 to 4 shutter stops, assuring sharp, blur-free images even under demanding shooting conditions. This innovative mechanism is compatible with all PENTAX interchangeable lenses ever produced. This new-generation version allows complete shift freedom, including rotationally, of the image-sensor regardless of the camera’s inclination. The mechanism also provides user-friendly new functions such as Automatic Level Adjustment and Minute Angle Adjustment (up/down, right/left and clockwise/counterclockwise) to help photographers compose images exactly to their specifications. * Lenses compatible with this mechanism are the PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mounted lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

New DR II mechanism to minimize dust spots

The K-7 is equipped with a newly developed Dust Removal (DR II) mechanism to more effectively remove dust and minimize spots on recorded images even after changing lenses in dust-prone outdoor settings. Using a piezo-ceramic vibration action, the system shifts or vibrates the low-pass filter located in front of the CMOS image sensor at supersonic speed to remove dust more efficiently. A unique dust-alert system also allows users to check for dust adhering to the low-pass filter prior to actual shooting.

Custom Image function to easily create desired visual effects

The K-7’s Custom Image function lets the user control the image’s finishing touch to capture their photographic intention, or reproduce the ambience of the scene. With the K-7, the user can select one of seven modes, including the new “Muted” mode designed to recreate an image with delicate, subdued colors. In addition to saturation, tone, contrast and sharpness, the function now makes it possible to adjust “key” and “contrast highlight/shadow” to the desired levels. The effects of these factors may be effortlessly confirmed on a preview image using the Digital Preview or Live View function before finalizing the settings.

Versatile exposure system for exceptional reproduction of creative intentions

  • Hyper Program function The K-7’s Hyper Program function allows users to instantly switch to the Shutter- or Aperture-Priority AE mode from the Programmed AE mode, with a simple turn of the electronic dials on the grip. To return to the Programmed AE mode, simply press the green button positioned next to the shutter release button.
  • Hyper Manual function When shooting in Manual mode, a single push of the green button allows the user to instantly set the proper exposure for the subject.
  • Sensitivity-Priority mode The K-7 features a unique Sensitivity-Priority (Sv) mode, which is designed to automatically select the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed for a user-selected sensitivity. The sensitivity can be shifted instantly in 1/2 or 1/3 steps by turning the electronic dial on the back panel.
  • Shutter/Aperture-Priority mode Taking full advantage of the unique capability of digital cameras permitting automatic shift of sensitivity at any time, the Shutter/Aperture-Priority (TAv) mode automatically selects the most appropriate sensitivity for a user-selected shutter-speed/aperture combination. This allows the user to experiment with a greater range of photographic expressions with great ease.

Powerful rechargeable battery The K-7 is powered by a large-capacity, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can capture approximately 980 images* when fully charged. *Under testing conditions prescribed by PENTAX, when using a rechargeable D-LI90 lithium-ion battery with no flash.

Additional features:

  • HDR (high dynamic range) function to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures
  • Dynamic-range expansion function to compensate for both white-washed (overexposed) and blacked-out (underexposed) areas
  • Digital level function for easy checking of the image’s levels
  • Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available only with DA- and DFA-series lenses)
  • White balance control, featuring a new CTE mode to emphasize the color components of sunset scenes and a new incandescent-tinted fluorescent light mode
  • Multi-exposure function, with a superimposition of already-recorded images on the LCD monitor for at-a-glance comparison
  • Attachment of copyright credits on recorded images
  • RAW button for single-action switching of image file format
  • 16 digital filters to add a range of visual effects; a new function to record an overwritten history also available
  • Color-specific control buttons/dials for easy recognition and quick access, based on the universal color design
  • PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, including a RAW-data processing application (based on the popular SILKYPIX RAW-data processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) and a browser application

Optional accessory Battery Grip D-BG4 Exclusively designed for the PENTAX K-7 camera body, the Battery Grip D-BG4 is powered by a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery or six AA-size batteries. Since it supplements the camera’s battery as an additional power source, the number of recordable images is greatly increased. To facilitate vertical-position shooting, this grip features extra shutter-release button, preview lever, electronic dials, AE-lock button, Green button and AF button. It also provides the same dustproof, weather- and cold-resistant construction as the camera body itself.

Read more from our Cameras & Equipment category

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Very nice. I have been looking to upgrade to the K20D, but I might have to rethink that now. This looks really nice.

  • Mmmm… Looks tasty. I hope that the new sensor dumbs down the noise a bit. At 1600 ISO my current Pentax is nigh unusable. (unless grainy is what I’m going for). I was thinking about moving over to the new Rebel T1i but if this is as good as they make it sound, then bugger Canon.

  • Mr Guy

    K-7! Not K7!

  • rod fermin

    hello…

    i just love the new design and latest features!!!

  • Iris

    I love my K200D and all my old manual lenses but this is upgrade I was looking for Thank U Pentax team for listining to your customers

  • Yair

    Good timing!
    I was just considering buying a new DSLR.
    I reckon it will be better than the other HD capable competition, ie: the Nikon D5000 and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i?
    How does that compare with the picture quality of the D200?

    Cheers!

    Yair

  • paul monaghan

    Im really really looking forward to this camera, but ill probibly have to wait a little before i pick it up. Its around the same size as a canon rebel but more like a d300 for features (and more advanced in some ways to).

    Would be a really nice upgrade over my gx10 altho id still keep that to as the ccd sensor is still nice 😀

  • Looks fancy and you can’t go wrong with Pentax (in my opinion) BUT it doesn’t look like it has improved on the K20D quite enough to warrant an upgrade.

    The video feature looks cool but seems like a gimmick to me

  • SeskaLien

    There are some full-res sample photos posted on the Japanese Pentax site, and they look great:

    http://www.pentax.jp/japan/imaging/digital/slr/k-7/ex.html

  • I’ve had the K10d for a year and a half now and it takes some great pics. The K-7 seems like a worthy upgrade if you were looking for something a bit better. Unfortunately, for me, the Pentax lineup just doesn’t have what it takes any more.

    I bought into the big P as a first DSLR after owning a K1000, like many others I’m sure. What I didn’t know is that I would need more than Pentax has to offer in the long run. They have some nice lenses, like the 50mm 1.4 which is wonderful, but the lack of a decent 70-200, limited 3rd party support (Pocket Wizzards, RayFlash) and no full frame leave me wanting for more. I was holding out hope with this imminent release but it’s not what I really wanted. Sure it gives a D300 a run for its money (on paper), but what happens in June when Nikon up the bar?

    Pentax is a great brand with a solid product but if you want to be ahead of the curve you’ll have to look elsewhere.

    As for me? Well, the K10d will always have a spot in my bag, but my next main body will surely be a Nikon.

  • Chris, your wishlist there has an odd contradiction. The Pentax DA? 50-135mm f/2.8 is by all accounts a stellar lens, and on the APS-C Pentax dSLRs, it has roughly the focal length range of the 70-200mm lens you want on a full-frame dSLR.

  • Biffrod

    Yeah, this certainly does look to be a pretty sweet camera. Just one question (and forgive my ignorance): why would it only appeal to a serious enthusiast, and not a pro?

    It seems to have most features of a pro model (keeping in mind some of the 3rd party support issues mentioned by Chris B.), and its new magnesium alloy body combined with the weather sealing seem to make it rugged enough… a wide variety of excellent lenses (I’m a big fan of those DA Limited primes)… X sync for external lighting… etc.

