Pentax K-7 User Review

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Postby kpr » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:57 am

rei_vilo...

Wow this is really in depth and great...thank you so much for your efforts.

As you may know my passion is mostly wildlife and the higher ISO and zoom/cropping is very useful to me.
I wonder if I could make a request?

Some shots within an hour or closer to sunset or sunrise with a bit of distance (length of a football pitch is great) with the ISO up some at some point?
Subject really doesn't matter but a wee bit of movement in it would be good.
Around that time (The Golden Hour for wildlife) most critters are grazing so not really moving a whole lot.
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Postby rei_vilo » Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:11 am

Bonjour kpr,

Thanks for the accolade :)

I'll do my best to perform the test you've described. I've heard about the Blue hour for monuments, it appears to be the same as the Golden hour for wildlife.

Weather has been so horrendous for the last week in Paris, it was hardly possible to go and play with my new toy - err, take pictures :wink: .

Stay tuned :!:
--- rei_vilo
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9- Taking pictures at sunset

Postby rei_vilo » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:54 pm

9- Taking pictures at sunset

...or, actually, trying my very best to do so :wink:

Official twilight time was at 17h51. All pictures were taken half an hour before with a smc DA* 60-250mm F4 [IF] SDM lens and are un-post-processed. I went up to iso1600.

General landscape

This is La Défense area, nicknamed the French Manhattan. While Manhattan has a very clear linear structure, La Défense is rather chaotic with curved avenues, multi-levels streets and endless tunnels.

Distance: ~ 2 km or 1 1/4 mi

17:29:18 f/4.0 1/400s iso1600 60.0 mm
Image

17:29:11 f/4.0 1/200s iso1600 98.0 mm
Image

17:29:14 f/5.6 1/60s iso1600 250.0 mm
Image


Quiet ducks

Distance: ~ 20 m or 66 ft

17:23:00 f/5.6 1/80s iso1600 250.0 mm
Image

17:33:09 f/5.6 1/40s iso800 250.0 mm
Image


Flying seagulls

Unfortunately, all birds are not as quiet as the ducks. The seagulls were flying and fishing in the Seine river.

Distance: ~ 100 m or 330 ft

I know there're some ratios about distance, focal length and speed to take care about, otherwise result is blurred.

17:24:04 f/5.6 1/60s iso1600 250.0 mm
Image

17:27:49 f/5.6 1/15s iso1600 250.0 mm
Image

The birds are moving too fast for the camera speed :!:

17:27:51 f/5.6 1/13s iso1600 250.0 mm
Image

17:28:23 f/5.6 1/13s iso1600 250.0 mm
Image

The positive aspect is the K-7 sensor catches every bit of light. Reality was much darker but the colors are consistent.


@kpr
I hope those pictures could help you. Otherwise, give me some advice and tell me whether I should go sooner before twilight, use higher ISO, select faster speed or something else :)

I've only 360 shots with the K-7 so I need more time to climb the learning curve :wink:
Last edited by rei_vilo on Thu Nov 05, 2009 8:24 am, edited 3 times in total.
--- rei_vilo
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3rd break - Three details

Postby rei_vilo » Wed Nov 04, 2009 5:58 pm

3rd break - Three details

The K-7 sports a light to assist auto-focus in poor conditions. Unlike other cameras, the light is greenish and rather powerful. In the K10D, the flash was used, when it was popped-up.

Image

The LCD on the top could be lighted :idea: . I switched this feature off, but the green mode still does illuminate the LCD in glorious green. Remember the green color stands for automatic.

Image

The bar on the top-right corner shows the inclination compared with the horizon, another new feature of the K-7.
--- rei_vilo
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Postby kpr » Sun Nov 08, 2009 10:44 am

Excellant.
Thank you so much rei_vilo.
There certainly appears to be great improvement on Pentax's part with noise level.
At least compared to pics I get anyway which in fact could just be...me :roll: :lol:

"The bar on the top-right corner shows the inclination compared with the horizon, another new feature of the K-7."

Now theres a great feature,wouldn't that be great seen INSIDE the camera also?


Dare I say this camera is more and more appealing each time I check here?
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10- Electronic level

Postby rei_vilo » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:13 pm

Bonjour kpr,

Thanks for your message :) You're welcome :!:

10- Electronic level

kpr wrote:"The bar on the top-right corner shows the inclination compared with the horizon, another new feature of the K-7."
Now theres a great feature,wouldn't that be great seen INSIDE the camera also?


Electronic level is a level 4 parameters: press Menu > Record mode 3 and select Electronic level.

Image

Actually, all the infomations (electronic level oncluded) are displayed in three different places: top LCD, viewfinder LCD and rear LCD if live-view is activated.

Top LCD
Image

Viewfinder LCD
Image

Rear LCD, with live-view activated
Image

Speed, aperture, ISO, request for flash and horizon are shown everywhere.
Last edited by rei_vilo on Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
--- rei_vilo
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11- Horizon correction

Postby rei_vilo » Sun Nov 08, 2009 3:36 pm

11- Horizon correction

One great novelty brought by the K-7 is the horizon correction. I was dubious at first :shock: , and then went through series of tests, outdoor and indoor. Indoor, the K-7 was on a 1° tilted surface, looking at a wooden duck on strictly horizontal surface. Can the K-7 correct the tilt :?:

Horizon correction is a level 4 parameters: press Menu > Record mode 3 and select Horizon correction.

