Pentax K10

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by dnksr, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. dnksr macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2007
    I've been trying to decide on the right camera for my 15 year old who wants to move up from her Canon Sureshot to a true DSLR.

    This talk on this forum is usually between the D40 and the XTi for comparable cameras.

    Went to the local camera shop (not a Best Buy or big box store) and they just about sold me on the K10. I like the idea of the stabilization in the body and not the lens and a few other features it has that the others don't.

    Bottom line is though, how do it's pictures compare and would this be too much camera for a 15 year old girl who just wants to take horse and horseracing photos.

  2. Digital Skunk macrumors 604

    Digital Skunk

    Dec 23, 2006
    In my imagination
    By market stand points the K10D offers more for the dollar than either the Nikon or Canon models. The two biggest benefits is that it has (as you already know) the in body stabilization and the weather sealed gaskets.

    Image quality is great when shooting JPEGs, I don't see too many RAWs from the K10D to judge them, but the JPEGs are on par with the rest of the cameras in it's market.

    It will be too much for a 15 year old that just wants to shoot horses and horse riding, but I wouldn't get a D40 or XTi in place of it since she can always grow into her camera.
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    It's a fine camera with a lot of good qualities that would cost you extra in a camera body that the crowd would suggest.

    The reviews I've seen only complain about some white balance issues, so it might take a bit of extra setup to get the best but the image quality is quite good from the samples I've seen.
  4. eji macrumors 6502


    Jun 8, 2004
    Inland Empire
    I've got a K10D and couldn't be happier. There was actually an issue with JPEG quality at the outset -- or rather, in-camera conversion to JPEG. This has been fixed, by my subjective standards, in a subsequent firmware upgrade (it's now at 1.3). RAW quality is outstanding.

    As for white balance issues, I find that sometimes Auto White Balance (my default setting) doesn't always pick up the right AWB setting. It happens. So with two clicks of your thumb, you manually select, say, "Tungsten lighting" or "Shade" and you're all set. Or you can just take care of it in post-processing.

    You can see some of my photos here if you want to look at photo quality. I'm not a great photographer, really; I just bought the K10D because I wanted to learn more. And it's a remarkably easy D-SLR (it was my first) to get used to. I picked up some nice Pentax lenses for it and am 100% pleased after 6 months. I really can't recommend it highly enough for someone just coming into the D-SLR fold.

    As others have said, it's also the best camera in terms of price-to-features -- especially with all the massive rebates Pentax has going on at the moment. I got $25 off a $175 50mm/1.4 lens and the rebates just go up from there.
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I like the part where you say "just wants to take horse and horseracing photos." She picked a particularly difficult and expensive genre of photography. a DSLR needs a lens and whichjlens depends on what you are shooting. For close up portraits of a horse the typical 18-55mm "kit lens" could do OK but racing, no you will be looking at buying the best lens you can afford. In fact the biggest cost item will not be the DSLR body but the lens.

    So... Why not go shopping for the big ticket item first? Find out what kind of a lens is needed for these horse race shots then but whatever camera goes with that lens. I would not suggest a used DSLR body but used lenses are a good deal. The technology does not change fast so a 10 year old lens is still good and they last "forever". So hunt around both new and used and see what you want.

    If you choose a body and brand first then you limit your selection of available lenses. This is one reason why everyone goes for the Nikon and Canon because there are so many lenses available for those. Do check that Pentax makes a lens suitable for your needs before buying a Pentax body.

    Ideally she'd be looking at one of those 200mm or longer lenses that open up to f/2.8 but when you see the cost of a lens like that ($900 to $1,800) you may have to compromise.

    As for putting the stabilizer in the body or the lens. That is a trade off. stabilizers work best inside the lens. maybe twice as good inside the lens but if it is in the body you only have to pay for it once.
  6. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    The current Pentax rebates finish at the end of this month.
  7. jpfisher macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2006
    New Jersey
    I upgraded from an older model Pentax (*ist DL) to the K10D a few months ago... for your daughter, I think you might want to consider looking at the K100D or K100D Super. The body will be a little smaller, which will likely make it more comfortable for her to hold, and there are fewer on-body controls to worry about -- it may be a little daunting to go from a point-and-shoot to a DSLR body.

    Now, granted, you can set the K10D to Program or Automatic mode and click away, and you can even customize the program mode to suit your useage in the menu (you have options for fastest shutter, best sharpness for the lens attached, and one other that is escaping me), but the "portrait," "sports," "landscapes" scene dial modes that are common on entry-level DSLRs and point and shoots aren't there on the K10D.

    The other thing you want to look at is glass. The basic 18-55mm kit lens is not a terrible lens, it's certainly no worse than the entry level Canon or Nikon equivalents, but it might not be a good option for sports (horse racing) work, as it doesn't have a lot of reach or speed.

    You may want to consider starting out with the 16-45mm f/4 rather than the kit lens -- it's a bit wider on the wide end, gets good marks from its owners, and and is actually pretty affordable right now (around $300 after the $100 rebate).

