Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Positive on the K100D Super: 2 New Reviews

If you were in New York last night, you probably saw the spectacular amber atmosphere around 6:30pm, thanks to low and thick overhead clouds, the humidity, and the sunset lighting it all from underneath. I was walking through Bryant Park, wishing I had my camera with me, when I spotted a woman taking a picture of the Chrysler building in this luminous atmosphere. She was using a K100D Super (I can tell these things in a heartbeat by now), and I felt like cheering her on for her choice in camera. Since its release this summer, the K100D Super has received great reviews. The most recent of which comes from Popular Photography, who appreciated that the camera's motorized lens support really speeds up focus when paired with the new DA*16-50mm F2.8 lens, and that the resolution on the camera beats previous budget winner, the Nikon D40.

"The K100D Super is the latest in a slowly evolving line that goes back to the *ist DS of 2004, and as such feels like an old friend. The ergonomics are excellent, the body is pleasantly light but very solid-feeling, and the pentamirror viewfinder is bright, with both Excellent tested accuracy and Excellent (though just barely) tested magnification.

We ran the full battery of Pop Photo Lab tests on the camera, this time using RAW capture, and got results nearly the same as those of its predecessor. Resolution went up a notch, to 1590 average lines from 1520, maintaining an Extremely High rating. Color accuracy improved just enough to get an Excellent rating. And noise numbers were virtually unchanged -- and they were good numbers to start. At ISO 1600, for example, the camera produced Moderately Low noise, but still managed to maintain Extremely High resolution."
The only major question remaining at PopPhoto is why the camera is still at 6MP, which they feel is "pretty skimpy" next to the competition considering it doesn't cost too much more to get 10MP with the K10D. However, DigitalCameraReview.com published their review of the K100D Super and had a response for that: the lower resolution sensor gives you better high ISO performance and retains detail when 10MP cameras have to amp up their noise reduction and sacrifice detail. Jerry also says:

"Since my day-to-day cameras are a Pentax K10D and Pentax *ist DL, I was curious how the K100D Super would compare. I expected the camera to perform better than the *ist DL but fall short of the K10D. What I discovered was that the K100D Super is much more like its big brother the K10D than I expected. In short, this is one amazing little camera.

Focus speed of the K100D Super is about the same as the more professional K10D. The 2.7fps continuous shooting performance is great, but the small image buffer of only 5 JPEGs or 3 RAW images severely limits the camera. Image quality is among the best I’ve seen with a 6 megapixel sensor and ISO noise is kept in check thanks to the lower resolution sensor. The full compatibility with every Pentax lens means almost limitless options for expansion and growth of your photographic skills. Colors are rich even at the "natural" image tone setting. In-camera shake reduction and dust removal means that this entry-level camera is remarkably full-featured. Anyone upgrading from a point-and-shoot camera to a DSLR will feel right at home with the auto and scene program modes.

Bottom line, at the entry level price point, the K100D Super is the best value on the market."

Photo of K100D Super, from DigitalCameraReviews

Both of these high profile reviews come to the same conclusion: the Pentax K100D Super is a terrific value for an entry-level camera with this much lens compatibility. And I'm always glad to see Pentax still reeling in the good esteem and that there are people out there enjoying this camera.

Links: Popular Photography Pentax K100D Super, DigitalCameraReview.com

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