Pentax K100D digital reflex camera
Although Pentax started with digital SLR cameras relatively late, the brand now frequently introduces new models. The Pentax K110D and the K100D are the latest entry-level models, which have been designed according to the Pentax motto: simplicity above all else. However, that certainly doesn't mean they are plain cameras that offer little to no options to the more experienced photographer; on the contrary even! The Pentax K100D is an exceptionally complete camera that offers true value for money.
Pentax K100D SLR - Design & Buttons
We have to admit the camera's design doesn't exactly jump out; in fact, it could even be called a tad boring. It simply doesn't seem like a great deal of thought and effort has gone into the design. However, the fact that things couldn't be further away from the truth will immediately become apparent once you start working with the camera. The buttons are clear and feature a single function. You do not need to resort to all sorts of impractical stunts with your hands in order to operate the various functions. A very handy feature is the Function button, once you have discovered its purpose. In combination with the large screen and all the information that is displayed on it, you are presented with a valuable tool that does not take much time to get used to. I would, however, prefer it if Pentax removed the auto focus functions and the light metering from the menu.
Pentax K100D - Small DSLR camera
Apart from clear and straightforward, the Pentax K100D is also quite small, even though the camera's size has increased slightly compared to that of its predecessor. Despite the small housing, the K100D DSLR remains very comfortable to hold, as well as pleasantly sturdy. Although the viewfinder is a little on the small and dark side, it proves very decent to work with. There is no doubt that the camera has been neatly finished. If you decide to attach a compact pancake lens to the Pentax, you will find you have a golden combination in hands. Small enough to pop in the pocket of your jacket, yet offering an excellent quality.
Pentax K100D DSLR - Great image quality
The true power of the Pentax K100D lies in the image quality, which is -after all- the most important aspect of the camera. We should point out that with its 6 Megapixels, the K100D does trail slightly behind on the competition. Then again, does that really matter? The 6 Megapixels easily suffice to make an A3 size print, especially with the quality the Pentax K100D has to offer. Both the colour rendition and the sharpness prove excellent. If you capture your photos in RAW, you will be able to get even more from the camera. Even when working with higher sensitivities, the K100D performs superbly indeed, in fact, remarkably well for a camera with a relatively old sensor. Up to and including ISO 1600 leaves next to nothing to be desired. I would be a tad reluctant to print a very large size of ISO 3200, due to the amount of noise. However, if you wish to print a size up to 13x18cm, you should not encounter any problems whatsoever. After all, being right smack on top of a print isn't always the wisest thing to do in the first place.
Pentax K100D - Auto focus & Share Reduction
The auto focus has become faster, and we daresay it was about time. The Pentax K100D now turns out to be pleasantly rapid to work with. A helpful function is the Shake Reduction. Perhaps not as effective as an image stabilisation in a lens, but certainly more than sufficient for most uses. Ideal is that you are able to indicate the focal point of the lens when working with older lenses. The fact that you can keep working with all of the older lenses is without question one of Pentax's strongest points. Even those with an M42 screw mount can be used, although this does require an adapter.
Pentax K100D - Attractively priced SLR camera
The new Pentax name refers to the illustrious K-series from the past. Pentax want to let us know that they have a rich history of sensational and ground-breaking products. Although the Pentax K100D doesn't quite make it to that list just yet, Pentax do clearly show that they are more than able to build excellent cameras. The Pentax K100D is a camera that should certainly be taken into consideration if you are looking for an attractively priced DSLR, and want to, for instance, take the step from a compact camera to a digital SLR.
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Pentax K100D - Secure Digital memory card
The Secure Digital (SD) memory card is used more and more often with digital SLR cameras. Naturally, the main advantage is its compact size. Besides saving users space and hassle when taking it along, it makes it considerably easier for manufacturers to design smaller, more compact cameras. SD cards are available in many different versions. Unfortunately, the Pentax K100D is not SDHC compatible, which means that the camera can be equipped with a maximum memory capacity of 2GB. Perhaps a firmware update will allow SDHC, which will enable you to use significantly more memory. It has to be said that would certainly be a welcome addition, especially when photographing in RAW. It is also advisable to choose a fast version of the Secure Digital memory card, such as Ultra II or Extreme III by SanDisk. I would recommend using a memory card of at least 512MB, or even 1GB if you can. The following table shows the amount of images that will fit onto a 512MB card.
Considering 512MB of storage capacity:
Resolution RAW - 3008 x 2008 pixels - 46 images
Resolution JPEG - best - 3008 x 2008 pixels - 167 images
Resolution JPEG - better - 3008x 2008 pixels - 311 images
Resolution JPEG - good - 3008 x 2008 pixels - 498 images
Resolution JPEG - best - 2400 x 1600 pixels - 234 images
Resolution JPEG - better - 2400 x 1600 pixels - 415 images
Resolution JPEG - good - 2400 x 1600 pixels - 674 images
Resolution JPEG - best - 1536 x 1029 pixels - 453 images
Resolution JPEG - better - 1536 x 1029 pixels - 722 images
Resolution JPEG - good - 1536 x 1029 pixels - 1115 images