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Author Topic: K7 arrival  (Read 10446 times)
tetsuo77
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« on: May 22, 2009, 07:12:32 AM »
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Is there any excitement about the k7?
Or yet another dSLR?

Was it preferable to have a metal alloy body, or would it have been better to use a high grade plastic body [preferable for hard use physical stability and low temperature usage].
Expected some innovative features as the K10d had [namely, new exposure modes and a further development of the HyperProgram mode]?
« Last Edit: May 22, 2009, 07:24:00 AM by tetsuo77 » Logged
Er1kksen
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« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2009, 04:17:17 PM »
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Quote from: tetsuo77
Is there any excitement about the k7?
Or yet another dSLR?

Was it preferable to have a metal alloy body, or would it have been better to use a high grade plastic body [preferable for hard use physical stability and low temperature usage].
Expected some innovative features as the K10d had [namely, new exposure modes and a further development of the HyperProgram mode]?

I just spent a weekend shooting with my K20D on a backpacking trip. The K-7 takes everything I love about the K20D and fixes everything that was undesirable about it (in particular the AF and shooting speed), while putting it into a smaller and even more solid body. I also made some use of the K20D's low-res 21 fps burst shooting mode, which I convert to video footage later on the computer, and I'm glad to see this evolve into a true video implementation at 30 fps, using a format that may take up a lot of memory but really delivers on the quality.

There was some concern about the metal alloy body and colder temperatures (the K20D was known to keep shooting when more expensive metal-bodied cameras lost battery power in the cold) but the K-7 is rated to work down to -10 degrees, which is lower than the rating for the K20D, so they must have found some way to work around it.

Exposure modes should be the same as the K10D; there isn't much room to improve on the highly user-configurable exposure modes already present in the K10D/20D. There are some other interesting things coming to the table, however, like in-camera HDR and user-controllable sensor rotation and shift feature.

I plan on buying one as soon as I can afford it (probably not until december, really. My K20D should be sufficient until then). The new low-cost weathersealed lenses are very appealing as well.
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tetsuo77
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 04:39:41 PM »
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Quote from: Er1kksen
I just spent a weekend shooting with my K20D on a backpacking trip. The K-7 takes everything I love about the K20D and fixes everything that was undesirable about it (in particular the AF and shooting speed), while putting it into a smaller and even more solid body. I also made some use of the K20D's low-res 21 fps burst shooting mode, which I convert to video footage later on the computer, and I'm glad to see this evolve into a true video implementation at 30 fps, using a format that may take up a lot of memory but really delivers on the quality.

There was some concern about the metal alloy body and colder temperatures (the K20D was known to keep shooting when more expensive metal-bodied cameras lost battery power in the cold) but the K-7 is rated to work down to -10 degrees, which is lower than the rating for the K20D, so they must have found some way to work around it.

Exposure modes should be the same as the K10D; there isn't much room to improve on the highly user-configurable exposure modes already present in the K10D/20D. There are some other interesting things coming to the table, however, like in-camera HDR and user-controllable sensor rotation and shift feature.

I plan on buying one as soon as I can afford it (probably not until december, really. My K20D should be sufficient until then). The new low-cost weathersealed lenses are very appealing as well.

Apparently, there are only two people who ever care about this brand-camera.
Sad but true [are they too late for a 645d? Weīll see, but after seeing how easy people seem to actually upgrade or change complete systems "like that -fingers snaping sound here-", I can expect whatever, especially after seing the bargain basement prices 645 and 67 lenses have right now, and most of them are truly stellar].


I still think that it is a tad too expensive. Actually, the very best of the K7 is that the k20d, which is a very good still camera with an ok-ish AF and burst [but most of the times is not intrudingly slow, I have to admit, and locks better focus than the Alpha700, for instance] will drop still the price more, so it is BY FAR the cheapest of the middle class cameras, well cheaper than the D300, E3, E30, Alpha700, 50D, SD14 and S5pro.

On the other hand, the fully weathersealed kit lenses are a first for the industry [will they have upgraded optics?], and it is very important to notice not to take too much into account web reviews [specially photozone], as they are usually performed with  the older K10d, and the K20d has a different sensor, so CA and PF results will probably vary.

Iīll not upgrade my Ds so far. Not good times, and the substitutes [K20d or K7] that have a comparable pentaprism do not cut the mustard. And I promise, the Ds can get quite a beating on its body.

Still, I donīt see the reason for a metal body nowadays. It makes [scientifically] the camera physically weaker than the polycarbonate body. I guess Marketing people have quite something to say about it.

