The Toronto "Photographic, Video & Digitial Imaging Show" (full name) was held May 22nd thru 24th in 2009.
We arrived minutes after opening on the first day specifically to try to catch a glimpse of the new Pentax K-7 dSLR body.
Not only did we get a glimpse we got a full grope. Pentax Canada came prepared, with several functioning samples of the new K-7 dSLR body (only announced worldwide just days earlier on May 20th). I counted three of four K-7's in the booth. It was probably one of the first public displays of the K-7 worldwide!
Size & Feel: The K-7 looks and feels great. It's tight and solid. The hand-grip is excellent, it fills your hand in all the right ways. It's supposed to be about the same weight as the K20d, but feels lighter. I imagine that Pentax engineers have tried to concentrate as much as the mass of the body in either the grip-area or the bottom of the camera, so it feels very balanced. However, we only tried it with the new DA 18-55 WR kit lens attached not with any heavier lens. Also, the vertical-grip was not available to try. The K-7 body looks tiny in photos, but it doesn't feel small in your hand the way the K-m does. There are some photos in this gallery of the K-7 versus the K20d versus the K-m.
Function: We weren't allowed to take any shots with it but we could do just about everything else with it. It's very quiet, the shutter is very unobtrusive. The digital-level feature is very cool and visible in both the LCD and the Pentaprism. The 100% viewfinder is good of course. Live-view seems very usuable. Autofocus seems very fast.
New Kit Lens: The new weather sealed (WR) version of the the kit lens (DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 WR) was mounted. It's a winner. It feels great, tight and smooth movements and quality materials. It even looks good, the new knurled-pattern focus and zoom rings look really traditonal and professional.
Other: Kudos to Pentax Canada. The booth was fully staffed, fully stocked and very open and inviting. The K-7's were neither imprisoned behind glass nor shackled to a table but loose and available for hand-on petting. Pentax was the only major manufacturer to not have their cameras tied down, which whether intentional or not was a nice touch. Pentax's simple open-format booth was among the most comfortable as it was very easy to interact with the numerous staff Pentax had on hand at the show. The booths of other camera manufacturers' had the staff entrenched behind counters or glass. The casual format of the Pentax booth was more comfortable for both attendees (us) and exhibitors (them). As well, I got the feeling that the Pentax staff were particularily stoked about the K-7. In particular, we got to chat with Dan Savoie (sp) who is often present in the Pentax Forums.
As well, they had multiple samples of each current Pentax lens. I got to try the DA15/4 Ltd on my own K-m, it was like peanut-butter on jelly.
© David Anthony