Pentax K10D

Last Update: Review & Sample Photos @ DigitalCameraInfo (13 December’07)

Pentax K10D is Digital SLR camera (announced 13.09.06) featuring 10.2 effective megapixels, CCD-shift type Shake Reduction, 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. The Pentax K10D the first Water-Resistant Digital SLR featuring 72 seals throughout the camera to allow photographers to continue shooting even in rainy environments. Pentax K10D will be available for November 2006 for US $899.95 (body only).

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Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Pentax K10D Reviews

DigitalCameraInfo reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“Images produced by the K10D, however, indicate some of the camera’s limitations; uncorrected photos display errant colors, inaccurate white balance, and soft edges. Image quality and performance speeds are on par with other similarly-priced DSLRs, but do not approach prosumer models from Canon or Nikon. ”
Rating: N/A

GoodGearGuide reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“Colour response was excellent; the K10D achieved an Imatest score of 6.0 in this area, which is a brilliant result. Colours were accurate and well balanced, with only minor error visible in shades of red, which is a relatively common occurrence…If you regularly shoot in JPEG then Pentax’s K10D may not be the best choice for you, but those who prefer to use RAW will find it to be a powerful, versatile and sturdy camera that comes at a bargain price.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

Shutterbug reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“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. ”
Rating: N/A

ITReviews reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“Even though this is only a 6.1-megapixel camera, the sharpness, clarity and colour authenticity of the images are outstanding thanks to a new image processing engine, and this is further improved by the arrival of a built-in Shake Reduction mechanism that uses sensitive motion detectors to stabilise the CCD sensor so you can have crisp results even with low shutter speeds.”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyBlog reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“The Pentax K10D produced images of excellent quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free images at ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 800, with only the fastest setting of 1600 showing any appreciable noise…Overall we can highly recommend the Pentax K10D – not only does it have an attractive price-tag, but it is also a solidly-built, intuitive and responsive digital SLR that will meet the needs of the serious photographer.”
Rating: ★★★★½

CameraLabs reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“One thing should be clear from our comments so far: the K10D is not the greatest performer using its default settings. If you want a camera that takes great-looking JPEGs straight out the box, then look elsewhere. Shooting alongside the K10D with a Nikon D80 really cemented this point home…Ultimately if you’re a beginner or want the easy life, look elsewhere. But if you’re willing to learn how to get the best from the K10D, it undoubtedly represents great value for money and a compelling option. Just don’t expect miracles from the Shake Reduction and be prepared to tweak the settings.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

Pentax K10D Video Review @ CameraLabs

ImagingResource reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“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. ”
Rating: N/A

NeoCamera has compared the Pentax K10D to Sony Alpha A100 and writes;
“Sony: Greater sharpness, Better automatic white-balance, Superior image stabilization, Easier to use with gloves, More usable status screen, Eye-start sensor efficiently controls status display, Keyed ISO settings help with high-contrast subjects, DRO optimizes image tonality directly in-camera, Wider range of image parameters, although with larger increments, Customizable EC and AEL behavior, Eye-start auto focus, More lenses currently in production. Pentax: Lower image noise, More image details, Better color accuracy, White-balance preview, Greater accessibility of features, Larger and brighter viewfinder, Top-mounted status screen, Unique exposure modes, Customizable Auto-ISO and Program line, Finer control of image parameters including white-balance, Weather sealing with applicable lenses when they become available, In-camera RAW development.”
Rating: N/A

DigitalCameraReviews reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
” 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. ”
Rating: N/A

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“We were happy with the K10D’s image quality. Our test images were consistently well exposed and had good color saturation. Sharpness at the K10D’s normal setting was what you would expect of a dSLR, a bit on the soft side so that the image had some range for post processing. But at its maximum in-camera setting, the K10D’s images were less sharp than the competition. This proved to be true as well when using Pentax Photo Laboratory to process RAW images. I’d be using the unsharp mask filter of my image editor on essentially all of the K10D’s images to achieve the level of sharpness I like…”
Rating: N/A

Let’sGoDigital reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“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. ”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DCRP reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“Camera performance is excellent. If you’ve got dust reduction turned off, the K10D is ready to shoot as soon as you hit the power switch. Even if you are doing dust reduction at startup, the wait is minimal. Focus times were very good in most situations. Low light focusing was always accurate, but it’s a bit slow if you’re not using the flash-based AF-assist lamp…”
Rating: N/A

