There were many Digital SLR choices out there, many with great features, some priced right, some too expensive for me, other with new cutting edge technology, and so on. I am not a professional photographer, given that I do not make a living from my photography. I have been an avid photographer since the age of twelve. I had some of my photographs published, I sold my photos at art fair, I pursued wedding and children photography for a while, and recently, wrote books on the Pentax K10D and K100D. So I do bring some revenues in from photography but I still have a day job and consider myself an amateur photographer. However, technically speaking, I don’t think that the Pros are necessarily better photographers. Actually, I sometimes feel a little sorry for them as they must keep up with technology and always have the latest equipment at hand. It would be awful for a Professional Photographer to do a wedding where “uncle Bob” had better “Pro” equipment than the official photographer. This entire introduction is to say that the camera reviews done by Professionals has not swayed my opinion one bit.
Marketing, ranks amongst the DSLR makers, magazines reviews (which have to say something nice about every DSLR makers if they are to get their business) and finally other photographers' opinions, have not influenced my decision. I made the decision of buying the K10D all by myself.
I started my photography with Pentax and I have to admit that I always had a sweet spot for Pentax. That said, I probably owned a camera at one time or another, from most manufacturers. I used 35mm, medium format, and large format cameras and now of course, Digital SLR. Photography is relatively a simple concept. It’s all about lighting. You have a media (film or sensor) encased in a box, and a glass lens (nor necessarily, as a pin hole will project light as well) which projects the light on the media. Although over simplified, to get the right amount of light on the media, the tools are the aperture, the shutter speed and the media sensitivity. Everything else is luxury. We are all so very lucky to live in an era of such technological advancement and yet, we often fail to realize it.
Back to the K10D…I realized early that digital was going to leave film media in the dust, I started searching. I purchased several point-and-shoot cameras to begin with, in the 1 to 2 megapixels range. Then I graduated to higher Megapixels, around the 5 Megapixels, but none were good enough to replace my Nikon F5 (Yes, my last 35mm camera was a Nikon F5.) Nikon had by then started the DSLR revolution with the Nikon D1. It was impressive, but at $5,000 for 2 Megapixels, I couldn’t afford it, remember, I am not a Professional Photographer and I do not have to impress anyone. It seems that for a while, newer and better cameras were introduced to the market every month. My best pictures were still produced with 35mm transparencies, scanned to digital.
Some years passed and Pentax introduced their first DSLR, the Pentax *ist D. I joined the DSLR bandwagon with the Pentax *ist DS. I still have it. It was okay but it didn’t make a great impression, other than being the smallest DSLR on the market at the time. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed. I wanted Pentax to be amongst the leaders once again. They always had a reputation of being innovators. In 1954, they introduced the first instant return mirror system. In 1957 they introduced a prism for the single lens reflex. In 1964, they introduced the Spotmatic featuring the first TTL metering. Other innovations followed; the multi coating of lenses, the first TTL auto focus camera, the first multi-mode medium format camera, the Pentax 645. Who hasn’t heard of the Pentax K1000? It was the ultimate SLR when comparing simplicity and price.
That is the prime reason I always liked Pentax…Simplicity and affordability.
Finally, in 2006, with the introduction of the K10D, I believe Pentax started heading in the right direction once more with simplicity and affordability. What other cameras in this price range have a dedicated button for RAW? A dedicated button for exposure bracketing? An in-camera Shake Reduction system? A dust reduction system for the sensor? A moisture and dust resistant body? A choice of RAW format between PEF and DNG (Adobe attempt for a universal RAW format)? As you know, this is just scratching the surface. The K10D is chucked full with innovations accessible in a simple way.
The K10D is so well design that I rarely have to surf through pages of menus to change functions. So, the bottom line, the reason I chose the K10D is Simplicity of use and Affordability. Entry-level photographers can grow into this system. I believe that this is just the new beginning. Watch for the upcoming K20D and the K200D. They will eclipse the competition for simplicity of use and price. You just wait and see.
Thank you for reading,