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Old Apr 7, 2007, 8:38 AM   #1
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Hi folks, this is my first post here - or any other photography forum - so please bare with me. I'm looking to buy my first DSLR and I think I've narrowed the field to two, the Pentax K10D and the Nikon D80. I shoot mostly landscapes and up 'til now have been using a Fujifilm F-11 compact. It's served me well but I find as my skills increase so the limitations of this camera are highlighted.

I had originally also considered the Canon EOS400D but after having a hands-on in a local shop came to the conclusion that it's just too small. I have hands like shovels. The Nikon fared better and I gather the Pentax K10D is even larger and so presumably comfier too (it wasn't available in the shop when I visited). Somewhere in the back of my mind there's a nagging doubt that the Pentax, not being one of the 'big two', won't be up to the job. I have also read reports that images from the Pentax are soft. I knoe there's been at least one firmware update for it and maybe that adressed the softness. I don't know though. I do like the idea of shake reduction and als the weatherproofing seems a great idea. I think you get 'more' for the money with Pentax than Nikon, although how important the extras are is a moot point.

Could I also be so bold as to ask opinions of the kit lens? Is it good enough or should I go for the body only and get a seperate lens?

Thanks in advance for any help you folks can supply. It really will be very much appreciated.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 9:48 AM   #2
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If you've got big hands, the'll love the K10D. For the money, it is the best dSLR out there... more comparable to the D200 than the D80. I completely recommend this camera.

Olivia
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 1:19 PM   #3
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I wouldn't worry about the firmware update. It happens. In fact it's often a good sign. It means they're addressing issues - and every DSLR has some kind of issues.

For your stated purposes - landscape work - I don't see either the D80 or K10 as having a distinct advantage. I thinkt they'll both fit the bill quite nicely. So, I suggest finding another store that has the 10D in stock and handling it. Both systems have decent kit lenses capable of doing landscape work. So I don't see that as an issue either.

As you mentioned, Pentax has the IS and the weather sealing (although if your lenses aren't sealed, the point is moot) but as you've already noticed, you have a lot more out-of-stock issues with Pentax gear. But if you aren't planning on buying flashes/accessories then that is less of an issue.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 1:49 PM   #4
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Thanks Olivia, you're endorsement helps me.

John, I agree. I see the release of firmware updates adressing user-issues as a positive sign. Better that than to be saddled with something that doesn't get supported and doesn't work properly. Kudos to Pentax for that.

The kit lens for the K10D is 18-55mm. Pardon my ignorqance but can anyone tell me what that means in 'old money'? I know the sizes are different in digital and I'm afraid my brain really only works in 35mm terms.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 1:59 PM   #5
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zorrofox wrote:
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The kit lens for the K10D is 18-55mm. Pardon my ignorqance but can anyone tell me what that means in 'old money'? I know the sizes are different in digital and I'm afraid my brain really only works in 35mm terms.
Pentax and Nikon both have a sensor size that applies a 1.5 'crop factor' to any lens used. So, that 18-55 will have the same field of view as a 27-83mm lens would on a 35mm camera.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 2:02 PM   #6
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The Pentax 10D has a 1.5 crop factor. A 18-55mm lens would be (18mm x 1.5 = 27mm and 55mm x 1.5 = 83mm) equivalent to a 27-83mm lens on a 35mm film SLR camera.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 2:49 PM   #7
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Thanks guys, that really helps. 27mm at the wide end sounds quite handy for landscapes. I'm not really looking to buy a series of lenses although I wouldn't mind buying a more expensive (when funds allow) and presumably faster wide-angle. Maybe a 16-45mm would do the job. One bonus of sticking with one lens is less dust inside the camera.

I can't think of any more questions I need answers to, not right now anyway. Thanks for all the help and advice. I may be back to this thread just before purchase in a week or so's time.

Again, many thanks.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 6:31 PM   #8
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Hello again. As is typical of me I've been doing more research and found a couple of issues. I've read that the Nikon D80 has a built-in grid option for the viewfinder. I always use that option on my current compact and indeed used it years ago in my Canon AE-1 (although that was via a swappable screen rather than digitally). I know the Pentax K10D has an optional grid screen and was wondering if anyone has used one. Why they don't all allow it via software I'll never know. Seems a perfectly logical thing to include. It's not a deal-breaker for me though.

Another thing I've been worrying about is the K10D's reported image 'softness'. It seems the detail is there but more post-processing is required to reveal it. What I'd like to know is if it is possible to set the camera up so that it automatically records the more punchy image. Can it be done via presets or something so that I wouldn't have to tweak every single image. I always do pp at the moment so it's no hardship but it'd be nice if the camera played it's part too.

I hope I'm being clear about what I'm looking for and I also hope I'm not being to pushy in my asking of advice. This is a BIG purchase on my wages so it has to be right.

Thanks for listening.

Oh! One more thing. The shop I'm looking at to make the purchase lists two (among others) options. One has the body with a 18-55mm lens and the other has the body and a 16-45mm lens. I can't find much info on the wider option except that it's £200 more expensive. Is the wider lens also a faster lens? If so, might it be worth the extra money bearing in mind my intended usage (landscapes)? That's it. Can't think of anything else for the mo. Whew! say all of you.

Thanks again folks.
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 10:09 PM   #9
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Hi, I was going through the same process you are going through a year ago. I selected the K100D (the D10 as not out as of yet and is a bit larger). I think I can answer a number of questions for you.

On the softness issue, the camera takes the image and stores it in either RAW or JPEG or both. The JPEG has been reporeted to be a bit soft, however storing both the RAW and the JPEG (or just the RAW), lets you post process the RAW into the JPEG with what ever needs you have. Its really a non issue. The post processing software is pretty good and it is pretty easy. There are some settings within the camera that can help with the JPEG softness, but with the price of memory - just purchase a couple 4GB memory cards and do not worry about it.

On the lens - I have both the kit (18-55) and the 16-45. I perfer the 16-45 - its much sharper and at the wider setting there is no vignetting. The 18-55 is a good lens and for the money it is tough to beat. Pentax has a new 16-50 lens comming out that I believe is f2.5 or 2.8 - any way faster than the current 16-45 and it is weather sealed from what I understand.

Hope that helps....
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Old Apr 7, 2007, 10:59 PM   #10
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Hello IO. Thanks for the input. I think I'll stick with the kit lens (18-55mm) and wait and see what comes along later. You make a valid point about the jpeg 'softness' issue. i.e. it's not an issue. I would of course be using RAW anyway so as to get the best results possible. So apart from the focusing screen issue I'm pretty happy to get the K10D. Pentax do make a grid focusing screen but I can't find any for sale in the UK. I guess I'll get used to not having a grid as I'm not really sure I even consciously look at it anyway. I usually just kinda 'know' when it's right, if that's not too arrogant sounding.
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