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Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Pentax: new 10mpix DSLR
(Wednesday, September 13, 2006 - 18:00 EDT)

Pentax Imaging Co. has today announced a new digital SLR model that includes a fairly sophisticated feature set with a ten megapixel imager, environmental sealing, in-body stabilisation, dust removal, and more - all at an impressively affordable pricetag of under US$900 body-only.

Continuing the K-series naming schema that was launched with the K100D and K110D models last May (and harkens back to the company's famed K1000 film SLR), the Pentax K10D is based around an APS-C sized CCD imager with an effective resolution of 10.2 megapixels, a 22-bit A/D converter (output is 8-bit JPEG or 12-bit RAW), and a new processing engine dubbed "PRIME" (Pentax Real IMage Engine). This is coupled with a Pentax KAF lens mount compatible with K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount lenses, as well as screw-mount / 645-system / 67-system lenses (all with the use of an adapter); Pentax also notes that the camera body is designed to be compatible with new "supersonic motor-driven" AF lenses which are currently in development. The sensor resides in a dust-proof, weather resistant body with a stainless steel chassis and some 72 seals that allow the camera to be used in dusty and/or rainy environments without fear of damage, and the sensor itself sits on a free-floating electromagnetically controlled platter that can move horizontally, vertically, and even rotationally.

Other sensor shift mechanisms, says Pentax, are mounted on fixed rails and hence only able to move the sensor horizontally and vertically. Courtesy of this sensor shift mechanism which Pentax dubs "Shake Reduction", the camera can offer image stabilization with every Pentax-branded (lens that can be fitted to the camera (although it should be noted that some older lenses that don't transmit focal length information to the camera body, the user must manually enter the focal length through the menu system). The Shake Reduction system was first seen in the K100D digital SLR, and where in that camera Pentax felt the system offered compensation allowing shutter speeds as much as 2 to 3.5 stops slower depending on variables such as the lens in use, the company says that in the K10D the system will offer from 2.5 to 4 stops of compensation.

As with several other manufacturers (pioneered by Olympus, and also including Canon and Sony), Pentax has equipped the K10D to fight a common problem of digital SLRs - that of dust adhering to the image sensor. Firstly, a vapor deposited "Super Protect" fluorine compound coating is said to protect against stains and repel dust adhering to the sensor in the first place. Secondly, courtesy of the Shake Reduction mechanism, the K10D can vibrate the sensor at high speed so as to shake any remaining dust off (with an adhesive strip positioned at the bottom of the mechanism to capture dust and prevent it returning to the sensor).

The K10D includes both a 2.5" LCD display with 210,000 pixels and a 140-degree horizontal / vertical viewing angle, as well as a pentaprism based TTL optical viewfinder with 96% field of view, 0.95x magnification, diopter adjustment from -2.5m-1 to +1.5m-1, and a Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen. Auto focusing is catered for by a SAFOX VIII phase matching system with 11 autofocus points, while auto exposure metering choices are 16-segment multi, center-weighted, and spot. Shutter speeds from 30 to 1/4000 second are possible, and there's also a bulb mode, while the shutter mechanism is rated for 100,000 releases. ISO sensitivity varies from a minimum of 100 to 1600 equivalent, and as well as the usual Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority and metered Manual exposure modes that can be found on most digital SLRs, the K10D also offers two more unusual options. A Sensitivity-priority AE mode allows you to quickly select an ISO sensitivity in 1/2 or 1/3 steps, and have the camera select an appropriate shutter speed and aperture automatically. Alternatively, a Shutter & Aperture-priority AE mode allows the user to select a shutter speed and aperture manually, and have the camera automatically select a corresponding ISO sensitivity.

The Pentax K10D offers automatic or preset white balance, with six options (Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash), plus a manual white balance mode. A built-in five mode popup flash has a guide number of 15.6 (ISO 200/m) and covers up to a 28mm (35mm equivalent) angle of view, while a hot shoe caters for external flash strobes. Flash exposure compensation fro +1 to -2EV is on offer, and flash sync speed is 1/180 second. There's also a three frames-per-second burst mode which can capture up to 12 RAW frames, or an unlimited number of JPEG frames (for as long as you have sufficient card space / battery life, and presumably depending on card write speeds). Other features include a number of digital filter modes (4 x black and white, 3 x sepia, 18 x color, 3 levels of soft filtering, +/- 8 levels of "slim" filtering, and a brightness filter in playback mode), a two or 12-second self timer, and a zero or three-second remote control mode.

