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10-16-2008, 08:34 AM   #16
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If they can get it on the store shelves in time for xmas (assuming WWIII doesn't break out over the economy...) that package could be a stroke of true brilliance.

10-19-2008, 05:37 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by kthung Quote
One interesting thing to note:
The pentax website says the K2000/K-m Kit includes the body, kit lens, AND the the PENTAX AF200FG flash.

I think that's an interesting move on pentax's part. Definately sets them apart from the canikon entry level equivalents as they don't offer a dedicated flash with their kits.
I agree it's clever from that point of view, but it's unfortunatethat the AF200FG is basically a dead-end. No tilt for bouncing (let alone swivel!) and it can't act as a remote flash controller nor can it be used remotely, so if one upgrades to a better flash it basically goes in the trash.

I'll reiterate my disappointment that the AF200FG can't at least be used as a wireless slave. If Pentax would add that, not only would this type of package be more compelling but it'd be something more advanced users could buy to build a compact, portable wireless lighting kit.
10-19-2008, 12:03 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I agree it's clever from that point of view, but it's unfortunatethat the AF200FG is basically a dead-end. No tilt for bouncing (let alone swivel!) and it can't act as a remote flash controller nor can it be used remotely, so if one upgrades to a better flash it basically goes in the trash.
As for target market of the K-m and 200FG I do not see a problem at all. This is quite clever in fact (IMO).

QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I'll reiterate my disappointment that the AF200FG can't at least be used as a wireless slave. If Pentax would add that, not only would this type of package be more compelling but it'd be something more advanced users could buy to build a compact, portable wireless lighting kit.
Sure from a point of view of anyone from this forum, it is certainly true but still, I'm not surprised at all. Brands (Pentax included) always do market segmenting this is exactly that. Some brands (read Canon) can't even use the integrated flash as a wireless flash trigger, so somehow, we already have what others do not, even on so called 'Pro' cameras.

We can't get everything I guess...
10-19-2008, 12:57 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
I agree it's clever from that point of view, but it's unfortunatethat the AF200FG is basically a dead-end. No tilt for bouncing (let alone swivel!)
No bounce, no good.

Why doesn't Pentax just be the first to built a pop up flash that can tilt? Duh!

10-19-2008, 04:24 PM   #20
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I feel the AF200FGZ is the perfect flash for this entry level starter kit.

The K2000/K-m wasn't created as a backup camera for experienced photographers or a replacement for the K200D. The market segment this camera kit is geared towards is the complete photography novice; they either have a very inexpensive P&S, their camera phone, have been using disposable film cameras -or- maybe this is their very first camera ever. That some of us with experience with DSLR are eyeballing this body (hoping it ships as body only too) as a compact travel/backup is icing on the cake for Pentax, IHMO.

The AF200 is just enough flash to introduce the basic concept of using a strobe to them. Tilt & swivel will just frustrate the target consumer to the point that they put the flash back in the box or on a shelf to collect dust. Their brains are going to be swimming with the exposure triangle and focal lengths, no need to cloud up the picture (pardon the pun) any further.

Now as far as a body with built-in tilt flash? I'd rather the next iteration beyond the K20D come WITHOUT any built-in flash at all.
10-19-2008, 06:36 PM   #21
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[QUOTE=Venturi;371214]I feel the AF200FGZ is the perfect flash for this entry level starter kit.

I'd like to see Pentax (or anyone: I just pick Pentax because they've already started to go this route with the K200D) make a distinction between entry level and low end. The AF200FG (note no Z) makes a fine low end flash, but it's not a good entry flash because it doesn't encourage you to get in at that level and then grow.

It's okay if you never plan to grow, or if you don't mind throwing away and getting something new when you want to move up. The former is okay but clearly not the entry to anything (except, if you're lucky and have a great product perhaps brand loyalty). The second isn't an entry either, because if one has got to replace the whole thing one might as well go to another brand.

If the AF200FG could be used as one component of a more advanced system (as the K-m itself can be), then it would indeed be entry level.


QuoteQuote:
Now as far as a body with built-in tilt flash? I'd rather the next iteration beyond the K20D come WITHOUT any built-in flash at all.
I used to think that, but using the built-in flash as a wireless controller is so handy. I wouldn't mind it to be reduced in size and power, though, and relegated to only that function.
10-19-2008, 10:06 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by mattdm Quote
The AF200FG (note no Z) makes a fine low end flash, but it's not a good entry flash because it doesn't encourage you to get in at that level and then grow.

It's okay if you never plan to grow, or if you don't mind throwing away and getting something new when you want to move up. The former is okay but clearly not the entry to anything (except, if you're lucky and have a great product perhaps brand loyalty). The second isn't an entry either, because if one has got to replace the whole thing one might as well go to another brand.

If the AF200FG could be used as one component of a more advanced system (as the K-m itself can be), then it would indeed be entry level.
Odd, I hadn't even noticed the missing 'Z' before you brought it up just now.

I may be misunderstanding you, Matt, but I don't follow your reasoning.
To me, entry level means it is suitable for a beginner. And in that respect I feel the AF200FG is a quite suitable "trainer" flash. It supports full manual, TTL & PTTL with -0.5EV & -1.0EV; has a wide-angle diffuser and guide number of 20. That's plenty of functionality to learn the concepts. Once you've mastered the basics and are ready to move up you don't need to discard it unless you just want to. It'd be a fine auxillary flash for off-camera fill with RF triggers and a $10 shoe adapter. And still a handy small flash to have in your bag as a spare. But, by the time the K2000 buyer gets to the level they want/need that level of strobe functionality they're going to be shopping for a more advanced body too, so the flash's longevity seems moot to me in that regard.

