Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Pentax K-7: The Best of the New Features and Facts


My favorite line from the Pentax K-7 literature is this self-deprecating phrase: "Despite all these features, the K-7 is one of the most compact and functional photo enthusiast level models in the market." As if Einstein had to apologize for not having a giant, bulbous head.


The following list is a nearly straight regurgitation from Pentax's literature regarding the K-7's features, but I divided it up into two sections, New/Greatly Improved and Inherited/Slightly Improved, and then I integrated some of Pentax's extra notes on the features where appropriate. I also emphasized the parts that deserve some notice with bold lettering. This should make it much easier to follow. And as you can see, the new features really do tally significantly for comparison to the older K20D and other camera models.

New/Greatly Improved Features of the Pentax K-7 DSLR (over previous Pentax DSLRs)

  • A compact, magnesium alloy body that is one of the smallest in the advanced photo enthusiast category to reduce bulk and allow users to travel light while maintaining durability and build quality (seven percent smaller than the K20D and up to 25 percent smaller than other cameras in the same class).

    The K-7 is built exceptionally solid and durable with a chassis made of a highly rigid stainless-steel alloy and a housing made of a durable but lightweight magnesium-steel alloy. Construction includes 77 seals for weather, dust and cold-resistance for reliable operation even under harsh conditions and at temperatures as low as 14°F (-10°C). The camera also features a newly designed shutter unit providing a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second and the outstanding durability to withstand 100,000 shutter releases. Despite all these features, the K-7 is one of the most compact and functional photo enthusiast level models in the market.

  • A new 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor rebuilt from the ground up to minimize noise, adds four channel output for fast image capture, and the ability to capture HD quality movies. It is the ideal combination of resolution and file size, allowing very large (poster size and larger) prints and cropping flexibility.

    The K-7 incorporates a newly developed CMOS image sensor measuring 23.4mm by 15.6mm and featuring a high-speed, four-channel image data readout. With approximately 14.6 effective megapixels, this image sensor more accurately produces fine-detailed, gradation-rich images. With the adverse effects of digital noise significantly reduced, the sensitivity may be increased from ISO 100 up to the highest level of ISO 6400 (via a custom function).

  • A new 77-segment metering system quickly and accurately determines exposure for even the most complex and dynamic lighting situations.
  • HD Movie capture features adjustable quality and resolution settings, aperture control, as well as mechanical Shake Reduction, and an external microphone terminal for recording stereo sound. The K-7 will capture video at the default standard of 1280x720 resolution with a 16:9 aspect ratio (equivalent to 720p), 1536x1024 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio, or 640x416 resolution with a 3:2 aspect ratio (equivalent to VGA quality), all shot at 30 frames per second.
  • An HDMI port with selectable output resolution (1080i, 720p, 480p, and auto) offers high resolution playback of images and video on modern high definition TV’s.
  • An Electronic Level function ensures that images have truly level horizons to minimize post-capture editing.
  • An innovative in-camera Lens Correction function that electronically adjusts for Distortion and Lateral Chromatic Aberrations to maximize image quality with DA series lenses.
  • A dedicated Mirror Lock-up function eliminates image blur due to mirror movement during long exposures.
  • A High Dynamic Range (HDR) image capture mode captures three images then combines them in camera to widen the exposure gamut to bring out detail in all exposure areas of images.
  • A composition adjustment feature in Live View allows minor shifts in the framing and composition of images using the Shake Reduction mechanism without having to physically move the camera. This feature is ideal for tripod use.
  • A programmable embedded copyright function preserves artistic integrity and image ownership during capture via a keypad that may record ownership in metatag data.
  • A Dedicated AF-assist lamp further improves autofocus response and accuracy in low light conditions.
  • A striking 3 inch LCD with 921,000 dot resolution is perfect for detailed image or movie capture and review using the Live View function.

    The wide-view design allows the photographer to check the monitor image from approximately 170 degrees both vertically and horizontally, facilitating low and high-angle shooting using the Live View function.

  • A weather, dust and cold resistant (to 14° F or -10° C) body makes the K-7 the perfect camera for use in any environment, inside the studio or when travelling in any weather. (as mentioned previously with the new body alloy).
  • Fast 5.2 frame-per-second shooting with a new PRIME II Image processing engine, which features fast circuitry and 4 channel output that is ideal for sporting events or any fast action situation.

    The K-7 features the newly developed PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II, an upgrade of the original PRIME, as its imaging engine. This new imaging engine offers faster data-processing speed for higher quality images with richer gradation and more accurate color rendition. The system also offers high-speed movie data transmission.

