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03-21-2011, 10:54 AM   #1
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K-x vs. K200d follow-up

For anybody who may be interested in this 'old-tech' experiment, I had a mini-dilemma last month when I found myself with both a K200d and a K-x and didn't know which to keep. Here's a quick update, I'd be interested to hear any feedback.

My plan was to keep both especially since I'm outdoors so much, with the K200d as a backup. The K-x would be used or indoors / kid shots etc. As is usually the case the reality turned out differently.

The K200d is equipped with a DA 18-55mm WR & DA 50-200mm WR.
The K-x with a Sigma 17-70 f/2.8 (older version).

For some background, I've been using the K-x to learn photography for the last year. I'd call myself an "aggressive beginner." I only shoot raw at this point. Despite the K-x's clearly superior setup I found myself reaching for the K200d more often than not, for these reasons -

1. I'm outdoors a lot. I didn't want to ruin my K-x :-)

2. I really liked the images the K200 produced better than the K-x's. Why this is I'm not sure but at under 400 ISO I just like the K200d's images a lot more than the K-x's. They seem more "warm" to me where the K-x's pictures don't seem to have a lot of soul. I don't know if that even makes sense.

3. I like the ergo's of the K200d better. Although it's somewhat larger it just feels better.

Also interestinly, I tend to keep the 50-200mm on the camera more than the 18-55mm. I thought it'd be the other way. I've found the flaws in the 50-200 are easy to avoid if you keep it stopped down and somewhere in the middle of the range.

It took some thinking through but I decided to sell the K-x and the Sigma and go with the K200d and the kit combo.

This weekend I took the K200 to shoot my kids doing indoor karate and for the first time I really missed the K-x. Although I got some good shots, it takes a lot of work to use the K200d in poor light. I had to to deliberately underexpose by a couple of stops and then use Adobe software to bring the exposure back up, plus de-noise. Even then, the photos right out of the camera on the K-x would beat the K200 easily.

I guess the point of this is to share the experience. For those still considering upgrading from the K100d or K200d to a K-r or K-x, I can safely say the technology has matured very significantly to this point.

I don't mind so much because I'm learning more by really having to strategize with the K200d and more often than not it's still giving me what I need. Plus it's fully WR which is important to me.

I socked my K-x/Sigma money away while I wait for the K-5 to drop in price, and after another year of shooting only the K200d I should be ready to "step up" to the next level I think. I would also consider the Nikon D7000 which may get me kicked out of here but, hey it looks like an awesome tool.

Thanks for listening,
Greg.

03-21-2011, 02:01 PM   #2
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Greg thats an almost identical decision I made a year ago. Hung onto the K200 and sold the K-x. Earlier this year, I decided to get a K-r. Much happier with the camera, but I realised that I was looking for something which was "more" than the K-r and to this end have now finally bought the K5. This is what I should have done, without stopping off at the K-x and K-r. The K-5 is all of them rolled into one, and with extra goodies. I don't use its capacity for very much higher ISO, but my artificial limit has changed from 400 to 3200, and thats a really useful thing.

I still have my K200D, not sure if I will ever sell it, its not worth much on the open market and there may still be occasions one might want to have it as backup (like *really* wanting to go out shooting and you forgot to recharge the battery on the K5)

Trust me, if you go K5, you won't regret it.
03-21-2011, 05:39 PM   #3
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Kyteflyer I agree, this whole exercise has just made me want the K-5. I expect I will get it sooner than later, time will tell if I can hold off. If not for the low-light need I expect I would be happy with the K200 for a long time to come.

Greg.
03-22-2011, 01:56 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by InlawBiker Quote
I'd be interested to hear any feedback.

My plan was to keep both especially since I'm outdoors so much, with the K200d as a backup. The K-x would be used or indoors / kid shots etc. As is usually the case the reality turned out differently.

The K200d is equipped with a DA 18-55mm WR & DA 50-200mm WR.
The K-x with a Sigma 17-70 f/2.8 (older version).

For some background, I've been using the K-x to learn photography for the last year. I'd call myself an "aggressive beginner." I only shoot raw at this point. Despite the K-x's clearly superior setup I found myself reaching for the K200d more often than not, for these reasons -

1. I'm outdoors a lot. I didn't want to ruin my K-x :-)

2. I really liked the images the K200 produced better than the K-x's. Why this is I'm not sure but at under 400 ISO I just like the K200d's images a lot more than the K-x's. They seem more "warm" to me where the K-x's pictures don't seem to have a lot of soul. I don't know if that even makes sense.

3. I like the ergo's of the K200d better. Although it's somewhat larger it just feels better.

Also interestinly, I tend to keep the 50-200mm on the camera more than the 18-55mm. I thought it'd be the other way. I've found the flaws in the 50-200 are easy to avoid if you keep it stopped down and somewhere in the middle of the range.

It took some thinking through but I decided to sell the K-x and the Sigma and go with the K200d and the kit combo.

This weekend I took the K200 to shoot my kids doing indoor karate and for the first time I really missed the K-x. Although I got some good shots, it takes a lot of work to use the K200d in poor light. I had to to deliberately underexpose by a couple of stops and then use Adobe software to bring the exposure back up, plus de-noise. Even then, the photos right out of the camera on the K-x would beat the K200 easily.

I guess the point of this is to share the experience. For those still considering upgrading from the K100d or K200d to a K-r or K-x, I can safely say the technology has matured very significantly to this point.

I don't mind so much because I'm learning more by really having to strategize with the K200d and more often than not it's still giving me what I need. Plus it's fully WR which is important to me.

I socked my K-x/Sigma money away while I wait for the K-5 to drop in price, and after another year of shooting only the K200d I should be ready to "step up" to the next level I think. I would also consider the Nikon D7000 which may get me kicked out of here but, hey it looks like an awesome tool.

