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May 20, 2009

Countdown to the Pentax K7 announcement

After the Announcement Party
You can, right now, pre-order the Pentax K7 body-only at for $1300! If you found this countdown helpful, you can support us by placing your pre-order through this blog, or making your future online purchases through the NoisyMall. There is no delivery estimate for the camera at Amazon as of the time of writing! B&H changed their price for the body-only to $1300 - initially it was $1200 as you can see below.

This post is now final! After 26 hours, the countdown is complete! We will come back later today with new blog posts on the K7 and also catch up with the non-K7 world.

All apologies for the outage! The system was slowed down or completely down for a few minutes, but it is back to normal now! Thankfully this happened after the camera was announced, not during or before the announcement cycle.

Hands-on with the camera, including small-sized sample pictures taken with a pre-production camera have been posted by Dan Havlik at Demystifying Digital. He has the first published K7 cat picture!

A new 9-minute video preview by Nigel Atherton at What Digital Camera, via the Imaging Insider

Digital Camera Review, who strategically timed their DA 15mm review for earlier today, has now posted their first impressions with the camera! Included are pre-production samples with camera, at a small-size, just like Demystifying Digital above.

Adorama's blog looks at the HDR aspects of the camera, something that hasn't gotten as much talk/hype before the announcement, but I suspect once people start dissecting what the camera is, this will become a more popular discussion topic.

There is a video at Quesabesde, however, we cannot play it, so we don't know what it is :)

First-impressions and four small sample pictures showcasing the camera speed by Mark Dimalanta, the surfdoc, whose blog byline "rebirth of Pentax Photography" takes on a whole new meaning. This have been added to the post he posted an hour ago, so be sure to scroll down for the new stuff on his blog!

First-impressions with the camera handling just posted at OK1000 Pentax blog.

Hands-on with the camera video at PC Home via dpreview Pentax forum. (this is video of a guy playing with the camera, not video taken with the camera). Audio is in Chinese.

More comments by Peter Fang on his twitter page. News & Rumors forum crosses over 2000+ live readers

Reactions, comments, and opinions are streaming all over in the PentaxForums forums and dpreview Pentax forums.

+ The Online Photographer - with nano first impressions - side-by-side camera-body picture with K20D and D700 - looks/is smaller than both!
+ dpreview with 12-page preview + kit lenses
+ OK1000 blog
+ Yvon's Pentax blog - 22 major points about the K7
+ Imaging Insider official press release with fact-sheet
+ DC-Resource
+ Steve's Digicams
+ Adorama News Desk
+ Engadget
+ Let's Go Digital
+ dpnow

15 minutes to go
Tick tock, tick tock! is getting hammered. Still trying to load.

30 minutes to go
Four pictures from the press-release hit the mega-thread (towards bottom of that page).

I just saw one of the wisest single-sentence comments on the K7 yet - also in the mega-thread. To summarize: "price undercuts expectations". Very compact and concise (the statement (and the camera too))!

That's right, first impressions! Photographer Mark Dimalanta will be posting his first impressions with the Pentax K7 Currently he has posted three small pictures of the camera-body mounted on a gorillapod with more coming up. He will be posting about the K7 as he travels around the world on water-based assignments. (Opinion: This is a very smart thing for Pentax to do) [HOT]

We already have the first K7 upgraders thread in the dpreview forums.

1 hour before annnouncement
The Pentax K7 body only is listed at B&H Photo for $1200 $1300 - via this dpreview thread. Shipping is estimated to be July 2009. So the other pricing question is, what's the price-premium for the WR kit lens? The listing is probably a side-effect when Pentax shifted the announcement by one hour. It was supposed to come out at 9am eastern initially, then got changed to 10am eastern. [HOT]

Great sense of timing by Digital Camera Review. They have just posted a review of the Pentax DA 15mm f4 lens.

The english-language press release leak made it to the dpreview forums as well. There was some talk that page #2 is missing.

Still unanswered and waiting, a new lens road map and associated lens announcements to go with the camera body.

2 hours before announcement
Thanks to Maeno (see comments) - the German press release has gone live at (German). European price is 1450 euro with the 18-55mm WR kit lens with June availability [HOT!]

Pentax press release in English leaked! In the PentaxForums megathread! [HOT!]

From the mega-thread, here is some metering system geekologie.

The German leaked specs apparently started at this blog.

Yesterday's PentaxFans preview just got posted at the front page of Slash Gear.