Cheers!!!!!




PS:
Did you finally got a long range cheap zoom, as you wanted? It seems that the black versions of the 80-320 are not as good as the silver versions of the same lens. Front element is reportedly sturdier on the silver version.


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Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2009, 08:49:19 PM »
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I handled this camera at the Henry's Photo Show this weekend and can find only 2 nitpicks. The camera is so solid and compact that every available space has a button or switch so stray placement of thumb or fingers will cause accidental triggering of functions. The second relates to the first -height is just a bit small to allow my pinky to fit comfortably on the grip. It's extremely well made with a great feature set. Although I'm invested into the Sony system, I was extremely disappointed in how few people were interested in this camera. Unfortunately Pentax has come to this level of the DSLR market too late to have much of an impact. The "big three" have such a large market share that I wonder how the rest will survive. This camera proves that it would be a pity if the small players were lost.
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tetsuo77
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« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2009, 03:26:17 AM »
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Quote from: Kenneth Sky
I handled this camera at the Henry's Photo Show this weekend and can find only 2 nitpicks. The camera is so solid and compact that every available space has a button or switch so stray placement of thumb or fingers will cause accidental triggering of functions. The second relates to the first -height is just a bit small to allow my pinky to fit comfortably on the grip. It's extremely well made with a great feature set. Although I'm invested into the Sony system, I was extremely disappointed in how few people were interested in this camera. Unfortunately Pentax has come to this level of the DSLR market too late to have much of an impact. The "big three" have such a large market share that I wonder how the rest will survive. This camera proves that it would be a pity if the small players were lost.

To be honest, I donīt think there are "big three", still. Sony is not up there in the sales department of the equation [Iīm not trying to bash it, just noting that there are not that many Alpha 700 out there]. Which I find sad, to be honest.

What I do think is that Pentax is dancing at its own beat, because they have always been there in the middle tier. Although a little bit oddly. The *ist D, K10d, k20d and now the K7 have proved able to be there but for the burst and AF speed [not accuracy. I do maintain that it is not intrusively slow, nor the AF system, nor the burst]. Thing is that the k20d got so dirty cheap that for the price of a Rebel you could get a much higher specīd and way tougher camera. And remember that the pro level cameras for Pentax have been the MF cameras, so there is no argument whether they have a pro level range. Just it happens that it is not a 35mm pro range.

The other hint about beating its own drums is the staggering offering they have with digital primes, which no other brand has right now, and is nowhere near close to do so. And this is a very big advantage to them, as a sensor behaves very differentely from film regarding the lens. You can specifically see this with Sony-Minolta offerings and Canon film primes, where CAīs and, specially, PF are very noticeable [and most say it is because of bouncing light from the sensor to the last lens element, as the sensor is a much more reflective surface than what film was]. True, wide angles have quite some CAīs in Pentax offerings [specially, the so called "dissapointing 15 f4]. But truth to be told, there are no wide angle primes that compact that are faster or have better aberration control, but probably a Cosina offering. That being said, it is quite interesting to see that similar offerings regarding size and weight are the rangefinder wideangle lenses. The closest I can think of is the Cosina-Voigtlander Heliar 15mm, which is even slower [f4.5]. The Cosina Zeiss wideangle is f3.5, much bigger, manual focus only [although 35mm image circle]. And so far, nobody has been bothered about that. Pentax has a faster offering [the equally well built DA14 2.8] which is ONE stop faster than the 15mm.

Thing is, the beauty and quality of the Pentax high grade lenses [allow me to put in here the FA primes as well] are usually non-measurable. Colour transitions, contrast depth, and flare resistance are usually not in the charts of the analysis. And that is where the Pentax lenses excel, puting them quite away from the almost oversharp look of other manufacturers. I guess that it is a matter of fashion and aesthetics regarding how a lens renders the scene. The only lenses Pentax has currently on their catalogue that do well in the charts are the mystic 31, the 70, 77 and both macros.

Last but not least, there is something that Iīve seen with the Pentax that I have not seen yet with other brands: the amount of older cameras still runing and still being regularly used, because they are just well sorted out. I still use for my professional purposes a 6mp *ist Ds, and there are quite some other Pentax users who, after upgrading, still keep that body as a backup body or street body. I just donīt know if it is just that very body, but I do see quite some people happy with older Pentax equipment.


