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The Pentax K100D was my first move into the DSLR world. I used to have a Ricoh SLR many years ago and still had lenses from that time. The fact that Pentax DSLR cameras can use Pentax fit lenses from many years ago is a huge plus and was one reason i decided to go with this camera. Another reason was the built in shake reduction that the body has. This effectivly makes any lens stabilised and means no need for expensive stabilised lenses. The shake reduction feature worked very well and i was able to get some pretty sharp pics at very low shutter speeds hand held. The camera exposes very well but the auto focus can be a bit slow. The kit lens that came with the camera was very good as a starter lens. I found the camera body a lil small for my hands but it did make for a fairly light weight DSLR that was capable of some very good photography. At the time the camera was released the 6mp sensor was shared with the Nikon D50 and both enjoy benefits of increased ISO performance. Technologoy has moved on now but i still think the camera would be a good choice for someone looking to get into DSLR world and they should be fairly cheap in good use condition. I used 4x rechargeable batteries as it eats alkaline batteries in no time.
This camera takes absolutely great pictures, much higher quality than I expected, I find it very easy to use with the auto-zoom function. Even when this is turned off, it is still very easy to operate. The inclusion of a filter on the viewfinder so that people with glasses do not need to remove them is a very good feature. The anti-shake feature is also a welcome addition, allowing you to take very crisp pictures.
The lenses are very easy to remove and swap with others. The flash works wonderfully in almost any situation also. All the pictures are saved onto SD card, in .jpg format which makes downloading them to your computer so much easier.
The built in menu's can be a little intimidating at first, but before too long are very easy to navigate. Photo browsing on the camera is very easy to do, and very intuitive. I honestly haven't even scratched the surface of most of the features that are built into this camera, however I am extremely happy with it. It includes the ability to change to different shooting modes, for example, macro mode, for taking photo's of small items, and also the moving object mode, which I make use of when trying to photograph my pet rabbit.
The camera can feel a little heavy at first, however it soon becomes very natural. I was given this as a present quite a while ago from a relative, and even now I wouldn't consider buying a new camera, definitely would last you for quite a while.
As you might see below, I reviewed this camera before, but I feel I have got to know it much better since then.
As you can see by looking at the specs, the camera has 6 Mega Pixels, comes with an autofocusing 18-55mm kit lens, and is compatible with SD Cards. If you were to buy this camera you would have to update its firmware to enable compatibility with SDHC cards.
Right, the review:
I guess the picture quality of this camera would be considered average for a DSLR, it all depends on the photographer and the lens' he is using. However, with a good sturdy tripod, the kit lens is capable of taking very sharp images that are easily printable at A4. The 6MP sensor does mean you will not be able to print huge pictures, but for most people this is not a problem.
**Ease of use and features**
As with any DSLR, this camera cannot be considered "easy to use" in every aspect. However, stick it on auto mode with an auto focus lens and you've got yourself a camera that requires nothing more than a press of a button to take a perfectly good picture. However, if you wish to exploit this camera to its full potential you're going to have to venture into the world of manual mode. To be able to do this you are going to have to read articles, books and magazines - it's not something that comes instantly to anyone.
As for the features: this camera is packed with them. Compared to newer DSLRs, and, obviously, higher prices DSLRs, it doesn't have that many but it has enough for the budding amateur. The camera has built in anti shake and a range of ISO levels from 200 - 3200, as well as the ability to use mirror lock up (using the self timer). It has a very bright flash, a range of modes including manual, bulb, program, auto, shutter priority and aperture priority as normal, plus a few scene modes including sunset and sports. On top of this, it has the ability for remote shutter realise in both wireless and wired form.
**Look and feel**
The camera, in my opinion (if you were thinking of buying this camera you would be wise to actually go and hold it instead of going on what I say), feels great in your hand. It is fairly easy to hold steady, although I would recommend a tripod, and doesn't feel to plasticy. It looks fairly good, in fact, it looks like most DSLR's. For a true idea of how this camera looks and feels you would have to go and look at and hold it in a shop.
**Battery life and anything else**
Finally, I would like to comment on the battery life of this camera. The camera has a very varied range of battery life: obviously, if you use the autofocus, the LCD screen and flash a lot its going to be much shorter than if you don't. However, the battery life of this camera on standard AA's is not brilliant no matter what, so if you consider buying this I would look into rechargeables and a spare set.
The only other thing to comment on would be the accesories for this camera. They are much the same as any DSLR can have, but a list can be found on the Pentax website.
I got this camera as a Christmas present and at the time I was very excited about it. It is a great camera which takes amazing pictures and features Pentax's newly developed moving sensor Shake Reduction system. It's a 6.1 megapixel camera and it is extremely easy to use, so it is ideal for beginners and advanced photographers. Being fixed with this camera for several months after I received it I failed to see any problems with it. However I soon became to notice that taking photos of moving children was near impossible. Once you have managed to take the camera out of the case attached the lenses and removed the lenses cover, plus the camera takes a while to focus, so once you have finally managed to do that, the special moment you were trying to capture (such as a first smile) has certainly gone. However once you do capture the picture you want the clarity and colour authenticity of the images are clearly outstanding.
I would definitely say that this camera is better for portrait pictures where the people being photographed don't mind standing around for a while, while you are busy adjusting the lenses. Another thing I came to realise was that against our regular small digital camera this pentax rarely got used. With it being such a bulky camera it is not ideal for taking on those family days out or holidays, no matter how good the pictures are it is just not practical or worth lugging around. Not only that, it is a very expensive camera so by taking out with you, you will be constantly keeping it with you to insure it doesn't get broken or stolen.
I would not have gone out and bought this for myself; however I am not complaining as it was a gift. This camera rarely sees any action anymore and for the last 6 months it has sat in a draw gathering dust, making debut experiences on birthdays and Christmas( and possibly when the parents come round, just to show off ) I would not recommend this camera for family's wishing for an everyday use camera, it's just not practical.
However having said all off that I would still recommend this camera to those who are patient or who take landscape pictures (because let's face it, I highly doubt the landscape will run away like a 2 year old child before you have even got the camera out of the box!) it is a very good camera and highly recommended to those who have the time to fully appreciate it. and now being able to pick up one of these cameras for as low as £219 at www.digital-photo-keyrings.co.uk it's a bargain as well.
I've owned this camera since my 18th birthday a few years back. It's been massively reliable for me, and I'm still using it to this day on my Photography degree course. Picture quality is good, the camera itself is entry level, I'd say. The instruction manual lays everything out, making it very user friendly, and is something you'll keep coming back to.
I'm using Photoshop CS3 with the camera, enhancing the images contrast and sharpness, so I'd recommend you get hold of Photoshop as well, because your images will definitely improve in quality.
The first time I used the camera was while out and about in Manchester as part of my birthday treat. I went to the Manchester United and A.S Roma game at Old Trafford, the memorable Champions League match that ended 7-1 to Man U, and it was a fantastic event to be at. The images of the fast paced action came out well, and I was using it on Automatic. I was getting to grips with it for the first time, and the images were fantastic.
I would say that the camera struggles a bit in low level light, and images can appear very grainy as a result. They also don't work really well under flourescent lighting conditions, but then again not many cameras do.
If you're looking for a entry level camera, you won't go far wrong with this one. I myself am looking to upgrade to a newer Pentax camera, and recommend the Pentax brand to any and all photography lovers out there.