Pentax K10D 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera

Pentax K10D 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with Shake Reduction and 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens – Product Description:

Pentax K10D 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera The Pentax K10D digital SLR camera features 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.

Product Features :

  • 10.2-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 18 x 24-inch prints
  • 2.5-inch LCD display; kit includes 18-55mm f3.5-5.6 lens
  • In-camera Shake Reduction (SR) and Dust Reduction (DR) systems; dust-proof, weather-resistant body
  • Continuous shooting at approximately three images per second
  • Stores images on SD or SDHC memory cards; powered by lithium-ion battey D-LI50 (battery and charger included

Pentax K10D 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera – Review:

TOP OF A STAR-STUDDED FIELD!

It’s a great time to be buying a 10 megapixel SLR, as all the top manufacturer’s have new, 5-star models. So let’s examine: What do we want most? Great photos, a well made camera, and features that will let us achieve our photographic goals. The K10D delivers.

All the top contenders will deliver excellent results that can be made into poster size prints with great color and detail. Although we can point so some shortcomings (like the poor performance of the Sony Alpha 100 at ISO 1600), image quality is something that is still in the eye of the beholder.

However, features are features, and the K10D has loads. The first thing you’ll notice is the solid feel in your hands. It feels robust, and the shutter has been tested to 100,000 shots (same as Canon’s bigger brother 30D). But to this, we add something else not found in any other camera in the class: weather-proofing. The body contains 72 seals to help keep dust, dirt and moisture on the outside (the optional grip has 38 seals).
When you put on the optional grip, it really does feel like a part of the camera, not a wiggly thing that might come off.

To get those great photos, the K10D has all the standard feature set, plus a few new ones (like “sensitivity” mode), which will come in hand for some people, but of more partical use to many will be the ability to define what “Auto ISO” range the camera can use. Want the camera to be able to use 1600? Done. Pentax’s metering systems have always been well thought of, but you’ll get center-weighted and spot metering as options, too. Their “digital preview” can be very handy in setting up the proper white balance.

The viewfinder is the largest in it’s class (although the D80 is the smallest fraction behind). When viewing through it, you’ll see the 11-point autofocus. What you don’t see is that the nine central segments are “cross basis” points, meaning they focus on both vertical and horizontal lines. The other competitors simply have one, the center segment, that is cross-basis. This may not help it focus faster, but it should improve accuracy. Additionally, the focusing mode is easy to change. A switch up front allows you to select manual, single or continuous autofocusing, while a dial on back allows you to change from spot focus (only the center zone), wide (allows the camera to select) or free-floating (you select any of the eleven zones, and can change it quickly with the key-pad on the back of the camera).

The choice of the SD/SDHC cards is great. This small cards avoid the dreaded “bent pin” issue of the compact flash cards, and the SD are compatible with a hugh number of compact cameras as well. Another nice touch is the optional remote control. It can trigger the camera from the front AND from BEHIND the camera, and can store inside the optional grip. I also love the fact they included the .dng standard for RAW images, as this is an open standard developed by Adobe.

And there is one feature that Pentax now leads: Shake Reduction (or VR, or IS, or SteadyShot). First, like the Sony, the SR is built into the camera. So for a modest cost up front, ALL your lenses get some stabalization…even older manual focus lenses! And as a side benefit, you get a slight benefit in keeping the sensor clean. But what most people don’t understand about Pentax SR system is that it is a THREE AXIS anti-shake system, something that no other maker offers. In-lens, or the Sony rail system, compensate for you shaking left/right & up/done. By combine these two, it compensates for diagonally, too. What they do not compentate is for “rotational” shake. Imagine a line running through the camera lens to the subject, rotating the camera around this axis. The Pentax SR system uses magnets and bearings to allow the sensor to free float compared to the body. Tremendous technology.

Pentax has been a bit light on their lens selection, but keep in mind that this uses every Pentax 35mm lens ever made, and 3 exciting new lenses that they recently announced (16-50 f2.8; 50-135 f2.8; and 60-250 f4.0, all weather sealed with ultrasonic motors) make them very competitive. For a first lens, the 18-55 is hard to beat. It’s well made, featuring a metal lens mount, and the internal focusing allows for easier use of filters and a more efficient, included, lens hood.

Buy the Canon XTi, Nikon D80 or Sony Alpha 100, and you’ll get a terrific camera. But for my money (yes, I did buy one), the Pentax K10D is the best.

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