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Old Oct 2, 2010, 10:21 PM   #1
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Default K-7 or K-r to Augment/Replace K200D?

Does anyone have first-hand, personal experience with both the K200D and the K-7?

I'm wondering how much better the K-7 is at higher ISOs than the K200D. Yes, I know the reputation the K-7 has for noise at higher ISOs, but it is still a newer-generation camera and sensor and my K200D is limited to ISO 1600. My hope is that the K-7 is still better at ISO 3200 than the K200D is at ISO 1600.

Also, how much better is the K-7's auto-focus in the real world compared with the K200D?

I ask because I'm trying to decide if opting for a K-7 to augment and eventually replace my K200D is a good idea now, given the lower price for a K-7 body. An alternate choice would be a K-r. Down the road, in perhaps 12-18 months, I could see replacing the K200D entirely with a K-5 once the price of that camera falls substantially.

So, I could have a two-camera kit of the K-7 (or K-r) plus the K200D for now and eventually a two-camera kit featuring the K-5 and the K-7 (or K-r).

I suppose if enough people haven't worked with the K200D and the K-7, the K10D could be a surrogate for the K200D - given that much of the internals and image processing is the same.
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Old Oct 2, 2010, 11:30 PM   #2
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I can't speak specifically on the K200D but I can on the K7. Personally I almost never use it above ISO 800. The only time I have it has been a case of an ISO 1,600 shot or nothing and then a lot of PP.

I've found the AF on the K7 to be pretty damn good in most situations even though that YouTube video shows a considerable difference between the K5 & the K7 that would seem to be more a reflection on the potentially superb AF of the new K5 than a reflection of some major deficiency in the K7.
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Old Oct 3, 2010, 2:34 AM   #3
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Hi Biro,

It really depends on how you use a camera. If features and performance are higher on the priority list, then the K-7 might be the better body for you. I'm in this camp, and feel that the extra control and performance gets me shots that I wouldn't get if I were fiddling with the menus, and better IQ in shots that I miss is significantly worse than getting the shot, but at an IQ level that takes some work to bring the best out of the image.

If you normally take your time to shoot, and do it in relatively consistent lighting, then the performance aspect can take a back seat, and better IQ from the original images means less time and effort in PP.

Of course it's not just this simple, but it's a starting point. . . and then the less "important" things might make a difference.

Maybe you ultimately see yourself with a K-5, a K-7 backup might ultimately be better as the bodies and controls will be almost identical.

Maybe you'll want to go shooting with a family member or friend, and he/she is not really into the technical aspects of photography, then you might want a simpler camera to lend. . .

Only you can assess the total plan, so try to think about all the possible factors for your situation, both current and future. The good thing is that you plan on purchasing the different models towards the end of their run, so you will have a lot of time to consider how they mesh into your particular scheme. . . consider the details -- not just the features that most people seem to consider important like fast AF and FPS which might be helpful, but may not be essential to your style of shooting. The K-7 and K-5 will probably take the same battery, but the Kr will not be able to, for example. . .and some feel that AAs are a great benefit for a travel camera. . .

Good luck in forming your plan.


Last edited by snostorm; Oct 3, 2010 at 3:20 AM.
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Old Oct 3, 2010, 7:20 AM   #4
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What Scott said.

I used to have a K10 and the K7 is definitely better than the K10 as far as image noise (the K20 is better than the K10 also). I'm don't think that I would go so far as saying that the K7's 3200 is better than the K10's 1600 though. If high ISO is your top priority, going with the Kr would probably give you more satisfaction than a K7.

Much of my photography is done slowly and so it isn't that big of a deal to switch to a camera that has different controls. I've been using an unmodified K100 recently for shooting IR (a very slow type of photography!) and I don't have much trouble using it. I do often find myself wishing it had some of the features the K7 has, but I have time to think about how to do things with it. If I were shooting something with two cameras that was a fast sport or birds, I'd end up missing shots by going back and forth (unless you set up the cameras before hand and wouldn't have to change anything in the middle of shooting - when did that ever happen!?!
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Old Oct 3, 2010, 10:22 AM   #5
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I really like my K-7, but I'm patiently waiting on the K-r, and I might consider buying a K-r, just for high iso work. Otherwise, I'd just say "ditto" to everything Scott and Harriet said.

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Old Oct 3, 2010, 10:47 AM   #6
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I have a K10 which has the same sensor as the K200 I believe. High ISO noise is a problem (the older 6MP cameras were much better). I think if I were putting low light performance at the top of my list I would choose the K-R (which I will probably do) but if ruggedness and handling were important then the K7 would be the choice. In going from a K200 to a K-R you lose the weather seals but gain image quality.
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Old Oct 3, 2010, 2:58 PM   #7
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I think the truth is... I ultimately see myself in a K-5. But I can wait the 12-18 months it make take for the price to become a real steal.

In terms of shooting style, I generally take my time and use a considered approach. Except for the occasional moments when I shoot things like auto racing. And, as I've mentioned in other posts discussing lenses, I can envision doing more wildlife photography in the future.

It sounds to me that, features and performance aside, the K-7 isn't a slam-dunk winner over the K200D in terms of image quality. Rather, it's more a matter of personal priorities. Other Pentaxians have told me as much. Frankly, I've never thought that the K200D's performance at ISO 1600 was awful (certainly not stellar but not awful), it's just that I can't go any higher. It's been a problem a few times, such as at a night time Major League Baseball game. But it's not an everyday issue.

I guess I have to decide whether I want better high ISO performance (and frame rate) right away (meaning a K-r purchase now) or can wait (a K-5 in a year or so). I do value the weather seals and ruggedness, which is why I'd probably keep the K200D either way - at least until I could swing a K-5.

Of course, if I wait that means I can spend some money on a couple of lenses now. Maybe an UWA zoom or a couple of DA Limited primes. It's just that I saw a potential opportunity with the K-7. I'll have to think a bit more about this.

Last edited by Biro; Oct 3, 2010 at 3:10 PM.
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