Pentax K100D Review

 
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Pentax K100D Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to slightly slow speed for a consumer-oriented digital SLR.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.6 seconds
Time it takes for camera to boot
Shutdown
0.6 seconds
How long it takes to turn off
Buffer clearing time
13 seconds
(5 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
0.2 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
3.0 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
0.7 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus
0.182 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture
Prefocused
0.149 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Continuous AF
0.148 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects
Manual focus
0.150 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.53 second;
5 frames total;
5 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
0.51 second;
4 frames total;
4 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Single Shot mode
RAW
0.51 second;
3 frames total;
13 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.38 second (2.65 frames per second);
4 frames total;
5 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.38 second (2.65 frames per second);
4 frames total;
4 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous mode
RAW
0.38 second (2.65 frames per second);
3 frames total;
13 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Flash recycling
3.5 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
2,148 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

The Pentax K100D's performance was quite good overall, though start-up is just a little slow for a digital SLR at 1.6 seconds. Shutter lag is good on average, but "prefocus" times (half-pressing and holding down the Shutter button before the final exposure) is a little slower than I'd expect at 0.149 second. Shot-to-shot cycle times are very good, at about 0.53 second for large/fine JPEGs, but the camera only captures five frames at this rate, taking about five seconds to clear the buffer. Continuous-mode speed is moderate, at about 2.65 frames/second, for up to four shots in succession, regardless of resolution. The flash is quick to recycle at 3.5 seconds after a full-power shot. Connected to a computer, download speeds are exceptionally fast, so you won't feel a need for a separate card reader. Bottom line, the Pentax K100D is a little slower than the more pro-oriented digital SLRs on the market, but overall performance is good enough for most consumer purposes. The K100D is responsive enough for action shots, and its quick flash recycling time is a nice bonus as well.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Very short battery life with standard AA alkaline cells, but much better life with CR-V3 and AA lithium cells

Operating Mode Number of Shots
CR-V3 lithium batteries
630
AA lithium batteries
570
AA alkaline batteries
60
AA NIMH rechargeable batteries
300

The Pentax K100D uses four AA batteries for power, and a set of single-use alkaline batteries is included with the camera. Though runtimes are increased with the NiMH batteries over alkalines, the best results come from two CR-V3 lithium battery packs. I strongly recommend picking up a two sets of CR-V3's or AA NiMH rechargeable batteries and keeping them freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings. (See our battery shootout page for information on actual measured capacities of various NiMH brands and capacity markings.)

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Pentax K100D accepts SD/MMC cards, though no card is included.

Image Capacity with
256 MB Memory Card
Fine Normal Basic RAW
3,008 x 2,000
Images
84
155
248
23
File Size
3.0 MB
1.6 MB
1.0 MB
11.1 MB
Comp.
6:1
11:1
18:1
0.8:1
2,400 x 1,600
Images
117
207
336
-
File Size
2.2 MB
1.2 MB
762 KB
-
Comp.
5:1
9:1
15:1
-
1,536 x 1,024
Images
226
361
555
-
File Size
1.1 MB
709 KB
461 KB
-
Comp.
4:1
7:1
10:1
-

We strongly recommend buying at least a 512MB card, preferably a 1GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.

 

Pentax K100D

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