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Old Sep 19, 2007, 11:12 PM   #1
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I'm looking to buy my first DSLR and was considering the d40 and k100d. I'm definantly leaning towards the d40, but was wondering if anyone had any comments on either of the cameras. Any info/advice is apprechiated.
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Old Sep 19, 2007, 11:43 PM   #2
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For the majority of people looking to get their first DSLR, I'd recommend the D40 over the K100D, but that depends on your needs. The K100D has a bit of an advantage if you are doing a lot of telephoto or low light shots due to it's shake reduction, but compared to other shake reduction technologies it isn't the most effective (the K100D Super might be better). It's compatible with old Pentax lenses if you have any already, but it's no longer easy to find good deals on used ones. Also, the Pentax probably has a better selection of bright primes available at the moment, but if you're new you probably won't be needing those yet and the selection of lenses available for the D40 is growing.

The disadvantages of the K100D are that it doesn't have any kind of noise reduction except for very long exposures, so if you intend to shoot JPG you'll get better quality from the D40. It also has a very small buffer which limits it's usefulness when shooting action, particularly if you shoot RAW.

The D40 is generally a decent camera. It has some noteable limitations, like it has less focus points than most other DSLRs, and has a limited selection of lenses available for it, but for beginneres these usually aren't that important. The lenses that are available for it are probably of more consistently high quality compared to the selection available for Pentax. I'd recommend you try and get the D40 paired with the 18-135 lens as that would be a very versatile setup.

Before making any snap decisions though, it would probably be helpful if you were to provide some more details about the kinds of photography you see yourself doing and why you think these cameras are your best choices. I had the same choice as you but went with the K100D because I was able to get used lenses cheap, regularly take advantage of the shake reduction, and tend to take mostly RAW photos of scenes that don't involve much action.
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Old Sep 20, 2007, 5:17 AM   #3
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Both the Nikon D40 and the Pentax K100D are fine cameras, and you would do well with either one. But there are a few significant differences between them.

First, the Pentax has Shake Reduction, which is a technology that shifts the image sensor to counteract the effects of motion blur due to camera shake. Nikon uses Vibration Reduction, which is a technology that moves an optical element in the lens to keep a steady image projected on the stationary image sensor. The advantage to Shake Reduction is that, since it's in the body, you only have to buy it once. The advantage of Vibration Reduction is that it projects a steady image into the viewfinder, but you need to buy it with each lens. Both systems work well, but, contrary to Corpsy's assertion, the best test I've seen shows that sensor shift works better than optical image stabilization. ( Seehttp://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ol..._14-50mm.shtml )

Second, while Nikon has a better selection of lenses than Pentax, some of Nikon's best lenses, including some of their fastest lenses, don't autofocus on the D40 (or the D40x.) Unlike Nikon's other dSLRs, the D40 and the D40x don't have an internal autofocus motor, and rely on motors in the lenses. Unfortunately, only about 1/3 of Nikon's autofocus lenses have their own motors. In addition, for the same reason, only about 1/3 of Sigma's lenses that would autofocus on Nikon's other dSLRs will autofocus on the D40/D40x, and none of Tamron's or Tokina's lenses will. While Pentax's selection is smaller, it does have a better selection of fast wide-angle to medium telephoto lenses. Depending on what you'll be shooting, this may or may not be important to you.

And a very significant factor in selecting a dSLR is how it feels to you. If you can't get comfortable with the location and operation of the controls, you'll be fumbling around with the camera and miss some shots. Have you tried either of these?
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Old Sep 20, 2007, 4:35 PM   #4
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I've picked these two cameras because the are within my price range, have features that I like, and both seem like overall good cameras.

I like to photography wildlife, candid portraits, and landscapes, among other subjects.

I have tried a in-store d40, and one of my friends has a d50, which I've used before. And I've never used the k100d before. The d40 feels comfortably to me.

Yeah, the lens compatability is one of the main things I've been considering. But I don't think it would be that big of a problem for me.
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Old Sep 20, 2007, 5:37 PM   #5
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The PentaxK-100D especially with the current rebate program in effect that covers sales made through 30 September offers a true cash incentive that is worth exploring. You should make a real effort to phusically handle the K100D as it is a good option.

As an Instructor, I own both both cameras and I can tell you the SR, or shake reduction (Pentax's trade name for in body IS) does work quite well, and allows any lens mounted on the K-100D camera to benefit from the SR technology.

The photos directly out of the Pentax K-100D have a look that reflects the more traditional SLR photos, that have raditionally been delivered less processed by the in camera processor, expecting some post processing. On the other hand the photos directly out of the D-40, you will find look very much more like photos coming out of most digicams. Thus, the D-40 will require less post processing.

These might be some factors that you might want to consider. Have a great day!

Sarah Joyce
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Old Sep 20, 2007, 7:23 PM   #6
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TCav wrote:
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Both systems work well, but, contrary to Corpsy's assertion, the best test I've seen shows that sensor shift works better than optical image stabilization. ( Seehttp://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Ol..._14-50mm.shtml )
The article you linked to was a non-scientific test comparing the performance of one specific lens' shake reduction with the in-body shake reduction of the Olympus E-510. Assuming the shake reduction technology of the E-510 is not identical to the patented technology in the K100D, I don't see how it relates.

