Pentax K10D aand K100D cameras

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Richard Wrigley, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Greetings from Norfolk (UK)

    I am considering whether to buy either a K100D or a K10D Pentax, and am
    interested in what current users of the two models have to say.
    I am obviously aware of the price difference, the different no. of pixels
    and the different type of battery used, but what features make the K10D
    worth the extra.
    Also, if I buy the K100D how many shots am I likely to get from a set of
    batteries (assuming that flash is not used) ???
    Any information would be much appreciated.

    "I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which when looked at in
    the right way, did not become still more complicated"
    Poul Anderson
    Richard Wrigley, Dec 31, 2007
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  2. Richard Wrigley

    Steve B Guest

    As a 15 month owner of a K100D I can answer some of your questions. I've
    read quite a bit about the K10D as well and seen many images.

    First off, don't buy the K10D or any of the other 10MP cameras for reasons
    of image quality alone as the K100D is the match of them despite being 6MP.
    Up-res a K100D picture to 10MP and there's a miniscule difference,
    absolutely tiny, and I would go so far as to say that using RAW and Silkypix
    3 as a converter it produces the most natural colours out of any of the 10MP
    and below cameras. JPGs are fine but I find that the main problem is that
    there is a fine line between perfect images and blowing out things like the
    sky, and to get great results you will have the learn how to get spot-on
    exposures, but the highlight flasher and digital preview helps a lot with
    this. RAW just gives more leeway and I find it easier to work with. JPGs
    also put more reliance on the white balance being correct at the time of
    shooting, the K100D is fine I find in daylight conditions outdoors and
    indoors, but in artificial light just be prepared to perform a manual WB
    ritual first (quite easy), I don't find any of the presets much use with the
    wide variety of lighting available these days.

    To be worth going to the dearer cameras you have to be lusting after speed,
    as that's all the K100D is lacking really. The small buffer means it's not
    a camera for rapid fire bursts. Autofocus is fine and fast with the right
    lens in good to dull light but below a certain level (pretty dim) it slows
    down more than most DSLRs. A flashgun with an AF assist light brings the
    speed back up indoors though (even if flash isn't used), I use a Sigma EF500
    DG Super which can shine its assist light without firing the flash in its
    ISO mode. There's no wireless flash, although I can use the built-in flash
    to trigger my Sigma in manual mode set to a fixed power, so some fun with
    remote flash can be had on the cheap.

    I get about 600 shots from a charged set of Uniross Hybrios over any period
    of time they're ever likely to stay in the camera (months). These and the
    Sanyo Eneloops are the K100D batteries of choice for rechargeables. For
    non-rechargeables, lithiums like Energizer e2's are the way to go (about
    1500 shots). Ordinary NiMh rechargeables are OK if they're good ones and
    used up within say a week where good ones will get about 800 shots, but
    the low self discharge ones mentioned are much better in the K100D for
    general use. Don't use alkalines apart from emergencies (about 100 shots if
    you're lucky) or rechargeable lithiums unless you're absolutely sure they
    are regulated to 3v per double-pack (I forget the proper name) and aren't
    3.7v each. The K100D is a joy to use with old cheap manual lenses, the
    camera gives an AF confirmation when manually focusing, and stop-down
    metering is easy and works well (one extra button push required).

    The K10D is a fine camera, it produces the best RAW out of all the 10MP
    cameras mainly in highlight detail. If you want sharp JPGs you will have to
    change the default settings, a quick comparison with the competition may
    show JPGs as having soft edges but there's better texture detail especially
    at higher ISOs and it tends to look very good in print being this way. Edge
    detail can be enhanced by using Bright mode and reducing saturation. It's
    faster than the K100D and matches the competition for speed again until the
    light is very low where it slows down more than Canon and Nikon, don't know
    about Olympus. If you bought a K10D it would be for the extra speed, the
    unique exposure modes it has, and wireless flash capability using the built
    in flash. It can use the newer lenses like the 16-50 and 50-130's quiet
    ultra sonic AF motors which the K100D can't (the K100D Super can).

    I've run out of time now, hope this helps.
    Steve B, Dec 31, 2007
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  3. Steve B's fairly comprehensive reply sounds pretty well balanced to me.
    The K10's a nice camera (especially at current prices!), but it's a
    bigger lump to cart around, and that probably takes some getting used to.
    However I'm considering one to update my 100D purely because my main use
    for the DSLR (instead of my much more convenient and very capable
    superzoom in most circumstances) is at airshows, and I spend a lot of
    time cropping shots. So more pixels will definitely help me.

    So, sadly, would faster focus speed. I'm planning a new camera + Sigma
    50-500 before June, and at the moment I'll probably be tempted towards
    Canon for the slightly faster, focus. In general use that's probably not
    important (unless you have fast-moving children to aim at), but I found
    my 100D's performance disappointing when aiming at fast moving objects in
    the sky... no matter how well lit they are.

    Andrew McP

    PS One thing I will say is that having had a pretty capable superzoom,
    and a DSLR for nearly a year, I think it's incredible what manufacturers
    are able to produce from cameras with tiny sensors. The only time I reach
    for my DSLR normally is when I know speed or low light or focus speed is
    going to be the issue. The 100D may not always focus quickly enough for
    my needs, but it's still a DSLR!

