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 Post subject: Pentax K10D User Review
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 4:25 am 
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Please find the list of my :arrow: Pentax K10D Related User Reviews.
---


Bonjour,

Answering Gordon's invitation, I am starting a new topic on the Pentax K10D!

---

I bought a Pentax *ist DL a couple of years ago, after many years with a Canon S10 and a Canon A70. That's true photography! I eventually had to re-learn the depth of field...

The Pentax *ist DL was a great camera, despite somehow over-processed colours in automatic mode. But the main point is, I was using the manual controls more and more, enjoying the freedom of taking my picture and pushing the limits. So the K10D offers the big jump, also with the re-use of the classic Pentax zooms (18-55 and 50-200 mm) I already have.

---

Here are some news from the hands-on of the K10D. Well, this is not a test, but some feed-back from a user. I hope this could help!

Unfortunately, last Saturday and Sunday’s weather wasn’t nice, so I couldn’t go and take pictures outside! So I focused on the manual (240 pages!) and the ergonomics of the K10D.

One great feature of the *ist DL was the ability to set the parameters with hardware buttons, without using the menus and the software. The K10D takes that philosophy and pushes it event further.

Camera – The camera is bigger and heavier than the *ist DL, but nothing critical. It is well balanced, and fits comfortably on hands.

Hardware buttons – The K10D has many more buttons than the *ist DL, but all are well placed and handy to use. I feel just at home using them. The hardware buttons provide many parameters to play with and to tailor the exact shot (page 18 ).

Clear viewfinder – This is a clear improvement over the *ist DL. The viewfinder is bigger, provides better picture and easier to read information.

No more specific program – I had no use of them on the *ist DL, so this is not a great loss. The green program is convenient and does what is says. But playing with the manual programs is much funnier!

Bracketing – It is a pity that the bracketing button doesn’t handle the shooting mode (multiple, timer, remote, …). Extended bracketing is set through software menu and can be combined with exposure bracketing. In that case, we have 3 shots and 9 pictures! Actually, extended bracketing takes 1 shot but delivers 3 pictures, with different values for white balance, saturation, sharpness or contrast. Best solution is to take a RAW picture and do some in-house development.

ISO setting – Pressing the OK button and using the front dial at the same time sets the ISO. To resume with auto-ISO, press the OK button and the green button at the same time. The LCD display shows the ISO value or AUTO. This seems to be a new feature introduced with firmware update.

Some settings required – The buttons default setting is not always convenient, but could be easily adjusted. For example, the +/- button lights on the LCD panel: it could be turned off (page 28 ). Another example, the AF button is redundant with pressing the shutter button halfway. So it could be turned off (page 206) and used instead to center the AF point back to the center on the SEL AF mode. There are plenty of settings, yours to discover and play with. Fine-tuning the settings are worth spending a couple of hours.

Battery – The *ist DL used 4 AA batteries, while the K10D uses specific rechargeable battery. Having a second one is a must. Hama provides a compatible rechargeable battery at an affordable price (EUR 20 in France instead of EUR 50 for the D-LI50).

Some nice features – Image rotation is recorded.

No auto flash – The flash no more pos up as it did with the *ist DL. Actually, I turned that feature off on the *ist DL.

Reviewing the pictures – Reviewing the picture is greatly improved, thanks to the use of both dials, front (for going to the next or the previous image) and rear (for zooming) (page 89).

In-house tests – I played with the K10D and took some in-house pictures, some with flash and some without. The whole camera could be operated through the viewfinder, since all the buttons are in the right place and fit easily under the fingers. I was impressed by the shake reduction system, enabling as low speed as 1/20 and even 1/10. Impressive. Auto-focus is faster and more reactive. Writing the picture to the SD card is immediate and very fast. I didn’t manage to overflow the writing while taking multiple continuous shots in JPEG, with a 80x Transcend SD card and a 150x Transcend SD card.

