RSS Twitter YouTube

Pentax K10D Review

10 Megapixels10 MegapixelsSingle Lens ReflexSingle Lens ReflexStabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Stabilization: Compensates for tiny involuntary movements of the camera.Continuous DriveContinuous DriveManual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Manual Controls: Both fully-manual (M) and semi-automatic modes (T and V).Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Custom White-Balance: Specifies exactly what should be white to the camera.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Action Photography: Shutter speeds of 1/1500 or more.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Night Photography: Reaches shutter-speeds longer than 4 seconds.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Hotshoe: Allows external flash units to be attached.Spot MeteringSpot MeteringDepth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Depth-Of-Field Preview: Improve perception of DOF before shooting.Weatherproof - Seals protect from dust, humidity and light splashing.Weatherproof - Seals protect from dust, humidity and light splashing.Accepts Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) and SD memory.Accepts Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) and SD memory.Neocamera detailed reviewNeocamera detailed reviewDiscontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.Discontinued: No longer produced by the manufacturer. May still be in stock or found used.

Usability - How easy is it to use?

The ergonomics of the Pentax K10D are simply exceptional. The K10D has a deep hand-grip with a protrusion in front above the index-finder and another protrusion to the right of the thumb. This shape provides a very secure grip and comfortable access to the shutter-release, both control wheels and most important buttons. The camera feels very solid with a confidence-inspiring weight.

The K10D has the largest pentaprism viewfinder among cropped-sensor DSLR cameras. It provides a bright and clear image with 95% coverage. Only much higher-end DSLR cameras have more coverage. While gripping the camera, users can easily reach the exposure-compensation, auto-focus-lock (AF) and auto-exposure-lock (AEL) buttons using their thumb. There is also a green button behind the shutter-release which can be reached with the index finger. The green button is used to perform various operations depending on the mode-dial's position. Pressing the green button and exposure-compensation simultaneously resets the exposure to its default.

The two-control wheels were put to excellent use by providing direct access to exposure parameters. A great usability feature of this DSLR is that whenever aperture or shutter-speed can be changed using a control-wheel it appears underlined in the viewfinder. This provides a good indication as to the current exposure mode. It would have been even more helpful if the parameter controlled by the front control-wheel had a line above it instead of below. In program mode (P), called Hyper-Program, the control-wheels are used to enter aperture-priority (Av) mode and shutter-priority (Tv) mode. Pressing the green button in this mode resets the exposure along the program-line. An excellent customization option of the K10D is the choice of four program linesFast-shutter, maximize depth-of-field, optimal aperture (MTF) and normal. In sensitivity-priority (Sv) mode, one control-wheel selects the ISO sensitivity, the other shifts exposureChanges between equivalent aperture and shutter-speed combinations.

Pentax K10D back view

In Av and Tv modes, one control-wheel selects the main exposure parameter, the other either performs exposure-compensation or selects the ISO sensitivity. When the second control-wheel controls ISO, the green button can be pressed to have the camera automatically set the sensitivity. A great touch is that the K10D reports the selected sensitivity in the viewfinder and on the top-mounted LCD panel.

In TAv and M modes, one control-wheel selects the aperture, the other selects the shutter-speed. The difference is that M mode uses a fixed ISO while TAv mode attempts to achieve a correct exposure by selecting the ISO. In M mode, the green button sets the exposure according to the camera's metering mode and the AEL button, in combination with a control-wheel, shifts the exposure. This provides a good starting point for manually setting exposure.

Both control-wheels are also put to good use during image playback and menu navigation. The rear control-wheel zooms in and out of images while the front one moves between images without changing the zoom level. This provides an effective way to inspect a detailed area of multiple images of the same subject. To speed up menu navigation, the two control-wheels can be used: one to iterate over pages of a single menu and another to iterate over menus.

