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Nikon d40x and Pentax k10d
Hi.

I'm considering getting my first dslr, and have been reading all over here. I have used slr's back in the day, have a very basic understanding of photography, and currently use a fujifilm s5000. Photography interests are plants/forest macrophotography. Wildlife/birds - when I get suitable lenses. Landscapes, Architecture and textures..

So far I'm leaning toward either a Nikon d40x or Pentax k10d. I like how the Nikon feels in my hands, the Pentax feels a little big. I think the Pentax may have a few more features. It's hard to tell when starting out, just what features will be the most important down the road..

I've only used jpeg in the past, but would like to try out the raw format. I read that the Nikon doesn't come with raw conversion software. Will I need to purchase software separately if I want to shoot raw format with the Nikon? Does this software typically come with the camera, or is it usually a separate purchase?.

Thanks..

Comments (25)

I think your decision will ultimately rest on the lens system. For wildlife you need long telephoto lenses, and Pentax simply doesn't have these. For that reason I would avoid Pentax..

D40 is workable, but with only three AF points it's not going to track bird in flight very well. Have you looked at the Canon Rebel XTi or Nikon D80?..

Comment #1

It will probably be a long time before I have the lenses I would need for Wildlife. Landscapes, forest scenes, flowers/plants are my bigger interest, along with macro..

I haven't considered the D80 as it's beyond my budget at this point. (I have a D40 budget that keeps getting stretched upward!) It also seemed like a lot of camera for a newbie. One possibility is just buying a body, and if it would work, use an old tamron 28-105 lens I havejust to get started. That would make bumping up the the D80 a possiblity. I have no idea if the tamron lens is useful or not..

I haven't had a chance read up on the Canon, but it's certainly an option. I've seen one at the store, and while I liked how the Nikon felt the best, the Canon was nice too - a little smaller than the Pentax as I recall. I'm just not familiar with Canon's advantages at this point...

Comment #2

Bluekat wrote:.

Hi.

Hello....

So far I'm leaning toward either a Nikon d40x or Pentax k10d. I likehow the Nikon feels in my hands, the Pentax feels a little big..

Then buy the D40x! Feel is VERY important..

Ithink the Pentax may have a few more features. It's hard to tell whenstarting out, just what features will be the most important down theroad..

You are being driven too much by price. The K10D is more camera than the D40x. The comparable Pentax (to the D40x) is the K100D super. The comparable Nikon (to the K10D) is the D80. Just because the Pentax is priced like the D40x doesn't mean they are comparable..

I've only used jpeg in the past, but would like to try out the rawformat. I read that the Nikon doesn't come with raw conversionsoftware. Will I need to purchase software separately if I want toshoot raw format with the Nikon? Does this software typically comewith the camera, or is it usually a separate purchase?.

Both ways. Depends. In general, I think if you get serious, you will buy photo editing software. Camera companies don't know diddly about software..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #3

I agree, it takes a lot of searching before you decide on a camera, but once you do it is one fun, relaxing, and addictive activity to do. I search all the companies out there but when my dad picked up some old pentax lenses from the Salvation Army and I tried them on at the Camera store I knew I could save a lot by going with Pentax. I was originally going to do the k10d but after realizing I really don't need that many megapixels I went down to the k100d super, got myself some good long autofocus glass, along with some other accessories and am enjoying every bit of getting DSLR. So try to see if your old glass can fit on any DSLRs, if not, whatever camera you chose will probably be a good choice..

You already know that some major long glass will cost $$$$, but since you are sticking with wildlife, landscape, which if it's mostly daytime stuff you won't need a really low f-stop which will save you some cash to get the other lenses that you are interested in. Just keep looking, you will start to narrow yourself down to a certain camera...

Comment #4

Then buy the D40x! Feel is VERY important..

I like the D40x, but I'm concerned about the limited lens options, and whether it has the features I will want as I improve. I hadn't considered the D80 before this, but if I could use my older lens with the D80 that would get me started. Now I'm wondering if that would be a better way to go..

In general, I think if you get serious, you willbuy photo editing software. Camera companies don't know diddly aboutsoftware..

I guess I don't know enough about processing Raw format. My fuji can shoot raw. It saves it as a .raf file. I'm assuming that this is the file I would need to convert to raw using the camera's software? Then from there open it in Photoshop for editing. I can't really experiment with the fuji, as the software is long gone...

