The Pentax K10D is a 10 Megapixel mid-range Digital SLR with built-in image stabilisation to combat camera shake. Announced in September 2006, the K10D is Pentax’s top of the range DSLR and boasts a number of impressive features, several of which are totally unique.
Starting with image stabilisation, the K10D follows the Sony (and now Olympus) strategy of physically shifting its CCD sensor to counteract wobbles. Unlike these rival models though, the Pentax ‘Shake Reduction’ system employs magnets to additionally support rotational compensation along with the usual x and y axes. The Pentax Shake Reduction system is also employed to shake free dust and other foreign particles. And speaking of foreign particles, the K10D additionally features no fewer than 72 dust and weather-resistant seals.
Along with the usual shooting modes, Pentax has also equipped the K10D with unique Sensitivity Priority and combined Shutter and Aperture priority modes. The former allows you to select the desired sensitivity and let the K10D work out an appropriate shutter and aperture, while the latter lets you choose a shutter and aperture, with the K10D adjusting the sensitivity to match. You can also set the upper and lower ISO limits in Auto mode to avoid any nasty surprises.
In terms of image processing, the K10D offers the choice of two different RAW formats (Pentax PEF and Adobe DNG) and also supports internal RAW processing; there’s even a button dedicated to RAW. Suffice it to say there’s also a 2.5in colour monitor and also the usual Pentax support for a massive range of old and new lenses, including the latest models with Supersonic motors.
All in all it’s a very impressive specification for the money which sees the K10D competing directly against the Canon EOS 30D and Nikon D80, along with taking on some respects of higher-end models like the Nikon D200. We feel the K10D’s closest rival is the Nikon D80, so in this review have compared its physical characteristics and image quality directly against this popular model. In our results section we have additionally included results from other key rivals though for further comparison.
Has Pentax created the ultimate mid-range DSLR? Find out in our Pentax K10D full review, and don’t forget to check out the highlights in our Pentax K10D video tour.
Note: the model tested was a final production unit, running the latest firmware version 1.1 released on January 23 2007. Following our convention of using default factory and best quality JPEG settings to test camera bodies unless otherwise stated, the K10D was set to JPEG 10M *** mode and sRGB colour space, with Auto White Balance, Multi Segment metering, Natural Image Tone, and Sharpness, Contrast and Saturation set to their zero positions.