PDA

View Full Version : K10D initial impressions



timmciglobal
11-23-2006, 11:30 AM
Got a K10d.

Here are my initial impressions of the camera.

Build Quality: Quite high. I'd rate it slighty lower then the D200 but somewhat even to the Canon 30D. Let me explain that though: The K10d is plastic with a steel core and feels quite substantial when holding. The seams are all VERY tight and seals feel quite secure. It's not magnesium but the plastic feels quite good compared to say, the XTi's "plastic." The shutter is nice, almost cloth sounding vs metal its obviously dampened and marked at 100K cycles according to pentax. The weather sealing is 72 points and once you put a sealed lens on (new supersonic lenses) the camera becomes sealed vs elements. Pentax's demo video actually has a guy splashing water right on the back LCD and control surfaces which is quite impressive.

Viewfinder: Quite big, bigger then the D200 by a hair much bigger then 30D. It's got a very matte focusing screen though compared to 30D. I don't know if this is good or bad but it's deffinitly more matte. You can replace screens from what I hear though (pentax has 2, katzeye will have a few too allegidly soon)

Control layout: Quite good but not quite up to D200 but on par with 30D. Some settings buried in menu system or accessed only by pressing function button which takes getting used to over the 30D/d200 especially quality/white balance which imho should be in viewfinder and LCD not just in menu though the WB system is INCREDIBLE compared to d200/30d (more on this later) Buttons seem well placed for my hands and an odd indentation (like a lip on both sides on left) make it easy to hold with your left hand if you wanted.

Shooting speed: 3 FPS unlimited with a ultra 2 card I got (well 93 frames and I stoped my finger was tired) and 10 raw (iso 400)

AF and exposure: The kit lens and all current pentax lenses are old screw driven (they are coming out with supersonic (aka usm/swm) ones which promise to be wisper silent and much faster and are supported by k10d in 07. The AF is somewhat noisy and low light AF isn't great. It's not terrible but not up to the standards of canon/nikon. Exposure seems to be biased towards preserving highlights in dark conditions but in raw exposure compensation of even +2 stops seems to work well under ISO 800.

Shake Reduction: It works. I don't know if I'd say as good as VR2 works but it seems to be on par with first gen IS which is about 3 stops. Pentax claims 2.5>4 so I guess factors alter it and I don't know quite what they are but I'd say thats accurate. Works on all lenses which is fantastic. 28-75 F2.8 stabilized lens is quite nice.

Dust off function: It really slams the sensor assembly. You "feel" the sensor come to a stop, I don't know how well it actually works but it includes a coating on low pass and this manual 'thud" shake off function you activate via menu system.

Kit lens: Decent enough lens for how cheap it is, has decent macro of 1/4 magnification at 55mm with reasonably smooth bokeh for a kit lens. I think the 28-75 tamron is better buy if you can live without the wide side but I picked up the kit just to have the 18-28 coverage.

ISO Performance: Horrible. There really is no other way to put this. Horrible banding in underexposed photos (vertical not horizontal) and incredibly poor noise uniformality making removing noise nearly impossible. Blue defects show up after heavy NR which look like blotches.

White Balance: This deserves it's own section due to how godly it is. It's LEAPS and bounds over D200/30D. Every white balancing setting (the presets +3 custom color temps) is selectable and fine tunable (ie: can set flash preset +2 blue) but more importantly as your doing this it takes your last shot image and APPLIES the settings to it so you can see what effect is. It's incredibly more usefull then "take a shot, loot, try again" of 30D/d200. I've gotten the best results out of custom white balance using this I've ever gotten, very nice feature.

In Camera Raw: Let me tell you, it's godly. You can shoot raw, pick it and adjust white balance, jpeg quality and megapixel count, ISO (aka exposure compensation in full stops +2/-2) contrast, saturation, sharpness, image tone and save it as a new jpeg. Fantastic for folks who would rather shoot raw but have situations they want a jpeg quickly and don't want to tote around a PC.

