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06-21-2008, 06:45 PM   #1
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Cheap Backup Camera, *istDS/DL vs. K100D, etc

In lieu of my K10D being shipped off to Pentax for memory card issues, I was thinking I could've bought a back up camera a long time ago so I wouldn't be in the pickle I am in now. I am taking my last photo class at my university, and luckily it's a directed study class so its flexible.

So I was reading about the older *ist series cameras and the K100D and I was wondering ...

does the K100's viewfinder just as bright as the DS? From what I've read is that the DS is very bright and useful for people who manually focus and use manual focus lenses (i.e. older glass). I have a handful of old manual lenses and thought this would be a plus. Also, how is the high ISO reproduction on the K100D? I don't understand why it goes up to 3200 and the K10D does not. Kind of weird...

Anyway, I'm leaning towards the K100 for the SR but any thoughts from people who have had DS's is much appreciated! I'm just trying to see which has the better image quality.

06-21-2008, 07:46 PM   #2
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I've had both the DS and the K100 (still have the K100). Until I bought a K10 I used to use both interchangeably. I kept the manual focus A*300 on the K100 because of the SR, with a wide angle on the DS. Otherwise, I didn't see all that much difference between the two cameras, including the viewfinder. Some think that there's quite a bit of difference, but I found the K100 not much different when it comes to manual focus.

I do sometimes regret selling the DS when I bought the K10 - the DS is lighter than the K100 and would be easier to carry with the K10/K20.

The K10 uses a sensor that has more noise than the 6 mp one in the DS/K100. If they had tried to put ISO 3200 on the K10, everyone would complain about the noise. If you have an underexposed ISO 1600 shot taken with the K10 - try pushing the exposure lighter and see how quickly the noise gets out of hand.
06-21-2008, 10:14 PM   #3
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Yeah I noticed the noise on the K10 gets pretty pronounced around 800.

So no difference in viewfinders between the DS and K100? Cool, I'll lean towards the K100, I'm looking at a used one online and it's only $50 more than a used DS. The K100 is probably still lighter than the K10 right? Or does it have the same metal/alloy type body as well? I don't really mind, as this will be my backup camera. The K100 still uses AA's right?
06-22-2008, 12:05 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by skydragoness Quote
does the K100's viewfinder just as bright as the DS?
I had both for a long time. What I can say is the DS is larger for the image in finder but it is not brighter, i.e., the K100D is slightly brighter.

QuoteQuote:
From what I've read is that the DS is very bright and useful for people who manually focus and use manual focus lenses (i.e. older glass).
It is larger and with a little bit more matte texture and MF is easier.

QuoteQuote:
Also, how is the high ISO reproduction on the K100D?
Good if you shoot RAW up to ISO 800 but not jpegs.

QuoteQuote:
I don't understand why it goes up to 3200 and the K10D does not. Kind of weird...
Just because the K10D is simply too noisy. You will start to see obvious grains at ISO 400 at shadow areas or when the pic is underexposed.

QuoteQuote:
Anyway, I'm leaning towards the K100 for the SR but any thoughts from people who have had DS's is much appreciated! I'm just trying to see which has the better image quality.
The K100D is the most matured DSLR of Pentax using the same 6M sensor. And, its AF is more accurate too. In fact, I bought my K100D to replace my DS.

06-22-2008, 02:48 PM   #5
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Hey thanks RiceHigh! That helps me out a bunch. I'll go w/ the K100D, I've had the K10D for a while and am surprised by the noise as well. Is this just the case for 10mp sensors and affects the K200 and K20D as well? Generally I went for the K10 for the faster AF and fps (not by much) but it helps with the car photography I usually do.
06-22-2008, 04:45 PM   #6
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Skydragoness, the noise issue with the K10D begins with the Sony 10MP CCD sensor, also used in the K200D. The 6MP CCD sensors used in the K1xxD series and earlier are less susceptible to high ISO noise since the photosites can be larger (fewer photosites for the same sensor area=better light collecting ability, resulting in better signal to noise ratios).

The K20D sensor is a 14.6MP CMOS type developed by Samsung and Pentax; even though its photosites are smaller yet, the CMOS electrical characteristics help improve the signal to noise ratio, as does the newer design of microlenses over each photosite. Pentax/Samsung took advantage of the newer sensor's capabilities to balance higher resolution against the noise potential of smaller photosites in the K20D's design. A nice trade-off, judging from the K20D pictures I've seen posted here and elsewhere.
06-22-2008, 06:21 PM   #7
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Another body you might consider is a K100D Super. It has the dust sensor and SDM capability, if you think you might get into the SDM lenses. I've thought about this one as a backup to my K10D, as well.

