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05-23-2009, 09:05 PM   #1
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Pentax K10D

Pentax K10D
Year introduced
KAF2 (exposure mode limitations with M and K series lenses)
Meter range
0 to 21 EV
Meter pattern
m (16 segments) c s
ISO range (expanded)
100 - 1600
Expanded dynamic range
Exposure modes
Green, HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, HyM, X, B
Exposure compensation
+/-3 EV
Exposure lock
Shutter speeds (auto)
30s - 1/4000s (stepless)
Shutter speeds (manual)
B, 30s - 1/4000s
Self timer
Mirror lock-up
Continuous shooting
3 fps until card is full (JPG), 9 frames (RAW)
Auto bracketing
HDR mode
Multiple exposures
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 11
TTL flash
P-TTL flash
Sync speed
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Yes (SAFOX VIII, 11 points)
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 to 18 EV
Autofocus with SDM
Yes (firmware 1.30)
AF Assist
Yes, stroboscopic flash
Front/Back focus corr
Power zoom
Lens correction
0.95x, 95%
Viewfinder type
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Digital preview
Live view
Video/Movie Mode
Camera controls
2 control wheels. Many dedicated buttons
Custom Functions
(One programmable USER Setting)
Shake reduction
Dust removal / alert
Yes / No
Pixel mapping
Image size
16 x 24 mm
10.2 MP CCD
File format
Memory card type
Yes (from firmware 1.20)
Back LCD
2.5 in. 210,000 pix
Weather resistant
D-LI50 lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery grip
D-BG2 with D-LI50
Size (W x H x D)
141.5 x 101 x 70 mm
710 g

Program modes: Normal, Action, Depth of field, MTF.

Extra flash functions: Wireless, High-Speed, Contrast control.

Exposure modes with M and K lenses: Restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M.

Tethering: Yes (firmware 1.20 or higher)

Attached Images
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 
View Picture EXIF
PENTAX K10D  Photo 

Last edited by Ole; 10-09-2010 at 07:08 PM.
05-24-2009, 09:06 AM   #2
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K10D vs K20D vs K-7

I have posted a K10D - K20D - K-7 comparison in the K-7 thread:

Last edited by Ole; 02-03-2010 at 07:01 PM.
05-24-2009, 02:36 PM   #3
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Great summary Ole.
All 3 are just awesome cams.

Well, as for the K10D, I believe this was Pentax's breakthrough camera - a revolutionary upgrade from the *ist D and worthy of Pentax's flasgship model when it was released in 2006.

What made it special for me?
- Li-ion batteries - kept power for longer and no more unpredictable power drainage as with the AA-powered bodies
- solid build - this is a tough and quality-built camera body, feels very strong in your hands and is no where near as flimsy as all the other brands' competitor models
- faster AF drive - accurate and speedy in modest lighting conditions
- much better design to the 4-way selector on the back of the camera - easy to use and very responsive
- supported SDM with newest firmware - this put the DA* lenses on the map
- 2 fully customisable e-dials - this was an outstanding feature addition that makes changing important settings such a breeze
- ISO adjustable in 1/2 and 1/3 steps as well as going down to 100 for versatility in taking longer exposures
- faster burst mode with much bigger buffer and dump-to-card speed (9 RAW photos before buffer fills and unlimited JPEGs! - here's a camera where you'd need a fast SD card, like 10Mb/sec write speed)
- Excellent and effective shake reduction - slightly better than the K100D
- 10Mp is enough for most print jobs
- bright and responsive 2.5in screen with fast instant review including histogram
- no gimmicky camera modes, which I didn't care for in the K100D

What could it have to make it better?
- TTL flash capability - this was dropped on the upgrade from the *ist D
- better noise control - ISO 800 is pushing the limits for good noise control even with noise reduction mode on
- better P-TTL exposures using external flashes - this is a considerable weak point when shooting in auto mode, so I've resorted to either manual or FEC +0.7-1.3 in most of my flash work
- not much else, really...