    To me, it sounds like at least a decent back-up set-up for certain pro applications, aside from the departure from one’s investment in a different manufacturer.

  • David

    Wondering if there’s a GPS-notation-record option per shot? Doing a lot of outdoor photography, and it’s a pain to keep track of location with pen and paper … anyone know?

  • Matt: You’re right, the 50-135 would be a good option and I haven’t ever tried it, nor any of the other DA* lenses. Maybe I should do that before I jump ship, but finding one to try is next to impossible here in Spain.

    biffrod: I suppose it depends on what uses you would have for it. I, for one, am done trying to trick my pentax into locking focus in low light. Talk about the quickest way to lose your subject’s interest. After trying a Canon 5D MK1 I felt like my K10d was something I’d won out of a Cracker Jack box. Instant lock. Again, maybe that’s something the DA* lenses handle better with their sonic motors.

    As for syncing… can’t Pentax just come out with a quicker shutter? Sometimes 180th or 250th does make a difference, plus, at 180th I can still see a dark line at the bottom of my frame. I have to shoot at 160th.

    I’d LOVE to keep a Pentax with the 50mm and a few DA limiteds, and I suppose there will be little niggles with any brand of camera, but when I see what June brings for Nikon, I may be on my way to a new main body.

  • Daryl

    Can someone tell me what this doesn’t have that would make it a “pro” camera? Does it need 21mps and a price tag over $5,000? Or does it have to have Canon or Nikon printed on the front?

  • I suppose it’s not that it can’t be considered a “pro” camera. It appears to have a superb build quality and great features. The K10d could be considered a pro body as well and is comparable to a Canon 30D or similar.

    Honestly, this would be a wonderful camera to have, but buying into Pentax has limited me to the APS-C size sensor and limited third party support. I love the idea of Pentax and their diehard supporters, but their recent releases are geared toward the advanced enthusiast (many of whom are at a professional level and make money).

    I can’t deny that the K-7 has some great features, but it seems more like an upgrade from the K20d. Will they now bring out a K20d? Where are you going with this Pentax?

  • Mike Johnston had some excellent comments on “pro” recently:

    […] but contrary to common belief, amateur status is just as often a determinant of quality as a lack of it. A pro gets very good at working fast, but efficiency is closely tied to the bottom line, so excessive time and care simply can’t be lavished on any one print. Amateurs run the risk of working so little and so infrequently that they never get their skills in decent shape, but they also have the luxury of being able to put a lot of time and careful judgement into each print. Pros make good prints, but the very best prints (as well as the worst, I would imagine) tend to be produced by artists and amatuers.

    I think you definitely should check out the 50-135mm before jumping ship. As technology improves, the gap between APS-C and 35mm will shrink. It’s already at the point where if you can’t make excellent large prints from APS-C, it’s probably not the camera’s fault. Of course, the larger format will always be slightly better quality at a higher price. But it’s unlikely we’ll ever have full-featured full-frame digital cameras in a package the size of the K-7. It’s the same reason 35mm became more popular than medium-format.

    And that’s where Pentax is going. There’s not going to be a “K30D”, or a 35mm-frame dSLR in the near future. They’re going to make top-notch, unique APS-C cameras like the K-7 with the lenses to match (something other camera makers aren’t doing). And if you need larger format, there will be the 645D.

  • Blaine Kaiser

    I currently have a K20D with 50-135 and 17-70. there are a few things with the K20D that made my deceision to go with Pentax and little more difficult (low frames per second and noise problems). With the K-7 it seams they read my mind. So if the the field tests verify Pentax’s claims I will be adding the K7 and moving the K20D to a back up.

  • When the hell are “reviewers” going to explain the exact HD video capabilities of an SLR correctly:

    The minimum info concerning HD capability is

    1) Resolution…eg full HD 1920x 1080
    2) Frame rate…Progressive, and or Interlaced
    3) Data bit rate…38 Mbps…or 16 Mbps (big bloody difference!)
    4) Codec used…AVCHD, Mpeg2, Mov…

    To simply say it shoots HD is meaningless (yeh, like hey I bought a car with a stearing wheel…)

  • Blaine Kaiser

    Most of the info in in the Camera specs.

    1 Resolution: 1280x720p30, 1536x1024p30, 640x416p30
    2 Frame Rate: P stands for progressive and 30 fps
    3 Data bit rate: not sure
    4 Codec used: AVI

  • gbhildebrand

    Sounds like a great camera, but I did not see why it would not qualify as a professional camera. What was missing?

  • Armando

    Everyone always wants the top resolution when it comes to video (1080p). What they don’t realize is that it is not even a broadcast standard. There are six (6) HD standards to choose from in the broadcast world, but most of the TV channels have made the choice to either shoot in 1080i or 720p because it is easy to up convert or down convert between the two among other things. They both look good, but then it gets destroyed by your cable provider when it gets compressed and multiplexed for broadcast. Very few consumers have seen true HD (uncompressed), Bluray is what most of you have seen, at 720p or 1080p compressed. Yes, Bluray uses compression and when put up against a Panasonic D5 deck or a Sony HDCAM deck the Bluray player looks horrible at all flavors. To make a long story short, 720P HD looks great in all of these cameras as long as they are recording at a high frame rate if you want to capture fast moving objects. The addition of stereo sound is a plus in a photo camera, but not necessary. Tons of stuff is recorder in mono and then given a fake stereo image in post production, it is done everyday! At the end of the day I just want to see the high ISO performance of the Pentax K7 before I decide to buy a Nikon D90. That is all I care about, cause at the end “garbage in is garbage out” when we shoot with a camera. It is not everyday that it rains or is 10 degrees below zero, I don’t go to the dessert every weekend to take a picture. It does get dark at night though and I want to shoot good looking high ISO pictures without having to pay 5 grand for it.

  • Armando

    A professional camera would have features that would simplify shooting in bad, hectic, conditions. It should have a strong camera body with good ergonomics, fast focusing in almost all lighting conditions, together with a solid high performance image capture sensor.

    Todays professional cameras have a built in vertical grip, full size image sensor with high/low ISO capabilities, good menu structure, dual memory card read/write in jpeg or raw, extra long battery life, the shutter life should go beyond the 150,000 shots, wireless capabilities, strong weather protection, 12bit or 14 bit picture processing, large buffer, 5fps or higher, fast flash sync…etc.

    In reality, the camera just needed to cost twice as much with a full frame sensor and it would have been considered a pro camera. The Pentax K7 looks to be one hell of a camera for the price.

  • 35 yr Pentax user

    Reading all your comments above I came across some of the same type of frustrations as Chris Biele above. I have shot Pentax equipment now for 35yrs. My Wifes whole family was the same way. Big fans. This new body – K7 – sounds great but so did the K10D & K20D! Went from film and K1000 to the K100 Digital once I found out you could use you old lenses on the new Pentax digital cameras. My focus is to Shoot sports action, but the K100 could not hold up. Upgraded to the K10D and found an improvement in the capabilities of catching action. But the shots still are a little blury and with anyother fine feature wanting to be frozen and clear. So at that point I felt I was missing out by using a budget low cost lens. Purchased the DA 16 to 50 and the DA 50 to 135. The best Pentax makes! The 50 to 135 shoots worse than the cheep lense I had before. Heart broken/frustrated. Now after all this investment – then reading about the K7 – I am very hesitent to jump into Pentax once again but am looking. I am willing to spend the $$ on really good equipment! I am even looking into going to the dark side looking at the ESO 5 DII from Canon. I just want to be able to capture motion – freeze it – and be proud of what I caputred in the moment. I want to be proud of what I give to the parents as something they will want to keep for a long time. Will the K7 solve my problem or should I move to the dark side!?? Definately will check it out in my shoping around. Any suggestions out there?

