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Top of camera controls

As with previous high-end Pentax cameras, the K-7 has an excellent selection of external controls (including levers to specify metering mode, AF point selection method, and focus mode). It also has an exposure mode dial that plays host to a series of Pentax-only shooting modes, such as Hyper Program, Sensitivity Priority and Shutter-and-Aperture Priority mode. There is a button catch on the mode dial which on the one hand prevents accidental rotation but also means an additional button to press when you want to change modes quickly.

Metering dial

Spot metering

Meters only an area at the very center of the frame, as indicated by the spot metering circle on the viewfinder focusing screen.
Center-weighted average

Meters the majority of the frame but puts a emphasis on the center area.
Pattern metering

Exposure is metered using 77 zones arranged in a 7x11 grid across the frame, each area is measured and situations such as backlighting are automatically compensated for. Note that this mode only works with DA, D FA, FA J, FA, F or A lenses (otherwise center-weighted average is automatically selected). You can choose to link multi-segment metering to the AF point or operate independently of it.

Exposure Mode Dial

Green mode

In green mode almost all camera functions are set automatically. The front and rear dials are inactive and you cannot set exposure compensation or use AE lock in this mode. All menu related options are still available, such as image size and quality, image parameters.

P Hyper-Program mode

By day, this is a conventional program mode that selects aperture and shutter-speed combinations based on the program-line you've told the camera to use. But with a turn of either of the dials, it transforms itself into 'Hyper-program' mode. The two dials allow you to set the shutter speed or aperture, effectively putting the camera into Tv or AV mode. A quick press of the green button and the camera reverts to its usual, unassuming program mode.
Sv Sensitivity Priority Exposure

In this mode you select the ISO sensitivity (ISO) and the camera will calculate the correct aperture and shutter speed depending on metered exposure and exposure compensation. Turn the command dial to select sensitivity (0.3 or 0.5 EV steps). The camera automatically calculates the appropriate aperture and shutter speed for correct exposure.
Tv Shutter Priority Exposure

In this mode you select the shutter speed and the camera will calculate the correct aperture depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Turn the command dial to select shutter speed (0.3 or 0.5 EV steps). The camera automatically calculates the appropriate aperture for correct exposure.
Av Aperture Priority Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the camera will calculate the correct shutter speed depending on metered exposure, exposure compensation and ISO sensitivity. Turn the rear command dial to select aperture (0.3 or 0.5 EV steps). The camera automatically calculates the appropriate shutter speed for correct exposure. (Exact range depends on lens used)
TAv Shutter & Aperture Priority Exposure

Another unique-to-Pentax mode is the 'Shutter and Aperture Priority' mode. You select both the shutter speed (front dial) and aperture (rear dial) and the camera calculates the appropriate ISO sensitivity.
M

Manual Exposure

In this mode you select the aperture and the shutter speed from any combination of the above. Turn one command dial to select shutter speed, turn the other to select aperture.

B Bulb

A dedicated Bulb mode, select the aperture using the rear dial and the shutter will remain open for the amount of time you hold the shutter release button or remote. Obviously ideally suited to use with a wired remote.
X Flash X-Sync

Designed only to be used with a flash. This mode simply selects the flash x-sync shutter speed, which is 1/180 sec, you can select the aperture using the rear dial.
USER User-defined mode

Allows the retrieval of a previously saved exposure mode setup, in any of the above exposure modes simply select the 'USER' option from the Setup menu to save for retrieval here.
Movie

Enables the recording of 720p HD video

Top right of camera

On the top right of the camera we have the front dial, which is angled slightly upwards compared to that on the K10D / K20D; the function of the front and rear dials can be set on a per-mode basis via the custom menu. Behind this is the shutter release button, surrounded by the main power switch which also serves a preview function (optical or digital; live view now has its own button on the camera back). Also here is the repositioned exposure compensation button, and the all-new (and very welcome) dedicated ISO button.

Exposure Compensation

In modes with automatic metering, holding this button and turning the command dial sets exposure compensation (-5.0 to +5.0 EV in 0.3 or 0.5 EV steps). In manual mode it biases the meter, rather than making any change to the chosen exposure. This bias is then interpreted as exposure compensation if you switch to other modes (rather than just giving a misleading meter reading as some cameras do)
ISO Sensitivity

In combination with the rear command dial, the ISO button allows you to scroll through the camera's sensitivity settings from 100 to 6400.
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