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03-28-2008, 07:13 PM   #1
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1st ever DSLR - K10D

hi to all.

i went and splashed out on a new camera yesterday. My first ever digital SLR is a K10D. i've been tooing and froing for ages about whether to buy a DSLR, and if so, which one. But i finally decided when the runout deals on the K10 meant i could get a new body and two lenses ( the DA 18-55 Al, and the FA J 75-300) for AU$ 1295 ( US$ 1390).

initial impressions are fantastic in terms of features and ergonomics - it FEELS like a camera, if nothing else. In fact, i don't have a clue what half the features do, or how to use them, as yet. my background is a Canon Eos 50E slr, so i have some knowledge of exposure, aperture, DOF etc, but white balance, color correction etc is a work in progress.

however, i do have a few early issues. firstly, the shutter release feels very foreign. "depress shutter half way for autofocus". half way!?? rubbish, more like breath on the button to focus, barely touch it to shoot! but i'm getting used to it.

less solvable at this stage is the intricacies of the metering. the k10 review over on the review page suggests that the K10 slightly over exposes. so far, mine seems to be a long way in the other direction. i would say most shots have been light on for exposure - certainly anything shot in the auto modes are. the metering seems to be easily fooled into underexposing, even in partial metering. and it doesn't seem consistent yet - if i meter in full manual, the settings seem different to what the green mode will calculate. i'm sure its me, and not the camera, that needs to improve. i keep forgetting that iso can be auto set, so i'm not always comparing apples to apples.

the white balance catches m out a bit too. im now using the presets, but not confident to start manually adjusting. AWB is useless under tungsten lighting, so i change to the tungsten preset, which is ok. but i then forgot to change back when shooting outside and had lots of blueish landscapes for a while - took me some time to work out what was happening .

but when i get thigs right, the results are great. very sharp, good colours. i just need to learn what the metering secrets are.

03-28-2008, 08:59 PM   #2
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Congrats on the purchase. Now the fun and frustration begins...

Don't worry about learning everything at once. Here are my recommendations.

Set it on P and push the green button. That will "auto meter" your shot. You don't necessarly need to push the button unless you changed the setting manually. I like to shoot auto ISO, and you can set the range. On my K20d I have it from 100 to 1600. You could do the same on the K10d...should be fine.

I like to set the AF to single point center and will focus on what I'm interested, keep my finger halfway down then move to frame if I want. I find that the multipoint focus gets confused easily.

Metering is somewhat hit or miss. I have the camera set to auto review a shot for 1 second, and I can see if the camera got it right. Often I don't need to change the shutter speed or aperture, but rather I'll switch between spot, center weighted, and averaged metering (the 3 position lever on the top left of the camera. This can solve most lighting issues.

As for WB, I just leave it auto (I'm on a K20d though, and I think AWB is better on this). If you shoot raw (which you should), you can deal with white balance in post processing.

Once you get comfortable with those functions, then you can start attacking aperture and shutter speeds. The great thing about P mode is that you can adjust those on the fly and if you get messed up, just hit the green button to reset.
03-28-2008, 09:21 PM   #3
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Well I wish I could say there were secrets, but after pretty much ravaging every single setting on the camera a dozen times I still can't get what I'm looking for. I had never read that the K10 overexposes...I only saw that it was under...but I never thought it would be as dark as it actually is..after seeing the exact same shots from a sony a700, I'm convinced the K10 is a very basic camera, to put it lightly. I'm thinking the K20 might be a little better with a CMOS sensor and some DRO function, but going to another pentax knowing how the K10 performs scares me. Really wish things were different as I did a lot of research before buying.
03-28-2008, 09:22 PM   #4
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I've read it before, and it's true: read the manual. Then read it again. Take many pictures. Then read the manual again. Keep taking pictures. Then go to bed. But before you sleep, read the manual.

In January, like you, I bought a K10d as my first DSLR. I love it. And like you, I was intimidated by all the menus and options. But I read, reread and read again the manual. It really does help. You miss things the first few times through. But eventually, things start sticking.

Stick to it. And read the manual again.

