|Pentax K7 noise reduction
However; to start with one of the main functions; as a user, you can decide at which sensitivity the noise reduction should be activated and how strong it should be. Most manufacturers only allow you to turn noise reduction on or off, and decide on how powerful it should be. And the firmware decides at what ISO the noise reduction is activated, which is usually at ISO 400. However, this is not the case for the Pentax K-7. It leaves it up to you, so if you don't want to activate the noise reduction until ISO 1600, that is possible.
Pentax K7 ISO sensitivity
In my opinion, it doesn't make much of a difference if you turn the noise reduction on or off at sensitivities over ISO 1600. In the one case, you can clearly see noise, in the other case, you don't see noise, that's true, but so much of the sharpness is lost, it doesn't make the picture any better. Up to ISO 800 everything is in perfect order. It's not that higher values aren’t useful, but if you want the perfect enlargement without noise, you'd better opt for the lower values. This slightly disappoints me, while brands like Nikon and Canon are able to take pictures with less noise while ensuring a not too significant loss of sharpness at higher ISO values.
Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm WR lens
I must comment on the sharpness. The lens that I was given to test the K7 with, is the SMC DA 18-55mm WR, which is by far the best lens Pentax has to offer. Its weather resistance is nice, but in terms in terms of sharpness, I'm pretty disappointed. It's ok for prints that aren’t all too large, however, if you zoom in on your screen, you will see that the blur is very ugly. A not so nice bokeh. And the true sharpness is not what I'm used to from Pentax. The lens is not working well for the Pentax K7.
|Pentax K-7 color reproduction
Striking is that the color reproduction is very consistent, also when using high sensitivities. Often we experience colors to drop, however, the Pentax K-7 does not suffer from this. The colors are fine, although perhaps a little too saturated. This can be adjusted by the user if you like. Just like the white balance, including a bracketing. In itself, there is nothing wrong with the automatic white balance. Unless you are shooting in incandescent light. Then the pictures really are too red. This can be properly adjusted in the camera, as well as through the software when shooting in RAW. If you purchase a serious camera like the Pentax K-7, it is only wise to always shoot in RAW, as far as I’m concerned. Only then can you get the most out of the camera.
Taking HDR pictures with the Pentax K7
Sadly, a number of functions are not working in RAW. Like taking an HDR picture. In this mode, the K-7 quickly takes a number of shots sequentially with different exposures and then combines these pictures into one. You must use a tripod in this mode, because even the smallest movement causes unpleasant mistakes. Moreover, the stabilization does not work in HDR. It seems wiser to me to simply choose exposure bracketing, the Pentax K-7 has various settings to do so, in RAW and then make an HDR in Photoshop yourself.
Dynamic range of the Pentax K7
On the other hand, increasing the dynamic range does in fact work in RAW. The dynamic range of the Pentax K7 in itself is fine. However, there are situations where the contrast is simply too high. In that case, extending the dynamic range provides the solution. You should not expect major steps here, it's all very subtle, exactly like you would want it to be. Also here, you as a user are in control, it's you who decides how much the range is increased.
Pentax K7 exposure modes
Unique and definitely worth mentioning are the various exposure modes. Whereas other brands only provide manual, auto, aperture priority and shutter priority, Pentax adds two more. To be precise; sensitivity priority (Sv) and combined aperture/shutter priority (TAv). The latter enables the user to select the aperture and shutter speed, and the camera selects the sensitivity. This goes beyond the Auto ISO other manufacturers provide, which is also found on the K7. TAv is a genuine program mode and follows a graph. A graph that you can influence again, which is something that is really unique. We don't have any complaints concerning the exposure. The new light meter works perfectly. Better than those on previous Pentax models. The success rate was certainly very high and the exposure is consistent.