Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Pentax K10D camera

Well, I did it. I went out and purchased my first DSLR camera. I chose the Pentax K10D as the camera. Why? Because I have Pentax glass and I did not want to spend a lot of money on new glass. And the features (weather sealing, CCD image cleaner, shake reduction) are simply not found on a camera in the price range of the Pentax. No one even comes close.

I've had the camera for a couple of months. I've put 2,500 pictures through it. Here is what I think it does well:

Good stuff it does:
* It takes sharp pictures. Need good glass to get good pictures.
* It fits well in your hand.
* Controls are fairly simply to master and not overly complicated. (Although there were a couple of things that are in locations that are somewhat counter-intuitive).
* Battery lasts a LONG time. In fact, I've never killed a battery completely dead when shooting. Then again, I don't use the internal flash, nor do I spend a lot of time reviewing photos on my camera. That's why there's Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CS3.

The not so good stuff:
* Automatic white balance often times is clueless. But nothing you can't fix in Lightroom.
* Photographs seem a little on the dark side, especially in high contrast photos. The camera has a tendency to expose more for the brighter areas than the darker areas. This surprises me because of the multi-segment metering system. In backlit situations, I generally have to adjust the exposure. But I have to be careful because too much adjustment and you blow out the picture. Lightroom can correct dark photos quite well.
* When in auto ISO mode, you don't know what ISO the camera is set at. It would be very handy to see in the viewfinder the ISO setting at all times, in addition to shutter speed and f-stop settings.
* When you are at the high ISO settings (800 - 1600 range), there is a fair amount of noise. A little more than I care to have.

Overall, the camera does a fairly decent job of taking pictures, especially when the ISO is in the 400 and below range. In fact, I took some photos of a friend and his family and the pictures turned out really well. I had about four rolls of unexposed 35mm film left. After I took my friend's photos, I gave the film away. I don't ever intend or plan on going back to film ever again. In fact, I'm going to get rid of my film camera. Mistake? I don't think so. The great thing about digital is that you can shoot and shoot and shoot until you either run out of battery or memory on your memory card. Then you can print what you like and discard what you don't want.

I also went to Yellowstone National Park and took a bunch of photos. I have some great pictures of a bull elk with velvet on his antlers.

The one thing I yearn for is a larger sensor. I like the sensor of the Canon 5D because it is full size 35mm. That full size sensor helps keep the noise down at the higher ISO settings.