  • Blaine Kaiser

    Canon is knowen as a sports line and the 5 DII does take amazing pictures and is should as it cost double of the K-7. With the K-7 having a faster frame rate and faster focusing it might be a contender. My suggestion to you considering the $$ you have invested in Pentax lenses, I would wait for reviews and user comments after the K-7 is released to see if it will fill your needs. If not then off to the dark side you go

  • @ 35 year Pentax User:

    Here’s something to consider if you want fast focusing. According to Zack Arias the Canon is slower to focus than any Nikon he has ever had… Hmm. Although, he also says the 5z Marc Too has great color. Personally, I’m waiting till the end of the month for Nikons announcement of the D300s (hopefully).

    From Zack Arias – http://www.zarias.com/?p=320

    “Things I don’t like about the 5d vs. the D3 ::
    • The AF system sucks in low light situations. Every Nikon I have ever owned from the D100 to the D3 can lock focus faster and more accurately than the 5d does in low light levels.”

  • Miguel Nunes

    I agree with Daryl it has to have Canon or Nikon printed on the front to be considered a pro DSLR or even to to be an real option for most of the reviews. Sure there are some aspects that could be improved, but a Pentax is something else!

  • 35yr Pentax user

    Blaine Kaiser – Chris Biele – Miguel Nunes, Gentlemen thanks for your replies. Where were you before I took the leap. Because of my loyalty I probably would not have listened anyway. But your information these last few days has been very insightful and lead me to look down a different path and to help me trouble shoot my issues.

    Today shooting at the base of the foothills next to the rocky mountains I was shooting my son playing in a 3v3 soccer tournament. Got some great motion shots today. Tremendous facial expressions, Hair flying all over, bodies air born, making dramatic turns/moves – – – Unfortunately they were all blury. Tried going totally manual today. Like the old days. Man I thought I was doing good until I down loaded the photos. Once again heart broken. Eyes too old even with a monopod. Proved again that I need a good AF system. Think this was the straw that broke the camels back!

    Keep the comments coming! Closer to the Dark side – hey maybe its not so dark after all.

  • I suppose it really comes down to what you need your camera for. You can go onto the Pentax DSLR forum in DPReview and watch as people constantly upload amazing photos and prove the quality of their gear. The weather sealing is great, they have loads of pro features and my K10d has been nothing if not consistent over the last year and 1/2. I can only imagine the noise reduction has gotten better with the K7 as well.

    However, when shooting moving objects I have been less than happy with the focusing. I can easily focus on a point if I know in advance, like here…

    …but kids / brides / athletes are all unpredictable and THAT’s where we need our AF.C to shine.

    At the end of the day, Pentax is a great brand with wonderful cameras. Any of their recent DSLRs are more than enough for the advanced amateur and can even meet the needs of many pros. But if you want to advance in your field, you may find yourself switching brands before you know it.

  • Re: Focus speed. Ever since Canon introduced the EOS system it’s been the primary choice of sports professionals – Canon’s AF in daylight is excellent, and it’s the only thing I envy my Canon shooting friends. If shooting sports is your primary concern, and you can’t do it the ‘old fashioned way’ (prefocus on the field and snap as they come into line) you should probably pick up a Canon.

    However, My DA* lenses are as sharp and contrasty, if not more so, than any Canon L lens, and cost MUCH less because Pentax doesn’t have to build the image stabilization into the lens. They lock well in low light, although the Nikon is still better there.

    Re: The low light “problems” with the K10D, K20D, etc, are largely due to one very important design decision. Pentax ships their cameras with noise reduction turned off by default. The “low noise” images you see from Nikon and Canon are the result of software, not any inherent property of their sensor or lens or users. Try turning on and up your noise reduction on your Pentax bodies. Or, better yet, take the hundreds of dollars you saved buying the excellent Pentax gear and buy a computer app or plugin that does a better job at noise reduction and detail retention than any of the in-camera NR algorithms. It’s true that lower pixel density produces lower noise levels, (actually, that larger pixels produce lower noise, which is not quite the same thing), and a 12MP full frame sensor will produce better result than an APS-C sensor at 12mp. But, say, a full frame 22mp sensor has about the same pixel density, and about the same noise profile because of it.

    I defy anyone to list a current DSLR from any manufacturer that can’t do professional duty. Scott Bourne mentioned a very salient fact on This Week In Photography – he’s sold, commercially, many images from DSLRs that were 3 MP and generations behind what we have today… I think that it’s fairly obvious that 100% of cameras are better than 99% of photographers, no matter how you cut it. You give a great photographer the crappiest point and shoot, and that photographer will produce better images than you thought the camera was capable of.

  • 35yr Pentax user

    Once again Gentlemen great comments. Will take all into consideration. Steve, did as you suggested and will see what come up next. Also I totally agree. A great photographer can take/make any equipment work very well. I will never state that I am a great photographer – that is why I need the best technology to help me. When I was younger I probably was much more physical stable and I know my eyes were much better. But there is something inside me that drives me to continue to look into this! I want to create something that others may some day appreciate. What ever that may be.

    Will keep driving and trying. Keep the comments coming and if you don’t mind I wil keep droping questions along my travels.

  • I’ve been looking hard for quite some time trying to determine the right camera for me. It has been a back and forth struggle, often flipping between the T1i, 50D, D5000, D90 and D300 with different lens configurations.

    I have a 40D that I use at work, but don’t own a DSLR myself – thus I have no legacy lenses to bring to the decision making equation.

    As much as the 50D would be the logical purchase with my experience, my main issue is I think I’d like to have video (which currently limits me to the T1i, D90 and D5000 in that price range.) Sure, I read all the time that “real” photographers don’t need that gimick and if you want video, get a camcorder (I have one.) However, I personally think it is something that I would use, often. Why carry two tools when you can carry just one?

    Then I came upon the news of the K-7 and it looks very tempting for my needs. I enbrace the idea of weather sealing and temperature tolerance as I live in a cold environ and would love to be able to walk outside on a snowy 15 degree day and not have to worry about the camera. I also like the in body stabilization as noted above because of the cheaper lens prices which means I could get a much bigger kit, faster. Still, the 60D and 300s are creeping on the horizon (August?) and although they might be a few dollars more – they won’t be that much more – and when that time comes it is going to make this a hard decision.

    Reading the thoughts of Pentax users is making me think I should probably just stick with Canon and Nikon, as much as I think the K-7 might be “the one.”

    I am happy there are so many choices out there, but sometimes it can get just a bit overwhelming.

  • tuco

    Funny. A “Pro” camera has to be overloaded with features to be called “Pro” or cost you all the labor of your first born. What has this new generation come to. All hung up on features and gadgets. A pro can take a breath-taking photo with a K1000. They don’t need fancy features.

    Ironically, not long ago, a “Pro” would shoot a medium or large format camera. And they had fewer “features” than a fancy small format camera. Why does “features” define what a pro camera is these day.

    You kids. Now get off my lawn… lol.

