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Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7 Digital SLR Review

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7 Digital SLR Review - When you're choosing a mid-level DSLR, should you go for the practical Canon EOS 50D or the fun Pentax K-7? With 120 price difference, is it worth the money to get all those features or is picture quality all you need?

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Category : Digital SLRs
Product : Pentax K-7
Price : £829
Rating :
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Features
Handling
Performance
Verdict
Specification

Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D main view Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D me
ePHOTOzine reviewer, Matt Grayson tests the Canon EOS 50D against the Pentax K-7. Which will be triumphant? This test will decide.

Here we look at the Canon EOS 50D and the Pentax K-7. Released nearly a year apart and our preferences have changed nearly 180°. Gone is the need for more pixels, instead cameras are being developed with interesting features. So how will the 15Mp 2008 Canon fare against the 14Mp 2009 Pentax?

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Features
The Canon EOS 50D is a rework of the previous Canon EOS 40D which was a very popular model. Improvements include expandable sensitivity to ISO12,800, a resolution of 15Mp, a new 920,000dot (307,000px) screen and Creative Auto mode. It's easy to get swayed by the features of newer cameras, but then do you really need them? Some would argue not and this camera may be the perfect one for them.

It looks as though the camera was designed to be easier to use and in a way I can see the point of doing it this way. It will make it easier for the transition from low end DSLRs to a higher grade model effectively opening up the market to who the camera will appeal to. I think the brighter, more intuitive menu and screen works well to this end, but more knowledgeable users might get frustrated when they see the Creative Auto mode because it brings the camera down a peg.

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Canon held out
The larger of the two cameras still fits nicely in the hands.
Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Canon dials
The chunky grip is great for one-handed shooting while the layout is intelligent.
Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Canon card in
UDMA enabled memory cards allow the maximum 6.3fps shooting.
Pentax K-7 vs canon EOS 50D: Canon screen
This new, bright Quick Review menu is a breeze and ultra modern with the cool blue colours.

With nearly a year between them, the Pentax K-7 should blow the Canon EOS 50D away but a lot has changed in that time. Manufacturers aren't looking at resolution as much and so the K-7 actually has a lower pixel count at 14.6Mp on a CMOS sensor. Where it's excelled is the creative features and what Pentax have fitted to the K-7 make it a very exciting camera, such as built-in HDR, distortion correction, lateral chromatic aberration correction, multiple exposure and 1280x720p HD video recording.

The built-in HDR feature is a first on the K-7. It doesn't work by expanding the dynamic range of the camera to include more detail in shadow areas or cap highlights to prevent burn out. It works by actually taking three pictures in succession at variable exposure to create a more balanced exposure. There are a few flaws with this such as the lack of contrast as the HDR merging is all done in camera, the fact that it can't be recorded in Raw and you can't use a self-timer. The latter is the most confusing for me, to get the pictures aligned, I'd prefer not to be touching the camera although you can trigger it using an optional wireless remote control.

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Pentax held
The Pentax K-7 is significantly smaller, yet still easy to hold and use.
Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Pentax top dials
Buttons and dials are more squashed together but it's not uncomfortable.
Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Pentax card in
SD/SDHC cards are used to keep the physical size down.
Pentax K-7 vs canon EOS 50D: Pentax screen
Pentax have added a new menu by pressing the Info button. Access to the HDR and highlight/shadow correction modes are here.

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Handling
Everything is laid out on the Canon really well and I love the large thumb wheel for adjusting shutter speeds when in manual mode. It also allows you to scroll through the menu systems faster than you normally would if you used the little joystick tool sat just above it. There's no denying the camera is easier to use than the EOS 40D, thanks to the Creative Auto mode but is that enough to warrant having what is essentially a beginners mode on an enthusiasts camera?

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Canon EOS 50D command dial
The silver best shot dial can be seen in the dark, good for night shooting.
Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Pentax K-7 command dial
Pentax have fitted a locking button to the command dial to prevent knocking.

Build quality is excellent as always and the Canon feels solid when it's held. The magnesium alloy construction ensures damage is kept to a minimum if you do knock it and the water and dust resistance around the memory card and battery door will help keep moisture and dirt away from sensitive areas.

