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11-01-2008, 10:25 PM   #1
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Which one - K20, K200, or K2000?

Long time film photographer, new to this forum, somewhat new to Pentax. I have a Pentax LX - which I've rarely used. As for Pentax lenses I have the 50mm 1.7m, 28 2.8m, Viv Ser 1 70-210 f3.5 (don't know exactly which version but it doesn't have the A), Vivitar Series 1 28-90. If you check my profile I'm somewhat brand agnostic.

Lately, I find I pull out my Canon PowerShot SD700 more often. Probably because of the digital convenience but also because of its pocketability. I'm not one for lugging around equipment. When the family travels, I make everyone bring only one roll-aboard 22 in bag + one other on-board bag - no check in bags!

I miss the power and flexibility of an SLR. I think I've bitten into the Pentax K2000/K-m bait. It appears from the reviews and the pictures I've seen, to be small and light and would make for me an ideal travel companion to the K200 or K20 (when I convince the SO after the K2000 purchase, you see, Pentax isn't the only one with a roadmap ) For now, I think I'll hold off on considering the K20 considering its price and size as I'm looking for a small DSLR.

Until I see one in the flesh I probably won't bite. I do smell the bait.

I have concerns with it though, mainly from the way it is marketed with the flash to reach the price point. I'm not sure I agree with Pentax' scheme to market this for entry into the entry level DSLR

At a list price of ~$700 USD with the 18-55 lens and flash - the K200 is not that far a leap away. Not sure what the list price of the K200 is but a quick check on the web (as of 1 Nov) tells me I can get:
K200d body - $500 (Amazon)
K200d w 18-55 - $586 (Amazon)
K200d 18-55, 50-200 - $799 (Costco)

I'm not sure the flash adds much value, at least not an additional $100-150. For one thing it is relatively big - compared to the Nikon SB-400. One thing I have to confirm also is that it doesn't appear to have bounce capability like the SB-400.

I'd like to get a DSLR soon, but the price delta between the K200 and K2000 is awful small. If they sell body only or w/o the flash, it would be of more value to me.

So, what do you guys think? K200 or K2000?
I have other thoughts and opinions on this but I'll hold off until I see and hold the K2000 or even the K200 in the flesh.

11-01-2008, 10:56 PM   #2
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Hmmm pretty simple... since you are the owner of Pentax's flagship mechanical 35mm SLR, you should also own the current flagship DSLR, the K20D.
11-01-2008, 11:51 PM   #3
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I don't know much about either the K200 or the Km so take my words with a grain of salt. I do own an K10 which I love. I know that if I were considering the K200, I'd be most inclined to just jump into a K10d especially if you can still find one retail new. (don't know if that's still possible - doubt it). The front dial is so key for me ergonomically.

My actual suggestion for you would be to buy the Km since size is a primary concern. From what I understand, it's significantly smaller and lighter.
11-02-2008, 01:10 AM   #4
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I love my K20D but I'm getting a K-m for everyday-traveling-light with my DA limiteds

11-02-2008, 03:40 AM   #5
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If size is *really* important then the K2000 would be the logical choice.

The K20 has a better viewfinder, a front dial and more technical features, but that would not really be an advantage, if you find it too big/heavy to lug around. Note that when you use something else than the DA18-55kit lens or eg the DA40Limited than weight/size differences become less of an issue. Eg a 50-135 or other zoom mounted on an K2000 leaves nothing of the initial size/weight advantage. So if you go K2000 you should be using it with a small limited prime or a kit lens.

The k200 is just in between the K2000 and K20 weight/feature wise.

The flash in the kit is indeed very simple and has no bounce capability. The same applies here, if you want a major step up from your Powershot, you'll need to buy a more advanced and bigger/heavier flash. The sb400 has a GN of 21 iso100/meter at 35mm FOV, the Pentax a GN of 20 iso100/meter at 28mm FOV, so the Pentax has more power. Trying to bounce with a small flash as the sb400 would in most situations exceed its power range. Bigger flash heads do also produce less harsh shadows, so bigger is simply better here.

I would prefer buying the K2000 without the flash. In Europe the K-M is sold without it, I assume it will be available in the US soon without the flash. Don't you have an old flash you can use in auto mode?

Last edited by tomtor; 11-02-2008 at 07:13 AM.
11-02-2008, 12:17 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frank Fletcher Quote
.......if I were considering the K200, I'd be most inclined to just jump into a K10d especially if you can still find one retail new. (don't know if that's still possible - doubt it). The front dial is so key for me ergonomically.