For the price that it resells at thesedays, this is probably the best bang-for-you-buck camera for an enthusiast.
05-25-2009, 06:37 PM   #4
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Just some thoughts on the k10 - which I currently shoot with:

1) The ergonomics for me were a step backwards from the DS2. The battery grip makes it better, but I preferred the cut-away grip of the MZ-S & DS2. Overall, I don't think the grip was deep enough for my liking.
2) WEATHER SEALING!!! (Oh, how I love that weather sealing!!!)
3) It's an ugly beast
4) AF was much quicker than the DS2, but it was less reliable. I could photograph my dog running at me in AF-C and have a success rate, but simple still shots were a hit and miss. When time allows, I prefer to manually focus with this camera.
5) 3 fps was a slight improvement but it sounds like thunder compared to other cameras.
6) Batteries were a bonus. No one can steal them for the Wii remote now . They don't have great cold-weather performance though.
7) In spite of the increased bulk over the DS2, I don't find it overly large.

Overall rating would be a 7/10 for my uses. It has trade-offs with the DS2 I used to have with quicker AF, but less reliable. The real scale-tipper for me is the weather sealing which I enthusiastically put to the test in rain and snow. You just can't beat a weather-sealed camera at that price!

I'm going to revise my review a bit and drop the rating to a 6. I found a small chip out of the bottom plate the other day and while I don't 'baby' the camera, I don't abuse her either. On the whole, it's been pretty durable, but obviously not as much as I initially thought.

Last edited by Andrew Faires; 07-16-2009 at 12:34 AM.
05-26-2009, 10:07 AM   #5
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Excellent camera when it was released. Can now be found on ebay for around 280 pounds. Absolute bargain.

Quite chunky, I like that, I prefer the solid feel to it. Very comfortable to hold/use. Buttons are laid out very well. Build quality to match even current pro cameras.

Weather sealing, most aps-c cameras don't have this, even today.

When used outside, image quality is good/perfectly usable up to iso 500.

Most importantly, it takes Pentax glass, all of it.

Overall a great buy.
05-26-2009, 11:21 AM   #6
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i think it's best of pentax yet, before K7

i owned this camera and i loved it.

everything that it does it does amazingly!

and the features that it has are awesome!

sure the newer model k20d is improved k10d, but at the time of appearance of k10d it was an amazing camera.

ISO usability is up to 1250

and slow AF in low light conditions are the only problems, that i had. well iso usability wasn't a problem, but ISO1600 was not usable. other than that.. it did great.

if you are willing to accomodate it to your needs and understand it, you will make A class photos.

all positive things that you heard about it are true!

although not all negative things that were said about it are true.
06-01-2009, 01:24 PM   #7
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I simply love my K10D. Here`s why:

1. Roughness - my camera had fallen from my desk and had been dropped many times by my child. I get confidence in its body, not to hammer a nail, but close to that, really.
2. Backward lens compatibility - that is a point every Pentax camera user understands.
3. Weather seals - I got shots in torrential rain, in heavy mist conditions, in caves, in dusty places. I have rarely pushed the limits by attaching non-sealed lens and I temporarily got an error of back wheel (which I use to control aperture of A`s and laters).
4. Long life battery - with a spare one I will stay few days in desert without any worries.
5. AF similar with competitor cameras, excepting the pro bodies (with high-end lens).
6. Green button - no comment.
7. Ergonomics - among the best you can find in a modern camera. When I`ll upgrade, I`ll miss it, excepting the fact I need to remove the grip to extract the in-body battery.

I do not like at my K10D: performance over ISO 800, though easy to correct by post-processing.
06-02-2009, 12:57 PM   #8
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Feels great to work with! The IQ at low ISO is outstanding, and the color rendition you get with the Pentax high quality glass is nothing but beautiful!

The buttons feel well-placed, and the size of the body (with, and without BG) is perfect for myself, even though you sometimes want a smaller camera.

