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Old September 16th, 2009, 03:09 PM   #16
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So, I bought the K7. Got the body and three lenses (DA 50-200mm f/4-5.6 ED WR Zoom Lens, DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL WR Zoom Lens, and SMCP-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited Series Autofocus Pancake Lens). Battery grip is on back-order, but I'll be getting that, too. Still deciding on a fast wide prime? I have all of my screwmount SMC Super Takumars, but nothing wide enough on a crop camera.

In the end I went with the K7, despite the drawbacks mentioned in this thread, for the following reasons:

1. To my eye, it offers to most natural and pleasing video image.
2. In-camera stabilization, so all my legacy lenses will benefit.
3. Small, lightweight, portable, and weather sealed for my wilderness trips.
4. I admit, I have some Pentax brand loyalty which has lasted for a long time...so there's the warm and fuzzy factor.
5. Price, of course, was a consideration. I got the body and three lenses for about the same price as what I would pay for the 7D, or the D300s without a lens.
6. I can get it now (or next Wednesday, that is) and don't have to wait and wonder how long it will be before a 7D reached my hands (can always get a 7D or whatever is top dog in the future)

There you go...
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Old September 16th, 2009, 08:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
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1. To my eye, it offers to most natural and pleasing video image.
Great!
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Originally Posted by Trip Gould View Post
2. In-camera stabilization, so all my legacy lenses will benefit.
I understand that one - and I do think it is a big positive.
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Originally Posted by Trip Gould View Post
3. Small, lightweight, portable, and weather sealed for my wilderness trips.
I saw one at Fry's Electronics recently and was impressed with how small and compact it was compared to the Canon 5D Mark II that was nearby.
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4. I admit, I have some Pentax brand loyalty which has lasted for a long time...so there's the warm and fuzzy factor.
I know the feeling...bought my first Pentax in 1977.
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5. Price, of course, was a consideration. I got the body and three lenses for about the same price as what I would pay for the 7D, or the D300s without a lens.
Money always talks.
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6. I can get it now (or next Wednesday, that is) and don't have to wait and wonder how long it will be before a 7D reached my hands (can always get a 7D or whatever is top dog in the future)
I think you now owe us some footage ;-)
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Old September 16th, 2009, 09:41 PM   #18
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Well done Trip. It's fun pulling the trigger on a big purchase, after all the research, isn't it?

Looking forward to your experiences with it.
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Old September 16th, 2009, 10:58 PM   #19
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Yeah, I can tell you I was getting a headache from reading all the forums, reviews, specs, pouring over vimeo, and everything, researching all the various camera. It feels GREAT to have actually made the purchase!

And you can bet I'll be making the most out of it with every free moment I get. Any special requests for tests? Anything you'd like to see but haven't come across on vimeo or youtube, yet? I'll also be testing the Shake method for converting to 24P that many have been using for the 5DmkII footage...just for curiosity's sake. And if you have any questions about the camera that I can answer once it is in hand, send them along.

I'll try to post an initial experiences review of my own with some footage, etc., as soon as possible.
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Old September 18th, 2009, 04:53 PM   #20
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And now the K-x comes out with a 24P frame rate. Think it will gave the same basic image quality? The combination of both would open up my frame rate options (K7 for doc, K-x for narrative), but will the K-x pale in comparison or is the only significant difference build quality and additional semi-pro features? Only time will tell, I guess. Anyone see any footage from the K-x, yet?
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Old September 18th, 2009, 05:54 PM   #21
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Looks to me like they got it backwards. 24p belongs in the higher end camera where users are more likely to invest the time and effort to learn how to shoot it well. 30p is more forgiving, therefore more for home users. The lack of external audio means using full dual system to get good audio.

It's not weatherized, but is lighter weight. I like the AA battery option, but with batteries I bet it's heavier than the K7. Actually I take it back...580g with batteries, as opposed to K7's 670g. No green AF-assist light.

The two command dials are missing, so I bet navigating the menu's is clunkier (could be wrong though).

Red would be good during hunting season, or actually anytime the leaves are knee deep :) I'd go for purple if they had it.....but wait, turns out there's a rumor of 20 colors plus combo's in Japan
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Old September 18th, 2009, 06:46 PM   #22
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Certainly an interesting camera, particularly at the price point! I've got some old Pentax gear floating around, used to have some decent lenses... maybe one of these would be useful - like to see how well it holds up image quality wise...

Now Sony looks even more pathetic with their utter failure to join the DSLR-V ranks... really second guessing my investment in the Alpha line...
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Old September 18th, 2009, 10:32 PM   #23
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Dave,
maybe Sony Consumer Video will leap frog the whole heap and bring out the first APS-C prosumer camcorder with mini stereo jack, full manual control, and interchangeable SLR lenses... All for $2250. The new VX2100...





OK, prob'ly not.
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Old September 19th, 2009, 01:39 AM   #24
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I'm just befuddled as to what Sony is thinking, with lots of other DSLR's hitting the market with video... and all the new Alpha releases, you'd think they'd put a toe in the water at least. It shouldn't have been rocket science to incorporate the capability to shoot video. An update to the a350 with video and the "R" CMOS would have had my business... maybe next year... or not. I can't help but think they really blew it this go round.