Conclusion: The K10d is a perfect camera with the single worst implimentation of sensors I've ever seen. The d200 which is no noise performer blows it away leaps and bounds in terms of handling noise because unlike the K10d the D200's noise is uniform and not banded. If by some miracle pentax fixes this very very bad high ISO (400+ ) banding then the K10d is a great buy but we dn't buy cameras to have great shake reduction and huge bands of color noise in a black suit at a wedding..

Tim

jeisner
11-23-2006, 01:54 PM
Thanks for taking the time to write such a long review Tim....

I hope they land in Australia soon.. I have tried a demo one (but wasn't allowed to take pictures off it) and am very eager to get my own produciton one...

cdifoto
11-23-2006, 01:55 PM
Didn't you just have a Canon, then Nikon, then Canon again?

timmciglobal
11-23-2006, 03:21 PM
Still got a canon, 30D.

I just picked up the K10D because it was only 900 with kit lens (had a 100$ off coupon)

Honestly, 900 may seem like a lot but it got me thinking why not. It offers a lot for the price and I'm not tied to a system per say. The days of being system locked are over imho with ebay and FM. Sure you take a loss but you can switch glass and companies for 15% hit at most if you bargain hunted in first place (IE: not msrp)

Tim

RichNY
11-23-2006, 04:48 PM
Tim, nice write up on the K10D. So far you've had the best overall review I've seen on this camera. I've seen a number of shots at 1600 and I agree with you that this camera fails pretty miserably. From the pictures I saw posted ISO 800 didn't look very good either.

If you had to make a call at this early point do you prefer the Pentax or 30D? We already know what you think of Nikon.

timmciglobal
11-23-2006, 05:24 PM
Gut reaction is 30D. I was looking at some ISO 400 shadow samples and see some noise paterns I don't like...

Going to have to put it threw some tests and compare.

Tim

timmciglobal
11-23-2006, 05:58 PM
In fact let me revise that, ISO 1600 and 800 is total unusuable in anything with shadows.

Horrific banding look at this:

http://pictures.divergentservices.com/speaker.jpg

Edit: Apparently there is a chance this is "electric interference" but I'm investigating.

Tim

RichNY
11-23-2006, 07:06 PM
Looks similar to the other photos I've seen. I wonder when all is said and done if this is just going to be another camera for taking picture of high ISO noise in the rain with? :rolleyes:

timmciglobal
11-24-2006, 08:09 PM
Well...

Took some people shots and its not TERRIBLE but it's not good, the color grouping of noise is near impossible to remove due to the fact its not uniform and follows no patern (that is, standard but "Banding" paterns more so) seems to clump up in blue channel in darkness..

I'm still tossed, the headshots I took @ 1600 indoors under what is reasonably good light were decent but not good.

The results up to ISO 640 seem good but I still am unsure.

Tim

RichNY
11-24-2006, 09:19 PM
As you continue to work with this camera are you thinking of it as an experimental camera that you will learn and return or do you have the mindset that you are learning more about YOUR new camera?

timmciglobal
11-24-2006, 10:08 PM
Depends, I may keep it if I can work it.

I just tried with silkypix and it did remove most of the banding, don't quite know why... not all but iso 1600 much cleaner.

Tim

RichNY
11-24-2006, 10:42 PM
Tim- When you get a chance can you re-post the picture after it went thru silkypix.

How weather proof is the K10 supposed to be? Do you plan on testing this out? Shooting in the rain, the shower, underwater, in salt water? It seems like you are going to be our consumer labs for this camera.

timmciglobal
11-25-2006, 08:58 AM
As far as weather sealing I don't know. They say 72 seals and it seems pretty well put together (doors/hinges_seams) but you'll never know till you trash one how far it can be pushed.

The problem right now (oddly opposite of canon) is no weather sealed pentax lenses... L on my 30D isn't sealed... Pentax lenses on my K10D isn't sealed hehe.

Tim

timmciglobal
11-25-2006, 09:04 AM
I'm also doing some tests today of controlled black objects shot on white screen @ 1600 and 800.

Seems very much to do with shadow current and conditions.

I feel somewhat comfortable shooting ISO 1600 indoors in good lighting if I had to, not similar to 30D but more D200'ish.

