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07-07-2008, 11:29 AM   #1
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Help me decide - K20D or K200D

I'm looking to upgrade to a DSLR and have chosen Pentax for a number of reasons - including the fact we have some lenses and flashes from when we shot film until 2003.

But I'm torn as to whether I should spend the extra $400 for the K20D.

Right now I'm shooing with a Fuji S6000fd 6.3MP. It's a nice camera and a good value at $333 when I bought it last October.

But I think we're hitting the limit for what this camera can do - especially in low light settings and at the kid's (age 7 & 3) soccer games. I'd also like to take better moon/star pictures.

I'm not convinced the K200D is a big enough improvement over the S6000 to spend $550 (at amazon.com after $100 rebate) and I should just bite the bullet and spend $950 on the K20D.

I'm sure others have contemplated the same decision. Any advice? What convinced you to buy one over the other?

Thanks in advance.

07-07-2008, 11:31 AM   #2
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K20D, hands down, dont even think about it.

best of the best.
07-07-2008, 11:52 AM   #3
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A lot depends on what you need the camera to do. I can tell you that if money is an object, you won't be disappointed with the K200D. I had the same dilemma and ended up getting one myself. Since I was upgrading from a K100D (which I still use as a 2nd body to cut down on lens switching), I had specific reasons for choosing the K200D over the K20D. I chose the K200D for several reasons:

1. Like the K100D, the K200D also uses AA batteries. That means I can carry 3-4 spare sets of Eneloops to cover both camera bodies and my flashes.

2. SDM support for lenses that I wouldn't be able to use with the K100D.

3. Weather sealed body.

4. Ease of use, since the controls are pretty much the same as the K100D.

5. The ability to shoot RAW + JPEG when I want to (not available with K100D).

6. A functional battery grip is available as an accessory.

I'm pretty sure someone upgrading from/adding to a K10D would opt for the K20D instead.
07-07-2008, 11:55 AM   #4
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It fairly depends on what you are really willing to invest and on your subjects. In general, any DSLR will be a noticeable (I mean: big) improvement over even a good compact camera. The Fuji has a comparatively big sensor but the Pentaxes have a bigger one - and I really mean the physical dimensions, not only the pixel count. Also you will find any DSLR more responsive with shorter shutter lag, which is important for shooting kids, sporting events etc. Then you got the possibility to use really good lenses. Though the Fuji lenses have a good reputation (I only have used them with medium and large format cameras), it is a fixed lens, a super-zoom. And any current Pentax fixed focal length lens will blow it away. Then DSLR lenses can be had in faster varities, which is good for sports and opens up a world of opportunities. I could go on an on, not the least advantage being the much better optical viewfinder of a DSLR.

Whether a K200 or a K20 would be better suited for you is also more a question of application and dedication. Apart from the somewhat superior viewfinder of the K20 (bigger and brighter), the differences might be of not much importance for yyour personal applications - you must know, whether you prefer the pre-set programm modes, the K200 offers or the K20s easy manual set-up. I opted for the latter, because I never use any kind of program mode, but this is a purely personal choice.

The K20 is a bit faster and allows longer series of shots, because of it bigger internal buffer memory and it has some other advanced settings, which you might or might not make use off.

Ben

07-07-2008, 11:57 AM   #5
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Oooh, that's an easy one for me...
K20D is the only way to go.
I would consider the K10D if you weren't going to spend the extra cash for the K20D.
More customisable and easy to access features compared with the K200D - all for less money, esp. 2nd hand.
07-07-2008, 02:01 PM   #6
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Hi scatron

Before proceeding further, I'd like to ask you some pertinent questions, which I hope will help you come to a balanced decision.

Firstly, are you content to peer through a slightly gloomy eyepiece when composing photographs, in preference to using a nice bright pentaprism viewfinder ?

Secondly, do you regard yourself as a typical 'point & shoot' kind of person, who often uses 'scene modes' ?

Thirdly, are you happy to miss unrepeatable photo opportunities, because your camera's menu structure regularly forces you to delve into long-winded settings ?

Finally, would you be happy to manage with only one e-dial ?

If the answer to all the above questions is a resounding YES, then in my opinion it looks like you're an ideal candidate for a Pentax K200D !!!

However, if your answer to any of them is NO, then you'd be well advised to head in the direction of a Pentax K20D. Incidentally, twelve-months experience has rapidly taught me that I would never even consider purchasing another DSLR that didn't include some form of inbuilt Shake Reduction facility. In fact I reckon that this Pentax incarnation is quite simply the best means of stabilising both new and legacy K-mount lenses on the market, making the IS / VR in-lens solutions from C***n or N***n look like the extortionately over-priced alternatives that they are !

As far as lenses are concerned, simply ask yourself what type of photographs you expect to take most ? Landscapes, architecture, portraits, low-light sports action, long-distance bird or wildlife shots etc. I prefer to travel light nowadays and so thus far I only own two lenses, which cover my requirements brilliantly. However, your needs may well vary.

I wouldn't get unnecessarily hung-up about AA batteries, or the lack thereof. Originally I was thinking along the same lines as yourself, but good quality 3rd party D-Li50's are now so cheap & easily obtainable (about $15 - $20 ea) that it's not a serious issue any longer. I always keep two fully-charged batteries in my K10D, one in the camera body and the other in the D BG-2 grip and have NEVER yet come remotely close to exhausting the first one, even after a hard day's shooting !

Pricing issues aside, despite certain technical similarities the K200D and K20D are entirely different animals. Having tried both models, I personally came down in favour of the K10D, because the K20D wasn't available last year, when I decided to make a purchase. I cannot even begin to describe how naturally balanced and ergonomically "right" this weather-sealed Pentax seems in my hands. It's build quality is amazingly solid and all the controls fall intuitively to hand. In fact it feels so "comfortable" that it's almost as though this camera has been tailor-made for me, rather like a Saville Row suit !
Pity the same can't be said for competing models from C***n or N***n, but that's another can of worms entirely.

