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05-17-2009, 05:00 AM   #1
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DSLR Megapixel Query

I have been using film for several years. Got into photography as a neat hobby and I really enjoy it. I have acquired many Pentax and Ricoh cameras and many screw mount and K-mount lenses. I have been seriously considering getting a DSLR. I want to stay with Pentax to continue using all my lenses; however I have a nagging question I need help with.

I do not want to spend the money for the K200D, K10D or even the K2000. Not that they aren't worth it, I just really don't want to spend that money, at least right now. On the other hand, I think I can swing the dough for one of the used 6.1 megapixel models. I guess my questions are; why would anyone get a 6.1 megapixel anything? Can you get superb pictures (blown up, cropped, etc.) using these cameras? Is the limited megapixels low enough to take away from the digital experience? Should I just wait and save my money for one of the 10 megapixel models? When I look at the price differences it really isn't that great. I don't mean to be insulting to those who have the 6.1 megapixel cameras; I am just trying to weight my alternatives. Thanks in advance.

05-17-2009, 05:26 AM   #2
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Me think that pixel count is only one part of the equation. Newer cameras do not only have more pixel, but better technology bundled in (better processing, better light handling, better focus speed and accuracy, ...)

In you case, if you feel you don't need to climb that "technological step", just be happy and buy what you want. The 6mp camera will do fine; and will let you learn dslr-ing without have to spend large amount of money.
05-17-2009, 06:59 AM   #3
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I still use an original *istD for some work. The 6mp cameras are fine as long as you don't need the enlargability of the higher pixel count cameras, and in the case of the *istD, can live with the slow operation of the camera (write speeds are very slow).
05-17-2009, 07:59 AM   #4
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I have the 10mp (K10D) and 14mp (K20D) cameras you speak of... but only use them for paid shoots, or if it's raining (weathersealing ). However, my everyday cameras for personal use are both 6mp models... the K100D and an Epson RD-1. Sure the IQ of the K20D trumps both, but I find the "look" of these older models quite distinctive and appealing to me... besides, their RAW files are much smaller and thus eat up less space on my hard drive, and for personal photos, I don't print larger than 8x10 anyway.

05-17-2009, 09:33 AM   #5

The question that you need to ask your self is. What am I going to be using the camera for?

If it's for personal use, 6 Mp is fine. If you going to want to sell any of your shoots you will find it a bit limiting. But not imposable.

I've got a K20D but that's because I sell my work. I have got a Canon 300D 6.1 Mp camera that is old, really old. It's nearly 10 years old but it's still a good camera that takes good photos. I have also sold some of the photos I've taken with the Canon, I've also sold some photos I've taken with my p&s digital (7.1 Mp).

So it depends on what your going to use the camera for. Hope this helps.
05-17-2009, 10:09 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by scimitar12 Quote
On the other hand, I think I can swing the dough for one of the used 6.1 megapixel models. I guess my questions are; why would anyone get a 6.1 megapixel anything? Can you get superb pictures (blown up, cropped, etc.) using these cameras?
Six million is a lot 30002000 lets you print 30"20" at reasonable quality, or else quite a bit a room for cropping for smaller sizes.

If you haven't seen this, you should:
05-17-2009, 12:35 PM   #7

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Get what you can afford:
View the following:
PDLanum Images
and here:
PENTAX Photo Gallery
Taken with a *istDs and blown up to 20x30 using Costco printing. Right now it is on my dinning room table because we broke the glass in the frame we bought for it. Otherwise it hangs in my wife's office as her "happy place" to drift off too when things get bad.
Print is beautiful - 6.1MP will do what you want for starters. If you can get a *istDx or a K10x (not the K10D which is 10MP) for a really good price - go for it. If you can get a K10D for a good price --- go for it, the greater flexibility of two e-wheels is a major advantage as is SR.