PS: That was not a so called "fanboy" appraisal. Now it comes:
I love, looooooooove my 43 ltd. The more I use it, the better I get to know that little bastard of a lens. It almost becomes capricious, and for that, more lovable. There are some CAīs, but appart from that, the colour depth, the herald it has regarding the bokeh transitions, and just how little that lens is [it is an "amplified" 35, not a "diminished 50", optically], puts it on a different league by its own. Resolution AND flare resistance are the very best measurable data [and this is the sharpest lens Pentax has produced bar none].
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Vautour
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« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2009, 06:17:05 AM »
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Also I don't think this is the right forum for discussing Pentax DSLRs. They're doesn't seem to be much interest here. Incidentally Mr Reichmann's report on the K10D was the last argument for me to buy one (ok, it also fit my hand much more comfortably than the D80 which I also evaluated).  
Didn't regret it, although I also have problems with the autofocus. But much more with the metering system which isn't always that reliable. But I turned this into an advantage: Learned a lot about guessing exposure  Using manual mode it doesn't bother me much any more. But this would be incentive enough to buy the K7D but at a later date. Need to buy some lenses before that.

That said I was surprised having read so little discussion about the K20D with it's 14 MPixel sensor. When the 50D appeared there was much more discussion of its sensor and the draw backs this pixel density has on (older) lenses (diffraction, not enough resolution etc.). I wonder if the Pentax lenses offer so much more resolution than Canon's.


@Kenneth Sky
Did you have a chance of handling the K7D with the new grip attached? I've got the battery grip attached to my K10D almost all the time for better handling with my hands (or paws, as my wife likes to call them).
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tetsuo77
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« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2009, 09:13:44 AM »
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Quote from: Vautour
Also I don't think this is the right forum for discussing Pentax DSLRs. They're doesn't seem to be much interest here. Incidentally Mr Reichmann's report on the K10D was the last argument for me to buy one (ok, it also fit my hand much more comfortably than the D80 which I also evaluated).  
Didn't regret it, although I also have problems with the autofocus. But much more with the metering system which isn't always that reliable. But I turned this into an advantage: Learned a lot about guessing exposure  Using manual mode it doesn't bother me much any more. But this would be incentive enough to buy the K7D but at a later date. Need to buy some lenses before that.

That said I was surprised having read so little discussion about the K20D with it's 14 MPixel sensor. When the 50D appeared there was much more discussion of its sensor and the draw backs this pixel density has on (older) lenses (diffraction, not enough resolution etc.). I wonder if the Pentax lenses offer so much more resolution than Canon's.


@Kenneth Sky
Did you have a chance of handling the K7D with the new grip attached? I've got the battery grip attached to my K10D almost all the time for better handling with my hands (or paws, as my wife likes to call them).

Funny.
I actually found the metering to be quite precise both on the Ds and on the K20d. Incidentally, the white balance of the Ds is much more accurate than the white balance of Lightroom, as it keeps the feeling of light much, much better [but on tungsten lights, where no camera gets the white balance right]. For instance, Lightroom keeps putting the white balance inside train carriages too white, when the light there is a little bit biased to a more yellowish-pink tint.

What I learnt is that both the K20d and Ds tend to expose to the left, in order to protect the highlights with no information.

I disagree about this being not the forum for this. It is about cameras, and the k20d is a very good camera for landscape work, where speed is not that much important, and rugged construction and weather sealing are a big, big positive point.

It wouldnīt be the forum to talk about Sony, either, then. Right?
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2009, 09:19:44 AM »
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Quote from: tetsuo77
Or yet another dSLR?

Yes.  It looks like a nice one but we're kind of between major breakthroughs these days.

I thought the two cheap weather sealed lenses looked interesting.  Throw them in with one of the earlier, cheaper, Pentax bodies and you might have a kayak kit.

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BJL
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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2009, 10:15:14 AM »
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Quote from: tetsuo77
Is there any excitement about the k7?
Lots in some forums; very little here at LL where for whatever reason, Pentax users are rare --- rarer even than us Four Thirds users.
The low size and weight relative to its "enthusiast" level of features and construction are perhaps the biggest talking points, though it might be entering the realm of "too small for good ergonomics" (button size and spacing), at least for those with fat fingers, and glove wearers; the size of lenses and overall kit is perhaps more important for portability than further shrinking of SLR bodies.

