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10-23-2008, 10:41 AM   #1
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K200 or D80 or E40?

Hi, I'm new today, so I could post this question:
As a long-term Pentax SLR user, I have a desire to remain in the Pentax fold. However, after reading numerous reviews, the K200 lacks in continuous shooting fps, and in JPEG/resolution processing. The RAW data is great, but I am not keen on having to do everything in RAW.

Does anyone know if there is a firmware update coming to address this?
Any ideas/suggestions/input is welcome.


Regards & Respects,
-Dennis

10-23-2008, 10:51 AM   #2
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the JPEG is fine. if your concerns are from the DPR review, note in the conclusions that they say they only test at the default settings. the settings are easily tweakable to taste.

both the D80 and K200D go at 3 FPS. the only difference is the D80's buffer is a lot larger. 6 frames vs 110 jpeg frames :/
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond80/page12.asp
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/pentaxk200d/page10.asp

and plus you can use all of your old lenses, so you won't need new glass.

Last edited by k100d; 10-23-2008 at 11:00 AM.
10-23-2008, 11:21 AM   #3
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I've been considering a k200d or e-520 however noone has the k200d in store in southern calif for me to look at and at last count I've made over 30 calls over the entire region looking to try one. Replies go from no we dont have one to we dont even have a pentax rep anymore makes me wonder their committment to want to sell products. I've just about decided to buy Olympus as at least they are able to get their products in store.
10-23-2008, 12:42 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by deadpink Quote
I've been considering a k200d or e-520 however noone has the k200d in store in southern calif for me to look at and at last count I've made over 30 calls over the entire region looking to try one. Replies go from no we dont have one to we dont even have a pentax rep anymore makes me wonder their committment to want to sell products. I've just about decided to buy Olympus as at least they are able to get their products in store.
augustmoon is organizing a SC (SD) meet, perhaps a few K200D shooters will be there.

@Ingenir, if it's fps you're looking for you might want to reconsider the K20D?


Last edited by Clicker; 10-23-2008 at 12:52 PM.
10-23-2008, 02:27 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ingenir Quote
Hi, I'm new today, so I could post this question:
As a long-term Pentax SLR user, I have a desire to remain in the Pentax fold. However, after reading numerous reviews, the K200 lacks in continuous shooting fps, and in JPEG/resolution processing. The RAW data is great, but I am not keen on having to do everything in RAW.

Does anyone know if there is a firmware update coming to address this?
Any ideas/suggestions/input is welcome.
Continuous shooting frame rate is more hardware limited than firmware. It would probably be impossible to improve this through firmware. On the other hand, if you don't *know* you require a faster frame rate, chances are extremely good you *don't*. Just because the number looks smaller on paper doesn't mean you'd *ever* notice. I personally never use continuous shooting, and I suspect the same is true of most camera owners. If you're accustomed to shooting sports in continuous mode and using a camera that does more shots per second, then the K200D is probably not the camera for you. For 99% of people, though, it's a non-issue.

As for JPEG quality, that's a subjective thing. Some reviews prefer other cameras to the K200D, other have the opposite preference. But that's talking just about the *default* settings. Since you can customize so many different aspects of how the JPEG's come out - controls over contrast, saturation, sharpness, etc - it shouldn't take but a few minutes of experimentation up front to figure out what settings *you* like, then just leave the camera set that way.
10-23-2008, 04:30 PM   #6
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I bought the K200D over the D80(D60 checked as well) and e510. The important point was handling them first - the K200D felt better in my hands.

Also, my research suggested that the 4/3 system would be smaller (crop factor of 2 - see Four Thirds System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which is a bit limitting IMHO.

As for RAW - its a bit of a learning curve to start with, but once you work out the workflow, its really fairly quick.

