Pentax K100D vs. Canon Digital Rebel XT (Help!)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Unspeaked, Apr 2, 2007.

  1. Unspeaked macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast
    #1
    Alright, so I've finally decided it's time for me to step up and buy a digital SLR.

    I've had various digital cameras for over 10 years, but have always gone with point and shoot models due to expense... lower prices and an upcoming trip are convincing me to pull the trigger.

    Here's my dilemma: I'm going to stick in the low range, and have done a lot of research on cameras in my price point. I think I'm going to go with either to Pentax K100D or the Canon Digital Rebel XT.

    I've always been a fan of Canon digital cameras (and film cameras, for that matter) so that's a big plus for that model. I haven't used a Pentax since college, and that was a K1000! Other than that, I like the Pentax because it's $100 less. However, it's only 6.1 megapixels (versus 8.1 for the Canon). Then again, the Canon scores very poorly on auto-focus while the Pentax has a great image stabilizer built in which seems to score very well in online reviews. So you can see my indecision...

    I was hoping some of you folks could help me figure out which to go with. If it helps any, Id be using the included lens on both, and probably wouldn't be buying any new lens or accessories for at least a year.

    If people could comment on stuff like battery life, image quality, weight, etc, that would be useful too. I've read about all this online, but I'd rather hear candid comments in a forum like this than technical reviews...

    Thanks for the help!
     
  2. Plymouthbreezer macrumors 601

    Plymouthbreezer

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    Feb 27, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #2
    For you, the 6.1 verse 8.1 won't matter much. 6.1MP is plenty more than you probably need...

    I'd go with the K100D, if it were my money, but the Canon lens line is more likely less money down the road.
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #3
    Buying an SLR is not like buying a point and shoot. An SLR is a system. Look at the whole system. The system you would want to own in 3 to 5 years. The system will have a DSLR body, a few lenses and a strobe. It some point, maybe in 5 years, maybe sooner you will want to replace the DSLR body but the lenses can last for decades. So you will want to buy a body from the same company so it will fit your lenses. In the end the body is not the most impotent part of the system and is short lived as technology changes. You are shopping for a system, the camera body is just one part.

    Over the years (20+ years) I've changed out every part of my Nikon system, replaced every lens and the body four times but I've still got a Nikon SLR system. If you buy Pentax or Canon the same will apply to you in 20 years.

    Do NOT decide which system to buy based of some triveal difference like $100 savings or a megapixel count on the first body you buy. Step back and look at the whole system and where you want to go with it year down the road.

    Lenses are buy far and away the most expensive and importent part of the system. Make sure you understand your needs. Most beginners buy a cheap f/5.6 zoom and then decide they need to upgrade. Check out the upgrade options NOW. Before you lock your self into a brand. What you don't want is to buy brand A and then go shopping for the lens upgrade only t find you like brands B's lenses better.

    I always tell people "Lenses make images, bodies only record images." Shop for lens(es) FIRST.

    All that said, what makes most people go with either Nikon or Canon rather then the others is the range of options available. If you have a canon then you have the option to buy lots of good pro quality lenses, same with Nikon. What does Pentax offer is there a way to move up? Not going to say which to buy. Just think ahead.
     
  4. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

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    #4
    I've' had the original Rebel (300D) for a few years, bought mainly because I already had a few lenses, and it compared favourably to what was out there at the time. I love it, and will by a Canon again.

    My father, a former professional photographer, is a long-time Pentax user, and just bought the K100D as his first digital camera. He bought the 16-55mm and 75-300mm lenses as well, although I only saw the 16-55mm set. I had the weekend to briefly compare the two cameras, and can give you my impressions. (Not well organized I'm afraid: I'm getting ready to leave work).

    The K100D has all the same basic features as the 300D (NOTE: not the XT), as well as some the 300D doesn't have that seem quite interesting, i.e image stabilization, and manual white balance controls. Despite this, there was a yellow colour cast in medium-lit shots taken with the K100D that I don't get with the 300D.

