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09-15-2006, 10:16 PM   #1
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New member w/ some questions about the K100/K10D

Hello everyone

I'm new to DSLR's and I have been using a KM 5D for 5 months so far and I have started to lose faith since the Sony takeover. I just don't think it bodes well for us KM users in terms of warranty/repair service.

Anyhow. I was eyeing the Olym e-500 until I stumbed over Pop. Photo's current issue w/ a article about Pentax's new K100 w/ anti-shake.

Needless to say I'm pretty intrigued since I love KM's AS (the reason why I went w/ KM over Nik/Can). So I have a few questions for any K100 owners out there:

1. What are the best batteries to get? Do you guys use rechargables? If so, do you us NiMh type? No other battery options are there, correct?

2. Since I am new to the DSLR world, Pentax is not a brand I know at all. How are they in terms of honoring warranties and the quality control of their products and repair service? One of the things that is making me want to jump ship from KM (although i'm a noob w/ KM) is the fact I'm hearing so many bad things from other KM users (notably on the Dyxum.com forums) about sending their camera's to Sony and the problem not being fixed. Or the A-100 buyers having to send their camera's back after a month, dusty sensors from un-opened cameras, etc etc. I'm just not at all convinced that Sony is going to take care of me in the event my 5D decides to go nuts. (shutter-lock is the only issue KM's seem to be having)

Whew. So how's the reliability of Pentax DSLR's so far? Everyone happy? No serious design flaws? I'm a college student and photography is my field of study so I want a sturdy camera that will last me a good 4 yrs or so. I may hold out for the K10D.. if all goes well.


Thanks for any insight. I do plan on trying one out at the local camera shop this weekend to get a feel for it.

Oh if it helps anyone, I do a lot of car racing photography (any comments on AF speed and burst rates would be appreciated), so I do mostly outdoor stuff and low-light situations. Not a whole lot of indoor.

09-16-2006, 03:31 AM   #2
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Hi skydragoness, welcome to the forums.
QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
1. What are the best batteries to get? Do you guys use rechargables? If so, do you us NiMh type? No other battery options are there, correct?
CRV3 Lithium batteries are probably the "best" in the terms of amount of acutations (personally got almost 1000 shots) and AF speed - but they can be costly. On lithium AA's, I got about 700+ shots - good thing about them is you can leave the batteries in the camera for a while and they won't deplete. With rechargeable NiMH AA I got about 500+ - although they do lose charge, they're very cost effecitve.

QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
2. Since I am new to the DSLR world, Pentax is not a brand I know at all. How are they in terms of honoring warranties and the quality control of their products and repair service? One of the things that is making me want to jump ship from KM (although i'm a noob w/ KM) is the fact I'm hearing so many bad things from other KM users (notably on the Dyxum.com forums) about sending their camera's to Sony and the problem not being fixed. Or the A-100 buyers having to send their camera's back after a month, dusty sensors from un-opened cameras, etc etc. I'm just not at all convinced that Sony is going to take care of me in the event my 5D decides to go nuts. (shutter-lock is the only issue KM's seem to be having)
I have no personal experience with their repair/warranty service (new to Pentax/haven't had any problems) but overall, most people seem to like their service. I'll let those with experience chime in. Keep in mind however that service between Europe and US will be different.

QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
Whew. So how's the reliability of Pentax DSLR's so far? Everyone happy? No serious design flaws? I'm a college student and photography is my field of study so I want a sturdy camera that will last me a good 4 yrs or so. I may hold out for the K10D.. if all goes well.
I'm extremely happy with my purchase and it has worked flawlessly from day one. The DS I have is very ergonomic and intuitive to use.

QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
Oh if it helps anyone, I do a lot of car racing photography (any comments on AF speed and burst rates would be appreciated), so I do mostly outdoor stuff and low-light situations. Not a whole lot of indoor.
I'm also into motorsport photography. As you may probably know, Pentax really isn't suited for this category (due to lens choices) - however, it can be done. Check out my post here for some photos with my Sigma 24-135mm f/2.8-4.5. AF speed is average (with that lens), so I ended up using manual focus - with a little practice, it's not too bad. I was very satisfied with burst rate; I was able to get 5 continous shots (RAW, using SanDisk Ultra 1GB) before the buffer filled, which is 1 more than my brother's D50

Hope that helps.
09-16-2006, 03:58 AM   #3
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Some Questions

Good Morning Skydradoness:
I want to welcome you to the forum. It's always good to have new members. To answer some of your questions about Pentax and put your mind at ease, I will start out with this. I have been a Pentax user of over 40 years. In the last two years I switched to DSLR. My first and only choice was Pentax. I didn't have the money to buy the istD but when they introduced the DL I snatched it up. I have been very satisfied with this camera as well. I have had no major problems and have very few small ones either. A problem with a focus screen (I caused) and some Dust on the sensor I couldn't blow off.

