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06-03-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
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Used K10D , what to look for?

I have a chance to buy a used K10D camera with the kit 18-55 lens. I have never owned a DSLR and thought this might be my chance to pick one up at a decent price. Besides the obvious, dents, scratches, fungus, missing parts, what should I look for? How do I check the shutter count on this camera? What is the life of a K10D as far as shutter count?

06-03-2012, 03:45 PM   #2
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The first production runs had a problem where the flash would break after about 10 shots. Test out that the onboard flash is capable of firing.

Shutter life should be good for 100,000 clicks, give or take.
06-04-2012, 08:22 AM   #3
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Turn off the NR feature and take a long exposure with the lens cap on. This will show how many hot pixels have appeared over time. This is something that will appear as a camera ages. Don't be surprised to see hundreds of hot pixels, this is normal for cameras as they age. Just be aware that they are there and can affect images depending on their location in the picture.

Also, check the firmware update. If it has the 1.31 level of firmware, that's the most recent, but it locks you out of ever being able to downgrade. The value of downgrading the firmware on the K10D is that you could continue to use screw drive to AF with broken SDM lenses by reverting to firmware 1.2 or older. Doing this requires a hex hack that you may not be comfortable with doing. This is also becoming less of an issue now that the SDM lenses are better quality.

If you can get a shot with the camera, load it up in PhotoMe a free windows software. That package can show the shutter count (and firmware level, too).

I have 3 K10D bodies and have been very happy with their performance.
06-04-2012, 08:35 AM   #4
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having banged my K10D about for 7 years now, there are a few things to look for, and note that this is from experience of hard use, but it may be a good way to judge the condition of the camera.

smigol's idea of looking for hot pixels is a good one. also point the camera at a blue sky and take a shot, examine it carefully for dust and smears on the sensor.

Take shots at several shutter speeds on both sides of the sync speed, and look for dark areas on the bottom of the shot, this can tell you if the shutter curtains are working correctly, I dropped my camera and damaged the shutter such that there was a dark band at the bottom that got wider the faster the shutter went, because the curtain was hug up.

check the AF consistency with view finder focus and AF focus. the K10D has a single mirror rest, and if the mirror is damaged / out of alignment then there will be focusing errors.

check the lens release button function and AF drive interlock, (when you press the lens release the AF drive should also get recessed.

try slightly rocking the lens against the lens locking pin to see if the contacts always remain in contact between lens and body (might indicate misalligned lens mount on either lens or camera or dirty contacts.

06-04-2012, 01:16 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by smigol Quote
Also, check the firmware update. If it has the 1.31 level of firmware, that's the most recent, but it locks you out of ever being able to downgrade. The value of downgrading the firmware on the K10D is that you could continue to use screw drive to AF with broken SDM lenses by reverting to firmware 1.2 or older. Doing this requires a hex hack that you may not be comfortable with doing. This is also becoming less of an issue now that the SDM lenses are better quality.
This is good info, but I'd also like to make it clear that even if you are at 1.31 you can still hack down to 1.1/1.2. I've done so myself. I use my K10D with screwdrive in combination with a broken-SDM 50-135mm, and I'm not ashamed to admit that a non-negligible portion of the satisfaction I get from the combination is that it cost very little but offers very much in the way of image quality (under good light). Additionally, hacked firmware provides micro focus adjustment, although to a lesser extent than found on the newer bodies and only through strange combinations of button pressing.
06-04-2012, 04:46 PM   #6
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It's better to ask the person to do most of the test shots and give a link to examine it. And then you go and check it out physically. I bought used DSLR 3 times and new camera once. The used ones are Nikon D70, Pentax K-7 and Nikon D200. My procedure is as follows.

1. Ask the seller to have test shots in the list you want. Like, scene, people, flash etc.
2. Check the pictures and analysis them online. Like shutter count, overall sharpness, color etc.
3. Asks for an original pictures for you to play with in post processing. JPG or raw as long as your mail box can handle. gmail can handle big size files.
4. Have a phone conversation. Many the time, you can judge the personality through a real talk. Many headache we may have with used gears are personality related. Like honesty.
5. Ask as many questions as you can.
6. Take the chance of failure by negotiation the price reasonably. $10 or $30 won't make either party to die but that related to the overall happiness about the transaction ^_^. Consider that as a lunch with a friend.

In the US, most time you'd be fine. I met many honest person in the world in pentaxforum and photo.net. Another trick is to buy gear from people who shoot German glasses. Most time their non-germany glasses and gears are just sitting there and gathering dusts.

Have fun and enjoy!
06-05-2012, 07:00 AM   #7
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One issue that developed on my K10D in the past year was errors to saving or reading to the card while outdoors on a warm sunny day. It appears that heat buildup is causing a problem. Just moving into the shade or covering the area of the camera where the card is corrects the issue so I haven't sent it in for repair at this point. It's probably not something you could easily check for while inspecting a used camera unless you can stand outside in the summer sun for 1/2 hour shooting pictures.
06-05-2012, 12:19 PM   #8
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I think there might be an issue where if one takes a picture, the image would be rotated 1-3 degrees clockwise or counterclockwise.....People don't notice it but people had to PP it to correct the image......

06-07-2012, 01:56 PM   #9
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Mine is fairly early production (1Q 2007) and I have had no issues what-so-ever. Everything works as well as on the day of purchase.

That being said, I would suggest making a check list of known features and using that to evaluate the camera. Included should be an exposure series in both Av and Sv modes (to test for accurate aperture and shutter control) as well as a meter test in M mode using another body or hand-held meter and a gray card. AF accuracy should be tested, on tripod, against a flat, highly detailed surface.


Steve
06-07-2012, 03:14 PM   #10
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Mine's been away for repair ( in the UK ) for nearly 3 months - waiting foe a viewfinder display screen, the repair company who are official Pentax repair agents are as pissed off as I am because they can't get anything but empty promises from Ricoh Pentax.
The repair guy won't actually say it, but he's not contradicting me when I wonder if Ricoh Pentax just aren't bothered in supporting older cameras.
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