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  • 10.2-megapixel APS-C sized CCD
  • Pentax-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system
  • Dust Removal system to help keep the CCD surface dust-free
  • ISO from 100 to 1,600
  • 11-point wide-frame AF (SAFOX VIII) with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle
  • Continuous shooting at approximately 3 images per second
  • Large 2.5 inch LCD monitor
  • Compatible with conventional SD memory cards and newly introduced SDHC memory cards
  • Dust-proof, weather-resistant construction with high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis

(From company literature) Pentax Imaging Company announced today the Pentax K10D digital SLR camera with 10.2 effective megapixels and a host of advanced technologies including a Pentax-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system and a weather resistant body.


High-quality image reproduction
The K10D features a large, high-performance 23.5mm x 15.7mm CCD with 10.2 effective megapixels as its image sensor, assuring the reproduction of true-to-life, rich-gradation images.


Pentax-original Shake Reduction mechanism for blur-free images
The K10D is equipped with the exclusive, Pentax-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system, which effectively reduces camera shake for sharp, blur-free images even under demanding shooting conditions, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark or at night without supplementary flash illumination, or using extended exposures for sunset scenes. This innovative mechanism shifts the position of the CCD image sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting the shifting speed in proportion to the amount of camera shake detected by built-in sensors. It offers an outstanding compensation effect equivalent to 2.5 to 4 shutter-speed steps. As a result, it does not require special anti-shake lenses, and can be used with almost all existing Pentax interchangeable lenses.*
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism are the Pentax K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- are 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be applicable with certain lenses.


Newly developed A/D converter for truthful image data conversion
The K10D incorporates a high-performance A/D converter, which faithfully converts the analog data collected by the CCD image sensor into digital data. With the highest resolving power (22 bits, or 4.2 million gradations) among all existing digital cameras, it offers a digital-conversion capacity 1,024 times greater than conventional 12-bit, 4,096-gradation A/D converters.


Newly designed PRIME imaging engine
The K10D incorporates the new PRIME (Pentax Real Image Engine) as its imaging engine. Designed exclusively for Pentax digital SLR cameras, this new imaging engine produces well-balanced, true-to-life images through efficient control of CCD signals, saturation, brightness, white balance, sharpness and contrast. Its new memory (DDR2: Double Data Rate 2) also serves to enhance speedy image processing and high-speed data transfer.


Dust Removal system to help keep the CCD surface dust-free
The K10D features the new Dust Removal (DR) system to prevent dust from sticking to the surface of the CCD image sensor (or low-pass filter). Applied to the CCD surface through a vapor deposition process of a fluorine compound, the Pentax-original Special Protect (SP) coating effectively prevents dust and stains from adhering to the surface. In the next step, dust that still remains on the surface will be shaken off when the SR system shifts the CCD at high speed. The dust that is shaken off the CCD will fall onto an adhesive sheet positioned at the bottom of the SR unit, eliminating any possibility of its returning to the CCD surface.


Dust-proof, weather-resistant construction
The K10D boasts a reliable dust-proof, weather-resistant construction, with special seals applied to 72 different parts of the camera body, including the shutter release button and switches/levers/dials. This dependable body makes it possible to use the K10D in the rain or at dusty locations without worries.


Bright, clear viewfinder
Featuring a glass pentaprism, the K10D’s viewfinder offers a 96-percent field of view and a 0.95-times magnification for easy viewing of the subject and effortless confirmation of focus and composition. Coupled with the acclaimed Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen, it delivers a large, bright subject image.


Auto sensitivity control up to ISO 1600
The K10D’s auto sensitivity control function automatically sets the optimum sensitivity up to ISO 1600, based on such data as the subject’s brightness level and the lens’ focal length. Since this function allows the use of higher shutter speeds in poor lighting situations (such as indoor sports events and night scenes), it helps the photographer to effectively reduce camera shake and prevent blurred images. For specialized applications, the sensitivity can be set manually from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.


