In a sea of minor updates, it's nice to see some fresh DSLR blood 
in the form of two high-resolution DSLRs. We compare the Canon EOS 7D 
vs Pentax K-7 to see which one comes out on top

Canon EOS 7D vs Pentax K-7 Verdict

I have been quite taken with the Canon EOS 7D and Pentax K-7 from the moment I started using them.

Both are nicely put together and feel like they are built to withstand the rigours of life as an enthusiast’s camera. Over the months since I first tested it, I have become used to the slightly tunnel-like viewfinder of the K-7, so I no longer notice that I have to have my eye at just the right angle to peer through the finder housing.

However, I found using some of the K-7’s controls quite different in the winter cold than in the relative warmth of the summer, or when shooting indoors. Identifying some of the controls when the camera is held to the eye becomes much trickier.

Like other Live View and video-enabled DSLRs, the EOS 7D and K-7 have extensive menus. Although it is not perfect, the Canon menu structure is one of the best around and the My Menu screen allows users quick access to the features they use most often.

Pentax’s engineers should spend a little time studying it to make the K-7’s menu more user-friendly and quicker to use. With a firmware upgrade, the lengthy custom menu could be made much easier to use by photographers who haven’t memorised what the default settings are for each of the 38 options.

One of the aspects I like most about the K-7 is its relatively small size, which makes it easier to transport. However, I found I could alternate easily between the K-7 and the EOS 7D without noticing a significant change in the weight. The main difference was the position of the little finger of my right hand and I find the grip of the EOS 7D a little more comfortable to use over a lengthy period.

One key difference between the EOS 7D and the K-7 is the autofocus performance. The Pentax system can be noisy, but it is capable, and while I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who wants to shoot sport on a frequent basis, it can be used to do so.

When comparing the EOS 7D and the K-7 it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that there is around £300 difference between their street prices. As well as a larger body, an additional 3.4 million effective pixels and better low-light capability of the EOS 7D, the extra cash brings a little more finesse. Neither camera mollycoddles the user, but the EOS 7D makes life a little easier.

Canon EOS 7D vs Pentax K-7 Scores

   Canon EOS 7D  Pentax K7
 Tested as:  Enthusiast DSLR  Enthusiast DSLR
 Rated:  Very good  Very good
 Overall score: 89%  86%
 Features:  9/10  9/10
 Noise/resolution:  28/30  28/30
 Dynamic range:  9/10  9/10
 LCD/viewfinder:  9/10  8/10
 Build/handling:  8/10  8/10
 Autofocus:  9/10  7/10
 Metering:  8/10  8/10
AWB/colour:  9/10  9/10

Canon EOS 7D and Pentax K-7 Focal points

Print sizes

As the EOS 7D produces images with 5184×3456 pixels, prints made at 300ppi measure 43.9cmx29.3cm, which is a little over A3 size. Meanwhile the 4672×3104-pixel output of the Pentax K-7 results in 39.6×26.3cm images at 300ppi, which is a fraction under 
full A3 size.

HDR mode

Pentax was the first company to provide an image-combining HDR mode in a DSLR. In this mode the K-7 offers two levels of effect: Standard and Strong. After three JPEG images are taken in quick succession, they are combined into one composite picture. The processing takes around ten seconds and the camera must be mounted on a tripod to ensure there is no movement between the exposures to avoid a double-image effect.

Continuous shooting

The EOS 7D is able to shoot continuously at 8fps. This rate continues for up to 94 large, fine-quality JPEG images or 15 raw files, but when a UDMA CF card is used the number of large, fine-quality JPEGs that may be captured in a single burst extends to 126.

When set to shoot in its high continuous mode, the K-7 can capture images at 5.2fps for up to 40 JPEG images, 15 PEF or 14 DNG files.

  1. 1. Canon EOS 7D 
vs Pentax K-7 at a glance
  2. 2. Canon EOS 7D vs Pentax K-7 - Features
  3. 3. Page 3
  4. 4. White balance and colour
  5. 5. Metering
  6. 6. Viewfinder, LCD, Live View and video
  7. 7. Dynamic range
  8. 8. Autofocus
  9. 9. Resolution, noise and sensitivity
  10. 10. Canon EOS 7D vs Pentax K-7 Verdict
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