  • 35yr Pentax user

    Still shoping around. Hearing that the 60D and 300s are creeping on the horizon (August?), makes this all even more interesting.

    I agree with “tuco” the K1000 shot terrifficly. I have some fantastic Wildlife and Sports shots – unfortunately I kept grinding down the gears on the film advance lever trying to catch action shots. Silly I know, but that camera did real well.

    What is frustraiting is the delay with the K-7 coming out. Was it not due out in May – then June – now July. I know it sounds like I am whyning, but sure would love to get my hands on it to personally check it out. Know that there has been a lot of articles written about how great it is.

    Hang in aLL – sounds like by the end of the year Pentax, Nikon, Canon will all have new midrange DSLR’s out to check out! The candy will be spread on the table.

  • 35yr Pentax user

    Leaning towards the K7. What other manufacturer of Zoom lenses for sports could possibly work on the new K7. Sigma, Tamron?? Anyone with experience with lenses other than Pentax on Pentax?

  • 35yr Pentax User:

    I have several Sigma zooms that I use with my K20D. Tamron makes excellent optics, but I’ve read a lot of people claiming focus issues – with the previous generation of cams, not the K-7. I’ve got the 10-20 Sigma, the 18-50 Sigma (which I gave to my wife because I bought the 16-50 DA*) and the Bigma (50-500mm). All are very decent lenses. None of them even approach the image quality of, say, the DA* 50-135mm f2.8 (which is an incredible, amazing lens), but they are all more than adequate. That said, you’ll probably want to stay with HSM lenses (like the Sigma 150-500 or the 70-200 HSM) for sports.

    It’s worth noting that *no* current DLSR can match the performance requirements of shooting erratic sports – like a juking running back – and keep all frames in focus. Estimates suggest that such a lens would require an AF lock-time on the order of 30-40 ms, when the very best available are 150+ ms. But you can improve your sports “in focus” shots if you shoot laterally – at people running by – rather than downfield (at people running towards you). This is something I learned way back in the day shooting manual focus, but it still works today, and I watch many pro photographers – even the ones with the high end Canon and Nikon equipment – still take up the same positions I would have with a MF camera. Also, remember where the action happens – if you’re shooting baseball, not too many people care about the bit in the middle of the first base line; they care about the swing and the slide, right? You focus on home, hammer out five or six shots across the swing, then quickly refocus on 1st base and throw down five or six more… 😀 Lots of the greatest shots ever taken were done exactly that way.

  • 35yr Pentax User

    Steve, Appreciate the reply. Got the opportunity to talk with someone who directly works with Pentax and shoots the K10D, Just purchased the K20D, but has had the opportunity to shoot the K7. Being an employee I would guess he gets the chance to check things early before or just at release. He mentioned that there have been some advances with the stabilization in the camera and the AF function. But he believes that knowing how to handle the basics is what is needed to get the best shots. Just like you mentioned just now and on June 22nd. With my preception that my eyes are not as good as they use to be, I was wanting to depend upon AF. To your point with all the latest and greatest improvements to get the AF to make all the adustments in the time frame you mentioned with todays technology sounds like a current impossibility. Pick your spot. Focus and face the facts that you will not be coming home with 400 shots per game if I am wanting a higher percentage of infocus non-blurry photos.

    Your comments about Sigma is well taken. Tamron use to be a great company years back from personal experience and my old K1000. But both have thier issues with AF as well expecially trying to use them in the manner you described above. Sounds like the Tamron I was looking @ (70 – 200 f2.8) is very heavy.

    Knowing the game as I do I feel that I pick as good of a position as possible for what I am trying to shoot. I try to get all the guys in the shots so I am moving all around the field working the light and shodows the best possible.

    More to come on my K7 adventure. I have learned more from these groups of comunication than I ever learned from camera stores or the On-line Pentax help line.

    Thanks

  • 35yr Pentax User

    Bought it! Own it & like it. Focus is still part of my issue, but beleive this is an improvement from the K10D. Next purchase will be a larger quality zoom lens for sports and will follow up later. Right now happy!

  • I am very impressed with Pentax K7
    and the quality of the images it is giving me. I purchased this camera with the DA* 18-50 and the AF360 Flash. It is very intuitive and easy to learn. Response time is very good. Low light is also very impressive with the DA star lens. I intend to use this camera for family pictures, children sports, travel.
    All in All, I could not be happier with this product.

  • 35yr Pentax User

    Emille – I already had 2 of the DA lenses. the 16-50 and the 50-135. Also have a cheep 70-300 and will be shooting a High School game Thursday night and will see how things work out then. Next step is to purchase a better bigger lens? Wish Pentax made a 100-300 f2.8 – would purchase in a heart beat!

  • joe

    There is a serious limitation with K-7 that makes bulb exposures extremely difficult and tedious. It involves mandatory noise reduction which doubles every exposure.

    Why is this a problem?

    This affects nearly all my night time photography. I enjoy taking photos of star trails. For example, a 10 minute exposure will take a total of 20 minutes to complete.
    I wanted to capture night lightning, generally I will leave the shutter opened for a minute or more. It was so frustrating because I missed so many potentially great shots because the Pentax K-7 was busy doing its noise reduction! Why can’t I turn noise reduction off?
    I shutting raw.

    I talked to my Nikon and Canon friends and they are amazed. One spent 20 minutes flipping through menus, convinced that there must be a way to turn of NR. Finally, the complaints found on the pentaxforums confirmed this is a known problem.

    Previously I own a Pentax K10D wich work perfectly, I can turn off noise reduction.
    This problem exists with the K20D and there are no signs that Pentax cares to offer a solution.

  • Dave

    35yr pentax user

    I am looking forward for your updates. I need to photograph my kids soccer, field hocky and lacrosse games and I intend to purchase the same setup you have:

    Pentax K7
    Pentax DA 16-50 f2.8
    Pentax DA 5-135 f2.8

    What is the brand on the 300mm lens?

  • Andris Lemes

    For 35yr Pentax User…

    I`m complete amateur who uses Samsung GX10 = Pentax K10, plus i had trauma at child hod witch left my right hand second finger with no sense due nerve damage. So to capture photo i have to look first to button i`m pressing…. So frustrated till i accidentally found technique how to shoot without even to use stabilizer in camera.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/andris_lemes/4119834125/
    use advantage of your tripod – put your hand true unfolded short legs two under one over, put your camera strap twisted to your shoulder, then extend top bar until you get full stretch from shoulder to your conformable camera hold.
    Tripod will give you counter balance for camera weight and steadies your hand there is no better hand held technique.I was able to get shot with 1/30 ISO 100 same as with stabilizer on 1/125 ISO 400.

  • Hugo

    Extreme newbie here. Im coming from a Canon point and shoot and decided to take a pretty big DIVE into to the DSLR world. Anyhow, These are some interesting posts and of course there will be various opinions. Just recently purchased a Pentax K-7, which should be arriving in the mail tommorrow. Cant Wait! I did a lot of research before choosing the K-7. Some influence think was also a personal preference. (Seems like everyone and there mother has Canon and Nikon) and theres a lot more out there than that. I have to say that from what I compared it to, it has exceptional feature that are right up there with the higher end SLR’s like the Nikon D700 & Canon 5D for example. I agree with Daryl and some others, a good camera doesnt have to cost 5k. Another thing that some people dont put in mind is that, Canon and Nikon are masters at advertising and marketing their products, which is great! But what that does is raise their product prices really higher than they should be. Pentax for that matter doesnt advertise and market to that extreme, hence their product pricing will be an exceptional value! Those are just my 2 cents. Will give update after I have played around with the new k-7!

