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Old Aug 15, 2007, 8:22 PM   #1
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I have been going back and forth about which camera I should buy. I'd really like to find a side by side comparison of the two but so far I haven't been successful in my search.
Basically what I am looking for in a camera is the ability to take pictures of kids and dogs without having to worry about shutter lag, and the ability to make 11x14 and sometimes 20x30 prints (my mom has a habit of making EVERY photo into a 20x30 drives me bonkers).
I have used my grandfathers Nikon d70s and I like it. But the Nikons seem a bit on the pricey side. Also all of the pictures from his camera have a strange yellow cast to them. Doesn't seem to matter where the shot is taken.

Anyway any input/experience that you guys could provide would be appreciated. Are the differences between the two cameras enough to warrant spending an extra $200-300? I had planned on buying the camera and the kit lens either way I go.

Also, does anyone have any experience with the optional battery grip? Is it worth an extra $150?

Thanks for the input guys!
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Old Aug 15, 2007, 8:37 PM   #2
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Please be sure that you know what you are getting into with the Pentax K-10D. There have been more than a few reports of folks who have been having a somewhat difficult time adapting to the Pentax K-10D. It is a complex camera.

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Old Aug 15, 2007, 8:43 PM   #3
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Digital Ghost-

It is just my opinion. However, it seems like you are indeed asking us to make a decision that only you really can made. Yes, without a doubt, the k-10 will dreate better20" X 30" prints than the k-100 camera.

However, there are other factors to consider. The Pentax K-10D is a much more complex camera than the Pentax K-100D.The K-10is going to have a much steeper learning curve than the K-100D. Are you ready for that? That is something only you can truly and accurately evaluate. However, I will share with you that there have been more than a few reports of folks that have had trouble adjusting to the Pentax K-10. It is a more complex camera, that most folks are willing to admit.

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Old Aug 15, 2007, 8:47 PM   #4
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So the K10d isn't very user friendly? Dp you know any specific examples of how it is complex?

I'm so confused as to what I really need. I just don't want to regret dropping $1000 on a camera that I don't like.

I have held the K10d, Nikon D70s and D80, Canon Rebel Xti in my hand. The Canon feels like a kids toy to me. Very light and flimsy. It doesn't fit in my hand well so I automatically ruled Canon out. I like the feel of the Nikons but it seems like the lenses and accessories are more expensive in addition to the camera itself being more expensive. Of the camera's I've held, the K10d felt best in my hand. Very solid. I don't have any lenses yet but I have read that you can use any Pentax lens. My grandpa has a few that he may give me.
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Old Aug 15, 2007, 8:53 PM   #5
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Digital Ghost-

Please be aware that those older lenses that your Grandpa had will indeed work on the K-10D, but they will NOT be AE/AF. That will have to be done manually. So please take that into consideration.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Aug 15, 2007, 9:21 PM   #6
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Between the two, I would recommend the K100D. To me, you sound like a novice that wants to gain more control of his or her photos. I was in that same boat, still feeling restricted with slow shutter speeds and fixed lenses. At the time, I was considering the *istDL and *istD, which are pretty much the previous generation of the K100D and K10D, respectively.

I went with the *istDL (and now again with the K100D) because I wasn't going to need as much control as a professional-grade camera. The K100D offers enough manual control that a novice to intermediate user can appreciate (Aperture/Shutter priority, ISO speed, Program mode) and at the same time Green modes for automatic adjustments by the camera. I wasn't expecting (at the time) to need SDM (Pentax's supersonic focus system) compatibility that the K10D offers. I don't photograph any events that may require a fast buffer for 3+ fps shooting either.

