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Friday, February 2, 2007

Complete D-SLR System Guide

With 10 companies offering D-SLRs today, there’s something for everyone


System Accessories: There are tons of Pentax lenses out there-the company has been producing SLR lenses for more than 50 years, and nearly all of them can be used on current Pentax D-SLRs, albeit some with limitations (for example, the manual-focus lenses won't autofocus). The current line consists of around 30, from the unique 10-17mm ƒ/4 superwide zoom to an autofocus 300mm ƒ/2.8 supertelephoto and a manual-focus 600mm ƒ/5.6 supertele. With the 1.5x crop factor of the Pentax D-SLRs' APS-C-sized image sensor, this translates into 35mm camera-equivalent focal lengths from 15mm to 900mm available to Pentax D-SLR users. There are also 1.4x and 2x teleconverters and adapters that allow use of Pentax medium-format and old screw-mount lenses.

 

 

Regarding the code letters found on Pentax lenses, FA-series lenses provide all camera features. Economically priced FA-J lenses provide all features, but lack an aperture ring. DA-series lenses are optimized for the D-SLRs' APS-C image sensor and thus can't be used on Pentax film SLRs. A-series lenses provide all camera features except autofocusing. K-series lenses provide manual focusing only and lack an A setting on their aperture rings, thus precluding program and shutter-priority AE operation.

All Pentax D-SLRs have built-in pop-up TTL flash units. The cameras also provide P-TTL flash (with preflash) with the AF-540FGZ (ISO 100/GN 148 in feet) and AF-360FGZ (ISO 100/GN 119) flash units, including wireless operation, high-speed sync and contrast-control flash.

Accessories include power supplies, an AC adapter, remote controls, a right-angle finder and a viewfinder magnifier. There's a battery grip for the K10D, plus a 1.2X viewfinder magnifier and grid- and scale-focusing screens. Software includes Pentax Photo Browser 3.1 for downloading images and conversion to JPEG or Adobe DNG format and Photo Laboratory 3.1 for RAW conversion, direct printing of RAW images, and image-editing, including noise, distortion and chromatic aberration correction.

Samsung
Samsung's D-SLR system features three bodies, the fruits of a partnership Samsung entered into with Pentax to develop digital SLRs. First came the value-priced 6.1-megapixel Samsung GX-1S and GX-1L (based on the Pentax *ist DS2 and *ist DL, respectively), offering a nice feature set, good performance and excellent value for the price. The newest member of the trio is the GX-10, a 10.2-megapixel model with a family resemblance to the Pentax K10D.

 


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