Continuous shooting at approximately 3 images per second
To trace the movement of an active subject or capture a sequence of the subject’s expressions, the K10D offers a continuous shooting mode that allows the photographer to capture a series of images at a maximum speed of approximately 3 images per second. In the JPEG recording format, the user is allowed to take as many images in succession as wished, until the capacity of an SD memory card runs out, or in RAW mode up to 12 images at 3.0 fps.


Reliable shutter unit
The K10D’s shutter unit is designed to withstand nearly 100,000 releases, while assuring high-precision operation over the entire shutter-speed range — up to a top speed of 1/4000 second. It also features a flash synchronization speed of 1/180 second for more versatile flash photography.


11-point wide-frame AF
The K10D’s sophisticated SAFOX VIII autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) to automatically focus on the subject with utmost precision, even when it is positioned off center. The in-focus sensor point is automatically superimposed in red in the viewfinder for at-a-glance confirmation.


Extra-large, wide-view LCD monitor
The K10D incorporates an extra-large 2.5 inch color LCD monitor on its back panel. Its wide-view design allows the photographer to check the monitor image from 140 degrees both vertically and horizontally, ensuring effortless image viewing even from a diagonal position. With approximately 210,000 pixels, it also offers digital zooming of playback images up to 20 times for easy confirmation of the image’s focusing status and details.


Powerful rechargeable batteries for extended shooting
The K10D features new, large-capacity lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, which can capture approximately 500 images* when fully recharged.
* Under testing conditions prescribed by the CIPA standards (flash illumination used in 50% of images).


Compatibility with supersonic motor-driven lenses
The K10D is designed to be compatible with supersonic motor-driven autofocus lenses (currently under development), which are expected to provide smoother, quieter autofocus operation than conventional lenses.


The Pentax K10D will go on sale this November, priced at $899.95 body-only, or $999.95 with the inclusion of a Pentax DA 18-55mm zoom lens as a kit.


See our full review at imaging-resource.com. Or post your own review below!


Keywords: Pentax SLR SD APS-C 10MP Anti-Shake


theflyingmoose

Registered: February 2009
Posts: 2
Pentax K10D review by theflyingmoose
Review Date: 2/15/2009 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $950.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: excellent construction and handling, useful modes, value for money
Cons: noise at high ISO, some JPEG in-camera processing issues, some unpredicable metering

Pentax only have a small family of bodies these days, so as an upgrade, I didn't have much choice, not that I'm particularly complaining about that.


The construction of this camera is excellent, though with a vertical/battery grip, its pretty heavy. The way it handles is even more impressive: It has a very useful top plate LCD, which lights up green in the dark; and even more useful, it has two adjustment wheels (which are programmable, which even a brand new EOS 5DMk2 can't match, having only one). It lends itself to instinctive photography, with thumb for aperture and forefinger for shutter speed (or whatever combination of settings suit you). On the other hand, it doesn't placate you by offering "scene modes", it has professional settings only, including some suprisingly useful hybrid modes that make use of shifting ISO (TAv and so forth).


It produces excellent results at low ISO, but perhaps doesn't compare well with "equivalent" Canon and Nikon products at higher ISOs, but this is hardly a huge complaint, unless you do a lot of shooting indoors in low light (in which case, you should probably have a flash gun).


Whilst it is true that default JPEG rendering in camera leaves a bit to be desired, this can be altered, and this seems to be the kind of camera where you will find yourself shooting RAW (though it has a useful RAW button for changing shooting modes).


Automatic White Balancing mode is typically unpredictable (but that seems to be a problem with many cameras); but this camera has a very useful fine tuning system which allows test shots, custom balance based on test shots and straight out Kelvin values to be used.


A peculiarity of this camera, especially if you're used to using other systems (Canon at work, in my case), is that the metering system seems to lead you to under-expose by default. Once you learn shooting with the K10D, you can accommodate for this quite easily, but it might be a bit off putting to start off.


I full agree with various other reviews out there about this camera, in that you have approach it somewhat differently to other middle-of-the-range (that's all brands, not just Pentax) DSLRs - the way it has been engineered seems to promote more thoughtful and philosophical photography, as if one was using film. If you shoot a lot of portraits for example, it is excellent.


