May 20, 2009

Pentax K-7 review

Here is the first preview published on the new Pentax K-7 digital SLR.

First impressions are that the K-7 has a promising looking interface and one that incorporates many of the lessons that Pentax clearly learned in the development of the K-m (on which we quite liked the interface).The K-7, Pentax's latest enthusiast/semi-pro level DSLR. And a handsome creature it is, too - gone is the K20D's slightly pudgy utilitarianism, to be replaced by a sleek, pared-down elegance. But it's not just on the outside that things have changed: although the megapixel count remains the same, just about everything that matters has been replaced, revised or spruced-up. Read the full preview here.

Its spec isn't quite what the rumors might have suggested, but it still manages to look an awful lot like the wish-list of most enthusiast photographers (though one based in reality, rather than the increasingly surreal suggestions being churned out by the rumor mill).

Pentax K-7

Pentax is a name that will evoke fond memories for many photographers whose first SLR experience would have been with a Spotmatic, KM, K1000 or ME Super. Although the company's market position isn't as well entrenched as it was during the halcyon days of 35mm film, it continues to attract a devoted following of enthusiasts. And that following isn't just based on nostalgia - Pentax is alone in having developed a comprehensive range of prime lenses for the APS-C format that dominates modern DSLR photography, while most of its competitors concentrate on offering a selection of zooms.

Pentax's cameras have also catered well for this market in the shape of the competitively-priced K20D, a very likeable, solid upgrade to the K10D. Both cameras offered robust semi-pro build quality and a fairly advanced degree of environmental sealing, combined with a good level of customizability and well worked-out handling. But it's now been over two-and-a-half years since the K10D appeared and, as it tends to, the market has moved on. The K20D's live view system was not exactly class leading, and the camera was starting to look a little long-in-the-tooth when compared to the video-shooting Canons and Nikons that have started to appear, with their VGA screens and polished interfaces.