CNET reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“At half a second, JPEG and raw shot-to-shot speeds also fall in the middle of the pack, though its 3.1fps continuous-shooting clip elevates it a bit above the budget crowd. Occasionally I ran into focus lock issues–usually during close-ups–where it would rock back and forth quickly for a few iterations, as if trying to decide whether or not it was satisfied. Most of the time I fell into a rhythm with it, as you do with any good camera, but occasionally missed a shot waiting for it to catch up. ”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PhotographyReview reviews the Pentax K10D and writes;
“One big design advantage the K10D has over its competition is weather resistance. The K10D has rubber seals in the body (and in recently announced lenses). I have heard stories of photographers literally putting their cameras away because a little rain began to fall (here in Seattle, this is a frequent issue!). It is comforting to know that this system won’t wilt at the first sign of water. Of course you always guard against water on the lens, but weather resistance is desirable anywhere water or dust may be present. You never know when you might get splashed. ”
Rating: N/A

Tech2 have reviewed the Pentax K10D and write;
“The overall performance of the camera was, in all, outstanding. Its simple enough for even your grandma to shoot in the camera’s auto mode and there are feature-a-plenty to keep even a veteran photographer trigger-happy. Besides that, it’s also a pretty safe camera to lug around if you can take the weight. The body is well protected and the dust removal sensor-shake feature will ensure that dust doesn’t settle on it easily. It’s Rs. 71,290 (MRP) price tag may not be affordable to a lot of enthusiasts out there, but rest assured — the features make it well worth it. If you’re looking for a simpler D-SLR with a friendlier budget, you may want to take a look at the Pentax K100D we reviewed earlier. But if you want a D-SLR that will put you up there with the real talent, then don’t skimp out on this great model.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DigitalTrends have reviewed the Pentax K10D and write;
“Any first-time D-SLR buyer should put the Pentax K10D high on the list—it’s a very good 10MP camera offering lots of room to grow as you spread your photographic wings. And its combination of good image quality, built-in Shake Reduction and sturdy build makes it a worthy contender for the competition and your credit card limit. As mentioned earlier, it’s a serious camera targeted to people serious about their photos. The price is serious too, currently selling for MSRP due to the demand. If you have a collection of lenses from Canon or Nikon, taking the Pentax path is more difficult choice since you’ll have to make a hefty investment in new glass. But it’s hard to argue with the value this camera brings to the table for first-timers. ”
Rating: ★★★★½

PhotoReview have reviewed the Pentax K10D and write;
“Our tests were done with two lenses: the smc Pentax DA 1:4 16-45mm ED-AL and the Sigma DC 17-70mm 1:2.8-4.5. With both lenses, the K10D delivered images with bright colours and plenty of detail plus no evidence of over-sharpening. Both types of Raw files were able to accommodate extended-brightness-range subjects and were easy to adjust in Adobe Camera Raw, which users will appreciate. Image noise levels were generally low and the resulting files were clean…Flash performance was as good as you would expect from the built-in flash on a DSLR. Coverage was even and colours were reproduced with good neutrality…It took just over half a second to power-up the camera and take a picture and approximately 1.5 seconds to see the resulting shot. Image playback was almost instantaneous. ”
Rating: ★★★★½

Pocket-Lint have reviewed the Pentax K10D and write;
“In terms of image quality, the camera provides plenty of detail with natural colours, though of course, these are all tweakable via internal functions on the camera. I found however, shooting using the camera’s MTF program line helps keep things a tad sharper or simply stay shooting RAW. In JPEG snapping, you get three compression levels and the top (three star) setting provides very clean images indeed… The Pentax K10D is the company’s new flagship and as such, it comes to the market replete with an excellent feature set at a great price. I used the standard 18-55mm kit zoom for this test and performance is very good, but because the camera has the KAF2 lens mount, it can accept almost any Pentax lens so it has a huge potential audience. Pentax has pulled out all the stops with the K10D and provides scope to grow with your photography. It’s robust, utilises anti-shake and offers good value for money. Simply put, I can highly recommend this camera, particularly if you have stash of old Pentax optics lurking in a cupboard somewhere.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax K10D Short Video Introduction by ShinyMedia:

Megapixel have reviewed the Pentax K10D and write;
“The Pentax KD10D offers an excellent ergonomic design. The sculpted shape of the body and the generous rubber coated areas provide a solid, secure grip, and excellent stability. Unlike many of the current crop of entry-level digital SLRs, the K10D is a bit bigger, and feels heftier, imparting more of a “professional equipment” feel than the others…Positives: Excellent image quality, Excellent range of shooting modes, Very well built, Built-in stabilization and CCD dust reduction system, RAW format, RAW button, Dual mode Depth of Field Preview/Digital Preview, Excellent ergonomic design, Excellent autonomy. Negatives: Spot Metering cannot be linked to AF point, Documentation occasionally obscure on some critical points. ”
Rating: ★★★★½

