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01-16-2010, 08:52 AM   #1
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Is my K200D the best camera which takes AA batteries?

I bought it (following the Ist DL) largely for that reason - hate rechargeable batteries, chargers, travel adaptors and all the hassle. The AA battery option is so easy and non-rech lithium AAs last me for 1 or 2 very busy holidays.

I looked at the Kx (not sure if it is actually any better than the K200, but should sell well due to the colour options ) which also takes AAs but isn't sealed from rain.

All the rest e.g. the K7 is back to the rechargeable batteries............

01-16-2010, 08:57 AM   #2
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It appears that Pentax has decided to keep AA batteries for the entry level cameras -- the k2000/km and kx. The kx is probably a step up from the k200 in every way, except for the lack of focus indicators and weather sealing. The K7 does have the option of using AA batteries in the grip.
01-16-2010, 08:59 AM   #3
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You're forgetting about the K100D/s which a lot of people rave about and if you look at the polls which better camera on a $300 budget is only second to K10D and the K10D doesn't even take "AA"'s.
01-16-2010, 09:07 AM   #4
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Kx does video K200D doesn't so that makes the Kx better?
K200D is weather sealed, the Kx isn't so that makes the K200D better?

You see where this is going? It should really depend on your needs but most importantly does it get the images you want?
There will always be compromises here; it's how they make their sales, you on the other hand have to choose the system with more pros and less cons

01-16-2010, 10:04 AM   #5
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How would the Kx compare on image quality with the K200D?
01-16-2010, 10:14 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
How would the Kx compare on image quality with the K200D?
IMO the K200D has better IQ at base iso but at high iso the Kx wins about almost 2 stops than the K200D..
01-16-2010, 10:15 AM   #7
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Pentax has not always had the DSLR market share to justify a 3 camera lineup. When they have sold three cameras at the same time, the middle camera is always a very useful mix of features.
01-16-2010, 10:30 AM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
IMO the K200D has better IQ at base iso but at high iso the Kx wins about almost 2 stops than the K200D..
That's very useful to know. I shoot 99% at 100 ISO.

Funny thing... just read the reghardware reviews of the K200D and the K7 and they didn't like the K200D due to its size and weight, yet the K7 is even heavier

What is the approximate charge retention time (say 80% capacity) of the K7 battery?

01-16-2010, 02:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rustynail925 Quote
IMO the K200D has better IQ at base iso but at high iso the Kx wins about almost 2 stops than the K200D..
More like a little under a stop in my comparisons, although i don't have a K-x so I haven't been able to do a *completely* controlled test. But the evidence I've seen suggests people are getting way carried away and being thrown by the K-x's higher level of JPEG NR. Shooting both RAW and applying the same amount of NR in PP tells a somewhat different story than shooting JPEG. I have some shots I took right along side a friend with a K-x, and comparing those images reveals much less difference. He did his own PP though; I'm looking forward to getting his raw files to comapre more directly.

Anyhow, the K-x and K200D are indeed similar in IQ overall, with the K-x having *some* advantage at high ISO. The K200D has the nicer build, the K-x has the video & liveview and faster frame rate.

But man, I can't imagine throwing do mch money away on non-rechargeable batteries! I love that the K200D takes AA's, but that's so I can share the same charger as the rest of my electronic devices that run on AA's, and I can be assured that new batteries will also be easy to find and cheap. No way would I ruin the advantage of AA by throwing away $100 a year or more on batteries - I could buy lenses with that!
01-16-2010, 03:33 PM   #10
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The preference must depend on usage.

The lithium AAs hold several times more charge than any AA rechargeable technology.

They are also 1.8V so have an extra margin before the camera decides they are flat (which happens ~ 1.2V). I did use 1.5V alkalines but they are "declared" flat pretty fast (incorrectly), and 1.2V NIMH cells work for about 5 minutes...

I find the lithium AAs last long enough to fill up a 4GB SD card i.e. about 1000 shots and they cost (UK) about USD 12 for four. Of course, if you shoot 1000 pics in a day then this is a major issue - but then you will be carrying a backpack with some precharged batteries anyway. For me, the 1000 shots is one long (2 weeks) holiday, with loads of aerial shots (from a light aircraft) plus maybe 6 months back home. And the thing which really matters to me is that I have never been caught with them suddenly flat, whereas this happens regularly with LI or LIPO rechargeables which go flat at the worst moment. They also have a poor shelf life, whereas lithiums last for years.

