Monday, July 06, 2009

Really NO MORE HOPE WITH PENTAX (Dozen Reasons for WHY NOT PENTAX NOW)

Everything have been made clear now. I believe there is really no more hope in Pentax anymore, after thinking thoroughly, calmly and objectively these days. I have been doing my research extensively for these few weeks. I have bought and read every review and report by the local magazines and all these show unfavourable results in the K-7 performance and image quality. I have inspected all those *unedited* photo samples from the K-7 and I don't think those are actually anything better than the 1.5 years old K20D, which I was not satisfied with..

I have also read many of the new K-7 users at forums reported that the PQ/IQ is nothing better and the AF system is not much faster and sensitive than the K-m with lithium batteries. Why they needed to say so and all these if these are not true? Isn't that they should now be still excited with their new toys and should have given more favourable comments than reality? (Well, for those who are always living in the world of fanboyism, this could happen forever! ;-))

In fact, if one now thinks more objectively, there are just so many sensible reasons for Why NOT Pentax NOW. I humble and wholeheartedly share below some of the current facts and real situations, that faced by we old Pentaxians:-

1. The SAFOX VIII+ system used in the K-7 is clearly still under-performing. It is still slow and continuous tracking is not up to a par with similar priced offerings from C and N, namely, the 50D and D300. Nor it copes well with the 5.2 fps continuous high frame rate of the camera, unless the user shoots in MF mode before a higher frame rate can be maintained.

My pardon "SAFOX VIII"?? They are still using an AF system that was designed for the entry level film *ist back to 2001?? Add an Plus "+" sign shows the honesty of Pentax/Hoya, though, which I should give credit to them anyway.

2. The PQ/IQ is just what the 1.5 years old K20D could give, nothing better or even worse, as far as noise is concerned more. And there is an obvious sensor bug and issue found already. Hoya/Pentax has made no announcement on the bug fix yet. (This is normal as they seldom admitted gear problems and responded quick and fast to *real issues*!)

3. Exposure inaccuracy yet still seems to be an unresolved issue with CWA and Spot modes (the 77-zone metering seems to be improved, but still not perfect). Underexposures are just common for the hundreds of samples with EXIF that I have inspected and that's also what reviewers said.

4. The K-7 body is indeed not cheap. The separated sold 18-55 WR kit lens in HK is particular expensive. It is more than double the price of the non-sealed version DA 18-55 II at the streets but then which is supposed to be optically equivalent to the new WR version.

5. The current prices of Pentax lenses worldwide are all ridiculous and users from different countries have been complaining. Those lenses are indeed harder and harder to find, (far) more expensive than C and N offerings but the future is unknown - especially for all those DA lenses which are designed for the *APS-C*! Well, Diamonds are rare so that they can be more expensive, but, Pentax lenses??

Previously, many of the Pentax lenses used to have the best value and the highest performance-to-cost ratio. But now just a new FA43 is priced 2.5 times more than it was in around 2002. What is the reason for Pentax now?? WHY PENTAX?? You think!

6. In fact, "upgrading" Pentax bodies endlessly one by one, say, even waiting for and upgrading from the *ist D->K10D->K20D to K-7, or whatsoever is just and surely money wasting - no doubt. The benefits and improvements that the user would get are all very minimal and insignificant. In fact, the changes in machine performance and picture quality are rather incremental and marginal.

7. Pentax's P-TTL flash system is the weakest in terms of accuracy, consistency and functionality. The dropped and now incompatible plain old Pentax TTL Auto was very reliable and consistency, although it is by no means intelligent, which is yet a very sad thing with Pentax these years. Pentax's current dedicated flash guns and system even do not support the basic and useful function of FEL, which is just utter stupid, frankly.

8. There is still no Full Frame from Pentax and there is no light about a Pentax FF DSLR body in K-mount and there will not be one in the foreseeable near future. Without Full Frame, the inferior Image Quality issue of Pentax DSLR and *system* to other DSLR systems, namely Canon and Nikon, cannot be cured and no new APS-C Pentax body will help! Non, the true potential and proper focal and usage of our old Pentax glass can be unleashed (actually I should used the word "resumed").

9. The K-7 is still equipped with an crippled K-mount which does not support well with old Pentax glass without an A position. Stopped down metering just gives exposure errors (see this concise experiment with clear results). Even worse, when an old K-mount lens is mounted on any Pentax DSLR body the user have to press a button to meter, which is an extra step and inconvenience. I do not need to even bother to do so with my Pentax lenses on Canon bodies - they do the metering real-time and what I need is to press the shutter release button, but not an additional button for stop-down metering first!

10. The colour rendition of the K-7 looks fake. Look at the grass and the tree leaves and you will know. The K-m is surely better as long as colour rendition and accuracy is concerned! But the K-m is outdated in features and it is just an entry level body with entry level performance. So, what body should one buy now in the Pentaxland?

11. The body sensor-shift SR system is not performing as good as those in-lens IS/VR systems, I am sure as I have been using both for long now (at least this holds true up to the K20D from my own experiences and according to a latest test review by a local magazine on K-7 with DA 60-250 only shows up to 2 stops and a little bit more protection, which is rather disappointing actually). The SR system is just poor man's system of the type, but it is not performing very well, nor it is an ideal system performance wise. What I could conclude in short about the SR system is that "Least is Better than None"!

