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08-22-2008, 08:52 PM   #46
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I would get a K20D. The K10D is discontinued and the K20D is a big advancement over it.

The extra resolution is quite a jump and the AF adjustment feature is excellent.

08-22-2008, 11:25 PM   #47
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Thanks for all the feedback!

What a great forum, thank you all for the very useful feedback. Its nice to see such a welcoming and helpful online community.

Well, despite Marc's excellent points on the K200D, I am leaning toward the K10D at this point. The main reasons are the better viewfinder and larger amounts of control available on the K10D (I think I will thank myself down the road). Still, a few comments and points to discuss remain...

I'm starting to agree with those who view the lack of scene modes as a boon to learning the art of photography. Also, I do have some friends here who are enthusiast or semi-pro SLR users who can help me out.

AA batteries and Li-Ion proprietary batteries both seem to have their pros and cons. AA's might be handy for really long treks but its something i can work (or at least spend $) around if I have to. Not a deciding factor for me.

One issue I'm concerned about is the K10D's auto white balance. From multiple reviews and accounts, it sounds like it needs frequent tweaking to get it right. I plan on shooting outdoors in a variety of different lighting situations (high glare/overcast, under jungle canopy, evening shots, contrasty skylines etc.). How will the K10D's unique white balance methods affect the ease of use and practicality for a beginner like me?

Another issue is the kit lens, which is an older one that was used on the *istD series as well. How does it stack up to other kit lenses? I've heard it has some vignetting issues - will this be a nuisance for landscape photography(my primary interest)? Should I just pony up and buy a better lens up front? Any particular Pentax or Tamron lenses you guys like? I want at least 18(28)mm on the wide end if not wider and preferably at least a 3x zoom equivalent (50mm?) on the other end. I wont be able to afford another lens for at least a few months so it has to be a real versitile one.

As for the K20D, how much better is it than the K10D? I've read the AF is improved. Would the slower AF on the K10D be a tracking speed or lighting issue? I don't plan on shooting anything faster than airliners taking off and landing. If its a low-light issue I could see that being something I might not like. As for the K20D's extra megapixels, I really don't think I need more than 10 so thats not really a plus in my book. Also, I've heard the Samsung CMOS used has some issues (heat noise, stuck pixels etc.). One last improvement I would like to know about is noise performance. I've read the K20D is an improvement in this regard, but by how much and would I notice it for my types of shooting? I sold HD monitors and TV's for two years so I can be a bit picky about image quality. I've basically ruled out Sony and Olympus because of noise/image quality issues. Anyway, unless the above or other issues are crucial, I would rather spend money on a good lens for the K10D than buy the K20D.

So thats about where I'm at. Pentax makes the only rugged, weather-sealed bodies in my price range (with good image-quality to boot). I get the impression that most of the Nikons are more feature rich and are technologically superior (substantially better AF and processing etc.) but the cheapest weather sealed Nikon (D300) is more than twice as much as the K10D. If Nikon would make a weather-sealed D90, I would have another camera to really think hard about. Canon has compelling image quality, features and shooting speed but build quality on the 1000D and 450D seem really crap when I hold them. If the 40D (I dig the alloy body) was weather sealed it might justify the higher price compared to the Pentax. Neither Sony (good features but lackluster IQ and build quality) nor Olympus (again lackluster IQ and the 4/3rds sensor concept seems gimpy to me) impress me that much after my research. With that in mind, the K10D should be a good choice.

Any additional comments would be appreciated! You guys are great!
08-23-2008, 08:44 AM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by PaddyB Quote
Well, despite Marc's excellent points on the K200D, I am leaning toward the K10D at this point. The main reasons are the better viewfinder and larger amounts of control available on the K10D (I think I will thank myself down the road).
Makes total sense to me. Like I said, the cameras are really more similar than different, to the point where the differences are indeed very subjective, and I admit my own biases are pretty quirky.

QuoteQuote:
One issue I'm concerned about is the K10D's auto white balance. From multiple reviews and accounts, it sounds like it needs frequent tweaking to get it right. I plan on shooting outdoors in a variety of different lighting situations (high glare/overcast, under jungle canopy, evening shots, contrasty skylines etc.). How will the K10D's unique white balance methods affect the ease of use and practicality for a beginner like me?
While the K200D AWB is apparently somewhat better than that of the K10D when shooting under incandescent light, they are basically the same in most natural light situations from everything I've heard. Which is to say, it is very effective. When shooting under incandescent light, you can use the Fn menu to change the WB to that setting, then go back to AWB when shooting in natural light again.

