Trying out the new Pentax K10D (Part 1 of 2)

I wrote in my last post that I will write a separate post on my Pentax, and its new digital SLR K10D experience. So here it goes.

Please not that I do not own K100D. I toyed for a long about buying it, but while I was trying to sort the “fund”, K10D was announced…

Pentax Forum at Tokyo

Pentax Forum is loacated at Shinjuku, near the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Buildings. There are support desks, displays of old cameras, a mini gallery and so on.

You can also play about with the latest range of the digital and the film cameras and lenses too. You can often try out the standard zoom lenses at the camera shops, so been able to tryout more of the expensive choices was really good. For me, the Limited prime lenses were joy to look and try it out. I saw few Pentax users there, who had their own camera to tryout the lenses.

K10D at Tokyo

But, the main reason I was here was, off course, to try out the new K10D. The feel of the camera was excellent in my hand. I thought it will feel heavy, but did not. Perhaps the weight balance has been well thought out. Especially with the DA18-55mm lense. The thickness of the grip was just right for me. There is sort of a “step”, just below the front-dial, which I liked. I was worried about the grip of my thumb of othe right hand, as there are more buttons cluttering around the rear-dial. But it was not bad at all.

When you put the camera into the continous drive mode, you can immediately feel and sounds different to that of K100D. Sounds and feel much more “upper-class” camera.

The only thing I asked the Pentax guy here was the reason for the release delay. In Japan, it was scheduled to be late October, but while I was in Tokyo, it was announced that the date is going to be put back to 30th November. He said its purely to do with the unexpected over demands worldwide, especially from Japan. If they put the date further back for outside Japan only, they were may be able to keep the Octover date for Japan, but he said they are not going to do that. Not fair for the overseas Pentax fans and the customers.

Anyway, the delayed release date is due to the unexpected demands. Apprantly, the last-minute tuning of the software and the image qualtiy are finished. Its already has gone pruduction in factories, and what will be displaed at Osaka on the next day is the finished-hot-off-the-production camera.

K10D event at Osaka

Then comes the next day. I was back in Osaka, so I headed off to the hotel above Osaka station, on the 15th October.

First of all, I headed for the talk show by one of Pentax’s developer Mr. Tatamiya, with Izumi Taniguchi, a proffesional photographer. These are some stuff I noted down after the talk:

  • The reason for selecting the lithium-ion battery is for the stable resource of much more powerful battery power.
  • The advantage of the new 22bit A/D converter is to provide more informations for the new image engine, PRIME. This question arises, because the camera still needs to downgrade to 12bitRAW or 8bitJPEG. Hence the question – what is the point?
  • Mr. Taniguchi demonstrated some photos taken with K10D. He pointed out the sunlight reflecting on the lip, and wet rock at the fall. These areas are easily over saturated, and come out white with the digital cameras. But thanks to more informations of 22bits, the gradients are preserved as much as possible.
  • Mr. Taniguchi said he has used early prototype of K10D. It did had ISO range from 50 to 3200. He said he told Pentax that is brilliant, but by the time beta version came out, no 50 and 3200. It was 100 to 1600, as it is in the final version. According to Mr. Tatamiya, they were not happy with the quality of ISO 3200. I am not sure whether that means “it wans’t perfect” or “it was just awfull”.
  • As for the ISO 50, its very difficult for any digital camera to achieve so, especially DSLRs. Generally, higher ISO is achieved by increasing the current that goes through CCD (something like that …). Which means, you got to halve the current needed for ISO100. Higher end DSLR needs stable high power source, and so do the K10D. So, when it is ISO50, it will get power shortage. Basically, its a technical difficulty and a challenge for any camera makers, so they cannot really talk about it anything more than that
  • SR of K100D was very good, its even better with K10D.

      This is getting a wee bit long than I expected… continued to part 2 …