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Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only)

Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only)
Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only)

Product Added : February 9th, 2013
Category : Digital SLR Cameras

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Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only)

Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only)

The Pentax K-7 features a rugged, yet compact new body design, a new 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor rebuilt from the ground up, and advanced features such as HD Movie Capture and new, unique-to-Pentax camera controls. Compatible with every Pentax lens ever made, the high-end K-7 features an abundance of long-anticipated new and improved features that are exclusive to the camera and combine to make it a tremendous photography tool.

  • High-resolution, 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor; compact, magnesium alloy body
  • Body only; lenses sold separately
  • Weather resistant, dustproof, and coldproof (14 degrees F, -10 degrees C)
  • Fast 5.2 fps shooting with the new PRIME II Image processing engine; top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec freezes even the fastest action in well-lit settings
  • 3-inch LCD; Live View mode, with contrast AF, Face Detection, and optional histogram, grid, and bright/dark area display
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC memory cards (not included)

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What customers say about Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only)?

  1. 209 of 209 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Best Pentax to Date, August 3, 2009
    E. J Tastad “ejt” (Marion, IA United States) –
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only) (Electronics)

    Rugged, full weather seals. Rain, snow, or dust won’t slow it down.
    Compact Size with a magnesium alloy shell of stainless steel chassis.
    Selection of lenses designed for the APS-C imaging sensor
    Shake reduction with every lens
    External Mic in video mode
    Very quiet shutter
    Industry first Composition Adjustment and horizon level (separate features)

    Battery life in Live View/Video mode.
    Not a beginners camera unless you have a strong desire to learn about photography
    High ISO performance could be a bit better

    What previous Pentax users will notice:
    Refinement, refinement, refinement
    Low light autofocus is fast and accurate (inline with the competition now)
    AF-Continuous is fast, but not class leading.
    Ergonomics different from previous K10d and K20d (maybe good, maybe bad depending on your position)
    Insignificant change in image quality from K20d
    Can disable long shutter noise reduction for shots 30 seconds or less
    Excellent sensor dust removal

    Who should buy the K-7? Anyone looking for a prosumer dSLR (Nikon d300, d300s, Canon 50d, etc) that they want to take anywhere. This thing is for serious adventurers, with its full weather sealing and wide array of weather sealed lenses (DA* or WR series lenses). Going on a trip to Alaska? Hiking in the back country? Canoeing down the Colorado? Or even if you just want a smaller dSLR with all the features of the big boys from Canon or Nikon. This camera steps up the competition.

    What new to Pentax users should be aware of? The camera makes slight noises when you pick it up or turn it on. The sensor is free to shift in its mount due to the shake reduction system. This is totally normal, but scares some first time users where they think something might be broken.

    Detailed review:

    I have tested out the weather seals in a driving rain, where I shot video using my DA* 60-250mm lens. The seals held up well and the camera still works, so all is good. Having used previous Pentax cameras, I have had minimal trouble with batteries dying in the cold like some friends with Nikon’s and Canon’s have. I had my K20d out in -30 F weather for 1.5 hours once. The camera had frosted over.

    The camera is diminutive, but feels like a little tank. It is sturdily built and feels great in the hand despite the compact size. Without the grip I only have 3 fingers on the grip, but this is the same way I held my much larger Canon 5d when I had it. The K-7 is comfortable for me to hold for long periods, I support the camera with my pinky finger.

    Pentax has a stellar selection of lenses for APS-C cameras with a wide array of fixed focal length lenses (primes) for best image quality, or large aperture zooms (f/2.8), medium aperture zooms (f/4), or “consumer” zooms (f/3.5-5.6). To find a list of Pentax lenses, visit Pentax Imaging USA’s Website. If you want weather sealed remember to buy WR or DA* lenses, non of the others are weather sealed.

    It is important to note that shake reduction works with every lens for the Pentax system, usually around 2 or 3 f-stops, but up to 4 for those with shaky hands. This is invaluable to have a 50mm f/1.4 with shake reduction for those available light shots, just remember that shake reduction allows a slower shutter speed so it isn’t ideal for moving subjects. Also remember to wait a split second for the shake reduction icon to show in the viewfinder before taking your picture at slow shutter speeds.

    The ergonomics are intuitive for the K-7, but might throw some previous K20d users for a loop. Users coming from the K-2000 (K-m in foreign markets) should be able to adapt quickly, as it is very similar. One of the new design paradigms is quick access to everything through the info menu on the back. Also use the info button to disable the LCD (for those that do night shooting and get blinded by it). There is a direct ISO button now too, for those that didn’t know it was hidden under the OK button before. Typical of modern electronics there are several over-loaded button functions, so it pays to sit down with the manual and read over it, but overall it is intuitive. The screen often shows you what button to press (like a little symbol of the front e-dial is shown to change a particular setting using that dial). Similar to the K20d, but slightly different too. Be sure to download the latest firmware from Pentax for better use of the AF Select mode (for selecting your own autofocus point).

    The video mode is reasonably good. It uses motion JPG compression (AVI) which results in huge file sizes, but minimal artifacts while panning or during motions scenes. It records 720p at a fast 30 frames per second, most of the competition only does 24 fps. Max is 4 GB per file, which might be 8 minutes or so…

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  2. 91 of 94 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    In a word, superb, July 7, 2009
    Michael McKee “mystic cowboy” (Port Townsend, WA United States) –
    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)

    This review is from: Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only) (Electronics)

    Every once in a while I get a product that is “just right”. The first VW Rabbit, a Taylor Guitar, a couple of my many Macs and my Klipsch speakers come to mind. They have that extra something that makes me love them. Other brands may be as good but these products click. Add the K-7 to that short list.