12. The new video function is of more limitations than others in the competition. The LiveView is not recommended to do more than five minutes before it will need to be stopped for cooling down. There is an overheat warning symbol to be displayed when the sensor is too hot. There is no compression option (H.264/AVCHD) for the video files. There is no Full HD standard resolution in 1920 x 1080 but just a strange 1536 x 1024 (in 3:2 AR, not common 4:3 neither => Not video editing friendly). Many new K-7 users have said that there is no AF function during Video (but still some others said Yes, but most of them still said it's just so slow and noisy to be usable - just imagine how one uses body screw driven AF to do the CDAF in LV). There is no manual control of anything like ISO speed, Av and Tv for the Movie mode (unlike the latest Canon 5D2 update which allow the user to do so). After all, the video function of the K-7 seems like a half-baked one which is not much usable, or, at least not even as useful/updated as those current entry-level offerings by C and N, namely, the 500D and D5000 (which has an articulated mon for better movie shooting anyway).

Well, if you are an old Pentaxians who have supported the brand for years and own so many old excellent Pentax film glass, my 200% humble advice is: It would be better off to forget all our old Pentax glass in the meantime although many of them are excellent. Further investing in the current Pentax system is just a dead end, very frankly, IMVHO. With all the new money wasted in the current Pentax system, I would rather better to start off to build a better C or N system. I repeat once again THAT IS my humble advice to all those old Pentaxians which have faced the same difficulties as mine for these years since Pentax have gone digital. But now the situation is actually deteriorating. The K-7 once gave me hopes and much excitement but all those were just my wishful thinkings which have now been proven to be not realised! :-((

Having decided to cancel my K-7 pre-order these days, after all my objective researches and reviews done which I have stated above, all my hopes with Pentax have finally gone after waiting for them for more than five years now!

In fact, my unsensible sentiments with Pentax and my old glass let me withhold many of my purchase plan with my Canon glass during these two years. Those Canon modern glass are actually with more updated technologies and best performance when used with and can cope much better with my Canon 5D body, which I have been totally satisfied with - in terms of IQ, accuracy and performance - the three most important factors for a camera and system - money is actually not a real concern for me, but value for money and reliability of the system and gear are!

Whilst totally and completely desparated with Pentax now, the good thing is that I have finally made up my mind and have started to buy more new Canon lenses and would buy also a new 500D or 40D body to supplement my 5D for just a P&S DSLR with built-in flash or for long range shootings like birds and concerts. In the last weekend, I have used my reserved K-7 Kit + DA 15 funds to buy two Canon L Zooms (the 17-40/4L and the 70-200/4L IS) but still have had some money left and thus I have ordered a new EF 35/2 prime and there is still a little bit saving!! Ridiculous enough? The EF 35/2 is in fact now priced 25% cheaper than the FA 35/2. And, my this practical real case just shows that how and why it is so not sensible to further invest in Pentax, even for just a K-7 Kit and an additional simple DA 15 F4 lens, which is just a slow 24mm prime lens film equivalent (and they ask for that high price worldwide? The performance of this lens is just mediocre, also - you find out the test reviews online yourself if unconvinced).

I am now considering to change the name of my this blog to "RiceHigh's Photographic Gear Blog" in the near future and I shall write in general brand regardless for all the latest digital gear news instead of concentrating more on Pentax alone which I think is a brand which I should forget in the meantime! I am sure I have something much better to share for stuff on other brands - even the Micro 4/3 Oly and Pana. I shall continue to report news about Pentax, though but I don't think there will be more good things to share in the near future..

Sad but that is what I am seriously thinking now.. And I think this would mark a full stop to my love and endless and unexplainable enthusiasm to the brand Pentax for these few decades and the editing direction of my blog would (be) change(d). I just realise that I have not been able to change them much and help them to improve even though I have meant to be for years..

77 Comments:

terrencechin said...

Seems like the K20D will be a good deal on the 2nd hand market.
I have to agree that Pentax lenses have jumped up considerably in price (in Australia) and I don't really think they're worth it compared to the competition.

Match said...

I am expecting a new entry from you about your comments of the new K-7.

From my point of view, it is actually not a big surprise for Pentax not able to improve the IQ/PQ in K-7. It seems that it is a technology limitation and I don't see any breakthrough from others neither.

I am no offense to give the comments below. It is just a general opinion from my point of view.

1: But Pentax offers a much compact body comparing to C / N, namely the 50D and D300.

2: But it seems that 50D PQ/IQ is even worse comparing to 40D.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos50d/page21.asp

Please note that K20D may provide a similar PQ/IQ to 40D / D300 (Perhaps you don't agree). With K-7 and the recent 50D, it just tells me that there may be a technology issue which takes sometime to sort out. Or it is a physical limitation which can't be better. At the same time, I don't see there are lot of PQ/IQ differences between D300/D90 (Perhaps D90 is even better?) and 450D/40D (Perhaps I am wrong).

JPG ISO-100
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/PentaxK20D/page24.asp
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/NikonD300/page23.asp

RAW ISO-100
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/NikonD300/page27.asp
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/PentaxK20D/page28.asp

4. It is true. But comparing a 50D and a D300, it is not the cheapest but it is also not the most expensive. Isn't it?

5. 200% agree... I also agree that the price is crazy.

6. But it is also true to D30 -> D40 -> D50 or D70 -> D80 -> D90. I also see the improvement is marginal...

8. There is a 645D coming but the price level will be the interesting part. I am not sure the possibility of making the size of a 645D similar to a FF (Probably you can tell), but having a light weight ASP-C and a professional grade 645 format (even it is chopped but it is still bigger than FF). It is not a bad move because the FF market is too crowd.

9. But Nikon even does not support many old lens? Isn't it?

11. The body sensor-shift SR may not be as good as the in-lens one. In-lens one should give more information to for the SR compensation. But the body one will offer SR to **ALL** pentax old glasses. It is actually a good design especially for the old Pentaxians who have supported the brand for years and own so many old excellent Pentax film glass. Imagine you can use a old Pentax glass with SR to take shoots and HD movie, this is actually a point worth to mention. Moreover, an In-lens SR is usually more heavier which is contradicting to one the Pentax's characteristics - light and compact. On the other hand, a In-Lens SR is supposed to be more expensive but it is probably not significant now...