Comment #5

Canon DSLRs come with Canon's RAW editor & converter Digital Photo Professional which works pretty good..

Or buy Adobe's entry level editing program Photoshop Elements and can edit RAW images. I currently have PSE3 and was thinking of upgrading to the current version 6, but seems it may have some bugs..

Or buy one of the special Sandisk Extreme III memory cards that includes a license to use Phase One's Capture One LE RAW editor & converter. I bought one (2G compact flash card) a few weeks ago and have primarily been using Capture One of late..

"FREE Capture One RAW workflow with SanDisk Extreme III cards"http://www.phaseone.com/Global/Campaigns/SanDisk%20info.aspx.

DCRP Review: Pentax K10Dhttp://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pentax/k10d-review/.

One thought: if you go with Canon or Nikon you don't necessarily have to buy big expensive telephoto lenses, but could possibly rent / try them out if you have a local camera store (there's even a place online that rents lenses) which will be easier with Canon or Nikon..

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #6

Roonal wrote:.

Canon DSLRs come with Canon's RAW editor & converter Digital PhotoProfessional which works pretty good..

Or buy Adobe's entry level editing program Photoshop Elements and canedit RAW images. I currently have PSE3 and was thinking of upgradingto the current version 6, but seems it may have some bugs..

I have photoshop. I'm assuming I can edit raw files there, the same as jpg or tif? I managed to find the software for the fuji. When I set the fuji to shoot raw, the resulting image has a .raf extension. I can select the .raf file in the finepix viewer program and convert it to a tif file. So where does raw enter into things? I was expecting something with a .raw extension at some point. Am I missing something?.

Or buy one of the special Sandisk Extreme III memory cards thatincludes a license to use Phase One's Capture One LE RAW editor &converter. I bought one (2G compact flash card) a few weeks ago andhave primarily been using Capture One of late..

"FREE Capture One RAW workflow with SanDisk Extreme III cards"http://www.phaseone.com/Global/Campaigns/SanDisk%20info.aspx.

DCRP Review: Pentax K10Dhttp://www.dcresource.com/reviews/pentax/k10d-review/.

One thought: if you go with Canon or Nikon you don't necessarily haveto buy big expensive telephoto lenses, but could possibly rent / trythem out if you have a local camera store (there's even a placeonline that rents lenses) which will be easier with Canon or Nikon..

Great idea. I hadn't thought about renting lenses. We have a couple of small shops in nearby towns. Thanks for the links and info!..

Comment #7

Feature wise, I think Pentax offers more bang for the buck. I picked Pentax K100D because it has more complete set of features than similarly entry level Nikon D40. K10D has even more features than K100D, for few hundred dollars more. Most complaint I've heard about Pentax is it's slow autofocus in low light condition, also slower frame rate and small buffer in continuous shooting mode. Despite these limitations, I think it will be harder to outgrow K10D's rich feature set than the more basic feature set of D40x...

Comment #8

Nathan Yan wrote:.

I think your decision will ultimately rest on the lens system. Forwildlife you need long telephoto lenses, and Pentax simply doesn'thave these. For that reason I would avoid Pentax..

How long a lens do you need for wildlife ? .

Surely the Pentax-FA* 600mm f4.0 would do the job..

Http://cgi.ebay.com/...72236QQihZ003QQcategoryZ106876QQtcZphotoQQcmdZViewItem.

....and it's stabilized on a K10D body..

Bazz...

Comment #9

Ehr, I was kind of thinking along the lines of something that isn't $8000..

As far as I know, Pentax doesn't have anything semi-affordable that goes up to 400mm. I'm not sure about 300mm either, and I don't think there are many fast-focusing, high-quality options available either...

Comment #10

Http://www.pentaxslr.com/lenses/lens_50_200.

That's the only currently produced Pentax lens I could find in the telephoto range. It's a budget lens that only goes up to 200mm. So there's nothing beyond 200mm, nothing with fast focusing, and nothing that is beyond budget-level. That's pretty limiting to me...

Comment #11

Nathan Yan wrote:.

Http://www.pentaxslr.com/lenses/lens_50_200.

