Initial Impressions of the Pentax K7

It's the eve of my biggest photo/surf trip.  I'm uncertain if the insomnia is from the worldwide press release of the new Pentax K7,  or the excitement of the upcoming trip.  

A classic look of the K7 mounted to the FA Limited 77 f1.8,  supported by the Joby SLR Zoom Gorillapod.

Pentax K7 mounted to DA 15 Limited

Well it seems many “in the know”, or related to those in the know have taken the liberty to break embargo earlier than usual. Globally, as the official announce time neared, many sources started to leak info like that of a flood. I chose to break news at the official time. Discussion forums were buzzing, and servers were getting jammed up, and you could sense a New Era for Pentax.

 By now, there are many sources (like DPR), which show size comparisons, detailed angles, and discuss specifications. So to avoid being redundant, I will make a few comments about my initial impressions, provide only web scaled small images, and highlight what I enjoy most about the new “K.”  The info you find here is “official”  and over the next few days, I will blog about how I intend to utilize this camera as I float through Los Angeles, Singapore, Japan, Sumatra,  on into my final destination of Kandui and the Mentawai Islands.

Simplified setup for travel editorial assignments: Pentax K7, DA 15, DA* 60-250, DA 35, DA 70, Joby SLR Zoom Gorillapod, Tamrac Express 7 messenger bag, Tamrac N25 shoulder strap

I usually travel with 2 setups, one for water use and the other for land based shooting.  This usually amounts to about 40 pounds of excess gear and a sore back.  On this trip I will streamline the equipment to complete a travel assignment while in Singapore and using only water-based equipment for the Surfing end of the trip.  I intend to use mostly the DA* lenses for their weather sealed designs which are a great utility whole shooting from the channel in a boat. In lieu of a traditional tripod and to save on weight,  I will use Joby Gorillapods.


What I really enjoy:

 1. The shutter is well dampened, nearly silent, and solid in its operation

2. 5.2 FPS (40 JPG Continuous Hi /15 Raw PEF, 14 RAW DNG)

3. Viewfinder with 100% field of view

4. Improved low light AF performance and AF algorithms 

5. “Green” almost subdued focus assist lamp (it operates quick and efficiently and more subtle than a bright white light)

6. AF tracking in AF-C is vastly improved

7. The AF point selector toggles faster than on K10/K20

8. The mode dial locks in place with a centrally located release button

9. When in portrait mode, the rear LCD will orient itself in the portrait view as well.  (No more tilting of head to read info.)

10. The dust removal system is now “hypersonic”, no longer a vibration, but a high frequency shake that is almost inaudible.

11. 3” TFT IPS LCD (it’s the same LCD technology used in the best color proofing monitors) improved clarity, anti-glare, and with 921,000 dot resolution

12. Longer battery life 900+ shots per charge

13. Magnesium alloy shell over stainless steel chassis (can operate at temps 14 – 104 degrees F)

14. 77 Multi Segment metering

15. EV comp is +/- 5

16. HD video recording at 720p (1280x720 resolution with 16:9 aspect ratio) at 30 FPS

A sample of speed & focus accuracy:

Sample shots with K7 & DA* 60-250

More to follow...