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07-14-2008, 05:49 AM   #1
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K200D deserves more attention! A couple of questions (ghosting and rectilinear uw)

I realize that many here are K20D users, but seems to me that the Pentax K200D deserves more attention from people entering the DSLR market (like me).

I may not be your typical entry-level person, as my preference was for all manual film cameras. (The first SLR I shot with was the Pentax Spotmatic C in High School). I bought a Canon AE-1 with graduation money, but later went with Olympus OM-1.

Here are the features that the K200D has that are important to me. Most of them are not found on ANY OTHER comparable camera from other mfg:
  • Stainless steel chassis. I *hate* the lightweight plastic feel of the Rebels
  • Weather-resistant seals. This is a big deal to me, as part of what I do is shoot weather in "Tornado Alley"
  • Shake resistance built into the BODY, not the lenses
  • Spot metering
  • A kit lens that you don't have to be embarrassed over (and the original has even been improved in the II version)
  • Stainless steel lens mount (others are plastic in this critical area).
  • 11 point auto-focus (others are 7)
  • AA battery over proprietary design (and the ability to even shoot with Alkalines in a pinch)
  • Ergonomics: not only how it feels in you hand, but control layout. I like the RAW button, for instance.

All of the above should make the camera worth MORE than a competing model, but with the current rebate one is looking at a street price of about $560 making it a supremely great deal.

The only thing really holding me back right now is lens selection. Frankly, I don't expect to have an entire arsenal of lenses, and the ability to put older glass on the camera is a big plus for me. But rectilinear ultrawide is VERY important to me. I have a son-in-law who is a pretty darn good photographer that shoots with a Canon 20D and has invested in Canon glass. He (and others) rave about the Canon 10-22mm and my options there for the Pentax are pretty limited.
If the Tokina 11-16mm was available in the Pentax mount, I'd be more than happy with that. But I'm not sure I'd be happy with the other offerings out there. The 10-20mm Sigma looks to be my best compromise choice. Any thoughts that anyone has on that would be appreciated.

One other question I have concerns the CCD sensor. New (and more expensive models) are going with the CMOS. The K20D is not really an option for me. At more than double the street price, it doesn't seem worth it to me - particularly while I'm paying for three daughters' weddings). People seem pretty darn happy with the IQ of the K200D, but I read that ghosting is the biggest problem with CCD sensors. Maybe the entry-level users don't know what it is, or maybe it isn't objectionable. Can anyone tell me how big a factor ghosting is on the CCD sensor of the K200D? Finally, if it IS a problem, is it correctible with Photoshop? (I've got CS3, but will need to learn post-processing. Fortunately, my son-in-law can help me with that. (He's featured in the current issue of a UK Photoshop magazine on HDR photography and does color correction for a newspaper).

Thanks for any advise you can give me.

07-14-2008, 06:21 AM   #2
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The Pentax 12-24 is an excellent wide angle zoom (albeit not as wide as the Canon). If you are planning on buying third party glass, I don't really see a lot of point in buying a Pentax body, as the competition has better cameras at similar pricing.
The CCD in the K200 is the same sensor as was in the K10, which I shot several thousand pictures with and never saw sign of sensor ghosting. This sort of stuff gets seen by single users who come up with an idea of what causes it, a bunch of people replicate the problem after it gets reported on some forum or other, and all of a sudden its an "issue".
Perhaps Pentax coatings are just better than those from Canon or Nikon (well, I know they are, actually), so a problem other brands have doesn't show up with Pentax.
The reason companies are going with CMOS is because they can put live view onto CMOS based cameras, and they can't with CCD, and IIRC, CMOS sensors are much cheaper to make. Overall, I don't realy think their imaging is significantly better than CCD most of the time.
07-14-2008, 06:27 AM   #3
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Hi Cheeky,
I went with k200d. I was thinking about k20d but due to $$limits decided to get k200d and better lens:16-50 instead of 18-55. I'm still learning but so far I'm a happy camper. Good luck with whatever you decide.

07-14-2008, 06:30 AM   #4
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Good points about this camera and a great starting off point into DSLR's.
I'm not sure what "The 10-20mm Sigma looks to be my best compromise choice" means. The Sigma is a fine lens and we never hear complaints about it. It is described as having 3 "Three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements are employed for effective compensation of color aberration, which is a common problem with super-wide angle lenses. One piece of glass mold and two hybrid aspherical lenses, offer excellent correction for distortion, as well as all types of aberration."

If you want 180 Degrees, then the unique Pentax 10-17mm is another option but it is a fish and has that fish look.

They don't specifically say it is a rectilinear lens but at these wide FOV's any lens will have some distortion plus you wouldn't want it totally corrected since straaight lines in the off center parts of the image would be streached too much. Just trading one form of distortion for another.

K200D uses the same sensor as the K10D which I have and I've used some glass that is 5 decades old with that body. Minimal MC coatings (if any in some cases) and certainly not "optimized for digitals" Ghosting has never been an issue.


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