My actual suggestion for you would be to buy the Km since size is a primary concern. From what I understand, it's significantly smaller and lighter.
Front dial? Which dial is that? The K-m doesn't have it? Goes to show you how much info I need to learn.

QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
I love my K20D but I'm getting a K-m for everyday-traveling-light with my DA limiteds
QuoteOriginally posted by creampuff Quote
Hmmm pretty simple... since you are the owner of Pentax's flagship mechanical 35mm SLR, you should also own the current flagship DSLR, the K20D.
Mabuhay soccerjoe5!
The K-m would be an eventual backup to the K20 or better yet the k30
I'm not really considering the K20 for the moment as I'd like to grow into the digital world. Plus who knows? Maybe for top of the line I'll get a digital back for my Hassy? -$$$$$$ yikes!

Really for me, I'd rather spend the $ on glass for now, but again, it seems the cost delta between the K200 and the K2000 seems so narrow that I could consider the K200.

I wouldn't mind the K10 but I'm not sure the prices for those since I haven't looked into them. What do I gain or lose between the K10 and the K200?
11-02-2008, 12:25 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomtor Quote
If size is *really* important then the K2000 would be the logical choice.
..........So if you go K2000 you should be using it with a small limited prime or a kit lens.

The flash in the kit is indeed very simple and has no bounce capability. ........... so the Pentax has more power. Trying to bounce with a small flash as the sb400 would in most situations exceed its power range.

I would prefer buying the K2000 without the flash. In Europe the K-M is sold without it, I assume it will be available in the US soon without the flash. Don't you have an old flash you can use in auto mode?
Whether I go with the K200 or K2000, I would probably eventually tote the 18-250 along with my 50 1.7, or if I get LBA one of the limited normals, or the 40mm 2.8 pancake. I'll want to go ahead and use the 18-55 1st along with my old manual focus glass before I decide on the 18-250.

If I do use a flash, I find it is mainly for people pictures, more than likely indoors. I'm not worried about its power and am willing to pay the power penalty due to the size. Wish the Pentax flash was smaller though - it seems much taller/bigger compared again to the SB-400.

I do have an old auto flash - many actually. If I could, I'd use my old Nikon SB-24, if not I have my trusty Vivitar 283 and 285 as well.
11-02-2008, 12:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentHassyKon Quote
Front dial? Which dial is that? The K-m doesn't have it? Goes to show you how much info I need to learn.
All Pentax DSLR's have a thumb dial on the rear. The K20D (and K10D) also have one on the front. In "M" mode, the two-dial cameras let you adjust shutter speed with one, aperture with the other (when using more modern lenses that support setting the aperture from the camera - which is to say, not your lenses :-). With the one-dial cameras, you set aperture with the dial directly, and set shutter speed by holding a button while turning the dial. Perhaps more significantly, you may also be able to set ISO using a dial (depending on what mode you're it) rather than needing to do so via the Fn menu. The K-m has a dedicated ISO button, so that might be moot - but actually, I suspect that button still requires you to look at the rear LCD, not set it while looking through the viewfinder.

Personally, I don't think it's that big a deal, but I'm accustomed to the single-dial interface. The big deal breaker for me with the K-m would be the lack of the DOF preview, which is the only way to view the metering on manual lenses. You can hit a button to have the camera stop down the lens long enough to set an appropriate shutter speed, but you can't then scan about the scene and see what the meter reports as you do so. The LX probably showed a meter display all the time, but the DSLR's don't when using manual lenses - they can only show meter info while stopping down. So I think the K-m would not be a good choice for anyone planning on making extensive use of manual lenses. It would come down to the K200D or K20D (or K10D if you don't mind buying a discontinued camera).

Coming from the LX, you'd probably ind the viewfinders of any of these disappointing, but the K20D or K10D are definitely better than the K200D.

QuoteQuote:
I wouldn't mind the K10 but I'm not sure the prices for those since I haven't looked into them. What do I gain or lose between the K10 and the K200?
The K10D has the better viewfinder and the front dial; the K200D is smaller & lighter and takes AA batteries (and gets about as many shots per charge from them as the K10D does with its proprietary battery).

