Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Get a grip on the complete offerings from the major camera makers when selecting your new D-SLR
Pentax has marketed eight D-SLRs in the U.S. of which two are currently in production-not a huge lineup, but those two value-priced models include something for everyone, from novice to pro. The system also includes 24 lenses (the cameras can use virtually all Pentax lenses ever made, including screw-mount types via adapter), three flash units and several accessories.
Cameras. The top Pentax model is the rugged and weather-resistant K10D. It features 10.2 megapixels, built-in sensor-shift Shake Reduction that works with all lenses, a built-in CCD dust-removal system, 22-bit A/D conversion, RAW image recording in Pentax PEF or Adobe DNG format, switches from JPEG to RAW + JPEG shooting at the touch of a button and more.
The K100D Super is a second-generation, 6.1-megapixel, entry-level model featuring Shake Reduction with all lenses, sensor-dust remover, ISOs to 3200, compatibility with new SDM lenses, a host of Picture and Scene modes, 11-point AF (including 9 cross-type sensors) and more, including a 18-55mm zoom.
Lenses. Pentax lists 59 lenses on its Website, and although not all of them are currently in production, all can be used (some with some limitations) on the D-SLRs, including the old 1200mm ƒ/8 manual-focus supertelephoto. There are also 1.4x and 2x tele-extenders. Pentax DA lenses were designed specifically for the D-SLR's APS-C-sized sensors. High-performance DA* lenses are water- and dust-resistant to match the K10D. The new SDM lenses incorporate supersonic focusing motors for quieter, smoother auto-focusing. FA film-camera autofocus lenses provide full functioning when used on the D-SLRs. A-series lenses provide all functions except autofocusing. Lenses without an A setting on the aperture ring have additional limitations.
Fixed focal lengths range from 14mm ultrawide to 300mm super-telephoto, although there still might be some 600mm ƒ/4 superteles around. Zooms range from 10-17mm fish-eye and 12-24mm to 100-300mm. There are also 50mm, 100mm and 200mm macro lenses. Pentax D-SLRs have a 1.5x focal-length factor, so all focal lengths should be multiplied by 1.5 to get the equivalent framing of the lens on a 35mm camera.
Flash. Pentax offers three flash units for its D-SLRs. The top model is the AF-540FGZ, with an ISO 100/GN of 104-175, in feet (depending on the zoom setting), P-TTL flash (with pre-flash), wireless off-camera flash, tilt/swivel bounce head, one-second modeling-light flash and high-speed sync mode. Other flash units include the AF-360FGZ (ISO 100/GN 119, in feet at the longest zoom setting) and the value-priced AF-200FG (ISO 100/GN 65, in feet).
Software. Pentax provides a CD with each camera that includes Pentax Photo Browser 3 and Photo Laboratory 3 applications. Photo Browser lets you view, print and manage images shot with Pentax digital cameras. Photo Laboratory provides extensive RAW-processing capabilities for PNF and DNG files.
Accessories. The K10D accepts the optional Battery Grip D-BG2, which holds an additional rechargeable lithium-ion battery for added shooting capacity, and provides handy controls for vertical-format shooting. There are also two optional focusing screens for the K10D, a grid screen and a scale screen. Both the K10D and the K100D Super can use the optional infrared Remote Control F (which can fire the camera from up to 16 feet away) and the 0.5-meter Cable Switch CS-205. AC adapters are available for both cameras.
|24 Lenses, including: |
DA 10-17mm ƒ/3.5-4.5 Fisheye
DA 12-24mm ƒ/4.0
DA* 16-50mm ƒ/2.8 SDM
DA 18-250mm ƒ/3.5-6.3
DA* 50-135mm ƒ/2.8 SDM
DA 50-200mm ƒ/4-5.6
DA 14mm ƒ/2.8
DA 21mm ƒ/3.2 AL
DA 70mm ƒ/2.4 Limited
FA J 75-300mm ƒ/4.5-5.8
|3 Flash Units:|
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