Pentax K-7 review

August 15, 2009

Overall Rating:


Pentax K-7

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Price as Reviewed:


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

Pentax K-7 at a glance:

  • 14.6 million effective pixels
  • Live View on 3in, 920,000-dot LCD screen
  • HD video at 640×416, 1536×1024 or 1280×720 pixels (16:9) at 30fps
  • Moving, self-levelling sensor
  • Street price approx £1,190

Pentax K-7 review – Introduction:

At the official press launch of the Pentax K-7, Pentax allowed the journalists to retain the pre-production samples. Although at the time Pentax UK’s representatives believed that these cameras needed just a final firmware upgrade to bring them up to full production specification, their Japanese colleagues later announced that a slight modification was required to optimise noise control, especially at high sensitivity settings.

While this information was made available at the same time as the firmware upgrade was sent, it caused problems for some testers who were already committed to publishing a review.

At AP we have a policy of testing only full production model cameras so our tests accurately reflect the buyer’s experience. Consequently, while this test of the Pentax K-7 may not be the first, it is the first of a full production sample.

As Pentax’s first real high-end enthusiast DSLR, the 14.6-million-effective-pixel K-7 faces tough competition from the likes of the Canon EOS 50D and the new Nikon D300s.

However, it isn’t just a ‘me too’ model, as it has a few unique features such as a sensor that can automatically rotate by as much as 2° to correct a sloping horizon and an in-camera HDR mode.

It is also very compact for a camera of this level, and has 77 weatherproof seals to keep moisture and dust at bay. The prospect of a small, highly functional DSLR that might have the class-leading detail resolution of the 
Pentax K20D is truly enticing.

  • 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

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