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 Post subject: Pentax K-7 User Review
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:13 am 
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Bonjour,

After many year with a Pentax K10D (including 45,000 views at my Pentax K10D User Review) and much considering, I finally took the plunge.

Quote:

Today, I went to the Paris Salon de la photographie (photo fair). I received a friendly and warm welcome at Pentax booth, as well as some useful tips to get a K-7 at a decent price, less than 1,000 EUR.

Image

So I bought one :!:

Stay tuned for the traditional user review :)

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:42 pm, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:39 am 
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Can't wait, that cam sparked my curiosity :)

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:40 am 
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good timing to buy :) looking forward for the review

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:32 pm 
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rei! Congratulations! That is fantastic... I, too, am looking to upgrade, and I'm torn between sticking with Pentax and going for the K-7 or buying in to a different system. Needless to say, I will be looking forward to your review.

I wonder, what were these "useful tips" on getting a good price?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 17, 2009 8:35 pm 
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Bonsoir Jaxzwolf,

Thanks for your message. Actually, the useful tips was a combination of luck and bargain.

At Pentax booth, after a hands-on the K-7 with some shootings at the dancing girls plus an interesting chat with a representative, I asked whether Pentax offered special conditions during the fair.

"Sure, go and pay a visit to Le Cirque, the K-7 is at 999 EUR !", the rep told me.

So I went to the comercial area, where the major French retailers were : :arrow: Camara, :arrow: FNAC, :arrow: Phox and :arrow: Le Cirque Photo.

So I started visiting each reseller and bargaining each price.
  • Camara : price tag 1199 EUR down to 1099 EUR
  • FNAC : price tag 1099 EUR down to 1044 EUR
  • Phox : not visited
  • Le Cirque Photo : I didn't ever ask for the price tag because, surprise, there was a Pentax representative. He gave me more information about the K-7 and then asked for a reseller. Final price was 999 EUR.

It seems Pentax was pushing the resellers to adjust the K-7 price down, due to the USD/ EUR exchange rate. 1,000 EUR VAT included is 840 EUR tax excluded, or 1,250 USD. The 1,000 EUR tag-price is a real frontier.

I'll get the camera next week.

To be continued...

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 1:51 pm 
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Bonjour,

News from France :)

I'll get the camera tomorrow :!:

Stay tuned :wink:

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 3:14 pm 
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rei_vilo wrote:
...I'll get the camera tomorrow :!:

Stay tuned :wink:

Looking forward to it. Your K10 review has about 45,000 hits now so you have a lot to live up to. 8)

Bob.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:02 pm 
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Bob Andersson :arrow: Sat Apr 05, 2008 5:16 pm with only 20,000 views wrote:
If only you had even €0.10 for each viewing you'd be upgrading to a K20D and still have some cash left over. :)

Even truer with 45,000 views :!:

Photography is an addictive -and expensive- hobby :?

I'm still open to 10 ¢ per view :wink:

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:10 pm 
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rei_vilo wrote:
....I'm still open to 10 ¢ per view :wink:

Me too. With over 6,000 posts on the forum (4.11% of total) and, if I'm not being too immodest, each post getting a few views I'd be able to afford an extra paper-chain or two for my Christmas decorations. :lol:
      Image
Bob.

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OM-D E-M1 + ED 12-40mm f/2.8, H-F007014E, M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8, M.ZUIKO DIGITAL ED 75mm 1:1.8, L-RS014150E.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 23, 2009 4:15 pm 
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Fantastic decoration :!:

Sure, it's time to start thinking about Christmas :idea: ...

Well, let's see... the K7 is a nice beginning :)

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 24, 2009 6:32 pm 
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Bonsoir,

Back to business... The K7 is there but the weather in Paris is just horrendous :( .

Image

I spent the whole afternoon reading the user manual, with something like 360 pages, while the battery was charging quietly (6 hours). I also upgraded the firmware to 1.02.

I really hope the weather forecast is accurate for tomorrow, so I could take my very first picture :)

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:01 am 
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Rei,congratulations on your purchase. :) I'm looking forward too see results from that amazing camera.

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 Post subject: Table Of Content
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:19 pm 
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Bonjour,

The big surprise with the K-7 is the endless list of options and parameters, hence the need for a table of content :arrow:

I just took the points I reviewed for my former Pentax K10D User Review. Sure, the list will change due to the K-7 new features and my own discovery :)


Some background on my photo-hobby

I discovered digital photography back in 2000 with a Canon S10 featuring 2 M pixels. Price tag: 800 EUR, but it was something big and promising. I updated to a Canon A70 in 2003.

Actually, I went back to true photography when I bought a Pentax *ist DL in 2006 :!: I eventually had to re-learn the depth of field...

The Pentax *ist DL was a great camera, despite somehow over-processed colours in automatic mode. But the main point was, I was using the manual controls more and more, enjoying the freedom of taking my picture and pushing the limits. So the K10D offered the big jump in 2007, also with the re-use of the classic Pentax zooms 18-55 and 50-200 mm I already owned.

