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1st DSLR - Pentax K10D, vs Rebel XTi, vs Nikon D40
Hi,.

I'm a grad student (thus on a limited budget) looking to buy my 1st DSLR. I currently have an Oly C-700 UltraZoom with 10X Optical. I'm an avid scrapbooker and want to take better photos. I'd mostly be taking portrait/family, pet/wildlife, and vacation photos. I'm leaning towards the Pentax K10D, I like the fact that it has weather seals, anti shake built into the body, dust sensor, jpeg + raw, etc. I've never used an SLR (except for an hour with a friends Rebel XT - not impressed in low light, but may have been b/c of the lens - lowest aperture was 4.0).

Does anyone have the K10D? I know jpegs have been criticized as 'soft' - will this make a difference in prints 8 by 10 or under? The largest I would ever print (rarely) would be 11 by 14 (and if I did, would be very few). I'd mostly print 4 by 6 or 5 by 7. Would the 'softness' of the jpeg be noticeable at this size? At that size, how is image quality compared to the Rebel XTi? I'd really appreciate any help you can provide. (and also, if anyone has any coupon codes for B&H, please email me..found the camera cheaper elsewhere, but much prefer the warranty at B&H)..

Thanks,Beth..

Comments (15)

The pentax k10 D is one class above the others, you rather should compare it to Nikon D80 and EOS 40D. The pentax k100d super is on the level of the other two you mentioned.

What goes for the pentax: it is the cheapest camera with a pentaprism ( not a penta mirror) on the market. This makest it heavier, but it will have the brightest viewfinder. A big plus if you ever consider manual focusing..

Of the cameras mentioned it has the biggest downwards compatibility to old lenses. (Pentax: almost every Pentax every thing starting from 1975 (K-Bajonet), with limits from 1952(M42), Canon: only from+/- 1985 (EOS system), for Nikon only the D200 is full downward compatible everything below has increasing limits)..

Have you considered the Olympus e410 or 510?.

Advantage here is lighter and smaller than the competition. Pretty good value at us prices at the moment..

MOST important:.

Check the user interface! The biggest difference between cameras is nowadays the user interface. So go to astore and handle the cameras you consider.The best specs will not help you if the camera does not "fit"..

Cheers.

R...

Comment #1

Any of the current DSLRs are very capable - considering your wide range of uses I would more consider your lens requirements & then choose the best "system" to meet those needs..

The K10D has some great primes available for indoor/portrait - it does have a limited range of telephoto options for wildlife etc though.

Simon.

Http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com/.

North Wales photographs - Snowdonia & Anglesey..

Comment #2

How is the Olympus 510 with low light? Do all dig SLRs perform badly in low light if you don't have a low aperture (I tried a friend's Rebel XT, with a tamron 70-300 F4-5.6 lens, the shots were not good in low light, had orange skin tones)..

Also, does anyone know whether prices go down after the holidays, esp on the K10D? And do people buy the extended warranty? With the K10D, is it better to buy te kit lens for an extra $70, or buy without?.

Beth..

Comment #3

The K10D's price may go down further, or it may get replaced by a newer and much more expensive model. At $600, it's a steal..

Definitely get the kit lens. They're cheap, light, and versatile...

Comment #4

Would you get the extended warranty, and would you pay more for the camera to get it from a place that has a warranty that covers accidental damage? (though the cheaper site is in my state, so even tho it's $40 cheaper & free shipping, I'd have to pay sales tax, which brings it close to the price of the other site - except shipping.). Do you think prices will drop any more before XMAS, or do they usually stay the same for the next few weeks? (do retailers get more desperate as it gets closer to the holidays?).

Thanks,Beth..

Comment #5

Beth_W737 wrote:.

How is the Olympus 510 with low light? Do all dig SLRs perform badlyin low light if you don't have a low aperture (I tried a friend'sRebel XT, with a tamron 70-300 F4-5.6 lens, the shots were not goodin low light, had orange skin tones)..