IMHO it is a basic principle that you never know for sure when batteries will go flat. With rechargeable ones, you have to carry a spare, and with non-rechargeable ones you also have to carry a spare. Except that with a AA-camera you don't have to carry anything because you can buy them locally, and the shelf life of the lithium AAs is at least 10 years. They are also small and very light.

Maybe the Pentax K-7 batts are really exceptional but I have never seen a LIPO battery which held its charge for more than a month or two, which means that when going away for any time one needs to carry not just a spare battery but also the charger, and here in Europe that is extra hassle. I am trying hard to avoid carrying a whole bag of chargers
01-16-2010, 04:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
The lithium AAs hold several times more charge than any AA rechargeable technology.
Not several; one and a half to two in practice over modern "hybrid" NiMH (eg, around 600 shots to around 1000). The higher voltage is indeed a plus - faster AF. Note, though, that NiZn rechargeables are also about the same voltage as lithium.

QuoteQuote:
Maybe the Pentax K-7 batts are really exceptional but I have never seen a LIPO battery which held its charge for more than a month or two
Not sure what LIPO is, or how well the K-7's batteries do, but modern "hybrid" NiMH AA's also have a shelf life of years, FWIW.

For travel, lithium does make a lot of sense. But if you take 1000 shot in two weeks, that's $200 a year, so I treat my lithiums as special purpose only.
01-17-2010, 02:11 AM   #12
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NIMH AAs won't work in these cameras (K200D or the Ist DL) because of their 1.2V cell voltage. The old DL was a bit better actually and I used them in that for a bit.

The shelf life (charge retention) of all NIMH cells I have ever used is of the order of a few months to 50% capacity, and some are a lot worse.

LIPO (lithium polymer) is the current "best" technology and most camcorders and laptops use it. I thought that all modern "custom battery" cameras (e.g. the K7) would be using LIPO.

If the rechargeable AAs are only 1/3 worse than the non-rechargeable ones, I will switch over to them This is very suprising. What brand are you using and what is their cell voltage?
01-17-2010, 03:05 AM   #13
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I agree that lithiums are that much more amazing than rechargables, i used the lithium batteries which came with my old k200d when i got it and at first i thought they were amazing but then i ordered some imedions. Those batteries have a crazy long life for rechargables and now that ive upgraded to a k7 i can still use them in my flash.
Also, it really isnt hard to find room for a spare set of AA's in your camera bag
01-17-2010, 11:40 AM   #14
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The primary lithium AAs that I use are these
Energizer Ultimate Lithium AA/L91 Pack of 4+2 FREE at Battery Force
and they claim 2900mAh.

The Imedion batteries mentioned above are these
MAHA / POWEREX 2100mAh 4-Pack AA IMEDION "Ready When You Are!" Rechargeables
and they claim 2100mAh.

That's a lot closer than ever used to be the case. BUT the primary ones are 1.8V whereas the Imedions are specified at 1.2V which will drastically reduce their life as seen by the camera. I have seen brand new NIMH (also 1.2V) cells appear flat after only ~ 100 shots, and sometimes a lot sooner. 1.2V is no good for these cameras, IME.
01-17-2010, 02:36 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
NIMH AAs won't work in these cameras (K200D or the Ist DL) because of their 1.2V cell voltage.
Sure they do; I've used nothing else for the past 5 years. The problem some cells have isn't their max voltage, but how well they maintain their voltage under load and with use. Modern hybrid cells maintain their 1.2x voltage very well; older cells don't. That's why the old cell don't last long in a DSLR. not because their max voltage is too low, or because their capacity in mAh is too low, but simply because they don't maintain their voltage under load very long. This is completely fixed by modern hybrid cells.

QuoteQuote:
The shelf life (charge retention) of all NIMH cells I have ever used is of the order of a few months to 50% capacity, and some are a lot worse.
Modern "hybrid" cells are low-self-discharge and will keep their charge for a year easily.

QuoteQuote:
If the rechargeable AAs are only 1/3 worse than the non-rechargeable ones, I will switch over to them This is very suprising. What brand are you using and what is their cell voltage?
Sanyo Eneloops are the standard in hybrid low-self-discharge cells, but lots of other cells use the same basic technology (duracell precharged, other brands too - different retailers carry different brands). Check any of the other threads on batteries. Hybrid NiMH cells have completely revolutionized the AA industry, at least as it applies to DSLR's.

Last edited by Marc Sabatella; 01-18-2010 at 12:14 PM.
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