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Old Apr 7, 2008, 11:23 AM   #1
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Hi All,

I've been reading the forums for months and have learned a great deal--Thank YOU!

I think that I decided to bite the bullet and purchase a Pentax K10 with the kit lens, but before I make the final decision, I've decided to post here.

My current budget is $1000.

--My main reason for the camera is to take during hikes and backpacking trips.

--Next is around the house/inside and out taking pictures of the family, including the pets

--Last (and least important) is to be able to snap some shots at local bike races. I know that the camera will be the weakest in this area, but I want to know if it will be passable.

I know that I will need to upgrade the lens in the future--especially for the indoor photos and the cycling photos.

I've handled the camera and like it. I've also looked at the Sony a200 and the Nikon D80 and Canon 40d (both of which are likely out of my price range).

I guess the big question is. . .Will the K10 perform as I hope, or am I better off saving some extra money and buying a different camera in a few months.

Thanks in advance!!!

Bill
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 12:00 PM   #2
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Hi Bill,

Have you checked out the K200D? Uses the same sensor as the K10D, weather-sealed, etc. Might have a few running improvements since it is newer.

Idon't know if the K10D/K200D would be all that inferior to comparable Canon/Nikon/Sony cameras in cycling races. It's easier to track faily large, land-bound movement than, say, fast-moving small birds. Still something I'm practicing, though.

Have you checked out any of the Olympus offerings? The reason I ask is because the Olympus E510 is a bit smaller and lighter, the lenses are smaller and lighter, and you can get the E510 w/2 lenses (which are considered very good for kit lenses) for under $700. As much as I like my Pentax K100D, if I were looking to get a DSLR today, I might go for the Olympus kit.
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 12:03 PM   #3
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Some random thoughts:

The K10 will certainly perform well in all of these tasks. If you look through some of the threads on the Pentax SLR board here, you'll see people who use the K10 for auto racing pictures. You do have to be more careful to pick your times since it doesn't have as many frames per second rating as the Canon. What little sports I've done convinced me that while the Canon would certainly be easier to use, with a little practice the Pentax can give you some very good results (if you think about it, 30 years ago pros were doing quite well with no auto advance and manual focus lenses). You do have to work harder at it, though, and you would quickly find that the kit lens won't be long enough.

The K10 isn't the lightest camera in the world (710 g). It's excellent for landscape photography, one of my main uses for the camera (I have one along with the K100). However, I'm not a backpacker and while I have no trouble lugging it along with a number of heavy lenses for a day's hike, I'm not sure I'd be able to backpack with it and the gear I usually carry. The Canon D40 is even heavier (740 g), with the Sony A200 being the lightest (532 g) and the D80 only slightly heavier than the Sony.

I might suggest that if you backpacking is more important than the bike races, you might check out the K200. It uses the same sensor as the K10, it's weather sealed like the K10 and is lighter - it weighs 630 g. There's some handling differences between the two cameras - the K10 has two control wheels while the K200 only has one - the K10 is a more advanced camera, but many of the advances made in it have found their way to the K200.
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 12:54 PM   #4
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Thanks!

I really like the weather proofing on the k10 and I can live with the weight--Yep it's heavy to lug around, but, heck--I'll just have to buy a lighter stove to make up for it :-)

How do you find the autofocus? Is it reasonably quick. It appeared to be in the store, but it's always a little hard to tell.

I know that my sport shots won't be perfect, but they are just for fun. I was playing with a friends Nikon D40 and I took a few reasonable pictures. The nice thing about cycling (at least locally) is that you can get close to the riders, so a lens with a short reach can often be utilized, if you get creative. You won't necessarily get a shot of the finish, but you can get some great corner pictures.

Thanks again, and feel free to point out anything that I haven't considered!
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 1:24 PM   #5
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The K200D is also weather-sealed. I'm pointing out the K200D because its a newer design and possibly offers improvements over the K10D, without a price premium

Unless the K10D can do something the K200D cannot (mtngal, do you know?) I'd say the K200D is a better deal.

Don't sell the abilities of the Pentax AF system too short; with practice, you will be able to nab those photo finishes!
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 6:02 PM   #6
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Well, I like the feel of the k10 a little better, plus I like the k10 battery over the AA's used by the k200. I'm still looking into all the differences.