I also tried the remote assistant program, connection the K10D to my iMac. It is just like operating the camera, but from a computer.

I hope to provide more feed-back next week, weather permitting.

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:11 am, edited 5 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Jun 06, 2007 6:08 am 
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Thanks Rei, great report!

Keep us updated as to how you get on!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 5:58 pm 
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Bonjour,

This is the second part of my hands-on of the K10D. Hopefully, this Sunday was sunny, so I could go out and test it on the field. Please note that this is not a test, but rather some feed-back provided by a user.

:!: [EDIT] Updated with links to the pictures
---

Architecture outdoor – The K10D captured the high contrasts between walls lit by the sun and shadowed ones. The rounded tower of the castle was perfectly continuous between light and darkness.

Pictures at :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2833#2833
---

Architecture indoor – Indoor the church, light was really poor but here I had many options: using the flash, using the shake reduction, using higher ISO, using a combination of previous options. While using the flash, the white balance seemed deceptive. Stones had a bleak nuance instead of a gilded one. This is not a problem on RAW files with post-editing, but on JPEG. To try and correct this, select Menu, page 2/6, line 5, White balance with flash, option 2 Flash.

The shake reduction was a serious option, but I had to take care not to trust it too much. 1/15 seems acceptable, but 1/8 proves blurry and deceptive.

Pictures at :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2834#2834
---

Wild life – I found a whole family of ducks playing in the pond. Using the combined RAW+JPEG format with a 150x Transcend SD card, I tried the continuous shoting mode with AF-C mode and centered AF.

I get 6 pictures, then a pause of 1 second, then 4 pictures, then a pause of 1 second, … Obviously, this is not very scientific but gives an idea that the 3,1 fps is real, but with that big difference between the first 6-shoots and then the stop-and-go process.

Since I used the Tv mode, I wanted to avoid too fast speeds and dark pictures, so I selected also the Auto IL correction though Menu, page 2/6, line 4, and option 2.

Moving the camera to the ducks, the AF was very responsive and fast. I had some difficulties capturing a swallow that was flying too fast and too close to me.

Pictures at :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2835#2835
---

Landscape – Here, the Av and the SEL AF point play wonders. I really appreciated the bright and clear viewfinder: it makes composing and focusing the picture very easy.

Pictures at :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2836#2836
---

Macro outdoor – There was a bright and red poppy field right out the village. I was hugely disappointed by the over-processed colours on the *ist DL, even with the natural colour tone setting, not to speak of the *ist DL automatic modes like landscape or macro.

In order to check, I tried the RAW+JPEG file format and compared the pictures, with the natural mode selected for JPEG. Good news, no more over-processed colours, even for red flowers (the red colour seems to be very demanding). Even the smallest difference in red tone, such as transparency trough a petal, is captured and recorded in both RAW and JPEG files. I compared both files and, if JPEG files get a little more punch in saturation and contrast, they are very satisfactory.

Since that point was the major drawback I experienced with the *ist DL, I am very happy the K10D provides a much better result.

As a collateral advantage, the 10 M pixels give plenty of details, even not seen with the eyes, such as a little insect walking on a petal of the flower.

Here, may I say, the secret lies on taking time…

Pictures at :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2836#2836
---

Macro indoor – Here, I played with the integrated flash and the AF-540FGZ external flash in wireless mode. The idea was to capture a 10 cm / 4” object playing with the shadows.

Setting the wireless was not that simple since I spent a couple of hours matching the 540 manual with the K10D manual...
On the 540, slide the power button to Wireless, then press the M/C/S button as many times as to get the SLAVE indicator.
On the K10D, with the P mode, press Fn, the the down key and select W+lighting symbol then OK twice. Then, ask for the menu, select C list, then last page for Wireless flash mode : 1 operates both flashes and 2 operates only the remote flash (the K10D's flash is only used to send the signal).
On both cases, the 540 waits for the signal from the K10D and lights on.

