Pentax K10D digital single lens reflex camera
When DSLRs became popular a few years ago, it looked as if Pentax was going to miss the boat. Although it was a big name amongst camera manufacturers, Pentax was one of the last ones to join the digital adventure. First, it brought out models with unpronounceable names, later it came up with digital SLR cameras whose names were easier to remember and pronounce. They were still only entry-level models and didn't show what Pentax was really capable of. Strange for a brand that had been at the top for years. They are on their way back now, however, with the Pentax K10D. It is a stepping stone to a higher segment and I wouldn't be surprised if Pentax came up with more, now they have shown what they are capable of with the Pentax K10D.
Pentax K10D - Great price / quality ratio
The Pentax K10D is a striking DSLR camera. It's priced like the Nikon D80 and is competing directly with cameras like the Canon EOS 30D and Nikon D200. It has a weather and dust proof body, more than enough pixels, advanced autofocus and inbuilt image stabilisation. These are all features that you would expect to find in a semi professional camera, not in a camera that is much cheaper than you would generally expect. Yet the Pentax K10D has all of this.
Pentax K10D d-SLR - Unique exposure programs
These features are not, however, what makes the Pentax K10D unique. The Pentax K10D is, above all, a clever camera with settings that you won't find anywhere else. Take the different exposure programs that make use of the sensitivity. They are all user-friendly, and help photographers without dictating to them how they should work. I found this one of the nicest aspects of the Pentax K10D. You can also determine how the programs select the values. This is an unknown luxury that any photographer will really appreciate.
Pentax K10D SLR camera - LCD display with preview
The use of the LCD screen to show a preview so that you can set the exposure, depth of field and white balance is also very clever. The reproduction suffers a bit because the picture on the LCD is very saturated. The viewfinder was very good, one of the better ones in its class. Pentax has correctly seen that the viewfinder is very important in a digital SLR camera. You use it to determine the final shot.
Pentax K10D SAVOX VIII en PRIME processor - High quality
The pictures are of a very high quality, thanks to the SAVOX VIII and the PRIME processor. The JPEGs from the camera could have been a little sharper and the white balance could react more accurately to certain light sources, but there is little reason to complain. Pentax did very well with noise. They found a good balance between noise suppression and detailing, although personally, I would have preferred a bit more detail. I could certainly live with the photos made by the Pentax K10D. It is nice that you can chose between 2 RAW formats, especially as lots of programs still cannot read the Pentax K10D's PEF format. DNG is also not as universal as you would expect. There is still work to do, but this is undoubtedly a question of time.
Pentax K10D digital SLR camera - Ergonomics
If I have any criticism for the Pentax K10D, it would be for its ergonomics. I thought that several buttons had not been placed logically and some settings could not be found and operated intuitively. It's probably a question of getting used to, but it's still an important point. Maybe Pentax should take a sly look at competitors who are bringing out more ergonomic cameras.
Pentax K10D - Chaming digital SLR camera!
There is not much to say about the Pentax K10D's body. It is compact, lies well in your hand and of excellent quality. It can cope with dust and light rain, which is nice if you photograph outside a lot. All in all, I was really charmed by the Pentax K10D. The clever discoveries made it a really pleasant camera to work with and thanks to the ultra-compact pancake lenses the Pentax K10D is almost the ultimate camera for street photographers. All this for such a low price! The Pentax K10D will give its owner real value for money while retainig great picture quality. What more do you want?
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Pentax K10D - DNG & PEF image formats & software
You can take photographs in both RAW and RAW + JPEG with the Pentax K10D. You can choose from various JPEG settings and, more uniquely, from two types of RAW. Pentax's own format, called PEF, is approximately two to three times smaller than DNG, but you can only convert it at the moment of transfer with the PhotoLab supplied by Pentax. It is a good program, but all those separate windows make it a bit difficult to oversee. Adobe Camera RAW Works better in this regard, but it can't cope with the Pentax K10D's PEF files. Neither can the beta version of Photoshop CS3. The Adobe format, DNG, doesn't have this problem. For me, that's reason enough to work in DNG. You can also choose from more programs, but DNG is not as universal as Adobe claims. For example, the DNG files from the Pentax K10D cannot be opened in Aperture.
Pentax K10D - 2GB Secure Digital / SDHC memory card
The continuous increase in pixels requires a corresponding increase in the size of memory cards. We also do not want to have to keep on exchanging cards. We are getting a bit spoiled. With film, we could only take 36 pictures in a row. Overly large cards are also not ideal. If you lose a card like this, which is only too easy with a small Secure Digital format, you lose an awful lot. You will need to find a balance between the number of pictures you want to take and the risk of losing data. If you are taking pictures in RAW, which I would certainly recommend, you will need large cards for the Pentax K10D. I would recommend a 2GB card and a 1GB card at the very least. The following table shows the number of pictures you can make with a 1GB SD memory card.
Considering 1GB storage capacity:
RAW - DNG - 3872x2592 pixels - 59 pictures
RAW - PEF - 3872x2592 pixels - 59 pictures
JPEG - 3872x2592 pixels - best - 202 pictures
JPEG - 3872x2592 pixels - better - 345 pictures
JPEG - 3872x2592 pixels - good - 592 pictures
JPEG - 3008x2000 pixels - best - 337 pictures
JPEG - 3008x2000 pixels - better - 575 pictures
JPEG - 3008x2000 pixels - good - 990 pictures
JPEG - 1824x1216 pixels - best - 915 pictures
JPEG - 1824x1216 pixels - better - 1549 pictures
JPEG - 1824x1216 pixels - good - 2627 pictures