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL
05-17-2009, 01:39 PM   #8
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Original Poster
Great photos and advice; thanks everyone. The best advice was to consider what I intend to do with the camera and pictures. Thiis just to enjoy as a hobby; nothing professional. I too read the article on the megapixel hype. Anayway it sounds like from a useage and cost standpoint the earlier 6.1 megapixels would be more reasonable for someone like me to acquire.

05-17-2009, 02:18 PM   #9
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I am in the same boat as you trying not to spend as much as I really want.
Eventually, I know I will upgrade to a newer model (expensive) DSLR, but for now after also a lot of consultation about the *ist D series of DSLR's, I know that they will suffice.
If you still would want to be sure that the 6.1MP DSLR's are sufficient enough for your needs...go to "" and type on the searchbar the camera (ist DS, K100D, K110, K100D super) you would want to see which photos it took.
There are some photos that would let you download or see the full res pix.
What you should ask next is which of the 6.1mp pentax DSLR's will you choose?
Each one has something lacking of the other.
I guess it was how pentax made them...always compromising on something.
*ist D uses Compact Flash memory cards and only has a 1.8 inch LCD, but has a pentaprism viewfinder, only one of the 6.1mp that has 2 e-wheels and a flash x-sync socket.
*ist DS uses SD cards, has pentaprism, 2 inch LCD, but no x-sync socket.
*ist DL has 2.5 inch LCD but has penta-MIRROR viewfinder but only 3 AF points.
K110D has 11 AF points but penta-mirror also and no SR (shake reduction)
K100D has shake reduction but pentamirror also and a 2.5" LCD.
As of me, I'm looking for the rare and elusive *ist DS2!
I hope you find what you would want to use! Enjoy the hobby!
05-17-2009, 03:18 PM   #10
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Sometimes less megapixels can actually be better. I own the ist DS and the K20D, until very recently I also owned the K10D. I've found the DS to be a better very low light camera than the K10D. B4 I got the K20D, if I was going to take dawn, dusk or nightime shots, I'd grab the DS, not the K10D. There is a lot less noise on the DS. I've been told that pixel density is an important specification to consider. After a certain point more pixels just means more noise at low light levels.

NaCl(the DS is still an excellent camera that can give excellent results)H2O
05-17-2009, 06:26 PM   #11
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I have a 60" diagonal print from a 4MP Olympus E-10 hanging on my wall right now. Picking up a used *ist will get you into digital. Problem is that you'll soon want something faster with more features (if not more MP) and you'll be dumping the *ist for a newer camera. I'd go with at least a K10D for a longer term investment. B&H has a used kit for $500 right now.
05-18-2009, 02:35 AM   #12
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I have a K100D Super and regularly print sharp A3+ photos (13"x19"). There's plenty to learn (my instruction manual is nearly worn out) and with care and deliberation you can take shots that are exhibitable quality. Recently I took some of my stuff to friends who own a gallery and their complimentary comments were enough to persuade me that I don't need to spend the bank-busting amount I was about to on an upgrade. Yes, I'd love a K20, for the extra flexibility if I wanted to get poster-size prints and make the absolute best of my lenses, but I think the K100 more than holds its own for the level of work I'm doing at present. I think you'd be well served with a 6MP camera.
05-18-2009, 10:36 AM   #13
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I've got a K100D, and it is capable of photo quality beyond my skills I have printed images at 11x14 and gotten fine results. They're not quite as sharp as they could have been from a K20, but there is certainly nothing wrong with them. I am like you, in that it's a hobby and my own enjoyment. I do find that the SR can be incredibly useful, so I'd look for either the K100D or the Super (but that's just me, the other models take fine pictures too).

Just because higher-end technology exists, doesn't mean you need it I figure I can get by just fine with my existing kit.

05-18-2009, 10:40 AM   #14
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I will second the last two posts. With my K100DS i have taken several 8x10 prints that hang up around my house. I love my little camera!
05-18-2009, 11:12 AM   #15
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6 Mp is enough for a magazine cover according to George Lepp.

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