03-28-2008, 09:23 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oceanic Quote
Well I wish I could say there were secrets, but after pretty much ravaging every single setting on the camera a dozen times I still can't get what I'm looking for. I had never read that the K10 overexposes...I only saw that it was under...but I never thought it would be as dark as it actually is..after seeing the exact same shots from a sony a700, I'm convinced the K10 is a very basic camera, to put it lightly. I'm thinking the K20 might be a little better with a CMOS sensor and some DRO function, but going to another pentax knowing how the K10 performs scares me. Really wish things were different as I did a lot of research before buying.
maybe you just have a bad copy?
03-28-2008, 09:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oceanic Quote
Well I wish I could say there were secrets, but after pretty much ravaging every single setting on the camera a dozen times I still can't get what I'm looking for. I had never read that the K10 overexposes...I only saw that it was under...but I never thought it would be as dark as it actually is..after seeing the exact same shots from a sony a700, I'm convinced the K10 is a very basic camera, to put it lightly. I'm thinking the K20 might be a little better with a CMOS sensor and some DRO function, but going to another pentax knowing how the K10 performs scares me. Really wish things were different as I did a lot of research before buying.
Perhaps your K10D is faulty. Stranger things have happened. There are a whole bunch of test shots on my Flickr site that should give you an idea of what the K10D will do. All but the last series were test shots to try out my new toy and test some old toys I still have.
03-28-2008, 09:29 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oceanic Quote
Well I wish I could say there were secrets, but after pretty much ravaging every single setting on the camera a dozen times I still can't get what I'm looking for. I had never read that the K10 overexposes...I only saw that it was under...but I never thought it would be as dark as it actually is..after seeing the exact same shots from a sony a700, I'm convinced the K10 is a very basic camera, to put it lightly. I'm thinking the K20 might be a little better with a CMOS sensor and some DRO function, but going to another pentax knowing how the K10 performs scares me. Really wish things were different as I did a lot of research before buying.

There are a LOT of people on here that will disagree with you.......
03-28-2008, 09:34 PM   #8
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Disagree with which point strat?

03-28-2008, 09:37 PM   #9
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That it is a basic camera, for the price, it is DAMN good. No other manufacturer can touch it feature for feature
03-28-2008, 09:41 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Oceanic Quote
Disagree with which point strat?
K20d, AWB, auto exposure in Program mode



The K20d is better than the K10d imho, and that is part of the reason I switched. But the K10d does ok. It does tend to underexpose, and I used to set it at +0.3 or +0.7 eV. This is in contrast to my Leica D Lux-3 which is always set at -0.3eV.

K10d, AWB, auto exposure in Program mode. Only pp was monochrome and unsharp mask



03-28-2008, 10:02 PM   #11
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Well I agree with that, hence I purchased it. For instance it would kill me to get a camera without weather seals now. Turns out they neglected to mention a feature was insanely dark pictures using any form of the cameras own metering. That or I got a faulty unit..one of the two.

Thanks for the sample photos..I am very curious to see how the K20s new dynamic range feature works relative to not using it (the same frame with it on and off), and compared to other cameras' version of that feature.
03-28-2008, 10:14 PM   #12
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Oceanic,

I noticed that you have listed the SMC-M 50 1.4 in your gear. I have that lens, and the K10D's light meter just cannot handle it. It produces results that apear to be all over the board. Some dark, some way over exposed. It actually follows a pattern. Take a series of pictues of a grey wall, and work through all the f stops. You will see what I mean.

Run a search on "K10D metering" it might prove insightfull.

I have to say though, It was a major disapontment myself, when I found the metering issue with the M series lenses.

Even with the metering issue, I would still choose the K10D over any other camera in the same class.
03-28-2008, 10:21 PM   #13
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Well thats the thing, I had both a 50mm and a 135mm all manual lens for weeks before my aufocus sigma came and as far as I know I was always coming up with the picture that I wanted and expected with those lenses. It wasnt until I started using the K10s metering, etc with the AF lens that I was disappointed.
03-28-2008, 10:24 PM   #14
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I think you may have a faulty camera, with the few AF lenses I have, the metering seems to be pretty good with my K10, manual lenses are another story, but that's what hand held light meters are for
03-29-2008, 08:50 AM   #15
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I've had my K10 for about three weeks and find it under exposes a third of a stop for my taste. Easily corrected in camera or by PP, and not anything to worry about. It's a great camera.
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