Pentax K7 Digital SLR Announced

News Pentax Uncategorized

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.

Official Pentax K7 Press Release

Official Pentax K7 Fact Sheet

Related Content:
Pentax Digital SLR User Reviews
All Digital SLR Reviews
Pentax Cameras Forum
Digital SLRs Forum
All Pentax News And Articles
Pentax Web Site

Pentax K7 Digital SLR
Pentax K7 Digital SLR - Rear & LCD
Pentax K7 Digital SLR - Top View

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About the author: Photo-John

Photo-John, a.k.a. John Shafer, is the managing editor of and has been since the site launched back in 1999. He's an avid outdoor enthusiast and spends as much time as possible on his mountain bike, hiking or skiing in the mountains. He's been taking pictures for ever and ever, and never goes anywhere without a camera.

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  • Amy says:

    This camera looks awesome. My only regret is that it does not feature a full frame sensor.

  • A.M.D.A. says:

    Yay! :)

    Tough competition for Canon and Nikon! :wink:

  • Photo-John says:

    Thanks for the comment, Amy. Why are you concerned about full frame? What are you shooting with now? Personally, I think full frame is over-hyped and unnecessary for most photographers. Sure, it has its benefits. But if the K7 fits your needs and has good image quality, why worry about whether or not it has a full frame sensor?

  • Ricky says:

    “A Dedicated AF-assist lamp further improves autofocus response and accuracy in low light conditions. ”

    Finally! What i’ve been waiting for. Usually on friends’ gatherings i usually dont bring a flash coz i find it cumbersome and too unstable placing it among the beers on the table. The very first reason why i got rid of my canon system in favor of Nikon. If you’re having fun – you don’t go about worrying about mounting and unmounting the flash.

    Pentax people – am also waiting for the tiltable LCD. If you can do that this year – before the d400 shows up – i might be tempted to divert the budget for a secondary system again. Canon is too engrossed with their sensor making ability that they forgot all about the other aspects of the camera and the innovations thereof.

    Great camera Pentax.

  • Photo-John says:

    “Canon is too engrossed with their sensor making ability that they forgot all about the other aspects of the camera and the innovations thereof.”

    Funny – and you might be right. Although at the moment think Nikon is the sensor leader. I’ve been using the Olympus DSLRs with tilt/swivel LCDs for a while and I love them. It’s gotten so I hate not having a tilt/swivel LCD. It really is a no-brainer, big benefit feature.

  • Joe Ogiba says:

    How many of you would pay twice the price for a FF version of the K-7 like the Canon 5D Mark II ? I pre-ordered the K-7 and don’t mind that it’s not FF. BTW I still have the Pentax 67 system.

  • Chrisbuh says:

    I own ist D, K10D, K20D, FF never has been an issue to being published. The K20D I loved with one exception the lack of frame per second for sports work. I am salivating for the K-7 though with economy I need to wait unitl the end of the year to get it. might need to be my Xmas present

  • Michael A says:

    Have been a happy K20d avec da* lens for over a year – the main reason was ergonomics and IQ if the K7d retains the same high level of comfort with decent sized glass may need to upgrade.
    Although fps is not a major concern focusing speed particularly in low light is the only thing i am a little (only little) dissappointed with can’t wait to suss it out in Australia!

  • Photo-John says:

    Focus speed and accuracy is one of my main concerns too, Michael. Pentax did say that the K7 has an improved auto focus system and I am looking forward to seeing how it measures up to the competition.

  • Brent Muno says:

    I absolutely love my K10 and have taken it places I wouldn’t dare take other brands. Slightly smaller should be a real advantage and the option of not having to cary around my Sony HDR-SR11 as much will be a real life saver.

  • MattO says:

    i was about to purchase a K20d but was put off by the lower resolution of the screen (320k dots?) compared to the D90 and 50D. i held off because i have a MZ-5N with 2 Sigma lenses and couldn’t justify starting a new kit all together. Welcome to Australia, K7!!!

  • DLee says:

    I own the old ist D and shots with adequate lighting are no problem. But focussing in poor lighting is frustrating. Hope the K7 is an improvement in this aspect. Will save to buy K7 if it’s much better.

  • Surf Wolf says:

    I’m at a toss-up between Nikon’s D90 and Pentax’s K7. The only two things that keep me looking at Nikon are lens availability and the commander function for their flashes… Ortherwise it’s looking more and more like the K7 for me, especially since I may be inheriting a Pentax Super Program and 3 lenses…

    Surf Wolf ;)

  • Wayne Planner says:

    For the benifit of those who are considering buying a K7 and are interested in the rebate of $100, you should think twice. Pentax changed the packaging on K7 about the time that the rebates were announced, but apparently did not tell their rebate vendor, nor did they change the rebate form. The problem now is that everyone’s rebate is being rejected. Both the retailer and Pentax are sympathetic, but in the end you are at the mercy of the third party rebate center. You can only communicate with them via US Mail. It is really a mess.

    I love the k7 as a camera. I am not a big fan of they way Pentax is treating the customers

  • D90 fanboy says:

    that’s why I bought D90 instead of k7 because of the treatment they gave my friend who bought it… it really sucks tobe treated as such….

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