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Pentax K10D review roundup and sample images
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news posted on October 02, 2007

 
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Pentax K10D reviewsA PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system that effectively offers
a 2.5 to 4 stop advantage for sharp, blur-free images even under
difficult shooting conditions, such as macro and telephoto photography
or low light settings without a flash. The SR mechanism is designed to
minimize camera shake by oscillating the CCD image sensor vertically
and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting
the speed of oscillation in proportion to the amount of camera shake
detected by built-in sensors. As a result, the system does not require
special anti-shake lenses and can be used with more than 24 million
PENTAX lenses produced since 1964.

CNET reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"We were also quite impressed with the K10D's photo quality as well, from its broad dynamic range to first-rate colour reproduction. Photos had an excellent noise profile up through ISO 800, and at its maximum of ISO 1600 still fared well for its price class. If you're looking for a first dSLR or a no-brainer kit, the Pentax K10D may be too much for you, as in too much power and too expensive. But if you want to buy into an inexpensive system with a really good amateur dSLR at its hub, the K10D hits the mark."
Read whole review here
Sample images

Imaging resource reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"The K10D was thoughtfully designed with the photographer in mind, and it uses the advantages of digital technology to reach beyond the boundaries of long-accepted boundaries. ISO sensitivity is no longer locked to a roll of film, so Pentax decided to build two exposure modes around that fact. Most lenses have aperture settings that should be avoided, so they built the ability to avoid those settings into custom functions. Brilliant! Some of these exclusive features are good enough that K10D users might get forever locked into the Pentax system, and that certainly wouldn't be bad. Their impressive and broadening array of lenses will meet the need, and the K10D's backward compatibility goes back over fifty years with the use of adapters, so it's easy to get lost in Pentax's optical history. Coming in at under $1,000 with a lens, the Pentax K10D is a lot of camera. Its body-based Shake Reduction is best-of-breed, and the kit lens is well-built. Smart design features, like an IR sensor on both the front and back of the K10D, and a left-side grip surface, make the camera easier to use. All of these smart, thoughtful features combine with a sturdy water-resistant body to create a fine SLR. Despite the caveats about white balance and phantom pixels, the K10D is a solid photographic tool, designed for the photographer, and worthy of a Dave's Pick."
Read whole review here
Sample images

Steve's digicams reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"Image noise was well controlled throughout the K10D's 100-1600 ISO range, essentially noise-free at ISO 100 and 200, barely detectable at ISO 400, detectable in shadow areas at ISO 800, and detectable in highlights at ISO 1600. Noise becomes more noticeable on underexposed images, so image quality will suffer if you "push" the camera's sensitivity. It's a shame that Pentax did not include a sensitivity setting of 3200 on the K10D, a short coming compared to the competition. Pentax did include a useful adjustment of the K10D's Auto ISO; it can be set to a range of 100-200, 100-400 (default setting), 100-800 or 100-1600. The K10D offers a lot of camera for under $1000.00 USD - with 10.2 megapixels of resolution, body-integral Shake Reduction (SR), automatic dust removal, a weather-proof body, 3fps continuous shooting performance, dual battery grip option and great image quality – it’s an easy choice over the K100D for those seeking a more advanced dSLR camera system. Users of Pentax film SLRs will be able to use their existing inventory of K-mount lenses and benefit from its Shake Reduction feature. "
Read whole review here
Sample images

