Pentax K7 Digital SLR Announced

Pentax K7 Digital SLR Announced

New Pentax K7 Digital SLR It’s been over a year since Pentax introduced the K20D, their current top-of-the-line digital SLR body. Even though they did make a lot of announcements in 2008, my impression has been that things have been a little on the quiet side for Pentax in the past year. They need something big to bring the buzz back. The new 14.6-megapixel Pentax K7 DSLR should do that. Pentax system owners should be very happy and other digital SLR owners might be a little jealous. It may have taken a while for Pentax to produce a new camera. But in July, $1299 will buy you a whole lot of Pentax-badged digital SLR. And yeah - it’s got video.

Pentax K7 Digital SLR

In 2006, Pentax set themselves apart from other digital SLR makers with the introduction of the K10D, a compact, rugged, weatherproof camera featuring their in-camera Shake Reduction system. It got great reviews and offered a real alternative for photographers who wanted a high-performance digital SLR that could take some abuse and didn’t cost a fortune. The K20D followed about a year later. The new Pentax K7 inherits the design philosophy of the K10D and K20D and packs a whole lot of new features and improved performance into the smallest body in its class. It’s built around a brand new 14.6-megapixel, APS-sized CMOS sensor with Live View and 720p video capture at 30 frames-per-second. Pentax’s new PRIME II image processing engine allows a 5.2 frames-per-second capture rate and as well as improved color and smoother tonal gradations.

The new 14.6-megapixel Pentax K7 CMOS sensor

Other new features include a 77-segment exposure metering system, an electronic level, auto focus assist lamp, in-camera lens distortion and chromatic aberration correction, mirror lock-up, an in-camera HDR mode that brackets and combines three images, image composition adjustment using the Shake Reduction feature, HDMI output, and the ability to record copyright information in the camera. A new 3-inch 920k-dot LCD will be better for Live View and video shooting. The K7 has an 11-point auto focus system with improved algorithms for faster focusing and a bright, 100% viewfinder will help photographers track their subjects and compose more accurately. The built-in Shake Reduction system now detects rotational as well as X and Y-axis movement to compensate for a claimed 2.5-4 stops slower shutter speed. The camera also has a Dynamic Range setting that adjusts shadows and highlights and 16 in-camera digital filters. A new, improved battery addresses the need for more power when using Live View and shooting video.

The Pentax K7 is aimed at the Canon EOS 50D, Nikon D90, Olympus E30, and Sony Alpha A700. Competitive resolution, HD video, a 3-inch LCD, Shake Reduction and weatherproofing in the smallest body of the bunch should get people’s attention. Add the electronic level, HDR mode, 100% viewfinder and the rest of the new features and it starts to look really serious. The K10D and K20D were especially appealing to outdoor photographers who needed a compact, rugged camera they could use in any environment. The new K7 is a more than worthy follow-up and I’m pleased to see Pentax continuing what they started with the K10D. The Pentax K7 will be available in July for $1299.95 (body only). Pentax is also introducing two new weather-resistant DA lenses and a battery grip to go with the new camera. The Pentax smc DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 AL WR and the smc DA 50-200mm F4-5.6 ED WR will also be available in July for $199.95 and $249.95, respectively. The D-BG4 battery grip will be available at the same time for $229.95.

(Via Photography Review Blog.)


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