May 21, 2009: Pentax will add a high-end model to its K-series of DSLR cameras with the release of the new K-7.
Featuring a solid body with a chassis made from high-rigidity stainless-steel alloy and housing of durable but lightweight magnesium steel alloy, the K-7 has 77 special seals to make it weatherproof, dustproof and cold-resistant. It can operate in temperatures as low as -10 °C. A new shutter unit, which is rated for 100,000 cycles, supports a top shutter speed of 1/8000 second plus a high-speed continuous shooting mode that can record up to 40 JPEG images at approximately 5.2 frames per second.
Front view of the Pentax K-7with lens attached. (Source: Pentax.)
Front view of the Pentax K-7without lens. (Source: Pentax.)
Claimed as one of the most compact and functional mid-class models in the market, the Pentax K-7 is fitted with a new 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor with an effective resolution of 14.6 megapixels. It features four-channel readout and supports an ISO sensitivity range from 100 to a maximum of ISO 6400 (via a custom function). The new PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II image processor offers greater data-processing speed and produces better-quality images with richer gradation and more accurate color rendition.
Rear view of the Pentax K-7, showing the control layout and high-resolution LCD monitor. (Source: Pentax.)
Top view showing the LCD data panel and mode dial. (Source: Pentax.)
It also offers high-speed movie data transmission and the K-7 can record movie clips at different sizes – 640 x 416 pixels, 1536 x 1024 pixels, or 1280 x 720 pixels (16:9 aspect ratio) – at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. It also has HDMI and external microphone input terminals. Also new is the SAFOX VIII+ wide-frame autofocus system, which features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle). Improved algorithms and the addition of a light source type to its data range ensure superior speed and accuracy to the previous system. An AF-assisting spot beam projector in the built-in flash unit improves autofocusing accuracy in the dark.
Side view of the Pentax K-7, showing the RAW button and interface ports. (Source: Pentax.)
Other features include an HDR (high dynamic range) function that enables users to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures plus dynamic-range expansion and a digital level function for easy checking of the image’s levels. Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration are available with DA- and DFA-series lenses. The white balance controls include a new CTE mode to enhance sunset scenes plus a new incandescent-tinted fluorescent light mode.
The K-7 also offers a multi-exposure function with a superimposition of already-recorded images on the LCD monitor for at-a-glance comparison. Users can embed copyright credits in recorded images. A dedicated RAW button provides easy switching of the image file formats and 16 digital filters to add a range of visual effects. A new function to record an overwritten history also available.
The Pentax K-7with the new optional Battery Grip D-BG4 attached. (Source: Pentax.)
Unveiled at the same time as the K-7 is the new optional Battery Grip D-BG4, which can be powered by either a rechargeable lithium-ion battery or six AA-size batteries. Since it supplements the camera’s battery, it increases the number of recordable images. The vertical grip includes an extra shutter-release button, preview lever, electronic dials, AE-lock button, Green button and AF button. It also provides the same dustproof, weather and cold-resistant construction as the camera body itself.
The Pentax K-7 is scheduled for local release in mid-June. It will be offered at an RRP of $1749 for the body alone or $1999 for the body with the Pentax DA 18-55 f3.5-5.6 AL WR lens. For more information contact C.R. Kennedy & Company by phone on (03) 9823 1555 or visit www.crkennedy.com.au.
Image sensor: 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor with 15.07 million photosites (14.6 megapixels effective)