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So I got a Pentax K10D...

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Old Friday 6th February 2009, 20:50   #1
mikfoz
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So I got a Pentax K10D...

Decided to upgrade to a Pentax K10D.

I got a refurbished one for a good price (it's brand new but been touched). What a brilliant camera it is! I'm sure the K20 is even more wonderful (and twice the price), but compared to my *istDS it's brilliant. It's like it's actually been designed by someone who uses a camera and they took on board all the feedback about annoying quirks and oversights with the *istDS and put them into this camera.

It's built like a tank and weatherproof. Short of me chucking it into a lake it's going to survive the British climate, I hope. It certainly doesn't feel plastic and bitty and the stainless steel chassis is robust and reassuringly weighty.

It's a good deal bigger than the *istDS and I'm happy for it. I liked the old camera for being light and but at times it niggled by being a bit fiddly for grown up hands.

The anti-shake function is extremely good. I could get pin sharp pics with a 70-210 zoom at 210mm at 0.7s hand-held. I admit I'm pretty good at holding a camera still, but even so, I found it impressive. I couldn't manage it when it was switched off after 10 attempts whereas 8/10 attempts showed no eveident camera shake and the 2 duds were markedly better than the utterly fluffed versions. See the picture of the bag. This was taken indoors under artificial household lights and check the properties if you don't credit the exposure and focal length.

The modes and metering are excellent and somebody has really been thinking about what you'd want to have at your fingertips rather than going via a menu as far as the buttons and wheels are concerned.

It's very similar to use to the *istDs in basic use and the menus are pretty familiar, with all the new functions pretty much where you'd expect to find them. A nice touch is having the flash defaulting to "only if you want the damned thing to pop up" rather than nannying you. You can customise the arse off it if you want and define your own user mode.

The digital preview option is great for tweaking your white balance and it's OK for composing DOF and focus. It's not the same as having the compact camera live screen view, of course, but if you want that, get a bridge camera.

The pentaprism viewfinder is magnificent. It's really bright and the magnification and field of view is as good as any SLR I've ever used.

I've not had it long enough to comment on the dust removal/reduction features on the CCD but it sounds good to me. It certainly gives it a good shake!

The picture quality is superb (see picture of my dog below). I can't wait to get it out and about with some birds at the weekend.

I'm close to rambling on and trying to do a comprehensive review at this rate, but I've never been so impressed with a camera and at 269 I can't complain. I almost went for the K100 but I'm over the moon I did not.

I'd totally recommend this camera to anyone contemplating an eBay purchase or getting a refurb model because of budget considerations.
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Old Friday 6th February 2009, 22:35   #2
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I had one and went to Canon. The K10d attempted to push some limits. Overall it was nice and the major limitation was lenses! Ironic given you can use any Pentax lens ever created. But for long and sharp, with autofocus, choices were few.

One reason I got rid of it was due to noise. Go to one of the popular photo forums and search "vpn k10d". Vertical pattern noise was the Achilles heal. You may be able to live with its limitations, but I personally disliked that element. In reality, if you made a good exposure, the files were very usable. But any extremes and it quickly showed its challenges. Again, these may not be show stoppers for you but these are things I wish I knew about before I bought.
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Old Sunday 8th February 2009, 15:46   #3
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Maybe this'll show, maybe it won't, but at the moment I'm pretty impressed with how good and accurate the metering is and the noise is far better than my old camera at ISO1600.

For the price I got it for (cheaper than some bridge cameras) I'm more than happy with it.
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Old Wednesday 11th February 2009, 12:40   #4
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Mikfoz - I have the K200D, and love it. I can't comment on VPN for the K10D, but I can comment on the supeior build quality, weather sealing and built-in vibration reduction, all of which for me were winners. As for the long lenses, Sigma do a perfectly good selection that fit the Pentax at comparatively reasonable prices. For sure the option of the longest Canons is not there, but I for one can't imagine spending the required amount for what is essentially a hobby. Fair call if you can, but for the majority 'you pays ypur money and you takes your choice' as my granny used to say.

As for Matt-RTH, why rain one someone else's parade? If Mikfoz is happy, why try to spoil it by pointing out possible difficulties? I'm sure there are plenty of Nikon users who would love to do the same thing over your choice to move to Canon, but they would be equally unimportant.