Images are stored on Secure Digital cards, and the Pentax K10D is compatible with the new SDHC (Secure Digital High Capacity) standard, which extends the maximum flash card capacity to a theoretical 32GB (4GB cards being the largest available at the time of this writing, although 8GB cards should be available in the last quarter of 2006), with sustained transfer rates of up to six megabytes per second. As well as support for JPEG compressed images, the K10D can store images in Raw format - either in Pentax's proprietary PEF format, or Adobe's DNG format. (The K10D is also unusual in providing a dedicated button with which to quickly switch to RAW mode, a nice touch). Connectivity includes USB 2.0 High Speed data, and NTSC / PAL video connections, and power comes courtesy of a proprietary D-LI50 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery.

The Pentax K10D will go on sale this November, priced at $899.95 body-only, or $999.95 with the inclusion of a Pentax DA 18-55mm zoom lens as a kit. Alongside the camera's launch, Pentax has also announced a new D-BG2 battery grip which accepts two D-LI50 batteries, offers an extra portrait-mode shutter release button, two control dials, AE lock button and green button, and includes dust- and weather-sealing equivalent to the K10D camera body. The Pentax D-BG2 battery grip will be priced at $190, and ship alongside the camera in November. Finally, the company has also announced a new smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited pancake lens, slated to ship from October priced at $600.

Product specifications, fact sheets, and product photos courtesy of Pentax follow below.

K10D Digital SLR Fact Sheet

High-quality image reproduction
The K10D features a large, high-performance 23.5mm x 15.7mm CCD with 10.2 effective megapixels as its image sensor, assuring the reproduction of true-to-life, rich-gradation images.

PENTAX-original Shake Reduction mechanism for blur-free images
The K10D is equipped with the exclusive, PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system, which effectively reduces camera shake for sharp, blur-free images even under demanding shooting conditions, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark or at night without supplementary flash illumination, or using extended exposures for sunset scenes. This innovative mechanism shifts the position of the CCD image sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting the shifting speed in proportion to the amount of camera shake detected by built-in sensors. It offers an outstanding compensation effect equivalent to 2.5 to 4 shutter-speed steps. As a result, it does not require special anti-shake lenses, and can be used with almost all existing PENTAX interchangeable lenses.*
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism are the PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- are 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be applicable with certain lenses.

Newly developed A/D converter for truthful image data conversion
The K10D incorporates a high-performance A/D converter, which faithfully converts the analog data collected by the CCD image sensor into digital data. With the highest resolving power (22 bits, or 4.2 million gradations) among all existing digital cameras, it offers a digital-conversion capacity 1,024 times greater than conventional 12-bit, 4,096-gradation A/D converters.

Newly designed PRIME imaging engine
The K10D incorporates the new PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) as its imaging engine. Designed exclusively for PENTAX digital SLR cameras, this new imaging engine produces well-balanced, true-to-life images through efficient control of CCD signals, saturation, brightness, white balance, sharpness and contrast. Its new memory (DDR2: Double Data Rate 2) also serves to enhance speedy image processing and high-speed data transfer.

Dust Removal system to help keep the CCD surface dust-free
The K10D features the new Dust Removal (DR) system to prevent dust from sticking to the surface of the CCD image sensor (or low-pass filter). Applied to the CCD surface through a vapor deposition process of a fluorine compound, the PENTAX-original Special Protect (SP) coating effectively prevents dust and stains from adhering to the surface. In the next step, dust that still remains on the surface will be shaken off when the SR system shifts the CCD at high speed. The dust that is shaken off the CCD will fall onto an adhesive sheet positioned at the bottom of the SR unit, eliminating any possibility of its returning to the CCD surface.

Dust-proof, weather-resistant construction
The K10D boasts a reliable dust-proof, weather-resistant construction, with special seals applied to 72 different parts of the camera body, including the shutter release button and switches/levers/dials. This dependable body makes it possible to use the K10D in the rain or at dusty locations without worries.

