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08-09-2015, 02:19 PM   #1
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Pentax K-10D for beginner?

Dear Forum,

I am looking to buy a Pentax camera on a pretty tight budget and I was wondering if an older model such as a K-10D would be suitable for a beginner?

Thanks a lot,


08-09-2015, 03:18 PM   #2
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K-10D was a solid camera in it's day but depending on your budget you might get something newer for not much more.

Look for a k-x or k-r, should be under $200. Or a k-30 or k-50. Used, those will be under $300 or very close. These will have newer sensors, particularly the k-30 & k-50.
08-09-2015, 03:32 PM   #3
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Don't overlook a good K200D if you can find one - they're pretty much bullet-proof, WR, CCDS sensor same as the K10 and AA batteries.
08-09-2015, 03:54 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
Dear Forum,

I am looking to buy a Pentax camera on a pretty tight budget and I was wondering if an older model such as a K-10D would be suitable for a beginner?

Thanks a lot,


what is your budget?

08-09-2015, 04:10 PM   #5
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A used k50 can be had close to $200 these days, I'd recommend it if it's within your budget.

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08-09-2015, 04:18 PM   #6
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A used K-50 would be good, Mike.

And there's this .... Used Pentax K-S1 DSLR Camera with 18-55mm Lens (White) 06459 B&H

The K-mount has some wonderful second hand lenses that will go on whatever you buy.
08-09-2015, 05:31 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
Dear Forum,

I am looking to buy a Pentax camera on a pretty tight budget and I was wondering if an older model such as a K-10D would be suitable for a beginner?

Thanks a lot,

Hi Mike,

Am very much tempted to say go for it. I cut my teeth on digital photography by buying a used K10D April last year. It is an excellent camera and its CCD-based sensor yields wonderful colours especially at ISO 100 and 200. But what frustrated me the most about it was lousy low-light performance, I was limited to basically ISO 100 to 400. After that noise becomes increasingly prominent. It wasn't handy for low light photography.

Another weakness is the back/front-focus issue. One lens was back-focusing; the next one was front-focusing. (Perhaps I got a lousy copy of the body.) I had to scour the internet for many days just to find a utility app to get into the on board computer and fine tune the focusing. Add to that the hours spent learning how to do the focus adjustments myself. Hence, Pentax addressed this issue by making lens focus adjustment a breeze in the next model --- the K20D.

Lastly, there is the random banding issue. There is no rhyme and reason as to when and why it appears in this model.

Much as I loved my K10D because it taught me much about digital images, I had to sell it and eventually got a K5. But I miss my K10D and so recently I got the next best thing --- a used K20D that feels very much like the K10D.



Last edited by chmance; 08-09-2015 at 10:51 PM. Reason: typos
08-09-2015, 06:30 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
Dear Forum,

I am looking to buy a Pentax camera on a pretty tight budget and I was wondering if an older model such as a K-10D would be suitable for a beginner?

Thanks a lot,

Any DSLR could be suitable for a beginner, you will have to learn how to use it regardless. Just be careful buying used. see what prices they are actually selling for on ebay and the marketplace, realizing when lenses are included you have to factor that in too. The K10D is a very old camera now, there is always a risk that it could fail any time. Nearly any repair on a DSLR would cost more than you should pay for this camera so make sure you get a very good price. Make sure you find out the shutter count, sometimes you may find one that's barely used.. Remember you can get a brand new K-50 or K-S1 with warranties for very good prices right now. Good luck!

08-10-2015, 12:16 AM - 1 Like   #9

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QuoteOriginally posted by mikecomua Quote
Dear Forum,

I am looking to buy a Pentax camera on a pretty tight budget and I was wondering if an older model such as a K-10D would be suitable for a beginner?

Thanks a lot,

Its a very good camera, my first Pentax DSLR and I'd still have it except I can't justify keeping camera bodies when I buy new ones. Its true the ISO starts to be an issue at about 800 but is manageable with noise reduction software. I shoot a lot of theater where I can't add light so I need high ISO capability. If I was in a studio or anywhere I could add light, I could still use the K10 for portrait work or outdoor work. The images from a K10 at ISO 100 are very clean due to it's CCD sensor.

If I had a very tight budget, I'd buy it or any model from and get their six month warranty. They have a well earned reputation for honesty. I never bought a kit lens but I would look for a used Tamron 28-75, very versatile, near macro and a very good portrait lens. Lenses you'll keep, cameras are like PCs and Smartphones with shorter lives.

If you choose to learn the craft, there are more things you'll need, depending on where you to go. Spend $20 bucks and get a copy of Bryan Petersens's "Understanding Exposure". Learn the exposure triangle and how to shoot manual exposure. You'll be able to make good photos with just about anything.

