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03-23-2008, 08:46 PM   #1
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K200D First Impressions

Handled a K200D today and below are my observations:-

1. Body is larger and heavier than that I would like, at least noticeably more weight and bulkier than the K100D. The build quality is felt just a little bit better than the K100D, though, which is similar to the K10D and the K20D. Anyway, the plasticky outshell must not be something that I really like;

2. Viewfinder is the same as that of the K100D, for both the image magnification and the brightness, that is, medium image size and medium brightness for an APS-C DSLR - no particular excitement or disappointment here;

3. The AF point red illuminated marks are yet again misaligned, as usual. No real surprise here;

4. AF speed is the same, nothing considered speedy and it will become rather slow and hunt at just lower light conditions;

5. Mirror slap and shutter actions have been improved, smoother and quieter, very similar to the K20D, better than both K10D and K100D. Shutter lag and finder black out time are quite noticeable, close to the K20D for what I could see;

6. Auto ISO does work even when the Exposure Compensation is applied. The function and setting of the Auto ISO is just the same as that of the K10D and K20D. With the launch of the K200D and K20D and the dis-continuation of other older Pentax DSLR models, it has marked a full-stop for the annoying long lasting Pentax DSLR Auto ISO bug since the *ist D, which has been persistent for five year!(?) But yet, my question is: WHY Pentax do NOT release firmware updates for those other older Pentax DSLR models for all we old users so as to get rid of this annoying old problem completely??

7. The operations and settings of the camera are mostly identical to that of the K10D/K20D. Of course, the K200D has only one e-dial, though - but now there is a green reset button, also;

8. The LCD monitor looks the same as that of the K20D, larger than that of the K10D and the K100D but the pixels are now even more obvious as the resolution of the new monitor is yet the same;

9. It should be noted that set price of the K200D is the most expensive amongst the latest 10+ Mega Pixel DSLR offers from the brands C, N, O and S. Nevertheless, the K200D still costs less than half of the price of a K20D;

All in all, I can see a real dilemma here for the existing Pentax DSLR users who just wish to find a better upgrade path, especially for the old K users. The dilemma is that the K200D and the K20D are almost designed and built identically, feature wise and in many characteristics, even for those which are not published, e.g., the improved mirror damping and quieter shutter action (but along with some noticeably system time lag and finder black-out, which are very similar). The major (only) differences, which are obvious or published on paper, between the two latest DSLRs are just on the pixel count (and the new Samsung CMOS sensor) and the new Live View feature of the K20D which is weakest in the market in terms of features and functionality.

It seems that the K200D has a far better price-performance ratio than the K20D but it does not have the Live View (anyway, I think it is not a real concern as far as the K20D's LV is not further improved by Pentax with their upcoming firmwares which are to be issued, if any). But as far as price is concerned alone, the price of the K200D is not really competitive in any sense for a new purchaser whom has no "system concern". The AF of the K200D is indeed slow and the K20D's one is not really fast neither, despite that quite some users have already reported that the K20D has improved software algorithm for the AF-C mode now (it seems that the hardwares are the same) and has improved AF accuracy (which *should be* at the very *beginning*, frankly).

So, if the K200D is proved to have the same debugs as the K20D later on (e.g., so far I could see no more "soft in-camera jpegs" from the K200D and K20D so far), than I would say it is a no-brainer for anyone who want to buy or must buy a new Pentax DSLR now. If it is not, then I don't think it is valuable to get the K20D just for a few of those found debugs - I do believe many of the old Pentax DSLR users do wish for more for that premium price we would pay for the cost of a K20D!

To sum up, my final conclusion and comments are that the K200D is competitive for new users only if it is made smaller, sold cheaper (at least comparable to the D60, A200/300/350, 400D etc.) and should have some unique features, e.g. a better LiveView or tilting LCD or a better one and so on. On the other hand, if a current Pentax DSLR who really need an upgrade, I think the K200D should be the better choice, especially when the P/P ratio must be taken into account, but don't expect a *real* or significant upgrade for what we could get with the K200D, especially when we already have a later generation of Pentax DSLR, e.g., the K100D.

All in all, I do think Pentax should make a real entry level DSLR (which should be sold cheaper, and more importantly, smaller and lighter) and a real advanced level DSLR (like the D300, that has faster and stronger AF and quicker system responses), otherwise they again could seek no further market share at all, with their current somehow "weak" offers which are unable to compete in *any* market segments (Indeed, I really have big doubts about what are the actual *targeted* market segments which the K200D and K20D are positioned for by Pentax?? which is indeed very unclear, at least to me!)

(Original article with all the original links contained newly posted at my Blog)

03-23-2008, 08:53 PM   #2
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Plastic bounces, metal dents.

And why do you continue posting on Pentax forums if you deride its brand so much?
03-23-2008, 09:18 PM   #3
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Original Poster
Simple..

QuoteOriginally posted by Fireball Quote
Plastic bounces, metal dents.

And why do you continue posting on Pentax forums if you deride its brand so much?
It's about the brand as my current *huge* Pentax system need a new body that suits my needs. But, it should NOT be something about those blind brand loyalty, which would never apply for me.

As I have said, I would be both happy to see a lightweight and compact new Pentax DSLR (which I can use as a P&S and is easy to carry around everywhere) or a true up-market Pentax DSLR (truly comparable to the D300 or even D3).
03-23-2008, 10:06 PM   #4
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Hey RH, I bet you can't wait for the next Pentax huh? Then you'll have another one to nitpick to death.

03-23-2008, 10:11 PM   #5
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Here we go again! Too funny. JIMBO
03-23-2008, 10:56 PM   #6
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''Sigh''..........I should have read who started the thread before I clicked it open...
03-23-2008, 10:57 PM   #7
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I see a lot of words, but I see very little wisdom or analysis of what really could or should matter to someone who actually shoots photos. Spreadsheets, maybe. Conspicuous consumers who want to pixel peep. Photographers or artists? Not so much...

