Pentax K10D or Nikon D80?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SolracSelbor, Dec 12, 2007.

  1. SolracSelbor macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #1
    Hi,

    I was wondering which camera most of you would recommend. Ive seen many pictures taken with the PentaxK10D and a lot of the pictures are very dull and its metering system is not the greatest. However, I have heard the NIKON D80 has very nice color tones and overall better quality pictures without having to tweak the settings.

    Also, I found the Nikon D80 for $400 at bestpricecameras.com and the Pentax K10D for $500 at the same site, which of the two would you get under these circumstances?

    EDIT: 12-12-07 at 8:33pm PST


    I read some reviews that the Pentax colors were more dull than the Nikon D80 out of the box. Check them out here:

    Pentax k10d: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Pe...0D/page5.shtml

    Nikon D80: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/NikonD80/page5.shtml

    Compare the two sets, and read the entire reviews if you have time. He also has a video review here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=914GtE0FcLE

    I dunno what settings to change in the Pentax in order to get the same look and color as the nikon D80.
     
  2. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #2
    Do NOT buy at places like bestpricecamera. These people are scam artists, and will pull what is known as the bait and switch. If you're uncertain about a site to get a camera from, ask here, or go to resellerratings.com . These guys have a 0.14 rating (out of 10). If you're curious what happens with such places check out this article. Or this.

    About the only places that you get good deals and are good people, are B&H, Adorama, Amazon (directly from them), Calumet, and Cameta. Some will argue for 17th Street or Beach Camera, but I haven't heard anything about them myself, and have had no experience with either.

    Now about your question- were one to shoot raw files, you would not detect much difference between the cameras. The perceived differences are all in the way Pentax and Nikon process their images. Both use CCD chips that are made by Sony, and there is little difference in the overall image quality, given that you use equivalent lenses.

    The difference when you're selecting dSLRs is in the entire system- the lenses that a manufacturer offers, the lighting, accessories for the camera and lenses. There are also differences in the ergonomics and handling of the camera bodies, but these are trivial, and a matter of personal preferences. Think of it this way- when you get a dSLR, you're investing in a lens system- think about the lenses you'll want to have 10 years down the line, and figure out which of these manufacturers will suffice. Canon and Nikon are the largest, as in there are more lenses out there for them. In the low end spectrum there is also Sony, Olympus, Panasonic, and even lowly Samsung. They each bring something to the table. You might want to read up on the differences in the systems- like the 4/3 vs 3/2 before deciding on a camera ( dpreview.com).
     
  3. jpfisher macrumors regular

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    #3
    Also, it's important to consider that the lens attached to the camera will have a lot to do with the images it produces. I'm not 100% sure, but I believe the D80 and K10D use the same image sensor, so any differences in a RAW image coming off the cameras is going to be dependent on the lens, and the antialiasing filter over the sensor.

    I have a photostream of some of my better K10D images up at 2bq.livejournal.com -- take a look for yourself. Pbase.com is also a great resource, because you can browse through many different images, based on lens, camera, whatever.

    Pay more attention to what lenses you see yourself using, rather than the body. Bodies come and go very quickly these days -- Pentax should be refreshing its line next month. The standard 18-55mm kit lens from both Pentax and Nikon perform on par (I had one with my old *ist DL, and I've used my father's D50 with the kit lens on occasion).

    What are you planning on using the camera for? Family snapshots? Landscapes? Sports? Wildlife? That goes a long way into figuring out what lens would suit your best, and that will solve your body question. :)

    Jim
     
  4. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #4
    I don't have the K10D, I have the K110D, but I'm confused as to why you think the Nikon has better color. My friend is switching from Nikon to Pentax simply for color. As for you, I would shoot mostly in raw if you're getting a camera that great, and in RAW the Pentax K10D and Nikon D80 basically produce the same images.

    My friend faced the same question, the only difference is, at the time he faced it the Pentax K10D cost $1000

    I guess what I'm saying is, I'd recommend the Pentax. For a lot of reasons.

    Are you aware that the current Pentax bodies can shoot any lens ever made for a Pentax SLR? That's a nifty feature when you want to pick up a really awesome old school lens for really cheap. ;)
     
  5. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #5
    I was in the same boat as you when I made the choice. I read a lot of reviews, handled them both, and in the end went with the Pentax even though I had 2 Nikon lenses. I just like the feel of the Pentax better, I think it produces more natural colors (the joke in the Pentax world is that the big two have created the world of plastic skin and over-saturated colors.) I shoot a lot of portraits so the Pentax FA limited lenses were a big draw, as well as the K10D's reputation for producing the most accurate skin tones.

    If you like the feel and layout of the D80 better then it's the camera for you, but if the K10D feels better that's the camera. They both have a full featured system, and they both can be tweaked to get the same image quality. With the Nikon, you dial down the color saturation, with the K10D you boost the saturation, do that and you have essentially the same image.