I was able to talk to Pentax service and customer service, and I must say these people realy care about their customers. They have been very helpful and their service reps told me exactly what they would do and how much it would cost, at the time I called them. they never give you an exact date yu will get the camera back, but they do their very best to get it fixed right and back to you in a short period of time.

When I called them about a mounth ago I was informed There was a new Pentax service certified repair shop right here in Lancaster, PA, Aplace called Perfict Image. Not even 3 miles from the house. (I could visit my beloved istDL while In the shop) LOL. there was only one problem with teh repair and that was caused by UPS. (THEY LOST MY PART Twice) but other then that I had the camera back in 4 working days. Pentax service and warenties are very good.

If you decide on the K100D or wait for the K10D Know this, they are new cameras and like anything else there are a few that have problems. If you get one and have a problem right away you can call service and send the camera to them, and they will either fix it, or give you a new one. Same with your place of purchase. In Del. I would recomend Cutler Camera. they are good people to do business with. (thats where I bought my DL).

Good shooting
David

Ps. There is a forum Member shoot (FALL COLORS SHOOT) Oct. 21st in Gettysburg PA. You are here by invited to join and meet some of the regional members from PA. DEL. NJ. MD. VA. Good times and great area to shoot. Hope to see you there. (Meeting Place and time will be anounced with in this week)
09-16-2006, 04:57 AM   #4
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I have recently ordered a K100D and haven't received it yet, but I can tell you that Pentax is one of the grand names in photography/optics. I hope this helps put your mind at ease with respect to Pentax's standing in the industry.

09-16-2006, 07:26 AM - 1 Like   #5
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Such fast replies!

Toshifumi:
So are those lithium batteries I assum are non-rechargeable? I have no qualms carry around a few sets of rechargeable batteries at an event. Before I got my KM, I had a KM prosumer p&s that ate batteries at car events so I'm used to it. From what I've read the K100 doesn't have a battery grip for it?


Checked out your link. Beautiful shots! The color and sharpness are superb compared to my Tamron 28-300 Di and that thing was $250 when i got it ( i think orig. 350). Just gorgeous colors!

Are there more 3rd party lens choices that you would recommend for motorsports that have good AF speed? I tend to use manual focus myself for accuracy when I'm taking a photo of something that's not moving too much, but some motor-sports.. like drifting it's absolutely impossible.

Here's a pic I managed at a Drift event in Virginia (I was at 300mm at this shot, tiny 10ft space between a chain link fence I had to shoot thru from the stands):
http://nissaninfiniticlub.net/photopost/data/500/19623JEdrift6.jpg

PhotoTramp:
So great to have a local member chime in! I actually live in Hockessin, so I'm about 40min away from you. Thanks a lot for the camera shop recommendation. Do you know by chance if they are open on Sundays?

Yeah, I know about the whole new product rule and the potential for problems, but I really wanted to know what repair and customer service was like. You speak highly of them and it appears Pentax feels strongly about their customers. (Lots of KM people can't say this of Sony)

I will be going to Virginia International Raceway the first-weekend in Oct so I plan to hang on to my KM for a few more months while I decide. I am not a brand-whore and I think all entry-DSLR brands currently offered have their pro's and con's but Can/Nik are just companies I can't get into. Maybe because they're so mainstream and I always liked smaller, more personable companies.

Great to meet you guys, and thanks for the swift replies.

Edit: Phototramp; I went to call up Cutler camera and their phonelines are disconnected---did they go out of business? I tried calling the one in Concord Mall (got an old lady's ans. machine) and the one in Branmar Plaza/Arden said the # was disconnected.

Last edited by skydragoness; 09-16-2006 at 07:59 AM.
09-16-2006, 08:10 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
Toshifumi:
So are those lithium batteries I assum are non-rechargeable? I have no qualms carry around a few sets of rechargeable batteries at an event. Before I got my KM, I had a KM prosumer p&s that ate batteries at car events so I'm used to it. From what I've read the K100 doesn't have a battery grip for it?
The lithiums are indeed one-time use. They're great to have as backups since you can carry them in your camera bag over long periods of time without worrying about them depleting like rechargeables do.

QuoteQuote:
Checked out your link. Beautiful shots! The color and sharpness are superb compared to my Tamron 28-300 Di and that thing was $250 when i got it ( i think orig. 350). Just gorgeous colors!

Are there more 3rd party lens choices that you would recommend for motorsports that have good AF speed?
Thanks for the compliments! The one thing I noticed and like about Pentax is that their lenses (and 3rd party lenses) are relatively cheap compared to Canon and Nikon and perform just as well, if not better. As for 3rd party lens recommendations, I've just got into the Pentax system so I currently don't have much experience with 3rd party lenses for the Pentax. The fast Sigma's seem to get good reviews however.