The K200d has no peer at the price point wrt weather sealing. If that is important to someone, case closed. No C/N equivalent. Is it weaker in AF performance? Probably. But god knows my D70 hunted plenty.

As for the K20d, I essentially "upgraded" from a K10d and find the price differential to be very worth the money. And I compared directly between the D300, E3 and K20d. I have no previous "fanboy" syndrome with Pentax, and in fact had a Nikon D70 as my previous dslr. Well, I admit to loving Leica but that is another malady...

Pentax has real advantages, and real disadvantages. Just like every other camera/system. What annoys people here is the incredible volume of words that you throw at your "reviews" which *to me* can be boiled down to a pair of words:

"I'm bitter."

To me, in my hands and eyes, spending $1229 for a K20d is providing a much better value and quality as opposed to $1749 for a D300 or $1649 for an E3. No question in my mind. I work around the imperfections of the system and make art that I am happy with. And that now colleagues are happy enough with that we are talking licensing terms for some of my images. And I now have a couple of gallery shows in the works for the summer and fall. The K20d and Pentax lenses enable me to make what I want and need. Obviously I don't need 55 AF points to accomplish that. Neither do most people. But I understand how 55 beats 11 on a spreadsheet. But it doesn't necessarily win in the hands of someone who actually uses the tool to make pictures.

ymmv...
03-23-2008, 11:51 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Handled a K200D today and below are my observations:-

8. The LCD monitor looks the same as that of the K20D, larger than that of the K10D and the K100D but the pixels are now even more obvious as the resolution of the new monitor is yet the same;
Actually the 2.7-inch LCD on the K20D/K200D contains more pixels than the 2.5-inch on the K10D/K100D. Although it's rather minimal: 230K versus 210K.

Peter

03-24-2008, 12:07 AM   #9
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Hi Michael,
I would like to clarify one thing, in the interest of fair commentary.

In Australia the K200D is cheaper than the Nikon D60 and has weather sealing to boot. Not altogether a bad selling point...and we haven't even started talking about backward lens compatibility.

I have also handled a K200D and found it to be quite OK size wise (compared to my DS), it was also quieter, faster af etc. I liked it and will probably buy one in the near future in preference to the K20D purely for the AA batteries.

Cheers
Grant
03-24-2008, 12:17 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
3. The AF point red illuminated marks are yet again misaligned, as usual. No real surprise here;
this seems to be a problem with just about all the Pentax DSLR cameras dosent it? Am I mistaken or does this have something to do with the cause of the "leaning viewfinder" issue so many folks have had to send the cameras in over?
03-24-2008, 12:29 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
It's about the brand as my current *huge* Pentax system need a new body that suits my needs. But, it should NOT be something about those blind brand loyalty, which would never apply for me.
what about blind brand whining? Does that apply?
03-24-2008, 02:31 AM   #12
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Calm down

Why all of you bothered by RH? Just let him alone, not all of the time RH's critique is negative.
At least check this out:

Pentax SMCP-DA 16-45mm Zoom f/4.0 ED/AL Lens

QuoteQuote:
... I would conclude that this would be one of the best (or even the best) digital standard lens(es) currently on the market ...
QuoteQuote:
P. S. I have got this lens for months and have used it to shoot near two thousands of photos already.
I'm starting thinking that review was actually not made by RH, it just someone stole his ID. Or when he was in drunk condition or something? Hm.. :-?

kyrios
03-24-2008, 05:10 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
Handled a K200D today and below are my observations:-
To sum up, my final conclusion and comments are that the K200D is competitive for new users only if it is made smaller, sold cheaper (at least comparable to the D60, A200/300/350, 400D etc.) and should have some unique features, e.g. a better LiveView or tilting LCD or a better one and so on.
You seem to forget one thing here. K200D has one unique feature for this market segment. It is weather proof. It seems that this is not a significant feature for you, but for many users it is. I for one, loves weather proof cameras.

MaritimTim
03-24-2008, 05:22 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Fototim Quote
You seem to forget one thing here. K200D has one unique feature for this market segment. It is weather proof. It seems that this is not a significant feature for you, but for many users it is. I for one, loves weather proof cameras.

MaritimTim
I'm continually amazed that people never seem to notice weatherproofing. All I can think is that most DSLR users must never shoot outdoors!

Canon, I'd have to go to what, L glass (with filters) and the absolute top end pro body to get sealing? Ridiculous.

Nikon, the D200/D300 is weatherproofed, but when I looked I could *not* get a straight answer on which Nikon lenses were sealed. Do a search on DPreview Nikon forum for example. And the lenses that people assume are sealed, are the top end expensive ones, of course.

Olympus, now they make great weatherproof cameras and innovations. But their sensor is pretty much the worst in the market.

Sony? New kid on the block, and expensive, but with some sort of sealing. Would need to give them time to get their system going.

Sigma? Not even a player.

I went to a cattle station, inland Australia, over Easter, which was flooded. Went out in a flat bottom punt on a flooded swamp, with the K10D and DA* 16-50, and when it inevitably got splashed from the oars and weeds, I didn't care. Walking around the property in the rain, didn't care. If I had a Canon 5D (picking a camera COMPLETELY at random), I'd be either struggling with plastic bags, umbrellas and who knows what, or hiding inside until the rain stopped.

I'd rather be outside in the weather getting the shots I want with my "inferior" Pentax, than hiding inside taking photos of brick walls, test charts and my pets.
03-24-2008, 05:25 PM   #15
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You have to realize, he doesn't like to point out the "good points" only what HE considers "bad"
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