DC Resource reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"Photo quality varies greatly depending on the settings you're using. If you pull the K10D out of the box, attach the kit lens, and start shooting JPEGs then you might say "wow, my old point-and-shoot took better pictures". However, if you tweak the settings a bit, or shoot in RAW mode then you'll see that the K10D can produce photos of exceptional quality. For whatever reason, the K10D's image processor produces soft images with dull colors, which aren't terribly pleasing to the eye. If you don't want to fuss with RAW, you can change the image tone option to vivid or adjust the in-camera sharpening, contrast, and saturation to your liking. Whatever you end up doing, once you've found that sweet spot, the K10D's photo quality ranks up there with the best of them. Noise levels are quite low on the camera, with even ISO 1600 being usable. As one would expect on a D-SLR with a big pop-up flash, redeye was not an issue on the camera. Purple fringing popped up occasionally, but wasn't a huge problem overall. The 18 - 55 mm kit lens isn't great, with vignetting in several of my real world test photos. hey, it's $100, what do you expect? All things considered, the Pentax K10D is an excellent midrange digital SLR. It offers a solid, well-designed body, rocket-fast performance, and superb photo quality if you get away from the default settings. It may not be a great choice for those used to live-view and scene modes, but if you're ready to dive into more serious photography, the K10D is a great choice. It earns my highest recommendation."
Read whole review here
Sample images

EPhotozine reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"Pentax are back! With the possible exception of frame rate, made up for in part with the Shake-reduction and dual RAW capability, this camera is up there with Nikon’s D200 and Canon’s 30D. Packed with features that have been well thought out and are easily accessible in a body that has been built to withstand the pressures of hard use in typically English climates it has a lot going for it. If their lens line-up takes a similar leap in the next twelve months, Pentax will be back toe-to-toe with the big boys. This is a serious advanced amateur or semi-pro camera."
Read whole review here

Digital camera review reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"Canon and Nikon currently dominate the semi-pro dSLR market, but all any camera maker has to do to unseat the sales leaders is to offer a better product at a lower price.  The introduction of the Pentax K10D is a big step in that direction.  The K10D offers several unique benefits the majors can't match including image stabilization with every lens, pro quality dust/weather/moisture seals, two RAW formats, and an automatic dust reduction/removal system - all at a very competitive price.  Serious shooters may have a few issues (like Pentax's lack of long glass), but for many photographers - including those with a closet full of old FA, KA, or K-mount lenses, the K10D may be just the camera they've been looking for.  I really liked the Pentax K10D - it was clearly designed by photographers - for photographers.  Amateur photographers looking a camera that can keep pace as their photographic skills develope should seriously consider the Pentax K10D - this dSLR is a contender."
Read whole review here

Pocket lint reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"Slight purple fringing is visible on high contrast parts of the shots as well, a tad disappointing but not serious. However what is slightly more so is the amount of both luminance and chroma noise at ISO 800 and over. Even in brighter conditions, noise is visible is shadows at ISO 400 but very noticeable at ISO 800 and beyond. The noise reduction could be a bit more aggressive in my view. However, because the Shake Reduction system allows you to hand hold shots at lower shutter speeds (around two to three stops of exposure) as long as subject blur is not an issue, you can get away with sticking to the higher quality and lower ISO settings."
Read whole review here

NEO Camera reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"The Pentax K10D performs quite well, both in terms of image quality and speed. Among 10 megapixels DSLR cameras, its image quality is still behind the Canon Rebel XTi, the current leader. Color, exposure and focus are very accurate except for automatic white-balance under artificial lighting. Note that all current DLSR cameras have the same problem, although the K10D seems more afflicted. Noise levels are average for a DSLR, which is very good. Both the Canon XTi and the Nikon D80 show less noise, particularly at ISO 1600. The Sony Alpha A100 shows visibly more noise at ISO 800 and 1600. One great thing about the K10D is that its images keep plenty of details even at high-ISO. The weak point of the K10D's image quality is that it produces JPEG images with softer edges than normal. Even though image sharpness can be adjusted, DP Review reports that it has no effect on edge softness."
Read whole review here

