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01-23-2012, 08:07 AM   #1
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Image quality: K10D vs. K100D

Hey all.

My friend is looking for a cheap Pentax DSLR (this'll be his 1st DSLR) and I've run across a K10D about $50 above his budget, but I'm toying with the idea of buying the K10D for me & selling my friend the K100D at a price he can afford.

I know about the specs of the K10D, the MP, weather sealing, body controls, etc. and that's all well & good, but image quality is my main concern... So I have 2 questions:

1) How's the JPG image quality compared to the K100D? (I use both RAW & JPG depending on what I'm doing.)

2) How is the noise levels at higher ISOs comapred to the K100D?

Basically, I'm trying to decide if it's worth $50 to me for the "upgrade", or whether it's more of a lateral move.

Bobbo :-)

01-23-2012, 09:14 AM   #2
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All I can say is that the K10D and the K200D share the same sensor and you will find a lot of happy K200D owners IQ-wise in this forum (myself definitely included). If I recall correctly, the K100D has an ISO span of 200-3200 while the K10D and K200D have ISO 100-1600. Based upon my experiences with 6MP sensors (*ist DL - also ISO 200-3200) I don't think you will experience much of a "loss" by going from K100D to K10D in regards of high ISO.

There is no doubt that the K10D was/is a very capable camera that won several prices. But what I like (and others don't) is that cameras like K100D and K200D use ordinary AA cells and you can also find ac adapters for them easily. The K10D needs proprietary lithium batteries or copies thereof and a very hard to find K-AC50 AC adapter.

So, IQ-wise I wouldn't hesitate with the upgrade. Regarding the other features, the K10D is no doubt more advanced but also more "demanding" in respect of accessories.
01-23-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Stone G. Quote
But what I like (and others don't) is that cameras like K100D and K200D use ordinary AA cells and you can also find ac adapters for them easily.
Yeah, I rather like that the K100D uses AAs as well. On the plus side, the batteries are available for less than $10, and the battery charger is around $10-$15. (not the AC adapter, but just a standalone charger for that particular battery.)

You're right about the ISO ranges. With the K100D, I rarely shoot above ISO800 anyway because of noise. With my K-x, I get very good results all the way to ISO1600.

I dunno... still chewing on it.
01-23-2012, 10:53 AM   #4
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The K10D and K200D share the same sensor, but different electronics - in particular, the way the A/D converter works - and the K10D's system is not as good at high ISO. The bottom line is that the while the K200D can do slightly *better* than the K100D at high ISO, the K10D generally does slightly worse. Sometimes, you get a "banding" effect that is difficult to impossible to remove in PP.

No need to just guess here, though - go to the Imaging resource web site and check out the samples. They do a decent job of shooting the same scene under fairly controlled conditions at each ISO setting on each camera they test. You won't find anything there to contradict what I just said, though - mostly, you'll see in semi- real world terms what the differences actually look like.

So if your primary use is shooting at ISO 1600, I wouldn't switch. And of course, the K10D is much bigger and heavier, and takes proprietary Li-Ion batteries (both are either better or worse depending on your perspective). But in all other respects, the K10D is the better camera by far.

01-23-2012, 11:32 AM   #5
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Hey Marc.

Thanks for the helpful info. The bells and whistles aren't that important to me... It's the image quality that counts. After checking out the results at imaging resource, it looks like at ISO1600, the differences aren't that large between the two, and when you resize the K10D's 10MP image down to 6MP, the K10D's image, even at ISO1600 looks sharper because of the higher resolution.

I always shoot at the lowest possible ISO that will allow me to get the shot, and with the K100D, ISO800 is my normal max. (1600 on the K-x.) With that in mind, it looks like the K10D might be a little bump in performance (except in very low light) over the K100D, so I might jump on it.

The battery thing doesn't really bug me since the K10D's battery is available for about the same price as a set of eneloops. Plus, maybe I can grab a battery grip sometime to squeeze out a few extra shots. The K10D's looking like a possibility.

My K-x is still my #1 camera, tho.

Bobbo :-)

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