Thanks,
Bill
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Old Apr 7, 2008, 11:17 PM   #7
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If you like the feel of the K10 better, then get it. That's a big difference between the two.

Besides the batteries, the K10 has controls on the camera body for changing metering modes and auto focus points. The K200 has them in menus.

The K200 adds the Sv mode from the K10 (you specify the ISO and the camera specifies the shutter speed and the aperture). It does not pick up the TAv mode, where you specify the aperture and shutter speed and the camera chooses the ISO.

The K10 has a pentaprism viewfinder, while the K200 has a pentamirror viewfinder. Some people think this is a big deal. Whenever I've used the K10 mostly then switch to the K100, I agree. However, after using the K100 for a couple of pictures, I'm just as capable of manually focusing it as I am the K10.

The K200 adds Pentax's new extended dynamic range function. I've played a bit with it on my new K20, and haven't decided just how useful it is going to be for me.

K200 has scene modes, while the K10 does not.

K200 has a smaller buffer - a definite disadvantage for bike sports.

Early K10 modelstended to sufferfrom vertical banding at 1600 ISO. Later models corrected that and it seems to be absent from the K200 (from the samples that have been posted on a couple of boards). If you get the K10, I'd probably buy one of the close-out ones from a store, rather than buying a used one.

If the K200 uses the same Auto focus system as the K20 (and I think it does), it's been tweaked a bit over the K10 (or at least the early K10 models, like what I have). My K20 seems a bit faster than my K10, but not by that much. Pentax doesn't claim that the AF system is any different, by the way.

The K10 has two control wheels, which is useful for adding extra function controls. The K10's program mode will automatically change to Av or Sv if you operate one of the two wheels (i.e., if you want to over-ride what the camera says in P mode, just turn the appropriate wheel). I think that the K200 probably operates like the K100 does - you have to change the mode dial for it to change modes.

There are probably more differences between the two cameras, but that's what comes to mind at the moment. The K10's controls on the camera body can be a blessing or a curse. It's great when you want to change something, but horrible if you accidentally change something when you take it out of the camera bag and don't notice it. Bottom line is that both cameras will take excellent pictures, the K10 has (for the most part) more features but the K200 is lighter.
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 3:36 PM   #8
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I forgot about the 2 control wheels. Now I remember when looking at them both, I really like the control of the extra wheel (go to the menu less).

Smaller buffer definite disadvantage!

Now, the big question, can I wait for the price to drop on the k20???

Sadly, I don't think so. . .I've been wanting a DSLR for so long!!!! :-)
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Old Apr 8, 2008, 3:53 PM   #9
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For the action sequences, the K10D would be a much better bet compared to the 6MP Pentax models. It can write to a fast card at around 3fps until the card is full.

The 6MP models like the K100D and K100D Super are going to be limited to a handful of frames before they slow down.

Also, write speed to memory cards is much slower with the 6MP models. For example, the 10D only slows down to around 1.2 raw frames per second with a fast card like an Extreme III after it's internal buffer is full.

But, the K100D Super is going to take over 3 1/2 seconds between raw photos after it's internal buffer is full. I don't know how the new K200D compares in this area yet.

The Sony A200 you're looking at is also very fast. It clocks at about 3.4 frames per second with no limit on number of frames shooting jpeg using an Extreme III, only slowing down to around 1.5 frames per second after it's internal buffer is full shooting raw. The Autofocus system on this new Sony is also very fast (faster than the Canon XTi, Nikon D40x, Pentax K10D, Olympus E-510 and other similar models from tests I've seen).

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Old Apr 8, 2008, 5:16 PM   #10
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SlowFastGuy wrote:
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Now, the big question, can I wait for the price to drop on the k20???
LOL! There will ALWAYS be a bigger, better, more feature filled camera that has either just come out or is about to come out. If you wait for the price of the K20 to drop, you'll lust after the K30 or whatever is to come out next. Best to buy what you can afford to buy now and enjoy taking pictures with it. If you wait, think of how many pictures you'll miss because you are waiting. My vote would be to get the K10now and then think about upgrading in a couple of years.
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