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Contriver Feb 21, 2007 12:03 PM

I'm looking to get my first dSLR. My budget is to stay under $600.00. I am looking at the Nikon D40 and the Pentax K100D (yeah, I know, why am I not looking at the K110 if I'm not concerned about IS, well, I never said I was opposed to it, for $80-100 more, why not go for it).

From what I read, I am getting the impression that the D40 provides a better quality picture than the Pentax. I see alot of talk about how you have to fumble around alot with the WB on the Pentax in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. I'd like to go with the Nikon, the only concern I have at this point is the cost of lenses since the D40 is limited by not having the focus motor built into the body. Although, at this time, going by my shooting history, I think I will be satisfied with the kit lens and a 50mm f1.7 prime.

What is your opinion on this?

Redsquare Feb 21, 2007 1:55 PM

I think that you couldnt go wrong with either, Although as a D40 owner i would push you towards Nikon. Its a lovely camera,small but not too small, The Afs lenses are quality so its good that thats all you can get for it. Its 2.5" screen is dead handy and it also features an aperture metre so that you can see how closed/open your aperture is. I've just bought the 55-200mm Afs lens and i think its top notch.

Heres a sample photo taken at around 140mm.

Contriver Feb 21, 2007 2:10 PM

Where you considering the K100D? If so, what made you decide to go with the D40? How much a concern was lens costs to you?

Frogfish Feb 21, 2007 2:30 PM

Please don't take this the wrong way ! There are two or three threads running at the moment that will furnish you will ALL the information you are looking for :;forum_id=87;forum_id=87;forum_id=87

Good Luck !

mtclimber Feb 21, 2007 6:44 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Thanks a lot, Frogfish-

You made this thread a whole lot easier. I will add a photo taken with the Nikkor 18-55mm lens which is the kit lens on the D-40, least anyone wonder about the kit lens quality. It really is a very impressive lens worthy of your attention.


mtngal Feb 22, 2007 12:19 AM

Just my opinion, but I don't think there is all that much difference between these two cameras when it comes to image quality (there are other differences). I happen to have lots of nice pictures I've taken with the K100, some better than others.

Both these cameras have the ability to set white balance depending on the conditions. I haven't used the K40, but setting the white balance on the K100 is about the same as it was on the old Sony F717 I used to have, and I've found that I use it about the same amount as I did on the Sony. The tungsten setting on the K100 isn't that good - if I'm going to bother to change the setting at all, I'll use the custom setting - it works very well.

Here's a couple I took on two different days this fall. I thought they came out nicely, considering they were taken under entirely different lighting situations. This one was taken with the K100 and a 300mm lens, handheld.

Very early morning on a foggy autumn morning in the mountains. K100 and the DA 50-200 lens.

Asyou can see, the K100 is a very capable camera. I'm not a professional, I don't teach photography classes, and am Inot particularly artistic. I'm just a run-of-the-mill admin person who likes hiking andlooking at pretty pictures, so I'm not as knowledgeable aboutcameras and photography stuff as Sarah is. I find the K100 a camera I'm comfortable with and the SR means that it's possible for me to get a high percentage of "keepers" with a 300mm lens (before SRmy pictures at 200mm would be about 50-50).

Contriver Feb 22, 2007 8:06 AM

OK, so on the AWB issue, everyone tells me that no camera is perfect in less-than-ideal lighting conditions. But, I still would like to know if anyone has used both the K100D and D40 and if you have noticed any difference in each camera's AWB ability. Even's review on the K100D, theymention thatin the night shot test they hadto adjust the WB manually. I don't mind having to manually set the WB, but I atleast would like to know if the K100D is worse at this then the D40.



mtclimber Feb 22, 2007 9:22 AM


I own and use both the K100D and the D-40. Their WB (both cameras)is set using the tradional preset values, AWB, or by using a custom WB. I feel that both camera are WB accurate.

Keep in mind that any camera that has the custom WB feature, can easily set an exact WB for any given photo environment by using either of two systems: Expo-Cap or WhiBal.

By the way, it is not unusual to have to "tweak" the WB in a night time shooting environment, because there is usually a mixture of light from many sources.


Contriver Feb 22, 2007 9:58 AM

Thanks for the info Sarah!

Dang it, I just went to B&H's site to finally purchase the K100D and its out of stock. Oh well, I've waited this long already, another week or so won't kill me :-)

rfortson Feb 22, 2007 12:09 PM

Here's a cheap custom white balance trick that I've used on the K100D. I imagine it would work on just about any camera though.

Take a white coffee filter, cover your lens with it, point it at the subject you want to photograph, and go through the custom white balance setting steps (different for each camera). After setting the white balance, then you can take your picture and the white balance should be pretty close. It's a lot cheaper than those special filters that you use in the same manner.

I prefer toshoot raw and adjust later, but if you want to get it right the first time, this method works, and it's cheap!


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