    • The Pentax's larger LCD screen was nice, but the controls weren't as intuitive.
    • The Pentax takes four AA batteries, and it went through three sets over the weekend-> Get good rechargeables!
    • There are some on-board image effect features that mimic what you can do in iPhoto.
    • What struck me the most was that the K100D shutter sounded very cheap
    • This is just a preference: The K100D takes SD memory cards, which I've had nothing but problems with. Others would probably disagree.

    On the whole, I didn't spend enough time with the Pentax to trash it authoritatively. My father seemed happy with it, and I for him. But I'll stick to Canon for now.
     
  5. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

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    #5
    I recently got the Rebel Xt, and I love it. As ChrisA mentioned, it's the lens that makes the difference, and that's why I went for the Canon. The kit lens is just that, and fair, but as you look to add, the Canon line is HUGE, covering every need and budget, many with IS built-in. Nothing AT ALL wrong with Nikon, though. Thirty years ago, every Canon dreamed of growing up to be a Nikon. :p

    Try and get your hands on each, give 'em a feel, and see which one grabs you more naturally. You really can't go wrong with either.

    (Full Disclosure) The camera didn't cost me anything, I got it on an airline mile deal. That being said, had the Nikon also been offered as well, I'd have still gone with the Canon.
     
  6. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Stuck beween a rock and a hard place
    #6
    As ChrisA said- when you're making a choice between brands of SLRs, look at the lenses.
    The main question is how interested are you in photography. Where do you see this going? A serious hoby? Just interested in having a nice camera to go on holidays on? Based on that, you can make a decision as to how to spend your money. At the bottom of dSLR market, most cameras offered will give you a similar result. The Canon has better high ISO performance and better battery life; the Pentax has better-feeling body (more sturdy), built-in image stabilization and great resolution for a 6.1MP camera.
    The question is what happens after you get the camera... like 6 months to a year down the road. Do you see yourself getting another lens? A longer zoom? If so, what do you see yourself shooting, and in what conditions? Do you see youself needing a specialized lens? Something like the MP-60 for extereme macros? A fast wideangle for landscapes? A fast zoom prime for nature shots?
    My advice is go to lens review sites, check out sample images, figure out which glass you will want someday and go from there.
     
  7. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #7
    If it were me, I'd go with the Canon if you think you may want to move up to better lenses or higher-end bodies in the future. Otherwise I'd go with whichever felt the best. If I didn't shoot Nikon, I'd shoot Canon just for the lens line. Pentax has a fair line and backwards compatibility set very well, but new lenses aren't as wide a choice.
     
  8. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #8
    I was going to get a Canon at first because that's what my dad shot but a few things changed my mind, and I actually ended up getting a Pentax. So this may be helpful. Here are some things that changed my mind.

    -The feel of the current Canon line's bodies.
    -The new bodies don't take my dad's Canon lenses (What the hell?)
    -Pentax's K100D can take any Pentax lens (other than screwmount obviously)
    -Sigma, Tamron, et. all, make lenses for Pentax just as they do for Canon. Pentax makes some real nice lenses, as well, so no worries there.
    -Price, price, and more price. I bought my camera for far cheaper than a Canon body. And if I wanted to go high end and upgrade the body, it would still be cheaper. Also, the lenses that I would have wanted were cheaper, too. The build quality, as I tried all these in the store seemed to be the same, and even favor Pentax when I saw a difference, so I simply saw Pentax as a "bargain", rather than being "cheaper."


    No worries about Pentax, they've been around forever and a half, they know how to make a camera. They got a shining review in dpreview. Also, since you'll be using the kit lens for a year, I think most people say Pentax packages the best kit lens out of all the companies.

    Have you held them in store yet? That would be the best place to see how they feel in your hand, but obviously don't expect "Blow you away" pictures from either if you're just taking a picture of a store.
     