Tweaking the power of the flash down to 1/64 finally gave the appropriate effect.

Pictures at :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2837#2837
New pictures at :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3888#3888
---

Other points – I took 230 shots this afternoon (or 460 files, half RAW, half JPEG) , on which 40 using the flash, and the battery is still reported as fully charged. The RAW+JPEG, apart for superior quality and manual editing for the RAW format, provides an easy way to test and try the settings of the K10D, especially the white balance. The major drawback is the huge memory consumption, 47 RAW pictures on a 1 GB SD card instead of 208 JPEG.

Reading the manual carefully is highly recommended, since the K10D provides so many options that one could get lost easily. Also, interactions between the K10D and the AF-540FGZ are not obvious, so reconciliation of both manuals is highly recommended. There is still a lot to discover!

---

Wrapping-up – I would like to stress on the very fact that, since the hardware buttons manage the main functions of the camera, the software menus are useless while shooting, except in specific conditions, like those mentionned earlier.

The viewfinder provides enough information to make the appropriate decisions and select the options with the hardware buttons while shooting. The LCD display on top may be useful for checking options before starting a shooting session.

With the K10D, I had the reminiscence of a film SLR I had many years ago. No distraction from modern electronics. Everything is hidden and the K10D is fully oriented at picture taking. That’s true photography.

Enjoy and have fun!

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:11 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2007 10:24 pm 
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Hi Rei, great update!

If you have time, it would be great to see some examples of the images you're talking about - especially the ones which didn't work out as hoped...

Excellent and very useful feedback anyway! Thanks again,

Gordon


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 Post subject: Pictures
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:05 pm 
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Bonjour Gordon,

Thank you for your nice comment. I've just opened an account in Flickr to post the pictures, one set per situation I presented before.

Enjoy!

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject: 1-Architecture outdoor
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Purpose: checking dynamics between high contrasts

IMGP5078.JPG = 1/250 f 9.5 ISO 100 -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540791984/

IMGP5083.JPG = 1/250 f 9.5 ISO 100 -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540792324/

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: 2-Architecture indoor
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:19 pm 
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Purpose: playing with the many options inside

IMGP5092.JPG = 1/8 f 5.6 ISO 400 w/o flash and w/ stabiliser -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540792494/

There are subtle differences, in the firm handling of the camera even if the stabiliser was on.
IMGP5094.JPG = 1/8 f 5.6 ISO 400 w/o flash and w/ stabiliser -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540792694/

IMGP5095.JPG = 1/8 f 5.6 ISO 400 w/ flash and w/o stabliser but after correction -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540792936/

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Mon Jun 11, 2007 7:14 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: 3-Wild life
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:24 pm 
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IMGP5053.JPG = 1/250 f 5.6 ISO 100 -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540793024/


Purpose: continous shooting

IMGP5058.JPG = 1/350 f 6.7 ISO 100 continuous shooting -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540793142/

IMGP5059.JPG = 1/350 f 6.7 ISO 100 continuous shooting -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540793322/

IMGP5060.JPG = 1/350 f 6.7 ISO 100 continuous shooting -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540902117/

IMGP5061.JPG = 1/250 f 6.7 ISO 100 continuous shooting -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540902313/

IMGP5062.JPG = 1/250 f 6.7 ISO 100 continuous shooting -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540902485/

IMGP5063.JPG = 1/250 f 6.7 ISO 100 continuous shooting -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540902739/

After the 6th shot in RAW+JPEG. a pause then the 7th shot

IMGP5064.JPG = 1/250 f 6.7 ISO 100 continuous shooting -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540794176/

[EDIT: see post 'Looking closer at some pictures']

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Thu Jul 19, 2007 9:09 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:41 pm 
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As I wrote before, I was very disappointed by the built-in colour provessing of the *ist DL. This was a key factor in changing for a K10D.

