I love my Pentax K10D. Very worthy replacement for my *ist DS.
As everything else, these days, it does have issues. I’ll try to keep up to date with them in this post, so that new owners for the K10D can be made aware of them and hopefully find help in here.
I’ll mainly list the issues that are firmware related (and there for fixable), but I’ve included a couple of issues that are, probably, not fixable by firmware, or even something you really want fixed. Things like the Jpeg Edge issue is not really something that should be fixed, it’s just about knowing that you need to switch from Natural to Bright mode if you want sharper jpegs.
This blog has a thread at DPReview.com – where I’m trying to get help to make the list complete.
Please try to keep further discussion about specific issues to the linked threads. This blog is not really a good platform for discussions (a real forum is a lot better for stuff like that).
Update Jan. 20th 2007: There’s a version 1.1 firmware to be found. It seems to be the real deal. It changes this. From what people have reported on dpreview and my own experience it fixes what’s the change document says and nothing else. I’ll move all the issues that a fixed my 1.1 to a separate section..
Update Mar. 6th. 2007: There’s a version 1.11 firmware. Only a couple of minor issue fixed.
Auto ISO will only go down in HyperProgram (P).
People are consistently reporting that auto ISO will correctly go down when selecting a slower shutter speed in P mode. But it will not go up when a faster shutter speed is selected. Use TVa mode instead – pressing the Green Button, will allow the camera to start from the top ISO speed again. Notes on FW1.1: Seems to be fixed, but I want a second opinion before I move it as this isn’t mentioned in the documentation.
Max shutter time of 30 seconds in Av
The camera gives a max shutter speed of 30 seconds when working in Av mode. This is as designed, but there’s should be an option to remove that maximum, and worse, some people are reporting that when the shutter time should be more than 30 seconds the K10D cuts back to a very short exposure, like half a seconds, totally ruining the shot. Only fix is to work in bulb mode with a wired remote, which means giving up on the automated metering. Not changed with FW1.1
Soft edges in jpeg.
Probably one of the most discussed issues with the K10D after Phil (owner of DPReview) mentioned it in his review (“Image Sharpness” paragraph). The general consensus on the dpreview Pentax SLR forum is that it can be solved by simply setting the images setting to “Bright” instead of the default “Natural”. There’s lot’s of threads about this on Dpreview, just search for “soft edge”. Here’s an example and another example here
Low dynamic range in jpeg.
The dpreview also reported low dynamic range in the jpegs. It also suggests that it can be better with the contrast turned down to -2 or -3
Will go back to Jpeg if Raw was selected by Raw Button
Even if “Continuous” was selected in the “Menu->C->One-touch Raw+Jpeg”, the camera will go back to jpeg mode if the menu is opened, replay mode is selected or camera mode is changed. Only way to be sure that the camera will stay i RAW mode is to select RAW in “Menu->Rec. Mode->File Format”, which will turn of the raw button. Not fixed in FW1.1.
Over Exposure using the Green Button with M lenses.
Using the Green Button to set the exposure, with M lenses, seems to over expose in a lot of cases. Only solution is to work in manual mode. In some cases pressing the GB twice will solve the problem. Possibly related to instant preview mode. Note on FW1.1: Doesn’t seem to be solved.
Under Exposure in M mode with large apertures.
There’s fairly consistent reports of underexposure when using large apertures in M mode. It’s only an issue when aperture is set using the aperture ring on the lens, and only on M mode. Using exposure compensation and the preview histogram to fix. P.S.: This seems kind of mirror issue to the “Over exposure…” issue right above – I think that it may be the same issue, simply with somebody mixing accidentally writing Under when they meant Over.
Frames left wrong when using PEF.
The “frames left” counter will report the number of DNG images that can be take with the remaining memory, even if you are shooting PEF. As PEF files are “only” about 10MB and DNGs are about 16MB this is obvious wrong. Not fixed with FW1.1.
Internal Flash dying.
A few people have had their internal flash die on them. It not consistent, lots of people are having no problems at all, but it happens.
Camera freeze after lens/card change
A few people have a problem with the camera freezing up, after the memory card or the lens has been changed. Fix, is to remove battery for a short while. Probably a hardware error, and a return to Pentax is probably the only fix (but you could wait and see if it’s fixed by a firmware update, if you do not want to part with the camera).
Fixed with Firmware 1.1
Battery depleted after 32 seconds in Bulb mode
The camera turns off and reports that the battery is depleted after 32 seconds, when long time exposures are done in bulb mode. Try to read this thread on DPreview
Apparently it’s an issue with new batteries, that needs to be charged a couple of times before they behave right. “Auto power off” setting does not make a difference.
FW1.1 note: I’ve tested this myself. The first time after updating, with a nearly depleted battery it actually give me a 32 seconds exposure, but after charging the battery it works fine.
Banding in long time exposures.
Yes, there’s banding issues at long time exposure. See this thread on dpreview
GordonBGood has done some amazing detective work on this issue and thinks that it can be solved either in the firmware (but with a speed penalty), or in postprocessing.
A response from Pentax was posted in this thread. Note: Some people are questioning, whether the response is really from Pentax or not.
FW1.1 note: As I haven’t been able to do long time exposure before I upgrade to 1.1, I really do not have anything to compare with, and I haven’t seen any thing on DPreview about whether this issue have been solved to satisfaction. But I’ll keep an eye out for it.
Front/Back focus in low/artificial light
Some people are reporting issues with back or front focus in artificial light. It doesn’t seem consistent, but it’s rather hard to judge these reports, as good focus tests has a lot of variables, and people often forget to report lighting conditions, when they tell about their focus issues. Other people report that they have better focus with better charged batteries.
FW1.1 note: Not an official fix, but someone figures how to activate the service menu, where the auto-focus can be adjusted: Self Focus Adjust (at DpReview) other people have reported that 1.1 is better and that it isn’t an IR issue.