Pentax’s first ‘pro-sumer’ DSLR, the K-7, is compact, weatherproof and has a host of novel features, including a self-levelling sensor. Find out in the Pentax K-7 review whether these qualities make it attractive to out-and-about enthusiasts
There is a lot to like about the Pentax K-7. Most importantly for the majority of enthusiast photographers, it is capable of recording high-quality images and has class-leading detail resolution.
Its body is wonderfully ergonomic and it feels comfortable, solid and dependable, with just about every button and dial being within easy reach. There are also a number of really useful features that are unique to Pentax. I particularly like the built-in level with its ability to automatically correct a sloping horizon, while the in-camera HDR system and digital filters are fun to play with.
Pentax has addressed many of the issues that were raised with the K20D. The Live View system is now fully rounded and of genuine use, there’s video technology, and the metering system, which is so heavily biased towards underexposure with the K20D, has been updated and is much more satisfactory in the K-7.
Unfortunately, the K-7 still has a few niggling little problems. The AF system, though improved, can be noisy and struggles when subject contrast drops. Also, although the viewfinder provides a 100% field of view, it isn’t especially comfortable to use.
In addition, the menu system needs work to bring it up to the standard offered elsewhere and make it quicker to use. Overall, though, my impression of the K-7 is favourable. It feels and performs like a photographer’s camera and several of my concerns could be addressed with a firmware upgrade.
Pentax K-7 – Key features
The K-7 has program, aperture priority, shutter priority and manual exposure modes, plus Pentax’s unique shutter/aperture priority and sensitivity priority modes. In shutter/aperture priority (TAv) mode the photographer selects the shutter speed and aperture combination, leaving the camera to set an appropriate sensitivity value. Conversely, in sensitivity priority (Sv) mode, the user selects the sensitivity setting while the camera takes control of the aperture and shutter speed.
Hyper manual and hyper program
When shooting in manual mode, pressing the green button sets the exposure settings to those recommended by the camera, as in program mode. Meanwhile, when shooting in program mode, the hyper program function allows the user to switch to shutter or aperture priority mode using the dials on the grip rather than the main mode dial.
Pentax’s Shake Reduction (SR) system is compatible with all Pentax lenses including K, KA, KAF, KAF2 and KAF3-mount optics. It can also be used with screw-mount, 645 and 67 system lenses mounted via an adapter. Where there is no electrical connection between the lens and camera, the focal length value can be set manually via the menu.