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
White balance and colour
In their automatic settings, the white balance systems of both cameras perform very well.
On the whole, the EOS 7D tends to produce slightly warmer images than the K-7, but in most situations the difference isn’t huge. Pentax appears to have calibrated the camera to make images more neutral, which in some circumstances is desirable, but it can take some of the atmosphere out of a shot.When shooting a still life in fairly warm ambient light, for example, the K-7 produced a cold and cheerless result next to the warmer version produced by the Canon camera. The true picture was nearer to the EOS 7D’s interpretation, but neither shot can be regarded as 100% accurate.
There are plenty of ways to adjust the appearance of images captured by the EOS 7D and K-7, but the Pentax camera has the most extensive range. In addition to the Image Finishing Tone options (Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Muted and Monochrome), which provide control over the saturation, hue, brightness, contrast and sharpness of colour images, and the coloured filter and toning effects that can be applied to monochrome images, eight filter effects are available. Like the HDR setting, these filters (which include options such as High Contrast, Fish-eye and Toy Camera) can only be used when JPEG images are recorded without a simultaneous raw file. The processing takes a few seconds and on the whole I’m not sure the gimmicky effects are worth the wait, although they can be fun on occasion.
The K-7’s default Image Finishing Tone is Bright, which produces pleasant images in good light. However, I often use the Natural setting as it applies less sharpening and the colours are more muted. Of the Canon EOS 7D Picture Styles (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Neutral, Faithful and Monochrome),I most commonly use Standard (which is a good all-rounder), Monochrome and Neutral. The Canon Standard images tend to be a little warmer and punchier than the Pentax Bright JPEGs.