The Pentax K-7 is a slightly smaller body so the buttons are a bit closer to each other. There's no large rear wheel like what the Canon has although a standard rear wheel is available. It's a shame but I like the direct Raw button on the front next to the lens mount. The magnesium-steel body is dust, weather and cold resistant.

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Canon rear layout
The larger size means more space to rest your weary thumbs.
Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Pentax rear layout
A busier interface doesn't necessarily mean a bad one.

The Pentax feels nice in the palm of my hand although when comparing them side-by-side it's easy to see the difference in size and the Pentax feels a bit more squashed compared to the spaciousness of the Canon.

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Performance
Both cameras were put through their paces in a variety of conditions and tests. All pictures were taken in Raw and at the same time to ensure fairness. Adobe Camera Raw was used to convert the images to JPEG format.

Click on any of the thumbnails to open the full size images.

Exposure
In typical light conditions, the Pentax copes well with what is thrown at it. The multi-segment metering system is perfectly capable and it even managed to expose a patch of light on water while the rest of the frame was in shadow. What I like about it is that there's still detail in the shadow areas too. Should you have too much trouble with dark shadows, the Pentax has a couple of tricks up its sleeve to help you out. First is the shadow and highlight correction that can be adjusted in the custom menu or by pressing the info button for the quick menu. Shadow correction must need some strong shadows to work with because the camera had already prioritised them over the sky which it tended to burn out unless it occupied a small portion of the image.

The Pentax also has the built-in HDR system which is again accessed using the info button on the back of the camera. There are two strengths and I prefer the medium strength version. When I first saw the system, I loved the strong setting but after a while it begins to look too overdone.

Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
 Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon tricky light
The morning light warmed the water and the walls are a brownish tone.
 Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax  tricky light
This image looks the most balanced but is in fact cooler.

Click on any of the thumbnails to open the full size images.

After being pleased with the results of what the Pentax can do, I was even more pleased with the Canon. In the same test with the light on the water, there's more detail in the shaded area surrounding the subject although I feel the water is a little bit over exposed. The EOS 50D has a shadow correction system in the same way that the Pentax has. However, the Canon appears to take a more brutal approach by boosting the shadow detail and to Hell with the highlights which are completely burnt out. There are three stages of compensation which seem to do little difference once the program is enabled.

Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
 Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon light optimiser off Canon light optimiser off. Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax shadow correction off
Pentax shadow correction off.
 Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon light optimiser low
Canon light optimiser low.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax shadow correction low
Pentax shadow correction low.
 Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon light optimiser standard
Canon light optimiser standard.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax shadow correction medium
Pentax shadow correction medium.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon light optimiser high
Canon light optimiser high.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax shadow correction high
Pentax shadow correction high.

Click on any of the thumbnails to open the full size images.

Focusing
The Pentax is the flagship so the systems are going to be top notch and the focusing system is very good. However, it finds the subject then starts to fine tune until it gets focus. It doesn't take long unless it has problems, such as low-light. There are a number of over-riding options with focusing that can be done on the K-7. On the front of the body is the switch for choosing between single, continuous and manual focusing while on the back you can choose how you'd like the focus points to be used. The AF button will push the camera into focus at any time but is particularly useful in live-view. Focusing in live-view is a contrast detection system so is slower than the phase detection type used normally.

The Canon has a slight advantage if there's a USM lens fitted as the motor speeds up the process and it is a bit faster with one of these lenses fitted. I found it tended to hit focus and stay there, without the fine tuning that I suffered with the Pentax. Swapping between auto and manual focus is done on the lens with Canon while switching between the modes can be done by pressing the joypad in the middle to bring up the quick menu. The Canon also switches to contrast detection while in live-view so is a lot slower than when live-view is off.

Noise
The Canon has a true ISO sensitivity of ISO100 – 3,200 with expandable settings of Hi1 and Hi2 which are equivalent to ISO6,400 and ISO12,800. In controlled lighting, the Canon easily handles noise up to ISO1,600 before black speckles start to show in the shadow areas. By ISO3,200, green patches of colour are showing in dark areas while light areas remain relatively untouched. Adding noise reduction doesn't do much to the highest setting which has blue spots appearing in the dark and mid-tones. Primary colours get affected by the increase in ISO although most are ok until the highest setting.