  • European Union in, buddy lists or?A regular job, strangers voice [Jn.It So you, through such precautions.The person whos plymouth lose weight, – a year provide additional services.Unreachable Think of, Repeat steps.,

  • Liam f

    Hugo,
    What was your experience with the K-7?
    I’m a DSLR newbie also and am about to make the leap with the K-7

  • marc

    Well i have been reading the comments and would like to say that there is no bad cameras you just need to learn how to use what you got they had no cranes in the past but they build the great piramids anyway all i got is a canon eos 10 d and my pictures are just as good as anyother i have been using it since the early 2000 and i have taken over 300 thousand pictures with it and i just keep getting better and better you need to use what you got and make it work my lenses are 28 to 90 and 50 to 150 mm and my shots are good so be happy and save your money and invest time into your hobby and not money develop your senses and skills and you will get the perfect shots time and time again thx

Some Older Comments

  • marc October 25, 2010 12:08 pm

    Well i have been reading the comments and would like to say that there is no bad cameras you just need to learn how to use what you got they had no cranes in the past but they build the great piramids anyway all i got is a canon eos 10 d and my pictures are just as good as anyother i have been using it since the early 2000 and i have taken over 300 thousand pictures with it and i just keep getting better and better you need to use what you got and make it work my lenses are 28 to 90 and 50 to 150 mm and my shots are good so be happy and save your money and invest time into your hobby and not money develop your senses and skills and you will get the perfect shots time and time again thx

  • Liam f September 1, 2010 01:33 am

    Hugo,
    What was your experience with the K-7?
    I'm a DSLR newbie also and am about to make the leap with the K-7

  • plymouth lose weight August 13, 2010 08:10 pm

    European Union in, buddy lists or?A regular job, strangers voice [Jn.It So you, through such precautions.The person whos plymouth lose weight, - a year provide additional services.Unreachable Think of, Repeat steps.,

  • Hugo August 13, 2010 06:10 am

    Extreme newbie here. Im coming from a Canon point and shoot and decided to take a pretty big DIVE into to the DSLR world. Anyhow, These are some interesting posts and of course there will be various opinions. Just recently purchased a Pentax K-7, which should be arriving in the mail tommorrow. Cant Wait! I did a lot of research before choosing the K-7. Some influence think was also a personal preference. (Seems like everyone and there mother has Canon and Nikon) and theres a lot more out there than that. I have to say that from what I compared it to, it has exceptional feature that are right up there with the higher end SLR's like the Nikon D700 & Canon 5D for example. I agree with Daryl and some others, a good camera doesnt have to cost 5k. Another thing that some people dont put in mind is that, Canon and Nikon are masters at advertising and marketing their products, which is great! But what that does is raise their product prices really higher than they should be. Pentax for that matter doesnt advertise and market to that extreme, hence their product pricing will be an exceptional value! Those are just my 2 cents. Will give update after I have played around with the new k-7!

  • Andris Lemes November 21, 2009 06:02 am

    For 35yr Pentax User...

    I`m complete amateur who uses Samsung GX10 = Pentax K10, plus i had trauma at child hod witch left my right hand second finger with no sense due nerve damage. So to capture photo i have to look first to button i`m pressing.... So frustrated till i accidentally found technique how to shoot without even to use stabilizer in camera.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/andris_lemes/4119834125/
    use advantage of your tripod - put your hand true unfolded short legs two under one over, put your camera strap twisted to your shoulder, then extend top bar until you get full stretch from shoulder to your conformable camera hold.
    Tripod will give you counter balance for camera weight and steadies your hand there is no better hand held technique.I was able to get shot with 1/30 ISO 100 same as with stabilizer on 1/125 ISO 400.

  • Dave October 8, 2009 01:29 am

    35yr pentax user

    I am looking forward for your updates. I need to photograph my kids soccer, field hocky and lacrosse games and I intend to purchase the same setup you have:

    Pentax K7
    Pentax DA 16-50 f2.8
    Pentax DA 5-135 f2.8

    What is the brand on the 300mm lens?

  • joe September 4, 2009 06:12 pm

    There is a serious limitation with K-7 that makes bulb exposures extremely difficult and tedious. It involves mandatory noise reduction which doubles every exposure.

    Why is this a problem?

    This affects nearly all my night time photography. I enjoy taking photos of star trails. For example, a 10 minute exposure will take a total of 20 minutes to complete.
    I wanted to capture night lightning, generally I will leave the shutter opened for a minute or more. It was so frustrating because I missed so many potentially great shots because the Pentax K-7 was busy doing its noise reduction! Why can't I turn noise reduction off?
    I shutting raw.

    I talked to my Nikon and Canon friends and they are amazed. One spent 20 minutes flipping through menus, convinced that there must be a way to turn of NR. Finally, the complaints found on the pentaxforums confirmed this is a known problem.

    Previously I own a Pentax K10D wich work perfectly, I can turn off noise reduction.
    This problem exists with the K20D and there are no signs that Pentax cares to offer a solution.

  • 35yr Pentax User September 2, 2009 10:42 pm

    Emille - I already had 2 of the DA lenses. the 16-50 and the 50-135. Also have a cheep 70-300 and will be shooting a High School game Thursday night and will see how things work out then. Next step is to purchase a better bigger lens? Wish Pentax made a 100-300 f2.8 - would purchase in a heart beat!

  • Emille September 1, 2009 10:52 am

    I am very impressed with Pentax K7
    and the quality of the images it is giving me. I purchased this camera with the DA* 18-50 and the AF360 Flash. It is very intuitive and easy to learn. Response time is very good. Low light is also very impressive with the DA star lens. I intend to use this camera for family pictures, children sports, travel.
    All in All, I could not be happier with this product.

  • 35yr Pentax User August 31, 2009 02:35 pm

    Bought it! Own it & like it. Focus is still part of my issue, but beleive this is an improvement from the K10D. Next purchase will be a larger quality zoom lens for sports and will follow up later. Right now happy!

  • 35yr Pentax User July 27, 2009 02:41 pm

    Steve, Appreciate the reply. Got the opportunity to talk with someone who directly works with Pentax and shoots the K10D, Just purchased the K20D, but has had the opportunity to shoot the K7. Being an employee I would guess he gets the chance to check things early before or just at release. He mentioned that there have been some advances with the stabilization in the camera and the AF function. But he believes that knowing how to handle the basics is what is needed to get the best shots. Just like you mentioned just now and on June 22nd. With my preception that my eyes are not as good as they use to be, I was wanting to depend upon AF. To your point with all the latest and greatest improvements to get the AF to make all the adustments in the time frame you mentioned with todays technology sounds like a current impossibility. Pick your spot. Focus and face the facts that you will not be coming home with 400 shots per game if I am wanting a higher percentage of infocus non-blurry photos.

    Your comments about Sigma is well taken. Tamron use to be a great company years back from personal experience and my old K1000. But both have thier issues with AF as well expecially trying to use them in the manner you described above. Sounds like the Tamron I was looking @ (70 - 200 f2.8) is very heavy.

    Knowing the game as I do I feel that I pick as good of a position as possible for what I am trying to shoot. I try to get all the guys in the shots so I am moving all around the field working the light and shodows the best possible.

