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08-06-2007, 06:34 AM   #1
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K100D vs K10D

So I'm going to be buying my first DSLR. I currently use a Pentax ZX-L with a 24-135mm lens. I have narrowed my choices down to the K100D super, K10D and (gasp!) the Olympus E-510. I really don't want jump off the Pentax ship, but I have been thinking about it.

I am a hobbyist/enthusiast who shoots mostly landscape, nature, family, and some action (running and triathlon events).

I like the K100D, its cheap and has a lot of features. I also love the fact that Pentax keeps the info window on the top of the camera. Its a pain in the arse to turn on the LCD screen everytime you want to change settings. The only thing I worry about with the K100D is it is only 6MP. I sometimes end up blowing my shots up to 11x17. Will 6MP be enough for that?

The K10D is a little intimidating to me. It seems like a pro camera and I'm no pro. I really don't see myself needing that many features. Plus I don't like having so many buttons.

I have read that the kit lenses on the olympus are really good. However, if I go Pentax, I was just going to buy the body and then purchase a Sigma 17-70mm. It give me a nice range with a 1:2 macro function. Then I just need to get a fast prime and a nice telephoto zoom.

So can anyone give me some compelling arguments to go with either camera.

Thanks!

08-06-2007, 07:00 AM   #2
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They all take beautiful photos. However, if you like to crop, more megapixels certainly would not hurt.

The K10D may look intimidating, but it is far easier to use then any entry level DSLR. The reason is that you do not have to hunt in the menu systems for common functions. Herbert Kepler wrote an article a few years ago in Popular Photography concerning the low end cameras being harder to use then the higher end cameras. I believe he was comparing two models of the now defunct Minolta line. His point still stands however.

Most pros do not like going into their menus all the time, and neither should anyone to be truthful. The K10D is the easiest camera I have ever used simply because it is simple to press a button when needed. You may find the extra buttons intimidating, but once you get used to it, you may never want to go back to menu hunting.

Just remember, any DSLR can be as complicated or simple as you want it to be. They all have the beginner green mode that turns the camera into a simple point and shoot camera, along with the usual P, AV, TV, M modes etc. Another thing I liked about the K10D (and you may not depending on what you’re looking for), is the lack of those pictorial modes. I never use them on my Canon 20D. I find them a waste of dial space honestly, but I know quite a few people who do like them as it is a carry over from their point and shoot modes. This is your call.

All the cameras you noted are good cameras. Whatever you decide be it Pentax, Olympus or some other brand, be sure to hand hold the body for several minutes and take a few photos. Be sure that the buttons feel comfortable and don't get in the way when your taking photos, etc. You may just find that Pentax has the best feel in the hand of them all though. My Canon 20D feels like a box after I use my fathers K10D. The K100D also has that good feeling in the hands. Don't believe me, be sure to grab a Canon XTi next time your in a photo shop to compare how they feel. I can't say about the Olympus as I have never handled one. I have used Nikons, and there is something about them that I just don't like. Can't quite put my view finder on it either.
08-06-2007, 07:06 AM   #3
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Don't be intimidated by the 10D. Yeah, it has a lot of features, but you can also use it like an expensive point-and-shoot, if you want. So don't worry that the 10D may have more features than you think you may need right now...concentrate more on the price & megapixel question. For what it's worth, one of my co-workers bought a 2-lens Olympus E-510 kit a few months back and he loves it. But he's not really that "into" photography. He just wanted a good camera that will let him take great family/vacation pics and the E-510 does that wonderfully.
08-06-2007, 08:08 AM   #4
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What is the 24-135 lens?

QuoteOriginally posted by runjmb Quote
So I'm going to be buying my first DSLR. I currently use a Pentax ZX-L with a 24-135mm lens. I have narrowed my choices down to the K100D super, K10D and (gasp!) the Olympus E-510. I really don't want jump off the Pentax ship, but I have been thinking about it.

Unless you are going to spend big $$ for the new zooms, buy the K100D and have more money for lenses.

can't find the 24-135 lens listed. Is it a Pentax? Remember it will work on any of the Pentax's.

I am a hobbyist/enthusiast who shoots mostly landscape, nature, family, and some action (running and triathlon events).

The only thing I worry about with the K100D is it is only 6MP. I sometimes end up blowing my shots up to 11x17. Will 6MP be enough for that?