I do agree that as a system in general, Pentax is a weaker system than C/N. What about if we compare it to S and O? Pentax is not too bad actually, when we referring to the set of lens. Now the major real issue is the price of then lens, which I agree totally.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Match. The only really significant point is the current price of lenses.

Luckily Tamron and Sigma make excellent lenses these days, and their prices are very competitive. It would be impossible to find a kit comparable to the K-7 with the Tamron 17-50/2.8 and 70-200/2.8 at even twice the price. A Canon 50D-based kit + stabilized f/2.8 lenses would be about twice as expensive. With Nikon there is no stabilized 17-50/2.8 or 17-55/2.8 lens at all. In short, Pentax still offers exceptional value, but only if third-party lenses are an option.

I'm sure that after some time Pentax will see that lens prices are killing their sales, and they will be forced to become competitive again. There's no other way.

Anonymous said...

Bring On The Full Frame DSLR Pentax! Especially with the news that Sony is bringing out two more FF DSLR models by the end of this year. One will cost under $1,000.00!

Anonymous said...

P.S. I'm tired of waiting for a FF Pentax DSLR already!

RiceHigh said...

> Match said...
> I am expecting a new entry from you about your comments of the new K-7.

I think I should update my blog with my latest decision and what I am thinking now..

> From my point of view, it is actually not a big surprise for Pentax not able to improve the IQ/PQ in K-7. It seems that it is a technology limitation and I don't see any breakthrough from others neither.

Yes, but with technology advancement, I would expect at least some kind of slight improvement over the K20D as the pixel count is kept. Unfortunately, it seems that they (Samsung/Pentax) only increased the speed of the sensor but not the IQ.

> I am no offense to give the comments below. It is just a general opinion from my point of view.

You're welcomed to share. And thanks for your comments. :-)

> 1: But Pentax offers a much compact body comparing to C / N, namely the 50D and D300.

Yes, but not much lighter.

> 2: But it seems that 50D PQ/IQ is even worse comparing to 40D.
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canoneos50d/page21.asp

Yes, that's why I am considering either a 40D and 500D as my second Canon body in the system. Also, the 50D is just a little bit too expensive for me to acquire as a backup/P&S/telephone DSLR body.

> Please note that K20D may provide a similar PQ/IQ to 40D / D300 (Perhaps you don't agree).

Maybe. But C and N has several Full Frames already, which are all blowing the K-7/K20D out of the water with hands down.

> With K-7 and the recent 50D, it just tells me that there may be a technology issue which takes sometime to sort out. Or it is a physical limitation which can't be better. At the same time, I don't see there are lot of PQ/IQ differences between D300/D90 (Perhaps D90 is even better?) and 450D/40D (Perhaps I am wrong).

Yes, but the K-7 should at least show *some* improvements, but there is none!

> 4. It is true. But comparing a 50D and a D300, it is not the cheapest but it is also not the most expensive. Isn't it?

But the 50D and D300 both have higher performance and accuracy. And also that C or N is no doubt a better system and investment is more worth.

> 5. 200% agree... I also agree that the price is crazy.

Hoya has been crazy in setting the new prices! They are just throwing stones on their own feet!

> 6. But it is also true to D30 -> D40 -> D50 or D70 -> D80 -> D90. I also see the improvement is marginal...

Nope. In between, there have been the choice of 5D, 5D MkII, D3, D700 and so on!

RiceHigh said...

> 8. There is a 645D coming but the price level will be the interesting part. I am not sure the possibility of making the size of a 645D similar to a FF (Probably you can tell), but having a light weight ASP-C and a professional grade 645 format (even it is chopped but it is still bigger than FF). It is not a bad move because the FF market is too crowd.

The 645D is meaningless to old Pentaxians who have only K-mount lenses - and most of them are!

If Pentaxians go 645D, they would better off build a new FF C or N system! And, the 645D size/weight and price are surely not for most of the amateurs.

> 9. But Nikon even does not support many old lens? Isn't it?

Nope. Higher ranked Nikon DSLR support old AI/AI-S lenses very well.

> 11. The body sensor-shift SR may not be as good as the in-lens one. In-lens one should give more information to for the SR compensation. But the body one will offer SR to **ALL** pentax old glasses. It is actually a good design especially for the old Pentaxians who have supported the brand for years and own so many old excellent Pentax film glass.

But afterall, it's the actual field performance that counts! As I have stated, it's only "least is better than none".

> Imagine you can use a old Pentax glass with SR to take shoots and HD movie, this is actually a point worth to mention. Moreover, an In-lens SR is usually more heavier which is contradicting to one the Pentax's characteristics - light and compact.

The body is made larger then. And, the in-lens IS is not much heavier, e.g. the 70-200/4L is 705g and the 70-200/4L IS is only 760g.

> On the other hand, a In-Lens SR is supposed to be more expensive but it is probably not significant now...

Yes.

> I do agree that as a system in general, Pentax is a weaker system than C/N.

Yes.

> What about if we compare it to S and O? Pentax is not too bad actually, when we referring to the set of lens.

S is not a good choice neither, IMHO. Oly is going niche and fashionable. EP-1's PQ is not too bad and actually sharper than the K-7's for what I have inspect and noise levels between the two are close. So, Oly's technologies are clear in advance than those of the Pentax's.

> Now the major real issue is the price of then lens, which I agree totally.

But also the choices and the investment's future!

Anonymous said...

