Pentax K10D SLR Review

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Pentax K10D

Camera Features:
Flash, Viewfinder and Metering

Builtin Pop-up Flash

The built-in P-TTL popup flash unit makes taking pictures with well-balanced foreground and background exposures simple. It has a Guide number of 15.6 (at ISO 200/m) with an 18mm lens angle of view coverage. Flash synch speed is 1/180 second and slower. Auto, Flash-On, Red- Eye Reduction, Slow-speed sync, Slow-speed + Red-eye and Trailing curtain sync modes. The flash output can be adjusted in any exposure mode other than the Green mode. The flash is optimum at about 0.7 to 4 m from the subject. The user needs to press the release button when the flash is required.

The K10D has an ISO hot shoe (but lacks a standard PC flash sync port) for connection to external flash equipment. This can be accomplished with the optional Hot Shoe Adapter.

Pentax P-TTL External Flashes

Pentax K10D with AF-540FGZ auto flash unit, image (c) 2006 Steve's Digicams

The K10D functions in full TTL with the Pentax AF360ZFGZ and AF540FGZ (shown above) Power Zoom Flash units. When used in the advanced P-TTL mode a preflash allows for multi-segment flash metering for more accurate strobe photography. High speed on camera and wireless flash capabilities with the K10D. Both the AF-360 and AF-540 include an AF-assist beam for focusing in low light or low contrast situations.

Effective flash range for the AF-360 is from 2.3 to 17.7 feet, and for the AF-540 from 2.6 to 26.2 feet (both at at ISO 100, f/5.6). Power zoom head covers from 20mm (with wide angle panel) to 85mm. Vertical bounce possible, click stops of -10°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90° are provided on the AF-360, and -10°, 0°, 30°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°, on the AF-540; a lock is provided preventing accidental use of -10°. Compatible film speeds are from ISO 25 to ISO 1600. Recycle time with fully charged NiMH batteries is approx. 6 seconds. Auto power-off after approx. 3 minutes of non-operation.

Pentax K10D with AF-540FGZ auto flash unit, image (c) 2006 Steve's Digicams

Flash exposure compensation (-3.0 to + 1.0 in 0.5 steps) is controlled through a simple control dial. LCD display shows the effective range of the flash in P-TTL, TTL and AUTO modes. Modeling light features strobes the flash so you can check for unwanted shadows or highlights. AF-540FGZ Manual mode power selections in seven steps from 1/1 to 1/64; the AF-360FGX six steps from 1/1 to 1/32. Leading shutter curtain sync, trailing shutter curtain sync, contrast control sync and high speed sync. Four channel wireless control with a range of approx. 13 feet. (AF-540FGZ shown)

Optional accessories include the Off-camera Shoe Adapter F and Extension Cord F5P for mounting on any type of professional flash brackets.


Pentax K10D

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.

There is a -2.5 - +1.5 diopter adjustment. Around the viewfinder is a soft rubber eyepiece (Eyecup FP) that fits comfortably against your face or eyeglasses. PENTAX offers two optional focusing screens for the K10D to replace the standard screen. The AF Divided Matte screen combines the focus area brackets with a grid to assure proper composition. The AF Scale Matte screen provides a scale to verify subject placement for critical applications.

Pentax K10D

Pentax K10D

The viewfinder indicators include: (1) AF frame; (2) Spot AF frame; (3) AF Point; (4) Shake Reduction, (5) Flash status; (6) Shutter speed; (7) Aperture value; (8) Focus indicator; (9) Manual focus; (10) EV bar; (11) EV compensation; (12) Flash exposure compensation; (13) AE lock; (14) ISO sensitivity warning; (15) Number of recordable images/EV compensation/Confirm sensitivity

Exposure Metering

Pentax K10D

Here is the layout of the 16-segment multi-pattern metering system. User-selectable Multi-Segment, Spot and Center-weighted options.

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