The EOS 50D works in a similar fashion outside with beautifully smooth images at low ISO which remain acceptable until around ISO1,600 and the last three settings should be reserved for emergencies. Detail is broken down at ISO12,800 equivalent and multi-coloured specks litter the entire frame. Purple noise affects the shadow areas the worst with red and blue colour affecting the mid-tones.

Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon ISO100
Canon ISO100 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax ISO100 test
Pentax ISO100 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon ISO200
Canon ISO200 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax ISO200 test
Pentax ISO200 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon ISO400
Canon ISO400 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax ISO400 test
Pentax ISO400 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon ISO800 test
Canon ISO800 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax ISO800 test
Pentax ISO800 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon ISO1600 test
Canon ISO1,600 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax ISO1600 test
Pentax ISO1,600 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon ISO3200 test
Canon ISO3,200 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax ISO3200 test
Pentax ISO3,200 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon ISO6400 test
Canon ISO6,400 equiv. test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax ISO6400 equiv. test
Pentax ISO6,400 equiv. test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon ISO12800 test
Canon ISO12,800 equiv. test.










The Pentax K-7 does not have an ISO12,800 equivalent setting.

Click on any of the thumbnails to open the full size images.

Just like the Canon, the Pentax has expandable sensitivity settings but only for one step. The true range is ISO100-3,200 with an additional ISO6,400 equivalent setting. I'm pretty astounded by the Pentax and how it controls noise. When I tested the camera against four other similar models, the camera hadn't had a firmware update so it looks as though the update has improved the noise control somewhat. There is still some noise coming through at ISO800 and ISO1,600 although nowhere near as much as previously. It's great news and does do a better job than the Canon although the ISO6,400 equivalent does have blue specks all over it.

Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon outside ISO100 test
Canon outside ISO100 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax outside ISO100 test
Pentax outside ISO100 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon outside ISO200 test
Canon outside ISO200 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax outside ISO200 test
Pentax outside ISO200 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon outside ISO400 test
Canon outside ISO400 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax outside ISO400 test
Pentax outside ISO400 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon outside ISO800 test
Canon outside ISO800 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax outside ISO800 test
Pentax outside ISO800 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon outside ISO1600 test
Canon outside ISO1,600 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax outside ISO1600 test
Pentax outside ISO1,600 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon outside ISO3200 test
Canon outside ISO3,200 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax outside ISO3200 test
Pentax outside ISO3,200 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon outside ISO6400 equiv. test
Canon outside ISO6,400 equiv. test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax outside ISO6400 test
Pentax outside ISO6,400 test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon outside ISO12800 equiv. test
Canon outside ISO12,800 equiv. test.










The Pentax K-7 does not have an ISO12,800 equivalent setting.

Click on any of the thumbnails to open the full size images.

A similar trend is followed in ambient light although I feel there's less coloured noise with the exception of the ISO6,400 equivalent setting which has also got red spots flitting over the frame.

Colour reproduction
Both cameras treat colours quite similarly to each other although the Pentax tends to record yellow a little bit brighter. Primary blue is a bit paler than real life although skies don't appear to suffer. Warmer colours are recorded nicely and in ambient light they get a nice treatment. Foliage colours are also richer and more true to life while pale and delicate hues don't get forgotten. Tricky colours such as purple are recorded nicely and I never got any nasty surprises when out with the camera.

Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon colour test
Canon colour test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax colour test
Pentax colour test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon foliage test
Canon foliage test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax foliage test
Pentax foliage test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon saturated red test
Canon saturated red test.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax saturated red test
Pentax saturated red test.

Click on any of the thumbnails to open the full size images.

The only difference between the two camera I can see is the yellow which isn't as rich on the Canon, but it is in fact the closest to the actual colour. Primary reds look a little pale and they certainly suffer when out and about. Still, taking the pictures in Raw means they can be boosted and all of these issues can be amended in Photoshop. Of course, the argument is that you shouldn't have to and which way you see it is a personal choice. From a reviewers point of view, the camera should get it right first time but personally, I don't see a problem with it.