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Old Thursday 12th February 2009, 23:16   #5
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As for Matt-RTH, why rain one someone else's parade?
Rich,

I agree completely.
It was uncalled for and served no useful purpose. This kind of snarky pontificating is such a pain in the *ss.
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Old Friday 13th February 2009, 16:07   #6
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I have a K10D and the one major advantage over Canon Nikon etc is that Shake Reduction is on the camera which means whichever lens you attach it also has Shake Reduction.

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Old Friday 13th February 2009, 18:06   #7
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Relax guys, these are things that I wish I knew when I bought it. Even if it doesn't come off like that, if you knew me I am not snarky or pontificating. I'd rather that someone be aware of the issues to make an informed choice.

That said, I used the thing somewhat happily for over a year (something I didn't mention in the original message). I didn't intend to dog the camera by any means but the facts are facts. Research it yourself. See if my sentiments are wrong. It was a deal for all its features but ultimately Pentax ended support for the model without fixing the problem and fixed it in the next version. To me that was an unsatisfactory decision.

That said, if anyone doesn't like the message, so be it. I am trying to be truthful so anyone who might happen on this thread can make an informed decision.

Best of luck with the camera, Mikfoz. Like I said, used within its limit it's very usable.
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Old Friday 13th February 2009, 19:02   #8
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I have been a Pentax user for 40years and have no complaints about anything to do with the K10D. If you can afford it get the Battery grip makes the kit stable with a long lens. I use the Sigma 50mm-500mm with a Kenko 2x converter hand held.
Go to www.7dayshop.com for the battery they cost 6.99 (Konica/minolta NP400). I bought the Grip from Digital Rev for 79 when they first came out and the converter from Park Cameras, for 99.
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Old Saturday 14th February 2009, 16:03   #9
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Rich,

I agree completely.
It was uncalled for and served no useful purpose. This kind of snarky pontificating is such a pain in the *ss.
Hey! I'm not bothered in the slightest. The issue he raises is akin to someone redlining their car engine then complaining to the manufacturer they can't hear their Sat Nav. It's hardly going to affect me in normal use.
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Old Saturday 14th February 2009, 16:03   #10
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I have been a Pentax user for 40years and have no complaints about anything to do with the K10D. If you can afford it get the Battery grip makes the kit stable with a long lens. I use the Sigma 50mm-500mm with a Kenko 2x converter hand held.
Go to www.7dayshop.com for the battery they cost 6.99 (Konica/minolta NP400). I bought the Grip from Digital Rev for 79 when they first came out and the converter from Park Cameras, for 99.
Cheers for the tips.
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Old Saturday 14th February 2009, 17:47   #11
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In that camera, anything iso 800 or 1600 was "redlining", something you most likely will need at some point. This is something that almost any DSLR should do very well. They fixed it in the next version (20d) - by overhauling everything. Unfortunately the K10d was a Beta camera. Read the translated interviews from the Japanese designers. You'll see the very design was redlined. Again, I would have thanked someone to tell me this when I bought mine. Early adoption has its risks. Check dpreview for all the guys going from pentax to Nikon or Canon. I, too have used Pentax for years. I have the K1000s and others to prove it, plus a few that I've given away. The current Pentax isn't the Pentax of yesterday.
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Old Saturday 14th February 2009, 18:43   #12
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I've never once noticed it redlining at those ISOs. I don't know what you were doing but I simply can't replicate any of the things people were whining about on those forums under natural or artificial light even if I deliberately underexpose it or shoot in near total darkness.

I don't need ISO explaining to me, either.

Also, I ended up with my camera covered in mud this afternoon and just wiped it off with a damp cloth. Quite handy that...

I have just deliberately taken a dreadful indoor shot a stop under at 1600 ISO and I could just about detect a problem if I was actually looking for it in a dark, noisy area. I reckon I'll be OK.
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Old Saturday 14th February 2009, 19:05   #13
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That underexposed shot you mention. If the scene overall is very close to the average, it will be quite acceptable, pushable even. However, if there is wide dynamic range which you need to push to be exposed the way you want it, that combination is where some undesirable effects can be magnified. No other manufacturers are immune to this but I find it to be very critical with the K10d. Since this is a bird forum, the direct application is long lenses where a lot of cropping takes place will emphasize issues. Knowing the limits will help quite a bit. Landscapes, wide angles, etc, would hardly ever be an issue.

