Compare the looks of the GX10 to the Pentax K200D and you’ll see distinct similarities. The two companies have collaborated to allow Samsung to break into the DSLR market, with the GX10 based on Pentax’s K10D. The K10D itself was released in 2006 and aimed at serious amateurs. The lens mount is a Pentax-standard K mount, so there’s a huge range of lenses beyond Samsung-marketed optics to choose from.
Features-wise, there’s very little missing – and some unusual extra treats. First up is the top-mounted secondary LCD panel showing shot settings, approximate numbers of shots remaining and battery state.
Second is the sensitivity priority mode. This is the equivalent of aperture priority and shutter priority, but for ISO sensitivity. You set the sensitivity you want; the camera sets the shutter speed and aperture to suit. Elsewhere, you’ll find in-vogue features including integrated optical image stabilisation and a live-view mode.
The design is quirky, including an awkward rotary ring switch set around the four-way selector button. All it does is set the focus-area mode, which could more easily be done using the thumb or index-finger command dials. There’s also a bewildering array of manual modes on the mode dial, with no hint of the likes of a Sports or Portrait setting.
We do like the five-shot exposure bracketing. It lets you take a five-shot burst with a range of up to eight stops in one go, making fashionable HDR (high dynamic range) sequences easy to take.
Heft of the body is second only to the Fujifilm S5 Pro, and fitting the 18-55mm Schneider D-Xenon kit lens takes the camera over the 1kg mark. Pick it up after handling the Olympus E-420 (see page 93) and you feel the difference.
What you’re essentially getting in the GX10 is a mid-range enthusiast camera, with build quality and features to match, but at a price that’s dipped because of the age of the design. If you don’t mind its bulk or a megapixel rating that’s behind the cutting-edge, and you want excellent build quality plus features that go beyond point-and-shoot, it’s potentially a good buy.
This Review appeared in the December, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine
Source: Copyright © Alphr, Dennis Publishing