ISO is selectable from 100 to 1600. There is also an automatic ISO setting which can be customized by selecting the minimum and maximum allowable sensitivity. Additionally, a custom setting controls the appearance of an ISO warning. There is also a flash-recommendation warning which unfortunately cannot be turned off. This warning appears as a flashing lighting icon in the viewfinder when the shutter-speed falls below a certain fixed threshold. Having a flashing icon does get annoying after a while, so we hope Pentax will add an option to disable it via a firmware update. This warning is not really useful as using a flash is frequently ineffective and can ruin the photograph.

A function-button (Fn) on the camera's rear brings up a menu to select the drive-mode, ISO sensitivityIncluding Flash-Compensation, flash-modeChanges between equivalent aperture and shutter-speed combinations or white-balance. The K10D also has a 4-way controller which can be used for navigating the menu system and selecting the focus-point. While reviewing images, the center-button zooms-out completely. While taking pictures, the center-button toggles between showing the number of frames remaining and the current ISO sensitivity. Being able to see the currently selected ISO is very practical. The only thing better would be to have it permanently displayed.

pentax k10dA switch on the front of the camera body selects between the 3 focus modes: single, continuous and manual. In single-focus mode, the camera will not take a picture unless focus-lock has been established. This can be done by pressing the shutter-release halfway or by pressing the AF button on the camera's rear. The continuous-focus mode is fairly typical. In manual-focus mode, the camera very conveniently reports when one of the sensors has achieved focus. Focus confirmation is indicated in the viewfinder and, optionally, by a beep.

In the spirit of keeping things clear, the K10D displays on its rear LCD a summary of its settings each time it is powered on or the mode is changed. The info-button can be used to display the settings on the rear LCD on-demand. The information screen even displays the current lens' focal length. It would be preferable if the information screen did not disappear instantly when a camera setting is changed.

During testing, two minor usability issues with certain lenses were found. The first one is that the aperture-ring was difficult to reach when the lens-barrel widens just in front of it. The second problem is that the K10D does not report the lens aperture when the aperture-ring is not in the auto (A) position. Neither problem should be an issue unless you plan to use old lenses without an A position on the aperture-ring.

Since a DSLR does not provide a live-preview, it is common to leave a setting such as white-balance or exposure-compensation incorrectly set. This can ruin a large number of images. Several Pentax digital cameras, including the K10D, allow to specify which setting is reset on power-offFlash mode, drive mode, white-balance, sensitivity, exposure-compensation and auto-bracketing. It would have been even better if the user could specify the reset value as well. This simple change is implementable via firmware.

Pentax K10D status lcd (top)

The Pentax K10D supports two file numbering systems. A sequential numbering system names files numerically and groups about 500 images per folder. This apparently arbitrary limit is somewhat annoying as it frequently requires copying multiple directories from each SD card. The other numbering system names files using the current date.

Pentax K10D
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com
By on 2007/02/02
3

Pentax K10D Facts


SLR digital camera

Sensor-Size: 24 x 16mm

APS-C Sensor

Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI

10 Megapixels DSLRISO 100-1600
Pentax K Mount
1.5X FLM
Shutter 1/4000-30s
2-Axis Built-in StabilizationFull manual controls, including Manual Focus
95% Coverage
Large Viewfinder
Custom white-balance with 2 axis fine-tuning
WeatherproofSpot-Metering
Built-in Dust ReductionHot-Shoe & Sync-Port
3 FPS Drive, Unlimited ImagesLithium-Ion Battery
2.7" LCD 230K PixelsSecure Digital High Capacity
Buy from these sellers:Buy From Amazon.com

Camera Bag

Clear

Your camera bag is empty. To add a camera or lens click on the star next to its name.

Your camera bag is empty.

Add cameras or lenses by clicking on the star next to their name.

Updates

    2019.12.10

  • 2019.12.10

    Best Digital Cameras of 2019

    Best Digital Cameras of 2019

    The Best Cameras of 2019 awarded by Neocamera: Best Travel-Zoom, Best Premium Compact, Best Ultra-Zoom, Best Mirrorless and Best DSLR.

