Pentax K10D Review
Pentax K10D Design
Unlike the small K100D, the Pentax K10D has the heft and feel of a more pro-grade camera, like the Canon 30D. The all-black body measures 5.57 x 3.97 x 2.75 inches (141.5 x 101 x 70 millimeters) and weighs 2.26 pounds (1,026 grams) with battery, lens, and memory card installed. A shoulder strap is packaged with the camera, so you can keep it securely around your neck or on your shoulder when strolling about. The Pentax K lens mount is intended to be compatible with every Pentax K lens ever produced, and the camera features Pentax's own Shake Reduction technology to help prevent any minor blurring from camera movement in long zoom shots. Though it can handle a wide range of exposure conditions with its array of automatic and manual exposure modes, the K10D is really intended more for experienced photographers, and its lens compatibility will especially pique the interest of Pentax devotees.
The Pentax K10D features a nice handgrip on the right side of the front panel, with a leathery texture for your fingers to cling to as they wrap around the camera. On the front of the handgrip is a small window covering the remote control receiver and self-timer lamp. Above this is the Front e-dial, which sets Shutter speed and EV compensation. The sliver metal K lens mount dominates the front panel, and a small button on its lower left side (as viewed from the front) unlocks the lens for removal.
The right side of the Pentax K10D (as viewed from the rear) features the SD/SDHC memory card compartment, covered by a hinged, plastic door that opens via a key on the rear panel. Also visible on this side is one of the shoulder strap eyelets.
The left side holds a large plastic door that flips out toward the front and reveals the wired remote, Video/PC, and DC In jacks. A second strap eyelet is located at the top of the panel, just beneath the ribbed edge of the Mode dial. Also visible on this side of the Pentax K10D is the Focus switch on the bottom of the lens barrel, as well as the RAW and Flash Up buttons.
The Pentax K10D's top panel includes the Shutter button and Power dial combination, along with the Green button (used to access Hyper-Program or Hyper-Manual modes, or to zoom in Playback mode). A small monochrome LCD status panel reports the camera settings. Center are the pop-up flash compartment and external flash hot shoe, with the camera's Mode dial on the far left. Beneath the mode dial is the Metering mode dial. Also visible is the optical viewfinder's sliding diopter adjustment switch, behind the flash hot shoe.
The remaining controls are located on the Pentax K10D's rear panel, along with the 2.5-inch LCD monitor and optical viewfinder eyepiece. In the top right corner are the Rear e-dial (indicated by the index display and magnifying glass icons) and the AE Lock/Protect button. Below this are the EV button and AF button. Just below the EV button is a unique item, a repeat of the remote sensor and self timer lamp combination usually found only on the front grip. Just right of the LCD monitor is a somewhat complicated cluster that includes the Four-way navigation, an OK button, and the AF Point mode switch. Just below that is the Fn (Function) button, which brings up an onscreen menu that you navigate with the Four-way controller above. Just right of this is the Shake Reduction switch. Right of this is the Card access lamp and the memory card door unlock lever, which you flip out and turn.
Finally, the K10D's flat bottom holds the threaded metal tripod screw mount and the battery compartment. The battery compartment is just far enough away from the tripod mount to allow quick battery changes while working with a tripod. Between these two is the removable rubber door that protects the 17 gold contacts for the optional battery grip.
Pentax K10D External Controls
Shutter button: Placed at an angle out on the grip's leading edge, this button sets focus and exposure when halfway pressed, and fires the Pentax K10D's shutter when fully pressed.
Power dial (see previous image): Encircling the Shutter button, this dial turns the camera on and off. A third, springloaded position, indicated by a lens diaphragm icon, enables either an optical or digital preview in the LCD monitor. (Optical preview shows the depth of field through the viewfinder, and the digital preview captures a temporary image that indicates the result of aperture and shutter speed in the LCD monitor.)
Green button: Placed behind the Pentax K10D's Shutter button and Power dial on the top panel, in one of the Automatic modes, if you've used the Front or Rear e-dial to adjust the exposure bias, this button brings the exposure back to the camera's first choice. In Manual mode, pressing this button sets the camera via automatic metering to bring the settings close to the photographer's desired starting point.