    PPS I think any discussion of recent Pentax DSLRs has to mention noise.
    When surrounded by Canons & Nikons at airshows last year I was surprised
    at how much noisier my 100D was. It's not a subtle camera! This shouldn't
    be important (especially at airshows :), but if -- like me -- you
    usually like to blend into the background when taking pictures, it's not
    ideal. The K10 is quieter (sample sounds are available in the dpreview
    reviews somewhere) but Pentax still need to work on this IMO.
    Andrew MacPherson, Jan 1, 2008
  4. Richard Wrigley

    Rich Guest

    The K10D is a good camera, pretty complex, a big control set and is
    able to produce good images if you put some work into them. But also
    consider Olympus's E-510 for "out of the box" quality, both images and
    kit lenses. Plus, it's a lot lighter, the K10D verges on the weigh of
    some of the semi-pro models like Nikon's D200.
    Rich, Jan 1, 2008
  5. Richard Wrigley

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, Steve:

    I've had my K100D, since September of 2007. Got a damned good deal (on
    the body only), from <>: $379 USD, with
    free shipping.

    A Pentax $50 rebate check - which took slightly more than a month to
    arrive, incidentally - lowered the final price to $329.

    All very true.
    I generally concur with these statements, above. Except, I've not shot
    any RAW images, yet, because the K100D's bundled, Silkypix-based
    software applications (i.e., Pentax PHOTO Browser 3 and Pentax PHOTO
    Laboratory 3) run much too slow, on my ancient Pentium III 1GHz/1GB RAM

    Minimum requirements are Pentium 4 and 512MB (with 2GHz and 1GB,
    Still haven't tried burst mode, nor do I own a compatible external flash
    I've used Kodak Ni-Mh cells (2500 mAh) in my camera, and experienced
    adequate battery life.

    The lens is a FAJ 28mmF3.5-80mmF5.6 autofocus type, borrowed from my
    Pentax ZX-60 kit (35mm SLR); it's assembled in Vietnam and seems to be
    a decent performer.

    Of course, being a "film lens," it's somewhat bigger and heavier than
    its "digital" counterpart. Also, due to the K100D's 1.5x "crop factor,"
    my particular FAJ is the 35mm equivalent of 42mm-120mm -- hence, I
    lose at wide-angle, but gain at the telephoto end (my preferences,
    actually.) Plus, as one would expect, there's no vignetting to speak

    The ZX-60 kit was a mere $74.89 (on clearance), at a local Shopko
    outlet, back in March, 2006. It even included an excellent carrying
    case, which happens to fit my K100D/lens combo, nicely.

    Thus, altogether, the complete DSLR outfit cost me a paltry $404,
    I'd simply like to add that, the K100D is far superior to the
    entry-level models from Canon and Nikon, in build quality. After
    handling those other brands, in stores, I came to appreciate Pentax's
    apparent dedication to producing rugged and hefty DSLR's.
    Thanks, and same here!

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, Jan 5, 2008
  6. Richard Wrigley

    John Turco Guest

    Andrew MacPherson wrote:

    Hello, Andrew:

    I haven't noticed any noise issues, with my K100D, and I've shot
    exclusively in JPEG.

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, Jan 5, 2008
  7. Richard Wrigley

    John Turco Guest

    Rich wrote:

    Hello, Rich:

    My K100D is built like a tank, so, why shouldn't it be rather heavier
    than corresponding cameras from Nikon? As for Canon, its entry level
    DSLR's seem positively frilly!

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, Jan 5, 2008
  8. Noise as in sound, not noise as in noise! ;-) I've no complaints about
    the actual picture quality.

    Andrew McP
    Andrew MacPherson, Jan 6, 2008
  9. Richard Wrigley

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, Andrew:

    Excuse my inattentiveness, seems I was plagued by a
    momentary "brain outage." :p

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, Jan 16, 2008
  10. I've had a "brain outage" for about 44 years. Only occasional moments of
    lucidity allow me to post here. ;-)

    Andrew McP
    Andrew MacPherson, Jan 17, 2008
  11. Richard Wrigley

    Bruce Lewis Guest

    That cemented in my mind that a Pentax would be my DSLR as soon as the
    price came down. It finally did, and I got a used one! It came with "a
    lens" (40mm), but I'll likely use manual lenses from my K-1000.

    However, to persuade my wife of the usefulness of this camera compared
    to our point-shoot-and-wait camera, I think I should get a better
    autofocus/ autoexposure lens. Any suggestions on where to shop for that
    sort of thing?
    Bruce Lewis, Apr 30, 2008
  12. Richard Wrigley

    Pete D Guest

    For a basic cheap lens the Pentax 18-55 is hard to go past at the price.

    They are available second hand even cheaper, I got one for $70 a year or two


    Pete D, Apr 30, 2008
  13. Richard Wrigley

    John Turco Guest

    Hello, Bruce:

    Where else, but, eBay <>? :)

    Good luck!

    John Turco <>
    John Turco, May 4, 2008
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