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Old Oct 9, 2009, 8:08 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Biro View Post
Because I have already bought into Pentax - and really don't have any major problems with the system (other than rising lens prices) - the K-7 remains a legitimate option for me. But if I were someone puchasing my first DSLR or intentionally moving to a new system, the competition you mentioned would be hard to ignore.
Hi Biro, I agree partially -- and being very invested in Pentax, bought the K-7 sight unseen. I think that many already with Pentax don't worry too much with the ergonomics -- or resigned to the fact that they won't really be able to handle a new model before actually ordering it. I can't argue with penolta about the availability for new potential users to try one out, but the big box/internet sales strategy hasn't been fully deployed yet -- if it ever will fully be done. . .

I think that the K-7 specifically might have 3 main target markets though --

1 Upgraders who already own a Pentax DSLR or film SLR
2. Upgraders from other systems who want a competitively spec'd semi-pro DSLR, but aren't too invested in their system, and don't want a big camera.
3. Pro level shooters with other systems who want a compact high-end DSLR kit with a few high quality primes.

I do not think that Pentax thought that they could enter into competition for the specialist sports shooters, or to a slightly lesser degree to specialist wildlife shooters. If that was their purpose for designing the K-7, then they were delusional, IMO. There is no real lens base for this when a 300/2.8 with very quick AF is a minimum requirement (IMO). The FA*300/2.8 is a pretty rare bird, and though it acquits itself well for my style and level of bird shooting, I wouldn't expect that it would be as suitable for sports as some of the other mfgs cameras with comparably spec'd lenses at the same or higher levels. Without a state of the art AF system and a line of fast long AF primes, they couldn't possibly expect to draw shooters in these genres from other mfgs.

All the mfgs make very compact entry level bodies. If current users want to upgrade in features WITHIN their chosen brand, there is a significant premium to be paid in size and weight. I think that the K-7 offers those who own other brands a significant upgrade path in performance with much less of a size and weight penalty than the other mfgs. The assumption would be that these users would NOT need the fastest AF. the most sophisticated AF C, or the highest frame rate in the class, and that size and weight plus a full feature set, plus the promise of less expensive lenses with SR always available would be enough to attract them.

I've read about some Canon users who have converted Pentax primes for fully manual stop down metering use with their Canon bodies. The K-7, with its more competitive performance specs might offer them the use of these primes without the conversion expense while retaining the full functionality of the lens, plus SR, which is supplied by the body, of course. The slight performance hit that they experience with the K-7 as oppose to the 7D or D300s would be offset by the added convenience of being able to use the Pentax primes at full functionality.

I could imagine being an affluent Canon or Nikon shooter who might like a small Pentax system, with a few LTD primes, to carry on a daily basis instead of my 1DS MkIII or D3x. . . I do exactly this with my K100DS and DA50-200, and the weight differential is not nearly as great against my K20 or K-7. If I'm going somewhere specific, and might want the increased performance, I'll pick the appropriate gear, but for the occasions where I just want a camera. . .

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