QuoteQuote:
I tend to use manual focus myself for accuracy when I'm taking a photo of something that's not moving too much, but some motor-sports.. like drifting it's absolutely impossible.
For those F1 shots, all were taken with manual focus. I felt the AF just wasn't fast and accurate enough for me in those conditions. Although I have yet to shoot a drifting event, I'm sure with practice manually focused shots are feasible.

QuoteQuote:
Here's a pic I managed at a Drift event in Virginia (I was at 300mm at this shot, tiny 10ft space between a chain link fence I had to shoot thru from the stands):
http://nissaninfiniticlub.net/photopost/data/500/19623JEdrift6.jpg
Great pic under the circumstances - I was thinking of picking up the 5D before picking up the DS. It's good to see another fan of motorsport photography - don't see many among Pentax users.
09-16-2006, 08:24 AM   #7
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Welcome.
I have had the *istD since October 2003. I have dragged it all around the Northern Hemisphere and never had any problems with it.

Initially I used rechargeable NiMH batteries and they do last for several hundred shots as per the post above. I charged them in the evening and went out with a fresh charge every morning so that I didn't have to change batteries in the field.

Now I use the one-time-use Energizer Lithium. They seem to last forever, I haven't counted the number of shots, but one set took me through a two week vacation and then some. The bonus is that you don't have to carry a charger and fiddle with the different power outlets in different countries.
09-16-2006, 04:33 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
Toshifumi:
So are those lithium batteries I assum are non-rechargeable? I have no qualms carry around a few sets of rechargeable batteries at an event. Before I got my KM, I had a KM prosumer p&s that ate batteries at car events so I'm used to it. From what I've read the K100 doesn't have a battery grip for it?


Checked out your link. Beautiful shots! The color and sharpness are superb compared to my Tamron 28-300 Di and that thing was $250 when i got it ( i think orig. 350). Just gorgeous colors!

Are there more 3rd party lens choices that you would recommend for motorsports that have good AF speed? I tend to use manual focus myself for accuracy when I'm taking a photo of something that's not moving too much, but some motor-sports.. like drifting it's absolutely impossible.

Here's a pic I managed at a Drift event in Virginia (I was at 300mm at this shot, tiny 10ft space between a chain link fence I had to shoot thru from the stands):
http://nissaninfiniticlub.net/photopost/data/500/19623JEdrift6.jpg

PhotoTramp:
So great to have a local member chime in! I actually live in Hockessin, so I'm about 40min away from you. Thanks a lot for the camera shop recommendation. Do you know by chance if they are open on Sundays?

Yeah, I know about the whole new product rule and the potential for problems, but I really wanted to know what repair and customer service was like. You speak highly of them and it appears Pentax feels strongly about their customers. (Lots of KM people can't say this of Sony)

I will be going to Virginia International Raceway the first-weekend in Oct so I plan to hang on to my KM for a few more months while I decide. I am not a brand-whore and I think all entry-DSLR brands currently offered have their pro's and con's but Can/Nik are just companies I can't get into. Maybe because they're so mainstream and I always liked smaller, more personable companies.

Great to meet you guys, and thanks for the swift replies.

Edit: Phototramp; I went to call up Cutler camera and their phonelines are disconnected---did they go out of business? I tried calling the one in Concord Mall (got an old lady's ans. machine) and the one in Branmar Plaza/Arden said the # was disconnected.
Hi Skydragoness:
I would be very supprised if they closed. I know the one here at Parkcity Lancaster is still open and they are open Sundays for sure from 12 to 5pm. and their main store is in DEL (but I don't know where.) When I talked to Jim at Cutler the other day he said they had 8 locations in DEL and PA. I'll give him a call right now and see if I can get the locations and phone numbers for you.
David

09-16-2006, 04:50 PM   #9
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Hi Guys

Count me in as a Pentax Motorsports shooter.

BK

BTW I use NIMH batterys 90 % of the time. But i also Carry a spare set of CRV3, just in case
09-16-2006, 04:50 PM   #10
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Hi Skydragoness:
Cutler camera main store is in horsham Pa. 314 Horsham Rd. Phone # 1-800-220-5727. there is a Delaware Photography(cutler camera) 1812 Marsh RD. suite 403 Arden DE Phone # 1-302-475-3303. In Wilmington there are 2 locations 4737 Concord Pike Phone 1-302-478-0505 and the other one listed is Braemor PL. Wilmington DE. Phone 1-302-475-3303. If you can't get anyof these then the closest is Parkcity Lancaster.

I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck. I know Parkcity cutler has the K100D in stock and will let you play with it. They are good People.

