Friday, December 15, 2006

The K10D Review Corral

(Updated at 4:15pm, May 14th with Photography Blog's review) Following up my pre-release K10D News Roundup, since the reviews are starting to come out in earnest, it's time for the K10D Review Corral. (I think the phrase Review Roundup is being used elsewhere already). Everything has been earnestly positive so far, with Pop Photo leading the pack with their glowing review, but more sites are chiming in with in-depth reviews. I'll try to keep this post updated with reviews now that the camera is shipping and people are getting more time to play with it.

DP Review: Highly Recommended. This is probably the most in-depth review you'll be likely to find on the net, and one that is utterly uncompromising. Phil Askey writes, "It's a camera you get used to very quickly and never really leaves you searching for the correct setting or control. It's also a camera you can grow into, the unique exposure modes are both creatively interesting and useful, a range of options such as this encourage you to experiment. At just under $1000 it's a very strong proposition, so despite our reservations about the slightly soft image processing the K10D just scrapes a Highly Recommended." Link: DP Review's K10D Review

Copyright 2006, DP Review. Note: this image has been compressed for space in this blog and is not accurate.

Luminous Landscape: Technically, this isn't a review, and more of a reflection by a long time Pentax enthusiast. Michael Reichman says, "One can't really get the measure of a complex camera like the Pentax 10D after just a week of use and a few hundred frames. But, it didn't take me long to discover that this is a camera that the sophisticated user will find to be a pleasure to work with. Image quality is on a par with virtually anything else on the market, the camera is very feature rich, the price is right, and it therefore isn't a stretch to say that the K10D is probably the best value in a 10 Megapixel DSLR at this time. [...] The company has a venerable name with a lot of legacy brand recognition, at least among people who've been involved in photography for more than a decade. Though a very small company by any standard, with the K10D they have shown that it doesn't take a big budget to be innovative." Link: Luminous Landscape K10D Hands-On "reflection"

Pixinfo: This Hungarian review site shows off the K10D in minute detail, examining even the differences in rendering of photos from ISO 100 to 1600 made from RAW images converted with both Adobe Camera RAW and Pentax Photo Lab 3.1, so it's worth taking a peak to see comparisons of noise reduction and color. A must-see is the Shake Reduction video (MPG) they included. Link: PixInfo K10D Review and Test (Hungarian)

Pop Photo: Whetting our appetites for their full review and shootout that will come out with the February issue, Pop Photo declares the K10D a complete success. "After running the K10D through our normal battery of tests and seeing how it performs in real-world situations we can now say with certainty: Pentax has truly arrived in the DSLR category, and the K10D is a serious player in the advanced amateur DSLR game. Overall image quality is Excellent throughout the ISO range. Color accuracy is Excellent. Noise is exceptionally well controlled all the way through, and Resolution is excellent at all ISOs." Link: Pop Photo Review and Test

Fotosidian: It's in Swedish. And we know what that means, right? Windmill photographs. And pretty much 4 out of 5 ratings across the board. Link: Fotosidian K10D Review (Swedish)

ePhotozine: Looking at build, performance, and digital noise, ePhotozine is completely enamored with the K10D and give the camera a rating of 9 out of 10. "Pentax are back! With the possible exception of frame rate, made up for in part with the Shake-reduction and dual RAW capability, this camera is up there with Nikon’s D200 and Canon’s 30D. Packed with features that have been well thought out and are easily accessible in a body that has been built to withstand the pressures of hard use in typically English climates it has a lot going for it. If their lens line-up takes a similar leap in the next twelve months, Pentax will be back toe-to-toe with the big boys. This is a serious advanced amateur or semi-pro camera." Link: ePhotozine

DP Watch Impress: This team in Japan has been playing with the K10D since September and have been writing as much as they could on the pre-production model, but once the K10D was officially launched, they put together a solid review of the camera with sample images comparing them to photos from the Sony A100, Nikon D80, and Canon 400D. Link: DP Watch Impress K10D Review (Japanese)

DPNotes Giant List of K10D User Reviews: Keeping track of some user reviews at the DP Review forums, here you'll find capsules of some of the more prominent review threads by early adopters of the K10D. Link: Giant List With 9 pages of details about the K10D for German readers, Digitalfoto.netz has put together one of the most concerted looks at the K10D, particular in its comparisons to the Nikon D200. Christian Lamker writes: "Result is "highly recommened" due to the good image quality (especially dynamic range, colour reproduction) and the enormous range of integrated functions such as Shake Reduction, Dust Removal, weather-sealed body, etc." Link: Reviews K10D (German)

CNET: "A great feature set for the price, pro-level customization, and excellent photo quality make the Pentax K10D a bargain amateur dSLR. Only unremarkable performance holds it back from joining the pack leaders"... and this unremarkable performance they speak of? It hunts a little in low light. They're a little tough on the camera, but they give it a decent 7.7 out of 10. Link: CNET reviews the K10D