White-balance
The Canon handles milder casts such as daylight and shade easily enough but it does have problems with stronger ones such as fluorescent or tungsten. Interestingly, the camera gave off a stronger colour cast with the pre-set white-balance mode switched on while the auto setting got it pretty near the mark. The fluorescent mode simply adds a purple cast to combat the green tone normally given off. There are different types of fluorescent and there's only one setting on the Canon. Still, you can change the setting using the Kelvin option which is a more precise way of making the adjustments but can be a lengthy trial and error process if you're unaccustomed to the varying temperatures of lights.

Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
Fluorescent  
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon AWB fluorescent
Canon AWB fluorescent.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax AWB fluorescent
Pentax AWB fluorescent.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon AWB fluorescent
Canon WB fluorescent.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax WB fluorescent
Pentax WB fluorescent.
Tungsten  
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon AWB tungsten
Canon AWB tungsten.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax AWB tungsten
Pentax AWB tungsten.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Canon WB tungsten
Canon WB tungsten.
Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax WB tungsten
Pentax WB tungsten.

Click on any of the thumbnails to open the full size images.

The Pentax K-7 gives a similar result with fluorescent light although not as strong as the Canon. It also does really well with tungsten lighting and balances out the colour perfectly. Milder casts that cope with ambient light are dealt with efficiently and if you do run into any trouble, the manual modes are very in-depth. The Kelvin mode will adjust the temperature and show you on screen if you take a test image first and the CTE allows you to manually adjust individual colours.

Read/write speed
The Pentax K-7 takes SD and SDHC memory cards which benefit from higher read/write speeds depending on the class card you get. Class 2, 4 and 6 are available and give minimum transfer speeds of 2, 4 and 6Mb/s respectively. A single Raw image from the Pentax at full resolution will take just under three seconds to transfer to the memory card.

Despite this, the K-7 can rattle off full-size images at up to 5.7fps. There are two continuous shooting options for High speed and Low speed recording. Choosing the high speed setting, the Pentax did indeed run at around 5.7fps taking six frames in just over a second. It ran at the steady stream for around three seconds before gradually slowing to around one frame every two seconds by the end of the ten second test.

In JPEG, the camera races through the images at the same rate but will take a lot more images in succession. The camera will then slow down but then speed up again and keep on speeding up and slowing down all the time.

In Low speed, the Pentax runs at a lower fps rate but will go for longer. In Raw, the camera manages 18 frames in the first five seconds which is around 3.6fps and then it slows to one frame every two seconds. In JPEG format, the camera will constantly run at around the same 3.6fps frame rate without slowing at all.

There are also two drive modes on the Canon EOS 50D. In High mode, the Canon should be able to run at 6.3fps and in Raw mode, it certainly does do that. It's a great sound to hear, really snappy and concise compared to the softer sound of the Pentax. The speed is extremely useful if you're a sports photographer. To get this speed, the card must be UDMA enabled and I used the Lexar 300x compactflash card that has a transfer rate of 45Mb/s. Canon says that the EOS 50D will manage 17 Raw files before slowing, but I only got 15. Transfer time to the card is significantly faster than the Pentax with one Raw file taking just over one second even though it's a larger file size.

Battery
The Pentax takes a Lithium Ion type rechargeable called the Pentax D-LI90, replacements of which cost around £63 and are available at Warehouse Express. I managed to get through the whole test on a full charge and I even used live-view when taking the pictures out and about. On a lot of the days, it was cold – sometimes around 0° – and the camera would show signs of the battery running down, but in normal temperatures it recovered and showed normal charge again.

The Canon EOS 50D also takes a Lithium Ion battery, the Canon BP-511a and a replacement or back-up costs around £90 from Warehouse Express. The battery gave no problems in cold weather but did show signs of running out. The battery icon has a small line that drops to the bottom of the full battery before it starts to empty out and it was this line that was close to the bottom.

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Verdict
Costing £120 less than the Pentax, the Canon EOS 50D at £709 is a great camera that simply gets let down on silly little things. I don't like the Creative auto mode although I guess there are loads of people out there that would see it as a God send. Not that I'm saying it's a bad system, I just don't feel it has a place on a camera of this calibre. I love the large wheel on the back, it makes navigating so much easier and I think the focusing is more concise than the Pentax K-7. I know there are plenty of advantages of SD & SDHC cards but they're still not as fast as CF so a Pentax will never be as fast as a Canon.