The real answer, though, is to shoot RAW and never again worry about WB - it's trivial and 100% effective to alter WB in RAW processing. Most beginners imagien that shooting RAW is going to be hard. But with the right software, it is *far* easier than dealing with JPEG. Non-destructive processing *rocks*.

QuoteQuote:
Another issue is the kit lens, which is an older one that was used on the *istD series as well. How does it stack up to other kit lenses? I've heard it has some vignetting issues
At the widest focal lengths and largest apertures, pretty much all relatively inexpensive lenses have some vignetting. Never particularly bothered me, but others are more sensitive to this. You can of course buy a K10D body only and then get another lens with it if you like. FWIW, I have both the original 18-55 that came with my DS and the version II that case with my K200D, and have compared them side by side on my K200D. I would say there is really very little between them - certainly not enough to be worried about if you happen to find a better deal on the kit including the old version. Either lens is adequate for what it is, and at least as good as similar lenses from the competition, but not as good as many more expensive lenses.

Here again, personal preference is going to come in to play. I mentioned valuing small/light, so if were me, rather than upgrading lenses by getting better zooms, I'd be going the prime route. The DA21 & DA40 make a nice pair. Others really like DA 16-45 or the Sigma 17-70, others still prefer the DA* 16-50. The two primes together cost no more than the 16-50, but the 16-45 or 17-70 are both cheaper.

QuoteQuote:
One last improvement I would like to know about is noise performance. I've read the K20D is an improvement in this regard, but by how much and would I notice it for my types of shooting?
Best advice I can give is to browse the various online samples you can find to judge for yourself. The K200D supposedly does somewhat better than the K10D with regard to noise in JPEG mode, but there is no proof that holds true of RAW. i personally find noise on the K200D acceptable to me, and I shoot ISO 1600 a lot (low light indoor), but I expect a fair amount of noise in those situations.

QuoteQuote:
I get the impression that most of the Nikons are more feature rich and are technologically superior (substantially better AF and processing etc.)
But lack SR in the body, a pretty huge limitation in my eyes. Ditto with Canon. That would *easily* trump any of the other concerns I've mentioned anywhere on this thread.
08-23-2008, 10:00 AM   #49
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Starter lens choices for K10D

If you're on a limited budget (under $200):
DA18-55II (a definite improvement over the original DA18-55)

If you have a little more money to work with ($200-499):
Sigma 17-70/2.8-4
Tamron 28-75/2.8
DA16-45/4
Sigma 18-50/2.8 macro

If money isn't an issue ($500 and up)
DA17-70/4
DA*16-50/2.8

You can check out the lens reviews on this site to see what other Pentax users think about these lenses.

Check out Camera Database and Museum at PBase.com to see pictures taken with these lenses. Also the SLR lens subforum here is a great resource for lens info.

HTH,
Heather

08-23-2008, 02:52 PM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by PaddyB Quote
One issue I'm concerned about is the K10D's auto white balance. From multiple reviews and accounts, it sounds like it needs frequent tweaking to get it right.
I have no complaints at all about the AWB in outdoor situations. I shoot RAW, so if it is off a bit at times, it's easy to fix in post processing. I suspect that any system's AWB will fail when the subject colours do not average out to anything the little electronic brain was programmed to handle. I do occasionally set my WB manually, just so that a quick jpeg comes out looking a bit better.
08-23-2008, 08:05 PM   #51
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For anybody who's looking to buy a K10D...

...look at what I found on BeachCamera.com!

Yes, they have brand new K10Ds in stock--either with the kit lens or without--your choice!

Pentax K10D 10MP Digital SLR Body (lens not included) |BeachCamera.com
Pentax K10D 10MP Digital SLR Body with 18-55mm Lens Kit |BeachCamera.com

Get them while they last!

Heather
08-24-2008, 12:59 AM   #52
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K10D Splendid in every way

I bought my K10D about six months ago in Cardiff and it is superb in every way. I am an artist and use my cameras for photomontages which are blown up to A2 size at times (check out my website: Woodenhead Arts) There is never any noticeable deterioration on fine art paper with high quality inks. Above all else, the control over the camera is exemplary and its virtuosity unquestionable. A sheer delight to hold and handle. Apparently, in the UK, Argos have still got some going for around 450.
09-21-2008, 09:23 PM   #53
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What does this do exactly again?

QuoteOriginally posted by Lance B Quote
AF adjustment feature is excellent.


09-21-2008, 09:55 PM   #54
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I think what Lance B is saying is that the k20D has fine adjustments for the Front Focusing/Back focusing of individual lenses.

This feature is, to me, good enuf to warrant a purchase of the k20D over the older (but still good) k10D.
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