"My latest book project involves one year of photographing in Chugach State Park, Alaska," begins Carl Battreall, in his nice new field review of the Pentax K-7 over at Nature Photographers Online Magazine. "I will be hiking, skiing and climbing throughout the park. I will be carrying all my equipment and the poor camera will suffer dearly: rain, ice, snow, sub-minus temperatures and my legendary ability to kill cameras. Pentax may ultimately regret claiming the K-7 as being a super durable 'pro' camera. Many a 'pro' camera has not returned from my adventures."
He shortly proves he's serious by relating the following startling trial by, er, rainfall: "Pentax claims the camera is weather proof, so I let it sit out in the rain while I sat in my tent reading the manual, two hours later the rain stopped...."
READ ON at Nature Photographers to see what happened to the poor rained-drenched K-7. For those who want to follow Carl's travels and the camera's travails, he will be posting updates about his trip on his blog.
(Thanks to Nic)
(P.S. To answer the question that this will probably bring up, yes, TOP will be reviewing the K-7.)
Featured Comment by Adam Maas: "The Olympus E-1 and E-3 are splashproof when matched with HG or SHG series lenses from Olympus.
"The K10D/K20D are splash resistant. The K-7 is not sealed as well as the K10D/K20D. [Ed. Note: I've asked Pentax's tech guru whether this is true. I'll post his response as an 'Update' below this comment when I hear back. Probably won't be until Tuesday the 8th. —Mike.] Pentax's DA* and DA WR lenses are sealed.
"Weather sealing and build-level are two different things. The K10D and K20D are better sealed than the K-7, but the K-7 has significantly better build quality.
"The single-digit Nikon's and 1 series Canons are pretty much the best built cameras on the market, although the E-3 does approach their build level. However both Canon and Nikon have settled for a lower level of environmental seals than Oly has or Pentax did with the K10D/K20D. They're still very well sealed cameras when matched with sealed lenses, but I wouldn't use a shower to clean them or take them where I could get hit with a wave or similar, while the E-1 and E-3 would have no issues there, and the K10D/K20D would most likely be okay as well."
UPDATE (Tuesday 9/8): I heard from John Carlson, Senior Manager of Product Marketing and Consumer Support at Pentax USA, who says, "The K-7 is just as waterproof as the previous models. In fact, it may even be more so. They changed materials slightly to accommodate the 'cold proofing.' The seals in the K-7 use a material that does not expand and contract with large temperature swings, therefore assuring a better seal overall."
Featured Comment from Most Pentax Glass is NOT Weathersealed: "The two Pentax lenses he's using are not weather sealed. Thus his K-7 is not weathersealed with either choice. Only DA* lenses: 16–50mm ƒ/2.8, 50–135mm ƒ/2.8, 200mm ƒ/2.8, 300mm ƒ/4, and 55mm ƒ/1.4 are weathersealed. Every other Pentax lens ever made in the past or presently made is a recipe for weather related failures with K-7, and is maybe the cause of his focusing problems? On paper K-7 is compelling. I assume his camera will die long before the year is up due to wrong lens choices.
"Pentax should do more to educate potential buyers that very few of their lenses are weathersealed, well, just five lenses total. I've read of a lot of classic old Pentax lenses getting 'drenched' thesedays. I no longer buy used Pentax glass online, and only locally buy it after thorough inspection by shinning a flashlight beam thru the used Pentax lens.
"I'd say he's ruined his two Limited lenses already. Maybe water damage inside the two lenses is causing the focusing issue he's already having with K-7? Hopefully he's got equipment insurance to cover his losses."