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02-12-2007, 09:10 PM   #1
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Location: Saskatchewan, Canada
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Poor first impression of a K100D and advice to P&S -> dSLR users

I picked up a K100D w/18-55mm kit, as well as a 50-200mm zoom about a week
ago. Excited to try it out, I took several shots and then set the equipment
aside in utter disappointment. Within 10 minutes, I had decided to take it back.

If the same thing is happening to you, here is some advice:

- Set up your monitor correctly. I had just replaced a failed 21" Sony
monitor with a flat panel and, despite software indications to the contrary,
the monitor was not in native resolution. It's a 26" wide screen panel and
looked OK, even without being razor sharp. Needless to say, setting up the
monitor to run at native resolution improved things dramatically and so did
adjusting the brightness/contrast/gamma to sane levels. Out of the box,
these things are set to make everything look like a nuclear explosion. Set your monitor up nicely. Consider getting a calibration tool. It's worth it.

- Before you get too upset about the yellow indoor shots, try setting the
white balance to tungsten. You'll find your shots will look far and away
better. An alternative is to shoot in raw. Low levels of tungsten light
give other cameras, like my Canons, trouble sometimes too.

- Before you crap on that kit lens, try closing it down a couple of stops.
Outdoors, make sure to stop down to F8 or, even better, F11. I think you'll
find the lens, despite costing well under 100 bucks for a broad zoom, is capable
of wonderful results.

- I like the default processing settings just fine but lean toward Phil Askey's
preferred settings of natural with +1 sharpness and +1 saturation. These
settings seem to sweeten the images just that little bit more.

- Read and learn everything you can. Unlike a highly restrictive point and shoot, a
dSLR will let you set it any way you like. Some of those setting
combinations might not be wise but the dSLR user interface assumes a high
level of competence and will not question you. Point and shoot cameras
assume you are inept and make pretty much all choices for you.


After the poor initial impression, I spent a lot of time reading, gave the
camera another chance, and now I find myself delighted with it. In fact, it's
better than I hoped. I believe I can do just as good of photography with a
K100D platform as I could with any dSLR out there. I don't crave a K10D or a
high end Canon dSLR but I can see I will end up with quite an inventory of
glass.

I won't post any of the original poor test shots I took as I'm too embarrassed by them. I've been into photography for 30 years and have no business being this ignorant of basic techniques. Point and shoot cameras (I've used nothing but Canon ELPH series cameras since the S100 came out) have eroded that part of my brain.

It's a treat to use such a rich optical instrument as the K100D.


Last edited by Tom Brown; 02-12-2007 at 09:22 PM.
02-12-2007, 09:16 PM   #2
Ole
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That's a lot of good advice! Thanks, and welcome to the Pentax forum!
02-12-2007, 09:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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Original Poster
Thanks for the welcome.

I hope my post helps some new users enjoy their cameras.
02-12-2007, 09:33 PM   #4
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Location: Sydney, Australia
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Welcome Tom.

This is an excellent and informative post. I am sure many new owners of the K100D will be well advised to take your advice.

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