My assertion is based on many users' comparisons of other cameras' shake reduction technologies, including the Pentax K10D, to that of the K100D and most agree the K100D is one of the least effective. Here's one example: http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...mp;forum_id=80

In my own experience I found the shake reduction of the Panasonic FZ30 far superior as I could reliably shoot at 430mm equivalent at 1/13 second with no visible camera shake, whereas with the K100D I get less reliably sharp photos at 300mm equivalent at 1/100 second. I'm not saying it's impossible to get much longer exposures than that, just that it takes far more effort than with many other cameras.
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Old Sep 20, 2007, 7:49 PM   #7
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Jfserama wrote:
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I like to photography wildlife, candid portraits, and landscapes, among other subjects.
For Wildlife: Long focal lengths, definately zoom, maybe large aperture depending on your budget and commitment. For example, a 100-300 or maybe a 70-200, f/4.0 or so, though f/2.8 would be better.

For Portraits: Medium focal lengths, zoom is not necessary, but I think a large maximum aperture of at least f/2.8,would be required, and larger would be better. For example, a 50mm f/1.8 would be great.

For Landscapes: Short focal length, definately zoom, and a large aperture isn't important unless you want to do night cityscapes. For example, a17-50mm f3.5-5.6 or so. A kit lens could easily do this, except for the night cityscapes.

Anybody disagree?
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Old Sep 20, 2007, 8:16 PM   #8
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Corpsy wrote:
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The article you linked to was a non-scientific test comparing the performance of one specific lens' shake reduction with the in-body shake reduction of the Olympus E-510. Assuming the shake reduction technology of the E-510 is not identical to the patented technology in the K100D, I don't see how it relates.
I concede that the articleI referred to was a non-scientific study, comparing one manufacturer's 'sensor shift' IS with another manufacturer's optical IS, and that neither manufacturer is particularly well known for their IS products. But with the introduction of the Olympus E-510 and the Leica D VARIO-ELMARIT 14-50mm f2.8-3.5, both of which use the 4/3 mount, this is the first time anyone was able to compare the two IS technologies objectively. I have no doubt that the Olympus is not representative of either the best or the worst of sensor shift IS, and likewise, that Leica is not representative of either the best or the worst of optical IS. Further, I concede that this is a small sample size, but it is the only sample that permits this comparison. This situation permits one technology to be compared to the other, free of bias or anecdotes. And in this objective comparison, sensor shift IS outperformed optical IS.

When you said "The K100D has a bit of an advantage if you are doing a lot of telephoto or low light shots due to it's shake reduction, but compared to other shake reduction technologies it isn't the most effective ... ",and since the OP was asking for comments on the D40 and the K100D, I thought you were drawing a comparison between the sensor shift IS in the K100D and the optical VR in some of the lenses available for the D40.

And I chose to offer a differing opinion.
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Old Sep 20, 2007, 9:04 PM   #9
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TCav wrote:
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Jfserama wrote:
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I like to photography wildlife, candid portraits, and landscapes, among other subjects.
For Wildlife: Long focal lengths, definately zoom, maybe large aperture depending on your budget and commitment. For example, a 100-300 or maybe a 70-200, f/4.0 or so, though f/2.8 would be better.

For Portraits: Medium focal lengths, zoom is not necessary, but I think a large maximum aperture of at least f/2.8,would be required, and larger would be better. For example, a 50mm f/1.8 would be great.

For Landscapes: Short focal length, definately zoom, and a large aperture isn't important unless you want to do night cityscapes. For example, a17-50mm f3.5-5.6 or so. A kit lens could easily do this, except for the night cityscapes.

Anybody disagree?

For wildlife, the longer the better until you can no longer hand hold. I have 566mm f4.9 in 35mm terms, and even though it is a zoom, it stays locked at the longest focal length. The zoom part is optional, as a long prime would do just fine for most shots. The brightness necessary varies with time of the day and how motivated you are carrying a long f2.8 out in the field. I'd choose something around a stop slower for portability.

Everything else is ok by me.

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Old Sep 20, 2007, 9:54 PM   #10
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Myopinion and based nothing scientific, just on my own personal experience - I find the K100's SR much more effective for me than the one on the FZ30. It didn't matter what I settings I used on the FZ30, I would get quite a bit of camera shake, even at speeds I should have been able to hand-hold. After that experience, I decided that the longest lens I could possibly use was 200mm, and that would be iffy. But I eventually ended up buying a K100 and was surprised at how much itdifference it did make- enough that I now routinely use a 300mm lens (or 450mm if you want to talk "35mm equivalent" terms) handheld. To me it's vital, but I'm more than willing to admit that it won't be important to someone else - someone younger and steadier than I am.

If the D40 feels better than the K100 in your hands, then that's probably a better buy for you.
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