NiteCore D10 Comparison Review

UnknownVT

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Through the kind courtesy of 4sevens (http://Fenix-Store.com) I have a new NiteCore SmartPD D10 on hand to try out. My understanding is that 4sevens is the official distributor for NiteCore flashlights in the USA.

this_is_nascar already has a wonderful review of the D10
My Quick NiteCore D10-EX10 Review
where he has has some very informative runtime graphs -
my comparison review is supplemental/complementary to that - with lots of direct side-by-side comparsion photos.

Size -
D10sz.jpg

The D10 is noticably shorter than the other single AA lights.

Head -
D10hd.jpg

The D10 uses a very fine grained orange-peel reflector with the silver colored surround of the LED just behind the reflector. Whereas the NDI has it either flush or maybe just portruding into the reflector. The Fenix L1D-Q5 is just behind and the JET-1 IBS is protruding into their respective reflectors.

One of the most interesting features of this new NiteCore D10 is the Smart PD ("Piston Drive") system designed by McGizmo

D10tl.jpg

the tailswitch of the D10 is a piece of machined metal (aluminum?) - it is a button/part of a bare metal tube that fits inside the D10 body - an O-ring acts like the piston head.

The current NiteCore front page has a good description and photos of the Smart PD "Piston Drive" system.

The feel of the piston drive switch is real good and just exudes quality - very nice indeed.

4sevens has also made a video of the operation - UI - user interface of the D10, and since a picture is already worth a thousand words - there is no way a word description can compete with a video :huh:
- so go watch it......

pdf User Manual of D10 (& EX10)

instructions on how to set brightness level -
D10inst.jpg

One can only set one single brightness level - tightening and loosening the head only sets the light for on/off mode or momentary mode - at the set brightness level. At first I thought this was a real disadvantage - since I am used to multi-level/mode lights.

However there are shortcuts to get to Maximum and Minimum brightness levels - so in effect the light can be thought of as have 3 brightness levels. (caveat - although once Max or Min are accessed - the pre-set brightness is "lost" - however it is relatively simple to get back to any other level as per instructions above)

D10inst2.jpg


- even though it would be nice to preserve any pre-set brightness level -
in a way I quite like having to set the brightness level again -
as it means I can literally "tailor" the brightness level for any usage.

Specs from the manual -
D10spec.jpg


I have already raised and questioned the lumens specs in NiteCore Defender Infinity Comparison Review where the spec'd 130 lumens seems rather low in comparison to other flashlights' claimed outputs. It was explained that the NiteCore uses the more "honest" actual lumens out of the front of the light as opposed to the LED spec'd (bulb) lumens........

However look and see -

NiteCore D10 on 3.7V Li-Ion 14500 -

vs. NiteCore Defender Infinity (NDI) also using 14500 both on Max -
D10Li_NDI.jpg
D10Li_NDI2U.jpg

pretty comparable - not surprisingly since the D10 is based on the NDI.

However notice the beam characteristics - my sample of the newer D10 has a much smoother beam with far less artifacts - although it still betrays the notorious Cree dark-halo - it is much less obvious than on the NDI - to me this is a great improvement.

vs. Fenix L1D-Q5 Turbo/max also on 14500
D10Li_L1Dq5.jpg
D10Li_L1Dq5U2.jpg

again comparable. Just like above note the beam characteristics - other than the tint my sample of the new D10 is matching the Fenix in overall smoothness - and Fenix has been upto now one of the best in getting smooth beam and minimizing the dark-halo from Crees.

vs. JETbeam JET-1 MK IBS max also on 14500
D10Li_JET1.jpg
D10Li_JET1U2.jpg

the JET-1 IBS is brighter - but then it's spec'd at 225 lumens. The JET's beam is not as refined.

vs. Fenix P3D-RB100 turbo/Max primary CR123As
D10Li_P3D.jpg
D10Li_P3D2U.jpg

although the tints are different I think the output levels look similar - perhaps the P3D-RB100 might be just a shade brighter -
the P3D-RB100 is spec'd at 200 lumens - so I would hazard that this NiteCore D10 is probably closer to the 190-200 lumens as other flashlight makers claim for their lights.

So again I think the spec of 130 lumens for the D10 -
even if it is supposed to be "conservative"
just seems a bit low to me.

More to come - next up the D10 on regular AA NimH.

Index -

Comparison of D10 vs. Fenix P3D-RR100 with tint/color removed in Post #7

D10 on NiMH in Post #9

Stairway beamshots directly comparing D10 on Li-Ion with Fenix P3D-RB100 in Post #19

Stairway beamshots D10 on both Li-Ion and NiMH compared to NDI and Fenix L1D-Q5 Li-Ion - Post #24

Minimum level on NiMH - Post #36

Minimum compared to true low level lights - Post #37
 
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tennisplyr3

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looks great! thanks for doing the review! i'll be looking forward to part ii :thumbsup:
 

Rzr800

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Thanks for including the IBS Jetbeam; as many have not witnessed a Q5 driven any harder in comparison (nor an R2 for that matter in JB's other obsolete Pro version).

Nice job.
 

mighty82

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From the beamshots it looks pretty obvious to me that the P3D is brigher than the D10. Not just a little. How bout some lux readings? I can also see that my LF5XT is brigher on 100%. Looking forward to some measurements on total output from these lights, that's just as interesting as beamshots. :)
 
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UnknownVT

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From the beamshots it looks pretty obvious to me that the P3D is brigher than the D10. Not just a little.

