Review of Pentax K10D off "price grabber"

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by RichA, Dec 5, 2006.

  1. RichA

    RichA Guest

    This review seems...very well-written for a user. I don't doubt much
    of what is said, but....

    Excellent offering from Pentax
    Strengths: A lot of features and excellent image quality and build.
    Weaknesses: Requires good lenses to get the best out of - since a 10MP
    sensor will easily show flaws in average/bad lenses.
    Summary: The K10D was a highly anticipated camera ever since it was
    announced in September of 2006. Now that it is out and I have been
    using one for about a week I can easily recommend this dSLR to anyone
    interested in a verstatile, well-built and extremely functional dSLR.
    It was most definetely worth the wait and for a price tag that is very
    reasonable for everything that this camera offers, it is one of the
    best buys for a sub semi-pro body. The camera is in a class above the
    Nikon D80 and Canon Xti yet the cost is a little more than the Xti and
    in-line with the D80. A remarkable achievement by Pentax considering
    the K10D pretty much skimps on nothing.

    It has the superb ergonomics and handling, a big and bright pentaprism
    viewfinder, excellent layout of controls and buttons, highly
    customizable features and lots of external controls for quick access to
    settings such as Metering, Focus points etc. It is also constructed
    extremely well and feels perfectly balanced in the hand. The grip is
    also superb and the camera just generally feels like it was designed
    with the photographer in mind. Also lastly throw in the weather and
    dust resistant body and you know you have a superbly built camera in
    your hands. No other camera in the market even comes close to offering
    such a feature in a camera under $1500.

    The image quality is excellent - the Pentax metering system is very
    reliable and the camera produces beautifully rendered images with great
    detail, contrast and tone. The High ISO performance is in-line with the
    other 10MP contenders such as the D80 and the Xti with the camera
    offering low-noise levels but also superb tones and sharpness even at
    high ISO's. The same cannot be said for some other 10MP dSLR's which
    shall remain unnamed. The camera also offers two RAW formats including
    the Adobe DNG format. Add in the built-in CCD shift stabilization
    system entitled Shake Reduction (SR) by Pentax and you have a serious
    low-light machine. The CCD shift mechanism also provides the feature of
    Dust Removal to shake off those pesky dust spots that may get stuck on
    the camera when changing lenses. It also accepts the new SDHC format SD
    cards and can do continous shooting at 3 fps up to 9 RAW images or
    until the memory card is full when shooting Jpeg's so long as you have
    a fast enough SD card.

    This camera promised a lot when it was introduced by Pentax in
    September and I can confidently say that it has indeed met and exceeded
    all my expectations. There are so many nice touches that they cannot
    all be mentioned in a review but I am finding smart and useful touches
    even still. Some other superb usability features are two new modes such
    as the Sensitivity priority (Sv) and Shutter & Aperture Priority mode
    (TAv). The Hyper Program mode (P) works very well and with just a touch
    of the two controls wheels the camera can instantly be swithced into Av
    or Tv modes. Another great feature is the digital preview image. This
    lets you take an image and displays it on the big and bright 2.5" LCD
    monitor and make adjustments. For example, you can turn the blinking
    highlight/shadow indicators on/off to see if any highlights are blown
    or if exposure needs to be corrected or you can go into the WB settings
    and change the WB settings and see the changing results in effect on
    the preview image that is stored in the cameras buffer (but not saved -
    so it doesnt take up space in your memory card). The camera is
    literally filled with smart touches such as this.

    The K10D is an absolute joy to use and couple it with the reputable
    Pentax lenses and you have yourself a camera that delivers in every
    aspect - it is also the first Pentax body to accept the upcoming DA*
    line of pro-quality lenses that are also weather and dust sealed and
    feature ultrasonic motors for fast and quiet focusing. If youre looking
    for a dSLR that offers a ton of functionaly and build quality along
    with superb image quality - look no further than the K10D - anyone who
    is new to the dSLR world who may be thinking of getting an Xti, A100 or
    D80 now has a camera that is significantly more full-featured and
    well-constructed than any of the other current 10MP cameras in the
    under $1000 price level - throw in the built in stabilization which
    works on any lens you can stick on the camera and it offers superb
    value for money. This feature alone will save hundreds of dollars of
    premium many users will have to pay for to get stabilized lenses for
    their Canon or Nikon cameras. For anyone thinking about switching
    systems from their current one the K10D opens a whole new world and
    contends some serious thought in favor of the Pentax brand. For current
    Pentax users the K10D is the next natural step in the upgrade path and
    is the easy choice when looking for a dSLR body that is in the semi-pro
    class and above the current 10MP entry-level dSLR's. The bar has just
    been raised.
     
    RichA, Dec 5, 2006
    #1
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  2. RichA

    U-Know-Who Guest

    Snip


    Troll, troll, troll your boat...
     
    U-Know-Who, Dec 5, 2006
    #2
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  3. RichA

    mogh baba Guest

    you introduce yoursef?