Here are two photographs I made with K10D in 2008. The landscape I printed at 16x24 inches and it sold. I used the Tamron and a tripod for the image The portrait was done on a pool deck in heavy shade at ISO 400. They are as good as if they were made with my K5IIs today.

I still use the Tamron lens in my current bodies, the third photo is a recent example. None of them came out of the camera that way but without a good sound exposure, you have nothing to work with.

08-10-2015, 04:34 AM   #10
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The K10D is an excellent camera to learn photography with, but it has very simple low-tech automodes whith can be a bit boring and dull... You really need to master aperture and shutter with it. It was targeted to more advance photographers than beginners.

May I suggest go and look for a used K-x instead? It's a terrific little camera with both full automatic and smart modes as well as manual modes offering complete control. This is a camera to grow with. You can use the auto modes when in a hurry, and you can use manual modes when you really want to learn, grow and have personal impact on the images. This camera offers a high level of customisation and user settings as well as a built in help-functions for the auto modes. I highly recommend it, and it was awarded best beginner camera in the TIPA awards of 2010. It's fun, compact, with great image engine and sensor. It offers advance features as well as beginner features in a neat and light package.
08-10-2015, 01:02 PM   #11
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It depends on your objectives and your budget.

If you are a beginner that wants to use automodes, go with a K-30, K-50 or K-r. The latter can be found for about 150, the others for 200ish.

If you are a beginner that wants to really learn to use a camera, get a K10D, K20D or K5, depending on your budget (if budget is higher, get K-5 IIs or even K-3). They have a lot more controls on the body. K10D and K20D are 100-150 dollars, K-5 about 250 these days. My K20D is my best learning tool even though we now also have a K-r which is technically a better camera in most respects, I can take better pictures with the K20D. The K10D is similar to the K20D in a lot of ways, though the sensors are very different technology, both are good learning tools.

Last edited by ChristianRock; 08-10-2015 at 01:08 PM.
08-12-2015, 11:22 AM   #12
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K50 as the K10 is quite out dated
08-12-2015, 12:32 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by slip Quote
K50 as the K10 is quite out dated
I previously owned (seven years) a K10D and have a fair amount of experience with the K-50 and I don't believe your statement tells the whole story. I too would generally recommend a new K-50 if the buyer has the cash*, but used, a decent K10D or K20D with low shutter count can be had for less than $140 USD. At least that is what I sold mine for last summer. Here are few bullet points:

  • Compact, light, and nicely equipped
  • Better AF than the K10D
  • 16 Mpx sensor
  • Has video
  • Has live view
  • Able to use AA batteries with optional adapter
  • Troubling incidence of problems related to mirror, aperture, and shutter control. These issues tend to crop up in cameras made prior to Spring 2014. I do not believe there are problems with currently available new stock.
I know that last point may produce a chorus of pain from K-50 fans**, but I feel it should be considering by anyone wanting to purchase used.

  • Larger, heavier, but sturdier build than K-50
  • AF was OK when new, but not up to current standards
  • 10 Mpx sensor
  • No video
  • No live view
  • No built-in intervalometer
  • Slower frames per second
  • Has back-lit top LCD. The usefulness of this feature cannot be overstated. Having it allows use of the camera with the back LCD turned off except for playback and menu display. The is a huge battery saver.
  • Will support wired remote
  • Will support tethered operation
  • Extremely low incidence of reported problems
  • Very durable
The K20D can be had for about the same price and adds live view and a higher resolution sensor with the same reliability and build quality. For a beginner, a K10D or K20D offers a good solid platform from which to learn SLR photography at a price point similar to a decent K1000 film camera.


* I did a quick bit of Google work and was unable to find a new K-50, even body-only, for less than $290 USD.

** FWIW, I really like the K-50, have recommended it to friends, and may yet get one for myself as a piece of lightweight kit.
08-16-2015, 08:32 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramseybuckeye Quote
The K10D is a very old camera now, there is always a risk that it could fail any time
Same holds true of any camera body. I have 2 K10D's, and absolutely love them. I'm in absolutely no hurry to get a newer, "better" model! The K10D can be operated as simply as wanted, or has many features for those that wish to have more control over their images. I would definitely recommend a K10D, if you can find one with a low shutter count. I bought my first K10D here, while waiting for the funds to buy a "new, shiny, better, more bells & whistles" camera; but fell in love with the K10D, and am still loving it!

I enjoyed mine so much, I bought a second as a backup; and now use both! Don't disregard a great camera, simply because it's older.

Last edited by csa; 08-16-2015 at 08:38 AM.

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