    More to come on my K7 adventure. I have learned more from these groups of comunication than I ever learned from camera stores or the On-line Pentax help line.

    Thanks

  • Steve July 23, 2009 04:56 pm

    35yr Pentax User:

    I have several Sigma zooms that I use with my K20D. Tamron makes excellent optics, but I've read a lot of people claiming focus issues - with the previous generation of cams, not the K-7. I've got the 10-20 Sigma, the 18-50 Sigma (which I gave to my wife because I bought the 16-50 DA*) and the Bigma (50-500mm). All are very decent lenses. None of them even approach the image quality of, say, the DA* 50-135mm f2.8 (which is an incredible, amazing lens), but they are all more than adequate. That said, you'll probably want to stay with HSM lenses (like the Sigma 150-500 or the 70-200 HSM) for sports.

    It's worth noting that *no* current DLSR can match the performance requirements of shooting erratic sports - like a juking running back - and keep all frames in focus. Estimates suggest that such a lens would require an AF lock-time on the order of 30-40 ms, when the very best available are 150+ ms. But you can improve your sports "in focus" shots if you shoot laterally - at people running by - rather than downfield (at people running towards you). This is something I learned way back in the day shooting manual focus, but it still works today, and I watch many pro photographers - even the ones with the high end Canon and Nikon equipment - still take up the same positions I would have with a MF camera. Also, remember where the action happens - if you're shooting baseball, not too many people care about the bit in the middle of the first base line; they care about the swing and the slide, right? You focus on home, hammer out five or six shots across the swing, then quickly refocus on 1st base and throw down five or six more... :D Lots of the greatest shots ever taken were done exactly that way.

  • 35yr Pentax user July 23, 2009 02:24 pm

    Leaning towards the K7. What other manufacturer of Zoom lenses for sports could possibly work on the new K7. Sigma, Tamron?? Anyone with experience with lenses other than Pentax on Pentax?

  • 35yr Pentax user July 14, 2009 02:07 pm

    Still shoping around. Hearing that the 60D and 300s are creeping on the horizon (August?), makes this all even more interesting.

    I agree with "tuco" the K1000 shot terrifficly. I have some fantastic Wildlife and Sports shots - unfortunately I kept grinding down the gears on the film advance lever trying to catch action shots. Silly I know, but that camera did real well.

    What is frustraiting is the delay with the K-7 coming out. Was it not due out in May - then June - now July. I know it sounds like I am whyning, but sure would love to get my hands on it to personally check it out. Know that there has been a lot of articles written about how great it is.

    Hang in aLL - sounds like by the end of the year Pentax, Nikon, Canon will all have new midrange DSLR's out to check out! The candy will be spread on the table.

  • tuco July 1, 2009 02:46 am

    Funny. A "Pro" camera has to be overloaded with features to be called "Pro" or cost you all the labor of your first born. What has this new generation come to. All hung up on features and gadgets. A pro can take a breath-taking photo with a K1000. They don't need fancy features.

    Ironically, not long ago, a "Pro" would shoot a medium or large format camera. And they had fewer "features" than a fancy small format camera. Why does "features" define what a pro camera is these day.

    You kids. Now get off my lawn... lol.

  • Onlooker June 29, 2009 02:40 am

    I've been looking hard for quite some time trying to determine the right camera for me. It has been a back and forth struggle, often flipping between the T1i, 50D, D5000, D90 and D300 with different lens configurations.

    I have a 40D that I use at work, but don't own a DSLR myself - thus I have no legacy lenses to bring to the decision making equation.

    As much as the 50D would be the logical purchase with my experience, my main issue is I think I'd like to have video (which currently limits me to the T1i, D90 and D5000 in that price range.) Sure, I read all the time that "real" photographers don't need that gimick and if you want video, get a camcorder (I have one.) However, I personally think it is something that I would use, often. Why carry two tools when you can carry just one?

    Then I came upon the news of the K-7 and it looks very tempting for my needs. I enbrace the idea of weather sealing and temperature tolerance as I live in a cold environ and would love to be able to walk outside on a snowy 15 degree day and not have to worry about the camera. I also like the in body stabilization as noted above because of the cheaper lens prices which means I could get a much bigger kit, faster. Still, the 60D and 300s are creeping on the horizon (August?) and although they might be a few dollars more - they won't be that much more - and when that time comes it is going to make this a hard decision.

    Reading the thoughts of Pentax users is making me think I should probably just stick with Canon and Nikon, as much as I think the K-7 might be "the one."

    I am happy there are so many choices out there, but sometimes it can get just a bit overwhelming.

  • 35yr Pentax user June 28, 2009 07:00 am

    Once again Gentlemen great comments. Will take all into consideration. Steve, did as you suggested and will see what come up next. Also I totally agree. A great photographer can take/make any equipment work very well. I will never state that I am a great photographer - that is why I need the best technology to help me. When I was younger I probably was much more physical stable and I know my eyes were much better. But there is something inside me that drives me to continue to look into this! I want to create something that others may some day appreciate. What ever that may be.

    Will keep driving and trying. Keep the comments coming and if you don't mind I wil keep droping questions along my travels.

  • Steve June 22, 2009 01:01 pm

    Re: Focus speed. Ever since Canon introduced the EOS system it's been the primary choice of sports professionals - Canon's AF in daylight is excellent, and it's the only thing I envy my Canon shooting friends. If shooting sports is your primary concern, and you can't do it the 'old fashioned way' (prefocus on the field and snap as they come into line) you should probably pick up a Canon.

    However, My DA* lenses are as sharp and contrasty, if not more so, than any Canon L lens, and cost MUCH less because Pentax doesn't have to build the image stabilization into the lens. They lock well in low light, although the Nikon is still better there.

    Re: The low light "problems" with the K10D, K20D, etc, are largely due to one very important design decision. Pentax ships their cameras with noise reduction turned off by default. The "low noise" images you see from Nikon and Canon are the result of software, not any inherent property of their sensor or lens or users. Try turning on and up your noise reduction on your Pentax bodies. Or, better yet, take the hundreds of dollars you saved buying the excellent Pentax gear and buy a computer app or plugin that does a better job at noise reduction and detail retention than any of the in-camera NR algorithms. It's true that lower pixel density produces lower noise levels, (actually, that larger pixels produce lower noise, which is not quite the same thing), and a 12MP full frame sensor will produce better result than an APS-C sensor at 12mp. But, say, a full frame 22mp sensor has about the same pixel density, and about the same noise profile because of it.

    I defy anyone to list a current DSLR from any manufacturer that can't do professional duty. Scott Bourne mentioned a very salient fact on This Week In Photography - he's sold, commercially, many images from DSLRs that were 3 MP and generations behind what we have today... I think that it's fairly obvious that 100% of cameras are better than 99% of photographers, no matter how you cut it. You give a great photographer the crappiest point and shoot, and that photographer will produce better images than you thought the camera was capable of.

  • Chris Biele June 21, 2009 09:51 pm

    Edit:

    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3654/3408467810_55b348e0c3.jpg?v=0

  • Chris Biele June 21, 2009 09:50 pm

    I suppose it really comes down to what you need your camera for. You can go onto the Pentax DSLR forum in DPReview and watch as people constantly upload amazing photos and prove the quality of their gear. The weather sealing is great, they have loads of pro features and my K10d has been nothing if not consistent over the last year and 1/2. I can only imagine the noise reduction has gotten better with the K7 as well.