Good for 5x7's deffinitly, maybe an 8x10 depending on what. I wouldn't frame a 8x10 portatit iso 1600 indoors :p

Also, something else, apparently pentax has no tracking in AF. Seems insane to me but since I'm not a sports shooter it doesn't matter but what a waste of 9 good cross sensors.

Tim

RichNY
11-25-2006, 09:14 AM
So far it sounds like you are describing a D80 killer, is that an accurate assessment?

timmciglobal
11-25-2006, 09:23 AM
Eh...

The one aspect of K10D that the D80 doesn't have and is by far the most usefull (if your not paying for VR/Is lenses) is the SR. It works.

The D80 does have a lot of pros to it the least of which is nikon lens support. There just really isn't that much good zoom pentax lenses out there compared to the fantastic nikon and canon lineup. You can argue however that built in IS makes the already good tamron 28-75 a "28-75 IS" which isn't found anywhere else yet but it's not the same.

I think however the truth is we're nitpicking details of minutia. I don't want to say one way or other because honestly a D80 can take a fantastic photo in sports tracking where K10D can't and the K10D can get a 300 mm shot (1/450) at 1/80th which the D80 can't.

Post to come soon on some walk about pics.

Tim

RichNY
11-25-2006, 11:25 AM
"...a D80 can take a fantastic photo in sports tracking where K10D can't and the K10D can get a 300 mm shot (1/450) at 1/80th which the D80 can't."


Can you explain this? K10D can't do sports tracking- is this because is lacks the equivalent of an AI Servo Mode?

The 300mm 1/80th... are you referring to handheld only because of lack of built in IS?

timmciglobal
11-25-2006, 01:14 PM
Yes, the K10D has no tracking on or across sensors

Yes, because of lack of IS because most folks at sporting events can't bring or don't bring tripods.

Tim

timmciglobal
11-25-2006, 02:31 PM
Took some more shots outdoors and honestly unhappy with performance, the shaows even at 400 had some noise grouping I really disliked.

Shame too, great camera damaged by sensor issues.

Tim

Rhys
11-25-2006, 02:46 PM
Took some more shots outdoors and honestly unhappy with performance, the shaows even at 400 had some noise grouping I really disliked.

Shame too, great camera damaged by sensor issues.

Tim

Now we await Canon/Nikon's response/s

RichNY
11-25-2006, 03:03 PM
Any predictions on what we'll see from Canon in March?

timmciglobal
11-25-2006, 03:08 PM
It's hard to say...

Canon may just ignore K10D and D200 and instead launch a "mini rebel" and keep the 1 series as the only "upgrade" over a 30D type.

I think we can 100% assume a "40d" with 10 mp antidust sensor and maybe the 5d's AF (which would be nice)

Tim

timmciglobal
11-25-2006, 03:48 PM
And I've decided I'm getting rid of the K10d.

The noise performance is horrific to say the least. The red channel in one iso 400 shot I did today was clearly banded vertically and any degree at all of underexposure once pushed brings out clear banding.

I can't be 100% perfect exposure every time, it's why I shoot raw and this camera is incapable of handling noise apparently in any way that looks pleasing.

The d200's noise though a lot atleast looked like grain not blue chunks and massive vertical bands of color.

Tim

RichNY
11-25-2006, 03:50 PM
Would be nice to have the 5D's viewfinder and an auto ISO feature. I'd also like for them to remove that print button- since they haven't upgraded the firmware to allow the button to be useful, it's kind of like a wart on the camera.

The only other feature I'd really like to see is a built in ability to act as a master for their flashes.

Rhys
11-25-2006, 04:07 PM
I might just buy a 2nd XT at some point in the next couple of months. I'vegot used to the focussing issues and can work around the faults. I could buy a different camera but I'd like to have two identical cameras - one as a backup - so that the workflow is identical.

I have been very tempted by offerings from Nikon, Pentax and so on but quite honestly I don't feel like changing systems again.

With the old manual focus system as long as you used Tamron lenses you could put the same lens on any camera - Pentax, Olympus, Minolta, Contax, Yashica, Leica, Nikon, Zenith etc. It is a shame that a universal interchangable mount now does not exist.

