Pentax K100D

Last Update: Review & Sample Photos @ DigitalCameraInfo (added on 11 May’07)

Pentax K100D is an entry class of Digital SLR camera (released on 23.05.06) featuring 6.1 Megapixel, PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system, 2.5”, 11-point wide-frame AF, and continuous shooting mode at a maximum speed of approximately 2.8 images per second. Pentax K100D will be available in July 2006 with an expected street price of $699.

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>> REVIEWS (last updated: 11.05.07)Scrolldown for sample images.

DigitalCameraInfo reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“The Pentax K100D is just what an entry-level DSLR should be – simple to use and functional enough to take good pictures. Pentax deserves praise for putting such a good autofocus system in an inexpensive camera. The combination of the autofocus system and Shake Reduction system will increase the percentage of sharp shots for many users. The 3-zone autofocus systems in the Nikon D40 and Olympus’s DSLRs look pathetic in comparison, and their performance bears out that impression. The K100D does have its flaws – its resolution performance is poor, and its white balance system is limited – but aren’t likely to be a problem for the typical user.”

Megapixel reviewed the Pentax K100D (9/10) and wrote;
“The Pentax K100D is one of the most interesting entry-level dSLRs currently on the market. Not only is it priced reasonably, but it also offers most of the features that can be desired in a dSLR, topped off by a shake reduction system that is camera-based, making it capable of stabilizing the image, irrespective of the lens mounted on the body. Furthermore, the fact that the K100D is backwards compatible with virtually all Pentax mount lenses should prove to be valuable to users that had acquired lenses for their film camera.”

User Phil Leese reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“What pleases me the most about the images from this camera is it’s very low noise. It seems as though the camera doesn’t have to apply much noise reduction or sharpening. This leaves pictures which are detailed and natural. Compared to say a 10mp Olympus I’d take the Pentax every time. Pros: Uses AA batteries, Compatible with most K mount lenses ever made, Works with dedicated and basic flash guns, Controls are easy to learn, Can be used in many modes from full manual to point and shoot, Shake reduction is very effective, Image noise is very low, Minimal in camera processing (my guess) ensures fine detail is retained, Tough body, Good inbuilt flash, Great value compared to the competion. Nothing at the price offers better images, then add shake reduction, a good bundled lens and backward lens compatabilty for a well thought out SLR. Cons: Small to medium for a digital SLR but (in my view) all digital SLR’s are a tad too big and heavy, Comparatively speaking a good buy but digital SLR’s should not cost this much.”

Macworld reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“The K100D takes very good pictures for a six-megapixel camera. If you don’t intend to enlarge much beyond 8-by-10 inches, or you do a lot of zooming or cropping, then 6.1 megapixels is plenty. The K100D shoots three levels of JPEGs, as well as Raw images for users who want more editing control. By default, the camera’s JPEG output is a little soft, so you might want to adjust the sharpening parameter within the camera, unless you plan on sharpening images yourself with an image editor. Though the K100D offers ISOs up to 3,200, the images get substantially noisier at ISO 800 and above..”

TrustedReviews reviewed the Pentax K100D where they rated the camera 9/10 and wrote;
“The camera’s overall performance is good, but it’s not going to win any races. The AF system and metering are nice and quick, certainly on a par with any recent competitor….It may be the cheapest DSLR on the market, but the Pentax K100D isn’t short of advanced features, performance or image quality, and can comfortably hold its own against the Nikon D40. Build quality, design and handling are all superb, and the Shake Reduction system is as good as any on the market. If you’re looking for a good entry-level DSLR with the option to build up a kit, then look no further.”

DigicamReview reviewed the Pentax K100D wrote;
“The Pentax K100D Digital SLR is a great digital camera. It feels very comfortable in hand, and produces very natural pictures with little noise and rich pleasing colours. This camera is very easy to use (in auto mode), and would definitely suit a beginner. The camera offers good battery life, with very good controls and good build quality. The addition of Shake Reduction through an anti-shake CCD sensor means more photos are likely to come out blur free – image stabilisation is an excellent feature to have and is especially useful indoors in low light. Professional photographers might want to compare the camera with other DSLR cameras before purchase, as some may find the camera’s features and options slightly limiting. The K100D with kit lens is available for around £369 making this camera excellent value for money and definitely one of the best budget Digital SLRs available today!”