I use Adobe Bridge CS3 to classify my images, then ACR 4.6 (the current version) to adjust it (this is the learning curve bit), and finally Photoshop to tweak. There is some talk on other parts of the forum about the SilkyPix/Pentax tool - but I found it cumbersome compared to CS3 (I use that all the time at work anyway). I'm getting the other half to buy a rather good book for my birthday - Real World Camera Raw With CS3

The other thing I noticed is that the JPEG straight out of the camera are really quite good - you just have to tweak the defaults a little to suit your style. JPEG by nature is lossy - so you will lose something. Its not as bad as the reviewers say, and it is very subjective!

I shot a couple of night scenes recently on Pentaxium day (see in the gallery here) and found that with RAW I could get enormous recovery of information - at least 3 stops. Admittedly it was a bit noisy, but I could pick out the wave and beach in the image. Its a bit like push processing film (who remembers that?) to get more detail out of it.

And if your worried, shoot RAW + JPEG to start with. There are lots of tweaks you can apply to the JPEG in camera. You can even part process RAW in camera if you choose.

As for frame rate - you have to consider what you shoot as Marc and others have said. Perhaps there is an action shooter around that would like to comment.

Good luck with your choice - but remember to handle the cameras first. After all, do you buy a car or furniture before trying them out a little?
10-23-2008, 07:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
the JPEG is fine. if your concerns are from the DPR review, note in the conclusions that they say they only test at the default settings. the settings are easily tweakable to taste.

both the D80 and K200D go at 3 FPS. the only difference is the D80's buffer is a lot larger. 6 frames vs 110 jpeg frames :/
Nikon D80 Review: 12. Timings & Sizes: Digital Photography Review
Pentax K200D Review: 10. Performance: Digital Photography Review

and plus you can use all of your old lenses, so you won't need new glass.
That's exactly it. The DPR reviews as well as the reviews in Pop Photo and Shutterbug.
As I take pictures at auto races and swim meets, the speed of shooting fps can be a huge asset (and has proven beneficial at amusment parks as well).
Even the K20 seems to have the same buffer limitation.
So am I basically SOL?
10-23-2008, 07:35 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MoiVous Quote
I bought the K200D over the D80(D60 checked as well) and e510. The important point was handling them first - the K200D felt better in my hands.

Also, my research suggested that the 4/3 system would be smaller (crop factor of 2 - see Four Thirds System - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) which is a bit limitting IMHO.

As for RAW - its a bit of a learning curve to start with, but once you work out the workflow, its really fairly quick.

I use Adobe Bridge CS3 to classify my images, then ACR 4.6 (the current version) to adjust it (this is the learning curve bit), and finally Photoshop to tweak. There is some talk on other parts of the forum about the SilkyPix/Pentax tool - but I found it cumbersome compared to CS3 (I use that all the time at work anyway). I'm getting the other half to buy a rather good book for my birthday - Real World Camera Raw With CS3

The other thing I noticed is that the JPEG straight out of the camera are really quite good - you just have to tweak the defaults a little to suit your style. JPEG by nature is lossy - so you will lose something. Its not as bad as the reviewers say, and it is very subjective!

I shot a couple of night scenes recently on Pentaxium day (see in the gallery here) and found that with RAW I could get enormous recovery of information - at least 3 stops. Admittedly it was a bit noisy, but I could pick out the wave and beach in the image. Its a bit like push processing film (who remembers that?) to get more detail out of it.

And if your worried, shoot RAW + JPEG to start with. There are lots of tweaks you can apply to the JPEG in camera. You can even part process RAW in camera if you choose.

As for frame rate - you have to consider what you shoot as Marc and others have said. Perhaps there is an action shooter around that would like to comment.

Good luck with your choice - but remember to handle the cameras first. After all, do you buy a car or furniture before trying them out a little?
Great pointers - and I do like the feel of the Pentax K100 I handled (nice and compact). However, the performance also has to be satisfactory. If comparing two vehicles of comparable price and reliability, 20mpg vs 30mpg might be a factor (at $4.00 gal!).