    The K10D is weather sealed and has in body shake reduction, to me that's a big deal as well. It may not be to you, only you can decide. I'm admittedly a big Pentax fan, but I don't think you are going to match this camera with a Nikon D80 feature wise, maybe a D200 would be a better comparison; most photo-review sites seem to think so!

    SLC
     
  6. seahawk09 macrumors regular

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    #6
    I would have to agree with SLC on that.:D












     
  7. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #7
    …just as the D80 can use any F-mount lens, which is what Nikon has been making since what… the 50s?

    …and Nikon offers lenses with "shake reduction" (Nikon calls it VR: Vibration Reduction). There are pros and cons of each; from what I've gathered, in-camera is much cheaper but often less effective. Of course, this knowledge is 2nd-, 3rd-, or more-hand.
     
  8. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #8
    Hi SolracSelbor,

    Here's what usually happens when people ask questions such as yours. The fans of camera Brand "X" (Pentax, in this case) weigh in telling you why their camera is the best thing since sliced bread. Then the fans of camera Brand "Y" (Nikon, in this case) will come in and start telling you why THEIR brand cures cancer. After a while longer, the brand "Z" folks (which'll be Canon in this case) will come in and talk about how Brand X and Brand Y actually cause cancer, while their brand cures it.

    There are very few people that end up regretting whichever brand they decide on. All of these cameras take great pictures - your photos will not be any better or any worse because you chose one over the other.

    So how do you decide? Well, if you've got friends that own one particular brand, that's often a great way to go - you can coordinate over time and buy new lenses, which will give you access to more of them than if you're totally on your own. Another thing to look at is, are there particular types of photos you've found yourself taking most of the time with whatever you've got now? If so, does one brand or another seem to have better lenses for that type of photography?

    But if you're like most people, you likely just want to get good photos, and you may only want to own one lens, ever. If this is the case, any brand will work fine (*cough* Nikon *cough*). Consider going to a real camera store and handling the cameras - which one feels right for your hands? Which viewfinder seems to do a better job?

    Just remember that, no matter what you choose, you will almost certainly be very happy with it.
     
  9. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #9
    Don't be so subtle; there are LIVES at stake!

    Nikon cures prostate cancer; everyone (I mean, girls don't count, they have cooties) gets it eventually, unless, of course, you use Nikon.
     
  10. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #10
    I read some reviews that the Pentax had more dull colors than the Nikon D80 out of the box. Check them out here:

    Pentax k10d: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/PentaxK10D/page5.shtml

    Nikon D80: http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/NikonD80/page5.shtml

    Compare the two sets, and read the entire reviews if you have time. He also has a video review here:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=914GtE0FcLE

    I dunno what settings to change in the Pentax in order to get the same look and color as the nikon D80.
     
  11. jpfisher macrumors regular

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    New Jersey
    #11
    Actually, according to the chart on Nikonians (http://www.nikonians.org/nikon/slr-lens.html), the D80 is not compatible with Pre-AI lenses.... so it's compatible every Nikon manual focus lens since 1977, and every non-F3AF autofocus lens... still not a bad library to choose from.

    Most modern users are going to want zooms anyway, and zoom lenses from back in the day aren't nearly as good as they are now, speaking in generalities. Backwards lens compatibility is really a boon for those who do have a library of old glass (and, for the record, that's what pushed me to the Pentax digital system). If you get really into shooting as a hobby, you can get some deals on older glass if you look, but if you're just looking for 'better than a point and shoot,' then chances are you'll never get past the kit lens, and a companion tele-zoom.
     
  12. Lovesong macrumors 65816

    Lovesong

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    #12
    Actually, I think that Nikon and Pentax are responsible for world hunger, global warming, ozone holes, and starting World War II. Canon is your only friend, trust Canon!.... oh, wait :eek:
     
  13. jdsony macrumors newbie

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    Oct 26, 2007
    #13
    Well one reason to go with Pentax is that in general most of the lenses are cheaper. I have a Nikon D80 and it's a great camera. It's feel great in your hand. For me ergonomics is the most important thing. Either camera will get you good or bad pictures it really depends on the photographer. Nikon typically has warmer (more yellow) saturated colours. This is really personal preference. I'm not really into warm saturated colours anymore so I change it on my RAW files. You really need to look at both carefully and then plan what lenses 'might' interest you in the future. I was looking at Canon and Nikon when I chose and I found the Nikon's built a lot better, handled better, and had some great lenses I could easily pick up used. This may be more of an issue with Pentax because you'll find less used stock out there.
     
  14. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Canon is Japsanese (sic), right? So they're all at fault… except… uh, Kodak?
     