  • 2019.11.26

  • 2019.11.26

    10 Gifts Photographers Will Love

    10 Gifts Photographers Will Love

    The 2019 gift guide for photographers showcases photography gear that amateur and enthusiasts will enjoy. It is divided into 3 price categories to suit different budgets from $50 to $200 USD.

  • 2019.11.25

  • 2019.11.25

    Sony Alpha A7R IV In-Depth Review

    Sony Alpha A7R IV In-Depth Review

    The newest Sony high-resolution mirrorless packs a 61 MP Full-Frame BSI-CMOS sensor on 5-axis Sensor-Shift system. It shoots at 10 FPS, records 4K Ultra-HD video and focuses with a new 567-Point and 425-Area Hybrid AF system with Realtime tracking. This professional-grade camera features a 5.8 MP 0.5" EVF with 0.78X magnification, 100% coverage and an Eye-Start Sensor plus triple control-dials in a weatherproof body. This review shows exactly how the A7R IV performs and compares to top Full-Frame and Medium-Format digital cameras.

  • 2019.11.04

  • 2019.11.04

    Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

    Olympus OM-D E-M1X Review

    Professional Micro Four-Thirds mirrorless sporting an ultra-high speed 20 MP sensor with 121-Point Phase-Detect AF on a 5-axis image-stabilization system effective to 7-stops. 60 FPS drive with blackout free view on a huge 0.83X magnification 2.4 MP 0.5" EVF. Even a builtin GPS in a dual-grip double dual-control-dial IPX1-rated weatherproof and freezeproof body.

  • 2019.10.17

  • 2019.10.17

    Nikon D3500 Review

    Nikon D3500 Review

    The lightest DSLR packs a 24 MP APS-C sensor with ISO 100-25600 sensitivity-range, 5 FPS drive and Full HD video capture. Basic features with simple ergonomics.

  • 2019.10.16

  • 2019.10.16

    Time-Lapse Photography for Beginners

    Time-Lapse Photography for Beginners

    Learn how to get started with time-lapse photography in 4 easy steps.

  • 2019.10.07

  • 2019.10.07

    Fujifilm X-T30 Review

    Fujifilm X-T30 Review

    The newest 26 MP 4th-Generation X-Trans CMOS sensor and X-Process 4 from the flagship X-T3 in more compact body. ISO 80-51200, 1/32000-30s, 20 FPS Continuous drive, Cinema 4K video. Dual control-dials and 2.4 MP EVF with Eye-Start Sensor.

  • 2019.09.30

  • 2019.09.30

    Nikon Z6 Review

    Nikon Z6 Review

    Nikon Full-Frame Mirrorless with 24 MP and 5-Axis Built-In Image-Stabilization effective to 5-Stops. ISO 100-202400. 12 FPS Continuous Drive. 3.7 MP 0.5" EVF with 0.8X Magnification and 100% Coverage. 4K Ultra-HD video.

  • 2019.04.22

  • 2019.04.22

    Fujifilm GFX 50R Review

    Fujifilm GFX 50R Review

    Medium Format Mirrorless Digital Camera based on 50 MP 0.8X-Crop CMOS sensor without Anti-Alias Filter. ISO 50-102400, 1/16000s-60m Shutter-Speeds, 3 FPS and Full 1080p HD video at 30 FPS. Large 0.5" EVF with 3.7 MP, 100% coverage, 0.77X magnification and an Eye-Start Sensor. Dual control-dials in a weatherproof and freezeproof body.

  • 2019.04.10

  • 2019.04.10

    Fujifilm X-T3 Review

    Fujifilm X-T3 Review

    State of the art 26 MP X-Trans CMOS 4 sensor with 2.1M Phase-Detect pixels, 20 FPS Full-Resolution Continuous Drive, Cinema 4K & Ultra-HD 4K video at 60 FPS. Built-in 0.5" EVF 3.7MP, 100% Coverage, 0.75X magnification and Eye-Start Sensor. Dual control-dials plus dedicated dias in weatherproof and freezeproof body.