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 07-07-2008 at 03:53 PM.
07-07-2008, 03:57 PM   #7
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k200

I know that is a personal prefrence on which to get but it sounds to me as if there is a clear divide in pentax nation. I own a k200 and a k100 I dont use the pre-programmed scenes but I also dont have the money for the top model. I read these threads and the overwhelming feel to them is if you dont have the K20 or K10 then you are buying a lesser camera. I just find it interesting that the K200 is basically the K10 without the famous "second dial" yet its looked down on. walking off my soapbox and heading back out of the room
07-07-2008, 04:21 PM   #8
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Hi gokenin

It was honestly not my intention to deride existing K200D/K100D users, but the original OP stated:

QuoteQuote:
I'm not convinced the K200D is a big enough improvement over the S6000 to spend $550 (at amazon.com after $100 rebate) and I should just bite the bullet and spend $950 on the K20D.
In many respects the K200D "beats the pants" off it's nearest competitors, but then so does the K20D when placed side-by-side with the K10D, but notice that I'm not complaining ! It's just the unavoidable nature of progress, but I certainly wouldn't get upset when perhaps a C***n 1DS Mk11 owner tried to compare their camera with lesser models from another brand. Please accept my apologies if it appeared that I came over too strong, but I'm delighted with my K10D and was merely trying to convey this to potential purchasers.

Best regards
Richard


Last edited by Confused; 07-07-2008 at 04:36 PM.
07-07-2008, 04:29 PM   #9
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I had a K200D for about three months, then I upgraded to the K20D.

Reasons:

1) More external controls. The K200D's menu system isn't horrible, but I can switch settings much faster on the K20D. Biggest improvement IMO

2) Better viewfinder - It's brighter.

3) Random other features. ISO 6400 availablity, though in reality I rarely shoot ISO3200 or higher.

Timed exposures, something the K200D doesn't have.
Multiple exposures, also missing on K200D.
Greater EV comp (+/- 3 instead of +/- 2 I think)
You can link ISO jumps to EV jumps to shoot at those "off" ISOs like 500, 640, stuff like that.




But seriously, the two biggest improvements I've seen are the controls and the viewfinder. Both cameras take great photos, and both are easy to use. If you don't mess around with your shot settings a lot, and don't mind a slightly dimmer viewfinder, the K200D is a great camera.
I wouldn't let the resolution numbers throw you one way or another -- Frankly it's not worth the cash if that's your major concern. 10MP is more than enough for large prints, I have a 11x14 from the K200D and I wouldn't hesitate to go higher with that picture.
07-07-2008, 04:33 PM   #10
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opinions

Richard no need to apologize as i said its just my observation. I was looking at the specs on the fuji and the 200 is really not that diffrent from it both have preprogramed scenes both use AA batteries and a few other things. Should you be looking to break completely from this style of camera then I would say splurge and get the K20. Should you like these features get the K200 and spend the diffrence on glass you can always upgrade later but start off with good glass thats my advice
07-07-2008, 04:49 PM   #11
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Interesting read, especially from those who have not owned the K20D.
Well I went through the K100D, K100D Super and K10D and now K20D. I did consider the K200D, but only briefly. In a nutshell, I chose the K20D because of the sensor.

scatron, if you can spend the money, the K20D is the one to go for, and it is worth the price difference over the K200D. The image quality from the CMOS sensor is pretty far ahead of the K200D/K10D CCD sensor. The K200D is a fine camera and is a little smaller easier on the wallet but it really depends on your priorities.
07-07-2008, 05:27 PM   #12
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Definately the K20D. Worth every cent. The resolution is superior to the K200D, the functionality is superior and you don't need AA batteries to run it. My major gripe with the K100D Super was that I needed AA batteries. I much prefer the battery pack with the K20D. It is more compact and very powerful.

Believe it or not that front e-dial makes it alot easier to function as well, you dont need to take your eye away from the viewfinder to make adjustments and risk losing important shots.

The other benefits are the focus mode adjustment dials are external on the K20D as well as the metering modes. You dont have to delve into the menu system to adjust them. The less time you are away from the camera making adjustments the less shots you will miss.
07-07-2008, 05:44 PM   #13
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QuoteQuote:
The image quality from the CMOS sensor is pretty far ahead of the K200D/K10D CCD sensor
I'm not so sure I agree with that statement. I've used both cameras in multiple crop situations, etc. with various lenses. I really can't tell much of a difference, IQ wise.

Sure, 100% crops of K20D pictures are larger, but you really have to strain to make out the differences. Maybe you can make out some faint text in a large K20D crop where you can't on the K200D, but who seriously shoots like that ?

I'll take two photos of the same exact scene with the best lens I have DA* 50-135 at f/5.6 and I guarantee it would be impossible to tell them side-by-side which was which.

Of coruse, it's possible I just don't have a good enough lens to stretch K20D legs
07-07-2008, 06:51 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by scatron Quote

But I'm torn as to whether I should spend the extra $400 for the K20D.
For me, the K20D ergonomics made it my choice. It did (nearly) everything I wanted in the way I wanted it to. It feels like a camera designed by photographers.

Handle them both, see how they feel.
07-07-2008, 07:17 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
Sure, 100% crops of K20D pictures are larger, but you really have to strain to make out the differences. Maybe you can make out some faint text in a large K20D crop where you can't on the K200D, but who seriously shoots like that ?
Detail is detail, you have just admitted the K20D has a greater level of fine detail than the K200D.

Looking past the sensor type and pixel count, function wise the K20D beats the K200D hands down.
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