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06-22-2008, 06:22 PM   #8
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Aside from the non standard CF memory card (but you can get an SD to CF adaptor, I would go for the origonal *istD.

Why???

If you have a K10D the dual thumb wheel controls make the transition easy.

My other suggestion, would be the DS.

The reason is the ability of these cameras to do TTL flash. THis means you can use older lenses (K and M42) and still do flash photography.

ALso the *istD meters better with old lenses than the K10D. As a back up SR is not as important as doing something different.

06-23-2008, 10:40 AM   #9
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I have a K100D and an *ist DS and I think you would probably be happy with either, although the K100D is probably the "better" of the two since it does have SR.
My only complaint against my K100D is that I usually run out of battery power after 100 or so exposures, when my *ist DS can chug along for probably two to three times that number of exposures. Other than that they both have a great deal to recommend to them. They're both smaller and lighter than the K10D, in fact, I have the *ist DS and a 35mm lens in my jacket pocket right now.
You have to figure though, that the K100D Super has SR and SDM support, and it's still available new if you want a new one, and even a used one shouldn't be terribly old.
Another option(if you don't insist on SR and SDM) is the K110D, which was essentially the K100D w/o SR, and some slightly different cosmetics.

I really like the *ist D as well, so it was my first choice when I went looking for an "inexpensive" used body(which resulted in the *ist DS purchase), but I could never seem to get one for what I considered a reasonable price. The ones I found usually ended up being $400 or more. I didn't even pay that for my brand new K100D.
06-23-2008, 10:56 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by brothereye Quote
I really like the *ist D as well, so it was my first choice when I went looking for an "inexpensive" used body(which resulted in the *ist DS purchase), but I could never seem to get one for what I considered a reasonable price. The ones I found usually ended up being $400 or more. I didn't even pay that for my brand new K100D.
there is one with grip right now for $325 in the market place

p.s. I should mention that while the *istD is a good back up for me (and my 8 MF K mount lenses) this may not be as important to the OP. It all depends on what you have, or plan to have.
06-23-2008, 01:14 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
there is one with grip right now for $325 in the market place

p.s. I should mention that while the *istD is a good back up for me (and my 8 MF K mount lenses) this may not be as important to the OP. It all depends on what you have, or plan to have.
If I didn't already have two 6MP bodies right now, I would definitely go for it. I almost bid on an low priced *ist DL on fleabay last week, but then I thought "Do I really need another 6 megapixel body when I could use the money to buy a DA40?"
06-23-2008, 01:47 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by brothereye Quote
If I didn't already have two 6MP bodies right now, I would definitely go for it. I almost bid on an low priced *ist DL on fleabay last week, but then I thought "Do I really need another 6 megapixel body when I could use the money to buy a DA40?"
I fully understand

The DS can do TTL so you are covered
06-24-2008, 05:20 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
I fully understand

The DS can do TTL so you are covered
Well, I keep hoping to land an affordable af500 flash so I can use the ttl feature(it really is too bad this was dropped from later models, even though it was only stated to be accurate over a limited iso range), but I can never seem to land a 500 for what I can afford to spend on it... Oh well, maybe my discretionary income can come together with a little luck and I can get hooked up. I guess I need to start looking in pawn shops, etc., I'm just afraid I might spend even more $$$.
06-24-2008, 06:10 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by brothereye Quote
Well, I keep hoping to land an affordable af500 flash so I can use the ttl feature(it really is too bad this was dropped from later models, even though it was only stated to be accurate over a limited iso range), but I can never seem to land a 500 for what I can afford to spend on it... Oh well, maybe my discretionary income can come together with a little luck and I can get hooked up. I guess I need to start looking in pawn shops, etc., I'm just afraid I might spend even more $$$.
Why are you waiting for an AF500FTZ?

The AF540FGZ is a comparable flash, and pentax outdid themselves in terms of compatibility with this one. the flash can work in 4 modes, depending upon the camera and lens combo it is installed on.

For cameras that have no flash metering it can work in manual or "auto" mode using its own internal photocell (just like the late 1970's). For cameras that support TTL, including the *istD and DS and earlier pentax bodies, it can support TTL mode if no apature information is available from the lenses but the camera supports TTL, and for cameras that support either ttl or P-TTL it will support the highest possible technology, for example on my *istD with a K lens it works in TTL but for a KA lens ut works in P-TTL. On cameras that only support P-TTL, you can still use Auto mode on manual lenses

In summary, it is a flash that works on and supports every camera/mode that pentax has made
06-24-2008, 06:50 AM   #15
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Because the AF500 costs a lot less, I suppose.
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