That's the only currently produced Pentax lens I could find in thetelephoto range. It's a budget lens that only goes up to 200mm. Sothere's nothing beyond 200mm, nothing with fast focusing, and nothingthat is beyond budget-level. That's pretty limiting to me..

Thats true but it's completely different to your earlier post..

You've now brought price into the equation and limited your available choices to zooms. .

Which lens in the Nikon line up would you suggest thats fits your criteria ? .

Bazz...

Comment #12

Sir_bazz wrote:.

Nathan Yan wrote:.

Http://www.pentaxslr.com/lenses/lens_50_200.

That's the only currently produced Pentax lens I could find in thetelephoto range. It's a budget lens that only goes up to 200mm. Sothere's nothing beyond 200mm, nothing with fast focusing, and nothingthat is beyond budget-level. That's pretty limiting to me..

Thats true but it's completely different to your earlier post..

You've now brought price into the equation and limited your availablechoices to zooms. .

True, but you do have to take some common-sense context. If a poster is looking at D40 and K10D for his first DSLR, do you really think an $8000 lens is in the cards?.

As far as I can tell that lens is also discontinued. Which means you'll only find it used or on ebay..

Which lens in the Nikon line up would you suggest thats fits yourcriteria ? .

Nikon has a 70-300. 300mm, better than budget-level IQ, and SWM focusing. On the Canon side there's a 70-300IS, 300 f4IS, 100-400IS, or 400 f5.6...

Comment #13

Nathan Yan wrote:.

True, but you do have to take some common-sense context. If a posteris looking at D40 and K10D for his first DSLR, do you really think an$8000 lens is in the cards?.

Of course I wouldn't but we both know that wasn't the intention of my earlier post. Infact you could make a reasonable assumption that a $1000 lens is possibly outside his price range when looking at the bodies the OP is comparing..

As far as I can tell that lens is also discontinued. Which meansyou'll only find it used or on ebay..

Actually the Pentax 600mm f4.0 is still available as a special order from Pentax Japan. It's also over a $1000 cheaper buying it direct and explains why that Ebay seller hasn't sold any units yet..

Nikon has a 70-300. 300mm, better than budget-level IQ, and SWMfocusing. On the Canon side there's a 70-300IS, 300 f4IS, 100-400IS,or 400 f5.6..

You could've also included the Bigma which includes the appropriate focal lengths at a budget price and is available in Pentax mount..

One of the advantages of the Pentax mount is you can use any of the older K-mount lenses without a problem. This could be a 30 year old 300mm f4.0, (for around $300), or a recently discontinued 250-600mm f5.6..

At the budget end there's the Pentax 18-250mm which should be available in stores soon or the upcoming 60-250mm f4.0 which is not too far away now..

We've dragged the thread a little off topic now but the point I'm trying to make is it's not as bad as you made it sound in your original post..

Cheers,bazz...

Comment #14

Sir_bazz wrote:.

Nathan Yan wrote:.

True, but you do have to take some common-sense context. If a posteris looking at D40 and K10D for his first DSLR, do you really think an$8000 lens is in the cards?.

Of course I wouldn't but we both know that wasn't the intention of myearlier post. Infact you could make a reasonable assumption that a$1000 lens is possibly outside his price range when looking at thebodies the OP is comparing..

As far as I can tell that lens is also discontinued. Which meansyou'll only find it used or on ebay..

Actually the Pentax 600mm f4.0 is still available as a special orderfrom Pentax Japan. It's also over a $1000 cheaper buying it directand explains why that Ebay seller hasn't sold any units yet..

Nikon has a 70-300. 300mm, better than budget-level IQ, and SWMfocusing. On the Canon side there's a 70-300IS, 300 f4IS, 100-400IS,or 400 f5.6..

You could've also included the Bigma which includes the appropriatefocal lengths at a budget price and is available in Pentax mount..

One of the advantages of the Pentax mount is you can use any of theolder K-mount lenses without a problem. This could be a 30 year old300mm f4.0, (for around $300), or a recently discontinued 250-600mmf5.6..

At the budget end there's the Pentax 18-250mm which should beavailable in stores soon or the upcoming 60-250mm f4.0 which is nottoo far away now..

We've dragged the thread a little off topic now but the point I'mtrying to make is it's not as bad as you made it sound in youroriginal post..

