Sunday, May 13, 2007


Copyright (C) 2007 by F. Scott Sinclair. All Rights Reserved.

(Click on the picture to enlarge the photo)

It's intriguing to buy a new camera, especially a digital...and a dslr at that. Ever since the Pentax K10D was introduced in September of 2006, I've been waiting with my tongue hanging out to get one in my hands. After searching high and low in Bangkok for a K10D, I finally found the Thailand distributor on the fourth floor of Panthip Plaza. I soon found out that the initial shipment had sold-out already. With my money in hand, I asked, "May I place an order, and I'll gladly put whatever deposit you require down on the camera, if that's all right with you?" After a friendly smile and a nod of agreement, the manager of this fine store and I walked around searching for accessories to go with my purchase. Needless to say, I was in seventh heaven.

Sure enough, two weeks later, I was notified that my Black Beauty had arrived. I made my way to Bangkok and road the escalator proudly to the fourth floor. The intrigue was killing me, but I managed to maintain some modicum of decorum in the process. When the salesman brought the Pentax K10D body, 2 lenses and an assortment of accessories to where he'd had me seated, my eyes bulged at the sight of this camera. Amazing...! It almost winked at me as it cuddled into my hand and warmly gave me its approval to begin shooting snapshots. So intuitive... Unbelievable! This camera was like falling in love for the first time. It had all the gadgets you'd ever want, all in one toy box: the Pentax K10D.

The viewfinder has red lights indicating the position of the autofocus indicator, and its appearance was magnificent and reassuring. And the viewfinder was so bright and informative. Even more so with the new 1.11 firmware update. With just one press of the OK button, and I've got ISO under control. And if I want to shoot RAW, there's a dedicated RAW button in front of the camera, just above the camera mount on the left side (back to forward view). Recently, I've made use of the auto ISO program; I've decided to let the camera choose the proper setting. I have the camera set to AUTO ISO 100-1600. Perhaps I'm trying to grow with the camera, rather than just arbitrarily picking an ISO setting.

The first shots out of the camera in the Natural mode really caught my eye. If I'd wanted to brighten the image up a bit, I could have selected the Brite mode. And guess what? I'd have been amazed all over again. If you take a look at the above available light snapshot, you'll see how the Pentax K10D deals with exposures at ISO 1600. And I was delighted to say the least. Once I get the hang of posting pictures (more confident), I'll post more pictures. But the lobby shot of a very nice hotel that's not at all that expensive--made my day.

I've decided to buy numerous SD memory cards. Why so many...? For one thing, they're dirt cheap right now. And I don't care how fast the card is because I've always used the original cards, and they seem fast enough. Thus, I am now able to capitalize on the RAW + JPEG capture mode. A lot of memory must be used, but having nearly 15 gigs of memory is sufficient. I also use all that memory to capture video on my marvelous Kodak P850 superzoom camera. Two birds with one stone. That's right, I'm still stuck on a prosumer camera because of the flexibility, and the ability to capture extremely good video. In other words, I can travel light, or carry one or the other camera--or both with me. My choice.

Besides that, it's fun capturing images in both RAW and JPEG. Be forewarned, you'll need a lot of SD memory to do that. And, I might add, I use the built-in RAW developer to get the best possible image. If you prefer to develop your RAW images outside the camera, feel free to do so with the supplied software or someone else's third party RAW conversion program. It's your choice. And if you don't have lots of memory, but you'd like to shoot a selected assortment of RAW images, that's when the RAW button comes in handy. Just press the dedicated RAW button, and mission accomplished.

The features that are incorporated in the K10D are above and beyond the call of duty. A true feature set: shake reduction, dust removal, weather seals, too many capture modes to mention (and then some, but all are great and useful), the 22 bit AD converter, to mention a few features that many higher priced dslr's don't have. I want to take this opportunity to thank Pentax for providing such a dynamic and worthy tool to me: a person of modest means so I also can enjoy taking pictures at a more professional level.

Speaking of quality, the shutter has been tested to nearly 100,000 cycles. And what does that mean? It means a lot, my friend. It means that Pentax is not cutting corners. Hence, I feel more confident about the remaining components that comprise this marvelous camera. A real Black Beauty, she is...

Disclaimer: But ultimately, you're the decider. This camera is NOT for everyone. Read the reviews online and make up your own mind. Remember: buyer beware. The above review is my personal opinion, and nobody should rely on it. Other folks say very nice things about this camera also, but there are those who do not like the K10D also. Check the reviews out by professionals, etc. Whatever your decision, good luck! And happy picture taking no matter what camera you decide to purchase. And always choose a camera dealer that allows you to buy and return your purchase if you're not satisfied. That's pure common sense, I believe.

Anyway, there's a world of beauty out there. Enjoy it...!
Nuff said.




Pentax K10D Review Roundup and Sample Photos