You are right.Pentax was a bad choice.I have changed from Minolta/Sony to Pentax.A big mistake.

Anonymous said...

Hallelujah!
Rice, please, NEVER post anything about Pentax cameras which you never take in your own hands.

Anonymous said...

12. You are lamer and understand NOTHING in video.

Anonymous said...

And your change of heart has taken only around 2 elephant gestations.

How much longer until you finally decide?
Three elephant gestations?

RiceHigh said...

Two? You tell me how many years have it been now since the *ist D was launched in September 2003? (which I bought within the first 4 months)

One elephant gestation is 624 days, or, 1.7 years. So, you calculate!

Matt Sanderson said...

There is nothing that anyone has said here that isn't surprising. It's always amazing when I read about Pentax/Olympus/Samsung releasing cameras and everyone gets excited.

Why?

Why are these people expecting anything that could rival Canon, Nikon and (to a lesser extent) Sony?

In-body IS/VR isn't as effective as in-lens IS/VR. Fact. Why bother with it in-body? For shorter focal-lengths you don't need it, and for long focal-lengths a 2-stop system won't help, will it?

What does Pentax offer anyone, that Canon, Nikon and Sony don't do better?

Anonymous said...

RiceHigh stop crying like little baby... Maybe post you photos, we all whant to see what your CANON can.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe the ignorant comments by Matt Sanderson. It's great being able to buy a 30 year old lens and have the shake reduction in the body. Way slower shutter speeds are possible without having to spend hundreds extra with every lens. "In-body IS/VR isn't as effective as in-lens IS/VR. Fact." Prove it, nobody has yet (however let's hope something costing hundreds more is better :D )

Anonymous said...

Thank god! So this means we can stop hearing your incessant whiny, melodramatic rantings with the chutzpah of a jewish mother blog posts? I have a Google Alert set for the k20d, which leads me infrequently to your posts. If you're really gone for good, thank you. But of course that would be too much now, wouldn't it? The C, N, and S fanboys would rip you another butthole if you started whining on those platforms as you do here. Here's your soapbox in a nutshell:

I really love Pentax and want them to be the best, so I will tell them all this information about how they can become the best, but wait, they're not listening to me, so they obviously don't care about their users and don't want to succeed, omigawdohmygawd Ihatethem! That's basically it. Please be true to your word this time.

buh bye and good riddance!

Anonymous said...

Publishing a "review" of something you've not tested yourself is ridiculous, any credibility you may have had is shredded. All reviews I've read are positive for this camera.

Anonymous said...

All this coming from a Canon shooter. How much are you paid to do this? Your agenda is too obvious.

Anonymous said...

Show us your pictures from 5D which we can't do with Pentax.

Maybe Rice gets money from PR department of Canon?

Anonymous said...

Dear Richeigh,

Sorry about the elephant gestation jibe. I love Pentax but also own other dslrs.

I must also say I admire your tenacity and passion, and your dignity in the face of some pretty strong comments. My own sarcasm I regret.

It will be sad to see you leave Pentax for these reasons.
Please reconsider.

Richard.

Anonymous said...

Ah, disregard that. I suck cocks.

Richard.

Anonymous said...

So much bad faith for free! you are pitiable Ricehigh!

Anonymous said...

http://kakaku.com/camera/digital-slr-camera/ranking_0049/

cry, Rice, K-7 is NUMBER 6 in Japan.

Anonymous said...

As for sucking,
keep your personal habits to yourself creepfeatures.

Anonymous said...

Your thinly veiled, vaguely positive comments about the K7 over recent weeks built up to this pathetic rant timed to coincide with the camera hitting the shelves. Why don't you wait until you have a K7 in your hands before slamming it? Your motives are so transparent it makes me sick. BTW, I am not one of those fanboys of whom you speak; I just like objectivity and honesty, both of which are on short supply on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Believe me, I KNOW that kind of obsessive thinking and hours wasted writing stuff instead of going outside and, for example, taking photos and seeing people. SSRIs are a good solution.
Ask your doctor.

Alessandro

Anonymous said...

An important notice when it comes to point 1: The test you're refering to is NOT a real test of the K7's AF. It's the SDM focusmotor in the lense that's the reason for the slow AF. No matter how good camera you have the AF cannot be faster because of the lenses slow SDM motor.

Anonymous said...

Gladly waiting for your new Canon Ricehigh Blog where you're finally going to measurbate your 5D the hard way!!

Yu Chai said...

Dear Rice,
Do u mind share some of your "Master pieces" with me? I really want to see your photos. Thx in advance.

Anonymous said...

I've heard (from my Chinese friend) that Rice works in one of Canon's departments in China.
And this info is very close to the truth.

Anonymous said...

The time required to write all his "articles" could backup this theory.
(Canon's department). I really hope this is the case, it would be a job instead of an illness... :-)))

Alessandro

Anonymous said...

I will miss you moron :)

Anonymous said...

Something is telling me that you won't stop your Pentax bashing. I mean, obsessions don't stop just like this.

jaad75 said...

Of course not! It's just another theatrical statement from our primadonna...

Eric said...

Rice, if you can produce one photo worth looking at then I might take you seriously, but as it is all you have ever done is moan and whine about every measurement you can find without showing any real life examples of how the system has let you down. If you want to run a blog then check out Chase Jarvis's site. He is an actual PHOTOGRAPHER first, and a tech geek second. Thus, his opinion actually matters. In fact he has produced more quality photos with an iPhone then I've seen from you and your full frame 5D. The bottom line is if the K-7 can't capture you're "vision" then you're doing something wrong. You are the weak link, not the camera.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is great news, we don't have to hear your biased remarks about Pentax. Please transform your blog in "How I love my Canon". Pretty please.

schmuki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WRK said...