LuminousLandscape has published a hands-on report of the Pentax K10D and wrote;
“One can’t really get the measure of a complex camera like the Pentax 10D after just a week of use and a few hundred frames. But, it didn’t take me long to discover that this is a camera that the sophisticated user will find to be a pleasure to work with. Image quality is on a par with virtually anything else on the market, the camera is very feature rich, the price is right, and it therefore isn’t a stretch to say that the K10D is probably the best value in a 10 Megapixel DSLR at this time…”
Rating: N/A

PopPhoto reviewed the Pentax K10D and wrote;
“In the hands, the camera feels satisfyingly solid. The concave lip/grip below the K10D logo is a great little consideration for times when it’s necessary to hold the camera with the left hand. For those unfamiliar with the floating sensor stabilization design, it can be a bit unsettling to hear the sensor rattle around when the camera is off, but you’ll get over it when you see the image results, especially at slow shutter speeds in low light.”
Rating: N/A

ePhotozine reviewed the Pentax K10D and wrote;
“The shutter release is well placed on top of the grip and the two adjustment wheels fall easily to thumb and forefinger….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.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Pentax K10D User Opinions

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Pentax K10D Samples

Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ DigitalCameraInfo
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Pentax K10D VS Sony A100 @ NeoCamera
Pentax K10D Sample Photo @ DigitalCameraReviews
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ DCRP
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ PhotographyReview
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ Flickr
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ Pbase
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ Pocket-Lint
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ NeoCamera
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ Megapixel
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ PopPhoto
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ Pentax Japan
Pentax K10D Sample Photos @ Pentax UK

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Pentax K10D User Manuals (PDF)

Click to view or right click and select Save Target As.. (Firefox) or
Save link as.. (IE) to download

– Download Pentax K10D Camera Manual
– Download Pentax K10D Software Manual

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Pentax K10D Firmware

– Download Firmware Update Software Version 1.30 (July’07)
Functions added:
1. Correspond to PENTAX DA lens which built-in supersonic motor (SDM System)
– Download Firmware Update Software Version 1.11 (March’07)
Functions added:
1. Correspond to development in the RAW data camera when multiple exposing.
2. When built-in flash is used the luminescence control by the trailing-shutter-curtain sync was corrected.
– Download Firmware Update Software Version 1.10 (january’07)

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Pentax K10D Press Release

September 13, 2006 — 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.

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7 Responses to “Pentax K10D”

  1. scotty says:

    I am a buyer considering the purchase of the Pentax k10d. However after having read several reviews which say it’s image sharpness is less than it’s competitors I hesitate to make the buy. Sure, using photoshop makes it possible to correct this short-coming but I want to spent my time taking pictures, not sitting in front of my Mac.

  2. John H says:

    Hi Scotty,

    The image ‘sharpness’ issue is really a matter of personal taste. With the setting adjusted properly, JPEGs from the K10D are indistinguishable from the Nikon D80. The default settings of the camera do tend to give a softer, film-like impression. On screen magnification will reveal this, but often, these digitally sharpened images do not print well. The chip on these cameras are virtually identical and the Pentax lenses are superb. You will enjoy it if you buy it. You will also like the D80 or D200. You may miss the image stabilization feature of the K10D and I think that is far more important than the in-camera digital processing IMHO.

  3. Satadru Sen says:

    I’ve almost decided to buy the Pentax K10D, although I also considered the Nikon D80 very seriously. I’m leaning towards the Pentax because of the (i) dust protection, (ii) image stabilization, and (iii) price difference, which becomes significant if you have to buy VR lenses for the Nikon. Besides, I’ve had Pentax SLRs before and liked them. I’ve read some negative things about the K10D’s speed (hunting in the AF and slow writing?), but since I don’t do any sports photography this is probably not a big problem for me. I do mostly landscape and urban/abstract. Would you say I’m making the right decision, or should I suck it up and buy the Nikon?

  4. Bob M says:

    I own a K10D. Love(d) it for the first few weeks. Now I’m trying to shoot action sports in an ice hockey rink without a flash. My original setting was the “automatic setting of TAV”. Can someone tell me what manual setting is recommended? I’m having no luck other than getting “black pic’s” with no image.

  5. kelly says:

    I dunno if this is helpful for you, Bob:

    Press your (while in auto-focus mode) button halfway down. Then switch to manual mode, recompose (zoom and centre) without moving your camera. Shoot. This is the way my bro thought me to use the MANUAL mode.

  6. Bob M says:

    Thanks for the tip. I’ll give it a try.

  7. Can Pentax explain what DEBUG MODE means to its K10D model? Should photographers be notified over this function, how does one access it in the menu?

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