Previous page Next page

Compared to...

The Pentax K-7 is competing in the enthusiast/semi-pro arena with cameras such as the Nikon D300S, Canon EOS 50D, Olympus E-30 and Sony A700. This segment of the market is less crowded than the entry-level sector where the number of offerings can easily become too confusing for some consumers, but nevertheless all the major manufacturers have now at least one model in their line-up that is targeted at serious amateurs or price-conscious professionals who can do without a full-frame sensor in their specific area of work.

At the same time, just like in the entry-level sector, the differences between cameras are narrowing all the time. There are maybe 4 or 5 direct competitors to the Pentax K-7 but for the purpose of this studio comparison we've limited the the field to a slightly more manageable two; the Nikon D300S* and the Canon EOS 50D. For any potential upgraders we've also included the K-7's predecessor, the Pentax K20D.

Let's start with a quick look at how the competitors line up, including those mentioned above plus the Sony A700 which, despite being due for a replacement, is still Sony's most obvious K-7 competitor and the Olympus E-30:

Camera Kit
price
Live
view
Video LCD Anti
Shake
Sensor
(effective pixels)
Pentax K7 $1250 Yes 1536 x 1024 3.0" / 920k pixels In-body 14.6 MP CMOS (1.5x crop)
Nikon D300S $1800 Yes 720p 3.0" / 920k pixels Lens option 12.3 MP CMOS (1.5x crop)
Canon EOS 50D $1100 Yes No 3.0" / 920k pixels Lens option 15.1 MPMOS (1.6x crop)
(Olympus E-30) $950 Yes No 2.7" / 230k pixels In-body 12.3 MP LiveMOS (2.0x crop)
(Sony DSLR-A700) $1000 No No 3.0" / 920k pixels In-body 12.2 MP CCD (1.5x crop)

* Please note that while we compare the K-7 to the Nikon D300S on this page the image samples on the following pages are from the Nikon D300. If required we will update this section once the D300S results become available.

The K-7's predecessors have always been well specified cameras and on paper the new model is no different. The Pentax offers, for an APS-C camera, a fairly high resolution of 14.6 megapixels. The movie mode does not quite generate 1080p videos but the K-7's video resolution is at 1536 x 1024 pixels higher than the D300S' 720p.

The body is for a camera in this class relatively small but the build quality is superb and environmental sealing offers some protection from the elements. 3.0 inch, VGA-resolution screens have pretty much become the standard by now and can be found on most cameras in this class (apart from the Olympus E-30). As we've mentioned above from a specs point of view these cameras get closer with each new generation but nevertheless the K-7 offers a few features that are not available on the rivals in this comparison. This includes in-camera HDR image creation and composition-adjustment through movement of the sensor.

Below you find a detailed comparison table of the competitors. Keep reading on the following pages to find out how all these figures and specifications translate into image quality.

Pentax K-7 advantages

  • Highest resolution video (1536 x 1024 @ 30 fps), though in an unusual aspect ratio that may limit playback options
  • In-body shake reduction
  • DNG RAW format
  • Smaller dimensions and weight
  • AF lamp (over EOS 50D)
  • User-definable Auto-ISO (over EOS 50D)
  • Extensive environmental sealing (over EOS 50D)
  • In-camera RAW conversion (over EOS 50D)
  • Digital Filters/Multi-exposure/HDR
  • Composition-adjustment

Pentax K-7 disadvantages

  • Slowest continuous shooting
 
Pentax K-7

Nikon D300S

Canon EOS 50D
Price
(body only)
US: $1250 [check price] US: $1800 [check price] US: $1100 [check price]
Sensor • 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS
• 14.6 million effective pixels
• 15.07 million effective pixels
• 23.6 x 15.8 mm CMOS
• 12.3 million effective pixels
• 12.9 million effective pixels
• 22.3 x 14.9 mm CMOS
• 15.5 million effective pixels
• 15.1 million effective pixels
Body Magnesium alloy/Steel Magnesium alloy Magnesium alloy
Dust reduction • Anti-dust coating
• Low pass filter vibration
• Low pass filter vibration
• Airflow Control System
• Dust reference image
• Anti-dust materials
• Low pass filter vibration
• Dust reference image
Native image size 4672 x 3104
(3:2 ratio)
4288 x 2848
(3:2 ratio)
4752 x 3168
(3:2 ratio)
Video 1536 x 1024 @ 30 fps

