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06-12-2008, 08:37 AM   #1
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K200D: strengths and weaknesses?

Folks,

Before making the move, I'd like to ask the current K200D owners: what are, BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE, the strengths and weaknesses of this camera? Obviously, many factors depends on a personal style of shooting etc. but there probably are some features that would make you happy/unhappy on a daily basis. Your comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot.

06-12-2008, 08:58 AM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by fnralch Quote
Folks,

Before making the move, I'd like to ask the current K200D owners: what are, BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE, the strengths and weaknesses of this camera? Obviously, many factors depends on a personal style of shooting etc. but there probably are some features that would make you happy/unhappy on a daily basis. Your comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot.
Hmm, I don't want to sound like a fanboy, but after owning the K200D for a couple of months I have very few complaints. I thought the small buffer would be the biggest issue, but with a fast card the buffer clears out so fast that I have yet to wait on the camera. For a sports shooter however, that could be a potential problem. Sometimes I wish it was a little smaller and lighter like my *istDS. It's slightly annoying that you can't display the ISO setting and the number of shots remaining at the same time. I also would have liked some external hard buttons for some of the menu settings. Other than these few niggles I've been *extremely* satisfied with this body.
06-12-2008, 06:32 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by fnralch Quote
Folks,

Before making the move, I'd like to ask the current K200D owners: what are, BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE, the strengths and weaknesses of this camera? Obviously, many factors depends on a personal style of shooting etc. but there probably are some features that would make you happy/unhappy on a daily basis. Your comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot.
Pros

-Great build quality / weathersealing
-In-body lens stabilizer
-Comfortable grip, for me
-Menus very well laid out
-Excellent instruction book
-External RAW button
-Big LCD
-Good high ISO performance
-Lots of in-camera processing options
-Uses AA batteries

Cons

-Slow burst FPS
-Small buffer
-Potentially a bit heavy / intimidating to some people (I love it..tank! rar)
-At least with mine -- Focusing isn't spot-on sometimes, which is beginning to get really annoying. I may have to send it back to Pentax for a calibration.
-Only goes to ISO 1600

-And the #1 complaint -- AF performance.


The more I use my camera, the more I realize the AF just isn't up to task in some situations. This might be somewhat related to my focusing problem.

Just today, I was trying out AF-S with my Tamron 28-75 in an EV 11 situation, which should be more than bright enough for AF-S, and yet the lens was having trouble focusing firmly on my daughter's face as she played in the dirt (kids!)

This is a bit disheartening, but at least it wasn't consistent. Other times the camera (same situation) focused just fine, so I'm not sure what's up...my camera may need help.

Overall, though, I really like it.
06-13-2008, 08:40 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by cputeq Quote
Pros


-And the #1 complaint -- AF performance.


The more I use my camera, the more I realize the AF just isn't up to task in some situations. This might be somewhat related to my focusing problem.
Hmmm, I'm not sure I came across this problem in other threads.......can anybody confirm please?

06-13-2008, 09:44 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by fnralch Quote
Hmmm, I'm not sure I came across this problem in other threads.......can anybody confirm please?
No problems for me so far.....snaps right into focus. I've had a rare "back focus" but I think every camera does that if your not careful.
06-13-2008, 09:11 PM   #6
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The only thing that I can add to the above list is

Cons:

The LCD can't be used in real time but I can live without it.
Also, I have found that some third party lens don't work properly.

Overall, I am jazzed about this camera and am glad to have a new Pentax after twenty years!

Here is my first attempt at a macro shot using the DA 18-55mm lens that came with it. This was just a hand hold and nothing special to do. This was a small fly.



My motivating factor to get a Pentax dslr was the versatility for macro photography.
06-14-2008, 04:17 AM   #7
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QuoteQuote:
Hmmm, I'm not sure I came across this problem in other threads.......can anybody confirm please?
Pentax's af system is the most-criticized fault of the k10 to k20 era, esp considering low-light. A cursory glance at pretty much any web site will reveal this.

