Pentax DSLRs, whilst not the cheapest, have steadily gained a reputation of offering more bang for your buck. A case in point is the 14.6 megapixel effective resolution K-7, pitched at advanced amateurs with a street price around the £850 mark.
This price ncludes a general-purpose 18-55mm kit lens. This is attached via the camera’s Pentax K-mount, enabling the K-7 to offer wide compatibility with additionally KA, KAF, KAF2 and KAF3 mount lenses, which means you’ll never be short of creative options.
More on Pentax:
Incorporating a 15.07MP, 23.4×15.6mm CMOS sensor the K-7 is something of a digital workhorse and for the outlay users get semi pro body specification. This means a durable tank-like finish with metal chassis at 670g (without accessories), sealed against dust, moisture and usable at minus 10°C. Landscape photographers can take advantage of automatic horizon correction and triple-exposure combining high dynamic range function ( which combines three images with different exposures, retaining shadow and light detail).
Pentax K-7: Lucky 7?
As we’d hoped given the hefty-ish asking price, HD video recording is included, here at 1280×720 pixels and 30 frames per second, as is a dedicated button for quickly switching from standard JPEG to max quality RAW file formats, thus saving time spent otherwise wading through menu screens. The 3-inch, 920k dot resolution rear LCD screen can be used to compose shots courtesy of its Live View feature, or there’s the large and bright optical viewfinder above it for the same purpose.
Low light photographers have the advantage of being able to boost sensitivity settings up to ISO6400: a respectable showing if not quite a match for rival the Canon EOS 550D rival with its ISO12800 equivalent top option. Unlike Canon or the Nikon D5000 though, the Pentax does have the advantage of built-in Shake Reduction, so that any lens attached is protected against the blurring effects of hand wobble.
Pentax K-7: Special ‘K’
For creative types the K-7 incorporates a 16-strong range of digital effects, or Custom Image functions, including a new ‘Muted’ mode that, de-saturates the colours in an image to provide a delicate, subdued tone. Otherwise colours are refreshingly natural looking and images as sharp as you’d expect.
Those who haven’t previously handled a DSLR will require a period of familiarization with the Pentax K-7 and may be put off by the myriad of buttons. But this camera provides the ability to point and shoot to begin with – via the simplifying Green mode – then to gradually make manual selections as your confidence grows.