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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:55 pm 
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Hi Johan, feel free to pester!

Without giving too much away, lets just say you might have something to read and watch over this Easter weekend!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 10:26 pm 
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Wonderful! I'm sure I'll appreciate it even more than the candy eggs!


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:55 am 
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Hi Johan (and anyone else waiting for our K10D review!)

I'm pleased to report it's now ready:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/PentaxK10D/

And as always, there's a video tour to go with it.

Happy Easter!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 3:12 pm 
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Another fine review Gordon. The Pentax K10D looks like a fine camera. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 5:54 pm 
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A very good review, just as I expected!
I've been trying to decide between the Pentax and Nikon D80 for quite some time now. I'm still having trouble deciding. I totally lack experience when it comes to these subjects.

I therefore have some questions that hopefully will straighten these questionmarks (as we say in Sweden):

The first one is regarding the bad jpegs produced by the K10D and that it was a result of underexposure. Is it possible to just up the exposure a couple of steps and then everything is just fine and dandy? Or do you have to adjust the exposure from situation to situation and mayby take a shot to see what adjustments to make? This would be a great disadvantage since, as you mentioned, some shots come and go very swiftly.

Another thing that has crossed my mind several times is if I put to much value into the built-in image stabilisation and dust removal. Is cleaning your sensor manually easily done? Is a d80 with a VR lens to prefer over a K10d with an ordinary lens? And if you are to get a VR objective with your nikon it will become quite expensive. Is it worth the exra cost?

Thirdly; metering modes: The Pentax only has 16 segments and the nikon's got 420. What exactly is this and how important is it?

That's all I can think of right now. I'm sorry if my questions are stupid, but I really don't know alot about these things yet ( I am, however eager to learn!) and therefore I find difficult to value the different aspects of these cameras. Is Nikon or Pentax the way to go?

/Johan


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 9:13 pm 
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Hi Frank, glad you enjoyed the review! (and thanks for the D80 tip!)

Hi Johan, those are all good questions.

Yes, the general tendency to underexpose can be corrected by applying exposure compensation. Some people might like the fact the K10D will rarely if ever blow any highlights, but if I had one, I'd probably leave it at +2/3 EV for most of the time. I'd also tweak the contrast, sharpness and saturation settings to deliver punchier output, but again that's just a personal preference. The good news is once you've got it looking right, those settings will work for all subsequent photos.

In terms of dust removal, it's easy to use the menu option on all DSLRs to open the shutter, after which you use a blower brush to blow some air into the body. This normally displaces any pesky particles! We have a workshop about doing that here:

http://www.cameralabs.com/workshops/dslr_dust/

In terms of anti shake, yes, you're right, a Canon or Nikon lens with built in IS or VR is typically quite expensive, but in my personal view, lens-based systems are more effective. In my tests with Canon and Nikon lenses, I've regularly experienced 3 or even 4 stops of compensation, whereas with built-in systems like the Sony and Pentax, I typically only get 2 to 3 stops. Again that might be my own luck, but one thing's for certain: with lens-based stabilisation you can see the effect through the viewfinder and tht's both reassuring, and also very helpful for composition at longer focal lengths.

In terms of metering, the Nikon system is much more sophisticated and allows it to better judge or evaluate a scene. The Pentax is fine for most shots, but there were several where it was fooled and required manual compensation. Just check the last photo in the K10D gallery of the church compared to how the Nikon handled it.

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Penta ... age5.shtml

Ultimately the Nikon D80 delivers better output straight out of the box than the K10D, but once you've equipped it with a VR lens, it's getting pricey. The K10D requires more user intervention, but it sure represents good value if you're willing to tweak.

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 12:25 pm 
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I went through the selection process of NikonD80 vs the K10D as these seemed the only 2 for me worth considering. I also do not have any legacy lenses, all my Nikon stuff having being stolen some time ago!

I chose the K10D as what is important to me was the dust/weather resistant sealing and the built in anti shake at a reasonable price. To me the cost of the VR lenses was prohibitive and the Pentax has some excellent primes plus a multidude of legacy lenses (but would love a PC lens !). I find that I can repeatedly get up to 3 stops benefit with the anti shake, which will work with any lens current or legacy.

In the review it refers to the fact that you cannot change ISO without accessing the menu. This is incorrect - on my K10D selection of ISO is via the OK button in AV, TV and M modes. The value is controlled by the front dial and also visible in the viewfinder as well as the top LCD panel - I am surprised you did not pick this up - my firmware is 1.1 so perhaps it is an update.

The issue of the jpg output is interesting as there are effectively 2 defaults - Normal and Bright in the menu with the latter giving a much punchier/sharper result straight out of the camera.

The K10D does not have scene modes and I am puzzled by the fact that anyone would expect not to do some experimenting to get a result that they like. I would also assume anyone buying a DSLR would at least take the trouble of reading the manual, perhaps I am old fashioned, but I did and there is a wealth of info in there with an enormous amount of options to play with. I also find that with the exception of WB I can change any setting that I regularly use without taking my eye from the viewfinder - which for my first DSLR is very convenient and fast - I hate menus for things that should be readily available.