Sean Carpenter at Pentax Forums: Sean wrote up a great, tidy review of what it feels like to move up from the *ist DS to the K10D, and it's a review that's documented with lot's of pictures and real world impressions of using the camera. "I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the K10D, based on its ergonomics alone. It certainly takes some effort to realize the full potential of the images, especially at high ISO sensitivity. The rewards of the K10D are many, and many more with some time and effort - as is anything worth having in life." Link: Pentax K10D Review by Sean Carpenter

DCRP Review: Jeff Keller has finally put his famous Mickey Mouse figurine in front of the K10D, and he gives his highest recommendation to the camera he calls "exceptional." He underscores that the K10D's settings are set for people who will likely prefer RAW developing in post, and novices should remember to switch to Bright mode if they want to shoot JPEG. "All things considered, the Pentax K10D is an excellent midrange digital SLR. It offers a solid, well-designed body, rocket-fast performance, and superb photo quality if you get away from the default settings. It may not be a great choice for those used to live-view and scene modes, but if you're ready to dive into more serious photography, the K10D is a great choice. It earns my highest recommendation." Link: DCRP K10 Review

Photography Blog: 4.5 stars out 5. Get ready for 6 long pages and lots of pictures, because it's a very detailed review with plenty of attention to the ergonomics of the camera. "In summary the Pentax K10D is extremely well-built, complex but intuitive DSLR, with no corners being cut despite the relatively low price-point. There are lots of nice touches which show that the Pentax designers have put a lot of thought into how the camera will be used, and the camera is very responsive...The main negative aspects of the Pentax K10D are the supplied 18-55mm kit lens, which feels cheap and ill-matched to the K10D body, the noisy shutter release mechanism and auto-focusing system, and the lack of dedicated buttons for ISO and white balance. Overall we can highly recommend the Pentax K10D - not only does it have an attractive price-tag, but it is also a solidly-built, intuitive and responsive digital SLR that will meet the needs of the serious photographer." Link:K10D Review at Photography Blog


Anonymous said...

Look at the Hungarian Review. Efficiency of K10D's dust removal feature is denied there.

Anonymous said...

BAD JPEG SHARPNESS: "When we reviewed the K100D we thought Pentax had got their image processing just right, however the single element of the entire K10D equation which left us scratching our heads was just that. Either a poorly implemented demosaicing algorithm or a strange choice of sharpening parameters means that while the K10D's JPEG images have plenty of 'texture' they can lack the edge sharpness we're used to seeing from semi-pro digital SLR's.

Pentax may well have been aiming for a smooth film-like appearance but I at least feel that the inability to tweak this out by increasing sharpness is a mistake. That said it's unlikely you'll see this difference in any print up to A3 size, it's a 100% view thing so you have to decide if that's important to you or not. To get that absolute crisp appearance you'll need to shoot RAW, and use Adobe Camera RAW or another third party converter (as the supplied converter produces similar results to the camera)." look at dpreview

Anonymous said...

Don't beleave Christian Lamker ( He is sponsored by PENTAX!!!

OK-1K said...

3rd Anonymous (above), regarding Christian Lamker's review: from what I know and what he has told me personally, he has never received any money or sponsorship from Pentax, or anyone else, for the K10D review on website. To say so is damaging, and anonymously is in even worse taste.

Hesham said...

Just a word in reply to 'anonymous' who quoted Phil Askey from dpreview. I'd like to advise the reader to go and read through the whole review and see how highly dpreview thinks of the K10D. In fact the final verdict was a 'Highly Recommended'.

Anonymous said...

Here's a link to every professional review on the Internet for the K10D.

The summary score given is a 89 making it one of the top 5 cameras rated on the site.

The score attributed to DPReview is an 87. I just checked and that's correct (when you average the ratings for each category of the camera). That's a pretty good score in my book.

Anonymous said...

Ok, here's my question re. the k10d. It's my first dslr--I've been a hold-out up to now because I just haven't seen the same color accuracy from my friends' digital shots as I've traditionally gotten from film. So I received my new k10d a few days ago and have already taken dozens of shots, and my first impression, much to my regret, is that the color accuracy is just not there. It's quite an easy test, actually, since I'm actually seeing what I'm photographing, and when I look back at the image (whether JPEG or RAW), it looks to have a bluish cast and about 1.5 stops overexposed. Can anyone explain this? I'm not here to bash the camera... I'm a life-long Pentax user, I'm just registering an honest concern.

Chris Nielsen said...

It's so nice to have the shake reduction for all the A-lenses. Now we can use the A*135/1.8 and A*85/1.4 as well as a 500 mirror lense with SR. Sweet.

r4 dsi said...

This is my 3rd dSLR and will probably be my last. I can't see where it can be improved. I know, all cameras have flaws and can be improved, but this one is so near perfect it is hard to believe.

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