Unless your friend has a genuinely broken lens, the skin tones probably caused by poor white balance. I've noticed that the "auto" white balance of the Rebel XT doesn't work very well with indoor lighting. Much better to use a custom white balance indoors (or shoot RAW and fix in Photoshop (or cheaper equivalent)..

DSLRs generally perform better in low light than do P&S cameras (much less noise). But they perform even better with wider aperture lenses...

Comment #6

Schmaud wrote:.

Of the cameras mentioned it has the biggest downwards compatibilityto old lenses. (Pentax: almost every Pentax every thing starting from1975 (K-Bajonet), with limits from 1952(M42), Canon: only from+/-1985 (EOS system), for Nikon only the D200 is full downwardcompatible everything below has increasing limits)..

This may be true but is also misleading. No, you can't use FD lenses on the Rebel XT. And you can't use AI-S lenses on the D40 (they'll mount, but won't meter). But who cares? Both Canon and Nikon have a ton of lenses that are fully compatible with their lowest end models. So it's not like you lose much by not being able to use FD or AI-S lenses...

Comment #7

Gusmahler wrote:.

Schmaud wrote:.

Of the cameras mentioned it has the biggest downwards compatibilityto old lenses. (Pentax: almost every Pentax every thing starting from1975 (K-Bajonet), with limits from 1952(M42), Canon: only from+/-1985 (EOS system), for Nikon only the D200 is full downwardcompatible everything below has increasing limits)..

This may be true but is also misleading. No, you can't use FD lenseson the Rebel XT. And you can't use AI-S lenses on the D40 (they'llmount, but won't meter). But who cares? Both Canon and Nikon have aton of lenses that are fully compatible with their lowest end models.So it's not like you lose much by not being able to use FD or AI-Slenses..

Won't let it edit any more..

I should also point out that both Canon and Nikon have more lenses available than Pentax..

E.g., Pentax lists 8 zoom lenses on it's websiteCanon has 25 EF zoom lenses and 5 EF-S zoom lenses. Nikon lists 17 AF-S zoom lenses and 9 AF lenses..

So the backwards compatibility is even less important. The only thing to watch for is that the Nikon D40 can't auto-focus with the AF models, only the AF-S models...

Comment #8

Sounds like a DSLR would be a good choice to augment your scrapbooking. And taking the workshop was a great idea..

The Pentax is a cut above the others you mentioned, and in-camera IS is good. But the lens system is generally quite limited. Not a big deal if you don't need more than a few. Since you're budget limited, you won't be investing in high-end glass soon, so don't worry about it..

You might also consider the Olympus E-510. There's a great deal at Amazon right now, two lens kit with E-510 for $675. And the kit lenses are very good, and would serve you well..

To me the Rebel is a just a bit too much of a plastic feel..

Jeff.

Beth_W737 wrote:.

Hi,.

I'm a grad student (thus on a limited budget) looking to buy my 1stDSLR. I currently have an Oly C-700 UltraZoom with 10X Optical.I'm an avid scrapbooker and want to take better photos. I'd mostlybe taking portrait/family, pet/wildlife, and vacation photos. I'mleaning towards the Pentax K10D, I like the fact that it has weatherseals, anti shake built into the body, dust sensor, jpeg + raw, etc.I've never used an SLR (except for an hour with a friends Rebel XT -not impressed in low light, but may have been b/c of the lens -lowest aperture was 4.0). However, I took a dig SLR class and planto shoot mostly in aperture priority, so the lack of program modes onthe K10D won't bother me. Does anyone have the K10D? I know jpegshave been criticized as 'soft' - will this make a difference inprints 8 by 10 or under? The largest I would ever print (rarely)would be 11 by 14 (and if I did, would be very few).

Would the 'softness' of the jpeg benoticeable at this size? At that size, how is image qualitycompared to the Rebel XTi? I'd really appreciate any help you canprovide. (and also, if anyone has any coupon codes for B&H, pleaseemail me..found the camera cheaper elsewhere, but much prefer thewarranty at B&H)..