I am really at the point of seeing the value of a DSLR-V - for many purposes it makes a lot of sense. I'll be watching reviews of the K-x, for the price it might be a real bargain, if the video holds up well.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 03:30 PM   #25
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So, I'm thinking about external audio now. Any recommendations? I've read good things about the H4n and the juicedlink. However, most of the reviews deal with the quality as it relates to dialogue. How about as a portable audio device to capture nat sound in the field? Any thoughts?
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Old September 21st, 2009, 06:51 PM   #26
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I have the H4n and the CX231.

I'd call the H4n more versatile, self-contained, user-friendly, controllable, 'weatherizable'. It has a stereo mic built in (you could use it right out of the box for general, close, wild sound, or add a better shotgun mic for getting that bugling elk 100 yards off in the brush). It can record to SD card while sending a signal out to the K7.

The CX231 produces super-clean audio, as in, if you want those birds singing 30 yards away, and you have the right mic, you'll get a super-clean signal with minimal noise. It's build is on the rough side, the controls are easy to bump, I tend to forget to check the 'hard-to-see' ON lamp, so the batteries run dead (my workflow issue, but if the LED was more visible, it'd be easier to notice). It takes a couple hours of practice to get it right. There's no mic, so you'd need to buy one, plus think about how to mount it.

In both cases you'll likely use the output jack to go into the K7. This means there is zero monitoring while shooting. I screwed up some concert audio by not double checking first.

I've worked with the CX231 and it does produce superclean, hiss-free audio. I've not played that closely with the H4n to see if I could match that performance.

There are zero controls on the K7's audio, so it's not possible to bypass or minimize it's audio gain circuitry. This might mean all the benefit of the CX231's clean pre-amps get negated by the K7's AGC.

In practical terms, having both as an option, I found myself favoring the H4n in Auto mode for the several quick shoots I did to test the K7 and D300s.
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Old September 21st, 2009, 08:00 PM   #27
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Thanks for the reply. It does seem like the H4n is the more versatile and highly regarded. That may be the way to go for me. I'll always have the option of getting a shotgun mic later on to get more directional capture. And, though the K7 has AGC, I can record direct to SD card and just synch up in post. I come from a film background when it comes to motion photography, so dual system is no big deal for me.

Any experience with the Rode Video Mic?

Also, as for tripod/head, I was looking at this guy: Gitzo | G2220 Explorer Alumimum 3 Section Tripod/Rapid | G2220

Seems lightweight and versatile and great for packing into the wild, but am wondering what head would match well with it? I need something that can do video as well as stills, obviously, so I don't know if a ball head is enough. Sticking with Gitzo there's the (Gitzo | G2380 Video Fluid Head | G2380 | B&H Photo Video) There's the 501 Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 745XB MDeVe Video Tripod with | B&H) and 701 (Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | 190XDB with 701HDV Video Tripod) fluid heads from Manfrotto, and I was also looking at Libec (Libec | LS-22(2A) Professional Tripod System | LS-22(2A) | B&H)

Seeing as I'm looking to spend around $500 on the pair (I know, not that much money, but it's all I can afford right now), any recommendations on the tripod/head combo situation?
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Old September 21st, 2009, 08:43 PM   #28
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Can't speak from experience on the Gitzo gear, but I've heard good things about the 2380.

My first tripod was the Bogen 3221, with the 501 head. I still use it for locked down shots. It gets really low and really tall.

Next was the 755 MDeVe with the 503 head (old style). I still have it and use it. All the 2008 episodes of The Mystery Travel Show were shot on it. Carries very well into the woods, and the built in ball leveller speeds setup.

Last winter I bit the bullet and bought a Vinten/Sachtler rig. Super heavy, and great performer.

The Bogen 503HDV head is an excellent place to start. With illuminated level and next gen friction technology, it'd likely last you several years or more, depending on how finicky you get with long lense work. B&H offers several excellent combos. I'd recommend a 3502 ball leveller for the rigs that don't have a ball leveller built in.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 08:22 PM   #29
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Just to update, I ended up going with the 055XDB Pro Tripod with 503HDV Fluid Video Head (Manfrotto by Bogen Imaging | BO055XB503H 055XDB Pro Tripod with)

I liked the reviews on the Libec, and if I could afford the Libec HS38 combo I might have gone with that, but this Bogen combo seemed more versatile and more appropriate to what I would be using it for.
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Old September 23rd, 2009, 11:19 PM   #30
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I thought maybe today was your Big Grin Day, when the K7 would be in your hands.

That tripod will do you well, and the head also. If you'd like a new 3502 ball leveler, I'm selling one in the Classifieds. 50 bucks plus FedEx Ground, PayPal. It will make your life alot simpler every time you set up the sticks. :) {or a trade for one of your old Nikon manual lenses...}

I'm looking forward to your experiences with the new gear. Once you've posted a couple projects i'll have a couple questions for ya.

Happy Days
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Last edited by Scott Brickert; September 24th, 2009 at 12:21 AM. Reason: other
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