RichNY
11-27-2006, 08:18 PM
Tim- Don't return it until after you've posted a good 'weather sealing' report.
I was thinking about things to try:

- Leave in bathroom with shower running to steam it up.
- Shoot in pouring rain
- Incremental time submerged in bathtub till failure (or not)

It's in Pentax's best interest for you to give the camera weather sealing a positive review after you've mentioned that its downside is taking pictures. You owe it to them to play with it in the bath tub. (Maybe I should get one also- I haven't had a bath tub toy in over 35 years- I'm long overdue)


And I've decided I'm getting rid of the K10d.
Tim

Vich
11-27-2006, 11:04 PM
Tim- Don't return it until after you've posted a good 'weather sealing' report.
I was thinking about things to try:

- Leave in bathroom with shower running to steam it up.
- Shoot in pouring rain
- Incremental time submerged in bathtub till failure (or not)

It's in Pentax's best interest for you to give the camera weather sealing a positive review after you've mentioned that its downside is taking pictures. You owe it to them to play with it in the bath tub. (Maybe I should get one also- I haven't had a bath tub toy in over 35 years- I'm long overdue)
I agree, you should give it the old shake-down. lol. Good'n Rich.

That's funny, and true. I keep falling for the marketing of these very useful side features; to the point of forgetting the underlying Image Quality "feature".

It's like these P&S guys who, once in a while say "Hey, look at these great images, and built in f2.8 12x zoom." or some such. Then post over sharpened and saturated (albiet nice looking) stuff, and overlooking the low-light and delay aspects.

Tim; thanks for the thoughtful and complete review. It's a great help. Does sound like a wonderful camera except for the high ISO problem - and I agree that that's a killer. Smart move dumping it - seems worthless with that junk on the images. What serious photographer can't use 400+ ISO on a regular basis?

timmciglobal
11-27-2006, 11:38 PM
Yea and ya know, if they fix it, hey, I'd buy another. But right now having to be paranoied about exposure ISO 800 and not have 1600 imho is impossible.

1600 in good light with all middle gray + areas looks good but once the banding hits it destroys it for me. The defect is too unusual and unpleasing to forgive.

The shame is, I've seen a lot of folks post about it so far and a majority of replies are "oh it's not an issue" but I printed 8x10's of some shots and I could easily see the banding and I'd hate to get a great shot ruined by bars all over the shadow areas.

Tim

Vich
11-27-2006, 11:45 PM
The shame is, I've seen a lot of folks post about it so far and a majority of replies are "oh it's not an issue" ...Well, there's no accounting for some people's standards. Best to listen, look, then make your own mind up in the end.

jeisner
11-28-2006, 01:42 AM
I am not getting mine until Sat/Sun, its on hold for me until I get home...

Two friends however have it already and tried it out and are not finding banding issues YET.. Though they are looking for it...

I am curious if its a workflow difference? were the photos with banding taken as JPEG or RAW? and if RAW what program did you process them with?

Sorry its just when I get conflicting reports I like to hear the details from both sides.. maybe there is something that adds to the problem?

timmciglobal
11-28-2006, 02:04 AM
Take a picture of something dark at ISO 1600 in poor light.

You'll see it.

Or take a picture of something properly exposed with background that is darker.

ISO 1600 with proper exposure in bright enough conditions looks fine.

Tim

jeisner
11-28-2006, 10:04 PM
yes it is discussed here

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=21061869

interesting reponse here

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1036&message=21062142

timmciglobal
11-28-2006, 11:19 PM
I've done it on 30D and didn't produce vertical banding.

Trust me when I say the vertical banding shows a LOT more then the horizontal which is also present.

Tim

jeisner
11-29-2006, 12:04 AM
I've done it on 30D and didn't produce vertical banding.

Trust me when I say the vertical banding shows a LOT more then the horizontal which is also present.

Tim

OK ;-)

I won't get mine until Saturday, I talked to a friend with a k10d last night who only sees it if he (like that thread) underexposes by 2 stops (when at 1600) and then pushes it up.. Which is not something I do, but I guess I will see for myself this weekend...

timmciglobal
11-29-2006, 12:09 AM
It depends on the subject.