Thanks,Beth.

Jeff..

Comment #9

How is the Olympus compared to the K10D. And the jpeg issue with the K10D - would you notice that in smaller prints (mostly 4 by 6, some 5 by 7 and occasional 8 by 10, but most of the time, 4 by 6 or 5 by 7). I like the weather seals on the Pentax, ad the anti shake (does the Olympus have that too?).

What about warranty - would you buy extended warranty?.

Also, not sure I understand correctly...I know Pentax K10D is backwards compatible with lenses...does autofocus work with old lenses, or do you have to focus manually?.

Beth..

Comment #10

Beth,.

The K10D doesn't have a .jpg "issue" - it simply requires a couple of menu options changing to get the best from them..

Simon.

Http://www.landscapephotographyuk.com/.

North Wales photographs - Snowdonia & Anglesey..

Comment #11

Consumer Reports generally recommends against extended warranties. The only equipment failures I've experienced were soaking a camera in dish soap (which wouldn't be covered by an extended warranty) and the failure of a Nikon zoom lens (which was covered under Nikon's standard 5-year lens warranty)..

5 years from now, any camera you buy today will be next to worthless anyway...

Comment #12

Beth_W737 wrote:.

How is the Olympus compared to the K10D. And the jpeg issue withthe K10D - would you notice that in smaller prints (mostly 4 by 6,some 5 by 7 and occasional 8 by 10, but most of the time, 4 by 6 or 5by 7). I like the weather seals on the Pentax, ad the anti shake(does the Olympus have that too?).

Any of the cameras and lenses you're considering will be basically indistinguishable at 4x6 and 5x7, though at 8x10 a poor lens will begin to show through. But you won't notice big differences..

The 510 does have in-camera anti-shake. So it's like the K10D in that regard. It's generally not considered weather sealed, for that you need to go to the either the older E-1, or the new E-3. But when they say weather sealed, they really mean it. Weather sealing in the K10D is cut above the competition at current price points..

I don't know the Pentax lens lineup, so can't answer the autofocus question. I did consider the K10D a while back, and it looked good. But the lens lineup for Sony and Pentax looked thin compared to the competition, especially at the wide end..

Personally, I wouldn't buy the extended warranty. Out of the box issues will be covered by the original warranty, and you'll eventually want to replace the camera in 3-4 years with what's current at the time. So the risk/return issue doesn't seem to be there..

What about warranty - would you buy extended warranty?.

Also, not sure I understand correctly...I know Pentax K10D isbackwards compatible with lenses...does autofocus work with oldlenses, or do you have to focus manually?.

Beth.

Jeff..

Comment #13

The warranty covers accidental damage (like dropping) or wear & tear...do you know if they follow through on that? And if you were determined to buy an extended warranty (even if technology is better in 5 yrs, if they still make the memory cards, I'll probably stick with this camera body)...would you get the 3 yr over the 5 yr? (3 yr for $118, 5 yr for $235...covers normal wear & tear & accidental damage).

Beth..

Comment #14

Beth_W737 wrote:.

The warranty covers accidental damage (like dropping) or wear &tear...do you know if they follow through on that? And if you weredetermined to buy an extended warranty (even if technology is betterin 5 yrs, if they still make the memory cards, I'll probably stickwith this camera body)...would you get the 3 yr over the 5 yr? (3 yrfor $118, 5 yr for $235...covers normal wear & tear & accidentaldamage).

Beth.

Tough call. Basically it's $5/month in the out years. Over the years my wife and I have had pretty good luck with extended warranties on big things with lots of moving parts (e.g., cars in new model years) and on things we buy for our two sons (aka, the yahoos) such as laptops, cell phones..

So it kinda depends on where you fall. If, for example, you have had to repair/replace cell phones, laptops, etc., I'd go for the warranty. On the other hand, if you are the sort who never puts a ding in anything, you may be better off putting the money in an extra lens..

Don't know if there is a clear answer to the question kinda depends.Jeff..

Comment #15

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