Let’sGoDigital reviewed the Pentax K100D where they rated the camera 78% and wrote;
“The true power of the Pentax K100D lies in the image quality, which is -after all- the most important aspect of the camera. We should point out that with its 6 Megapixels, the K100D does trail slightly behind on the competition. Then again, does that really matter? The 6 Megapixels easily suffice to make an A3 size print, especially with the quality the Pentax K100D has to offer. Both the colour rendition and the sharpness prove excellent. If you capture your photos in RAW, you will be able to get even more from the camera. Even when working with higher sensitivities, the K100D performs superbly indeed, in fact, remarkably well for a camera with a relatively old sensor. Up to and including ISO 1600 leaves next to nothing to be desired. I would be a tad reluctant to print a very large size of ISO 3200, due to the amount of noise. However, if you wish to print a size up to 13x18cm, you should not encounter any problems whatsoever. After all, being right smack on top of a print isn’t always the wisest thing to do in the first place. “

ImagingResource reviewed the Pentax K100D where they rated the camera 3/5 and wrote;
“The Pentax K100D is a capable digital SLR, perfect for consumers interested in stepping up from a basic consumer digital camera and into a world of better image quality. It’s also a smart choice for owners of Pentax film SLRs and lenses who want to go digital. With its full range of manual and preset automatic exposure modes, the Pentax K100D is suitable for the full range of experience levels, including anyone already owning a digital point-and-shoot, and it offers enough customization to keep more advanced users happy. The Pentax K100D has no trouble with exposure in low lighting, and produces only slightly high contrast under harsh lighting conditions (such as bright outdoor sunlight). Autofocus in low light is among the slowest we’ve seen, however. On the positive side, though the K100D more often makes a decision where other digital SLRs just give up. Color is quite good, though sometimes on the warm side, but both the built-in flash and accessory bounce flash eliminate this problem. The camera’s ISO setting only goes as low as 200, but noise levels are still quite good, and prints from the Pentax K100D are very impressive even at the highest ISO levels.”

Unbeatable reviewed the Pentax K100D where they rated the camera 3/5 and wrote;
“We really like this camera. Picture quality is really good on the Pentax K100D. Star up time took no time and powering up and capturing the first image took around 1.2 seconds. And in between without the use of a flash it took around half a second. Shutter lag measured around 0.4 seconds. The scene modes were easy to operate and the autofocus and white balance functions worked really well. Whether you’re a novice or an experienced user the performance of the Pentax digital camera was really good.”

HardwareZone reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“During our testing, we were pleased with what it could deliver. In fact, it has performed beyond our expectations for a DSLR that only costs US$700. Noise (grains) were well suppressed up to ISO 800 and its color reproduction was around *88% accurate when compared against the ColorChecker, though Red was slightly saturated. Most of the photos we took didn’t encounter photo blurs and that is mostly because of its effective SR feature, essential to have when you do not have a tripod with you for those ‘in the moment’ shoots.”

Shutterbug reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“Either Pentax K100D-series camera is a perfect gateway camera for the point-and-shoot digicam shooter who wants to move up to an interchangeable lens SLR and is not encumbered by a bunch of AF lenses from other manufacturers. For the Pentax film SLR shooter, this is the perfect way to upgrade to digital without having to toss out all of the—manual or autofocus—lenses you may already own. Yeah, I wished it had direct monochrome capture, but I also wish I owned a Ferrari. Best of all, with a price point as good or better than any other entry-level SLR, either the K100D or K110D is one heckuva way to improve your ability to not just take photographs but to make them.”

DPExpert reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
Like: Once the quality settings were reset the camera produced consistently satisfying photographs. RAW images are sensational. We had to do less exposure compensation fiddling with this camera than with any we have tested. We were amazed at the quality of pictures taken at ISO3200 — a speed we normally treat as a gimmick of last resort. Mirror lock-up for long exposures and a preview button that puts up an instant picture on the LCD are features you don’t find on other cameras under $2000. This is a real photographer’s tool. Dislike: There is a slight lack of refinement. The Sigma autofocus is noisy, as is the mirror/shutter slap. The lens has marked pincushion and barrel distortion. Body and menu graphics are not elegant. “

Popular Photography reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“Since we weigh resolution and color accuracy higher than noise in our overall Image Quality rating, the slight tweaks in processing parameters now earn the K100D a more solid Extremely High score at ISOs up to 1600. At ISO 3200, where most DSLRs get too noisy, the K100D squeaks in with Moderate levels and earns a Very High Image Quality rating….Bottom line? Sony’s new 10.2MP Alpha 100 costs just $180 more than this new $620 Pentax. And for many DSLR newcomers with a little extra to spend, the Sony could prove to be an irresistible upgrade. But if you have a bagful of Pentax lenses or you want the savings in your pocket, the K100D gives you bang for the buck.”