11X17 is no problem for 6 MP.

The K10D is a little intimidating to me. It seems like a pro camera and I'm no pro. I really don't see myself needing that many features. Plus I don't like having so many buttons.

It is a lot easier than it looks.

I have read that the kit lenses on the olympus are really good. However, if I go Pentax, I was just going to buy the body and then purchase a Sigma 17-70mm. It give me a nice range with a 1:2 macro function. Then I just need to get a fast prime and a nice telephoto zoom.

Look at the cost of used Pentax lenses in the range you want before buying new. I'd just use the telephoto zoom you have now until you are sure you need to spend more.

So can anyone give me some compelling arguments to go with either camera.

Thanks!
The K100D, sigma 17-70, your tely, and a used A 50mm f1.7 will be less money than the same combo from Oly. Pick the one that feels best to you and make sure you check the view finder in both.

Congrats on either one you buy.

Regards,
Ken

08-06-2007, 09:09 AM   #5
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Six megapixels is fine for 11x17. If you inspect very closely, you may see a difference -- but at normal viewing distance for that size, it'll be very good. (Not just acceptable. Modern printers can do a very good job at 175dpi.)

When faced with the same decision, I went with the K100D, on the theory that I need the money for lenses (um, and also, my two daughters) right now and will in the future upgrade to a K10D-successor. But there's quite a list of things I definitely miss:
  • bigger, brighter, better viewfinder
  • status line in viewfinder easier to see
  • dual control-wheel dial design -- changing settings on K100D is fiddly even after using it for a while.
  • "hyperprogram" mode
  • P-mode setting which prioritizes the sweet-spot of known lenses
  • user-definable custom modes insted of "scene" settings
  • weather sealing
  • bigger buffer for better continuous shooting
  • kelvin whitebalance adjustment, and tunable presets
  • the nifty thing where you get a preview of your last picture taken when choosing wb settings
  • blinking lowlights on image review
  • SDM (but of course, the Super has that)
  • dust removal, even if it's not stellar (as above)
  • better exposure bracketing options
  • rear curtain sync flash (an annoying omission)
  • tiny but nice: orientation sensor for auto-rotation of images

Last edited by mattdm; 08-06-2007 at 09:37 AM. Reason: added to list :)
08-06-2007, 09:41 AM   #6
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Like you, I debated over 6mp vs 10 mp. I resolved it by being honest with myself as to how serious I was in photography. I'm not . I just want to take lots of good pictures but not great pictures. Therefore, the K100D was perfect for me. I think most of us have a tendency to over buy like people buying a fancy stainless steel stove to mainly boil water with. In the end, if you got the money, go for the top of the line whether you need it or not.
08-06-2007, 09:55 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by runjmb Quote
So I'm going to be buying my first DSLR. I currently use a Pentax ZX-L with a 24-135mm lens. I have narrowed my choices down to the K100D super, K10D and (gasp!) the Olympus E-510. I really don't want jump off the Pentax ship, but I have been thinking about it.
The Olympus seems to be an attractive camera. This is a four-thirds sensor, right? The 2x crop factor of the 4/3 sensor seems to favor shooting long over shooting wide, which might be something to keep in mind. I have a lovely Sigma 10-20mm lens for my K10D that, with the K10D's 1.5x crop factor gives me something like a 35mm film camera using a 15-30mm lens. To get the same thing on a 4/3 camera, you'd have to have an 8-16mm lens. Does Olympus (or one of the other 4/3 manufacturers) make such a lens?

Don't let the marketing of cameras now persuade you that 6 MP is not enough. It's plenty -- and getting a 10 MP camera means that much of the time you'll be storing a LOT more data than you really need.

On the other hand, don't be afraid of the K10D. I've said in this forum before that I think the K10D is actually easier to use than the K100D.

On the third hand, the K10D is still several hundred dollar more expensive than the K100D.

If you already have something invested in Pentax equipment (especially lenses), I personally would stick with Pentax. But if you're free to go with any brand, be sure to investigate the four-thirds sensor carefully and decide if you want to commit to a very new technology. It looks very promising and the future is certainly up for grabs. But going with Pentax you're already going to feel a bit out of the Canon-Nikon mainstream; with the Olympus, I think that will be even more true.

