The Pentax / Samsung relationship has been something of a strange affair when it has come to their DSLR output, continually resulting in two products that can only be separated by the maker's name and price...
Like the specification there’s very little to separate these two cameras, but a vast chasm puts them ahead of their similarly priced peers. Weatherproof seals around the terminal cover, locking card slot and battery compartment – not to mention a rugged, rubberised outer shell – give them the robust feel of Nikon’s D200 or Canon’s EOS 5D that suggests they will withstand a little rough handling without complaint.
We particularly like the inclusion of a Raw button on the front left of the lens throat that gives the immediate option to record a Raw file without the palaver of navigating the menus, and the ‘Fn’ (function) button gives easy access to the white balance, ISO, flash and drive modes. Similarly, separate control points for the metering mode (surrounding the main mode dial on the top left) and AF mode (around the four-way control pad) also means that changing the camera’s set-up is not as menu-driven as some other models.
However, when looking at the controls, differences appear between the two cameras, with Samsung using larger, flush buttons on the GX10 and Pentax employing slightly smaller, raised buttons on the K10D. While the buttons serve an identical purpose, we prefer the raised Pentax controls, simply because they’re easier to use with cold – or gloved – fingers.
A more obvious difference appears when you activate the menu system, with the Samsung’s cool blue menus contrasting strongly with the more colourful, *istD-style interface of the Pentax. The content of the menus is the same – albeit in a slightly different order at times – but this time round the GX10’s sophisticated-looking menu is more in keeping with the camera’s refined build and style.
Ultimately though, we really are starting to pick at details in order to try to separate these two cameras – differently-shaped buttons and menu styles are hardly Earth-shattering and neither is enough to swing a buying decision one way or the other.