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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Pentax K-7

Build/Handling:
Autofocus:
Noise/resolution:
Metering:
Features:
AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:

Product:

Pentax K-7 review

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£1,190.00

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Our verdict

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

Exposure modes
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.

Shake Reduction

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.

Details

Dioptre Adjustment:-2.5 to +1.5 dioptre
White Balance:Auto, 10 presets, plus custom setting, Kelvin 
 and WB fine adjustment
Built-in Flash:Yes
Shutter Type:Electronically controlled focal-plane
Memory Card:SD or SDHC
Viewfinder Type:Pentaprism
Output Size:4672x3104 pixels
LCD:3in TFT with 920,000 dots or 307,000 pixels
Field of View:Approx 100%
AF Points:11 points AF (cross type)
White Balance Bracket:Yes, over 3 images
Sensor:14.6-million-effective-pixel CMOS sensor
Focal Length Mag:1.5x
Max Flash Sync:1/180sec with built-in flash, High Speed sync with compatible Pentax flashguns
Exposure Modes:PASM, sensitivity priority, shutter and aperture priority, bulb and movie
Weight:670g without battery or card/s, 750g with
Power:Rechargeable Lithium-Ion D-L190 (supplied)
File Format:12-bit PEF or DNG raw, JPEG; JPEG + raw simultaneously
Shutter Speeds:30-1/8000sec in 1⁄3 or 1⁄2EV steps plus B
Exposure Comp:±5EV in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps
Colour Space:Adobe RGB, sRGB
Drive Mode:Single, continuous Hi/Lo , self-timer (10/2secs selectable), mirror lock-up. Up to 5.2 fps for 17 PEF or around 30 premium JPEG or 40 Hi JPEGs
RRP:£1,199.99
Lens Mount:Pentax KAF2
ISO:100-3200, expandable to ISO 6400 in 
 1, 1/2 or 1/3EV steps
Focusing Modes:AF.S (single), AF.C (continuous), manual
DoF Preview:Yes
Dimensions:130.5x96.5x72.5mm
Metering System:77-segment metering, centreweighted, spot
Connectivity / Interface:USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
Compression:Three-stage JPEG
Tested as:Enthusiast DSLR
  1. 1. Pentax K-7 at a glance:
  2. 2. Features
  3. 3. Build and handling
  4. 4. White balance and colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Autofocus
  7. 7. Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  8. 8. Dynamic range
  9. 9. Viewfinder, LCD, live view and video
  10. 10. The competition
  11. 11. Our verdict
Page 11 of 11 - Show Full List
  • Roberta

    Well Carl,There are many readers inlducing myself that look forward to what you write ..Your right on with the DP1, the more I use it, the more I love it and depend on it. Pushing to 1600-3200 is easy and still provides great images .Waiting on your next project .take care Don

  • Emrullah

    Sorry but I disagree with the whole coecnpt of women in combat, the same as in the cops. Ken, Grams & I saw you blow thru the obstacle course. The women were allowed to run around the cinderblock fence and avoid any other parts that were like the tire jumping part. Legs were too short. Also, they must be given Days off when they are PMSing or some other female peculiar ailment. I doubt the Iraqis are carrying around MIDAL just in case . They demand equality then yell for special treatament because I am a woman and can’t deal with it.Be really fair, democratic etc . let Nancy Pelosi & Harry Reid lead the first charge and develop a draft for women . You would see how quickly the baby must have its mother’s milk pumping. Just out of bullet range and heaven help the Major who ordered the Mom to hang the baby in her backpack ready for next feeding.. If they want to fight, neuter them first.I have a REAL problem with minorities getting promoted ahead of better qualified and deserving to pay the quoto debt.Don’t get me started. We have lost a lot of excellent men in our peacekeeping effort for no real good reason. Should have sent some whiney women instread.