3 hours before announcement
Big beautiful camera body picture that make you wanna hug it - PentaxForums towards middle of page.

It looks like Cateto's theory of an EVF overlay is coming true! The German specs seems to indicate a semi-transparent OLED display in the viewfinder according to this PentaxForums discussion.

Rye Clifton on Twitter twits of countdown clocks changing! The countdown is still on track, but the Pentax Spain, Germany and Croatia countdown says 11 hours and 18 minutes, instead of 2 hours and 18 minutes!

New thread in the PentaxForums forums includes a brochure and camera-specs in German! [HOT!]

RiceHigh compares and contrasts the new Czech/German leaks with his previous post! [HOT]

Peter Fang twits some more, but it's not in english.

It looks like the picture mentioned in the comments mentioned by Maeno at the Railman blog are quite possibly to be from the K7.

And we are back! New updates should begin shortly...

9 hours before announcement
The countdown is taking a break for a very mundane reason, sleep! We will be back with more countdown updates after a few hours.

If anyone can read Japanese, can you please check the pictures mentioned in comment #1, at the Railman blog (Japanese). I cannot read Japanese and the computer-translation software does not come up with a clear explanation. The photographer may be saying that the May 17, 18 and 19 pictures on the blog were taken with a Pentax K7?

10 hours before announcement
A couple of new Twitter comments from Peter Fang. Viva Twitter!

A new Pentax Forums thread has started up with a currency-translated starting price of about $1400. This of course comes indirectly, it is not an official price.

11 hours before announcement
Ryan Brenizer, Amazon's official photography blogger, opines on the K7 rumors and expectations on the Amazon EndUser blog.

As we get closer to announcement, the more our poll (see "20 hours before" below) is getting more optimistic for Pentax, now 30% think the camera will exceed expectations, but there is still a solid 31% who think it will disappoint. The biggest block continues to think it will meet expectations.

But the mood is decidedly bearish in the comments section of the RiceHigh specs-post.

12 hours before announcement
Not all the specs that are circulating are accurate says Yvon of PentaxDSLRs blog. He recommends a wait-n-see approach.

Of Pentaxian interest, earlier today, and for a very brief amount of time, Meijer was selling online the body-only of the Pentax K2000 for around $200. We learned of this long after the deal was dead, otherwise we would have plastered it all over the place. You can learn more about it through out Camera Deals blog.

Now we all know that once the camera is announced, the forums will be abuzz with comparing features between it and competitors from the other manufacturers. If you have some free time and want to do some research ahead of time, you can check out hundreds of DSLR reviews through our semi-organized DSLR Review Organizer.

And if you have been following the PF mega-thread, one of the Pentaxians has compiled a new list of the top posters in the mega-thread. "OGL" leads the way with around 5% of the posts in the thread, around 186.

With about twelve hours to go, it is time for some stress relief. This is a multiple-answer "emotional" poll. Blogs are contractually obligated to have one "moody" poll every month otherwise they can't be called blogs ;-) This is a multiple-answer, so you can vote for all that apply!

In case you missed this yesterday in the PentaxForums mega-thread, here is a K7 super-imposed with a Neekon.

Yes K7 fans, we are less than twelve hours away from the official revelations!

13 hours before announcement: Peter Fang Speaks!
Peter Fang speaks on Twitter, here is his latest quote:

"The Pentax K-7 is spec'd well above the D90 (slightly below D300) and on par with the EOS 50D".

Peter Fang of the Pentax-Fan blog K7 hands-on preview, and you can also check out his K7 pictures on his flickr page.

While by no means scientific, the "mood" at our poll (see "20 hours before" below) is getting more optimistic, a net 7% change in the direction of "exceed expectations".

One dpreviewer asks the question that has been forgotten: Will we see a Samsung clone of this and what was Samsung's involvement?

14 hours before announcement
New big picture of the camera body + battery grip (front view) discovered in the PentaxForums via flickr. It's at the bottom of page #237 in the mega-thread. The flickr account that has the picture has a couple of lens line-up pictures. We do not know if these are official Pentax pictures leaked or created by overzealous fans.

Enough people are frantically searching for the K7 at Amazon, that their computer-system already has "query suggestions" for different spellings of the model name.

If you missed these last night in the mega-thread, here are some PentaxForum exclusive camera-body pictures.

15 hours before announcement
Pentax Japan is planning events in Japan in the next few days to celebrate the K7! If you are near Japan, be sure to check them out! Details via and this special Pentax Japan page.

