Saturday, August 05, 2006

Popular Photography Briefly Looks At K100D: Editor's Choice

In July, well before the camera was released, Popular Photography printed that the K100D and Samsung DL2 clone (the GX-1L) were its Editor's Choice, along with the Olympus Evolt 330, for Best Consumer Entry-Level DSLRs. The article is also available online.

"Like lens-based systems, the K100D's (Shake Reduction) lets you shoot at shutter speeds up to three stops slower than you'd otherwise have to set for sharp handheld results. And like Konica Minolta's late Anti-Shake system, Pentax's Shake Reduction has the advantage of working with any of the nearly four dozen lenses in the Pentax line. The only real disadvantage of sensor-based image stabilization in a digital SLR is that unlike the lens-based approach, you can't actually see it steadying the image through the optical viewfinder. But given the K100D's low price, which includes an 18–55mm f/3.5–5.6 Pentax DA lens, we can't complain. Besides, you also get an 11-point AF array; a "digital preview" that stores a shot in a temporary buffer so you can check and delete it faster; and eight new scene modes, including one purported to make kids look healthier. No kidding."

This is pretty much all they say for now. And while we await the arrival of Popular Photography's "Certified Test Results," there is also a brief July "Hands On" look at the K100D now on their site. Based on a pre-production model, their review takes up the K100D to look at the Preview funtion and little else. I hesitate to call this a review, more like something to whet their readers' appetite for the forthcoming full review.

They clearly make the distinction that the K100D Preview function (first seen in the DL2) is not to be confused with a live preview:

"When triggered by the depth-of-field preview switch, this takes a shot, stores it to the internal buffer, and displays it immediately on the LCD. The camera will hold the image in the buffer for 60 seconds or until you touch the shutter button again. Now, you may ask, why not just take a picture and preview that? Well, Digital Preview does save you space on your memory card—but then, you can always erase a picture from a memory card. Kind of gimmicky, we say. And you can always program the depth-of-field control (via custom function) to stop down the lens to the shooting aperture for conventional depth-of-field preview."

There really isn't much more that's said about the quality of the camera, except for a cursory look at the additional Scene modes available on the dial (again, first seen in the the DL2) and a question about why Pentax is waiting to jump to 8MP. While we wait for more reviews to get posted, these feel like little teases, but hopefully more will be comeing online shortly.

Links: Popular Photography: K100D Editors Choice, Popular Photography: K100D Hands On Look

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