Of course, where to peg it compared to other cameras always seems to come up (given the natural rivalry that seems to occur amongst photographers talking about their kit) - it offers a lot of professional features (not least weather proofing, advanced customisation and so forth), but its priced at "mid-range", and it is made by what is now, alas not a top rung camera body manufacturer (though I defy anyone to claim Pentax's Limited lenses aren't some of the best made).


So...considering I'm writing this after a significant period of ownership, and the industry has moved on...and having tried a variety of cameras around that time and subsequently through the natural course of things... This camera, even now, represents excellent value, and can match or surpass many other cameras of a similar vintage in some ways (notably the Nikon D200 and the EOS40D). Of course you have to deal with fewer accessories and some other shortcomings, and I think a certain amount of brand snobbery. But if you're constantly frustrated (or fixated) by your equipment, you'll find it difficult to take a good picture. I don't think this camera is aimed at people who's eventual goal is to own and operate an EOS1 or a D3 - its aimed at people who are happy taking good, thoughtful pictures. Buy a good lens to go with it and it will serve you well.
dreamlogic

Registered: November 2006
Posts: 7
Pentax K10D review by dreamlogic
Review Date: 1/14/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: weatherproofing, shake reduction, compact lenses, excellent interface / modes
Cons: sensor noise, fewer lenses and accessories, autofocus sometimes unpredictable

I use full-frame Canons at work (5D/1DsMkII) and expected to purchase a Canon for personal use, but ended up buying the K10D, even though I already had a couple Canon lenses and a flash.


The main features that caused me to switch are the weatherproofing, shake reduction, and a good selection of compact primes. Although there are a few features I miss from the Canons, I am very happy with this purchase


weatherproofing - The weatherproofing on the K10D is excellent, a lot better than the Nikon D200 in the places that are easy to check (card slot and battery cover).


shake reduction - This works very well once you learn to use it. If you can keep the shake to within the tolerances of the shake reduction system, you can get quite 4 or more improvement. It's great for photos of waterfalls since you can blur the water without a tripod. Unfortunately, the shake reduction doesn't provide much benefit if there's a lot of camera motion (on a boat, shooting while moving, etc.)


lenses - For someone who shoots primes, Pentax has an excellent selection of primes. I needed a decent wide angle and some fast primes with good bokeh so I got the 21mm f/3.2, 50mm f/1.4, and 77mm f/1.8. If you prefer zooms, you might want to wait until Pentax releases its new f/2.8 zooms in 2007.


modes - The K10D has innovative modes that are really useful. With Canon, I used aperture priority mode all the time, but with Pentax, you have much better choices. It's hard to explain, but you just need to try out the different modes and see which ones you like in which situation. Look for hyperprogram, sensitivity priority, and ATv mode, green button, MTF priority if you want to find out about the modes that I've found particularly useful.


There are a few things about the Pentax that I wish were better, but suprisingly few, since I'm comparing it to $3000 and $7000 Canons with L-Lenses. The image quality and autofocus speed/reliability are the not as good as I would like, but they are decent.


sensor - It's a matter of opinion as they have sensors have different characteristics, but I prefer the noise on canon sensors. The noise on the Pentax isn' t bad though, and I find ISO 100-400 to be good. There is some strange noise patterns that appear at ISO800-1600 though when taking pictures that have a lot of black. The per-pixel detail from RAW images when you have a sharp lens on is as high as I've seen out of a camera, but there are a fair number of artifacts as well. Probably the result of a very weak antialiasing filter. It's a tradeoff that I like, but some others may not.


autofocus - Again, it's unfair to compare the autofocus of lenses using the in-body motor with much more expensive Canon lenses with USM, but I've found the Pentax focus to be less predictable. It will sometimes refuse to focus on scenes that should be easy and will sometimes focus when I think there is no way it could. The focus is also slower, since there is a re-checking step that Canon omits.


Overall, I think the Pentax is the best value in a DSLR if you can find the lenses and accessories you want.
wavefunc

Registered: January 2007
Posts: 5
Pentax K10D review by wavefunc
Review Date: 1/9/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $899.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: Weather sealing, Shake Reduction, TAv, Sv, hyper-P and -M, image quality, lens compatibility
Cons: no dedicated ISO display (except in TAv mode), default JPG settings not the best, auto white balance sometimes off.