I hope for your sake you can finally let your Pentax vendetta die. I really don't know what happened in the past but I'm pretty sure you got back at them by now.

daedbird said...

I have to say, this is the problem when you have 'independent' blogs where we do not know the person's true background. From what I recall, RiceHigh's newest Pentax is the *istDL, which was one very basic model. I never bought into the *ist range b/c of how blurry they were. In my office I compare my K10 to our D300, and my only concerns were the AF system (god its slow) and low light capabilities. I never had a problem using my old K lenses (even w/o an A setting), so unless Pentax removed that function...
Second, RiceHigh never tested the K7, only took off photos from other websites. Well, I looked around to a number of great sites, ones with tons of photos, and they all said the K7 held its own. Granted, they may want a big ad buy from Pentax, but these firms are very professional, and have pointed out dogs in the past. I trust people who held the camera a lot more than a guy who hasn't
I have no problem with comments like Pentax is pricing the camera and lenses too high, that value was one of their selling points. And despite their statements otherwise, they will not be taken seriously until they have a full frame (although they need to reward dedicated 645 users, and can make a real dent in that untapped market).
I am sticking with Pentax, although I am holding off on any upgrades to my K10. My coworkers have D300s, D200s, 40Ds, D90s. They talk about being affected by weather - never a worry with my K10. I find the menu setup and choices more intuitive (esp. compared to the Canon) and I am shocked that the D300 doesn't allow you to customize the WB (so far as I could see).
If you are leaving the Pentaxian fold Rice, I just hope you close this website and create a new one for your new camera of choice.....

daedbird said...

Oh, and on his points for his no-go on the K7:
1. AF system underperforming - Even the D300, which I would list as the gold standard of FPS, cannot meet its max FPS on cont. focus for a moving object. If the camera is halfway between a D300 and the K20, I would consider it a credible jump (but I want more).
2.PQ/IQ - Look, we are still waiting for the final firmware release (something most testers state) so they are still finetuning, and will continue to do so after its out. As far as admitting problems, how long did it take Canon (5D Mark) and Nikon (D3x) to admit problems on released cameras? Once again, Pentax is only guilty of wanting to get a buzz up before they were all ready....
3. Exposure inaccuracy - I haven't done a lot of research on this, so I cannot say anything against what you are saying....
4. Price - I think they would have been well-off hitting the under $1k pricepoint, but maybe that is planned for the fall, ahead of holiday shopping season....
5. Lens prices - First of all, lenses are an investment of decades, not one camera. Yes, Pentax is placing a premium on their lenses (as well as focusing on the limited line instead of a nice big long tele), but the K7 isn't an entry. I got a an 18-55 kit with my K10, and last year got the 16-50*. For 90 percent of the stuff I do, the kit lens is a better deal, but its those 10 percent of photos on why I spent five times more to upgrade. A drop in price, esp. considering the great glass by Tamron and Sigma would be wise, esp. when your perttime partner Tokina has the same lens cheaper.
6. Upgrading - seriously, who would buy each model in succession? You didn't if your last was a DL, and I have not since mine was the K10 (but I looked hard at getting a deal on a K20). It would be crazy for anyone. I look at it like this - I want a camera I will feel good with for more than five years, and a lens that should go 10-15 at least. The K7, esp with video, is that type of camera for me, and others.

daedbird said...

7. TTL system. I don't know about the K7, but my K10 with FGZ 360 is quite accurate. The camera flash, well it depends on the lens, but I need more light, and my system works great. I can only talk about my system, b/c thats all I have had my hands on, and it works as well as our office's D300 w/ SB800.
8. Full frame - Nothing to do with the K7, but Pentax needs one to compete (which I suspect will be unveiled in March 2010).
9. Kmount support - One of the reason I bought the K10 was this backwards compatibility, which I feel works great. Yes, metering could be better, but I would rather have the half-moon return to the viewfinder for focusing (can always shoot test shot to hone in the light)
10. Color -- I always heard the Pentax line does not give a 'true color' but always enjoyed the color mine produced. If its like the K10, it will be fine.....
11. SR - Many a magazine has shown in-lens focusing works better than in-camera stabilization. No dispute, esp. with long tele. I found my SR works well enough, but this is why I am investing on big glass, to let the light in - the more I can take SR out of the picture, the happier I am anyway....
12. LiveView - I have an slr, I don't want LiveView! I shoot crowds (throwing camera in air) or shooting w/ camera on ground,where it would be nice to line things up with this, but I would never use it for long periods of time, and would never use it as a primary way to shoot. Plus, it would eat my batteries - give me a large piece of glass on top (which the K7 has).
As far as the video, I don't have much of a comment. Yes, its odd they use a different ratio, and I would want to see 60fps for short bursts. Overall, they sound like they match the other cameras in the market, and not having it at all would have been another setback.

Like other shooters out there, I am always concerned about Pentax's health and future. Hoya seems to be putting in the R&D and working to keep the company viable. The K7 and 645D, along with the KM and K200 give a number of choices to buyers, but Olympus, Sony, and Samsung are creating enticing choices for prosumers, while Canon and Nikon state a good argument on why they dominate the market. Calling Pentax a 'dead end' on something dubbed a 'pentax blog' I think is sending the wrong message....

daedbird said...

Oh, I cannot stay away....if RiceHigh was looking to get a reaction, he is getting it.

I just wanted to show something Popular Photography posted on their site about the initial use of the the video portion of the K7. Nothing real about the quality of what they shot, but the stats are compelling. They post:
"Like Nikon’s latest, this model shoots 1280x720- pixel high-def, but does it at the silky-smooth speed of 30 frames per second (Nikons max out at 24). Sound capture is monaural, though the stereo microphone input lets you upgrade the sound. Videos are stored as AVI files in the Motion JPEG compression format. (Canon and Nikon’s proprietary formats required video-editing software writers to play catch-up—we’re hoping this more common format won’t.)