So here starts... the red affair series

Everything starts with this:
IMGP4995 0.JPG = 1/250 f 6.7 ISO 100 -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540795006/


Here is a detail from the original RAW picture:
IMGP4995 RAW from camera.png -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540795174/


The camera built-in JPEG conversion process delivered this picture:
IMGP4995 JPEG from camera.jpg -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540903735/

This is really outstanding: the different reds are preserved with subtle detail. Colour mode was set in "natural".

The Pentax Laboratory program delivered something not so different. Good news I can trust the K10D built-in process.
IMGP4995 from PEF by Laboratory.jpg -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540903929/


Maybe some caution needed! [EDIT: see post 'Looking closer at some pictures']
IMGP4929.JPG = 1/180 f 9.5 ISO 100 -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540903075/


High dynamic under the trees
IMGP4964.JPG = 1/60 f 4.5 ISO 100 -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540794840/


Two pictures of landscape
IMGP5011.JPG = 1/350 f 6.7 ISO 100 -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540904241/

IMGP5021.JPG = 1/350 f 6.7 ISO 100 - [EDIT: see post 'Looking closer at some pictures']
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540904467/

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Wed Jun 13, 2007 5:24 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: 5-Indoor macro
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:45 pm 
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Purpose: playing with macro and flash

Despite dark pictures, automatic processing delivered acceptable results.

IMGP5125 before.JPG and IMGP5125.JPG = 1/180 f 22 ISO 100 -
Image - Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540795928/ - http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540904869/

IMGP5126 before.JPG and IMGP5126.JPG = 1/180 f 22 ISO 100 -
Image - Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540904995/ - http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540796360/


At last, with K10D flash + AF540FGZ flash and manual settings

IMGP5115.jpg = 1/60 f 5.6 ISO ISO 100 - IMGP5143.JPG = 1/90 f 4.5 ISO 100 -
Image - Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540795838/ - http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/540905229/

:!: [EDIT] New shots are available at :arrow: http://www.cameralabs.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=3888#3888

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Sat Jul 14, 2007 11:36 am, edited 4 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 5:47 pm 
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Well, I think this is enough for today...

Best regards from France,

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--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2007 9:04 pm 
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Hi Rei, that's fantastic - very useful!

Thanks for posting your examples...

Gordon


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 12, 2007 4:16 pm 
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In this post, I'm having a second and closer look at some pictures I wasn't 100% happy with.


Landscape and vignetting
---

Using Laboratory, the vignetting was easily removed. However, I expected an automatic removal based on the lens database. Actually, I had to select the parameters manually, nothing difficult indeed. The result looks fine, and obviously better.

IMGP5021 after Laboratory.jpg
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/542470708/


The red affair... continues
---

I wasn't fully happy with the second picture of the red puppies, which seemed a bit saturated to be. So I had a closer look at the RAW image: the red proves to be very intensive and strong. So the saturation effect doesn't come from the camera, but from the very flower!

IMGP4929 select 1.jpg -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/542468390/

IMGP4929 select 2.jpg -
Image
http://www.flickr.com/photos/8877372@N08/542468526/


Speed
---

Looking back at the pictures taken, I realise that the speed used aren't very fast. The multiple shots of the ducks are at 1/350 or 1/250, while one would expect 1/500 or more since the ISO value is at 100 only.

With the K10D, I could no longer ask for 'the fastest possible speed' as I used to do with the sport program included in the *ist DL. Manual controls provide freedom and responsability.

New camera, new habits.

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


Last edited by rei_vilo on Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:56 pm 
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Bonjour,

In coming instalments, I hope to give some feed-back on the shake reduction, the image review on the rear LCD, the usefulness of 10 M pixels while 6 M pixels may seem enough, and taking a picture with 2 flashes and Remote Assistant.

Best regards,

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2007 8:07 pm 
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How to make an entrance!

What a fantastic post. Looks like it's a good camera then, lol.

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