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04-01-2010, 06:24 PM   #1
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K100D; Good first DSLR?

Hi I'm looking for a "decent" (Cheap and user friendly) DSLR.

Mostly casual day to day photos and Macros. I keep salt water aquariums (coral) and would love the ability to control my pictures more. I use to be big into film SLR but cannot live without the instant gratification of digital. I have owned many P&S cameras but have always wanted a DSLR. Now I am finding them more affordable.

I have found refurbish K100D for $225 (body only)
I will most likely start with a stock 18-55 af lens then get a 80~105mm Macro mf

I want ease of use and great pics.

I am very good with photo shop and plan to shoot in RAW and correct WB in PS so the limited ISO of the K100D should not be much of an issue for me.

Here is an example of they types of photos I will be taking mostly.
Taken with my Kodak 12mp P&S

I want to take pics like this but better. I have to edit the crap out of this to make it look true. Shooting in very blue conditions thru water makes it very hard to get white balance...



Thanks for any advice you can send my way.
Oh and if you have a K100D laying around collecting dust PM me

04-01-2010, 09:16 PM   #2
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Iso and WB are different issues. but the K100D is a fine camera and you have a good price on it. It's a very good camera at high ISO's if that's required. I'd say get it, you won't be disappointed.
04-01-2010, 09:33 PM   #3
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I was using the K100D before I got my K20D

Still misses it

Very good one to start with, especially at your indicated price

You won't lose much when you decide to sell it later

Better still, convert it into a IR when you finally upgraded

I should have kept mine :ugh:
04-01-2010, 09:58 PM   #4
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aquarium shots are tricky

I find that a good P&S camera is better suited for aquarium shots that dSLR.

Let me explain:
The low light coming from the aquarium will demand high iso and open aperture. Say you shoot with your 50mm set to f2.8. The DOF will be so shallow that you won't get anything in focus.

On the other hand, a high-end P&S ("bridge" camera) will have a f2.8 lens and will do iso 800 or 1600 relatively well, but the DOF will be almost infinite (due to the small sensor and wide lens) and everything will be in focus. Some P&S even do RAW if WB is a problem.

This was my experience when taking pictures in the Monterey Bay Acquarium. The P&S pictures were better, albeit a little noisier. Noise is fixable, bad focus isn't

As for the K100D - I have one and is the best high iso body from the previous generation. The K100D Super is even better as it can drive SDM lenses (50-135 F2.8).

04-01-2010, 10:11 PM   #5
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I had a K100D and it's still a favorite. It has very good IQ and the price is right. Get it. If you don't, let me get it.
04-02-2010, 05:18 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone!
04-02-2010, 02:20 PM   #7
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The K100D was my first camera and has helped me get where I am in photography.
A very capable camera with beautiful colour in 6 perfect megapixels.
04-06-2010, 02:09 AM   #8
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The K100D has been my camera for 3 1/2 years.
It is excellent.
Stanjo makes good points about depth of field using a P&S.

The ability to use older lenses is a great bonus. One of my favourites
is the Takumar 105mmF2.8. Very sharp, very inexpensive.
have fun
Pete

04-06-2010, 04:05 AM   #9
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I think the K100 would work well. It does have SR which will help out when taking photos of relatively still items. It also can shoot iso 1600 and have it look pretty decent. The biggest issues with K100 are (as mentioned above): white balance, slow auto focus.

In an aquarium, you will need to shoot RAW, because often the lights are really odd colors and to get an image to look natural requires quite a bit of work.
04-06-2010, 04:24 AM   #10
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k100d is great. Good sensor (6Mpix is also good for your HDD and memory cards ), good ISO, great battery life with AA's (gotten ~1500 pics with Sanyo eneloops w/o recharging) comfortable in hand, great m42 lens co-work and so on.

cons for me are the AF accuracy in dark and smaller viewfinder than lets say k10-k20d
04-06-2010, 05:37 AM   #11
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Another happy K100DS user here. I'm not going to add too much to the above. It has been my first and only DSLR so far and it has been an extrodinary work horse. A lot of people here talk about speed being a detriment of this body but I find that it forces me to get better at understanding the different aspects of the camera and photography in general.
04-06-2010, 07:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by ckusnierek Quote
Hi I'm looking for a "decent" (Cheap and user friendly) DSLR.