Shutterbug reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"Whether you shoot raw, DNG, or JPEG, the images the Pentax K10D produces are impressive. The camera is well designed and all the switchgear is made to professional standard. Instead of a flimsy rubber cover over its input/output ports there’s a solid door that opens and closes like it should instead of flopping in the breeze. The camera’s ergonomics are wonderful, whether you shoot with the battery grip on or off. Unlike other battery packs that require you to remove the battery door to attach it, the D-BG2 lets you keep the camera body battery inside, giving you access/back up to two batteries, although only one is in the grip. Get a spare ($49.95), so you can use this feature. Under normal conditions a single battery allows 500 shots per charge and it never let me down, although extensive use of the built-in flash slowed the ability to make rapid sequence flash shots while waiting for the flash to recycle."
Read whole review here

DP Expert reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"The Pentax K10D is a brilliant camera. At the price it is a world-beater. It will be interesting to see how it goes in the market place where, paradoxically, its low price may count against it. Can a $1900 camera/lens combination compete with a similarly specified camera selling for $3000? Yes, it can. It is as though Pentax has returned to its origins when the company produced affordable, reliable, pioneering SLRs with outstanding lenses. Most serious amateurs have a Pentax in their past and the K10D will bring a nostalgic smile of recognition."
Read whole review here
Sample images

Good Gear Guide reviewed Pentax K10D and wrote:
"The unit is also extremely well constructed, offering a dust and weather proof design that is a big boon for the modern photographer. Many people miss photo opportunities for fear of taking their camera into harsh conditions, so it is great to see Pentax making improvements to help rectify this. The also K10D sits very nicely in the hands and is very nicely weighted, which is important for long photography sessions. Unlike many other companies, Pentax hasn't abandoned its twin LCD setup, with the main display used to navigate the menu, and a second monochrome panel on top showing all the relevant settings."
Read whole review here

Press release:

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.  

Designed to deliver high-quality digital images and responsive operation for advanced photo enthusiasts, the K10D features an array of PENTAX innovations in image capture and camera functionality.  

Pentax K10D
Pentax K10D

Pentax K10D
Pentax K10D

The most significant features in the K10D include:

· A PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system that effectively offers a 2.5 to 4 stop advantage for sharp, blur-free images even under difficult shooting conditions, such as macro and telephoto photography or low light settings without a flash. The SR mechanism is designed to minimize camera shake by oscillating the CCD image sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting the speed of oscillation in proportion to the amount of camera shake detected by built-in sensors. As a result, the system does not require special anti-shake lenses and can be used with more than 24 million PENTAX lenses produced since 1964.*

· A newly-developed Pentax Real IMage Engine (PRIME) designed exclusively for PENTAX digital SLR cameras to produce well-balanced, true-to-life images.  In order to meet the performance requirement in handling 10 megapixel data, PENTAX also incorporated a new high performance 22 bit A/D converter to quickly transfer images with accurate color tones and richer gradation from the CCD to the imaging engine.

· A new Dust Removal (DR) system incorporating PENTAX-original Special Protect (SP) coating to help keep the CCD surface dust-free, and a shift mechanism to shake dust off the CCD.

·  A dependable dust-proof, weather-resistant body construction featuring 72 seals throughout the camera to allow photographers to continue shooting even in dusty or rainy environments.

*Lenses compatible with this mechanism are the PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be applicable with certain lenses.

Pentax K10D
Pentax K10D

Advanced photographers will not find another 10 megapixel digital SLR that offers features such as a weather-resistant body, shake reduction, and great ergonomics, at any price, ” said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company.  “With the K10D introduction, PENTAX is now able to offer digital SLRs for two important users − the first time SLR customer who can buy the K100D and now the K10D for the more advanced users.

Pentax K10D
Pentax K10D

Along with the body, PENTAX announced a D-BG2 battery grip for exclusive use with the PENTAX K10D. This battery grip can be used in combination with the camera's rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to double the camera's battery life. With a vertical shutter-release button, preview lever, two control dials, AE-lock button and green button, the new battery grip makes vertical-position shooting simple and effortless. It also features the same dust-proof, weather-resistant construction as the K10D camera body.

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