Pentax K10d - some questions

Discussion in 'Photography Equipment & Products' started by boclcown, Dec 21, 2006.

  1. boclcown

    boclcown TPF Noob!

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    I've been going over some lengthy reviews about the K10D, and it seems to be an amazing camera. 10MP, image stabalization, weather-sealed, etc. The only real flaw I can see that would deter me from purchasing it is the lack of a dedicated iso and wb button.

    It isn't quite buried in the menu, but there is a button (fn) that, when pressed, allows the user to change either the iso, wb, flash, or drive mode. Am I going to long for a wb button, or even an iso button?

    Also, are Pentax lenses comparable to Nikkor or Canon? I don't plan on spending too much in the near future on lenses, but I don't want to buy into a system inferior to the big two's.

    Last, is Pentax a generally respected brand? I don't have too much time invested into the world of photography, so I don't have the same common knowledge as many of you do.
     
  2. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    Hi there. I agree the K10d looks great.

    I am currently the owner of a K100d, which also uses the fn button for ISO and WB. It actually works very well; this way it's possible to do pretty much everything single-handed.

    As for the lenses, are they comparable? Well in terms of numbers, they don't have as many as Nikon or Canon. But you will have lenses for pretty much any purpose, especially when you factor in the Tokina, Tamron and Sigma lenses also available. Pentax's own lenses are very good, both primes and zooms, and their current range of digital-only lenses are very well designed, and include some nice pancake lenses if you're into that. Their lenses are in no way inferior to the equivalents from other companies. Canon have L glass, and Pentax have Limited glass. Also remember you can use any Pentax K-mount lens on the K10d.

    Finally, is Pentax respected? Well generally it's respected by most people who have used a Pentax and don't think in terms of "Brand A/B god, everything else useless". There are arguments for buying into Canon or Nikon instead of Pentax, like the fact that Canon and Nikon make digital SLRs for professionals (which most of us can't afford and won't use) and the fact that their products are more widely available and can be rented, and since more people use them there is more of a support base. But basically this only really matters if you are set on becoming a professional photographer any time soon. Otherwise Pentax's products themselves are of an equally high quality. With companies other than the "big two" it's often said that you can't tell how secure the company is in this market, for example Konica-Minolta dropped out of the photo business (although Sony adopted their SLR system). But Pentax have just reached an agreement with Hoya, one of the biggest maker of optical glass. And their dSLRs and lenses are also being sold (re-badged) by Samsung. I don't see them disappearing any time soon.

    Basically what I'm saying is, try and get your hands on a K10d. If it feels right (including the Fn button) then there's not much that should put you off getting it.
     
  3. Johnboy2978

    Johnboy2978 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    For what it's worth, I shoot with a IST ds as well as some Pentax film cameras, and have been very happy with them. I have been keeping a close eye on the K10D prices waiting for them to drop a bit. Like you say, it seems to be a very nice camera. The only thing I was disappointed to see was that they went away from using AA batteries. I find it very nice that if I'm out shooting and run out of battery, I could stop by any convenience store and buy more.
    As far as the ISO and white balance, it's pretty quick to change it through the Fn button. The DS only goes down to 200, and I rarely have an occasion to change it. The white balance I do change a bit, but I generally shoot with a strobe or my sigma flash, so the majority of the time it stays in the same mode with the occasional custom WB. Again, it's not something that you are going to be constantly changing. You will probably set it for each shoot and park it there.
    I find their glass to be of very high quality. Some regard some of their lenses to be the top of the class period. In the hands of the right person, I don't think anyone could look at an image from a Pentax see it as inferior quality to the big 2. I think the only person this camera wouldn't impress are those die hard people who think you can't take a decent image at all if it didn't come from a canon and just ignore all it's qualities b/c it's a Pentax.
    just my .02
     
  4. boclcown

    boclcown TPF Noob!

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    I've looked at some comparison photos (courtesy DPreview) and the D80 takes clearly sharper J-peg's, though the K10d equaled and sometimes surpassed the d80 in Raw format.

    So.... Would it be stupid of me to only shoot in RAW? Is it even practical?
     
  5. Don Simon

    Don Simon TPF Noob!

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    That is an interesting question. Personally I can't imagine not shooting in RAW; I only shoot RAW, unless I'm running out of space on my SD card or need to immediately upload my shots to someone else's computer and they don't have a RAW converter. I shoot RAW because I do believe it's the closest I'm going to get to a digital negative. I get to choose the most appropriate white balance, contrast, sharpness etc rather than have the camera do it for me. I think it gives me more choice and control, and frankly I think it produces better images. Having an increased dynamic range doesn't hurt.

    Now some people are going to disagree with me on that. Some people do prefer the convenience of Jpeg. They're different ways of working. Working with Jpegs would save me time (and money spent on SD cards and storage), but I wouldn't consider it worth it for the loss of flexibility and image quality.

    As for the comparison shots you've seen, nothing against Dpreview but there is currently a discussion going on elsewhere on this forum about the merits of such comparison shots. In short, I don't think they're worth that much. For example, you say the D80's Jpegs are noticeably sharper... ok, so why not simply increase the sharpening on the Pentax? The Nikon doesn't "take" sharper Jpegs... it just applies more sharpening in the camera at a given setting. That's not necessarily a plus. Similarly the Pentax might appear to have the edge over the Nikon in RAW, but that might not always be the case depending on the RAW converter and process used. Basically I think either of them is entirely capable of producing great images in either Jpeg or RAW when set up and used correctly.
     

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