"Unlike the Nikons, which lock autofocus in video, the Pentax (like the Canon EOS Rebel T1i) lets you focus by pressing the AF button on the back of the camera. It doesn’t provide continuous AF as you move the camera, but it’s certainly helpful. (However, we expect some audible AF motor noise.)"

Sounds like their video choices are pretty compelling, and are above what is offered by Nikon (though I suspect there will be a D300s in the fall that is better than what the D90 does now)

Anonymous said...

Ricehigh is not a photographer, and cannot even produce a small body of work to make his comments credible.It is just pure entertainment as is Ken Rockwell, but at least Ken Rockwell has photos to back himself up.

Anonymous said...

My husband is a doctor and he said you act like someone who has a personality disorder. Maybe you need to get some help for this.

Anonymous said...

In my 60+ years of life, I have experienced a number of "disenchanted" folk who feel they've been given a raw deal. They often "get even" by venting vitiole against the alleged perpetrator. I sense this has occurred to Rice. Having read many of his recent posts, there is something much deeper than a simple objective critique behind the fact mixed with innuendo couched in his posts.

He will indeed do himself and the Pentax community a great service to move on to something he is not angry at. And everyone can live happily ever after.

D. said...

Rh, you´re so right. I just sold all my pentax gear and bought a d700 for the money i made. finally i can shoot my dog running towards me without any silly limitations.

Anonymous said...

I just ordered the following from Amazon in Stock. Guaranteed one day delivery. The price on the lense will also be rebated 15% when I send in the form. This is my first DSLR. Just dropped 2,200 clams -90 for rebate. I got a no payment deal for 6 months. I will pay it off in that time. I payed premium for the camera. Lens cost of $590 seems very reasonable for that lense and reviews I have seen.

1 - "Pentax K-7 14.6 MP Digital SLR with Shake Reduction and 720p HD Video (Body Only)"
Electronics; $1,299.95

1 - "Pentax AF 360 FGZ Flash for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras (w/ case)"
Electronics; $229.89

1 - "Pentax SMC DA* Series 16-50mm f/2.8 ED AL IF SDM Wide Angle Zoom Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras"
Electronics; $689.95

daedbird said...

Now now now, let's be reasonable people. Calling into question RiceHigh's sanity does not help in this conversation. What ever reason he has for dissing the K7 and the Pentax line (and he sure looks like he has some reason) it takes away from disputing from his flawed argument that he is somehow unstable......

While I am a Pentax enthusiast, I'm not a fanboy, and feel the company deserves criticsm when its due. They were too late to the dslr game, and really slow with coming out with a string of valued products in that realm. Their lineup is lacking, both in FF and medium format, two areas where Pentax used to excel, and the AF focusing system is too slow for a company with its rich history....

And don't get me started on how they have named both their point-and-shoot and slr lines. And they should have figured out how to get Panasonic and Olympus on board before they created their lensmount.....

But his rants on a product he never even touched are poor. Picking obscure websites to base his diatribes on, and ignoring ones that praised pre-production K7s, well it seems quite biased, w/o all the facts. All respected publications seem to adore the K7 and feel its a real challenger to the more expensive pro lines of the 50D and D300.

Are there quibbles with the K7? Sure. Quite frankly, I never had a problem with the menu format, and am concerned about switching from toggle points for AF to setting WB and flash with the shared buttons. Plus, I felt the layout of the K10/20, with the left buttons, was easier to nav than Canikon models.

But I haven't seen the K7 in the flesh yet, so I reserve judgement, just like Rice should do, since he never touched one yet.

One thing is, Rice has been honest with the products he uses, and his newer and higher-end stuff is from Canon. So maybe this is his way of trying to cut his ties to Pentax, that he wants to feel good about the break. I don't know what his reason is for the garbage dump he tried to pull, nor do I think its relevant to the discussion. Reviews are subjective to a point, but he is wrong, wrong wrong wrong wrong, but you don't have to question his sanity about it......

Interesting but stupid said...

RiceHigh is entertaining. He loves to be in the limelight and does so by being controvertial about everything Pentax. He is everything that I don't want to be.Just using the nickname of fanboy when addressing the readers is demeaning. This is the first time I leave a comment, I have fun reading but don't like to get in arguments and name calling. RiceHigh does have some problems as he always write as if he was the ultimate authority in Pentax equipment. He is a self-appointed expert in his own world. It would be better if he would migrate to the Canon side and post about Canon equipment. Why beat the same old subject down when he can simply change brand?

Anonymous said...

I live in HK too. It's very easy to test and buy the K7 now. May be you better go out to try it yourself rather than wasting time to type so many words here. Cheers.

Anonymous said...

Please change the name of your blog as soon as possible. That way people don't confuse you with someone who actually takes pictures using current Pentax gear. Or does anything other than read online reviews and then pick and choose "data" for "analysis." It would be a funny joke if some people didn't think you actually have handled the gear and shoot pictures with it rather than just rant.

Anonymous said...

You are boring. Have you ever taken some photos, or are you just talking about it? There's no mentionable difference between Canon, Nikon, Pentax and so on, no one can say which camera has been used while watching the pictures. Stop boring the world....start taking pictures. You know, it's like: my car has got 300hps and drives 330km/h, but for what? Like comparing penis sizes...

J K Joseph said...

You talk so much about the Canon 50D being so much more better. At the end of the day what matters is the picture and looking at this link
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/CanonEOS50D/page24.asp
I don't see anything great about Canon 50D.

