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Monday, January 22, 2007

Hot New D-SLRs

How seven recently introduced models stack up

Pentax K10DPentax K10D
After half a dozen 6.1-megapixel digital SLRs, Pentax has introduced the 10.2-megapixel K10D, still priced at less than $1,000. The new camera is Pentax's second D-SLR with built-in sensor-shift Shake Reduction and adds a two-pronged Dust Removal system, a new 22-bit A/D converter and PRIME imaging engine, dustproof and weather-resistant construction, and a 100,000-shot shutter.

Featuring a larger body than previous Pentax D-SLRs (although still compact), the K10D is inherently a bit easier to handhold steadily, but the Shake Reduction is a valuable asset. Equally welcome is the Dust Removal system, which consists of a coating of vapor-deposited fluorine compound to keep dust from sticking to the sensor, and a CCD-shift system that vibrates dust off the sensor.

The K10D can shoot 3872 x 2592-pixel JPEG images at 3 fps until the SD or SDHC memory card is full and up to nine RAW images at the same rate. A button near the lens mount allows for quick switching to RAW format, and images can also be captured in DNG, Adobe's "universal" archival digital negative RAW format.

A host of exposure modes can be easily selected via a dial on top of the camera. The Hyper Manual feature allows you to set the proper exposure (via program AE) instantly at the press of a button, without leaving manual mode, which is handy when a fast-breaking photo op doesn't leave you time to fumble with shutter-speed and aperture controls.

Like all Pentax D-SLRs, the K10D will accept all Pentax lenses, providing full functions with the KAF2, KAF and KA versions. Pentax 67 and 645 lenses and old screw-mounts can be used with adapters. Estimated Street Price: $899.

Contact: Pentax Imaging, (800) 877-0155, www.pentaximaging.com.


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