Original exposure system for faithful reproduction of creative intentions

Hyper Program function:
The K10D’s Hyper Program function allows the user to instantly switch to the Shutter-Priority AE (Tv) mode or Aperture-Priority AE (Av) mode from the Program AE mode, with a simple turn of the electronic dials on the grip (one on the front for index-finger control, and the other on the back for thumb control). To return to the Program AE mode, simply press the green button positioned next to the shutter release button.

Hyper Manual function
When shooting in the Metered Manual mode, a single push of the green button allows the user to instantly set the proper exposure for the subject.

Sensitivity-Priority mode:
The K10D features a new Sensitivity-Priority AE (Sv) mode, which is designed to automatically select the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed for user-selected sensitivity. The sensitivity can be shifted instantly (in 1/2 or 1/3 steps) by turning the electronic dial. Since this mode eliminates the need to recall a menu screen for sensitivity changes, the photographer can react more quickly to changing photographic conditions.

Shutter & Aperture-Priority mode:
Another exposure mode offered by the K10D is Shutter & Aperture-Priority AE (TAv) mode, which is designed to automatically select the most appropriate sensitivity for a user-selected shutter-speed & aperture combination.

Bright, clear viewfinder
Featuring a glass pentaprism, the K10D’s viewfinder offers a 96-percent field of view and a 0.95-times magnification for easy viewing of the subject and effortless confirmation of focus and composition. Coupled with the acclaimed Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen, it delivers a large, bright subject image.

Auto sensitivity control up to ISO 1600
The K10D’s auto sensitivity control function automatically sets the optimum sensitivity up to ISO 1600, based on such data as the subject’s brightness level and the lens’ focal length. Since this function allows the use of higher shutter speeds in poor lighting situations (such as indoor sports events and night scenes), it helps the photographer to effectively reduce camera shake and prevent blurred images. For specialized applications, the sensitivity can be set manually from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.

Continuous shooting at approximately 3 images per second
To trace the movement of an active subject or capture a sequence of the subject’s expressions, the K10D offers a continuous shooting mode that allows the photographer to capture a series of images at a maximum speed of approximately 3 images per second. In the JPEG recording format, the user is allowed to take as many images in succession as wished, until the capacity of an SD memory card runs out, or in RAW mode up to 12 images at 3.0 fps.

Reliable shutter unit
The K10D’s shutter unit is designed to withstand nearly 100,000 releases, while assuring high-precision operation over the entire shutter-speed range — up to a top speed of 1/4000 second. It also features a flash synchronization speed of 1/180 second for more versatile flash photography.

11-point wide-frame AF
The K10D’s sophisticated SAFOX VIII autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) to automatically focus on the subject with utmost precision, even when it is positioned off center. The in-focus sensor point is automatically superimposed in red in the viewfinder for at-a-glance confirmation.

Extra-large, wide-view LCD monitor
The K10D incorporates an extra-large 2.5 inch color LCD monitor on its back panel. Its wide-view design allows the photographer to check the monitor image from 140 degrees both vertically and horizontally, ensuring effortless image viewing even from a diagonal position. With approximately 210,000 pixels, it also offers digital zooming of playback images up to 20 times for easy confirmation of the image’s focusing status and details.

Powerful rechargeable batteries for extended shooting
The K10D features new, large-capacity lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, which can capture approximately 500 images* when fully recharged.
* Under testing conditions prescribed by the CIPA standards (flash illumination used in 50% of images).

Compatibility with supersonic motor-driven lenses
The K10D is designed to be compatible with supersonic motor-driven autofocus lenses (currently under development), which are expected to provide smoother, quieter autofocus operation than conventional lenses.

Additional features:

  • Choice of 16-segment multi-pattern metering, center-weighted metering and spot metering to accommodate various photographic applications
  • High-rigidity stainless-steel chassis
  • 32 custom functions to personalize camera operations
  • Extended bracket function to capture three images of the same subject at different contrast, saturation, sharpness or white-balance levels
  • Compatibility with conventional SD memory cards and newly introduced SDHC memory cards
  • Choice of two preview functions (digital/optical)
  • Simultaneous recording of RAW and JPEG images
  • Manual fine adjustment of white balance
  • Day-by-day folders to simplify the arrangement and search of recorded images
  • Six built-in digital filters (Black-and-white, Sepia, Slim, Soft, Brightness and Color) for easy editing of recorded images

