DP Review: Pentax K10D Disappoints

Pentax K10D is blah!!!

Word from Digital Photography Review is in. The K10D disappoints where it matters most: image quality. While the camera has definitely a lot of strong features – a weather-sealed body and in-camera Shake Reduction to name just a couple – the K10D’s image quality is not as crisp as it should be, considering its supposedly high quality image processing pipeline.

This is not to say that photos taken with the K10D are bad. It’s just that it fails to deliver crisp sharp edges, perhaps because of “a poorly implemented demosaicing algorithm or a strange choice of sharpening parameters,” according to DP Review.

“Pentax may well have been aiming for a smooth film-like appearance but I at least feel that the inability to tweak this out by increasing sharpness is a mistake,” said reviewer Phil Askey. Overall, though, DP Review gave the Pentax K10D a Highly Recommended rating because of its other strong features, but just barely.

So, will I buy the Pentax K10D? No, not today, sir. I say again: cameras are all about taking pictures; if you don’t take good pictures, you’re not a good camera. And that 22-bit jazz makes no difference at all.

[Via: DPreview.com]

Chris Malinao

About Chris Malinao

Chris teaches Lightroom as workflow software to photography students at the FPPF, Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation. He also teaches smartphone photography.

5 thoughts on “DP Review: Pentax K10D Disappoints

  1. k10downer

    Phil Askey failed to mention that the normal jpeg mode on k10d is by design emphasis natual look while the BRIGHT mode is jpeg mode more comparable to higher end DSLR jpeg images.

    I actually like the NORMAL look since I think the IQ is has certain natural look that is more appealing to me. Edge sharpness is not an issue unless you want to print vivid pictures in poster size.

    However, if you want the digital vivid looks of its competitors, the BRIGHT mode is very comparable to their JPEG images with the edge sharpness that Phil and some others are looking for.

  2. Stephen Gushue

    Opinions are opinions. Phil does about as thorough a job as can generally be done…and is generally done on camera reviews.
    But there are clear shortcomings to reviews and in my opinion there is a glaring error of omission in this review that should be cleared up. Phil states that “he” personally would like to see a sharper algorithm. He also states that there is no loss of sharpness in printing up to A3 (13×19 inch images) at all. So, why is there a question as to the sharpness of this camera?

    Further, Phil states that Pentax “got it right” with the JPEG processing algorithm in the K100D. I have to agree because I have shot more than fifteen thousand images with the K100D and I am extremely satified with the JPEG conversion mode. If the reviewer read the K10D manual he would see that Pentax deliberately reduced the JPEG converstion so that the image (remember this is an advanced amatuer/professional type DSLR) could be tweaked by the photographer personal latitude and not the be limited to a fixed or rigid output of the in camera converstion. Further, the manual states that you may adjust (very easily BTW) in camera JEG processing by choosing brite mode and adjusting contrast. The K100D setting that Phil thinks Pentax got right is achievable (exactly) by changing to BRIGHT MODE and +2 contrast on the custom menu in the K10D.

    So,in fact, there is little or no image sharpness problems in the K10D. I know because I make a living with cameras and I don’t work with products that cannot deliver the goods.

    There are no other 10.2 MP cameras on the makret that have weather sealing, shake reduction, dust removal, advanced progamable shooting modes, ergonomics and high end lenses for the price of entry that Pentax offers with the K10D. This is a camera that offers superior output capable of dishing out whatever a photographer could expect of a DSLR.

    The K10D has performed beautifully and is truly a masterpiece of Digital Camera engineering. Pentax clearly got this one done right and it bodes well for the weather sealed lenses that are to be forthcoming soon.

    OVerall, a truly outstanding camera.

  3. adam

    yip, bright mode does it.

    amazing how i almost didnt buy this camera after all the soft jpeg reports.
    Flip over to bright mode, add a little contrast and suddenly the camera loses its one so called flaw and triumphs.
    Go Pentax

  4. Mike Kish

    I wouldnt trust a DP Review on anything. Yeah I shoot Pentax but the fact is every major photo magazine has given the K10D high remarks on image quality. Maybe the folks at DP Review arent using the camera right, after all most problems with a camera are the user not the camera itself. Fact, not opinion!!


B&W 77E 1x Filter No Box picture
B&W 77E 1x Filter No Box
VINTAGE KODAK SERIES V ADAPTER RING NO.54 WITH RED FILTER picture
VINTAGE KODAK SERIES V ADAPTER RING NO.54 WITH RED FILTER
Polaroid 180 Instant Land Camera w/ Case, Flash, Meter, Portrait and Filter Kits picture
Polaroid 180 Instant Land Camera w/ Case, Flash, Meter, Portrait and Filter Kits
LOT OF 2 KODAK PONY 135 CAMERAS CASE BOX MANUALS TIFFEN FILTERS ADAPTERS picture
LOT OF 2 KODAK PONY 135 CAMERAS CASE BOX MANUALS TIFFEN FILTERS ADAPTERS
VINTAGE RAYDEX FUNSHADE AND FILTER HOLDER SERIES 5 MOUNT SIZE 31.5 MANSFIELD INC picture
VINTAGE RAYDEX FUNSHADE AND FILTER HOLDER SERIES 5 MOUNT SIZE 31.5 MANSFIELD INC