Image

Picture WITHOUT horizon correction
Image

Same picture WITH horizon correction
Image

and the usual crops for better examination

Left without and right with horizon crrection
Image Image

Even closer

Left without and right with horizon crrection
Image Image

The yellow lines come from iPhoto rotate tool. Results seem conclusive :)

Some useful tips worth remembering:
  • Horizon correction is based on the shake reduction system, so a 2 second wait is needed so fully work.
  • Horizon correction has a limited range of corrected tilt.
  • Shake reduction, and thus horizon correction, should be turned off when the K-7 is on a tripod.
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
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12- First Pros and Cons and Wrap-Up

Postby rei_vilo » Sun Nov 08, 2009 5:45 pm

12- First Pros and Cons and Wrap-Up

I've been using the K-7 for two weeks now and I think it's time to do a first wrap-up.

Pros
  • High built quality
  • Compact, lightweight, dust- and water-sealed, silent camera
  • Great image quality
  • 100% viewfinder
  • Excellent ergonomics, both hardware and software
  • Many manual parameters to control almost everything
  • Improved and faster AF, light metering, shake reduction, dust protectionl, live-view
  • Detailed user manual
Cons
  • Real learning curve due to so many manual parameters and options
  • Camera grip could result too short for big hands, hence the need for the optional battery grip
  • In some case, inconsistent light metering
Wrap-up
  • Everytime Pentax issues a new dSLR, it's a revolution :!: First with the K10D, then the K20D and now the K-7, Pentax continues delivering dSLRs with incredible value.
  • As always with Pentax, ergonomics and ease of use are great.
  • But this comes at a price, in term of learning curve. A real work is needed before going and shooting on the fields: Which options I need? Which ones I'm going to use?
  • As always and most important, image quality is there and I had a lot of fun.

I really hope Gordon and his team are going to test this new dSLR, (:arrow: Pentax PR, are you listening :?:), so CameraLabs readers will get more than a user review, a true review of this new exciting camera :!:
--- rei_vilo
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Postby Mystic » Sun Nov 08, 2009 9:29 pm

Thanks Rei_vilo for so much efforts, You did a great job.

I have a question regarding.. horizon level and shake reduction..

If I put K7 on a tripod and shoot via 2 sec. timer.. should I need to switch of those two parameters, or they are deactivated automatically?
thanks.
Mystic
 

Postby rei_vilo » Mon Nov 09, 2009 7:28 am

Bonjour Mystic,

No, shake reduction is not switched off when the camera is on a tripod: you need to switch it off manually.

But you're lucky :) with remote control :!:

Page 134 wrote:• Set [Shake Reduction] to l (Off) when using the camera with a tripod or
when this function is not needed.
• [Shake Reduction] is automatically set to l (Off) and cannot be selected
in the following situations.
- Self-timer shooting
- Remote control shooting
- Bulb shooting
- HDR Capture
- Mirror lock-up shooting
- Wireless mode with an external flash

and

Page 178 wrote:• [Shake Reduction] and [Horizon Correction] are automatically turned off in the wireless mode.


Since the manual is rather stuffy with 336 pages :? , best way is to :arrow: download and spend a couple of hours reading it :wink: You may find another way to deal with so many options :)
--- rei_vilo
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Postby Mystic » Tue Nov 10, 2009 5:36 pm

So I was right!
you can shoot via. Self timer eq. 2 sec. timer, and shake reduction will be deactivated aautomatically.. even K-m has this feature, and it's a smart feature which doesn't require pentax to spend much resources, to implement.
Mystic
 

Postby rei_vilo » Tue Nov 10, 2009 9:25 pm

Bonsoir Mystic,

For that very reason, you need to read and read again the 360-page long user manual :)

So many options available :shock: , so far so bad for the learning curve :wink:
--- rei_vilo
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Postby Mystic » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:21 am

:)

Rei_vilo,

we live to learn!
it would be so uninteresting, that in one day you'd know the camera inside out..

i'm looking forward to get it! maybe for the Christmas

have a good day!
Mystic
 

Postby rei_vilo » Wed Nov 11, 2009 12:36 am

Bonsoir Mystic,

Mystic wrote::)
i'm looking forward to get it! maybe for the Christmas

What a nice Christmas gift :wink:

It's perfect time for shoping: have a look at Pentax cash-back in Europe :arrow: http://www.pentax-cashback.com/.

I don't understand why Lithuania doesn't appear :( . It's part of Europe :shock: and a E.U. member since May 2003. What a shame :oops: .

Maybe you should pay a visit abroad :) !
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
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Postby rei_vilo » Thu Nov 12, 2009 11:54 am

Bonjour,

I created a website with the :arrow: Pentax K-7 User Review, among other hobbies.

Picture management is easier dur to the close integration between Sites and Picasa.

Enjoy :)
--- rei_vilo
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