Will you see it if you shoot good indoor lighting without shadows ISO 1600 no.

However as shown on that thread by the guy who did the D200 test too anything with darks which are "darker" then -1 EV off main subject get banded.

Tim

eljustino
12-04-2006, 01:58 PM
I've got a Canon 20d. I ordered a K10d because I wanted SR. I also reckoned the K10D would have more dynamic range, and I really like the controls (separate AEL and AFL buttons, the "green button" in manual, auto ISO etc).

But this noise bands business is giving me the willies. Having said that, I get horizontal bands in underexposed areas at ISO1600 as well on my 20D.

Let's see what happens!

I'll be taking a few on which I keep over a period of a month or so... 20D or K10D.

If I keep the 20D I will get some IS lenses.

jeisner
12-04-2006, 06:03 PM
I have mine now and find up to 800 iso I see no 'banding'... For 1600 if I 'set up' the situation just right I can get it (I can too on my friends Canon 20d BTW)... To get it I need to (as said earlier) underexpose an area and then PULL that area up again.. so effectively giving my 3200 or 6400 ISO...

Really a non-issue FOR-ME especially as so far I have only seen in when trying to cause it!!

I actually thought when Brett on dpreview processed your DNG file with ACR defaults the results were interesting????

http://www.pbase.com/shreder/image/70682113/original.jpg

Razr
12-07-2006, 02:40 AM
Take a picture of something dark at ISO 1600 in poor light.

You'll see it.

Or take a picture of something properly exposed with background that is darker.

ISO 1600 with proper exposure in bright enough conditions looks fine.

Tim But that summation holds true for film or digital. Excepting one or two DSLRs, "Fast" (ISO400-800-1600) speeds guarantee "noise".

With few exceptions, that rule holds true for any kind of "fast" imaging with nearly any "breed" of camera.

Razr
12-07-2006, 02:49 AM
Yea and ya know, if they fix it, hey, I'd buy another. But right now having to be paranoied about exposure ISO 800 and not have 1600 imho is impossible.Could be your lenses? Or the fact that imaging in minimal light has always had those hazards, film or digital.
1600 in good light with all middle gray + areas looks good but once the banding hits it destroys it for me. The defect is too unusual and unpleasing to forgive.
Return it, noting the defects. Make sure you send along prints of the defects so they can see what problem the camera is having.
The shame is, I've seen a lot of folks post about it so far and a majority of replies are "oh it's not an issue" but I printed 8x10's of some shots and I could easily see the banding and I'd hate to get a great shot ruined by bars all over the shadow areas.

TimCould be your lenses, your technique and/or the camera.
Or even the situations you've put the camera in that helps produce the abberations.

Send it back for an adjustment.

SpecialK
12-19-2006, 06:25 PM
As a lowly Pentax owner I'd like to know what Pentax had to say about the issue. Did they say they don't see it, it's not a reported problem, or get over it? Were they willing to look at it or replace it? Did they have any hardware or software fix?

Also, their ads seem to say it is weather "resistant", not weather "proof" so I'd keep it out of the tub. Apparently three D* (weather-something) lenses are coming in a few months.

timmciglobal
12-20-2006, 12:50 AM
You don't see the banding in that shot?

It's NOT noise it's BANDING. Two very seperate issues. Phil Asky over at dpreview noted it and that it's an issue because unlike noise banding can not be removed easily using any noise reduction programs.

Tim

cdifoto
12-20-2006, 01:22 AM
That banding looks like a rainbow-painted prison window.

jeisner
12-20-2006, 04:57 AM
I that shot of yours yes I see it, but I still haven't seen it in any of my own...