The quality of the K10D's sensor asked for better lenses. So I got the DA star zoom 50-135mm in 2007, the 16-50mm in 2008 and the 60-250mm in 2009.

The K10D was an excellent camera, but the AF was somehow slow, continuous shooting limited at 3.5 fps, and the industry keeps delivering exiting new features, as live view, horizon adjustment, enhanced dynamic range and so on. With a K-7 under the 1,000 EUR frontier, I changed for a K-7, keeping my precious DA star lenses.

Main subjects are family, landscapes, wild life and architecture.


About my user review

This is a review done by an average camera user and photo hobbyist. I have no connection with the Pentax / Hoya company.

Please note that no pictures are post-processed, unless clearly stated. I expect nice pictures right from the camera :roll: . Post-processing implies softwares that aren't bundled with the camera.

As a former K10D user, the learning curve for the K-7 is shortened. I may take for granted some nice features of the K-7 already included in the K10D. So please, this is a forum: raise your questions :!:[url][/url]

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:47 pm, edited 23 times in total.

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 Post subject: 1- Unboxing and hands-on
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 2:06 pm 
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Bonjour,

I'm not a fan of unboxing, but there's something very interesting about the box: it's smaller and lighter than the K10D's.

1- Unboxing and hands-on

Eventually, the K-7 proves to be smaller and lighter than the K10D.

Nothing special about the content, except the big user manual close to 360 pages. I highly recommend to read it carefully and to keep it at hand.

Contrary to the K20D which was a copycat of the K10D body, the K-7 has changed everything.

The grip is larger with a special curve for the middle finger, which improves comfort and stability. But the grip is also shorter, and my little finger is going under the camera. Should I consider the BG4 grip to get rid of that :?:

The hardware buttons are more numerous and have all changed. I was really surprised to feel at home after playing with the K-7 for half an hour. Ergonomics are one of Pentax strong points.

Gone is the 4-ways combo button. It is replaced by 4 single buttons, each one providing a short-cut to timer, color tone, flash and white balance plus a central OK button. Gone also the shake reduction button, but the solution provided is fine. Live view has its dedicated button but I haven't tested this feature yet. Green button is there, as well as a new, dedicated ISO button. Everything fits right under the fingers and I feel at home quite instantly.

As for the K10D and the *ist DL, the K-7 could be used as if it were a film camera. All the main functions are adressed by hardware buttons and the LCD on the top of the camera provides the feed-back, with speed, aperture, ISO, compensation and more. So there's no need to use the big color LCD. The dial mode sports a security know and offers the very nice Sv (sensibility) and TAv (speed and aperture) modes, with the front and rear dials to select the right value.

No special comments on the SD card compartment, the connection door except for the battery door whose latch is bigger and thus easier to open and close. Everything is sealed and should be water and dust resistant: I say 'should' but I know it 'is' after having experienced a rain while shooting with my former K10D with :arrow: The Test I Never Wanted To Perform - Today I Had To.

Most noticeable is the view-finder. K10D's one was excellent thank to a pentaprism, but K-7s one is even better: 100% coverage, crisp and clear and a nice reminder of the main parameters below the image.

Obviously, such a camera deserves but the best lenses. Consider the DA Star: high range, with SDM focus system, weather-resistant and dust-resistant, and fixed aperture for zoom (great quality). SDM stands for Supersonic Direct-drive Motor, a built-in motor, which brings faster and quieter focusing. I haven't tried the new Pentax WR sub-range on the DA family, WR as Water Resistant, since I use three DA star lenses: :arrow:

A final mention of the strap, still with huge Pentax logos, but with triangular rings and protective covers.

I was surprise by how long the battery took for charging, but the manual says up to 6 1/2 hours may be required.

With a DA star 16-50mm, the K-7 feels compact and light, not as bulky as other dSLRs :wink: , and well balanced on the hands.

What a text :shock: . I think it's enough for a first hands-on :roll: . Now, let's take some pictures :)

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:32 pm 
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At last, let's shoot some pictures :) I spend the whole morning walking and shooting from the La Concorde Square to the Louvre Museum through the Tuileries Gardens. It's a very nice area, with exquisite architecture, some wild-life, flowers, fountains and much more to enjoy.

2- Wild-life and continuous shooting

Here's a series of continuous shots at two ducks. Actually, the K-7 brings two continuous modes: slow and fast. I tested here the slow one.

I set the aperture at f/5.6 and the camera adjusted the speed between 1/250 ~ 1/350. Sometimes, it could produce inconsistent results between one shot and another.

The memory card in a SDHC SanDisk Ultra II 4 GB.

Image

1/250 ~ 1/350 f/5.6 iso100 50mm

Image Image Image Image
Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image

...and so on. After 32 shots, I've noticed no traffic jam between the sensor and the memory card, no needed for the K-7 to take a breath.

Ok, so speed is there :)

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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