Good Shooting.
Cheers: David
09-16-2006, 05:13 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photo Tramp Quote
Hi Skydragoness:
Cutler camera main store is in horsham Pa. 314 Horsham Rd. Phone # 1-800-220-5727. there is a Delaware Photography(cutler camera) 1812 Marsh RD. suite 403 Arden DE Phone # 1-302-475-3303. In Wilmington there are 2 locations 4737 Concord Pike Phone 1-302-478-0505 and the other one listed is Braemor PL. Wilmington DE. Phone 1-302-475-3303. If you can't get anyof these then the closest is Parkcity Lancaster.

I hope this helps and wish you the best of luck. I know Parkcity cutler has the K100D in stock and will let you play with it. They are good People.

Good Shooting.
Cheers: David

Wow, thanks again for the help. I called all those DE locations and I got 'disconnected'.. i guess I dialed them wrong? Very strange, I guess I'll just have to check them out and see. Thanks for the tips.

Hmm, depending on how much I can get for my 5D and the two lenses I will try and go for the K10D.

Phototramp: Do you think the AF not being accurate/fast enough when you were shooting F1 (pretty hard to do I think unless you have those $10k lenses) is because of the lens itself or the camera?

Ok. I think I'm done my pestering. I'll check one out tommorow or Monday if I can.

Thanks again for all your help guys!
09-16-2006, 08:06 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
Wow, thanks again for the help. I called all those DE locations and I got 'disconnected'.. i guess I dialed them wrong? Very strange, I guess I'll just have to check them out and see. Thanks for the tips.

Hmm, depending on how much I can get for my 5D and the two lenses I will try and go for the K10D.

Phototramp: Do you think the AF not being accurate/fast enough when you were shooting F1 (pretty hard to do I think unless you have those $10k lenses) is because of the lens itself or the camera?

Ok. I think I'm done my pestering. I'll check one out tommorow or Monday if I can.

Thanks again for all your help guys!
Hi Skydragoness:
Never a problem and I'm always willing to help (if I can), and I will try to answer your questions.
I own the istDL and will soon be upgrading to the K10D, as soon as it gets to the stores. Your question about the AF being fast enough without using a $10,000.00 lens I think can be explained with this comment. the DL has 3 (count em 3) AF points and not great for the action shots you want to take so I wouldn't recomend a DL for you. However the AF points on the K100D are 11 AF points and a larger buffer. This allows the camera to focus faster and get a more accurate focus in good light. the K10D has 11 AF points also, and the buffer is bigger yet. You will easly be able to take your action shots with either the K100D or the K10D.
Your lens selection is also important. For Action shots in Motor sports I would say A good fast 200mm to 400mm lens wouldbe the best. However I have seen some very impressive pictures taken of motor sports action with the DA 50-200mm Pentax and again this is defined by your light and how close you can get to your subject. Focal length and f stops and ISO speed are about 60% of your equasion.
With the SR function on the K100D and K10D the use of a longer focal langth and a slower ISO setting will give you up to 4 extra stops and shutter speed as low as 1/20 hand held at Iso 1600 are not unheard of and the shots come out spot on in focus.
Hope this helps.
Good Shooting.
Cheers: David
09-16-2006, 08:21 PM   #13
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Wow. Well the only thing (before I go look at it tommorow) about the K100D that I already know I don't like so-much is the whole AA thing and the 4mp difference compared to the K10D ( I know, that mp isn't that important, but I plan on keeping the next DSLR I buy for a very long time). Well I just have to say I'm very excited about what Pentax is offering.

One last question: Doesn't Pentax have a sister DSLR? Is it the Panasonic DSLR that just came out or is it the Samsung? Can't remember who's associated with who.
09-16-2006, 11:11 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
Wow. Well the only thing (before I go look at it tommorow) about the K100D that I already know I don't like so-much is the whole AA thing and the 4mp difference compared to the K10D ( I know, that mp isn't that important, but I plan on keeping the next DSLR I buy for a very long time). Well I just have to say I'm very excited about what Pentax is offering.

One last question: Doesn't Pentax have a sister DSLR? Is it the Panasonic DSLR that just came out or is it the Samsung? Can't remember who's associated with who.
Yes the Samsung GX1s is basically the same camera as the Pentax K110D (no shake reduction system) "Panasonic's sister" is Leica.
09-17-2006, 03:52 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
Wow. Well the only thing (before I go look at it tommorow) about the K100D that I already know I don't like so-much is the whole AA thing and the 4mp difference compared to the K10D


IMHO, the 4 mp difference btwn the 10d and 100d means 2 things:

1. More room to crop. Not that important if you crop before pressing the shutter button.

2. In all probability, more noise at higher ISO, given the sensor size is the same. We'll know more about this possible issue when the 10d hits the streets.

But this is just my opinion, and I could be wrong.
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