Mostly casual day to day photos and Macros. I keep salt water aquariums (coral) and would love the ability to control my pictures more. I use to be big into film SLR but cannot live without the instant gratification of digital. I have owned many P&S cameras but have always wanted a DSLR. Now I am finding them more affordable.

I have found refurbish K100D for $225 (body only)
I will most likely start with a stock 18-55 af lens then get a 80~105mm Macro mf

I want ease of use and great pics.

I am very good with photo shop and plan to shoot in RAW and correct WB in PS so the limited ISO of the K100D should not be much of an issue for me.

Thanks for any advice you can send my way.
Oh and if you have a K100D laying around collecting dust PM me
Hey there -- I got my K-x three weeks ago and got a K100D a week ago, for the same price you got. I have a feeling you found the Best Buy refurb deal.

The camera is, for all intents and purposes, brand new. It works flawlessly. The only thing I had to do so far was to remove a speck of dust from the sensor.

As someone who broke into the DSLR world with the K-x, using the K100D takes a bit more patience. It is slower in every way -- focusing, saving, displaying, etc. -- but lord, does it ever take good pictures! I attached a trio of outdoor shots from yesterday, so check them out. All taken with the K-x 18-55 kit lens, and with minimal Photoshopping (auto contrast). The K100D has significantly slower AF in low light than the K-x, so just keep that in mind. I've gotten used to manual focusing, which would skirt this issue altogether.

And unlike the K-x, this one has focus points (little red dots that flash in your viewfinder). Not that it's anything I find myself using, but if you like it, you'll be glad you have it.

There is no live view on the K100D, but to me it doesn't matter. I've used live view like twice on the K-x. Oh, and no movies -- but again, that's a non-issue for me as I don't use it on the K-x.

I think the K100D is a great first-time camera. Just get a couple of lenses and you'll be really happy. Think of it this way -- with a $75 18-55 lens, you could have a killer camera for $300. That's as much as I paid for my Panasonic DMC-FZ18 three years ago.

- Sung
Attached Images
     
04-06-2010, 07:52 AM   #13
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Just one more thing -- the Best Buy deal is for a K100D, NOT the Super. The Super focuses faster and has more compatibility, and it also has support for SDHC (faster/larger memory cards) out of the box. The K100D also can take SDHC cards, but you have to upgrade the firmware. I just did it yesterday, and now it can take my 4GB SDHC card. The shot count will read 999 even after you take a number of shots because the camera can't display more than 999!

- Sung
04-07-2010, 12:25 AM   #14
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I picked up a K100D Super after my GX-20 (cousin of the K20D) was stolen on a vacation :-(. It's an awesome little camera. It is a slower camera, but it forces me to think about my shots more. It takes beautiful pictures with more keepers in my opinion. You will not be dissapointed at all!
04-07-2010, 07:48 AM   #15
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I'll take a different approach. Before buying my first dSLR two years ago, I asked myself, What do I want to do that I can't do with what I have? (A 5 mpx Sony DSC-V1, 4x Zeiss optics, fine little camera.) What I wanted were lenses for UltraWide, LongTele, and LowLight. Pentax had the best for the best prices, and that's why I'm here, driven by lenses.

And I asked myself, What will make me happy the longest, for the best price? I considered various bodies but chose the 14.6 mpx K20D. Why? I'd read all the tech reviews, but I also read the user reviews. And too many of those who'd bought "entry-level" cams expressed angst about upgrading. I didn't want to fall into that trap. I didn't want to buy a 'starter' and then buy another cam in a year or so because what I had felt cramped. (And CaNikoners bitched about quality, another reason I'm now Pentaxian.)

I'm on a fixed budget. I can't afford to 'upgrade' anytime soon. If you're comfortable with a starter, and with upgrading, fine. The film era is over. We don't expect dSLRs to have usable lifespans of decades. My M42 Chinon-Argus CR-3E (1976) doesn't need upgrading; it's the best of its breed. I just like to have gear that will last as long as possible. So I'd advise getting a K20D. They're bargains now.
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