Quote from: tetsuo77
Expected some innovative features ...
It does have HD video and a 3" VGA resolution LCD (480x640x3) for the "new feature" crowd, and improvements in metering, AF and frame rate for the "improved core performance" crowd.
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John Camp
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2009, 11:51:44 AM »
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I've gotten tired of the size of the front-line Nikons, so I'm going to take a serious look at it as a travel camera. I'm currently using a G1 for travel (and will also look at the new Olympus m4/3 line), but I'm not sure 4/3 will be able to keep up with the larger formats regarding ISO and resolution. I do like Pentax.
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Er1kksen
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« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2009, 05:43:24 AM »
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The K-7 is priced at about the same point that the K20D was originally priced at, so I'm not too worried about it being too expensive at the moment. The price will drop to where it fits best in the market, as the K20D's did. Of course, the best place in the market for pricing on a Pentax to be is "far more value for the money" than its competitors.

I know there's not much excitement here, but on a lot of other forums the K-7 has made a significant buzz. As stated, this forum is mostly full of Canon or Nikon users, not to mention those who use MF digital. I'm still of the opinion that Michael should try out a K20D (or K-7, now) with some of the more interesting lenses to see how he likes it; maybe he'll see why his buddy Mike Johnston over at the Online Photographer is so enamored with the Pentax line. It may not be a 25mp FF, but I think he'll find a lot to like about it.

btw, yes, I ended up picking up a really cheap copy of the Tokina 75-300 AF, which is apparently the only one of its kind in existence.  I really have never seen or even heard of anyone else with one. I'd assume the optics are similar to most other brand's ~70-300 zooms but it's a push-pull and it's got a really solid metal build. It could be sharper, but it's serving me well for the time being.
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achrisproduction
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« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2009, 07:52:12 AM »
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K-7 why not?  Thinking about to trade in the 1Ds III for K-7.  
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Vautour
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« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2009, 09:06:41 AM »
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Well, that would be quite interesting, trading a 1Ds III to a K7D. Might be worth it

@tetsuo
Yes, I know this forum is about cameras in general but most users here prefer Canon or Nikon with now a soft spot for Sony since they also have a 35mm full format digital camera now. That's why there's not much discussion about Pentax cameras here, at least not the cameras smaller than medium format.
Metering. Well, I use Sigma and Tamron lenses at the moment (saving for genuine Pentax lenses at the moment) and with those metering is sometimes way off. Most noticeably in green surroundings such as forests. There my K10D is usually off by about 2 stops overexposure, sometimes less, sometimes more - definately not regular enough to counter it with programmed custom settings. In other situations it's more prone to underexpose. But I've grown accustomed to Manual Mode and like the camera enough to let that pass. But I agree I've read few reports with this problem. I don't know how much light metering depends on a particular lens other than its selected settings.

I also thought Mr. Reichmann would have a look at the K20D since he was quite positive about the K20D. But then again it's been a busy year for him and most of his audience are Canon and Nikon users. Then again the K7D could be to his liking.
Well, I for one am pleased that Pentax has introduced the K7D and it sounds very promising. I just hope that the cameras do not get too small, though. Got big hands
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achrisproduction
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« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2009, 09:21:26 AM »
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Quote from: Vautour
Well, that would be quite interesting, trading a 1Ds III to a K7D. Might be worth it

@tetsuo
Yes, I know this forum is about cameras in general but most users here prefer Canon or Nikon with now a soft spot for Sony since they also have a 35mm full format digital camera now. That's why there's not much discussion about Pentax cameras here, at least not the cameras smaller than medium format.
Metering. Well, I use Sigma and Tamron lenses at the moment (saving for genuine Pentax lenses at the moment) and with those metering is sometimes way off. Most noticeably in green surroundings such as forests. There my K10D is usually off by about 2 stops overexposure, sometimes less, sometimes more - definately not regular enough to counter it with programmed custom settings. In other situations it's more prone to underexpose. But I've grown accustomed to Manual Mode and like the camera enough to let that pass. But I agree I've read few reports with this problem. I don't know how much light metering depends on a particular lens other than its selected settings.

I also thought Mr. Reichmann would have a look at the K20D since he was quite positive about the K20D. But then again it's been a busy year for him and most of his audience are Canon and Nikon users. Then again the K7D could be to his liking.
Well, I for one am pleased that Pentax has introduced the K7D and it sounds very promising. I just hope that the cameras do not get too small, though. Got big hands
Surely, its worth to do so but of course I still have 5D Mark II, 1D Mark III and LEAF AFi-II 10.  K-7 is a stunning camera no doubt, the body built, metering system (even more segments than 1Ds Mark III), VF Coverage, Electronic leveler....etc all impressed a serious Canon fan.  I sell the 1Ds Mark III not because only to trade in the K-7 but to get ready for the 1Ds IV.  
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tsjanik
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« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2009, 11:18:54 AM »
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Based on comments at Imaging-Resource, the K7 appears to be something of a landmark camera especially regarding video implementation.
http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/K7/K7A.HTM
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Er1kksen
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2009, 10:04:53 PM »
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Unfortunately, it turns out that while the contrast-detect AF in video mode was available in the preproduction cameras, it caused a variety of problems with video operation that led them to remove it from the final firmware. Whether it makes a return (along with more significant levels of manual control) in a future firmware update remains to be seen.