    I couldn’t believe that I bought this as I already own the very good Pentax K20D. The K-7 is a better camera. As the current have-to-have feature is video, Pentax included that with this camera. Not being that knowledgeable about video, it seems like it does a good job, though it isn’t a quick, push one button action.

    But when it comes to still photos, it is superb. It feels good in the hand. It’s noticeably smaller than the K20D and a bit lighter but don’t make the mistake of thinking that small doesn’t mean hefty. This thing is solid. It’ build like a tank. I believe that the steel and magnesium body is tough. It sure feels that way.

    Pentax has taken a good camera and fixed the little niggling problems that kept the K20D from being great. The slow, low light autofocus is fixed. That’s fast and accurate now. The already decent high ISO performance seems to be about a full stop better. The camera now has a dedicated ISO button, too, which is a much appreciated addition.

    Other little touches shine, too. The camera handles like a dream. It’s well balanced with my not very light lenses. The 4 way controller now has separate buttons, that let you access the functions individually. Excellent. The ISO button and exposure compensation buttons have been moved to the top of the camera where they can be easily found by feel. The review button, also has been moved to the top and doesn’t have to be picked out of a cluttered back.

    Oh, and the photos this takes are excellent. It has a bunch of scene modes and effects, which honestly I haven’t used. I shoot RAW, though Pentax has left their exclusive RAW/JPEG button on the front of the camera if you choose to mix your image formats. I already mentioned the improved low light performance. High ISO noise doesn’t really appear until 800 and then it’s not something that detracts from the quality of the images. It actually produces usable images at 3200 ISO. They are grainier than some other cameras but Pentax applies very little noise control and the photos have more detail than other cameras I’ve tried. I like the balance that Pentax has taken.

    One other nice detail is that Pentax has replaced the fiddly key you need to turn to access the SD card with a simple latched door. It’s still weather sealed. The one place where the camera seems just a bit worse is in the media door on the other side of the camera. The solid door has been replace by a rubbery plug that I’m not fond of. It still seems to seal the camera but it feels cheap, the only part of the camera that isn’t top-top.

    One other area that’s been improved is the burst speed. I honestly don’t believe that the slower rate of the K20D was really a problem for most people but the numbers didn’t look as good as the competition. That’s “fixed” with a 5+ frame per second rate. It just shows that Pentax really paid attention to what people said about the K20D and fixed it. Pentax also added a high dynamic range feature that does a pretty good job. That has two ranges. The high one shows that HDR strangeness that I’ve come to expect. The middle range does a pretty good job, though I still like to bracket the exposure and post process. Though I did use it this afternoon and got a decent exposure.

    For a serious amateur, I can’t image a better camera. Go to a camera store and pick one up. I’m guessing that you’ll like this gem, too.

    **Addendum – I just spent the last week with my new macro lens. The new ability to zoom in with live view makes manual focusing easy to get spot on. And manual focus is necessary with extreme close ups.

    A problem with all DSLRs is that the lack of the split screen built into the old film cameras makes manual focusing less precise than it was with them. There really are no models that I know of that don’t suffer from this. Live view zoom solves this.(you can add a focusing screen but I understand that those mess with metering)

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  3. 67 of 73 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Major upgrade!, July 7, 2009
    Daniel W (Atlanta, GA United States) –
    This review is from: Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only) (Electronics)

    I had owned a Pentax K10d and have been wanting to upgrade for a while. I did extensive research on the Canon T1I, Canon Xsi, Nikon D90, and Nikon D5000.

    Pentax K7 won out in the end. I was willing to change systems, but the K7 is simply superior to everything at and below its price range. Even surpasses the ones that are a few hundred more as well.

    I travel a lot and wanted something light and weatherproof. during the P&S days, I ruined 3-4 cameras because of dust and did NOT want that to happen to a more expensive dslr. Pentax came to the rescue and offers a weather sealed body. So I can take photos where there’s lots of dust and even in the rain! what other slr camera can you do that with? The Pentax K7 is the only camera within hundreds of dollars that can meet this criteria.

    Of course having great image quality and autofocus abilities were critical too. Yeah, the Nikon D90 might have great low iso performance, but it’s a toy compared to the Pentax K7. Canons were nice, but they felt like toys… unless you go into the $1500+ range. the tight body of the k7 is a sheer delight.

    I got immensely frustrated by Canon and Nikon because I really wanted to switch over… mainly because so many of my friends have their lenses and I could borrow them… but I couldn’t do it because Canon and Nikon deliberately trip their cameras so that it doesn’t cannibalize their other cameras. Also, they want to make more money by putting in the stabilization within the lens instead of the body. So you have to get a stabilized lens – which is a lot of more money. Pentax ain’t nasty like Nikon and Canon. They put their best foot forward instead of little toes like Canon and Nikon with their stripped cameras.

    admittedly, one of the major problems with my K10 was the low light autofocus. it was hard to take shots with my 1.4 prime in a dimly lit room. but that problem is now gone! the k7 autofocus is quick and accurate. an additional bonus… one of the reasons why i hate flash is because it disturbs the people around you, but the loud shutter sounds of slrs are a distraction too. but with the k7, i think it has the quietest shutter of all slrs! this is a huge bonus when trying to take pictures without disturbing people around you.

    all the cameras that aren’t full frame are similar in image quality. some have more noise and more detail (like the pentax), and the others have less noise but less detail, but the differences aren’t very significant. so it comes down to the value and the feature set. and this is where the Pentax K7 BLOWS away the competition. you might be a little turned off by the $1300 price, but at that price, there’s NOTHING that comes even close.

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