Shake Reduction

After the K100D the K10D becomes the second Pentax digital SLR to feature built-in Shake Reduction, this operates by stabilizing the CCD sensor, while similar to the Anti-Shake feature seen in Konica Minolta (and now Sony Alpha) digital SLR's Pentax claim their system is superior because it is the only fully 'free floating' design which allows it to correct for not only movement on the x and y axis but also rotation on the z axis (the twisting motion around the optical path).

The stabilization test

This test was first used in our Sony DSLR-A100 review, twenty hand-held shots were taken of a static scene, half of those with stabilization, half without, the shutter speed was decreased by a stop and repeated (from 1/80 sec to 1/10 sec). The lens used was the Pentax 50 mm F1.4 (producing a 75 mm equiv. FOV), the test chart was 1.2 m away from the camera.

The resulting 80 images were then inspected and given a blur score from zero to three where zero represented a very blurred image and three a sharp image with no noticeable blur (see crop examples below). Obviously the amount of blur which is acceptable will depend on your personal taste and the final image size (for instance a '2: Soft' will still look fine as a 4x6 print or in a web gallery). Example crops from these four blur scores can be seen below.

0: Very blurred 1: Blurred
2: Soft 3: Sharp

Hand-held, no stabilization (50 mm lens, 75 mm equiv.)

As you can see from the results here we managed to get eight sharp shots at 1/80 sec which dropped to five at 1/40 sec and four at 1/20 sec.

Hand-held, with Shake Reduction (50 mm lens, 75 mm equiv.)

Utilizing the K10D's Shake Reduction did improve things somewhat. The biggest improvement at 1/40 sec where we got eight sharp shots and two soft (but acceptable). No doubting that Pentax's SR system works but certainly not to presume it's a substitute for a faster shutter speed or use of a tripod.