Note: This is an update to my original post on the K10D, which can be found HERE.
It’s been a couple months since the Pentax K10D first arrived, and I’ve managed to squeeze out just over 2500 images – granted most of the cats and holiday decorations. But it’s given me plenty of time to play around with the camera and get familiar with it.
So here are few more thoughts an observations about this camera:
10 megapixels makes a difference: Intuitively, I didn't think that going from 6 to 10.1 megapixels would make much of a difference. But then, intuitively, I initially didn't expect a 6 mexapixel camera to rival 35mm film as well as it did. Looking at the results I have to say that there's a noticeable difference in detail between 6 and 10 megapixels. I'm not quite ready to abandon medium format for some particularly demanding uses, but my initial reaction is that 10 megapixels delivers an image quality as good or better than 35mm film.
Chromatic Aberrations on older lenses: Maybe it's because of the increased pixel count, maybe its due to the how the RAW images are processed, but I'm noticing more chromatic aberration on the Pentax K10 D than I noticed on the *ist-D. My Kiron 105mm f 2.8 macro, for example, had a minor degree of CA on the *ist, but a significant amount on the K10D. While it's largely correctable in the RAW converter, I suspect that a few more older lens will be falling by the wayside as this becomes my primary camera.
Shake reduction: Still works great! It's amazing how quickly I've gotten used to shooting hand held 1/15th of a second shots.
Dust Removal: The K10 has a dust removal setting, where it knocks the sensor around to shake off any dust specs. This works extremely well! After several trips to the woods and the beach, I still have yet to even blow off the sensor with a hand blower. I've actually got shots with notable dust specs on the sensor, that disappear after running the dust removal process.
Banding Noise: This seems to have created a big hub-bub in several user discussions of this camera. on line. It's a bit of a mixed bag in my opinion. To begin with, this camera is extremely low in noise, and I have yet to see any noise problem (banding or otherwise) in any shots that were well exposed (over even a stop or so off the mark.) However - a significantly under exposed shot that is 'pushed' several stops in the RAW converter will begin to display noise (go figure) and that noise does seem to have a banding pattern to it. It's particularly noticeable if the image is converted to a monochrome shot using the channel mixer, as the noise can be more prominent in one channel than another. (In my experience the problem can appear in either the red or blue channel.) Of course, ISO 1600 is more subject to noise than lower ISO levels, so the problem can be more noticeable at this setting. Personally, I don't see an issue with it since any shot that's even close to properly exposed avoids this problem.
Battery Life: I was somewhat concerned with switching to rechargeable batteries with the K10D. After all, the *ist-D would run off any old set of 4 AA batteries, and a set of AA lithiums could last 1500 exposures or more. Thankfully, the rechargeable batteries in the K10D seem to last well beyond the 750 exposure Pentax estimates (since I don't use the flash, that is probably a main reason why they last longer.) I still bought 3 backup batteries just to be sure I'm never caught without.
For now that seems to sum it up. Overall, this is an excellent camera and I've been having a great time getting to know it.
Since this is a review I should comment that I have no relationship with Pentax at all, other than purchasing and using their gear.