Vich
12-20-2006, 09:05 AM
Tim had a K10D, you have a K100, right?

jeisner
12-20-2006, 09:12 PM
Sorry haven't fixed my Sig, I have a DS, K100d and a K10d

Reps
12-23-2006, 05:59 AM
Happy camper so far (and I am picky about all details :D )- also kept my K100D for better low-light (but will sell it soon as K10D DOES DO a better detail with decent GLASS :) ).
I should remind You once again politely- all cams are virtually the same, we take the pics, not cameras :-)

Best and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, JR

JPRATT
12-26-2006, 08:59 AM
all cams are virtually the same, we take the pics, not cameras :-)

Best thing I've seen on thsi forum in awhile

Why people get caught up in label/brand wars I'll never understand. I don't understand why people go off othere peoples views and opinions either. Get off your ass, put the mags down and go to the store and test the products for yourself.

Just because you run out and buy a porsche, it doesn't mean it's going to make you a fast driver. There's honda's/Nissan's worth $1500 bucks that are just as fast or faster than that porsche.

:rolleyes:

SpecialK
12-26-2006, 05:23 PM
Why people get caught up in label/brand wars I'll never understand. I don't understand why people go off othere peoples views and opinions either. Get off your ass, put the mags down and go to the store and test the products for yourself.

Just because you run out and buy a porsche, it doesn't mean it's going to make you a fast driver. There's honda's/Nissan's worth $1500 bucks that are just as fast or faster than that porsche.



It is human nature to be cliquish.

The photographers who own all the expensive equipment and say you have to spend $1100 to take a decent picture (paraphrasing an actual post) have to believe their substantial investment is a requirement, not an option.

It also works the same way for those of us on a more modest budget who just want to have fun taking "pictures" without worrying if their "L glass" is fast enough, or the "VR" lens really out performs body-stabilized cameras.

Make no mistake - I'd love to have "L glass" or "VR" lenses, but Santa came and went and all I got was this Pentax I had to buy myself, thanks.

Geoff Chandler
12-30-2006, 11:52 PM
Best thing I've seen on thsi forum in awhile

Why people get caught up in label/brand wars I'll never understand. I don't understand why people go off othere peoples views and opinions either. Get off your ass, put the mags down and go to the store and test the products for yourself.

Just because you run out and buy a porsche, it doesn't mean it's going to make you a fast driver. There's honda's/Nissan's worth $1500 bucks that are just as fast or faster than that porsche.

:rolleyes:
There is a great element of truth in that comment
However
I have been that person who has bought a product only to realise something else was far more suitable - so I like to do my homework beforehand.
But I totally agree that the best thing is to go out and try for yourself.
I am caught up in the circle of which DSLR to go for. I would have prefered one with Shake Reduction/Anti shake or whatever you like to call it - it really is helpfull. However - in my price range the two AS cameras I have considered are substantiallty more noisy at High ISO (Sony or Pentax) which is not helpfull for me as I like to have the ability to shoot in low light (my sons concerts) and probably at longish focal lengths - my current KM A-200 is noisy at 400 and above but the lens is brighter than many DSLR zooms - certainly anything I could afford - so I would need all the help I can find - be it A/S or good high ISO performance or brighter lenses - preferably all 3!!
It seems to me it's going to have to be a in hand comparison between one of the Canons or the Nikon D80 ~ that is unless 2007 brings something else new and suitable before I have finished saving up

jeisner
01-01-2007, 04:05 AM
What about the K100d?

Northwest shooter
03-05-2007, 03:08 PM
I've had my K10d for a week or two now. I've shot several images at 800 and 1600 ISO trying to see if I have any banding, and so far I've seen none. I agree that the noise at the higher ISOs isn't as fine and pleasing as it is with a D200 or orhter high-end DSLR. But to me it was worth the tradeoff considering the other features and lower price.

In short, the shake reduction, sensitivity priority mode, and ease of use - especially the front & rear programmable thumbwheels - make this a great DSLR. The build quality is excellent (the 4-way could be a bit beefier). My only complaint is that it would be nice the white balance settings were a bit more convenient, but since I will be shooting RAW all the time that's pretty minor.

benjikan
03-09-2007, 12:37 PM
In fact let me revise that, ISO 1600 and 800 is total unusuable in anything with shadows.

Horrific banding look at this:

http://pictures.divergentservices.com/speaker.jpg

Edit: Apparently there is a chance this is "electric interference" but I'm investigating.

Tim

Was this shot in Raw or Jpeg?