10-23-2008, 09:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ingenir Quote
That's exactly it. The DPR reviews as well as the reviews in Pop Photo and Shutterbug.
As I take pictures at auto races and swim meets, the speed of shooting fps can be a huge asset (and has proven beneficial at amusment parks as well).
Even the K20 seems to have the same buffer limitation.
So am I basically SOL?
yeah the K200D has a pretty crap RAW Buffer. But if you're going to be doing lots of action, would be worth stepping up to the K20D
10-24-2008, 05:48 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by k100d Quote
yeah the K200D has a pretty crap RAW Buffer. But if you're going to be doing lots of action, would be worth stepping up to the K20D
I thought the fps and buffer size between the K20 and the K200 when I checked the specs were comparable. After checking - I am obviously mistaken.

K200
Continuous FPS: - 2.8 FPS (4 JPG and Continuous Hi, 4 RAW) - 1.1 FPS (unlimited JPG and Continuous Lo, 4 RAW)

K20
Continuous FPS: - 3.0 FPS (38 JPG and Continuous Hi, 14 RAW PEF, 16 RAW DNG) - 2.3 FPS (unlimited JPG and Continuous Lo, 14 RAW PEF, 16 RAW DNG) - 20 FPS in Burst mode (115 at 1.6M, , JPG)


Still a far cry from 5-6fps, but certainly an improvement. That might be enough to catch my F1 cars....Certainly something to consider.

Any updates known on a full frame coming?
10-24-2008, 06:29 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
@Ingenir, if it's fps you're looking for you might want to reconsider the K20D?
Nope, this is Pentax. Unless you want the 1.9 meg images at 21 FPS. Why do people complain about default settings that can be changed?
10-24-2008, 07:20 AM   #12
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I think the complaints about the default settings indicate that many if not most people don't change the settings. When I first bought my K10D, I didn't have much experience with digital cameras and honestly I didn't know what most of them really did at the time and the manual had so much information my head was spinning. I left the camera alone and shot away. It wasn't until I found this forum that I learned the benefits of changing some of the default settings. The default settings and the pictures they produce give the owner his/her first impression of the camera. While I was happy with most of my results, tweaking some settings made some big improvements. I have also been online for a long time and learned many years ago the value of users forums and went looking for a Pentax group. Most new owners expect to be able pick up that new camera and shoot some great pics. While there is a learning curve with DSLR's, remember that Canon and Nikon are marketing their cameras to everyone from total beginners to pro's on their tv ads. Nikon D90 ads were all over the world series last night. There seems to be enough complaints about the default settings from reviewers and owners alike that maybe Pentax should take notice.
10-24-2008, 06:30 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Nope, this is Pentax. Unless you want the 1.9 meg images at 21 FPS. Why do people complain about default settings that can be changed?
I apologize, I certainly wasn't meaning to complain. Since I don't have a DSLR, this is a new idea that I would have to adjust the settings. I'm used to aperture priority and shutter, let alone P mode. Having to manually edith the RAW images for better color seems foreign - and something I would prefer to avoid if possible. That's all.

As for the fps, it appears I would have to move up to the K20. And in taht price range, the D90 or E40 appears a better idea. and the D80 is a bargain comparable to the K200 now.

Bummer.
10-24-2008, 07:06 PM   #14
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the FPS argument has been used against pentax a lot. unfortunately not much we can do about it until they release a higher spec body.

if FPS is what you want, then go Canon, the 40D does 6.5 fps. honestly not sure if more FPS is going to improve your photos. at those speeds, i'd be more worried about focus accuracy anyways.
10-24-2008, 09:39 PM   #15
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deadpink - Did you call Bel Air Camera in Westwood? I'm pretty sure they had one on the shelf yesterday when I was in looking at the DA55-300 lens. I know they carry Pentax, not the higher end lenses (though they'll happily order for you) and they almost always have both the K200 and K20 in stock, along with the consumer lenses, whenever I've been in for something. They aren't the cheapest or largest in town (did you also try Samys?) but they have a pretty good selection of stuff.
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