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Pentax K10D Performance


Timing and Performance

Excellent speed for a consumer-oriented digital SLR.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
~0.4 second
Time it takes for camera to boot (very fast; hard to measure)
Shutdown
~0 seconds
How long it takes to turn off (almost instant)
Buffer clearing time
10 seconds
(2 seconds buffer clearing in LF JPEG)
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
~0 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
2.7 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
0.2 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus
0.254 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture
Prefocused
0.107 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Continuous AF
0.183 second
This mode usually shows no speed increase with our static subject; we have no way to measure performance with moving subjects
Manual focus
0.181 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.39 second
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
Small Basic JPEG
0.38 second
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
RAW (.PEF)
0.62 second
Time per shot, averaged over 12 shots
Single Shot mode
RAW (.DNG)
0.69 second
Time per shot, averaged over 13 shots
Early shutter
penalty?
Yes
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.32 second (3.12 frames per second);
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Continuous mode
Small Basic JPEG
0.31 second (3.18 frames per second);
2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Continuous mode
RAW (.PEF)
0.32 second (3.11 frames per second);
10 frames total;
7 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 10 shots
Flash recycling
3.75 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
7,481 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
More than 770=USB 2.0 High

The Pentax K10D's performance was quite fast overall, beginning with a quick start-up time of only 0.4 second. Shutter lag is good on average, and "prefocus" time (half-pressing and holding down the Shutter button before the final exposure) is also about average at 0.107 second. Shot-to-shot cycle times are very good, at about 0.39 second for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera can capture over 20 frames at this rate. Continuous-mode speed is slightly above average at about 3.1 frames/second, for over 20 shots in succession, regardless of resolution. The flash is quick to recycle at 3.75 seconds after a full-power shot. Connected to a computer, download speeds are exceptionally fast, so you won't feel a need for a separate card reader. Bottom line, Pentax K10D performance is above average for a consumer-oriented digital SLR. The K10D is responsive enough for action shots, and its quick flash recycling time is a nice bonus as well.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Good battery life with the custom LiIon battery pack.

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
LiIon rechargeable battery,
flash off
500
LiIon rechargeable battery,
50% flash
480

The Pentax K10D uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power, and comes with a charger. Even though runtime is quite good, I strongly recommend picking up a spare battery pack and keeping it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings. (Digital camera batteries are firm believers in Murphy's Law, always running out of juice just as the best photo ops of the day are available!)

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Pentax K10D accepts SD/SDH cards, though no card is included.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
512MB Memory Card
Fine Normal
Basic
RAW
RAW+JPG
3872 x 2592
Images
(Avg size)
101
5.1 MB
172
3.0 MB
296
1.7 MB
29
17.4 MB
22
22.8 MB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 17:1 0.84:1 -
3008 x 2000
Images
(Avg size)
168
3.0 MB
287
1.8 MB
495
1.0 MB
- -
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 17:1 - -
1824 x 1216
Images
(Avg size)
457
1.1 MB
774
661 KB
1313
390 KB
- -
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 17:1 - -

The chart above shows how many images can be stored on a 512MB card at each size/quality setting. We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/SDHC memory card, at least a 1GB card, preferably a 2GB or 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and more liberal use of RAW (PEF or DNG) mode.