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
In the past I have expressed concern about the new 63-zone Focus Colour Luminance (iFCL) metering system in the Canon EOS 7D, as even in its evaluative mode the system can be heavily influenced by the subject under the selected AF point. However, in the challenging overcast and snowy conditions during part of this test, I found that the Canon system generally produced better results than the Pentax K-7’s.
The Pentax K20D is very prone to underexposure and although the K-7 is less so, I had 0.7EV or even 1EV extra exposure dialled in for the majority of the shots I took in the snow, and most need a little post-capture brightening even though the in-camera Shadow Correction option was often set to its highest value. Traditionally, this isn’t especially unusual, but on many occasions the EOS 7D managed to produce better exposures with little or no intervention on my part. This doesn’t mean that I left the exposure compensation or Auto Lighting Optimiser controls unused, but the EOS 7D often does a better job unassisted than the K-7.
In more standard, sunnier conditions, the metering systems of both cameras are very capable. Naturally, it still pays to keep an eye on the image histograms to make sure the exposure is in the correct range.
Generally, the K-7 tends to respond more like a traditional camera than the EOS 7D. Experienced photographers may prefer the predictability of the Pentax system over the more sophisticated, yet slightly less predictable metering of the EOS 7D. However, during this test the Canon camera got a better exposure in-camera more often than the Pentax camera did.
Images: Not surprisingly, both cameras underexposed this snowy scene when left to their own devices, even with their shadow enhancing dynamic range options set to the highest setting, but the Pentax image is a little darker and less neutral in tone