DCRP reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“Photo quality was excellent in most cases. The K100D took well-exposed photos with vivid colors and pleasing sharpness — this camera is clearly aimed toward the consumer set. Noise levels are nice and low through ISO 800, and ISO 1600 is still usable, with ISO 3200 only for desperate situations. Purple fringing and redeye were not a problem. …With a street price of a little over $600 (with the kit lens), the Pentax K100D is quite a bargain. It doesn’t have the resolution of most of the competition, but it offers solid build quality, great photo quality, and image stabilization for not much money. If you’ve got a Pentax lens collection this camera is a no-brainer, and if you’re buying your first D-SLR then it’s also worth a look. The only people to whom I’d say “stay away!” would be those who take a lot of fast action shots, as the buffer memory fills up way too quickly. “

Luminous-Landscape reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“In use, the K100 is totally, completely…okay. It won’t blow you away. Neither will it frustrate or dismay you. In fact, you may end up appreciating its tough, cheerful, scrappy can-do character. It’s good-looking and very ergonomic for a very small SLR – a nice, clean, sculpted design – and feels solid and well constructed within the parameters of the “light to moderate” usage I was talking about earlier. Although it’s light for a DSLR (or even for an SLR), it feels heavy because it’s so small. “

CNET reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“We were impressed with the Pentax K100D’s image quality. Colors were well saturated with pleasing skin tones. Images had plenty of detail. We were able to see the stitching in our friends’ shirts and individual strands of hair on their lovely heads. Edges were sharp but not overly sharpened, and there was plenty of detail in shadows without sacrificing detail in highlights…Pentax’s K100D does a wonderful job of balancing the needs of amateur and experienced photographers. It doesn’t have some of the more fancy features, such as white-balance bracketing or dynamic range optimization, that you’ll find on more expensive cameras, such as the Canon Rebel XT or the Sony Alpha DSLR-A100, but for its price, the K-100D is a steal. “

Digital Camera Review reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“Based on the two lenses I used for my tests, the K100D’s image quality is consistently excellent (especially at the ISO 200 sensitivity setting) with very good detail capture in highlight areas, superior detail capture in shadow areas, and crisp edge transitions. Noise is virtually non-existent up to ISO 400, well controlled at ISO 800, and visible but not objectionably so at ISO 1600. ISO 3200 is very noisy. The K100D’s native color interpolation is almost perfect, colors are vibrant, bright, well saturated, hue accurate, and close to neutral. Caucasian skin tones are a tiny bit warm, but that is fairly common in amateur and entry level digital cameras. Native (default) contrast is well balanced, but slightly hard. Images show a wide dynamic range and good tonal balance. Chromatic aberration (purple fringing) was remarkably well controlled with the two lenses I used. I didn’t notice any luminance/chroma noise (blotching).”

ePhotozine reviewed the Pentax K100D and wrote;
“If you’re looking for your first digital SLR, the Pentax K100D is well worth a look. The Shake Reduction, easy controls SD card compatibility and lightweight design make this camera ideal for those looking for a step up from a compact digicam. Photographers who travel will also appreciate these features, as well as the ability to use AA batteries. Existing Pentax SLR owners may also wish to upgrade, whether it is from a film or earlier digital SLR. Pros: Great build quality for a lightweight digital SLR, Takes AA or CR-V3 batteries, Images are colourful and contrasty straight from the camera, Better dynamic range than previous Pentax’s. Cons: Pause between focus and shooting in Single Servo AF, Shallow buffer, Flimsy battery door.

Pentax K100D User Opinions

>> SAMPLE PHOTOS (Last updated: 11.05.07) | back to top

Pentax K100D Sample Photos posted @ DigitalCameraInfo
Pentax K100D Sample Photos posted @ Megapixel
Pentax K100D Sample Photos posted @ TrustedReviews
Pentax K100D Sample Photos posted @ DigicamReview
Pentax K100D Sample Photos posted @ ImagingResource
Pentax K100D Sample Photos posted @ DPExpert
Pentax K100D Sample Photos posted @ DCRP

>> FIRMWARE & SOFTWARE | back to top

– Download Pentax K100D Firmware Update Version 1.02
– Download Pentax Photo Browser Version 3.10

>> BROCHURE & USER MANUAL | back to top

– Download Pentax K100D User Manual

>> PRESS RELEASE | back to top

A Popular-Class Lens-Interchangeable Digital SLR Camera Featuring Innovative Shake Reduction System and a Host of Advanced Technologies for High-Quality, User-Friendly Digital SLR Photography

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to introduce the PENTAX K100D lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera. This new digital SLR camera combines 6.1 effective megapixels with a host of advanced technologies — including a PENTAX-original Shake Reduction (SR) system — to deliver high-quality digital SLR photography and user-friendly operations to all levels of photographers.

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