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12-30-2010, 07:12 AM   #1
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k200 advice please

Hi justbeen given k200d,18-55mm Kit Lens and A old 50mm pentax a lens. I've used a Film SLR in the Past (Nikon FM2) but finding the DSLR jump a little daunting . Any tips or advice from K200 users?

12-30-2010, 08:13 AM   #2
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I use one of those - it's great, you'll love it!

Did you get given a manual? If not, you can grab a PDF copy from the pentax site.

I'm not quite sure where to start with the advice, anything specific you want to know? (In use it's basically the same as other digital SLR cameras, so any general material you can find on the web will be useful. The main things newer models add are video recording, "live view" and sensors which work better in low light.)
12-30-2010, 08:21 AM   #3
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I,ve got the manual, I need to sit and look through it its quite a size. Just going to put it on M setting I think and play around.
12-30-2010, 08:28 AM   #4
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Cool.. Yeah, good idea. Playing around at no cost with instant feedback is the nice thing about digital.

My normal settings, without getting too exhaustive, are "A" mode, centre AF point, RAW format, Auto-ISO 100-500, "preview method" on "optical". I turn "instant review" off to extend battery life.

12-30-2010, 08:40 AM   #5
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There's a few things you can do to make your experience with the K200D more rewarding. It's really a quite accomplished camera considering it's price point:

1. Purchase at least a couple sets of Sanyo eneloop rechargeable batteries. The K200D can be a bit fussy about the kind of rechargeable batteries used with it. The eneloops have the best track record in terms of consistent performance.

2. Get a decent battery charger, i.e., one that charges slowly. The fast chargers can significantly reduce the life of your batteries.

3. Get an SD card reader. It's generally far more convenient and even safer to load your pictures onto your computer via a card reader rather than straight off the camera.

4. Read the manual, but read it slowly, and in tandem with using the camera.

5. Use the 18-55mm lens to learn how to use the camera. The old 50mm lens, even though it will be a better lens than the kit lens, may involve more challenges when using it on a DSLR, which are best met after you have become thoroughly comfortable using the camera.
12-30-2010, 08:40 AM   #6
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Welcome!

The K200D is capable of very good results in appropriate situations, with the right glass. A few considerations:

Be conscious of underexposing at ISO 800 or 1600 - any bump to exposure in your computer will be very noisy.

The JPG output is a little overdone for my taste. If you don't shoot in RAW, be sure to use the Natural profile, and feel free to dial down the contrast and sharpening a bit.

Also, one consideration you were able to ignore with film was white balance. This is hugely important in digital photography and the K200D does struggle a bit in the 'Auto' setting indoors. The custom WB setting is very effective, even using a sheet of white paper gets much closer to reality than the Auto setting in most cases. Again, less of a concern if you shoot RAW, but key to getting good JPGs out of the camera.

Happy shooting! There is a K200D 'social group' in this forum, and feel free to keep bumping this thread with new questions.
12-30-2010, 08:51 AM   #7
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Great camera: solid, rugged, good ergonomics, excellent color.

I recommend shooting a lot, learn and play around with the basic controls and settings.

Buy a Magic Lantern Guide for the K200D. You can probably pick one up pretty cheap on the forum, Amazon, etc.

Have fun.
12-30-2010, 09:12 AM   #8
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Some great tips thanks, grainbelt thanks for tips on white balance this is one of the things i'm trying to get my head around.

Northcoastgreg thankyou aswell, i bought some enloopes but didnt know about the charger.
Thankyou everyone else what a friendly forum

12-30-2010, 06:31 PM   #9
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Welcome to the K200 family! It's a great camera. I've had mine for 2.5 years now and still enjoy it as much as day 1. My pictures only get better with time.







Enjoy your new toy!
12-30-2010, 07:15 PM   #10
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+1 on the batteries and charger, and the jpg and ISO settings.
The metering underexposure is persistent, I would recommend +0.3- +0.5 of a stop exposure comp at all times.

Also, really understand the histogram - it is probably the biggest change from shooting film. Nice histograms with mid tones in the middle of the display help to make good prints. Just watch for overexposure.

Oh, and if that manual lens doesn't have an "A" setting, make sure the custom function that allows aperture ring setting is "permitted" (the manual can point you to the # - I can't remember what it was now). Press the green button prior to taking the shot, and the camera will sort the exposure, based on your aperture setting.

Yep, digital, instant gratification. Enjoy!

Last edited by Clarkey; 12-30-2010 at 07:19 PM. Reason: Manual lens aperture setting.
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