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

AWB Colour:
LCD viewfinder:
Dynamic Range:


Pentax K-7 review


Price as reviewed:


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Viewfinder, LCD, live view and video

mode dial
This dial is used to select the still shooting mode 
or set the camera to its video mode. Pressing 
the shutter release 
button starts and stops movie recording.

Lens corrections
With Pentax DA and DFA-lenses, chromatic aberration and distortion corrections can be applied automatically via this option in the main menu.

Control dials
All the dials, buttons and controls are sealed against water and 
dust. This dial has a knurled rubberised finish that is easy to 
use in damp conditions.

OK and AF
This button confirms setting selections, but it also activates the AF point selection mode when the K-7 is set to the SEL mode. To avoid confusion, a symbol in the viewfinder and on the LCD screen indicates when the AF points can be selected using the four navigation buttons.

The K-7 has a glass pentaprism viewfinder that provides approximately 100% field of view, so all the scene is visible. However, the corners of the K-7 viewfinder are easily obscured by its surround and the eye needs to be kept to the centre of the finder.

This can be tricky when the camera is mounted on a tripod, but fortunately the K-7 has a fully functioning Live View system that displays the scene being composed on the 3in, 920,000-dot (307,000-pixel) LCD screen. This screen provides a good view, and although fixed it has a 170° viewing angle (horizontal and vertical) so the scene can be seen, albeit with foreshortening, when the camera is at a high or low angle. The 10x magnified view is sufficiently detailed to allow precise manual focusing.

During the overcast weather experienced during part of this test, 
the view through the viewfinder with 
the smc Pentax-DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 
AL WR kit lens mounted was quite gloomy. I also found the viewfinder data difficult to see in bright light and sometimes I had to cup my hand around the eyepiece to see the level indicator.

Pentax was criticised for the poor execution of its Live View system in the K20D, but the company has managed to make quite a leap with the K-7. As well as putting the K-7’s Live View system on a par with those of other manufacturers, it is the first Pentax DSLR to feature HD video recording. This makes Pentax only the third manufacturer to include HD video technology in a DSLR.

There are three video resolutions available at 640×416, 1536×1024 and 1280×720 pixels, with the latter being equivalent to 16:9 high-definition television proportions and all are recorded at 30fps. Although I found that the camera mic produces reasonably clean sound, an external microphone socket is provided to make it easier to record the subject rather than the photographer’s hands on the camera.

Video footage is smooth and detailed, but the wobbling often seen with CMOS-based video cameras when the K-7 is moved rapidly is visible.

  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 9 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.