The K-7 is a huge step forward for Pentax cameras of this level. The K20D was a reassuringly solid-feeling camera but the K-7's magnesium alloy body lends it the kind of confidence-inspiring feel and sense of solidity that is only matched by the very best in this class. And yet the alloy body also allows it to be made smaller and lighter, while enhancing the impression of high quality build.
Side by side
The K-7 is a small camera, in DSLR terms. Somehow Pentax has managed to fit more features than the K20D into a considerably smaller space.
Lining the K-7 up against its obvious peers makes it apparent just how compact it is. Not only does it make the Canon EOS 50D look oversized but it's also more compact than the Olympus E-30, whose smaller sensor and mirror should have given its designers more leeway. Most striking is the difference in size between the K-7 and the Nikon D300(s) with which it competes fairly convincingly on specification - Pentax appears to have produced a Pocket Battleship to Nikon's Dreadnought.
(W x H x D)
(inc. battery & card)
|Pentax K-7||131 x 97 x 73 mm (5.1 x 3.8 x 2.9 in)||754 g (1.7 lb)|
|Nikon D300s||147 x 114 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.5 x 2.9 in)||918 g (2.0 lb)|
|Canon EOS 50D||146 x 108 x 74 mm (5.8 x 4.3 x 2.9 in)||822 g (1.8 lb)|
|Olympus E-30||142 x 108 x 75mm (5.5 x 4.3 x 3.0 in)||665g (1.5 lb)|
|Sony DSLR-A700||142 x 105 x 80 mm (5.6 x 4.1 x 3.2 in)||768 g (1.7 lb)|
|Pentax K20||142 x 101 x 70 mm (5.6 x 4.0 x 2.8 in)||804g (1.8 lb)|
In your hand
The K-7 is a well-proportioned camera with a grip that seemed to suit the variety of different hand sizes in the office. The magnesium alloy build means that it feels solid, despite being lighter than the K20D.