DSLR Advice


Tyr

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 00:40
I've been lurking around for a month or so reading a few bit here and there trying to make my mind up about which camera to get.

I'd initially been eyeing up the K100D, as I thought the K10D to be out of my price range but am now unsure about which to get. I've also considered the GX-10 but am unsure about the lens quality (no reviews out there) and would like to have a compressed RAW format.

I currently have a second hand Pentax Super A with SMC-A 50mm and SMC-A 24-50mm (and an Asahi Pentax S3 with 50mm lens, but I know that won't be compatible). Both SMC-A lenses are automatic TTL metering but are manual focus. I don't know how usable they would be without a split focusing screen, if anyone has any experience with this it would be nice to hear a few opinions. They are very nice lenses and would hate to ignore them if I get a DSLR.

I've been shooting digital for a few years with a Fuji S20Pro (borrowed from my girlfriend when I can) so am used to shooting digital. I went to have a feel of both Pentax cameras to see if that would help. Autofocus was brilliant at all but close ranges, but still fast compared to the 'prosumer' S20Pro. I really couldn't complain at all, many reviews were critical on this point.

Comfort wise I like the Nikon type deep finger grip and found the K100D and K10D uncomfortable in my right hand (I have long fingers). Neither was as uncomfortable as I find the bare Super A and S3 which are not comfortable without a leather case.

I like how light and compact the K100D is but am unsure about the 6MP sensor on larger prints (A3+).

The K10D felt a little unbalanced and once in hand just feels bigger and bulkier.

I mostly do landscape and architecture photography with some wildlife (would probably do more with a better zoom lens and autofocus). Not fond of shooting people as I don't seem to be able to capture any 'good' side.

I think mostly I'm seeking reassurance that I won't be disappointed with whatever I choose in the end.

So K100 or K10? Been looking since January and I'm still undecided...

Dwight-Morton

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 03:12
Unsure if still available in England as I just got my copy of the April issue of "Photography Monthly" in Canada and features a review of GX -10, and didn't like the KIT lens as I just did a quick scan when reading your post.

I use the Pentax *istDL2 with the 18-55 and 50-200 in RAW and have no problems, as I moved up to this last July when my Minolta 7000 died, as some may remember it was the 1st Generation Auto-Focus SLR and friends laugh at me using something like auto-focus.

Best wishes, and good luck.

Mannesty

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 07:28
Be assured, whichever you choose, you are unlikely to be disappointed. My preference is for the K10D because it's weather/dust proof and has a larger sensor, 10.2Mp. Similarly weatherproofed lenses available May June '07. All of your existing lenses will work with the camera, even the screw mount lens with an adapter. This will only work in stop-down metering mode, with which there is an issue currently. See other threads.

Another advantage of the K10D is it's compressed .PEF RAW File. Using this, files end up smaller from this than my *istD, a 6Mp camera. Also it can save in Adobe's .DNG format. Post-processing support for RAW files in PEF format for the K10D is a bit limited at the moment. You basically have a choice of SIlkypix or the bundled software. PhaseOne seem to be dragging their heels about releasing an update to their Capture One product. Adobe's Camera Raw for Photoshop also works, as does Lightroom in DNG format (I haven't used it with PEF's so can't confirm).

The K10D has many features, too numerous to list here, that are not included in the K100D, wireless flash using the built-in pop-up is but one feature that I find very useful.

Personally, I would not even consider the Samsung camera. Essentially its the same hardware but the firmware is Samsung's own. Pentax has issued 2 updates to their K10D firmware since its release with another expected soon. Samsung . . . nothing.
Peter E Smith

My flickr Photostream

Pwynnej

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 08:02
Samsung have released a firmware update for the GX-10...

I was offered a GX-10 last week for 800 euros....but as the accessories for that camera are more limited than they are for the K10D I am now a proud owner of the Pentax..

I think the DL2, K100D or K10D seem ideal , just depends on how much you want to spend. But as Mannesty points out, new lenses are due next month which means you can unleash the full potential of the K10D

Rodger Fooks

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 08:50
I had problems with getting manual focus exactly right. So bought a split screen

See post https://www.pentaxuser.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4018&highlight=

If you use MF on the K10D with any screen you will get a confirmation light in the viewfiinder when correctly focused.
Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.

Tyr

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 09:54
Rodger Fooks wrote:
If you use MF on the K10D with any screen you will get a confirmation light in the viewfinder when correctly focused.