Cheers,bazz..

Buy an old Tamron 300 2.8...highly useable on the Pentaxes if you do not mind manual focus...plus you can buy the 1.7x auto focus adapter second hand and get the cheapest reasonable quality 500mm auto focus lens (actually 510) at a still fast 4.8....

Neil.

If your lucky you could get the camera, lens and adapter for under $1800..

Comment #15

Bluekat wrote:.

I have photoshop. I'm assuming I can edit raw files there, the sameas jpg or tif? I managed to find the software for the fuji. When Iset the fuji to shoot raw, the resulting image has a .raf extension.I can select the .raf file in the finepix viewer program and convertit to a tif file. So where does raw enter into things? I wasexpecting something with a .raw extension at some point. Am Imissing something?.

Probably. I'm not familiar with the finepix viewer..

PS will use a separate program called Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). If you ask PS to load a "RAW" file, it will launch ACR and allow you to process the file. "RAF" is Fuji's name for their proprietary RAW format. Each camera maker thunks up their own format and gives it a different name..

ACR is free. It gets updated often, as new cameras with RAW capability are released. You can download the latest ACR version from the Adobe website..

Charlie DavisNikon 5700 & Sony R1HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/..

Comment #16

Great tip about the Capture One LE for free with the Sandisk cards. The only problem is that the promotion is over, so new stock of these cards won't have it. You can't tell by the UPC, either. But, Circuit City stocks them, and last I looked, SOME of them had it. There's a little sticker on the box indicating it...

Comment #17

Wow this thread took off last night...enjoyed the lens discussion. Someone mentioned it, but yeah, I don't think I will be buying an $8000 lens anytime soon. I would love to find some older lenses. But I'm getting ahead of myself. For now I just need to find the right camera/system that will get me started, with room to grow. I'd like an everyday lens like the 18-200 (or similar) to cover a range when I'm out and about.

I will probably just have the kit lens to start with..

I'm curious about using the raw format, since I've always edited and played with my photos in Photoshop, and thought I'd like to see how it stacks up against jpg. I'm just greedy for a file with uncompressed, pure information. .

The other thing I'm wondering about is if I go with a nikon (say the D80) would using my Tamron 28-105 for a basic starter lens be a good option..

I have to leave for work, but will read back through the posts later when I have more time. Thanks everyone, enjoyed the input!kari - PS. I'm a her ..

Comment #18

Bluekat wrote:.

I have photoshop. I'm assuming I can edit raw files there, the sameas jpg or tif?.

Probably. What Photoshop version do you have? If it won't open the Fuji RAW file then may need an update from the Adobe website..

I managed to find the software for the fuji. When Iset the fuji to shoot raw, the resulting image has a .raf extension..

As previous poster said each camera maker has their own particular extension to designate a RAW file. No actual ".raw" extension..

I can select the .raf file in the finepix viewer program and convertit to a tif file. So where does raw enter into things?.

The ".raf" file IS the RAW file..

I was expecting something with a .raw extension at some point..

Nope..

Am I missing something?.

Yep. Sorry, couldn't resist .

Here are some of the various RAW extensions:.

CRW & CR2, DNG, EEF, NEF, MRW, ORF, RAF, DCR, SRF/ARW, PEF, X3F.

Which correspond to:.

Canon, Adobe, Epson, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus, Fuji, Kodak, Sony, Pentax, Sigma.

Above info acquired from this page:http://www.irfanview.com/.

More info:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format.

Have you tried opening a Fuji RAW file with the Photoshop you have? What happens?.

Since you're just starting out I'd suggest by-passing the Fuji RAW editor/converter altogether if possible - particularly since your NOT considering buying a Fuji DSLR - and spend your available time learning Photoshop. Then the experience you gain will not only apply to the Fuji RAW files, but will be more useful across different manufacturers RAW files. After all you can't - although I haven't actually ever tried to - edit a Nikon or Pentax RAW file USING Fuji's RAW editer/converter..

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #19

I am a K10D newbie and I got the Tamron 28-300 with it. I figure this stuff will be long obsolete before I figure out all the nuances of it's use. I have legacy Pentax lenses that tipped my decision. I also have big hands and the K10D is very comfortable to me..