The Pentax is smaller, lighter, has the same quality build and I think it handles noise better than the Canon. The Pentax K-7 has more features built-in to it and colour is recorded nicer as far as I'm concerned but the camera is a bit slower in focusing and continuous shooting. I'm not a sports or action photographer so those things don't really bother me. Another advantage is the backwards compatibility of the K-7 meaning that any Pentax bayonet mount lens will fit onto it although you may lose focusing and advanced  metering options.

As a photographer who uses the K-7 features such as the HDR, I prefer the Pentax over the Canon and it's performed the best in this comparison test. I think the £120 extra is worth it for the obvious benefits that the camera will offer. If you prefer to do most of your work on camera, I think you'll also prefer the Pentax K-7 over the Canon EOS 50D.

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Pros
Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
Great build Compatible with older lenses
Fast performer Great colour rendition
Easy to navigate UI Built-in HDR
Weather sealed Weather sealed
  Good noise control
  Built-in image stabiliser
  5EV Exposure compensation

Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Cons
Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
Has trouble with strong white-balance SD cards aren't as fast as CF
Lots of colour noise at high ISO Battery starts to fail in cold weather

  Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
FEATURES
HANDLING
PERFORMANCE
VALUE
OVERALL

Each of the areas scored are based on how each camera performed against the other in the test. The scores here do not reflect any previous results in any other reviews.

Pentax K-7 vs Canon EOS 50D: Pentax K-7 winner


Canon EOS 50D vs Pentax K-7: Specification
  Canon EOS 50D Pentax K-7
Price £709 £829
Contact www.canon.co.uk www.pentax.co.uk
Resolution 15.1Mp 14.6Mp
Sensor size 22.3x14.9mm 23.4x15.6mm
Sensor type CMOS CMOS
Max. Image size 4752x3168 4672x3104
Aspect ratio 3:2 3:2
Focusing system TTL-CT-SIR with a CMOS sensor TTL phase detection
Focus points 9 cross-type 11 point (SAFOX VIII+)
Focus type AI focus, One shot, AI servo Single, continuous, manual
Crop factor 1.6x 1.5x
Lens mount EF/EF-S KAF2 bayonet
File types Raw (Canon native CR2), JPEG Raw (Pentax native PEF, DNG), JPEG
ISO sensitivity ISO100-3,200 (exp. 6,400 & 12,800)  ISO100-3,200 (exp. 6,400)
Metering system TTL full aperture, 35 zone SPC TTL open-aperture 77 segment
Metering types Evaluative, partial, spot, centre-weighted Multi, centre-weighted, spot
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 or 1/2 step increments +/- 5EV in 1/3 or 1/2 step increments
Shutter speed 30sec - 1/8000sec in 1/3 or 1/2 steps 30sec - 1/8000sec & bulb
Frames-per-second 6.3fps max (UDMA card req.) 5.2fps max
Flash sync speed 1/250sec 1/180sec
Image stabilisation  No, lens based Yes, sensor shift 4EV
Live-view Yes Yes
Viewfinder Optical, 95% coverage Optical, 100% coverage
Monitor 3in TFT, 920,000 dot (307,000 pixel) 3in TFT, 921,000 dot (307,000 pixel)
Media type Compactflash I/II, Microdrive, UDMA enabled SD, SDHC
Interface USB 2.0, HDMI USB 2.0, HDMI
Power Li-Ion battery BP-511a Li-Ion battery D-LI90
Size 145.5x107.8x73.5mm 130.5x96.5x72.5mm
Weight 730g (body only) 670g (body only)

The Canon EOS 50D costs around £709 body only and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Canon EOS 50D


The Pentax K-7 costs around £829 body only and is available from Warehouse Express here:

Pentax K-7






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Comments


Chaitanya 4 14 1 India
26 Feb 2010 6:14PM
You forgot to mention the horizon correction function available on Pentax (uses the SR for it) , I own a K-7 and found that feature particularly useful as I shoot macro and it enables me to get perfect vertical or horizontal images. The thing Pentax lacks is a good menu system, Nikon/Canon has more user friendly menu system to control the camera.