  15. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #15
    You are makig a bit of a mitake. You are looking at images an assumming the camera body has anything to do with the quality of the image. It's the lens that makes the image. The sensor in the body can only capture the image the lens makes

    So many beginners spend much time looking at the DSRL camera body, then when they buy it they just get whatever lens hapens to be bundled with it or maybe they pick the cheapest lens they can find. That's backwards. If you care abut the quality of the final image then the lens is the most important part of the system and you should be shopping for a company that makes lenses you like. One you find that then pick a body that fits your budget. I think that only Nikon and canon make a full line of lenses that covers not only the full range of lengths but have them ppriced for consummers and profesionals. Ppentax's range is more limited. That said you are not going to buy 20 lenses. Likely only a few so if Pentax makes the four you want, go with Pentax if Nikon makes the set of lenses you'd like to buy then get the Nikon body. You will replace the body in a few years no matter with but you keep the lenses..
     
  16. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #16
    What this tells you is either of two things...

    1) Everyone is happy no matter which brand they buy. They are ALL good. So just flip a coin and buy anything and you too will be happy with anything you buy,

    2) After investing quite a bit on money and time and making a decision that is hard to back out of people will always rationalize that they did the best thing, even if they didn't.

    I actually think it's a little of both.
     
  17. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #17
    As far as settings in the Pentax to get the over saturated colors and oversharpened jpegs, you just go into the main settings menu. Once there, there are 3 sliders to adjust, one for sharpness, one for saturation, and one for contrast. (there are others but theses are the main three that are responsible for the default difference of the "look" of the images the camera makes.

    It's mainly like Chris A said, the lens is going to be the most important part of the equation (other than you of course), all manufacturers have some amazing lenses and some real stinkers. You've already had a list of legendary Pentax lenses made in another of your threads, perhaps someone else can make a similar list of highly coveted Nikon lenses for you.

    But as long as you aren't terribly succeptible to buyers remorse, you are going to be very happy with which ever you chose. They're both nearly identical performance wise, and you can't go wrong with either one (or both :D).

    SLC
     
  18. SolracSelbor thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #18

    Thanks a lot! And yes, I am very susceptible to buyers remorse :(
     
  19. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #19
    Well then you're always going to wish you'd bought the other one aren't you? Just pick one, and try and be happy with it, they're both equally fine cameras.

    SLC
     
  20. theblueone macrumors member

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    #20
    Maybe you should save your money for a while until you can afford to buy not only a body and kit lens, but the body and four or five very nice lenses. That way you'll be so invested in one brand you couldn't help but like it ;):D
     
  21. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

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    #21
    But unlike the IS on the body, you have to pay more for the lens in order to get IS and that for each and every single lens you buy and not every lens has IS...while the IS in body just put any lens on the body and you have IS.
     
  22. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #22
    For now, IS (or VR) is much better in the lens than in the body. Who knows about the future.

    Even without the stabilization, I would take Nikon's lens lineup any day over the Pentax offerings.
     
  23. SLC Flyfishing Suspended

    SLC Flyfishing

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    #23
    It's not much better, I get 3 stops of latitude with the K10D; Nikon claims they can get me 4 stops (but at $100+ extra per lens). I think it has more to do with your natural unsteadiness than anything else.

    Care to elaborate on why you would pick Nikon over Pentax anyday? I've used both extensively and don't see a noticeable difference aside from the price, and the fashion accessory aspect of owning a Nikon compared to a Pentax. I'm not trying to be a pain, just curious to see what your reasons are.


    SLC
     
  24. Macintosh Sauce macrumors 6502

    Macintosh Sauce

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    #24
    The thing the Pentax K10D has going for it is the fact that the anti-shaking feature is actually built into the camera body not the lens. This makes a Pentax lens cheaper than other competing brands. On the other hand, the Nikon D80 has the anti-shaking feature built into the lenses which makes for a more expensive lens purchase. There is a lot of debate about this, but I believe that having the feature built into the camera body is much better.

    Note that the Pentax K10D is the only digital SLR to have full dust/weather protection for the body and the lenses they currently sell.

    To those currently considering buying a digital SLR, I would suggest waiting for the forthcoming Pentax K20D - it will feature 14 Megapixel capability. I am in the market for a digital SLR and I have done a lot of reading on the D80 and the K10D. The Pentax wins out in many reviews IMO. Since Pentax is going to be updating their cameras very soon, I am going to wait for the K20D because it will be a camera to have for a long time.

    Since I will be getting the Pentax K20D when it comes out, can anyone tell me which software is better: Aperture or Lightroom?
     
  25. termina3 macrumors 65816

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    #25
    "better" being cheaper. The in-lens stabilization systems in Canon and Nikon are widely accepted as better in terms of performance.

    BS! Many, many Canons and Nikons are dust- and water-resistant.

    How does that have anything to do with your opinion–shouldn't it be the reviewers?

    Aperture.
     

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