"Awesome DSLR!"4.5 starson by Dred242
Pros: Switch between RAW and JPEG on-the-fly.
Cons: If you want a new Pentax lens.....then it's "Big money time"!!!
Summary: After many years and photos taken with my point-n-shoot Canon S500 Digital ELPH, Iâ€™ve finally moved up to a DSLR! The digital camera market has suddenly become flooded with DSLR cameras aimed at the â€œprosumerâ€� (professional consumer) with a price point of $400-$1000. Without going through the entire list of DSLRâ€™s I had considered, Iâ€™ll only tell you of my top three.
The Nikon D40x was No.3 on my list. The D40x gets high marks amongst many in the hands-on world, and itâ€™s price of just over $700 at Amazon.com made an attractive selling point.
The Sony A100 came in at No.2 with top notched features (most of which can be found on my No.1 choice), and an impressive assortment of A-mount lenses from both Sony, and Minolta. One of the best selling points of the Sony A100 for me was that I could get away with buying the body only ($608 at Amazon.com) and use my older Minolta lensesâ€¦..what a savings! I still have my old Minolta 400si 35mm film camera with a 35mm-70mm AF zoom lens, and a way-cool 24mm wide angle lens of which I would love to still be able to use.
Finishing at No.1 was the Pentax K10D (retail $1000) with an impressive array of features to excite the massesâ€¦..this camera just felt right! My first 35mm SLR camera was a Pentax K1000 bought back in the mid 70â€™s. I learned everything about photography with the K1000. So it only makes sense to return to the point at which I started. Go check out all of the features of the K10D over at the Pentax website.....and watch the video! Amazon.com offered the best price at $835.49 (plus a $50.00 rebate brings the final price down to $785.49). I also picked up a Pentax BG2 Battery Grip for the K10D for $124.33. When you buy both the K10D along with the Pentax BG2 Battery Grip at the same time, you get an additional $75.00 rebate for a total of $125.00 in rebates from Pentax. Plus I joined Amazon PRIME which gets me free 2-day shippingâ€¦..cool! The Pentax K10D comes with a 18mm-50mm f/3.5-5.6 auto focus zoom lens with lens hood & lens cap, battery & charger, neck strap, USB 2.0 sync cable, flash shoe cover, viewfinder cover, A/V cables, and Pentax Photo Browser and Laboratory software to process/edit RAW files.
The major selling points for me on the Pentax K10D:
*Shake Reduction (SR)
*Pentax Real Image Engine (PRIME)
*Dust Removal System
*Two RAW file format
*Instant-on RAW button (no menu access needed)
*BG2 Battery Grip option. (Itâ€™s extra battery extends shooting time)
*11 Auto-Focus Points (vs. Sonyâ€™s 9 Auto Focus Points)
*Universally recognized flash mount (Sonyâ€™s A100K is proprietary)
*Sensitivity Priority AE (Sv) Mode (eliminates the need to recall a menu screen for sensitivity changes)
*Top mounted back-lit (green) LCD
In all fairness.
I must admit that the Sony A100 has almost all the same features as the Pentax K10D, but what of Sonys future? Will Sony continue to support their DSLR market and product line in the long run. Sony has been around since the beginning of time, but they jump from one area of electronics to another so fast that it worries me. Anyone can discontinue a product line or even leave an entire market like Minolta did when they got together with Konica several years ago only to then sell off the 35mm product line to Sony a few years laterâ€¦...bummer. I just feel better about going with Pentax right now.
So what sucks?
Itâ€™s the Pentax Photo Browser and Pentax Photo Laboratory software. The Photo Browser works well when simply downloading images from the camera or card, and viewing them on your PC, but the Photo Laboratory software opens several windows with different tools all over your desktopâ€¦..yuck! Donâ€™t get me wrong, it works, but itâ€™s got some funky and sometimes janky toolsâ€¦..I just didnâ€™t like it. I tried PhaseONE LE which is another RAW image editor thatâ€™s offered as a FREE download with the purchase of a Sandisk Extreme III 2.0gb SD card. This application also sucks, as itâ€™s only a LE (light edition) and missing some of the better features of the PRO versionâ€¦..nice try! I Went surfing and found Raw Therapee which is a FREE RAW image editor. It works, but suffers from janky tools just like the others. But at least all of the applications tools and features of Raw Therapee are conveniently located in one UI (User Interface).
Best of my bunch.
The current winner is my out dated version of Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0, and itâ€™s built-in photo browsing plug-in. It will grab my images directly from the camera or SD card, load them into Adobeâ€™s photo browser for viewing. If I need to edit the RAW image it offers up a separate â€œmini editorâ€� for quick adjustments, then dump the image into the full version of Elements (still in itâ€™s original RAW formatâ€¦.cool!). From here I can continue to edit or adjust the image before saving it out as a JPEG. All of these RAW images editing apps require way more steps than I would like, but if Iâ€™m to take advantage of the true power of todayâ€™s DSLR cameras, Iâ€™m just going to have deal with itâ€¦.â€œYou get what you get, and you donâ€™t throw a fitâ€�!
Iâ€™m happy with my Pentax K10D. Itâ€™s body grips, as well as itâ€™s weight & balance feels correct in my hands at all times. The viewfinder is adjustable, and appears surprisingly bright and clear to my tired and sore eyes. Being able to make shutter speed, aperture, and ISO adjustments on the fly with the front and rear e-dials is worth the price of admission. I also love being able to preview white-balance setting with an actual image from my SD cardâ€¦..Awesome! When In JPEG mode the shutter just keeps snapping photos at 3fps until the SD card is full, thatâ€™s something I could never do with my smaller Canon S500 Digital ELPH. I charged the battery right out of the box a few days ago, and the K10D still shows a full charge after at least 200+ test shotsâ€¦..wonderful! The Pentax BG2 Battery Grip will add an additional battery which should increase the cameras up-time. It also addâ€™s another shutter release button (for when shooting portraits), e-dial, and remote control compartment. The BG2 Battery Grip is still in-route with UPS, but once here my system will be complete and Iâ€™ll be good-2-go! My plan is to bring my photographic skill back to the level I once held back in the 80â€™s. With this new Pentax K10D, I think Iâ€™m off to a good start. Iâ€™m looking to reclaim my â€œPhotographic Jediâ€� status, so look for a revamp of DigitalDred.com soon!