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gkey 4 England
1 Mar 2010 7:34AM
Yes you cannot use the swelf timer for HDR mode but you CAN use the very small and light IR remote control (around euro20,00).
malsi 4
1 Mar 2010 1:21PM
Hi,
Thank you for this review.
I just want to report a mistake. You said: "The Pentax K-7 is a slightly smaller body so the buttons are a bit closer to each other. There's no rear wheel which is a shame but I like the direct Raw button on the front next to the lens mount. The magnesium-steel body is dust, weather and cold resistant.". The Pentax K-7 has a rear wheel (look at your picture) and the Canon 50D doesn't have... which is a shame.
Regards.
Malsi
monobod 6 7 1 United Kingdom
1 Mar 2010 5:52PM
An intersting review, thank you. I do have a few things to add though if I may. The K-7 has two wheels in fact, one front and one rear, which can be programmed to do a host of things. But most useful is the ability to shift from program mode to Av or Tv using the two wheels. If you get lost then a quick press of the green button takes you back to program mode. It also has sensitivity modes, where the camera picks the ISO for a given combination of shutter and aperture, so you can control depth of field and movement exposure in one hit.

It has a horizon level indicator in the viewfinder, on the top plate and in live view. I also think the build qualiy is better and so is the weatherproofing. I could go on but......... (add a smiley).
1 Mar 2010 6:40PM
Correction on this point:

"Another advantage is the backwards compatibility of the K-7 meaning that any Pentax bayonet mount lens will fit onto it although you may lose focusing and metering."

The K-7 will meter through ANY lens. Even M42 screw-mount lenses mounted with an adapter -- the K-7 will meter through them. The same is true of all other Pentax DSLRs, even the entry-level ones.

Of course, with older lenses, you don't get matrix metering; instead it's center-weighted metering. And with M42 screw-mount lenses mounted with an adapter, it's also stop-down metering. But still metering.

Greg
franken e2
11 3.1k 4 Wales
2 Mar 2010 9:40AM
I agree re metering; I use a few Pentax M series on my K200D. The metering works well in manual mode and stop down.

Ken
Chaitanya 4 14 1 India
2 Mar 2010 6:02PM
Thats quite true at first I was getting F-- error and then I found how to use stop down metering on camera. Since then I am using all my M-series lenses without any problems and metering seems accurate as well. After entering focal length the Shake reduction also works nicely on old lenses.
strawman 10 22.0k 16 United Kingdom
3 Mar 2010 10:20PM

Quote: The Pentax K-7 has a rear wheel (look at your picture) and the Canon 50D doesn't have...

Yes the 50d does have a front and rear wheel, it is in the picture. and if you use an adapter to fit manual lenses the Canon also meters, it just does not know what the f-stop is, but it calculates the correct shutter speed.

The in-camera HDR setting sounds a waste of time as it only produces JPEG not RAW. Better to capture a series of bracketed images then blend in a piece of HDR software
Toonman 7 1.4k 2 England
4 Mar 2010 7:06AM
Wow Matt! You are the only reviewer who has taken the Pentax over the competition. Brave man and, I think the right choice. I find it sad that Pentax are not given enough credit for some great cameras. I think that the road ahead for Pentax is rocky. That's a real shame because the cameras are good.
Adam
pentaxian 4 12 1
4 Mar 2010 1:45PM
Congratulations on a far more balanced comparison than we are used to in the UK. The accessible RAW button is a God send and the backwards compatibility is something I take full advantage of as a K7 owner, having snapped up some real bargains on eBay, such as a superb Sigma 135mm f2.8 prime lens, which produces breathtakingly good results on the K7 once you find the sub-menu that allows you to use a lens with an aperture ring. But at least you can!
Keep up the good work!
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
4 Mar 2010 8:02PM
Hi everyone, thanks for all your comments. I'm on paternity leave at the moment but I thought I'd just leave this post to clear up the rear wheel issue. I see where you thought I'd missed something, I meant the same large wheel that the Canon has is the one that I think would be nice on all cameras. I'll correct it as soon as I return to make it clearer. I'll also sort the metering part as well. Smile
MattGrayson 7 622 3 England
15 Mar 2010 12:03PM
The updates have been made. I've made it clearer what I meant about the wheel and the metering options with older lenses.

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