For a budget digital SLR, the Pentax K100D Super looks and feels like a serious customer. It sports a rugged, rubberized grip that fits comfortably into large hands, a professional-looking black matte body, and a huge viewfinder. Performance-wise, it's not bad, and the K100D Super has an excellent feature set for a camera that sells for less than $600 with an 18-55mm lens.
Most noteworthy is the camera's built-in Shake Reduction system, which helped reduce blur in our shots by automatically adjusting the imaging sensor at high speed. The K100D Super also has a built-in dust-removal system that features a special coating on the imaging sensor to prevent dust from sticking. Any dust that gets by the coating is shaken off the sensor when the CCD is shifted during Shake Reduction. This one-two punch was effective in keeping our images spot-free.
A less advanced but no less welcome feature of the K100D Super is its old-school battery system, which is powered by four easy-to-find AA batteries (including rechargables) that fit into the camera's handgrip. Although these batteries add significantly to the overall weight, the body was evenly balanced and comfy to hold.
Along with its generous viewfinder (with a 96 percent field of view) the camera's 2.5-inch LCD was gorgeous, offering the best image playback we've seen on a budget DSLR. Overall picture quality was above average, though the camera struggled in low-light situations at high ISOs, producing noisy pictures with some discoloration. This DSLR often underexposed shots, but this tendency is fine for outdoor picture-taking, where the K100D Super really shined.
The image quality could have been better--especially when shooting in low light--but the Pentax K100D Super has a helpful set of easy-to-use features and a sturdy build that gives it the look and feel of a much more expensive camera.
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