Remote shutter release from the front and back sides of the camera using optional remote controller
PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 3 RAW data processing software and PENTAX PHOTO Browser 3 browser software, included on the accompanying CD-ROM
Compatibility with PictBridge, DPOF, Exif Print and PRINT Image Matching III systems
SD Logo and SDHC Logo are trademarks
PENTAX and smc PENTAX are trademarks of PENTAX Corporation
PENTAX PHOTO Browser and PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory are trademarks of PENTAX Corporation
All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.
Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice

Smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited Fact Sheet

Ultra-thin, super-lightweight design
Thanks to its newly developed, high-performance optics, this new medium-telephoto lens measures only 26 millimeters long and weighs a mere 130 grams. When mounted on a PENTAX digital SLR camera body, it protrudes very little from the camera’s front panel and offers a focal length equivalent to 107mm in 35mm format, making it a perfect choice for casual portrait and landscape photography.

Limited Lens-series quality

Distinctive visual description:
The PENTAX Limited Lens series is designed for distinctive visual description by combining a series of mechanical and numerical evaluations with human assessment of test-shooting samples. As a result, this lens produces smooth, natural skin tones and beautiful out-of-focus backgrounds at open aperture in portrait applications, while assuring crisp, high-contrast images at closed-down aperture in landscape photography.

Premium appearance:
The lens barrel, hood and cap are all made of a high-grade aluminum material, shaped for perfect proportions and striking beauty. The focusing ring is designed for superb accessibility and maximum ease of focusing operation.

SP coating to protect the lens against weather and grease:
The PENTAX-original Super Protect (SP) coating is applied to the front surface of this lens. Through a vapor deposition process, the lens surface is coated with a special fluorine compound to repel dust, weather and grease, making it easy to wipe off fingerprints and cosmetics.

Digital SLR-exclusive optical design:
This lens is exclusively designed for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras, with an image circle perfectly proportioned to the CCD size (23.5mm x 15.7mm), and optics optimized for digital imaging characteristics. Combining high-quality image reproduction with an ultra-thin, super-lightweight design, it is a perfect partner to PENTAX digital SLR cameras.

Additional Features

  • PENTAX-developed Quick-Shift Focus System for instant switching to manual-focus operation after the subject is captured in focus by the AF system
  • Detachable, extendible lens hood (included) for enhanced portability
  • Nine-blade diaphragm for natural out-of-focus description

Pentax's DA 70mm F2.4 Limited lens. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!


  • Lens mount: PENTAX KAF mount
  • Lens construction: 6 elements in 5 groups
  • Angle of view: 23° (when used with *istD-series & K100D camera body)
  • Aperture control: Automatic
  • Number of diaphragm blades: 9
  • Minimum aperture: F22
  • Metering system: TTL open-aperture metering
  • Minimum focusing distance: 0.7m (2.3 ft.)
  • Filter size: 49mm
  • Maximum magnification: 0.12X
  • Dimensions (diameter x length): 63mm x 26mm (2.5 inches x 1.0 inch)
  • Weight: 130g (4.6 oz.) without hood; 150g (5.3 oz.) with hood

PENTAX, and smc PENTAX are trademarks of PENTAX Corporation.
Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice.

Pentax K10D
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera TypeSLR
Model NumberK10D
Dimensions5.6 x 4.0 x 2.7"
141.5 x 101.0 x 67.5mm
Weight790.0 g
27.6 oz
Planned Price$899.95
Planned AvailabilityNov 2006
Image Capture
Sensor TypeCCD
10.75 megapixels (total)
10.20 megapixels (effective)
Filter TypeRGBG
Aspect Ratio3:2
Image Dimensions3872 x 2592 (10.0 megapixels)
3008 x 2000 (6.0 megapixels)
1824 x 1216 (2.2 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 3.0 frames per second
Burst depth: JPEG - unlimited; RAW - 12 frames
Image Quality3 levels
Image Preview / Review
ViewfinderYes, SLR type; Eye-level Pentaprism
95% field of view
LCD2.5", 210,000 pixels
100% field of view
Playback Zoom20.0x max
Lens TypeInterchangeable Lens
Lens MountPENTAX KAF; KAF2, KAF, KA lens
Image StabilizationYes
Focusing System11-point TTL phase-matching (SAFOX VIII)
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
ISO SensitivityAuto, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, ISO priority AE
Shutter Speed30 - 1/4000 second
Exposure ModesAperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering ModesTTL open-aperture: 16-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation+/- 3.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White BalanceImage Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Manual, Manual
Internal FlashGuide Number: 16
Modes: Auto, Flash-off, Flash-on, Auto + Red-eye reduction, Flash-on + Red-eye reduction
Range: 15.6 (at ISO 200/m)
Self TimerYes, 2 or 12 seconds
Recording MediumSD/MMC, SDHC
File SystemComplies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File FormatCCD-RAW, RAW (.PEF, .DNG), JPEG (EXIF 2.21)
VideoYes, NTSC / PAL switchable
ComputerUSB 2.0 High Speed
OtherDC In
Battery TypeLithium Ion rechargeable
Battery Form FactorProprietary D-LI50
Product Bundle
Battery / ChargerProprietary D-LI50 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger
Flash Memory N/A
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliantYes
Tripod MountYes
Remote ControlYes
More Photos
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
Pentax's K10D single-lens reflex digital camera. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!

