Sony A100, Pentax K10D, lenses and $$$
I'm very likely about to invest in either the A100 or K10D for general purpose photography, with a bit of a focus in social events, architecture and travel photography. I don't think macro or telephoto shooting is really my thing, but it'd be fun to try if I could do it cheaply. I don't really anticipate spending a lot of money on lenses in the future, and need a bit of advice on what to get.
Now, here are the options from some local suppliers, after factoring in Sony's cashback offer, and the fact I can reclaim GST by going overseas. All prices $AUD. I don't have much specific information on the lenses. I assume that all bundled 18-55mms for a given camera would be equivalent?
Body only: $1131
With 18-55 kit lens: $1259
With 16-45: $1481
With 17-70 Sigma: $1514
With 18-200 Sigma: $1514
Samsung GX10 (effectively the same camera, I don't care too much about the badging):
With 18-55: $1073 (no body-only kit)
Body only: $1038
With 18-70 Sony: $1160
With 18-70 Sony and 80-210 Tamron f4.5-5.6 278D: $1281
I had been leaning towards the K10D with 17-70mm on the grounds that it would be a very good lens that I would be using almost all the time. The reviews of A100 vs K10D seem to lean towards the K10D (there's a real buzz factor about it), so all else being equal, I would go that way.
But all else is not equal: the A100 with two lenses for $1281! That seems ridiculously cheap. I don't think I would normally have bought a real telephoto lens at this point, but it's so tempting to be able to get one that cheap. Even if it's "slow", the idea of having it for those rare occasions is very attractive. On the other hand, the Sigma 17-70 is probably a better lens than the Sony 18-70 (judging by price - anyone know?), and that extra millimitre of wide angle could be nice? From the 10k+ photos taken with my Fuji Finepix F10 I can say that I take far more photos at the widest zoom position than at any other.
So, advice, thoughts, suggestions, guidance, please. Any thoughts at all would be very welcome. I don't have a fixed budget, but I do want the most value per $.
PS The reasons for the A100/K10D are pretty obvious compared to Nikon D80 or Canon 30D: image stabilisation and a bit more gadgetry. More options to play with is probably more attractive to me, at the cost of some white balance precision, image quality etc.
Your DSLR Camera Selection
At least, on paper, the Sony A-100 seems to be a logical choice. However, please keep in mind that the A-100 has been reported to show noise above an ISO 400 setting. Our own Jeff Keller has reviewed the Sony A-100. You might want to take a look at it.
The two lenses offered with the A-100 are in my opinion sort of average lenses. The Tamron 80-210mm F 4.5 lens is a real economy lens. The ext thing that I think you should do is to actually take these possible camera in hand and simple determine their feel. Each of us is a bit different and a SLR camera that fits your hands just perfectly, might not feel so for me.
You might also consider the Nikon D-40 or the D-40X. These models are well designed especially for folks transitioning from a point & shoot cameras. Beside the Nikon 18-55mm kit lens, the Nikon 55-200mmVR lens is a real bargain here in the USA, where it is selling for around $(US) 230.00.
One advantage that the Pentax K10D (along with the Samsung GX10) has over the Sony A-100 (as far as I understand), is that it has a weather-resistant body. That might come in handy, if you'd like to shoot outdoor, when the weather or other circumstances aren't the best.
Last edited by Wesan; 06-19-2007 at 11:18 AM.
Canon EOS 600 (SLR)
Fujifilm Fotonex 310ix (APS)
Samsung Digimax 101
Canon Powershot S3IS
Except the current lenses mentioned aren't (the new D* w-r lenses start about $750).
One advantage that the Pentax K10D (along with the Samsung GX10) has over the Sony A-100 (as far as I understand), is that it has a weather-resistant body.
"I don't really anticipate spending a lot of money on lenses in the future".. haha - that's what we all say.
Pentax K20D/K5/15/21/40/70/10-17/12-24, Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5/150-500, Tamron 90 Macro/70-200 2.8, Canon SX20 IS/Elph 500HS
(formerly Pentax 50 1.4/50-200/55-300/K100D, Sigma 18-50 2.8/70-300 APO, Tamron 28-75, Viv 800, Tele-Tokina 800, Canon S3 IS, Samsung L210)
What about the Olympus E-510
Thanks for the replies. I am a bit concerned about the quality of the kit lenses, and I'm sure you're right about the Tamron 80-210.
I think for me image stabilisation is a must. It's just too cool. A friend of mine has a Canon with a ridiculously good IS lens (300mm? 400?) that he bought cheap in Japan and I love it. So I ruled the Canon and Nikon's out on that basis.
Of course, since posting, I've come across the Olympus E-510 which I had earlier overlooked, and now that's looking really tempting - it's slightly more expensive but not too bad:
Body only: $1150
Body with 14-42: $1235.45 (equivalent* of 18-55)
Body with 14-42 and 40-150: $1400 (equivalent of 53-200)
The E-510 seems to have all the good features of either the K10D or A100 (except weather sealing and the A100's Dynamic range optimisation), without the two major image quality defects (JPEG sharpness and high ISO noise respectively). Its only major downside seems to be the small viewfinder.
But yeah, next step is really to go and try them out in a camera shop. Seems a bit mean though, given that I'm very likely to buy them online to save a couple of hundred dollars...
Originally Posted by Wesan
First is not to buy in into the high noise problem. Shoot at ISO800 and images are more than printable 4x6. @ iso1600 NR software cleans up the image very well. I was impressed.
K10D does have a nice body. But it is quite heavy. Keep that in mind and ask yourself how often you'll shoot in antarctica or in the rain.
K10D is not beginner-friendly. Shots will all need post-processing.
Sony a100 kit lenses (including the zoom) are 'okay' - you're better off getting a tamron 17-50 or 18-250. Still though, they produce very good shots.
Have you tried both? Please try them both and get a feel of the dials, menus, etc. Both are good cameras on paper but in the end, go with what feels most comfortable. When you're out there shooting, u want quick access to the functions.
Best of Both worlds:
dSLR: Sony a100 dSLR w/ kit lens (18-70mm)
Minolta Lens Collection: 28-80mm xi, 70-210mm
Point and Shoot: Sony DSC-T11
My photo portfolio
Originally Posted by cgl88
You will probably never make use of the weather sealing, unless you enjoy making photos in the streaming rain, or in sand/dust storms.
And if you think it is important, do make sure you but weather sealed lenses too!
The only weather sealed lenses I know of are from Olympus and Canon...
The Sony A100 is an ok camera, but noise wise it is not super.
The K10D has so-so in camera processing, meaning its JPEGs don't come out as nice as say, with a canon XTi or so.
So, for best results shoot with RAW.
Same goes for just about any camera though, shoot in RAW for best results.
As for your choice of A100 and K10d for their in-body IS...
The Pentax in-body IS is not all that effective.
IS is most useful at longer focal lengths. A Canon EF 70-300 f4-5.6 IS USM is a very good tele zoom lens with IS, it is sharper and optically better than any other 70/75-300 lens. It costs about ~$530.
For a Sony A100 or Pentax K10D, there is NO equivalent lens even approaching the quality that that Canon lens offers, with or without IS!
So it is nice to have in-body IS, but when both the sensor preformance AND the optical quality of the lenses will be less, are you still sure in-body IS is the feature to select on?
Canon EOS 350D, Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 macro, Sigma 18-50mm F2.8 DC EX, Canon EF 70-200mm f/4 L USM, Tokina AT-X124 Pro 12-24mm F4, Soligor 1.7x C/D4 DG Teleconvertor, Manfrotto 724B tripod, Canon Powershot S30
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