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Old Feb 18, 2007, 11:22 AM   #1
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I am in the market for my first DSLR. Both of these Cameras seem to have similiar features and are in my price range. I really like the option for Image Stabilization so that is one of the main reasons I am drawn to these twocameras. Right now I have a Sony H1and the IS in it has saved many pictures especially when zoomed in!

Reading about these two cameras I am a little concerned from reviews about the K10D that the Jpegs are soft even after upping the sharpness setting. Until I get more used to the cameraI was planning on using the Jpeg setting more and not RAW. Is this a real problemor not something I would really notice?

So what do you think about these two cameras? Would either one of them be a good first DSLR or woulda different camera be a better choice?
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Old Feb 18, 2007, 12:39 PM   #2
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I looked at the Sony A-100, the Pentax K10, and the Nikon D-80. Thanks to kind friends, I was able to get a bit of hands on experience with each camera, through a loan of their cameras to me for three successive weekends. So let me quite quickly in summary form, share with you what I learned each weekend. Keep in mind, please, that you may have different priorities.

Sony A-100: This is a good DSLR with a lot of features as well as the ability to use all of those great older Minolta AF/AE lenses that are out there. However, because I personally shoot a lot of low light level shots, handheld, and without flash, I was very interested to see how the A-100 would do at higher ISO settings. The A-100 does well below ISO 200, but as you move upwards with the ISO settings, noise makes an appearance and becomes a factor in your photos.

Pentax K-10: Another good DSLR camera which has the added advantages of weather sealing and SR, or Shake Reduction, as Pentax calls it.The K-10 is a very capable camera, I did not find the jpegs as seriously lacking in sharpness, after I had increased the in camera sharpness control. What I found that, at least for me,to bea problem was a lack of a wide range of AF/AE lenses in various focal lengths. Yes, there are many older lenses available, but in large part they become non AF or both non AF/AE in actual use.

Nikon D-80: In large measure the D-80 has the capabilities of both the A-100 and the K-10 without suffering noise problems and providing a excellent range of focal length lenses that were bright with wide apertures. That Nikon lens advantage merged nicely with the kind of shooting that I do. Lens quality was another factor that appealed to me. I was especially impressed by the Nikkor 70-300mmVR lens.

So as you can probably see, all three cameras are really great DSLR cameras and will produce superior photos. You just have to find the DSLR that best matchesyour personal preferences and the kind of photos that you like to shoot.


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Old Feb 18, 2007, 9:09 PM   #3
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I can't afford decent Nikon VR (in-lens IS) lenses, so I never considered D-80. I've heard that the Sony Alpha has more problems with noise than the Pentax, but can't verify that through my own personal experience. It seemed to me that (up until recently) there were more lenses available for the Pentax than the Sony, but the K10 and K100 have been so popular that Pentax has been having trouble producing enough lenses to meet demand. That should settle down soon.

I have the Pentax and really like it. A Pentax lens maintains whatever capability it had with a film camera - if it is a manual lens, it will always be a manual lens. However, the F lenses are auto focus/auto exposure and will be that way with the K10 - lenses won't lose capability. So when looking at used lenses, it helps to know what capability they have - a used manual lens is quite a bit cheaper than its new FA counterpart, and can be as sharp or sharper than the newer lenses. It's higher ISO capabilities are certainly acceptable to me personally and the SR on the K10 works well for me - I'm happy with mine and have no regrets with my purchase.
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