Went back to Jessops at lunch today, and handled the Pentax and Nikon side by side – switching from one to the other, running test shots (without a card), and getting a feel for the grip, button layout etc. The Pentax K10D is a technically fantastic camera, complete with weather seals, a button for flicking in and out of RAW mode and two RAW file formats. However, despite all of the nice things that the Pentax can do, I couldn’t hold it comfortably – the grip was too shallow. That also means I can’t hold it securely. Bummer. I can hold the D80 much more securely and comfortably, and while it may not be sealed, and only supports NEF, it has other ‘points’ on the Pentax.
For giggles, I handled the Canon 400D, and handed it back within 5 seconds – far too small, and an even smaller grip than the Pentax. The 30D just didn’t feel right either.
I can get the Nikon with the 18-70mm internal-focus (which the KM didn’t have on the two lenses I had) for £700. I’ll have to put a good SD card on top of that, but it’s worth it, as it gets me out of the house. The other plus on the Nikon at the moment is that it comes with a full ecosystem of lenses, flashes and other accessories, while the Pentax is limited (though they are meant to be ramping up with new lenses). Time to call the store I guess, as the manager said it’ll take about a week if they have to get the camera from the warehouse (due to lack of 18-70 lens availability). Also need to work out what the 75-300 KM lens is worth, and post it on Dyxum or similar.