In terms of features and value, the K10D is definitely the best of the 10mp DSLRs. Nowhere else can you get weather sealing for this price, or the unique (and very useful) exposure modes; plus, it has a very useful shake reduction system to get an extra 3 or so stops.


TAv mode is my personal favorite mode, because it allows quick and easy control of shutter, aperature, and ISO all at the same time, through the viewfinder (if ISO is too high/low, adjust the shutter and/or aperature to move the ISO up/down).


The image quality can certainly stand up to the "major" brands as well. However, the default JPG settings definitely won't do the camera justice. Switch to bright mode and turn the sharpening up a notch or two, or else shoot RAW.


One thing I wish worked a little better was the auto white balance. In daylight it's fine, but I ususally use manual indoors (when not using a flash).


Also, the evaluative metering is pretty conservative, so I usually have the EV compensation set to +1/3 or sometimes even +2/3 (or just use spot metering).
Ross_Alford

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 36
Pentax K10D review by Ross_Alford
Review Date: 1/9/2007 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: High build quality, environmental seals, shake reduction, great RAW image quality
Cons: JPEG image quality could be better

I have had an extensive tryout of one of these and it is an awesome camera. If I did not have an extensive commitment to another brand, and was starting from scratch in the DSLR world, I would find it very hard to pass this camera up.


It feels solid, and is large enough to fit well in my rather large hands, but still reasonably small and compact. The weather sealing is impressive, and really can make a differemce; I know people who have incurred large repair bills on DSLRs that are not so well sealed, from using them in challenging environments with lots humidity.


It will use just about any Pentax lens ever made, with some limitations. Once the correct custom setting enabling the use of the aperture ring is made, older K mount (and, supposedly, even screwmount, with an adapter) lenses work in manual exposure mode, and the light meter works; pressing the green button briefly stops the lens down to the set aperture and sets the shutter speed. The built in flash only fires at full power, no TTL flash with manual lenese, but the availability of full RGB histograms means it is easy to evaluate exposure and set the correct aperture, as long as you have time for a trial shot or two. This ability to use "legacy" lenses is better than any other brand except the high level Nikons (D200 and D2x) which have full open-aperture metering and TTL flash, but only with lenses going back to the 1970s. The lower-level Nikons are worse than the Pentax; lenses will fit but no metering of any sort.


There are lots of controls, and they are mostly easy to use, with commonly used functions either set by their own buttons or on easily accessible menus. There are also a very large number of custom functions for tailoring the camera to your shooting style.


The shake reduction function works well, gaining several sops of hand-holding ability, and it even works with manual focus lenses. If an older lens is mounted, the camera asks you to confirm focal length each tie it is turned on, if shake reduction is enabled. I never had any dust problems, which could be due to the dust reduction, or could be just good luck. One thing I would wish for if I owned this camera is an option to set dust-off sensor shaking to be done when the camera is turned OFF, perhaps at intervals of, say, 50 or 100 or a user-defineable number of shots. As it is, if you want automatic dust-off, the only option I found is for it to be done each time the camera is turned on, which slows the startup time and gaves a really obvious and slightly worrying clunk every time you turn the camera on.


RAW image qualiy is superb, equal to other 10 MP cameras, and very close if not equal to a 12 MP Nikon D2x. The ability to save raw images in Adobe DNG format is a plus for those of us who worry about whether converters will be available for future decoding of our shots. It would be nice, though, if there was an option to use "lossless" compression on the DNG files, which are very big, about 16 MB as opposed to about 10 MB for native mode RAW files, and about 9 MB for compressed DNGs produced by Adobe's converter. As has been noted in reviews, the quality of JPEGS produced in camera is a bit of a let down. I did not experiment extensively with settings, but image quality of jpegs was noticeably lower than that of RAW files converted using Adobe Camera Rraw. this would not bother me, as I shoot more or less entirely in raw mode anyway.