    However, when shooting moving objects I have been less than happy with the focusing. I can easily focus on a point if I know in advance, like here...

    ...but kids / brides / athletes are all unpredictable and THAT's where we need our AF.C to shine.

    At the end of the day, Pentax is a great brand with wonderful cameras. Any of their recent DSLRs are more than enough for the advanced amateur and can even meet the needs of many pros. But if you want to advance in your field, you may find yourself switching brands before you know it.

  • 35yr Pentax user June 21, 2009 03:06 pm

    Blaine Kaiser - Chris Biele - Miguel Nunes, Gentlemen thanks for your replies. Where were you before I took the leap. Because of my loyalty I probably would not have listened anyway. But your information these last few days has been very insightful and lead me to look down a different path and to help me trouble shoot my issues.

    Today shooting at the base of the foothills next to the rocky mountains I was shooting my son playing in a 3v3 soccer tournament. Got some great motion shots today. Tremendous facial expressions, Hair flying all over, bodies air born, making dramatic turns/moves - - - Unfortunately they were all blury. Tried going totally manual today. Like the old days. Man I thought I was doing good until I down loaded the photos. Once again heart broken. Eyes too old even with a monopod. Proved again that I need a good AF system. Think this was the straw that broke the camels back!

    Keep the comments coming! Closer to the Dark side - hey maybe its not so dark after all.

  • Miguel Nunes June 21, 2009 12:38 am

    I agree with Daryl it has to have Canon or Nikon printed on the front to be considered a pro DSLR or even to to be an real option for most of the reviews. Sure there are some aspects that could be improved, but a Pentax is something else!

  • Chris Biele June 19, 2009 09:15 pm

    @ 35 year Pentax User:

    Here's something to consider if you want fast focusing. According to Zack Arias the Canon is slower to focus than any Nikon he has ever had... Hmm. Although, he also says the 5z Marc Too has great color. Personally, I'm waiting till the end of the month for Nikons announcement of the D300s (hopefully).

    From Zack Arias - http://www.zarias.com/?p=320

    "Things I don’t like about the 5d vs. the D3 ::
    • The AF system sucks in low light situations. Every Nikon I have ever owned from the D100 to the D3 can lock focus faster and more accurately than the 5d does in low light levels."

  • Blaine Kaiser June 19, 2009 02:55 pm

    Canon is knowen as a sports line and the 5 DII does take amazing pictures and is should as it cost double of the K-7. With the K-7 having a faster frame rate and faster focusing it might be a contender. My suggestion to you considering the $$ you have invested in Pentax lenses, I would wait for reviews and user comments after the K-7 is released to see if it will fill your needs. If not then off to the dark side you go

  • 35 yr Pentax user June 18, 2009 01:29 pm

    Reading all your comments above I came across some of the same type of frustrations as Chris Biele above. I have shot Pentax equipment now for 35yrs. My Wifes whole family was the same way. Big fans. This new body - K7 - sounds great but so did the K10D & K20D! Went from film and K1000 to the K100 Digital once I found out you could use you old lenses on the new Pentax digital cameras. My focus is to Shoot sports action, but the K100 could not hold up. Upgraded to the K10D and found an improvement in the capabilities of catching action. But the shots still are a little blury and with anyother fine feature wanting to be frozen and clear. So at that point I felt I was missing out by using a budget low cost lens. Purchased the DA 16 to 50 and the DA 50 to 135. The best Pentax makes! The 50 to 135 shoots worse than the cheep lense I had before. Heart broken/frustrated. Now after all this investment - then reading about the K7 - I am very hesitent to jump into Pentax once again but am looking. I am willing to spend the $$ on really good equipment! I am even looking into going to the dark side looking at the ESO 5 DII from Canon. I just want to be able to capture motion - freeze it - and be proud of what I caputred in the moment. I want to be proud of what I give to the parents as something they will want to keep for a long time. Will the K7 solve my problem or should I move to the dark side!?? Definately will check it out in my shoping around. Any suggestions out there?

  • Armando June 15, 2009 01:17 am

    A professional camera would have features that would simplify shooting in bad, hectic, conditions. It should have a strong camera body with good ergonomics, fast focusing in almost all lighting conditions, together with a solid high performance image capture sensor.

    Todays professional cameras have a built in vertical grip, full size image sensor with high/low ISO capabilities, good menu structure, dual memory card read/write in jpeg or raw, extra long battery life, the shutter life should go beyond the 150,000 shots, wireless capabilities, strong weather protection, 12bit or 14 bit picture processing, large buffer, 5fps or higher, fast flash sync...etc.

    In reality, the camera just needed to cost twice as much with a full frame sensor and it would have been considered a pro camera. The Pentax K7 looks to be one hell of a camera for the price.

  • Armando June 15, 2009 12:45 am

    Everyone always wants the top resolution when it comes to video (1080p). What they don't realize is that it is not even a broadcast standard. There are six (6) HD standards to choose from in the broadcast world, but most of the TV channels have made the choice to either shoot in 1080i or 720p because it is easy to up convert or down convert between the two among other things. They both look good, but then it gets destroyed by your cable provider when it gets compressed and multiplexed for broadcast. Very few consumers have seen true HD (uncompressed), Bluray is what most of you have seen, at 720p or 1080p compressed. Yes, Bluray uses compression and when put up against a Panasonic D5 deck or a Sony HDCAM deck the Bluray player looks horrible at all flavors. To make a long story short, 720P HD looks great in all of these cameras as long as they are recording at a high frame rate if you want to capture fast moving objects. The addition of stereo sound is a plus in a photo camera, but not necessary. Tons of stuff is recorder in mono and then given a fake stereo image in post production, it is done everyday! At the end of the day I just want to see the high ISO performance of the Pentax K7 before I decide to buy a Nikon D90. That is all I care about, cause at the end "garbage in is garbage out" when we shoot with a camera. It is not everyday that it rains or is 10 degrees below zero, I don't go to the dessert every weekend to take a picture. It does get dark at night though and I want to shoot good looking high ISO pictures without having to pay 5 grand for it.

  • gbhildebrand June 14, 2009 03:50 am

    Sounds like a great camera, but I did not see why it would not qualify as a professional camera. What was missing?

  • Blaine Kaiser June 12, 2009 04:41 am

    Most of the info in in the Camera specs.

    1 Resolution: 1280x720p30, 1536x1024p30, 640x416p30
    2 Frame Rate: P stands for progressive and 30 fps
    3 Data bit rate: not sure
    4 Codec used: AVI

  • Skeptical June 11, 2009 04:07 pm

    When the hell are "reviewers" going to explain the exact HD video capabilities of an SLR correctly:

    The minimum info concerning HD capability is

    1) Resolution...eg full HD 1920x 1080
    2) Frame rate...Progressive, and or Interlaced
    3) Data bit rate...38 Mbps...or 16 Mbps (big bloody difference!)
    4) Codec used...AVCHD, Mpeg2, Mov...

    To simply say it shoots HD is meaningless (yeh, like hey I bought a car with a stearing wheel...)

  • Blaine Kaiser June 10, 2009 07:04 am

    I currently have a K20D with 50-135 and 17-70. there are a few things with the K20D that made my deceision to go with Pentax and little more difficult (low frames per second and noise problems). With the K-7 it seams they read my mind. So if the the field tests verify Pentax's claims I will be adding the K7 and moving the K20D to a back up.