11-02-2008, 01:05 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by tomtor Quote
The K20 has a better viewfinder, a front dial and more technical features, but that would not really be an advantage, if you find it too big/heavy to lug around. Note that when you use something else than the DA18-55kit lens or eg the DA40Limited than weight/size differences become less of an issue. Eg a 50-135 or other zoom mounted on an K2000 leaves nothing of the initial size/weight advantage. So if you go K2000 you should be using it with a small limited prime or a kit lens.
Interesting to see it put that way. I just realized the kit lens (the DA18-55 II) is actually the *largest* lens I use on a regular basis. My most used lenses are the M100/2.8, DA40/2.8, DA18-55 II, and M28/2.8 (in that order), and all of the primes are smaller than the zoom. In fact, what it normally comes down to is that I carry *either* the zoom by itself (or with the similarly-sized DA50-200), or I carry the three aforementioned primes.
11-02-2008, 03:44 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The K-m has a dedicated ISO button
which button is that ? does it really have it ?

http://www.pentaxslr.com/files/scms_docs//K2000_IB.pdf
11-02-2008, 04:39 PM   #11
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Seems like K2000D/K-m is the way to go if you want a small SLR and you don't need weatherproofing. That is, unless the price difference to the K200D isnt like.. $29

PS:button to the right of the OK button is the ISO button.
11-02-2008, 08:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by deejjjaaaa Quote
which button is that ? does it really have it ?
It's the right button on the four way controller and is labelled as such on the camera body itself according to the pictures I've seen. As far as I can tell, all it really does is save you the trouble of first hitting Fn - it still requires you to look at the rear LCD to actually set the ISO.
11-02-2008, 09:11 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by PentHassyKon Quote
At a list price of ~$700 USD with the 18-55 lens and flash - the K200 is not that far a leap away. Not sure what the list price of the K200 is but a quick check on the web (as of 1 Nov) tells me I can get:
K200d body - $500 (Amazon)
K200d w 18-55 - $586 (Amazon)
K200d 18-55, 50-200 - $799 (Costco)
These prices are quite amazing really - the K200D is currently selling in Oz for about $700 with the Pentax 18-55mm AL II - lower than the prices in the US (when I convert) and our dollar is worth a piece of string and 2 flat rocks!

As to the choice - my recommendation is play with the cameras (I know your having trouble finding a dealer) and see how they feel in hand. The K200D isn't that large a camara - I walked around the local botanic gardens for several hours the other day with the camera in my hand - not around my neck - and felt quite comfortable. The grip is really good for that.

The K20D is more of a semi-pro tool with more functions, lots of flexibility, higher res, more controls (without having to access menus) and bigger buffers.
The K200D is still very good if you've been using a good film SLR, with a few less controls, a few less megapixels than its big brother, but otherwise pretty flexible. The main difference I see are smaller size, fewer direct action buttons and the extra dial at the front as many have alluded to here.
Whilst the K2000/K-M seems to lean more toward the P&S category in appearance and size (its smaller again) but retains many of its siblings functions. I could be wrong. There are less direct action buttons from what I've seen, and the menus have changed their structure.

DPreview (I know they aren't popular) have looked in detail at the K200D and K20D - you can at least see what controls they have and how they work, as well as the menus. See what suits your shooting style. I have yet to see a detailed review of the K2000/K-M either, but DPreview have details of basic operation.

Still - I really think the only way to find out is to play with each of them (as you've suggested) and allow for your budget in the process (my better half would have spat the dummy if I'd gone the K20D route)

As for flash - think again about the type of shooting you do - or are likely to do.

Good luck and good researching.....l

Last edited by MoiVous; 11-02-2008 at 09:48 PM.
11-03-2008, 12:13 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Interesting to see it put that way. I just realized the kit lens (the DA18-55 II) is actually the *largest* lens I use on a regular basis. My most used lenses are the M100/2.8, DA40/2.8, DA18-55 II, and M28/2.8 (in that order), and all of the primes are smaller than the zoom. In fact, what it normally comes down to is that I carry *either* the zoom by itself (or with the similarly-sized DA50-200), or I carry the three aforementioned primes.
The M primes are indeed nice compact lenses. I love my M135/3.5 for its low profile dimension.
I think all current Pentax primes of 100mm and less will look quite good and the two kit zooms also on the k2000.

For other lenses the k20/k200 makes more sense.

An 18-250 will look like a monster lens on the K2000 :-)
11-03-2008, 12:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by MoiVous Quote
.........The K200D isn't that large a camara - I walked around the local botanic gardens for several hours the other day with the camera in my hand - not around my neck - and felt quite comfortable. The grip is really good for that.

Good luck and good researching.....l
QuoteOriginally posted by tomtor Quote

An 18-250 will look like a monster lens on the K2000 :-)
I look at the pictures and I don't see a substantial difference size wise between the 200 and the 2000 - hence MoiVous' post is intriguing to me.

It may look like a monster but at least one won't have to switch lenses or carry 2-3 other lenses - then again who am I to say: I have yet to touch any of these products other than my Pentax LX' lenses.
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