  9. GKThursday macrumors regular

    GKThursday

    Joined:
    May 25, 2005
    #9
    Go with Pentax

    To People who don't think there are many lenses to choose from with Pentax, check KEH or ebay. Every lens that Pentax has ever made is compatible, (including screwmount with an adaptor that doesn't cripple the lens).
    I recently bought a K100d, and couldn't be happier. It uses AA batteries (but to binky2033, it sounds like your father used alkalines, the manual says not to for shooting), and Energizer e^2 Lithiums last 3000 shots for $10.00 or less.
    Shake reduction was a perk for me, I would have been just as happy with the K110d, but now that I use it, I love it. I can take sharp shots handheld all the way down to 1/30th of a second or longer! It is no replacement for a fast lens, but it helps.
    As for the shutter, it is rated to 100,000 shots just like most of the competition.

    Hope this helps.
    ~Thursday
     
  10. macenforcer macrumors 65816

    macenforcer

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    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Colorado
    #10
    I have the Nikon D80 and its by far the best camera under $1000 out there period. I bought the Canon first and took it right back the same day. The D80 is awesome.
     
  11. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #11
    This guy probably doesn't want to spend $1000 if he's looking at the Pentax K110D and Canon Digital Rebel XT and can't buy lenses for a year.


    As the user above stated it uses AA batteries, but I don't see this as a downside, but rather as an upside.

    It was something that I considered a "con" before I got the camera, but no longer do.

    AA batteries last forever in this thing, and you can use rechargeable AA's if you want to.

    Also, one time I went out with my friend who bought a D80, and we drove about 20 minutes to take pictures and he forget his battery at home in a charger. Well, he couldn't run to Target and pick up AA's like I could, we had to drive all the way back to his house and all the way back out to the spot to take pictures, which ate up a lot of picture taking time. Also, additional batteries for his camera cost a fortune.
     
  12. Unspeaked thread starter macrumors 68020

    Unspeaked

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2003
    Location:
    West Coast
    #12
    Yeah, the Nikon D80 is well out of my price range...

    The more I read these posts, and the more I look up stuff online, the more I lean towards the Pentax.

    The person who posted about buying a "system" made a good point I hadn't thought about, but I don't see myself getting serious enough that I'll need a huge array of lenses and accessories.

    The fact that the kit lens for the Pentax rates highly is a big plus, and I think I'd really take advantage of the IS.

    I just need to find a shop that sells them both and give them a shot...
     
  13. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    Minnesota
    #13
    If there is a Ritz/ProEx/Blacks or National Camera Exchange around you they both do.
     
  14. princealfie macrumors 68030

    princealfie

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    Location:
    Salt Lake City UT
    #14
    I plan to go with the Olympus E-410 once it comes out. I will be stoked with that model.
     
  15. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

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    #15
    My point was not that the K100D took AAs, but that it went through a lot of them in a short period of time. Chalk that up to getting a lot of play time due to the novelty. Thus the point: Get good rechargeables!

    For my Canon, I bought the hand-grip battery pack that holds two BP-511s, and get lots of use on a charge. Add up the two additional rechargables I bought online for $20 each, and I haven't run out of power yet.

    That said, you raise a very good point on flexibility in-the-field. If I leave the batts behind in the charger, I'm driving home with your Nikon buddy :)
     
  16. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #16
    I guess mine has always handled battery life pretty well. I am on my 2nd set of batteries and I have taken about 2000 shots with the camera, also, the batteries it came with probably weren't the greatest, and they lasted over 1000 shots. The ones I am now now still show full battery life and I have taken 1000 already with them, or close to it.
     
  17. brad.c macrumors 68020

    brad.c

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    #17
    Over 2000 shots with a single change of batteries? That's phenomenal usage. I'm guessing that you use a separate flash, if at all?

    Anyways, I'm glad you are happy with the Pentax. I was worried that my first impressions with my fathers new camera would mean he'd grow unsatisfied over time. He's on a fixed income too, so I hope it lasts a while. It seems like a great budget kit.
     
  18. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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