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01-01-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
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K200D responisivenes, comparted to newer cameras?

First of all, greetings in the 2012.

Very often my K200D has somewhat confusing, delayed and irrational operation. I'll go straight to the point and name few examples:

*While shooting, I zoom in on last picture while its still visible after shot. Then, looking at top LCD i try to change EV comp., obviously unsuccessfully, so i shortly half press shutter button, to go back to shooting mode. Oddly, i can hear the AF engaging, but the camera stays in review mode and EV comp is still impossible. Sometimes it goes straight to shooting mode, sometimes i can press it 3..4 times with AF engaging until the cam finally goes to shooting mode. It's weird, since the camera receives command (starts AF), but doesn't finish the action.

*Another observation - half depressing doesn't start AF action instantly. First some time passes and red AF point indicator lights up (manually selected AF Pnt.), then, after being lit for a fraction of second it goes out and some more time passes. Af starts working (this is actually fairly quick). It stops, again red dot blinks, only then green hexagon lights up. I'd like this to happen all at the same time. It's as if the camera double-confirms AF stop (red dot->green hex). An why not start focusing and show red dot at the same time?

*Minor movements can completely disable AF. E.G. Me waving +/-2..3cm back and forth and having AF point movement on the subject few CM in the same plane. Fairly frequent situation when photographing humans.

Usually i have such observations in winter, when there is lack of light. Maybe it has something to do with the first observation as well.

Do newer Pentax cameras have similar behaviour characteristics or is it all fixed together with other speed improvements they offer?

Currently it serves as an outstanding camera for night shots, landscapes, macros and nature, but as soon as i get to deal with people i just plain hate it. It causes so much confusion and frustration. If i want to do more photography of people i think the camera has served long enough to earn an upgrade.
I want more predictability, consistency and definite responsiveness. Not double checking each button press on all the LCDs and default to manual focus in every somewhat challenging situation. But will the newer cameras be of any improvement in those areas or is it just me?


Last edited by ytterbium; 01-01-2012 at 11:41 AM.
01-01-2012, 10:34 AM   #2
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I have not had the issues you mention with my K200D's. My issues revolve around batteries and very low temperatures. That is when I can get into trouble otherwise the camera works reliably.
They can be slow compared to the newer versions, but solid in most situations. I never shoot or use AF. It is all manual focus for me so I can't help there.
I have a K-x and love its sensor but I always find myself going back to the K200Ds. The grip, weather proofing, the ability to attach a shutter chord all work for me.
One area I find the K200D weak in, is low light/night photography. It is limited in my opinion. Still, it can be worked around.
I am curious to see what others have to say. Good luck.
I believe the K200D is a keeper. One of the best Pentax has made in the DSLR era.
Happy New Year.
01-01-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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QuoteQuote:
*Another observation - half depressing doesn't start AF action instantly. First some time passes and red AF point indicator lights up (manually selected AF Pnt.), then, after being lit for a fraction of second it goes out and some more time passes. Af starts working (this is actually fairly quick). It stops, again red dot blinks, only then green hexagon lights up. I'd like this to happen all at the same time.
Forget it; K5 can still take a second (or two) (in low light) from half press to green hexagon. It's faster in good light but you will still see the sequence that you describe.

QuoteQuote:
*Minor movements can completely disable AF. E.G. Me waving +/-2..3cm back and forth and having AF point movement on the subject few CM in the same plane. Fairly frequent situation when photographing humans.
Can you elaborate about 'disable AF'. Do you mean that the camera will not 'lock' focus (green hexagon)? Or something else? I suffer from the same waving but K100D, K10D and K5 do lock focus.
01-01-2012, 11:43 AM   #4
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Interesting. Yes the camera is really a gem in the image quality and ergonomics areas, but operation is questionable. I always envy you guys, that can use MF. I cant see where the focus is even with 50/1.7 mounted, so i have to rely on AF 100% as well as "chimp" after each shot, to confirm sharpness.

QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Forget it; K5 can still take a second (or two) (in low light) from half press to green hexagon. It's faster in good light but you will still see the sequence that you describe.
Too bad.. i was hoping this was fixed. Actually it is more the way it happens than the time that is bothering me. It seems that for a very long period of time the camera isn't actually focussing, but having some pauses.