The best thing of all is that the body is very well-built, especially with the sealing (too bad I don't have any sealed lenses)

People complain about the slower FPS and auto focus, but for me, I'm fine with the 3frames per second, and I can't complain about the AF, It does a good job, and as I most shoot still-life, nature and architecture, I'm not in need for thundering fast AF speed ;-)

Here are some pros and cons:

Really good image quiality at low ISO
Well placed buttons
Custom settings
As for all Pentax bodies, the backward compability with lenses

Noisy at ISO 800 (I usually do not shoot at higher ISO than 400)
You have to go through a meny (fn-button), to set the self-timer
AF-C is not too good (I almost never use it, and almost never have too either)

Well, that's about it.

08-02-2009, 10:05 AM   #9
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I’ve been using the K10 for a little over two years now so that is a reasonable amount of time to pass an informed opinion on it. This was pretty high tech gear in 2006 and still stands up quite well.

What I like:

Build quality is superb. Tank-like construction and weather sealed. I would not suggest dropping it in the pond but getting caught is a summer shower won’t cause any serious problems.

Battery life is very good. I have never run out of power. I always have the accessory battery grip attached.

Coming as I did to the K 10 from film getting used to the menu and various programs was awkward at first. I’m OK with them now and like the placement of the various dials and settings. The feature set is large and more than adequate for the “enthusiast audience” target market. One might quibble over a few items you might find on other cameras but for the price it is very good indeed for a camera released in 2006.

Ergonomics: I like the size and weight of the camera but it needed the battery grip to make it perfect for me. I much prefer it to the new downsized K7. One reviewer above found it ugly. I, on the other hand, think it looks great especially with the battery grip. The extra storage space for the remote and memory card is a big plus. In my opinion the battery grip is not an option but mandatory.

Backward compatibility. This is the main reason I bought the K10. I have a dozen of so Pentax manual focus lenses. The fact they could all be used on the K10 was the main reason I remained with Pentax.

Image quality is excellent at low ISO which is where I do the bulk of my shooting. I normally shoot at ISO 100. IQ is excellent when mated to the new or old Pentax glass I use.

Auto focus speed is very good with the one auto focus lens I own the DA 70/2.4 limited. With this lens I found the AF to be on a par with comparable Canon and Nikon models of the same vintage. Not quite as fast as the others but acceptable. My experience with AF is limited to this one lens so take this comment with a grain of salt. Others appear to have found the K10 lacking in this area.

Pop up flash I found to be surprisingly good. I added an AF 360 flash for more power. I don’t use flash often but this seem to satisfy my current needs.

What I don’t like:

Noise at ISOs higher than 400 is a problem area for me. As a result I seldom shoot over ISO 400. This is a major limitation of the K10 in my mind. I understand the K20 and K7 are better in this regard and they should be as they are technically newer. As noted above ISO 1600 is pathetic with 800 barely acceptable. AF a bit slow in low light situations.

The original equipment focusing screen virtually useless for manual focus. I replaced the original with a KatzEye and all is now well. KatzEye screens are great but quite expensive. Bear this in mind if you do a lot of manual focus work.

Green button works – sort of – but I only use it as a guide. The old sunny 16 rules and the histogram are more reliable. I had hoped for more from the green button.

Over all I am very pleased with the K10. I sometimes feel the attraction of the larger sensor of the k20 and K7 but see no reason to upgrade at this time. In another couple of years we might have a full frame Pentax and I'll consider making the switch then.

Last edited by 8540tomg; 10-09-2009 at 07:28 PM. Reason: typo
08-09-2009, 04:32 AM   #10
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I have had my K10D for close to 2 years now, and have never regreted moving up to the digital age with it. I have never noticed any issues with "bad" AF (other than operator error), but I have only used Pentax lenses with it.
I will agree that there are a few "quirks", but just putting to use what the camera has to offer, and applying that to my style has made it work for me.
There are friends of mine who are dedicated "other" product users who actually have more issues with their equipment.