  • A top shutter speed of 1/8000 sec freezes even the fastest action in well lit settings.
  • Live View mode, now with contrast AF, Face Detection, and optional histogram, grid, and bright/dark area display, allows you to quickly compose your images without having your eye against the viewfinder.

    The K-7 features the Live View function, which allows the user to view the image on the LCD monitor during shooting. This function is available not only in the Contrast AF mode, which optimizes the focus based on the subject’s contrast, but also in the Face Recognition AF mode, which automatically and accurately focuses on the subject’s face. A newly developed diaphragm-control mechanism allows the Live View function be used during Continuous Shooting mode with the mirror at lock-up position.

  • A 100 percent field-of-view viewfinder (92X magnification) and bright focusing screen are ideal for accurate image composition and accurate focus.

    A new Natural-Bright-Matte III focusing screen improves focusing accuracy during manual-focus operation.

  • The PENTAX 11-point autofocus system features improved focus algorithms over previous generation K series DSLR cameras, providing faster, more responsive AF.

    The K-7’s new SAFOX VIII Plus wide-frame autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). By adding the light source type to its data range, and driven by a greatly improved algorithm, PENTAX improved the AF system assuring reliable, responsive autofocus operation superior in speed and accuracy to the previous system. The K-7 also incorporates an AF-assist spotbeam projector in its built-in flash unit to improve autofocusing accuracy in the dark.

  • The PENTAX-original Shake Reduction system now compensates for rotational sensor movement improving the sharpness of your images at the moment of capture.

    The mechanism also provides user-friendly new functions such as Automatic Level Adjustment and Minute Angle Adjustment (up/down, right/left and clockwise/counterclockwise) to help photographers compose images exactly to their specifications.
    * Lenses compatible with this mechanism are the PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF-, KAF2- and KAF3-mount lenses; screw-mounted lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

  • The K-7’s Dust Reduction system, improved over previous K series cameras, features a piezo-ceramic vibration action to the sensor’s low-pass filter for dust-fee image capture.

    The K-7 is equipped with a newly developed Dust Removal (DR II) mechanism to more effectively remove dust and minimize spots on recorded images even after changing lenses in dust-prone outdoor settings. Using a piezo-ceramic vibration action, the system shifts or vibrates the low-pass filter located in front of the CMOS image sensor at supersonic speed to remove dust more efficiently. A unique dust-alert system also allows users to check for dust adhering to the low-pass filter prior to actual shooting.

  • A new high capacity battery features extended battery life, ideal for travel photography or video work.

    The K-7 is powered by a large-capacity, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can capture approximately 980 images* when fully charged.

    *Under testing conditions prescribed by PENTAX, when using a rechargeable D-LI90 lithium-ion battery with no flash.


Inherited/Slightly Improved: Similar Advanced Features to the K20 (Previous Generation)

  • Advanced image capture settings, digital filters, and aspect ratio provide outstanding flexibility and creativity while minimizing the need for computer image manipulation.
  • Custom Image modes with advanced parameter settings including new Key adjustment allow users to customize the processing mode to suit personal creative style.

    The K-7’s Custom Image function lets the user control the image’s finishing touch to capture their photographic intention, or reproduce the ambience of the scene. With the K-7, the user can select one of seven modes, including the new “Muted” mode designed to recreate an image with delicate, subdued colors. In addition to saturation, tone, contrast and sharpness, the function now makes it possible to adjust “key” and “contrast highlight/shadow” to the desired levels. The effects of these factors may be effortlessly confirmed on a preview image using the Digital Preview or Live View function before finalizing the settings.

  • Multiple exposure settings, including Green, Program, Sv, Tv, Av, TAv, M, Bulb, X-sync, and USER modes, provide extensive creative control over the exposure for photographers of all experience levels.
  • Advanced white balance settings include highly customizable white balance fine tuning, color temperature adjustment, and post image capture manual white balance selection for perfect pictures in even the most difficult lighting.
    Featuring a new CTE mode to emphasize the color components of sunset scenes and a new incandescent-tinted fluorescent light mode.
  • Dynamic Range setting with adjustable shadow correction brings out hidden or lost details in both highlights and shadows for even the highest-contrast, dynamic lighting.
  • Dedicated PC socket for studio flash offers convenience for the studio photographer without adding hot shoe adapters.
  • Advanced capture options include multi-exposure and interval shooting for creative special effects and time-lapse photography.


1 comment:

Sune said...

Sweet, thanks for your set-up.
Really looking forward to this one

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