RiceHigh said...

I have never talked about the 50D. But anyway, the 50D's PQ is actually not as good as its precedator 40D.

Packing 15MP into an APS-C is actually not easy and surely not a good idea, as the pixel density is just too high for the current technology and it pushes the limits. As such, PQ/IQ is not guaranteed.

ctax said...

-1 blog in my feed. I needed honest observer, not the man just wanna be in center of the world anyway. First you blaimed PentaxForums, now you deny from your point of view...
R.I.P.

Anonymous said...

If you paid more attention to your grammar and spelling, perhaps you'd be more believable. Your writing style is careless and sloppy, and it makes me wonder if that reflects a careless and sloppy approach to researching your subject matter.

By the way, you missed one of the K7's key features...built-in HDR. See what I mean about carelessness?

Anil said...

I'm a potential K-7 buyer. While I was waiting for the K-7 I was always worried about the AF not being as snappy as Canon D50's. I've been looking at your research too, Rice, and was very disappointed with your particular research grab on K-7's continuous autofocus burst speed (http://ricehigh.blogspot.com/2009/07/measurebated-k-7-is-not-machine-gun.html). According to your translation of the grab (the original not being in English), in particular the Test 2 that was conducted, K-7 is just about 1.3 fps (with 100% accuracy), while Canon D50 was 3.6 fps and Nikon D300 was 4fps.

Well, yesterday, I came across this review of K-7's continuous AF that Falk Lumo had written (http://falklumo.blogspot.com/2009/06/k-7-and-its-continous-autofocus-part-i.html). This was about a test that he had conducted almost a month ago (must be with a pre-production K-7) and the test methodology comes close to the Test 2 that your article talks about. It suggests that K-7 can go up till 3.8fps with accuracy and speed that nears (could be slightly better/worse) that of D300 (based on & comparing with a similar test that was carried out for D300 by a magazine last year).

My point is, if it can be this quick for a pre-production model of K-7 (knowing that they haven't changed anything with the AF in the production model), how can the performance be so poor (as suggested by your grab)? Besides, I have my doubts about how you translated the research grab that was originally not in English? Can you share it with us?

This whole thing suggests that maybe it really depend on the speed of the lens' motor inside, and bigger still that the K-7 does have a comparable continuous-AF-burst-speed. After all, the K-7 does not look as bad as the article grab that you have posted suggests. And I'm a brand-nuteral person, here.

Anonymous said...

Rice blows dead goats

Anonymous said...

No more hope?
Great!

The end has come for Pentax so why lose words about it?
RH, you've made it!

Time to close this laughing stock of a blog.

Anonymous said...

I love my pentax. I absolutely do not see why pentax would be coming to an end, or "is the worst brand". Please stop making such lame accusations.

aleks-sa said...

I've been with Pentax since first *istDS came to production, then upgraded to K10D. Recently decided to upgrade the camera and two of three lenses. After heavy research over internet and comparisons of original photos I decided to change the whole system. Now I've got Nikon d90 + Nikkor 12-24 + Tamron 28-75 + Nikkor 55-200 VR (this is best for my needs and for the price).

What I've got over Pentax (taking also K7 into the view):
1) I can shoot at iso upto 1600 with no fear of noise - damn, this IS IMPORTANT! at lest for me
2) The autofocus is so smooth ))
3) Quite big choice of lenses with sometimes much better prices.

Things which I lost unfortunately:
1) solid, steady and promising feeling when holding the camera in hands - Pentax is just the best in terms of camera build
2) the colors are different, sometimes better but sometimes worse.. I'm still on my way of tweakening presets. Hope I'll manage this.

I know this might help someone to decide. As Ricehigh's post helped me to start considering other systems. Though I still love my Pentax, it will be pain to sell it.

Canon user said...

Making an FF would've been a very bad idea of Pentax. The FF market is too small for them to make profit on.

Look at Sony! By all accounts, the A900 hasn't sold nearly as well as they hoped and now they are sitting on excess parts. So to salvage what they can, they cut the manufacturing/parts costs as much as possible and bring out the A850 at $1900, hoping this price will help them sell off more of them.

Pentax have concentrated their limited resources and have what seems to be the best APS-C-specific lineup on the market.

Anonymous said...

Buy a Canon EOS 7D and be happy!

RiceHigh said...

There is no need for me to get the 7D as I have a higher ranked 5D already and it has better IQ for sure, too, since it is a full frame.

Anonymous said...

Ok You don't need vid of course!

I have a lot of glass from Pentax but hesitate to buy a K7 next to my K20D. Nice K-m impression by the way!
I need to have vid possilities soon for both my JVC miniDV's died lately

Actually i don't like the idea of selling my 12-24 wideangle-zoom,35 limited makro, my 21mm and 40mm pancakes, 28mm- 3.5,50mm -1.4, 50mm -1.7, 100mm-macro (all M-series) 80-200 zoom, my macro-rings etc.
I just read, Novoflex makes a K-mount adapterring for 4/3's body's
it would be interesting to use my glass on a Pansonic GF1 or better GH1.
Of course these setups would only work manual.
I was happy to find out though that Novoflex make an aperture ring with can control Pentax DA aperture settings lenses as well.
Or sell my whole Pentax collection and buy a 7D or with xtra money mark II and nice secondhand Canon zoomlens and a prime.
E.

Anonymous said...

what would you advise?

Anonymous said...

I am Dutch so sorry for the mistakes in my writing
E.

Anonymous said...

*with can control Pentax DA aperture settings lenses has to be:
which can control the M-series lenses. DA would be too good to be true!
E.

RiceHigh said...