Another poster referred to weather resistant lenses - the first of these have been announced and hopefully on sale shortly - I know I will be getting at least the 16 - 50 f2.8 and and if I can afford it maybe the 60 - 260 f4 and the 50 - 135 f2.8


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 6:56 pm 
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Thanks both Gordon and Sunbeamtalbot for you replys!

I feel that it basically comes down to this:

The D80 is superior when it comes to jpeg straight out of the box and is better at evaluating the scene due to a superior meteringsystem

The K10D, on the other hand, has a build-in shake reduction and therefore stabilizes all lenses, not just the expenisive VR ones.

These are the things that gives me trouble to decide between the to. Have I gotten these things right?
Since I am a beginner with these things I want to have a camera that is as variable as possible. How can you specialize without having tried the different aspects of photography?

Which one would you recommend?

Johan


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2007 10:02 pm 
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Hi Johan, yep, I'd say you've got them summarised pretty well there!

Have you picked both cameras up in person - the look and feel can be a great influencer...

Hi Sunbeamtalbot, welcome to the forums! My personal beef with the K10D in terms of ISO is that there isn't a dedicated, labelled button for ISO - or white balance - and I'd expect that for a camera of its class. I think I'd probably leave it in Sv sensitivity priority mode myself, as it works like Program with quick access to ISO - and the ISO is also displayed in this mode.

I also agree we should all read the manuals and learn how to best use a product, but it really struck me when using the K10D at the same time as the D80 that the Nikon just got all the photos right first time, whereas the Pentax almost always required manual intervention and two or even three goes - and as mentioned earlier, if you're shooting a subject which might not stick around - like an animal or a celebrity (!) - then you may have lost your chance.

It's all personal preference though.

I'm also looking forward to testing the DA* lenses in the future, and have already tested the 40 and 70mm limited edition lenses for a forthcoming article...

Gordon


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 6:42 pm 
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Hello Gordon.

Great review as usual. :D

Bit too late as I got my D80 about a week ago :twisted: , so I'm now very relieved that the K10D didn't blow it out of the water.

Johan. It all boils down to what you want your camera for and what your idea of affordable is. The Nikon 24-120mm and 70-300mm both have VR and are affordable in my opinion.

IMHO the weatherproofing and the anti-dust are nice extras but they are far from infallible or essential. Its like a walnut dashboard on a new car when you should really be more concerned with the engine.

I'm doing mainly wildlife photography where conditions can change very quickly. Open or shaded woodland, cloudy or sunny weather, shooting into or away from the sun, constantly changing background etc. Its better to have a more intuitive camera in these kind of conditions no matter how skilled you become at manually configuring the settings.

But then it all depends on what you are after and what your budget is.


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 08, 2007 8:43 pm 
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Hi Craig!

Craig wrote:
Johan. It all boils down to what you want your camera for and what your idea of affordable is. The Nikon 24-120mm and 70-300mm both have VR and are affordable in my opinion.

Well, I wouldn't say that they are not affordable but they are not in any way cheap either. The K10D, having the VR in the house, offers VR with even their cheap lenses and i think that this is a big plus for the pentax.

Craig wrote:
IMHO the weatherproofing and the anti-dust are nice extras but they are far from infallible or essential. Its like a walnut dashboard on a new car when you should really be more concerned with the engine.


I totally agree with you on this point. It's not a deal-sealer just a very nice feature in my opinion.

Craig wrote:
I'm doing mainly wildlife photography where conditions can change very quickly. Open or shaded woodland, cloudy or sunny weather, shooting into or away from the sun, constantly changing background etc. Its better to have a more intuitive camera in these kind of conditions no matter how skilled you become at manually configuring the settings.



This is the thing that's giving me a hard time deciding. The Nikkon is better at evaluating the shot, but how big is the difference?

Johan


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 Post subject: K10D received yesterday
PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 11:34 am 
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Bonjour everybody and especially Gordon

Back to the forums, but in another topic. After having used a Pentax *ist DL for a couple of years, I received my new K10D yesterday!

My main motivation was, I was increasingly using the manual controls of the *ist DL, enjoying the freedom of taking my picture and pushing the limits.

First contact with the Pentax K10D is very positive: not so different from the *ist, so I feel at home. Seems solid, well balanced and comfortable on hand. Extra weight is not a problem. As usual, main functions are provided through hardware controls, so no need to deep into menues (for the moment). The viewfinder provides a better image, larger and brighter. Extra modes, as sensitivity priority (Sv), shutter aperture priority (TAv) and hyper-program (P), are more difficult to explain than to use!

Next steps: to read the 234 + pages manual and play with the options. I have already tested the remote camera control through USB with my iMac: that's great for macro photos.

Best regards from France,

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


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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2007 9:13 pm 
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Keep us updated on how you get on with your K10D!


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 Post subject: K10D hands-on
PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 9:21 am 
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Bonjour,

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 shot 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


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 05, 2007 10:52 pm 
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Great stuff Rei!

In fact, so it doesn't get lost in this thread, could you post a new thread called Pentax K10D user review and copy and paste your comments into it? They'd be really useful for anyone thinking of buying a K10D.

Cheers!

Gordon


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