    Mogh
     
    mogh baba, Dec 5, 2006
    #3
  4. RichA

    Jan Böhme Guest

    RichA skrev:
    Unfortunately, this review doesn't give an account of how _efficient_
    the SR is in the K10D. Given that the SR in the K100D gave singularly
    unimpressive results in the hands of Phil Askey at dpreview.com, there
    is some reason for caution on this point.

    Jan Böhme
     
    Jan Böhme, Dec 5, 2006
    #4
  5. Unfortunately, this review doesn't give an account of how _efficient_
    Perhaps, but a brief perusal of some of the before/after shots posted in
    the Pentax SLR forum for both the K100D amd K10 should quickly erase
    those doubts. There are some stunning images at 1/2 second and even 1+
    second exposues. Look also for the images shot by janneman on his
    riding lawnmower...

    ---------------
    Marc Sabatella


    Music, art, & educational materials
    Featuring "A Jazz Improvisation Primer"
    http://www.outsideshore.com/
     
    Marc Sabatella, Dec 6, 2006
    #5
  6. RichA

    frederick Guest

    Shots posted by forum members extolling the virtues of SR are
    essentially meaningless. Even I can sometimes fluke shots handheld at
    exposures / focal lengths that shouldn't work.
    Anyway, it seems to work in PhilA's test on the a100 quite well, but
    poorly on the K100d. His test seems reasonable, but not 100% scientific.
    Pentax fans seem to be saying that the test target is too close, yet I
    don't see an explanation of why this could make a difference.
     
    frederick, Dec 6, 2006
    #6
  7. Shots posted by forum members extolling the virtues of SR are
    I agree you can't read too much into one or two examples. But it's
    tough to ignore the sheet number of such posts. Keep in mind that
    *many* people tested the SR system on the K100D fairly extensively
    practically first thing out of the box, because it as the thing they
    were most curious about (just as we see a plethora of posts from new
    K10D owners testing the ISO 1600 performance, since *that* is what
    everyone is most curious about there). So I think it fair to assume
    that many of the posts you see there are not from people posting their
    one fluke shot, but from people who really sat down and did some
    testing. In many cases, the post itself makes this clear. Also,
    considering how quick people are to complain about, say, perceived
    underexposure issues, I would say the overwhelming amount of data in
    support of the SR system seems signifcant - eg, if there were something
    to complain about, people *would* be complaining.

    Oh, and FWIW, it is my perception that most of the underexposure
    complaints come from people new to DSLR's who expect their camera to
    behave like their P&S - to try to "guess" what exposure you might
    aesthetically prefer, rather than carefully calculating an exposure
    designed to preserve the maximum of amount of detail. In particular,
    many P&S cameras will automatically expose a backlit scene for the
    foreground and hence overexpose the background, or will happily ignore
    and hence overexpose a bright reflection in a scene in order to render
    the rest of it in a pleasing way. Some DSLR's may do the the same, but
    the Pentax ones decidedly don't. Don't get me wrong - they do have an
    intelligent multi-segment metering system - but it seems it chooses to
    interpret this data somewhat conservatively in terms of deciding how
    much highlight detail it can afford to lose.

    ---------------
    Marc Sabatella


    Music, art, & educational materials
    Featuring "A Jazz Improvisation Primer"
    http://www.outsideshore.com/
     
    Marc Sabatella, Dec 6, 2006
    #7
  8. RichA

    frederick Guest

    Okay - if that is correct (and it could be - I don't know), then what
    does Phil Askey have to say about it?
    If there was a specific problem with the camera that he tested (which if
    your argument is correct, could be possible), then I expect that he'd
    retest or point out that a faulty camera may have been involved in the
    result. Perhaps he'll retest when he tests the K10d?

    As far as iso 1600 noise goes, as usual mostly people compare jpegs, and
    argue about how much detail is lost by in camera NR etc. Shooting raw
    is the only way to go IMO when pushing things - whether it's colour
    balance, tough exposure conditions, or situations where high ISO is
    needed. It's so much better to apply NR in PP - when you know what
    you're doing with the image (printing, to what size etc) than letting
    the camera do it, or even worse, farting around with buttons to set
    options for different in-camera NR settings when you should be taking
    photos.

    Sure. I hadn't seen the underexposure complaints about the K10d. I use
    a D70 - and the similar complaints about underexposure also seem endless
    and misinformed. Nikon apparently reacted to this with the D80, or
    perhaps just figured that there would be less whining from users who
    knew to set EV when needed, and just make it work like a P&S camera for
    the rest who probably shoot jpegs all the time. Probably another reason
    to go the way that they did was also from all the whining and forum
    comparisons about noise - from people who put far too much emphasis on
    this because pixel peeping it is far more visible than it ever is in
    print, so seems like a much bigger deal than it is. Lightening a
    slightly underexposed shot is the best way to accentuate noise. A
    camera that slightly overexposes (compared with what I prefer) is going
    to be thought less noisy. Just my opinion, but a little noise detracts
    far less than blown highlights in a print.
     
    frederick, Dec 6, 2006
    #8
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