I'm referring to speed only, though. Accuracy may me an entirely different matter.
06-14-2008, 05:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Blue Quote
Cons:

The LCD can't be used in real time


Explain how this has any relevance as a CON with an SLR camera? That's the point, there's a mirror in front of the sensor to reflect the actual image up into the viewfinder, so what you see there is what you record onto the memory card. What you see in the LCD of point and shoots isn't always what you get on the card.

If you like the LCD, get a point and shoot.

06-14-2008, 05:43 AM   #9
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One feature that does not get mentioned enough but is very neat is as follows:

You can change white balance, or tweek it, while seeing the results applied automatically to the last picture that you took. You can also change the color settings, like Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, etc. and tweek their individual settings, like contrast, saturation, etc. and see the results apllied to the last piture taken while you are doing the changes.

I love this feature.
06-14-2008, 06:01 AM   #10
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I am not a K200D user, but have tried it several times on different days. My impression on it is more or less the same. Here it is:

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: K200D First Impressions

The main cons I don't like about it is its big size and heavy weight and than the same sluggish and insensitive AF as the old K100D. The viewfinder image size is the same as the K100D, too.

Do consider also the ridiculous small frame buffer which make it almost impossible to do continuous shootings with the K200D, too.

QuoteOriginally posted by fnralch Quote
Folks,

Before making the move, I'd like to ask the current K200D owners: what are, BASED ON YOUR EXPERIENCE, the strengths and weaknesses of this camera? Obviously, many factors depends on a personal style of shooting etc. but there probably are some features that would make you happy/unhappy on a daily basis. Your comments will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot.
06-14-2008, 08:12 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by miniman82 Quote
Explain how this has any relevance as a CON with an SLR camera? That's the point, there's a mirror in front of the sensor to reflect the actual image up into the viewfinder, so what you see there is what you record onto the memory card. What you see in the LCD of point and shoots isn't always what you get on the card.

If you like the LCD, get a point and shoot.
The LCD is the same one that's on K20D and it can be used live. It may or may not be a con depending on if its a feature you use. I always use the viewfinder. However, if you have the camera set up on a tripod or are crawling around in the bushes to macro some critters it could be helpful. I haven't owned a point and shoot since the late 1970's since I was in junior high shooting with a Continental 110. My wife does have a P & S Nikon that she carries around in her purse in lieu of a camera phone.

Obviously it wasn't a feature that kept me from getting it and going with the new Nikon. I was twitching over the K20D due to the 14.6 mp but I decided I would be tempted to spend a lot of $$$ on better glass.
06-14-2008, 08:19 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by RiceHigh Quote
I am not a K200D user, but have tried it several times on different days. My impression on it is more or less the same. Here it is:

RiceHigh's Pentax Blog: K200D First Impressions

The main cons I don't like about it is its big size and heavy weight and than the same sluggish and insensitive AF as the old K100D. The viewfinder image size is the same as the K100D, too.

Do consider also the ridiculous small frame buffer which make it almost impossible to do continuous shootings with the K200D, too.
Good write-up in the blog. I can't comment on the older Pentax dslr since I've been using Nikon Coolpix 5700 and D40 the past 6.5 years. I do think that the price has come down enough on the K200D to make it very competitive. I got mine for $569 after the rebate through a reputable source.
06-14-2008, 09:10 AM   #13
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I've had the K200D for over a month and can not find fault with it. It simply works.

Pro's over my previous K100D-S (thats all I can personally compare it to directly);

- wireless flash (a main reason for my upgrade)
- weather sealed
- I get 4 RAW DNG (16MB files) in a burst with SD Ultra II ...good enough for me.
- AF is fine in all situations, specifically my 50-135, its extremely accurate and fast enough that I don't have any worries.
- 3 color histogram
- DR on ISO, it helps sometimes.
- slightly more clear LCD
- 10MP for those rare times I crop

...thats off the top of my head, I know there are a few other benefits.

I tried the K20D before I bought the K200D. Major issue with my Sigma 18-50 EX Macro lens even when using ever single AF adjustment available. I put the same lens on the K200D and it is razor sharp.

Last edited by metalfab; 06-14-2008 at 10:37 AM.
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