Mode dial: Located on the far left side of the camera's top panel, this ribbed dial sets the Pentax K10D's operating mode, offering Green, Program (P), Sensitivity Priority (Sv), Shutter Priority (Tv), Aperture Priority (Av), Shutter and Aperture Priority (TAv), Manual (M), Bulb (B) and Flash X-sync modes, as well as a Custom (USER) mode. See Pentax K10D Modes and Menus for more details.
Metering mode lever (see previous image): Encircling the mode dial, this lever elects among the three metering modes: Multi-segment, Center-weighted, and Spot.
Diopter Adjustment switch: This tiny slider sits directly atop the optical viewfinder eyepiece, and adjusts the view for eyeglass wearers from -2.5 to +1.5 diopters.
AE Lock/Protect button: In the top right corner of the Pentax K10D's rear panel, this button locks the exposure when pressed. (You can also set this button to lock either the shutter speed or aperture only through the Custom Functions menu.) In Playback mode, this button marks a displayed image for write protection, or removes the protection indicator.
Front e-dial: Sets shutter speed in Manual and Shutter priority modes and EV compensation values when used in combination with the EV button on the back of the K10D.
Rear e-dial: To the left of the AE Lock / Protect button, this dial features markings for index display and image enlargement playback functions. In record modes, however, this dial changes the Pentax K10D's settings when turned while pressing a button. In Program, Aperture, and Manual exposure modes, turning this dial adjusts the aperture value.
EV compensation button: Adjusts exposure compensation when held and Front e-dial is turned. This button also illuminates the top LCD panel.
AF button: Locks focus before metering; reprogrammable in the Custom settings.
AF point switching dial: Sets the focus area to Auto, SEL (manually selected), or center point.
Four-Way Arrow Pad and OK button: Just right of the LCD monitor, this arrow pad navigates through menu items when the LCD menu is displayed. Pressing the center OK button confirms selections. When the Function menu is displayed in record or playback modes, the arrow keys correspond to specific camera functions (see Function Button below). In Playback mode, the arrow keys navigate through captured images on the memory card. If an image has been enlarged, the arrow keys pan the view on the display.
Function button: Next to the lower right corner of the LCD monitor, the Function (Fn) button calls up the Function menu when pressed in record or playback modes. In record mode, options are Drive Mode (up arrow), Flash Mode (down arrow), White Balance (left arrow), and Sensitivity (right arrow). In Playback mode, options are DPOF settings (up arrow), Digital Filter (left arrow), and Slideshow (right arrow).
Shake Reduction switch: To the right of the Function button, this sliding switch turns the K10D's Shake Reduction on or off.
Card cover unlock lever: Flip out and turn to the left to release the memory card door, which springs open on the right side of the K10D.
Bracketing button: Puts the K10D into Bracketing mode, just hold the button and turn the Front e-dial to select three or five frame bracketing. Press and turn the Rear e-dial to set desired EV steps.
Menu button: Pulls up the menu in any camera mode. The Menu button also turns off the menu display.
Erase button: Directly beneath the Pentax K10D's Menu button, this button calls up the erase menu when pressed while a captured image is displayed.
Info button: Next in line below the Erase button, this button controls the level of information displayed on the LCD monitor in both record and playback modes.
Playback Mode: The final button in the series on the left side of the rear panel, this button puts the camera into Playback mode and displays the most recently captured image on the LCD monitor.
Flash Up button: The first in a series of buttons lining the left side of the rear panel, this button releases the pop-up flash from its compartment.
RAW button: Turns on RAW+JPEG capture for the only the next captured frame by default; Custom setting can make the button into a RAW mode toggle that keeps RAW active until the button is pressed again.
Focus Mode Switch: Located on the left side of the lens barrel (when viewing camera from the rear), this switch puts the camera into Auto or Manual focus modes.
Lens Release Button: Tucked beneath the Pentax K10D's lens barrel on the side closest to the handgrip, this button unlocks the lens from its mount.
Battery cover unlock lever: Turn to unlock battery door; pull to open door.
Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.