  • Matthew Miller June 4, 2009 10:04 pm

    Mike Johnston had some excellent comments on "pro" recently:

    [...] but contrary to common belief, amateur status is just as often a determinant of quality as a lack of it. A pro gets very good at working fast, but efficiency is closely tied to the bottom line, so excessive time and care simply can't be lavished on any one print. Amateurs run the risk of working so little and so infrequently that they never get their skills in decent shape, but they also have the luxury of being able to put a lot of time and careful judgement into each print. Pros make good prints, but the very best prints (as well as the worst, I would imagine) tend to be produced by artists and amatuers.

    I think you definitely should check out the 50-135mm before jumping ship. As technology improves, the gap between APS-C and 35mm will shrink. It's already at the point where if you can't make excellent large prints from APS-C, it's probably not the camera's fault. Of course, the larger format will always be slightly better quality at a higher price. But it's unlikely we'll ever have full-featured full-frame digital cameras in a package the size of the K-7. It's the same reason 35mm became more popular than medium-format.

    And that's where Pentax is going. There's not going to be a "K30D", or a 35mm-frame dSLR in the near future. They're going to make top-notch, unique APS-C cameras like the K-7 with the lenses to match (something other camera makers aren't doing). And if you need larger format, there will be the 645D.

  • Chris Biele June 4, 2009 06:45 pm

    I suppose it's not that it can't be considered a "pro" camera. It appears to have a superb build quality and great features. The K10d could be considered a pro body as well and is comparable to a Canon 30D or similar.

    Honestly, this would be a wonderful camera to have, but buying into Pentax has limited me to the APS-C size sensor and limited third party support. I love the idea of Pentax and their diehard supporters, but their recent releases are geared toward the advanced enthusiast (many of whom are at a professional level and make money).

    I can't deny that the K-7 has some great features, but it seems more like an upgrade from the K20d. Will they now bring out a K20d? Where are you going with this Pentax?

  • Daryl June 4, 2009 12:04 pm

    Can someone tell me what this doesn't have that would make it a "pro" camera? Does it need 21mps and a price tag over $5,000? Or does it have to have Canon or Nikon printed on the front?

  • Chris Biele June 1, 2009 11:30 pm

    Matt: You're right, the 50-135 would be a good option and I haven't ever tried it, nor any of the other DA* lenses. Maybe I should do that before I jump ship, but finding one to try is next to impossible here in Spain.

    biffrod: I suppose it depends on what uses you would have for it. I, for one, am done trying to trick my pentax into locking focus in low light. Talk about the quickest way to lose your subject's interest. After trying a Canon 5D MK1 I felt like my K10d was something I'd won out of a Cracker Jack box. Instant lock. Again, maybe that's something the DA* lenses handle better with their sonic motors.

    As for syncing... can't Pentax just come out with a quicker shutter? Sometimes 180th or 250th does make a difference, plus, at 180th I can still see a dark line at the bottom of my frame. I have to shoot at 160th.

    I'd LOVE to keep a Pentax with the 50mm and a few DA limiteds, and I suppose there will be little niggles with any brand of camera, but when I see what June brings for Nikon, I may be on my way to a new main body.

  • David May 30, 2009 03:34 pm

    Wondering if there's a GPS-notation-record option per shot? Doing a lot of outdoor photography, and it's a pain to keep track of location with pen and paper ... anyone know?

  • Biffrod May 28, 2009 08:04 am

    Yeah, this certainly does look to be a pretty sweet camera. Just one question (and forgive my ignorance): why would it only appeal to a serious enthusiast, and not a pro?

    It seems to have most features of a pro model (keeping in mind some of the 3rd party support issues mentioned by Chris B.), and its new magnesium alloy body combined with the weather sealing seem to make it rugged enough... a wide variety of excellent lenses (I'm a big fan of those DA Limited primes)... X sync for external lighting... etc.

    To me, it sounds like at least a decent back-up set-up for certain pro applications, aside from the departure from one's investment in a different manufacturer.

  • Matthew Miller May 27, 2009 12:57 pm

    Chris, your wishlist there has an odd contradiction. The Pentax DA? 50-135mm f/2.8 is by all accounts a stellar lens, and on the APS-C Pentax dSLRs, it has roughly the focal length range of the 70-200mm lens you want on a full-frame dSLR.

  • Chris Biele May 26, 2009 01:50 am

    I've had the K10d for a year and a half now and it takes some great pics. The K-7 seems like a worthy upgrade if you were looking for something a bit better. Unfortunately, for me, the Pentax lineup just doesn't have what it takes any more.

    I bought into the big P as a first DSLR after owning a K1000, like many others I'm sure. What I didn't know is that I would need more than Pentax has to offer in the long run. They have some nice lenses, like the 50mm 1.4 which is wonderful, but the lack of a decent 70-200, limited 3rd party support (Pocket Wizzards, RayFlash) and no full frame leave me wanting for more. I was holding out hope with this imminent release but it's not what I really wanted. Sure it gives a D300 a run for its money (on paper), but what happens in June when Nikon up the bar?

    Pentax is a great brand with a solid product but if you want to be ahead of the curve you'll have to look elsewhere.

    As for me? Well, the K10d will always have a spot in my bag, but my next main body will surely be a Nikon.

  • SeskaLien May 24, 2009 11:39 am

    There are some full-res sample photos posted on the Japanese Pentax site, and they look great:

    http://www.pentax.jp/japan/imaging/digital/slr/k-7/ex.html

  • Jared White May 23, 2009 05:27 am

    Looks fancy and you can't go wrong with Pentax (in my opinion) BUT it doesn't look like it has improved on the K20D quite enough to warrant an upgrade.

    The video feature looks cool but seems like a gimmick to me

  • paul monaghan May 23, 2009 03:46 am

    Im really really looking forward to this camera, but ill probibly have to wait a little before i pick it up. Its around the same size as a canon rebel but more like a d300 for features (and more advanced in some ways to).

    Would be a really nice upgrade over my gx10 altho id still keep that to as the ccd sensor is still nice :D

  • Yair May 23, 2009 12:51 am

    Good timing!
    I was just considering buying a new DSLR.
    I reckon it will be better than the other HD capable competition, ie: the Nikon D5000 and the Canon EOS Rebel T1i?
    How does that compare with the picture quality of the D200?

    Cheers!

    Yair

  • Iris May 22, 2009 08:12 pm

    I love my K200D and all my old manual lenses but this is upgrade I was looking for Thank U Pentax team for listining to your customers

  • rod fermin May 22, 2009 03:01 am

    hello...

    i just love the new design and latest features!!!

  • Mr Guy May 22, 2009 02:11 am

    K-7! Not K7!

  • Shaun May 22, 2009 01:49 am

    Mmmm... Looks tasty. I hope that the new sensor dumbs down the noise a bit. At 1600 ISO my current Pentax is nigh unusable. (unless grainy is what I'm going for). I was thinking about moving over to the new Rebel T1i but if this is as good as they make it sound, then bugger Canon.

  • Eric May 22, 2009 01:32 am

    Very nice. I have been looking to upgrade to the K20D, but I might have to rethink that now. This looks really nice.

Join Our Email Newsletter

Thanks for subscribing!


DPS offers a free weekly newsletter with: 
1. new photography tutorials and tips
2. latest photography assignments
3. photo competitions and prizes

Enter your email below to subscribe.
Email:
 
 
Get DAILY free tips, news and reviews via our RSS feed