Original Source Press Release:


GOLDEN, CO. (September 13, 2006)…PENTAX Imaging Company announced today the PENTAX K10D digital SLR camera with 10.2 effective megapixels and a host of advanced technologies including a PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system and a weather resistant body.

Designed to deliver high-quality digital images and responsive operation for advanced photo enthusiasts, the K10D features an array of PENTAX innovations in image capture and camera functionality.

The most significant features in the K10D include:

  • A PENTAX-developed Shake Reduction (SR) system that effectively offers a 2.5 to 4 stop advantage for sharp, blur-free images even under difficult shooting conditions, such as macro and telephoto photography or low light settings without a flash. The SR mechanism is designed to minimize camera shake by oscillating the CCD image sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting the speed of oscillation in proportion to the amount of camera shake detected by built-in sensors. As a result, the system does not require special anti-shake lenses and can be used with more than 24 million PENTAX lenses produced since 1964.*
  • A newly-developed Pentax Real IMage Engine (PRIME) designed exclusively for PENTAX digital SLR cameras to produce well-balanced, true-to-life images. In order to meet the performance requirement in handling 10 megapixel data, PENTAX also incorporated a new high performance 22 bit A/D converter to quickly transfer images with accurate color tones and richer gradation from the CCD to the imaging engine.
  • A new Dust Removal (DR) system incorporating PENTAX-original Special Protect (SP) coating to help keep the CCD surface dust-free, and a shift mechanism to shake dust off the CCD.
  • A dependable dust-proof, weather-resistant body construction featuring 72 seals throughout the camera to allow photographers to continue shooting even in dusty or rainy environments.

* Lenses compatible with this mechanism are the PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount lenses; screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be applicable with certain lenses.

“Advanced photographers will not find another 10 megapixel digital SLR that offers features such as a weather resistant body, shake reduction, and great ergonomics, at any price, ” said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company. “With the K10D introduction, PENTAX is now able to offer digital SLRs for two important users - the first time SLR customer who can buy the K100D and now the K10D for the more advanced users.”

Along with the body, PENTAX announced a D-BG2 battery grip for exclusive use with the PENTAX K10D. This battery grip can be used in combination with the camera’s rechargeable lithium-ion batteries to double the camera’s battery life. With a vertical shutter-release button, preview lever, two control dials, AE-lock button and green button, the new battery grip makes vertical-position shooting simple and effortless. It also features the same dust-proof, weather-resistant construction as the K10D camera body.

PENTAX also announced the smc PENTAX-DA 70mm F2.4 Limited lens, designed for exclusive use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras and featuring an ultra-thin pancake design and uni-focal, medium-telephoto optics. With a medium-telephoto perspective, this new lens is ideal for many applications including portraiture and landscape. The high-performance optics ensure outstanding image quality, and provide distinctive visual expression. Materials used for this lens are selected for optimum holding comfort and operability, and the new lens is designed to be extremely thin and lightweight, for go-anywhere portability for casual, day-to-day snapshot photography.

The K10D body will ship by November 2006 for US $899.95, and as a kit with the DA 18-55mm lens for $999.95. The D-BG2 Battery Grip will ship at the same time for less than US $190.00. The PENTAX DA 70mm lens will ship in October 2006 for less US $600.00.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital SLR and compact cameras, lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, eyepieces, mobile printers and scanners.  For more than 80 years, PENTAX technology has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses.  With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.

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