Best of luck to you.
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Old Sunday 15th February 2009, 21:04   #14
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I've never once noticed it redlining at those ISOs.....I don't need ISO explaining to me, either.....Also, I ended up with my camera covered in mud this afternoon and just wiped it off with a damp cloth... have just deliberately taken a dreadful indoor shot a stop under at 1600 ISO and I could just about detect a problem if I was actually looking for it in a dark, noisy area....
You have a very good camera at a reasonable price. There are many better cameras from other makers, but you would have to pay a great deal more to to exceed the quality of the K10d's pictures.

You can use every Pentax lens beginning with the M42 screw-mounts(dating from the late 1950s onwards) with an adapter. It allows you to use the aperture priority mode in additional to manual metering for M42 lenses. You can also use M42 lenses from the Soviet bloc. Some of these are of exceptional quality. Every K-mount Pentax lens beginning 1975, to its latest variant which is used in the DA lenses, will work on the K10D. Of course the earlier K-mount lenses without electrical contacts have to be used with manual stop-down metering.

That said, I think Pentax should produce a 400mm lens: it would be a great help for bird photographers.

Do practise a little with white balance adjustment. Like every other digital camera, the K10d's white balance needs adjustment to get the right tones, especially in mixed lighting.
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Old Tuesday 17th February 2009, 12:59   #15
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I would have thanked someone to tell me this when I bought mine.
I suspect what you actually mean is that you would have thanked someone to tell you this before you bought yours, as then you could have chosen a different camera. Passing on advice or opinions like this after someone has purchased a camera that they are happy with is akin to telling them that
a) they shouldn't be happy with it because you say there are problems, and
b) that you know better than they do.

I know mikfoz says he is not bothered, and to him should be the last word, but to quote Thumper from Bambi, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all."

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Old Tuesday 17th February 2009, 17:43   #16
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a) they shouldn't be happy with it because you say there are problems, and
b) that you know better than they do.
Good points you make, though far from my intent. I knew at the time of my original post that it would run the risk of coming off as unsolicited "advice" but it was something I felt strongly enough to mention and tried to word as a "friendly admonishment". It wasn't taken as such (or such wasn't wanted) which I respect but I meant no offense. I'd be happy to discuss it more via IM with any interested parties. My experience isn't short term, mind you.
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Old Thursday 19th February 2009, 06:59   #17
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Good points you make, though far from my intent. I knew at the time of my original post that it would run the risk of coming off as unsolicited "advice" but it was something I felt strongly enough to mention and tried to word as a "friendly admonishment". It wasn't taken as such (or such wasn't wanted) which I respect but I meant no offense.
Now let me get this straight, If you are not a Pentax user anymore as you GOT RID of the camera. You are a Canon camera owner, go join their forum . Why are you on a Pentax forum, you have found out Nobody wants to hear about your Experiences with the Pentax, I for one have never encountered anything wrong with the K10D. Seems you had a faulty Camera.

I only use my camera in manual mode all the time and don't need to use computer software to enhance an image. I take the photo's I want, not what the camera tells me I should have.

Funny thing I heard in a hide at Titchwell 14th Feb09, man with Canon on tripod, some tried to offer advice but none taken " when I find the right setting I am going to stick with it, all I keep getting is black images" was his reply
The old saying " A bad workman always blames his tools" ring any bells.
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Old Saturday 21st February 2009, 09:58   #18
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Steady on! The guy was putting in his input, albeit a bit tactlessly which seems to have rubbed people up the wrong way.

However, he was trying to be constructive as was borne out in his later posts.

I'm still more than happy with the camera, by the way, which is more down to the ergonomic design of the body and thoughtful options via hardware (i.e well-placed switches and dials rather than wading through menus) than any software and image processing issues. The image processing is excellent, by the way, in all normal circumstances. Armed with a 16GB SDHC card it's like a walking image library and I no longer have to worry about taking RAW+JPEG for all my shots just in case I snap a great pic while blasting away at something and then think "If only it were RAW..."

