It is tempting to dismiss the K100D as a slightly tweaked six-megapixel Pentax D-SLR -- until you spy a switch on the camera back marked with a shaky-hand icon, ordinarily only found on EVF models. The icon signals the unusual presence of image stabilization. What's unusual is that the K100D's stabilizer system is not built into individual lenses, as with the Canon and Nikon systems; it uses micromotors in the camera body to shift the image sensor sideways (and up and down) to counteract image-blurring camera movement.
Like lens-based systems the K100D's lets you shoot at shutter speeds up to three stops slower than you'd otherwise have to set for sharp handheld results. And like Konica Minolta's late Anti-Shake system, Pentax's Shake Reduction has the advantage of working with any of the nearly four dozen lenses in the Pentax line. The only real disadvantage of sensor-based image stabilization in a digital SLR is that unlike the lens-based approach, you can't actually see it steadying the image through the optical viewfinder. But given the K100D's low price, which includes an 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Pentax DA lens, we can't complain. Besides, you also get an 11-point AF array; a "digital preview" that stores a shot in a temporary buffer so you can check and delete it faster; and eight new scene modes, including one purported to make kids look healthier. No kidding.