All in all, this really does seem to be closely equivalent to a Nikon D200, with some very useful extras, for a lot less money. Very well done, and well worth considering if you don't already have a lot of lenses and accessories for another system.
mu55ster

Registered: October 2005
Posts: 9
Pentax K10D review by mu55ster
Review Date: 12/16/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: None indicated| Rating: 10 

 
Pros: Huge files
Cons: JPEG processing (but it's a stretch for a con..)

I upgraded from a DS about 4 days ago - I am very impressed with the K10D, while it is bigger and heavier, it's image quality makes me wish i could retake hundreds of shots. RAW files are simply astonishing for a camera in this price range - JPEGS are fine (although as mentioned on DPreview - RAW is much better) for most applications but are alittle soft, I have only noticed this once so far.


I got a tamron 70-300mm lens for the DS because it was only $220 AU - with the DS i was close to throwing it out - The K10D seems to give much better results with the lens, very strange. Auto focus also blows the DS out of the water - nobody ever mentioned to me that the reason for poor autofocus on the DS was a battery issue - by putting 1.2v rechargables in rather than 1.5v alkaine you put the autofocus in the next to usless range. The K10D make me wish all those prime lenses i got in MF versions were now Autofocus.


The grip is alittle larger but i did get used to it after about 20 minutes of shooting - the green button however... I keep pressing it and turning the back wheel - forgetting that the front wheel is there - i guess it's just a time thing. Other wise very intuitive and great fun to use. I was offered a 20D + 4 lenses for a great price the next day... still glad i chose the K10D.


Only complaint is that I didn't buy the battery grip straight away (although i don't really need it... do I????) and that the camera has now given me a reason to start investing in those fantastic Pentax Limited lenses.


I highly recomend this camera and while I am yet to fully run it through it's paces - I am amazed i even contemplated the purchase for 3 seconds instead of the 2 seconds it took me to ask the salesperson to grab me one. It kicks...
_Mike_D

Registered: December 2006
Posts: 12
Pentax K10D review by _Mike_D
Review Date: 12/3/2006 Would you recommend the product? Yes | Total Spent: $910.00| Rating: 9 

 
Pros: in camera anti shake, excellent viewfinder, everything else!
Cons: dust protection dosn't seem to work as well as claimed.

I upgraded from a canon 300d to this camera about 2 weeks ago. The canon is still a great camera, but the K10D is superior in every major respect.


So far the pictures produced with this camera simply look wonderful. Colors are well saturated and look beautiful. Thanks to the 10mp sensor, I find I can crop out large sections of a picture and still have plenty to work with.


The viewfinder is large, bright and sharp compared to the 300d. It is such a relief to finally look through a camera with a descent viewfinder.


ISO noise is higher overall than the 300d, but it has a pleasing look to it. I have yet to take a picture with this camera that has been ruined by excessive noise.


The camera also has a feature that allows you to select a range of acceptable ISO speed (for instance ISO 160-500) If you are in Av mode, the camera will automatically set the shutter speed to 1/(focal length*~1.3) and will then use the lowest ISO speed possible within that range to get the correct exposure. This is one of the handiest features I have ever seen in a camera. Kudos to Pentax.


The in camera shake reduction really does work, although I've found you can only really expect to get 1.5-2.5 stops advantage reliably (you can get 3.5 stops /sometimes/ though) This is easily one of greatest selling points of this camera. With my old camera, I needed to be keenly aware of the shutter speed at all times to avoid blurry photos. But with the combination of auto ISO, and shake reduction, I'd have to go out of my way to get a blurry photo.


The only fault I can really find is with the dust prevention system. Although it is hardly an issue, I already have small amounts of dust on my sensor after 2 weeks of use. I more or less expected to never need to clean my sensor again, but it looks like I will have to keep my sensor swabs after all. Hopefully the system will at least /minimize/ the dust so that I only will need to clean it once a year or so...


All in all I would say this is very nearly the perfect camera for me, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone.


There are a number of pictures on my site starting with this one that were taken with this camera.


http://www.one-blind-eye.com/index.php?showimage=111


 






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