Will

Last edited by WMBP; 08-06-2007 at 11:21 AM. Reason: corrected misspelling
08-06-2007, 11:54 AM   #8
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The K100D can do reds really well with the right settings. 99% of cameras can't, in fact they make a right mess of saturated reds, so I'll be staying with my K100D for a long time I reckon. I've yet to see proof that the K10D or E-510 are in the 1%, they may well be, but I've yet to see evidence.
Sigma 17-70 & K100D


08-06-2007, 11:54 AM   #9
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mp should not be the concern 6- what ever will get the job dun

you have to look at the over all feacher set and how you shoot do you shoot a lot of low light go with the K100D it has less noise and asa 3200, or more out doors where you may get cought in the rain then the K10D is best because it has weather seals ect....

both cameras the hardest thing at first is cutting the packing tape off the box it comes in lol eather camera when you get it is put good baterys in , put the lins on and in 5 min or less your off shooting. just make shore that if your using older lenes that the "using aperture ring" is set on "permitted" it is in the "custom setting" menue
08-06-2007, 01:08 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SteveB Quote
The K100D can do reds really well with the right settings. 99% of cameras can't, in fact they make a right mess of saturated reds, so I'll be staying with my K100D for a long time I reckon. I've yet to see proof that the K10D or E-510 are in the 1%, they may well be, but I've yet to see evidence.
Nothing wrong with the K100D, or the K10D for that matter!

How about this? Just a quick and dirty shot taken a few days ago hand held in my garden.

FA 50 macro, 1/50 sec f8.0, ISO 100, K10D - Raw, Silkypix, resized.



100% crop straight from Silkypix


Last edited by Richard Day; 08-06-2007 at 01:34 PM. Reason: Updated image and added 100% crop
08-06-2007, 02:16 PM   #11
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K10D reds look right as well then. Silkypix helps of course, that's also what I used. Now we need an E-510 example. Saturated reds really do show what a digital camera is capable of, it's where they fall over first.
08-06-2007, 07:23 PM   #12
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Low light performance of K100D vs K10D

I am a beginner in digital photography and have a K100D. On the subject of comparing the two variants, I have read posts mentioning that the K100D is better than the K10D in low light situations - is this true?

I am aware that the highest ISO on the K100D is 3200 vs 1600 for the K10D. Is this the only reason for the comments about the supposed low light superiority of the K100D? At ISO 1600, does the K100 score above the K10?

After a few months with the K100D, I am considering an upgrade to the K10D as I am feeling constrained by having to frequently access the menus on the K100D. In addition to the other pros/cons mentioned above, I was thinking if low-light performance is another differentiator.

Thanks
08-06-2007, 07:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by VAV Quote
I am a beginner in digital photography and have a K100D. On the subject of comparing the two variants, I have read posts mentioning that the K100D is better than the K10D in low light situations - is this true?
I had a K100D for a couple months before I upgraded to the K10D. While there MAY be some truth to the claim that the K100D does a better job at iso 400 or 800 than the K10D, the difference is, in my opinion, not dramatic. I do a fair bit of low-light, no-flash photography (some of it indoor sports) and I have found that the K10D's advantages far outweigh its disadvantages. Here for example is a shot taken with the K10D at iso 800. Here is another at 1600. They aren't prize winners, but they're hardly unusable. Note that both of those photos were taken with the Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 lens wide open.

Will
08-06-2007, 08:02 PM   #14
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QuoteQuote:
I think most of us have a tendency to over buy like people buying a fancy stainless steel stove to mainly boil water with.
I have not used a stove in 9 years. All microwave - the P&S of cooking.
08-06-2007, 08:23 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I had a K100D for a couple months before I upgraded to the K10D. While there MAY be some truth to the claim that the K100D does a better job at iso 400 or 800 than the K10D, the difference is, in my opinion, not dramatic. I do a fair bit of low-light, no-flash photography (some of it indoor sports) and I have found that the K10D's advantages far outweigh its disadvantages. Here for example is a shot taken with the K10D at iso 800. Here is another at 1600. They aren't prize winners, but they're hardly unusable. Note that both of those photos were taken with the Pentax FA 50mm f/1.4 lens wide open.

Will
Thanks a lot Will - that helps! I find your posts to be very informative and your comments on the K100 and K10 on various threads were particularly useful.

Regards
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