In short, ask yourself these questions:
1) Do you expect to buy Pentax's newest, more expensive, lenses? The newest lenses offer weather sealing (K10D only) and silent focus motors (K10D and K100D Super)
2) Do you photograph sports or anything requiring a fast continuous drive mode? (The K10D can continuously shoot JPEGS at 3fps without slowing down)
3) Do you photograph in adverse weather conditions? (The K10D has weather sealing)
4) Are the manual modes available on the K100D (Av, Tv, M, P) enough, or do you need more control?
5) Do you have good eyes for manual focusing? (The K10D has a better viewfinder)
6) Do you plan to utilize flashguns with the camera? (The K10D offers wireless flashgun support)
7) Plan on using those scene modes on the dial? (The K10D does not offer many automatic modes)

- Jason
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Old Aug 16, 2007, 12:10 AM   #7
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Hi DigitalGhost

Lets address your statement item by item...
  • the ability to take pictures of kids and dogs without having to worry about shutter lag - All dSLRs will do a fine job of taking pictures. You will need to check the individual models for the amount of shutter lag. No camera is going to have a 0 lag. On digital SLRs there is still a mechanical shutter lifting the mirror and letting the ccd array be exposed to the light and then dropping it back down, and that takes time. I do not know which ones are the fastest and slowest... data anyone?
    [/*]
  • the ability to make 11x14 and sometimes 20x30 prints - For the 20x30 prints the K10 will do better due to the 10mp sensor. Also depends on how far you are going to stand away from the print on the wall. If you are going to use a loop then you will see every problem. If you stand away, things will usually look pretty good. Here is a guideline - however nothing is an absolute http://daystarvisions.com/Docs/Tuts/HowLarge/pg1.html
    [/*]
  • Nikon d70s and I like it. .... a bit on the pricey side. .... have a strange yellow cast to them. Yes Nikons are a bit on the pricey side. The strange yellow tint may be from the white balance. Usually in sunlight things are fine, its the artificial light that usually creates the problem. You might want to take it to a camera shop and ask or post the question to the Nikon forum here.
    [/*]
  • optional battery grip? Is it worth an extra $150? - The Pentax K10D has the optional battery grip and it depends on what YOU want. It adds size, mass and weight, while providing a better grip and additional battery life. If your looking for a small light dSLR this may be the wrong way to go. If you have large hands, looking for a larger mass to hold, and need longer battery life then it provides a solution.[/*]
You need to go down to a camera shop and handle all the major brands models, and find out what feels right, what works for you - the viewfinder, how the lens work, the total weight, and size. Also the menu systems - which ones appeal to you and which ones you just do not like. Then look at all the buttons, wheels, knobs and switches and see what set makes the most sense to you. Figure out how much complexity you want to take a picture, along with how much of a learning curve you want. Do you just want to take some pictures around the house or is it to become a serious hobby. All the camera have an all auto setting where the camera sets up everything and you push the button (like a P&S).

Also, if your just going to get one lens then it really does not matter. However if your interested in acquiring a set of lenses, buying the camera is the least of your worries, since if you wind up buying several lenses, you are essentially buying a "system". If you want to change systems - from Canon to Nikon down the road, then you essentially for the most part start from ground 0, since the lenses do not usually move across camera makes - not always, nothing is an absolute, but in general.

In general your probably not going to make a bad decision since all the digital brands do take very good pictures - however there is no one perfect camera for everything.

... so are you more confused?

I have the K100D - its 6mp, and for me it is the right size with the right amount of complexity as I have several years of growth in it. Would I like larger images to crop - yes (from time to time), but then I can do image stiching - panoramas etc. There are always ways around things.

The most important item is you the photographer. You can have the best of everything and still get crappy pictures. Its a learning experience. With Pentax the kit lenses are very good, and for under $700 - even less with Pentax rebates, you can get the camera and the 18-55 and 50-200 lens and that will probably meet all your needs. Possibly a flash and your set. Some learning, reading the manual, trying things out - the film is essentially free - you can burn off a few hundred images experimenting and instantly take a look at the resuts and then making corrections and trying again.

Pentax has some good lenses. Good lenses will do more for good pictures than usually the body. Pentax has 35 years worth of lenses out there new - and used available. Canon and Nikon are more expensive to a degree, but Pentax does not have the current wide assortment for every taste, need and budget. However they have a sufficient product line to meet the needs plus there are the third party companies - Sigma, etc that also make lenses for Pentax.