With any lens used? If that is the case I'd be very happy... I have had a look at the split screens and they look very good for using manual lenses. If I did like the 18-55 and 50-200 kit lenses AF operation, might make my old lenses obsolete (although I'd see no vignette with the older 24-50 as it is full frame).


I've had problems with RAW support in the past (Fuji have odd sensors and interpolation) and got Lightroom (great program) because it seems to work with almost any camera RAW, think it works with PEF.


Well, still have some time to choose...

George Lazarette

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 10:17
All Pentax AF cameras provide focus confirmation with any manual lens, provided there is sufficient light for the AF sensor to operate. I've never tried, but I would presume it would also work with a black cat in a coal cellar provided the camera or flash unit had a focus beam.

G
Keywords: Charming, polite, and generally agreeable.

LiamD

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 10:33
George Lazarette wrote:
All Pentax AF cameras provide focus confirmation with any manual lens, provided there is sufficient light for the AF sensor to operate.
G

I can even get that with an f8 mirror lens (most of the time) in good light and with enough contrast, (that being the key to AF afterall) which is way past the "official" limit of around f5.6.

Cheerd

Liam
Liam


"Make your hands respond to what your mind demands." Jesse James

Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the 'ah-ha'. Ernst Haas

Tyr

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 10:46
That is very good to know and I've not seen it mentioned anywhere before.

Tyr

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 17:09
Ok, I think I'm going for the following initial set:

Pentax K10D
- Pentax SMC 18-55mm (27-84mm) f3.5-5.6 DA A
- Pentax SMC 50-200mm (75-300mm) f4-5.6 DA ED

UV Filter (mostly lens protector)
Circular Polarizer

Waterproof backpack

Plenty of SD cards...

Can anyone think of anything else I may find useful with a DSLR?

johnriley

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 17:15
That's a good starter set for your kit. Personally I wouldn't bother with the filter for lens protection, but that's a moot point.

You will have the potential to produce some very fine images with the items you have chosen.
Best regards, John

UPINSMOKE

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 17:41
Quote:
Can anyone think of anything else I may find useful with a DSLR?

Plenty of Money may Help

Almost Identical to my setup except I went for the K100D as funds were limited. Only had it a few days now. Still getting used to it, but am very pleased with what I have so far.
Just need to go out over the weekend and try it out fully.

Tyr

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 17:42
Excellent, hopefully I'll post some on the forum once the kit arrives. I'll have to find somewhere to go for a walk... Probably out on the Pennines. Really looking forward to having a DSLR.

UPINSMOKE

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 17:54
Quote:
Probably out on the Pennines

I have the South Downs for my walk, but the Pennines sounds wonderful.
I must get some filters for mine as well. Maybe the same choice as you. Does anyone know of a good make to go for. I am a bit out of touch with whats available.

I may also see if I can buy a power supply for use with the computer instead of batteries. Any comments on where to buy one would me good.

Also a Tripod any suggestions??

LiamD

Link Posted 12/04/2007 - 18:08
Hi UIS..

Quote:
I must get some filters for mine as well. Maybe the same choice as you. Does anyone know of a good make to go for. I am a bit out of touch with whats available.

Go for Cokin.. or Lee when you win the pools..

The advantage of a system like Cokin, is that when you add a new lens to the collection, you need only buy a new step/down ring if required to fit the filter holder to that lens. This saves the cost of buying new filters for each size. I then leave the step ring on the lenses to protect the filter thread, and also the lens to some extent, as it overhangs the outer edge.

Quote:
I may also see if I can buy a power supply for use with the computer instead of batteries. Any comments on where to buy one would me good.

I wouldn't bother personally. Use good rechargeables.. Uniross 2500mAh are the ones I use. The cells are about the same price as non-rechargeable Duracells, (1 each approx) but you'll get a thousand odd charges from a set. You'll also get anything up to 700-800 images a charge, depending on how often you use the flash, compared to about 50 if you're lucky fronm alkalines. About 14,000 times cheaper in the long run, and the charger's only going to be 10-15, for a 2 hour charge. I have four sets, and have never been caught out.

Don't bother connecting the camera to the PC.. just get hold of a card reader for 5-10 and use that.

Tripods, you'll have to wait for someone else. I have a perfectly serviceable Vanguard (in the back of Mrs Liam's car at the moment, so can't remember the model) but don't use it that often to be honest.

Hope that helps,

Cheers

Liam

(edited for some truly awful spelling.. I type faster than my brain operates.. about three words a minute)..
Liam


"Make your hands respond to what your mind demands." Jesse James

Best wide-angle lens? Two steps backward. Look for the 'ah-ha'. Ernst Haas
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