But regardless of it's long-range utility, the vast majority of the people this camera kit is geared towards will never go beyond straight forward flash anyway. A very small percentage will ever desire to even upgrade the kit lens - which with its mostly plastic construction will likely wear out its usefulness far sooner than the flash.


I do see your point though on the wireless controller of the on-board flash; I just don't have use for it and would rather all of that body real estate housing other circuitry. I've got 285HVs (I found I prefer non-dedicated flashes) and radio triggers.
10-19-2008, 11:48 PM   #23
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Wow.... $899 AUD with just the kit lens. I'm sure it will drop but that is a bit steep considering what a k200d can be had for. I know some people want a small camera but i have to say it again, it makes no sense to me to have the KM and K200d at the same price. Weird!

$899 with the flash may be better.

Maybe I am just bummed that there isn't yet a body only option for sub $500.

I often shoot kitesurfing and other kite sports that involve me getting in the water or underneath jumping people. I enjoy cheap cameras for this as if one gets trashed it isn't too much of a financial loss.

mike

10-20-2008, 12:26 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by schmik Quote
wouldn't most people just get the K200d then? If it is around $400 then that is very very cheap.

mike
The top panel LCD for most people is simply frightening, for example: many will find the k-m easier, less pro [or less military] than the k200.

And how resist that silver border all around ?

Finally, what's the problem in buying the k200 instead of the k-m? it' cash that flows to Pentax in both cases, who cares?
10-20-2008, 02:15 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by schmik Quote
I often shoot kitesurfing and other kite sports that involve me getting in the water or underneath jumping people. I enjoy cheap cameras for this as if one gets trashed it isn't too much of a financial loss.

mike
If you're going into water, why wouldn't you buy a K200D which is weatherproofed ?
10-20-2008, 05:06 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Venturi Quote
Now as far as a body with built-in tilt flash? I'd rather the next iteration beyond the K20D come WITHOUT any built-in flash at all.
Why?

Pop up flash might seem a bit "amateur" but who wants to lug around a 540 or the other flash everytime they want bounce flash? Especially for an entry level camera? Us enthusiasts (or at least myself) don't always want to look like an enthusiast. I don't have to look "heavy duty amateur photographer" all the time in the real world. A hot shoe strobe is not that compact at all. And very conspicuous.

And if the K-m is truly targeted for women, young mothers, etc I doubt they'd be clueless on figuring out bounce flash. If you can change a diaper, I'd think you'd be able get the hang of bounce flash quite alright.

I tend to believe that Canon, Nikon, Sony, or Olympus, SOME company will take the idea of the built in tilt flash and run with it all the way to the bank.

Micro 4/3 + Live view + built in tilt flash = award winning entry level innovation.
10-20-2008, 08:41 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marcus Quote
Why?
That comment was an aside and not germain to this thread. I was referring to the next upper tier camera (K30 or whatever they end up calling it). I understand the value of a pop-up on the lower tier models, it just seems gadgety on a camera at the level of the K20D or higher. To me, that's akin to putting hi-fi stereo into a formula racer. But this doesn't have anything to do with the K-m/K2000.

Back to the AF200, if I were to have the ear of Pentax on the subject the only thing that I might suggest to add to the flash would be basic optical wireless capability (which if interested one can add for about $25 in accessories, btw).

I'm not suggesting that the target demographic is incapable of understanding.
And I suspect that the Pentax marketing folks are also betting that 80% of their prospective buyers are going to be either a) the young adults (as you said) that merely want the "status" of shooting an SLR - they want to look the part. Or b) they are young kids just starting out in their journey to become the next Joe McNally or Benjamin Kanarek and Mom & Dad - who can barely keep up with their food, clothing and cell phone costs - are getting them their first "real camera".

The K2000 is a low-cost, budget minded, introductory camera setup. The body build and specs are quite good which will hopefully keep the buyer with Pentax as a system. But the lens and flash being offered, while very functional, are intentionally low-end. The lens is lightweight and mostly plastic; it isn't going to last too long especially if it spends significant time in the trunk or back seat of the car. The flash is solid, but basic in function. Together they give the new DSLR buyer a taste of everything. If they like the taste they'll be back for more. (FWIW, drug pushers have used this marketing method for years with great success. )

The other 20% are those like us here at PF who are interested in a more convenient, less conspicuous, body to carry with us when we go people shooting, or whatever. And "we" are merely icing on the marketing cake.

I just think people need to quit second guessing every move Hoya/Pentax makes and understand that not every camera body, or kit, they put out is intended for them. Okay, said my piece on the matter.
10-20-2008, 09:09 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marcus Quote
I tend to believe that Canon, Nikon, Sony, or Olympus, SOME company will take the idea of the built in tilt flash and run with it all the way to the bank.
Panasonic's first reflex, the Lumix DMC-L1, had one: Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Review: 4. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
10-20-2008, 11:03 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by RBellavance Quote
Panasonic's first reflex, the Lumix DMC-L1, had one: Panasonic Lumix DMC-L1 Review: 4. Body & Design: Digital Photography Review
I am flabberghasted!

I always wrote off Panasonic but that's pretty much EXACTLY what I had in mind. But that's not even close to the entry level prices of K-m. What a humdinger...
10-20-2008, 01:42 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by thibs Quote
If you're going into water, why wouldn't you buy a K200D which is weatherproofed ?
Couple of reasons... i was hoping the km would be considerably cheaper. If there is an 'incident' then I doubt weathersealing will help much.

I do intend on a k20d (or the replacement) and a proper waterproof pouch when funds allow. Until them i was hoping for more megapix for cheap....... i guess i was just dream'in.
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