One thought for you, PS Elements is pretty cheap (at least in the camera world), under $100 and it will be useful no matter what camera you get. It might be a place to start playing with RAW files from your old camera and learning the software..

It will also give you time to think and get more feedback from all these folks that know more than us! ave..

Comment #20

Probably. I'm not familiar with the finepix viewer..

PS will use a separate program called Adobe Camera Raw (ACR). If youask PS to load a "RAW" file, it will launch ACR and allow you toprocess the file. "RAF" is Fuji's name for their proprietary RAWformat. Each camera maker thunks up their own format and gives it adifferent name..

ACR is free. It gets updated often, as new cameras with RAWcapability are released. You can download the latest ACR version fromthe Adobe website..

Thanks, that's helpful. My PS is old...6 at work, and 7 at home. I need to replace it. When I tried to open the .raf files from photoshop they didn't even show up in the folder. Possibly PS6/7 is just too old...

Comment #21

Roonal wrote:.

Probably. What Photoshop version do you have? If it won't open theFuji RAW file then may need an update from the Adobe website..

PS7. It doesn't seem to even recognize the files. It's a pretty old version. I think it's beyond updates .

I have to bite the bullet and replace it with the current version. I use it quite a bit..

As previous poster said each camera maker has their own particularextension to designate a RAW file. No actual ".raw" extension.The ".raf" file IS the RAW file..

I was expecting something with a .raw extension at some point..

Nope..

Am I missing something?.

Yep. Sorry, couldn't resist .

LOL - you have no idea!!.

Here are some of the various RAW extensions:.

CRW & CR2, DNG, EEF, NEF, MRW, ORF, RAF, DCR, SRF/ARW, PEF, X3F.

Which correspond to:.

Canon, Adobe, Epson, Nikon, Minolta, Olympus, Fuji, Kodak, Sony,Pentax, Sigma.

Above info acquired from this page:http://www.irfanview.com/.

More info:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raw_image_format.

Ok, that makes sense. PS lists raw along with other formats...psd, pdf, jpg, etc. That's where I got the idea it was an extension..

Have you tried opening a Fuji RAW file with the Photoshop you have?What happens?.

It doesn't show up in the list to open. I tried "open with" and it didn't work either..

Since you're just starting out I'd suggest by-passing the Fuji RAWeditor/converter altogether if possible - particularly since your NOTconsidering buying a Fuji DSLR - and spend your available timelearning Photoshop. Then the experience you gain will not only applyto the Fuji RAW files, but will be more useful across differentmanufacturers RAW files. After all you can't - although I haven'tactually ever tried to - edit a Nikon or Pentax RAW file USING Fuji'sRAW editer/converter..

I agree. I only tried it with the fuji to see what I could come up with. I mainly want to sure that whichever camera I end up with, I will be able to shoot/edit in raw. Or at least to see if there is yet more software I need to aquire..

I like the idea of working with the original, unedited file. I've used Photoshop for several years for graphics and for editing my pics (jpg's), resizing, adjusting color, etc. I'd seen raw on some of the drop-down lists, but never paid any attention to it..

Thanks, Roonal, your post really explains it well - sometimes it takes me awhile to figure things out! =o).

Kari..

Comment #22

Did a quick search via Google and didn't look like there weren't any updates for PS7 to allow it to open Fuji RAW files..

If you want to stay with Adobe, the least expensive option is to get Photoshop Elements 5 or 6. Sells new for $99, but can often be had for $10 (or more) less than that. PSE 5 was as low as $39 some weeks ago at one of the office supply chain stores (like OfficeMax or Office Depot) when there was a rebate running..

Good Day,Roonal.

'Money doesn't buy happiness, but it makes for an extravagant depression' by golf tournament sportscaster..

Comment #23

The academic version of Adobe Lightroom is $99. If you have a school-age kid, you're eligible...

Comment #24

I do design work so I need the full blown PS for other things. I stopped by a camera shop today, and he said the same thing, that PS7 is just too old to read raw files. The current version will. I'm still looking forward to doing some experimenting with the format to see what I come up with..

I had a chance to play with a few more cameras while at the shop, and I still seem to come back to the D40x. I need to save up a bit more, but I think that is the one I will end up getting. Had a chance to look at some different lenses as well..

Thanks, everyone,kari..

Comment #25

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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