In terms of manual versus automatic - I use a bit of both. The green point and shoot mode is pretty useful in standard lighting conditions as it never makes a decision I'd argue with anyway so why be anal about it? If I want to control depth of field or motion blur I can switch to program mode and use the front and back dials. However, I do like to switch to manual and do a bit of spot metering before deciding for myself if there's an otrageous amount of contrast. You can always bias the shot in a program mode anyway if you think it's backlit and so on. It's also nice to know the difference between aperture and shutter priority. The sensitivity priority option is superb and allows you to decide rapidly on where you want your picture to be in terms of all three variables. This is hardly allowing the robots to take over, it's just knowing how to use the tools.

I've also found the electronic preview very useful for getting exposure right if you are taking time over a portrait. It's only the same as polaroiding, but without the wasted polaroid.

Luckily, I cut my teeth on a manual Zenit B 35mm camera, as a kid, where I even had to use a seperate light meter so it's not like I can't go back to basics and decide an exposure and work out the optimum depth of field/shutter speed compromise. Would I want to go back to that or use pattern metering TTL for most shots? I'm with the 21st century on that - it was a pain in the neck.

Had that guy with the Canon taken off the lens cap?
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Old Friday 27th February 2009, 23:35   #19
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Good points you make, though far from my intent. I knew at the time of my original post that it would run the risk of coming off as unsolicited "advice" but it was something I felt strongly enough to mention and tried to word as a "friendly admonishment". It wasn't taken as such (or such wasn't wanted) which I respect but I meant no offense. I'd be happy to discuss it more via IM with any interested parties. My experience isn't short term, mind you.
Looks like you miss your Pentax, why else would you be here?

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Old Saturday 18th April 2009, 07:23   #20
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That said, I think Pentax should produce a 400mm lens: it would be a great help for bird photographers.
There is a pentax 250 -600 f5.6 or the 600mm f4 still being made at a price :)
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Old Monday 20th April 2009, 12:20   #21
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I have a K10d too, and love it for the in-body Shake Reduction, the build quality, the ergonomics and the feel of it.

I don't like the noise at higher ISO's - although I bought mine when they first came out and it was acceptable then, but things have moved on. I also don't like the lack of Pentax lenses or the AF speed - although I understand it is quicker on some lenses than others.

I am toying with the idea of swapping to Nikon before I buy any more lenses for the faster AF, but whenever I look it always seems like I'd be losing all the things I like about the Pentax, and a few hundred pounds, just to get faster AF and better low light performance.

I paid 700 for mine and I'm keeping it - no wonder you're chuffed to have got one for 269!
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Old Friday 20th November 2009, 20:21   #22
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Smile

me to on the k10d,
But i came from film, And the things this Camera can do are simply amazing. I know it comes up short when it's compared to other/ newer models in the ISO race but I can do things with this camera and my tammy 35-75 F2 and my lightroom program, that I couldn't even dream about 15 yrs ago. So it's not the latest greatest deal but does it make me happy? You bet, in spades, could it be the last camera I ever buy. YUP if it lasts. Denis
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Old Wednesday 21st April 2010, 16:56   #23
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I have a K10d too, and love it for the in-body Shake Reduction, the build quality, the ergonomics and the feel of it.

I am toying with the idea of swapping to Nikon before I buy any more lenses for the faster AF, but whenever I look it always seems like I'd be losing all the things I like about the Pentax, and a few hundred pounds, just to get faster AF and better low light performance.
I too toyed with this idea, but came quickly to my senses. I bought the K-7 instead and kept all of my lenses, flashguns, extension tubes etc. Nikon lenses will cost more because of the IS built into them.

The K-7 is a very different animal, the auto focus is faster and the high ISO performance is very very good. It is also a sensible price, so why change makes? The grass always looks greener on the other side of the hill......until you get there.
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Old Tuesday 25th May 2010, 20:19   #24
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I've got the K20D!.....A superb bit of kit when matched with the DA*300mm...sharp as sharp can be!. I also have a Pentax 1.7 converter,which gives me 500mm give or take a few,with no great effect on image quality!......I'm a "Happy bunny!"
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Old Wednesday 26th May 2010, 19:12   #25
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I've got the K20D!.....A superb bit of kit when matched with the DA*300mm...sharp as sharp can be!. I also have a Pentax 1.7 converter,which gives me 500mm give or take a few,with no great effect on image quality!......I'm a "Happy bunny!"
I agree, K20D and DA* 300mm lovely combination.
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