Summary: Great camera with quality accessories.
08-30-2009, 01:00 PM   #11
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I recently bought an used pentax k10d and i'm very happy despite:
- the autofocus is useless in low light situations where you can not use the flash - for me isn't a big problem because i switch in manual during these situations;

- the performance at high ISO was improve in the k20d but however I'm happy the same i even do shoot at 6400 iso (i add the stop in postwork when they are necessary) and the presence of the grain don't annoying me a lot.
Clearly if wasn't present will be even better but i'm happy the same.

- when is reported half battery available in reality the 4/5 are used you can do only a few dozen photos before running out of battery;

- I'm use glasses so the information on the viewfinder are a bit too low to be visible comfortably.

But i'm happy the same despite some issue I think a photograph must overcame the problem for use at best his own equipment.
12-28-2009, 09:02 PM   #12
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I have had this camera for a couple of years and I just love it. Although recently I have been noticing that the focus is not as sharp as it used to be not exactly sure what is going on. I changed from my Pentax 50mm kit lens to my Sigma 70-300mm and saw a huge difference in quality. So i think I need a better lens for overall shooting.
The cons of this lens are small but I really do have a hard time in low lighting situations. This last Christmas program I decided to use the flash with a +2 and it helped but still had to lighten in PP. I am also struggling with focus and exposure in a gym situation. But I think that is the user not the camera.
Over all I love this camera. should a fire break out in the house, I would grab the camera, dog, hubby and then
02-01-2010, 05:36 PM   #13
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I just got my K10 to upgrade from an istDL. Its a HUGE upgrade. Im happy about so many things. AF is faster and more accurate and I can select AF points. I can switch between AFc and AFs on the switch instead of in menus!

The IQ is better - WAY better.

It can AF the HSM or SDM lenses (although I dont own any now I can if I want to).

The viewfinder is brighter and clearer.

The grip means huge battery life. Ergonomics are OK, but this thing is big and heavy compared to the istDL.

The raw button is nice, and being able to shoot adobe DNG is cool. The shutter button took some getting used to - its half press isnt very positive compared to the older cameras I have but Im OK with it - its like a hair trigger.

Now I have dual dials for ultimate control in manual mode!

ISO 100 is a bonus - an extra stop lower than before which helps with long exposure...

It feels like I could go on about it all day. Im so pleased with it but its only been a few days. The price was the best part. $380USD with the grip, 2 batteries and 2 cards. I paid $699 for the istDL when it was new!

The most noticable and pleasant surprise was the AF. Pentax gets a bad rap for the AF but I think its pretty good. It does help to point the AF sensor at a high contrast target but the 9 cross sensors work great. Usually my AF target is an eyeball and it seems to work fine there.
07-16-2010, 12:52 PM   #14
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Pentax K10D Camera Review

Pros Nice camera while under warranty
Cons Defective product
Rating 1
Price $700
Years Owned 2 years

I can recommend this camera: No

Value, Features, Performance & Size
A good camera and value (as long as it's under warranty).

Camera Review
I bought a Pentax K10D two years ago. The camera seemed to work well, but several months ago the image sensor went bad- pictures were in magenta and blue. Returning it to Pentax for repair, I got a quote for repair of $400! Their lousy sensor goes bad, and because it was past their feeble one-year warranty, Pentax will do nothing to correct what is clearly faulty manufacturing or parts. After some good experiences with Pentax before, I was surprised at how their quality had slipped and they have no concern about maintaining a reputation by trying to support their products. This was the last Pentax product I will ever buy.
07-16-2010, 01:06 PM   #15
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Pentax K10D Camera Review

Pros Solid reliable, a breathrough for Pentax
Cons Not full frame
Rating 9
Price $750 AUs
Years Owned 2 years

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
It is a very recommendable Digital SLR camera by Pentax.
Excellent ergonomics. Backward compatibility with earliest of Pentax lenses is a real bonus.
Yes it has been outdated by later models (K20d, K7 etc) but for a good price a well looked after K10d would be a great investment.

Camera Review
I think that the comments of ONE reviewer, above is rather sour grapes, particularly as his very first post on the Forums.
I believe he is venting his own frustration on this camera review forum.
But each is entitled to his own opinion, and I respect that.
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