Thanks for listening,
Greg.
Yes, I had the same dilemma but unlike you I kept the K-x. While I do plenty of outdoors photography I don't go camping, hiking or fishing with it. my lenses are not weather-proofed either so I don't intend getting the K-x wet.

I did plenty of outdoor tests with each camera, same shots, same lens and aperture within a few mins of each other. Something i did notice and my wife agreed and that was the light balance between the two sets of images was quite different - both cameras were set to auto.

The k200d shots were out, the white balance made the shade cloth to our botanical shadehouse a cream colouration yet it's beige. I'd never really noticed this despite using and loving the camera for 2 years or so.

I took more shots and got more evidence of this. Both my wife and myself concluded the K-x white balance/Colouration was much closer to the real thing.

I can see what you mean by warmer, but do you really want things to look un-real? You could do that in PP.

I also preferred the feel of the k200d, but not enough to choose it over the IQ attributes of each of the cameras. it's interesting that we've both been doing the same comparisons though

03-22-2011, 07:26 AM   #5
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I know I donīt want a K-x. The small size, lesser build quality, no grip & lack of AF lights just mean itīs a big step down from the K200D for me. I love the way the K200D feels & handles.

The K-r might tempt because it restores some of those things but only some. I appreciate the faster & more accurate AF & the much better high ISO performance might mean more keepers in many situations, but thatīs no good to me if I lose some of the joy of using the camera. Iīve now handled a K-x and I know itīs not for me.

Iīm glad at least one other person out there feels the same way.

The K5 or the K7 would do me just fine though
03-22-2011, 07:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by kyteflyer Quote
I realised that I was looking for something which was "more" than the K-r and to this end have now finally bought the K5
The K-5 is the only true upgrade for the K200D. The K-x may have better high iso performance, but in most other respects, the K200D is a better camera. In a sense, the K200D can be seen as a kind of gateway drug to higher end cameras. Although it's not itself a semi-pro camera, it accustoms the user to features normally found in higher-end bodies (such as top LCD, WR, movable focus points, battery grip, etc.), so that any camera without those features will seem inferior in comparison, regardless of high iso or AF performance.
03-22-2011, 08:07 AM   #7
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Yeah to be clear, I loved the K-x and honestly it's a better camera. It'd be hard to argue otherwise. I miss the larger buffer, better high ISO and faster FPS the most. I did feel it was a little too small but that's a personal thing. Maybe this speaks more to the attributes of the K200d, which still takes great images. It also has some of the features you'd expect to find on a 'higher level' camera like the top LCD and weather sealing. I guess Pentax figured the market for entry level cameras doesn't demand those things so why include them. After all the Nikon D40 outsold the K200d by what, zillions of units?
03-23-2011, 12:40 PM   #8
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I've had my K-x for about six months and it is a great camera, takes great pictures, especially at high ISO's but it is just too small for me. Every time I pick it up, it feels more like a toy than a SLR. It's a great choice if you want something small and compact that can take great pictures, but I prefer something bigger and more sturdy.

03-23-2011, 12:58 PM   #9
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I bought a used K20D instead of a new K-X. The price is similar. I still keep my K100D. Both K100D and K20D feel good in my hand. K-X is too toy-like.
03-24-2011, 10:42 AM   #10
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I use mostly flash indoor but have tried today K 200 ISO 1250.Seems quite OK to me
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03-24-2011, 10:47 AM   #11
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Cropped 100%.default noise reduction
luminance:0
color:25
no sharpening
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PENTAX K200D  Photo 

Last edited by pepolak77; 03-24-2011 at 10:53 AM.
03-24-2011, 11:55 AM   #12
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That looks pretty damn good for 1250. I hesitate to set the K200 above 800.... but I should mention the main reason I let the K-x go is that I also have a flash unit. The AF360 flash makes a big difference. More often than not the K-x was still not capable of very good images in low light indoor without a flash, despite the massive improvements at high ISO.

Of course I'm finding the flash just as hard to learn as the camera. I somehow thought I could just mount the flash and all my indoor picture problems would be solved.... not so. I'm getting there though.
03-24-2011, 02:55 PM   #13
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Just for balance in the comments... I wanted a small and sturdy DSLR with good high-ISO performance. The K-x fit the bill perfectly. I love using it with the DA-40 Ltd or DA-21 Ltd. because the entire pkg is so compact. I fit camera & three prime lenses in my man-bag when traveling and still have room for a bottle of water and other supplies. As for sturdy, my camera fell from 4 feet off a table on to a hardwood floor. Had to take it to repair to refit a slightly popped-out back panel, but upon return, the camera performs and focuses spot-on. When I saw that the K-R was slightly bigger, it kind of disqualified it in my mind. Would I ever get a K-5? I'm hesitant because of larger size, but I might some day. But for now, quite happy with K-x.
03-24-2011, 03:02 PM   #14
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WoW! your k200 photo looks EXCELLENT. what lens was that?

I started with a K-X then went to the K200d. If i owned both cameras, I would be reaching for the K200d with vertical grip in most cases. The image quality of the K-X is fine, but i hate the ergonomics. Low light performance was much better then the K200d, but i also liked the characteristics of the CCD sensor of the K200d IQ under iso 400.

The K-X certainly has some advantages over the K200d, but i just find the K200d more fun to use and hold. I really wish Pentax had made the K-R a more "pro-sumer body" like the K200d. Some Weather sealing, better ergos, vertical grip and I would still be shooting pentax today. Just got my new sony a580 this morning :-) would love a K-5 but could afford the sony.
03-24-2011, 03:25 PM   #15
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DA 40/2,8 ltd
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