QuoteQuote:
Can you elaborate about 'disable AF'. Do you mean that the camera will not 'lock' focus (green hexagon)? Or something else? I suffer from the same waving but K100D, K10D and K5 do lock focus.
Yes, it will not lock, or fiddle the focus around for very long time even when its right where it should be and its just me or subject slightly moving. Its like the camera has no idea of what is happening with the distance (doesn't it keeps track of some sort of average measure?).
This would be important at F2.8 or faster. Still, this is more up to operator to preserve the distance, but with KIT's F4.5 +/-2..5cm would make no difference.
I've tried using AF.C, but that on the other hand allows snapping a pic. when the focus is completely off.

Unfortunately there are very few Pentaxians around so i don't get a chance to try out some of the latest cameras. It seems that most of the shops have completely dropped Pentax as well.


Last edited by ytterbium; 01-01-2012 at 12:09 PM.
01-01-2012, 01:41 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by ytterbium Quote
Too bad.. i was hoping this was fixed. Actually it is more the way it happens than the time that is bothering me. It seems that for a very long period of time the camera isn't actually focussing, but having some pauses.
I think that you exaggerate a bit. It should definitely not be a show stopper to take people photos. Check Post your photos! - PentaxForums.com for threads with the keyword people.

With regards to the first problem that you mentioned; my K100D, K10D and K5 don't show that behavior (one or two 'taps' on the shutter button is enough to remove the preview). Maybe a reset to factory settings will get your K200D in a good mood again.
01-01-2012, 02:30 PM   #6
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Good call on the factory reset. Sounds dumb but are your batteries fresh?
01-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #7
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@john5100,
Using eneloops, they are always "fresh" unless depleted. Will give the reset a try, still it has behaved this way since i have it, that's why i'm more interested in current cameras/improvements, than fiddling with k200d. Also, I'd like to get video, since all i have is 240p p&s. In addition i keep hoping that a penta-prism body might let me better see where i'm focusing and maybe use manual focus. If not i might consider some MILC with good LV 1:1 zoom MF. Maybe the K200D simply doesn't go well together with me.

@sterretje.
Thanks for the info. Well, you mention one or two taps. That's the problem right there, unless you meant too weak tap. If i tap the button and hear AF, camera has read my input and i continue to the next action, but that's not possible=confusion, tap again, confusion, tap again... Btw, previously i had a K100D (-S) and even if i didn't had a chance to perform side-by-side test it feels as if the K200D's AF performs a somewhat worse in low light, but is more precise and faster in daylight.

Btw standby mode is similar. Its faster to turn the cam on-off all the time, than keep tapping. Something in the half press button code?
01-01-2012, 05:00 PM   #8
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I have been using a K200D for some time and have not experienced the issues you mention. Might you have a flaky shutter button that you are half-pressing? I dunno, just guessing.

01-01-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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Using four K200's with a wide spread in S/N's and closing on 25,000+ shutter actions each I haven't seen the anomalies mentioned.

Any AF abnormalities I've noticed could be explained by understandable, degraded lighting conditions or a general lack of image contrast/pattern. AF indications using MF lenses and AF TC's have been reliable at f 5.6 and beyond my expectations for AF.

IME, the K200 has been a trouble-free body limited (for my uses) only by the limits of the sensor and the functionality of the design. Eneloops and LiTH batteries have performed well.

H2
01-02-2012, 01:46 AM   #10
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Gremlins always creep up.
But I have two K200Ds, and awaiting a third in the mail, and they work fabulously. They are horses.
Like pacerr says, a "trouble-free body limited (for my uses) only by the limits of the sensor and the functionality of the design."
Sometimes I think it will be considered the K1000 of the DSLR world. The K200D is tough as nails.
01-02-2012, 04:57 AM   #11
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Odd. Last evening and this morning i tried to reproduce the behaviour and nothing. Maybe it has to do with the fact that i observed the behaviour at temperatures around t=0..-3 C. And since none of you have seen such behaviour in your cameras, it not possible to compare with current models.
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