Start off with the kit lenses and use them for a while and see where you go. So get a body that you will be happy with. If you don't you will not be taking a lot of pictures. So take your time, and ask your self what you really want to do with it. The formums will always be here to help



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Old Aug 16, 2007, 12:44 AM   #8
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I have, and use on a regular basis, both the K10 and the K100. I find for most things the overall image quality is very similar between the two cameras, that the lens makes a bigger difference than the camera.

Many of the issues/questions have already been brought up by others here - all excellent points to consider. A couple of my own personal observations as far as the user friendly aspect goes - the K10 has extra buttons and levers on the camera body to change settings that are in menus on the K100. While I really like being able to switch metering modes at a flip of my finger, it also means that it is far easier to accidentally get settings wrong (yesterday while I was putting the camera in its bag, I accidentally moved the mode selector to Sv which was set at ISO 1600. It took a while before I figured it out). Because of that you should have a good grasp of photography basics and be able to know what each button does and how it will influence your picture. That's why it has a much steeper learning curve.

The K10 is heavier than the K100 - I'm a small female and it is the largest, heaviest camera I can manage for any length of time (it doesn't help things that I'm using two rather heavy lenses mostly). I tried a battery grip and couldn't manage it at all - so try it out before you buy one. Just me, but I don't have a problem with using one battery - I keep saying I should buy a back-up but haven't felt a particular need for one.

The K100 is better in low light - there's less noise at 1600 ISO than with the K10 (the K10 will take reasonable pictures at that sensitivity only when the exposure is correct and there's not a wide dynamic range to the scene). When I've been manually focusing both cameras on a regular basis, I don't notice much difference between viewfinders. However, I've been using the K10 mostly recently but put a macro lens on the K100 and immediately thought how much better the K10 was - it may not make any difference to you.

As far as old lenses go - I routinely use one or two lenses that I purchased 25 years ago. They were manual lenses when I bought them and they are still manual lenses. However, the auto focus lens I bought in (I think) the 1980's will auto focus with the digital cameras - a lens retains whatever capability it had when it was made, but won't suddenly get new ones. So saying that all old lenses will be manual lenses isn't exactly true.

If you want a good, easy to use, all-around camera then the K100 would be a good choice. If you want a photo-enthusiast camera, plan on spending time learning about photography and want the ability to quickly control more than the usual aspects of your picture, then get the K10.

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Old Aug 16, 2007, 7:05 AM   #9
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DigitalGhost wrote:
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So the K10d isn't very user friendly? Dp you know any specific examples of how it is complex?
K10D is extremely user friendly. Much more user friendly than K100D.

However there's one condition: user shouldn't be novice in photography. User must know what is aperture, what is shutter speed, what is sensitivity and how they influence picture taken. K10D doesn't have any scene modes, you need to use shutter, aperture etc. priority programs. If user is comfortable with those modes -- then K10D is dream camera to handle. Experienced users don't use scene modes anyway (even with cameras having those modes) and removing scene modes Pentax clearly demonstrated what users K10D is targeted at.

However for novice lack of scene modes could be a showstopper.
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Old Aug 18, 2007, 9:51 AM   #10
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Thank you all so much for the input! I think I have decided to go with the K100D. I have alot to learn about photography (aperture settins, ISO, shutter speed etc...) and I think that the K100 will be better for me to learn with. Then if I decide to upgrade later I'll already have a couple lenses. I found a local store that has the body and 18-55mm lens and the 50-200mm lens and a flash all for about $675 after Pentax rebates. That's less than the body for the K10.

I am going to go back to the store and ask to handle the cameras again. I wish the people at the camera store were nicer. When I am looking at the camera they seem to rush me even when the store is empty. I've gone to 2 different stores and its been the same way at both. I guess they didn't feel like I was serious about buying. Does anyone know where you can rent a camera for a day? Neither of the stores here (Cord Camera and Roberts Imaging) will let you rent the K100 or K10.

Anyway, I really appreciate all of your input! Thanks so much for helping me with my decision.
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