It's pointless to "fight the tape", so one Pentaxian started an official bash the K7 thread at the PF. My complaint? The new WR kit lens is too big so I can't use it to stir my morning coffee ;-)

16 hours before announcement
What could be a great thread for someone to start in the forums is to build a "LIST of UNANSWERED QUESTIONS" so far!

If Pentax Marketing is smart, they should offer Pentax K7 camera kits to the various major Pentax websites, blogs and forums so they can create contests or giveaways for their readers, just like they did with Quesabesde. This will keep the camera on-fire until its release. They could even stagger the contests, so there's only one active per week :)

17 hours before announcement
One of the Pentaxians in the mega-thread reminds us that we are also expecting a new lens road-map that is (as has been rumor-expected) "adjusted" for the K7. Another topic that is unknown that is raised in the mega-thread is whether the camera will see a boost in burst-mode speed when using the battery-grip. Of course more battery-power does not necessarily help because, just like a computer, there are many potential bottlenecks in the pipeline. That's something else we have to wait and see.

The latest results from the poll below (see "20 hours before") are interesting. About 45% think the official reveal will meet expectations, 16% think it will exceed expectations, and 39% think it will disappoint. Interesting...

18 hours before announcement
If you are looking to pick up a cyber-fight, this thread calls the K7 a ... me-too camera. Oh my! How dare they!

Needless to say the K7 is not going to be Panacea-DSLR, and it looks like it won't be Chimera-DSLR either, but it may be the closest thing right now to pro-caliber compact DSLR, which about 90% of our readers said they would be interested in. (And by pro-caliber compact-DSLR we don't mean that it replaces all the functionality and features of a Canon 1Ds Mark or Nikon D3X).

19 hours before announcement
Cateto has found something in the Pentax-Fan pictures that may support his EVF Overlay theory.

If you find this countdown entertaining, be sure to Digg it!

And if you got tired of the K7, and you are ready for something, here is a dpreview thread on the K8 ;-) This is intended as a stress relief thread, it is not serious!

20 hours before announcement
The mega-thread at the PentaxForums has just passed 3500 posts, with the discussions now focusing on the various aspects of the camera that have been leaked. The big question of course remains, is that all or does Pentax indeed hide a surprise that hasn't leaked yet?

21 hours before announcement
Over 1000 people are currently in the PentaxForums Rumors forum with new threads coming up every few minutes. It will take us a while to catch up with the PFF!

An informal poll in the Pentax dpreview forums: Is HD Video important to you? We haven't counted the 100+ votes (dpreview needs to create embeddable polls for things like this) but it looks like there are slightly more "No" than "Yes" entries.

22 hours before the announcement
A new 50-200mm f4.5.6 WR (weather-resistant) lens has resurfaced points out Rice High.

Everyone in the Pentaxosphere is now discussing and analyzing the dozens of camera-body real-world pictures of the K7 posted at the Chinese blog Pentax-Fans. This is a MUST-SEE, I repeat, MUST-SEE. It has a great body-preview of the camera with many pictures!

HDR fans will notice the menu option "HDR Capture"!

AA-battery geeks will be thrilled that the camera has menus to determine whether the AA batteries in the grip are NiMH, lithium or alkaline! :-)

Cateto is presenting more information that points to an electronic viewfinder overlay.

PhotoScala summarizes the specs for the German-speaking audience.

Will this camera cause a "Great Migration" to Pentax? Should you be scouring eBay right now for old(er) lenses before K7-mania potentially causes prices to go up?

And in that spirit, here are a couple of Canon users in the dpreview forums getting more curious.

OK1000 opined earlier on on the whole leakage and rumoralia situation, and the breaking of NDAs, a mini K7 ...Beatle-mania.

23 hours before the announcement
If you look at the countdown clocks around the webs, you know that we are less than 24 hours away from the official announcement of the Pentax K7! So it is time to start a blog-countdown. This time, it is guaranteed to produce a new camera, unlike our bridge-to-nowhere Dubai countdown last year :-)

The last time we had a K7 update, the camera specifications were posted at RiceHigh's blog. Now let's take a look at what's happening!

This post will be updated multiple times up to the official announcement so be sure to bookmark it using the permalink. It will also remain on the front page of the blog unless some big news happen to interrupt it. We've already had a wild Monday, hopefully things will quiet down from the other brands.

To make it easier for everyone to follow the time, instead of using a time zone, we will use hours-away from the official announcement. The announcement is coming at 10am New York City time on Monday according to the official Pentax countdown clocks.a

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