Hallo, my advice to you are as follows:-

1. I don't recommend you go micro-4/3 if you are not going to use m43 lenses (better to use the new HD series of Pana video capacable lens with continuous silent aperture control and AF).

2. Move to a 7D may not be a good idea as it is still an APS-C. The IQ will not be better but maybe even worse (owing to the very high pixel density);

3. Adapting Pentax lenses to a 2X sensor system may not be a good idea as huge resolution loss is resulted and focal lenght is doubled (another 1.33X if DA lenses are to be used);

4. You may wish to buy a true updated HD "DV" with harddrive and/or SD slot to replace your died DV cam. Those cameras can do AWB, AF and exposure control in realtime and has power zoom. The form factor is for video, not for still. My opinion is that video on DSLR is a bonus but its usability and operability for video are far from perfect - even if you get the Pana.

5. With all those Pentax lens investment you have, you may wish just to get an acceptable boby to use in the meantime - I recommend the K-m. It is a basic working tool, although nothing advanced. Anyway, you will still face the battery issue - finding a more reliable rechargeable battery solution is still really a headache! You can still use the disposable AA Lithium anyway but it is not that environmental friendly and is just a waste of money - I have consumed two packs (of 4) already for less than 1,300 shots! :-(

Bottom Line: Move up to the full frame for optimal Image Quality and get a DV camera for the purpose of video if you do need to record video more often.

Eddie said...

Thankx for your kind comment!

Yes, i have already decided that if
i am going to buy a pana it's gonna be with the 20mm.,or maybe 14-140.
I saw a great vid on vimeo featuring the red scartlet, 5D mark II and the GH1, mounted with expensive video-primes DSLR lenses. The pana did pretty well I must say!
In most cases i miss the 'fluid' motion of a normal HD Camcorder. Especially as a .mov it all looks a little shaky and flickery often.
I keep you posted!

Eddie said...

By the way:
In the field of model-aeroplanes and -racingcars and stuff, they have the best rch. batteries like the NI-MH 2300 from Sanyo f.i., although they would probably last a little longer than a normal pair of Duracells i am afraid. But if you keep 3 - 4 pairs (litle heavy though) charged it is working.
I use these on my long bike-trips for the led head- and rearlights.

On the Pana G1/GH1 i would prefer my DA lenses because they have also a mechanical control feature.
Is their sensorsize the same as in my K20D?

Can you advise me where to buy stuff in America if i wanted to.
The prices overthere are a lot better than here in Europe.
Thanks again.
E.

Eddie said...

Sorry RH, you wrote already that with the DA lenses the factor will be 1.33x more, so sensor-size wil not be the same.

I am thinking of buying the Canon Legria (Vixia in U.S.A.)HFS10 or wait till nxt. year.
It is hard to get rid of the idea of making vids with my Pentax primes and zooms, for color and depht of field are important aspects (as well as the amounts of bits in processing)
Noise from lenses is no problem for me since i record all the audio seperately on a R9 from Roland (portable WAV/MP3 rec/player)

I expect that nxt-years-video from top DSLR's come close to broadcast- Q camera's of the 4000-8000 dollar range, like the Sony EX3 a.s.o.
That not all the functions are automatic is not such a problem since i like manual operation
E.

Riwax said...

I ve several old Pentax lenses which I d like to use in a SLR Camera. I never used a digital reflex before. What brand wud u suggest me ? I think the comfortablest way is to got with Pentax. A Full-Frame box is too expensive for me so I thought a K-7 or even the brand new K-X which cud be cheaper even better )
Thanx b4hand.
/R

RiceHigh said...

Get the K-x kit if you don't want to switch. But do note that your old film lenses will be multiplied by a factor of 1.535 in the effective focals (actually the Angle of View) which you should consider if your old lenses are useful enough and worth consideration when you mount them on a new APS-C DSLR body.

As for the K-7, I won't recommend it. It is expensive and the IQ is not good enough (similar or even worse to the old K20D but which you can still get at half the price).

Anonymous said...

so if ure an Expert in humiliating Pentax...what is ur concern anyway ?
do you think you IQ is high enough to take a good picture w/ a DSLR.
tell me a good DSLR at least one...which the result above the Pentax. ok and lets compare the result let see if it is match w/ur high IQ
i give you my left hand just w/
*DS and SMC 50mm 1,7
i know for sure u know this kamera because u said , u use a PEntax for over 20 years.

regard

Anonymous said...

come one RH..im sure u read this post and understand the meaning of it ?
pick ur best gear ..im waiting just w/ ist*DS on my left hand , dont have too use my booth hand because i dont hav a such high IQ like you ..>:D...:D

im waiting ...

Anonymous said...

I've used Pentax equipment since the 1960s. They offered the best product for the most reasonable price back then. I still have two screw mount bodies and 5 screw mount lenses. I switched to Kmount with the K1000, it still operates impeccably.
I have 5 Kmount lenses most with the automatic aperture.
My first DSLR with the ist DS and it continues to deliver fantastic results 5 years after purchase. I just bought a K-7, it was the first upgrade that made sense to me, as I like the Pentax tradition of small, nimble cameras. So far so good. I'll have to check for that line on the sensor, I haven't noticed it, but I'll check.
I'm not a camera collector so I won't just buy the latest and greatest just because it's made. I was tempted by the K20D but it seemed bulbous and unwieldy. The K-7 is almost identical in size to my DS and provides me all the control I could ask for. As for full frame, it'll come but I won't buy the 1st model, let them work out the kinks. I've got time and I hope to get 5 years out of the K-7, I continue to use the DS.
I think people expect huge leaps in technology every 6 months. Relax and enjoy your photographs.

Tony Renier
Green Bay, WI
USA

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