Thanks for the input -

I think it could be perception - the different tints may make a difference on different monitors -
so to remove that variable - I removed the color from the comparison beamshots by deSaturation which should leave only the luminance information (ie: brightness only)

Color deSaturation of the same comparison beamshots -
D10Li_P3DdeSat.jpg
D10Li_P3D2UdeSat.jpg

I think they they look pretty comparable with the Fenix P3D-RB100 slightly brighter?
 

mighty82

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Hmm.. Most of the P3D's hotspot is over exposed. But only the very center of the D10's is. Not too much of a difference when it comes to the spill though. Would have been easier to tell if you took some pictures a little "less exposed", lol sorry, my english is bad tonight :rolleyes:
 
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UnknownVT

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Part 2 -

NiteCore D10 using AA NiMH

vs. NDI (NiteCore Defender Infinity ) Max also on NiMH
D10Ni_NDI.jpg
D10Ni_NDI2U.jpg

very similar (other than the different beam characteristics) - the D10 might just have it also has a much smoother beam.

v. Fenix L1D-Q5 Turbo NiMH
D10Ni_L1Dq5.jpg
D10Ni_L1Dq5U2.jpg

the D10 looks brighter - Fenix L1D-Q5 is rated at 120 lumens - both beams are pretty smooth.

vs. JETbeam JET-1 MK IBS Max NiMH
D10Ni_JET1.jpg
D10Ni_JET1U2.jpg

these look about the same brightness - the JET-1 IBS is rated at 130 lumens

vs. Fenix P3D-RB100 Turbo primary CR123A
D10Ni_P3D.jpg
D10Ni_P3D2U.jpg

the Fenix P3D-RB100 is brighter - but not by as much as one might expect for the D10 130 lumens compared to rated 200 lumens of the P3D-RB100.....
 

LG&M

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Thanks for the work. :thumbsup: In your opinion overall is it a " Keeper"?
 

UnknownVT

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wild68fury

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Nice review. Love the beam shots!

I really want to try the new PD interface but I was hoping for more output or at least the same as my Fenix P3D-RB100. Does anyone notice the flicker?
 

UnknownVT

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I really want to try the new PD interface but I was hoping for more output or at least the same as my Fenix P3D-RB100. Does anyone notice the flicker?

Hold on, although there is slight controversy - I think the NiteCore D10 on Li-Ion 14500 is about as bright as the Fenix P3D-RB100 on Turbo - see opening Post #1 , to be fair this was called into question in Post #6 - so I removed the tint/color to make the side-by-side comparison beamshots easier to judge in Post #7 - the P3D-RB100 is slightly brighter - but there isn't enough to make any real practical difference - look at the pics yourself to judge.

I think this is fantastic performance from a single AA sized cell albeit a Li-Ion 14500 - that is why I called the rated 130 lumens into question - anyone just reading the specs would think that the D10 would be quite a bit dimmer than the P3D-RB100 - it is not, they are in a similar ballpark.

There is NO flickering on my sample.

I'll post practical stairway beamshots that show illustrate this a bit better.
 

mighty82

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Nice review. Love the beam shots!

I really want to try the new PD interface but I was hoping for more output or at least the same as my Fenix P3D-RB100. Does anyone notice the flicker?
You were hoping the D10 rated at 130 lumens was brighter than the 2xcr123 light rated at 200 lumens?? Why? Hello! It's a 1xAA light. Isn't it enough that it beats all the other 1xAA lights?

And UnknownVT.. I don't know if I have a better monitor than you or what, but I can CLEARLY see that the P3D is brighter that the D10. I know you like the D10, I do too, but there is NO way it's 200 lumens.
 
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UnknownVT

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And UnknownVT.. I don't know if I have a better monitor than you or what, but I can CLEARLY see that the P3D is brighter that the D10. I know you like the D10, I do too, but there is NO way it's 200 lumens.

Just hold on a minute -
at NO time did I say the D10 was brighter than the P3D-RB100 -
in fact I have said:
in Post #1
although the tints are different I think the output levels look similar - perhaps the P3D-RB100 might be just a shade brighter -
the P3D-RB100 is spec'd at 200 lumens - so I would hazard that this NiteCore D10 is probably closer to the 190-200 lumens as other flashlight makers claim for their lights.

which you rightly challanged in Post #6
From the beamshots it looks pretty obvious to me that the P3D is brigher than the D10. Not just a little.

I tried to show the difference was not a lot by removing the tint/colors from the same beamshots in Post #7
I think they they look pretty comparable with the Fenix P3D-RB100 slightly brighter?

in post #17
the P3D-RB100 is slightly brighter - but there isn't enough to make any real practical difference - look at the pics yourself to judge.

So at all times I said the P3D-RB100 was slightly brighter.

Here are some stairway beamshots which helps solve the over-exposed hotspot problem -

StairD10Li.jpg
StairP3Drb100.jpg

My opinion is that these two practical stairway beamshots are close enough not to make much real-life practical difference. As for exact lumens readings I cannot say for sure - but they are close - with the P3D-RB100 slightly brighter (which is what I always maintained)

Here are the same beamshots with the tint/color removed by deSaturation -
StairD10LiDeSat.jpg
StairP3Drb100deSat.jpg

yes, I do agree with you the Fenix P3D-RB100 is brighter -
but by how much? and can one really see this difference in real practical usage?
 
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mchlwise

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yes, I do agree with you the Fenix P3D-RB100 is brighter - but by how much? and can one really see this difference in real practical usage?

Amazing. :faint:

Thanks for the review and great comparison beamshots. :grin2:
 
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