720p @ 24 fps
AVI Motion-JPEG, with monaural sound

no video capability
Lens support • Pentax KAF2 bayonet mount
• Pentax KAF3, KAF2, KAF or KA mount lenses
• Pentax K mount lenses with restrictions
• Nikon F-mount
• Includes DX lenses
• AF only available with AF-S or AF-I lenses
• Canon EF / EF-S lens mount

FOV crop 1.5x 1.5x 1.6x
In-body shake reduction Yes No No
Live view Yes Yes Yes
File formats • RAW (PEF or DNG)
• JPEG (4 levels)
• RAW (lossless or lossy comp, 12 or 14 bit)
• JPEG (3 levels)
• RAW (lossless comp 14-bit)
• JPEG (2 levels)
Auto focus • 11 area TTL
• 9 Cross-type sensors
• Range: -1 to +18 EV
• Contrast detect AF in live view
• 51 area TTL
• 15 Cross-type sensors
• Range: -1 to +19 EV
• Contrast detect AF in live view

• 9 area TTL
• All cross-type F5.6
• Cross-type F2.8 at center
• Range: -0.5 to +18 EV
• Contrast detect AF in live view

AF illuminator Built-in lamp Built-in lamp Flash strobe, must be raised
Metering sensor • 77 zone sensor
• 0 - 22 EV working range
• 1005 pixel RGB sensor
• 0 - 20 EV working range
• 35 zone sensor
• 0 - 20 EV working range
Metering • Multi-segment
• Center-weighted average
• Spot

• 3D Color Matrix Metering II
• Center-weighted average
• Spot

• Evaluative 35 zone
• Partial (9% at center)
• Spot
• Center-weighted average
Exp. comp. +/- 5.0 EV +/- 5.0 EV +/- 2.0 EV
EV steps 1/3 or 1/2 EV 1/3, 2/3, 1/2 or 1 EV 1/3 or 1/2 EV
Sensitivity • ISO 100 - 3200
(with 6400 equiv)

• ISO 200 - 3200
(with 100 and 6400 equiv)

• ISO 100 - 12800
Auto ISO User definable User definable maximum ISO and minimum shutter speed Auto (100 - 1600)
High- ISO NR Yes (4 levels) Yes (4 levels) Yes (4 levels)
Shutter speed • 30 - 1/8000 sec / Bulb
• 1/180 sec Flash sync
• 30 - 1/8000 sec / Bulb
• 1/250 sec Flash sync
• 30 - 1/8000 sec / Bulb
• 1/250 sec Flash sync
Continuous
shooting
5.2 fps

7 fps (8 fps with MB-D10 pack)

6.3 fps
Viewfinder • Pentaprism
• Eyepoint 18 mm
• Frame coverage 100%
• Magnification approx 0.92x
• Pentaprism
• Eyepoint 19.5 mm
• Frame coverage 100%
• Magnification approx 0.94x
• Pentaprism
• Eyepoint 22 mm
• Frame coverage 95%
• Magnification approx 0.95x
• Interchangeable focus screens
LCD monitor • 3.0 " TFT LCD
• 920,000 dots

• 3.0 " TFT LCD
• 920,000 dots

• 3.0 " TFT LCD
• 920,000 dots
Other features • In-camera RAW conversion
• Digital Filters
• HDR/Multi-exposure
• Composition-adjustement

• On demand viewfinder grid
• GPS record with optional cable
• Retouching
• Custom 'My Menu'
• Custom 'My Menu'
Storage • SD/SDHC card • Compact Flash card
• SD/SDHC card
• Compact Flash card
Software • Digital Camera Utility • Nikon Transfer
• ViewNX
• Nikon Capture NX (trial)
• Canon DPP
• Canon PhotoStitch
• Canon ZoomBrowser EX
• EOS Utility (Remote Capt.)
Dimensions 131 x 97 x 73 mm (5.1 x 3.8 x 2.9 in) 147 x 114 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in) 146 x 108 x 74 mm (5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
Weight (no batt) 670 g (1.4 lb) 840 g (1.9 lb) 730 g (1.6 lb)
Previous page Next page
122
I own it
6
I want it
83
I had it
Discuss in the forums

Comments