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Old Aug 15, 2009, 4:46 AM   #1
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Default Very positive K7 review

The latest issue of most well renowned (and oldest, celebrates it's 70:th birthday this year!) Swedish photo magazine, Foto, holds a very positive review on the K7. I won't give you any link, but if you want to learn Swedish, send me a PM.

The reviewer starts right off by stating that it's a "pro quality camera". Continues by telling that it "offers an incredible number of features, where the main part are actually useful and not just gimmicks". In the technical test part it's put up against the Nikon D300 and Canon 50D. Autofocus speed: faster than D300!, but neither the Pentax or Nikon can match the Canon. Resolution: all three pretty equal, but the Pentax being the best on the edge!
In the pros and cons list he lists 12 pros and 4 cons.
He summarises his enthusiastic review: "Pentax K7 is one of this year's most interesting and competent cameras. It is utterly well built and has an enormous quantity of features, still costing only 13 000 SEK. No doubt that is very priceworthy!"

Hope for more reviews like this.

Kjell
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 1:35 PM   #2
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That's good to hear Kjell, thanks for sharing.
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Old Aug 15, 2009, 1:36 PM   #3
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It looks like http://www.imaging-resource.com now has most of the testing completed for the K7, too (but, no review conclusion yet). AF speed appears to be *very* fast from what I can see from their testing. Noise at higher ISO speeds is considerably higher than competing models though (judging by their imatest results).
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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It does seem like Pentax is following their normal philosophy when it comes to noise - they keep the detail and let the user decide how they want to balance the detail vs. noise issue, rather than deciding for you. Those who don't want to do it themselves will not like it, while others would be happy to trade a bit of noise for keeping detail in texture etc.
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 2:49 AM   #5
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The Swedish reviewer spends quite a lot of space discussing the noise topic, but he only talks about the different possibilities to handle it with in-camera noise reduction vs post-processing. Not a letter about it being a problem.

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Old Aug 16, 2009, 9:25 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post
AF speed appears to be *very* fast from what I can see from their testing.
It's unfortunate no one seems to do any focus tracking tests. For sports and wildlife shooters, initial focus aquisition time isn't the real problem. It's how well the focus system tracks the subject - in other words, if you take a 5 shot burst of a running subject, how many shots (if any) are in focus? How well does it adjust when a subject changes direction (think soccer player or bird)?

I think that's the biggest upgrade a lot of Pentax shooters are after. Unfortunately none of the official reviewers ever test this (for any camera). Which is why it's important to see results from early adopters who shoot sports / wildlife if that's your area of interest.

And don't misunderstand. It looks like the K-7 is an outstanding camera. My caution is that a timing of initial focus aquisition does not provide any direct correlation to continuous focus performance (since continuous focus requires predictive focus algorithms to be effective - and an initial focus test wouldn't test that). So, look for those in-the-field tests from actual users if this is an attribute you're interested in.
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 10:22 AM   #7
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I agree whole hardily John!
I wish somebody would do an extensive real world test with some long lenses and post their findings with all three camera makes to see how they compare.
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Old Aug 16, 2009, 10:50 AM   #8
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I agree whole hardily John!
I wish somebody would do an extensive real world test with some long lenses and post their findings with all three camera makes to see how they compare.
It's not just that. It would be nice any time at least a prosumer DSLR comes out it should be tested. It's just nice to know whether that aspect has been improved over a DSLR you may already own in the system. For example, as a Canon user when I read gear threads I primarily read Canon on other sites. When the 50d came out - immediately sports and wildlife shooters wanted to know how the AF compared from the prior 40d. They had to rely on early adopters to shoot with the camera and compare.

Part of the challenge is sports and wildlife shooting is a bit specialized. Not unlike wedding. Not every Joe Photographer has taken the time to hone skills on how to do it well. So, a review has to be done by a competant sports/wildlife shooter. Wildlife (and here we're talking about moving wildlife not stills) is difficult because you could spend hours in the field and not have a single good opportunity. So it would be a significant amount of time spent to try and test. Sports is a little easier. But again, you need the right equipment. You want to see field sports tested with 300mm 2.8 or 400mm 2.8 lenses. Why? Because of shallow DOF. That's how you tell how well a camera tracks - not shooting at 100mm f5.6. Depending on when a camera comes out - it may be difficult to shoot a sport. And, the trouble with a 'scientific' test - the most notably being the tracking of a car is that the car moves much more predictably and constant rate of speed than humans / birds. Part of AF tracking is how quickly the system recovers and re-focuses when a subject changes direction or changes speed.

In reality I think shooting a couple soccer/football matches with two cameras (alternating between cameras) with same caliber 300mm or 400mm 2.8 lenses in both systems would give a shooter a good idea of how they compare.

Then the same test needs to happen in low light - indoor sports.

Again, I'm not sure what could be done about wildlife.
The one thing to be careful of though is the natural bias of a person that just bought a new camera. They desparately want to believe it's better in every way than the old one.

In any event I would suggest to people they view GALLERY LEVEL results of at least sports (if that's what they shoot). Picking 5 photos to post when you took 500 doesn't really help prove anything. But if you've got a gallery of 100 shots out of 250 or so taken that's a pretty good indicator.

For wildlife, I'd want to see results from several different outings of different types of birds. In my limited experience your results can often be dictated by luck of how close the birds are and what the background is like. And remember, if you want to shoot birds in flight, I wouldn't judge too much based upon a portrait shot of a bird. All DSLRs on the market can produce sharp results. The lens will affect sharpness far more than the DSLR itself anymore. So sharpness of photos of a still object don't help you determine how sharp the results will be when tracking. Again, ask for full sequences. If photog shot 12 shots but posts just 2 from a sequence, see what the other 10 in the sequence looked like. Most of us would cherry pick just the couple best, but that doesn't help someone else judge how well the camera did.

Finally - when judging continuous focus - remember, what is difficult is a subject changing focal planes. Tracking a subject moving in the same focal plane isn't a tough task for a camera - you want to see subjects moving closer to the shooter and changing focal planes - not moving perpendicular over a short distance where it doesnt change focal planes.
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