    Unfortunately, Pentax does not have a good telezoom in production right now; they have a 60-250mm f/4 on their roadmap, but I wouldn't expect it until next year, and it's probably going to retail in the thousand dollar range (educated conjecture on my part). A lot of nature photographers using the Pentax system opt for the "Bigma" -- the Sigma 50-500mm, but again, that's a $1000 lens.

    Now, there is always the option of using older, manual focus lenses, but that is more of a task for the enthusiast than the casual shooter. I don't know what it's like to take photos of a horse race, but I'm generally able to do pretty well at a baseball game using a 300mm manual lens and a 1.4x teleconverter. (see here for an example shot -- )

    Let me know if you have any questions about the system... of the currently available lenses, I have first-hand experience with the 14mm DA, 18-55mm DA, 31mm FA Limited, 77mm FA limited, and the 50-135mm DA*. I think I might be one of the few Pentax owners here on Macrumors.

  8. Steamie macrumors 6502


    Dec 27, 2006
    HI ,
    I've had my K10d for 3 months now and I love it ! :D
    The only minor consideration you may have with going the Pentax route as has already been pointed out is the choice of "New" lenses. There are not that many great new telephoto's available but on the flipside to this is the fact that the K10d can use nearly any Pentax lens manufactured in the last 30 years or so with the K mount.
    Comparing next to the Xti and D40 I would have thought the K100/super would have been more appropriate as the K10d usually gets compared to the Canon 30D and the Nikon d80. The main points I like about the K10 are the Shake Reduction ( its not really that much worse than lens stabilisation, recent tests have shown and in some cases better) the weather sealed body, the ergonomics (really easy to change settings without taking your eye off the viewfinder) and the image quality is excellent.

    A few of my pictures taken with the K10 -
  9. Cheffy Dave macrumors 68030

    Cheffy Dave

    Feb 5, 2007
    Sunny Florida, on the Gulf Coast in Homosassa Fl
    go to and check it out for yourself.

    good job Jim, wealth of information, people like you are why this forum rocks!;):D:apple:
  10. seahawk09 macrumors regular

    Jul 2, 2007
    Personally I would not buy a K10 for 15yr old it's too much camera for someone who is new to photography I would go for a starter camera first of all then go from there when she's older.:)
  11. Abstract macrumors Penryn


    Dec 27, 2002
    Location Location Location
    I just want to give some different advice:

    Certain issues, like "smaller companies don't have as wide a selection of lenses as Nikon or Canon", and "in-body image stabilization VS. in-lens stabilization", among others, are not likely going to affect your daughter. Most people who take up photography as a hobby only do it as a hobby! People usually don't get to the stage where they're buying $1500 lenses.

    Many people give advice as if the buyer is planning, or going to be, a serious hobbyist or professional photographer. Some of my friends own DSLRs, and all they want is no lag when taking photos, better focusing, and better ability in low light situations. That's likely the majority of DSLR owners. If you don't think your 15 year old daughter will go pro anytime soon, the Pentax is going to be perfect. The K10D and K100D Super are fantastic cameras, and when your daughter can afford to buy those expensive lenses (ie: in 10 years), there will probably be many more available. :)

    Besides, Pentax has a long history, and all their SLR lenses are compatible with the current K100D Super and K10D. There are also 3rd party manufacturers of lenses like Sigma, Tamron, and Tokina that make lenses compatible with Pentax DSLRs. Their lenses are cheaper, and yet some are as good as the Nikon equivalents. I have a Nikon DSLR and own two excellent Sigma lenses. ;)

    Your best option for horse racing right now is probably the Sigma 50-150 mm f/2.8 because of it's wide aperture. It's relatively cheap at $650, and is small enough for a 15 year old girl to carry without being too heavy. Not trying to be sexist, but realistic. If you're always going to be far away from the horses, then get any lens that can extend to 300 mm. Other lenses that are better for the job, like a 300 mm f/2.8 prime lens, is the price of some cars.

    Besides, I honestly feel that with photography of this type, you're not going to get pro results unless your daughter is sitting at the front, in the very best seats alongside the pro photographers, who have the best shooting position and the very best shooting angles. ;) I'd be afraid that even a 70-200 mm, or 300 mm f/2.8 lens isn't going to give her pro results, while something (seemingly) simple, like a better seat, would provide her. With a fantastic viewpoint, even an average lens is going to get her fantastic results. ;)
    My point is to be realistic at what you're going to be able to do, and don't spend your entire savings buying lenses unless you're sure you can get better access to the horses.

    Also, don't worry about lenses being too hard to find. This is the internet age. Go to online stores like B&H, Adorama, etc, and get the lens you want. With internet shopping, it may be just as easy to order a Pentax lens as it would be for me to buy a Nikon lens. Just order from the website. :)
  12. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

    May 15, 2007
    I'm where I need to be
    The Pentax K10D is a great camera. As far as JPEGs are concerned, it produces great shots right out of the camera. Digital Skunk is right in that it provides great bang for the buck.

    As far as those few comments saying that maybe your 15 year old daughter doesn't need such a camera yet, they may or may not have merit. You know your daughter better than any of us possibly could. Is she really into photography? Is she known to pick a hobby and quickly change as something else comes along?

    Bottom line, its a great camera and if you buy it for her, I'm sure she'll love it :)

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