Personally, I have no interest in using any sort of autofocus while shooting video, which opens up my options to use a variety of excellent older manual focus glass in stop-down mode, allowing me full-time aperture control, which should make up for the lack of shutter speed and ISO control during shooting. AE-L and exposure compensation are also apparently available in video, which should be very helpful, really.
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ndevlin
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« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2009, 09:09:31 PM »
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Well, I for one am interested in this camera. I have Canon gear, as regular readers here would know, but I'm deeply ambivalent about it. K-7 wouldn't replace a 5D in terms of IQ overall, but it might actually leave the house in my hand with one of those gorgeous little limited lenses on it.

Just stocked up on 645AF glass in the vain(?) hope that the 645D will come to pass. Where else can you get a 3-zoom kit covering 45-300mm for under $2K??

Anyone who ever owned a K100 wants Pentax to survive. They're a neat company that does what they do well.

- N.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 08:23:33 PM by ndevlin » Logged

Nick Devlin   @onelittlecamera
achrisproduction
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« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2009, 05:05:02 AM »
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Quote from: ndevlin
Well, I for one am interested in this camera. I have Canon gear, as regular readers here would know, but I'm deeply ambivalent about it. K-& wouldn't replace a 5D in terms of IQ overall, but it might actually leave the house in my hand with one of those gorgeous little limited lenses on it.

Just stocked up on 645AF glass in the vain(?) hope that the 645D will come to pass. Where else can you get a 3-zoom kit covering 45-300mm for under $2K??

Anyone who ever owned a K100 wants Pentax to survive. They're a neat company that does what they do well.

- N.
I like your last sentence.  
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Er1kksen
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« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2009, 05:38:29 AM »
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Quote from: ndevlin
Well, I for one am interested in this camera. I have Canon gear, as regular readers here would know, but I'm deeply ambivalent about it. K-& wouldn't replace a 5D in terms of IQ overall, but it might actually leave the house in my hand with one of those gorgeous little limited lenses on it.

Just stocked up on 645AF glass in the vain(?) hope that the 645D will come to pass. Where else can you get a 3-zoom kit covering 45-300mm for under $2K??

Anyone who ever owned a K100 wants Pentax to survive. They're a neat company that does what they do well.

- N.

The 645D actually has a launch date in japan, if I remember right.  I wouldn't call your hope too vain just yet...
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tetsuo77
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« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2009, 12:01:09 PM »
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Quote from: Er1kksen
The 645D actually has a launch date in japan, if I remember right.  I wouldn't call your hope too vain just yet...

Plus, because the way AF works on the Pentax bodies, you will be able to work with those 645 or 67 lenses on that k20d or k7 with focus confirmation and metering readout, just changing ONE setting on the menu: allow taking pictures with the Aperture Ring not set to A.

Or else, buy a Vivitar Series One  Flat Field Macro Zoom [anyone knows the reason for the convoluted names Vivitar used to have?].

On other stuff, I still see no reason but marketing for the magnesium alloy body. High grade policarbonate is, in my opinion, the better material for a rugged body. It is much more dimensionally stable, and contrary to belief, mechanically suffers less from low temperatures than metal [specially, mild metal alloys as magnesium].

Still to see what Nikon does with the D400, because the video implementation of the D90 and D5000 looks as a marketing afterthought as the LiveView of the K20d did. It is extremely choppy and convoluted to use.

If the high grade Pentax 35mm lenses work as well as they did on the Samsung sensor [specially, that 35 Macro combo], this looks like a winner bar none. Add to that the DNG format, and thatīs it.

PS Edit


Yep, the Samsung sensor is THAT good [in fact, it is an extremely accurate and delicate sensor regarding tonal transition, far, far away from what the old Sony or Canon sensors used to deliver. Somebody said so, and even if I do not use it regularly [my Ds serves me right and can take quite some beating, and the K20d is too big for me liking], Iīve tried it and have to agree with it.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 12:07:25 PM by tetsuo77 » Logged
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