In addition to the hands-off autoexposure mode selection, the ZX-7 has a high-precision, high-speed phase matching autofocus (SAFOX IV) system designed to deliver crisply focused images. The six-segment, multipattern light metering system calculates the optimum exposure, while the three-point wide focus frame enables pinpoint focusing, regardless of the lighting conditions. If your subject is in motion, the predictive autofocus function automatically detects the subject's motion and anticipates the subject's position at the time of shutter release, resulting in perfectly focused photos.
Packaged in a lightweight silver-and-black body, the ultracompact Pentax ZX-7 Autofocus camera body has an attractive round-edged design and its controls are conveniently positioned, making it easy and comfortable to operate. Also, with the innovative auto-picture mode, complicated exposure control decisions are no longer necessary. This feature automatically selects one of the five picture modes: landscape, close-up, action, portrait, or standard, ensuring that your image will be properly exposed.
Once you've selected the auto-picture mode, the ZX-7 automatically chooses the autoexposure mode best suited for the scene you want to shoot. This selection is based on the subject's distance, lens focal length, and whether or not the subject is in motion. Once the mode is chosen, the camera "tells" you its decision via the illuminated mode dial and the viewfinder indicator. You can also manually select from the available picture modes, as well as two conventional autoexposure modes (aperture-priority AE and shutter-priority AE), metered manual, and bulb modes.
When you want to frame the same scene a little differently, you can simply push the memory-lock button and your current settings are memorized for 20 seconds. This lets you recompose your subject without changing all of your settings. If the standard setting just doesn't capture the scene, you can switch to panorama mode at any frame on a roll of film. This is perfect for large group shots or breathtaking landscapes.
With an exposure compensation of +/- 3EV in + 1/2EV steps, you can intentionally over- or underexpose your images, depending on the results you want to attain. You can also expose more than two images on a single frame to create multiple exposures. If you want to take three or more exposures on the same frame, simply press the multiple-exposure button after each exposure. For large group shots or to capture a beautiful landscape, simply switch to panorama mode--at any frame on the roll of film. The viewfinder image automatically adjusts to indicate the panorama format so you know what your picture will look like.
With all of these options, it could be easy to forget what your camera's indications and settings are. However, the ZX-7 has a multidata LCD panel, with large icons and numbers, as well as an LCD panel with a green illuminator that brightens the panel to make data confirmation easier. The illumination dial clearly indicates which program is selected by the camera, or by you--even in the dark, as the selected mode is also indicated in your viewfinder display.