The "only 5 frames" problem is now solved. I'm not sure how, as I couldn't track down the problem & decided to do a reset to all default settings. The camera now blasts away quite happily.
So "user error" on my part then, though I am at a loss to understand what I did.
I may well at some point start a discussion on the complexity of modern camera menus. I freely admit that I only know a fraction of what my D3X and GH1 will do. The latter is especially complicated and with its small design very prone to unintentional changes.
However back to the K7. My comment "Its very slow & a buffer that lets you take 5 pictures & then locks up for several seconds is unacceptable in a £1000 DSLR." was therefore wrong & I apologise unreservedly to Pentax & its engineers.
However that doesn't change my general feelings about the camera. Though, encouraged by Andy's comments I will be giving it a second chance. I was unable to secure my desired price on ebay so I've decided to keep it, at least until the end of the summer (what summer!) and see if I can bond with it.
My initial post on the K7 met with some hostility. In one regard its encouraging to know that someone is reading this but on the other its dispiriting to encounter the venom that emanates from certain sections of the photographic community. (I don't include the comments by Andy in this, who was polite & the person who led me to solve the fps problem. I will be responding to that in a while.)
I've published one of the comments, from Borea, which was reasonable, but have declined to give space to other offensive comments.
I read the results of a survey once which concluded that camera brand loyalty is second only to supporting a football team in terms of passion & commitment. Anyone who spends any time on photographic forums such as www.dpreview.com will have no doubt that this is true, but I have always been puzzled by it. I can understand how support for a team or club can become a cause for irrational emotion, (as a long-time, long-suffering Birmingham City fan more irrational than most!) but support for one camera manufacturer to the exclusion of all others, is something I am bewildered by.
I'm including a quote from a photographer who co-runs a flickr group with me:-
"as a large format photographer I find that the tidy little tied up thinking that the camera makers have managed to foster in Japan is quite astounding. People really need to see that a lens is a lens and all this proprietary stuff is just annoying and defeats advancement .. wait ... I just had a cynical thought ... of course ... makers want to lock out other makers from their little subscription base."
And from Andys comment below:-
"there seems to be a certain anti-Pentax bias from some 'Canikon' enthusiasts on the web, and I feel a certain obligation to stand up for Pentax as I have enjoyed their recent dslr's so much."
This latter comment is very reasonable & a nice succinct summing up of a response that we can all identify with in the face of unreasonable and unjustified attacks on our purchasing decisions.
Let me make it clear - I'm a fully paid-up Pentax Fanboy & have been for many years. I have a very soft spot for them, as an ME Super was my first SLR & the camera that started me off in photography. But I'm also a Nikon Fanboy, a Canon Fanboy, an Olympus Fanboy & a Leica Fanboy. And I can also be critical of all those companies and their products.
I posted some very enthusiastic comments about the Canon 500D but if you go back to one of the earliest posts in this blog you will see that I wrote about the Canon 350D:-
"8MP The best selling DSLR of its era. Bought as a backup for the 5D. Without any doubt the worst DSLR I have ever used. The images were so soft that I thought I had a lens problem! Washed out dull colours. Very cheap feel. Like most Canons this got rave reviews & I'm sure it made a lot of money for the company. Just shows you should never believe a review! Maybe I got a faulty one.
PROS - It was very light!
CONS - Everything else!"
See original comments here :- Digital Cameras I have owned & used.
My feelings about the K7 were genuine & tinged with a certain disappointment. As I said I am now re-assessing it. I 'm going to try the battery grip to see if I can get a better "feel" from it.
The problem is I'm constantly searching to get from a DSLR what I achieved with my last 35mm film camera. A Pentax MZ-5 with battery grip + 43mm F/1.9 limited lens was my "holy grail" Light, small, wonderful to handle & a delight to look at.