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01-26-2009, 03:20 PM   #1
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Learning curve; K200D vs. K20D

Which camera would best suit someone with an old guyís faulty memory?

Iím just a casual photographer who doesnít even take photos every week much less every day. Iím not a technophobe but in the field I donít always remember how to make an adjustment I need.

Iím planning on the kit lens and a DA 55-300. The savings from choosing a K200d could go into better glass or a 3rd lens. Any suggestions?

Iíll be shooting wildlife, mostly bugs and birds, and some landscapes. I donít expect to print most of the images but instead hope to create an on-line image gallery. For such use would the K20D be like swatting flies with a hammer?

Currently using Panasonic FZ-10 and Canon A720is

01-26-2009, 03:38 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bikesmith Quote
Which camera would best suit someone with an old guyís faulty memory?

Iím just a casual photographer who doesnít even take photos every week much less every day. Iím not a technophobe but in the field I donít always remember how to make an adjustment I need.

Iím planning on the kit lens and a DA 55-300. The savings from choosing a K200d could go into better glass or a 3rd lens. Any suggestions?

Iíll be shooting wildlife, mostly bugs and birds, and some landscapes. I donít expect to print most of the images but instead hope to create an on-line image gallery. For such use would the K20D be like swatting flies with a hammer?

Currently using Panasonic FZ-10 and Canon A720is
As a K20D user, i'll say go with the K200D... heh

I don't know about the K200D per se, but the manual for the K20D is quite large and thick, i'm lucky enough that my (simple) shoulder strap bag can fit it in there...

Long story short, there's a lot to know about the K20D and if you're a casual photographer, you'll probably not touch much of the features/settings/kitchen sink of the K20D

Of course, i could be wrong since i've never used a 200
01-26-2009, 03:39 PM   #3
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Hello! I just wanted to suggest you check out the Magic Lantern Guide for either the K20D or K200D, whatever you end up getting (I'm thrilled with my K200D thus far). This guide will give you a complete tour around the camera and is an excellent reference for the ongoing lingering forgotten procedures. Check it out here (for the K200D), if you are interested:

Amazon.com: Magic Lantern Guides: Pentax K200D: Michael Guncheon: Books

As far as a landscape lens, I am pretty happy with my SMC 16-45 DA lens. You may be into primes, or something even wider. Eventually I'll be going wider myself.
01-26-2009, 03:46 PM   #4
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I don't think the K20d is hard at all. You can set it on green mode and shoot full auto just fine. Takes basically no user input. If you don't like the exposure move the metering lever and see if that makes it better. With a few basic initial settings you're off and shooting. And in fact I shoot P mode almost all the time and rarely change settings. But it is nice to have the option to easily do so. I think the improved sensor and other bits are worth the money but depends on your circumstances.

01-26-2009, 04:33 PM   #5
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With either camera, you can set it on auto and not learn a thing, or you can learn how exposure works (apeture, shutter speed, ISO) and make some of these settings yourself. Very little difference in that respect between the cameras. The K20D does have some more advanced stuff that might take longer to figure out, but it's not like you need to know any of that.
01-26-2009, 04:36 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by nostatic Quote
I don't think the K20d is hard at all. You can set it on green mode and shoot full auto just fine. Takes basically no user input. If you don't like the exposure move the metering lever and see if that makes it better. With a few basic initial settings you're off and shooting. And in fact I shoot P mode almost all the time and rarely change settings. But it is nice to have the option to easily do so. I think the improved sensor and other bits are worth the money but depends on your circumstances.
I'm going to have to agree. There are benefits to the larger sensor, even for the casual shooter. And I am not 100% thrilled with Pentax's choice of how to power the k200. AA batteries, without the choice (and correct me if I'm wrong) to use crv-3's seems a bit odd and expensive (sorry. I have yet to find really reliable rechargeable aa size batteries). While waiting for an estimate on a repair for my k10, I was contemplating replacing it with the 200. I am very happy I opted for the 20 instead........
01-26-2009, 04:39 PM   #7
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I think one of the biggest things about the K20D are the controls on the outside of the body instead of in menus. It gives you the ability to change things on the spur of the moment while shooting. It does take some practice, and memorizing the controls, though. It has been worth it to me to learn the manual setup of the camera.
01-26-2009, 05:16 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ari Quote
I'm going to have to agree. There are benefits to the larger sensor, even for the casual shooter. And I am not 100% thrilled with Pentax's choice of how to power the k200. AA batteries, without the choice (and correct me if I'm wrong) to use crv-3's seems a bit odd and expensive (sorry. I have yet to find really reliable rechargeable aa size batteries). While waiting for an estimate on a repair for my k10, I was contemplating replacing it with the 200. I am very happy I opted for the 20 instead........
Actually, the AAs support is one of the best things about the K200D . It makes it a unique camera - the only DSLR to use AAs. No, you cannot use CR-V3s. But you can use Sanyo eneloop, which are very reliable, and not expensive. $28.99 at Costco for a kit that includes a charger that is both 110 and 220V, 8 AAs, 2 AAAs, and C and D adapters.

01-26-2009, 05:17 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vylen Quote
As a K20D user, i'll say go with the K200D... heh

I don't know about the K200D per se, but the manual for the K20D is quite large and thick, i'm lucky enough that my (simple) shoulder strap bag can fit it in there...

Long story short, there's a lot to know about the K20D and if you're a casual photographer, you'll probably not touch much of the features/settings/kitchen sink of the K20D

Of course, i could be wrong since i've never used a 200
The K200D manual is pretty thick too. I think you can probably see it online on the Pentax web site.

But as others mentioned, you can run all the Pentax DSLRs on auto and not have to worry about every technical detail.
01-26-2009, 05:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Bikesmith Quote
Which camera would best suit someone with an old guyís faulty memory?

Iíll be shooting wildlife, mostly bugs and birds, and some landscapes. I donít expect to print most of the images but instead hope to create an on-line image gallery.
For landscapes, a very wide lens is nice. You can't go wrong with the Sigma 10-20. But you'll need more than the savings from the K200D to buy it .
01-26-2009, 08:49 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
Actually, the AAs support is one of the best things about the K200D.
Amen!

If the K20D used AAs it would make this decision a lot easier. But I'm not going to wear it out any time soon and don't want to be trying to find a fresh proprietary battery 5 years down the road.

I've had terrible luck with the Li-ion batteries for my Panasonic. OTOH We've got 10-12 sets of rechargeable AAs for bike lights, the Canon etc. and have had good luck with them
01-26-2009, 09:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by madbrain Quote
Actually, the AAs support is one of the best things about the K200D . It makes it a unique camera - the only DSLR to use AAs. No, you cannot use CR-V3s. But you can use Sanyo eneloop, which are very reliable, and not expensive. $28.99 at Costco for a kit that includes a charger that is both 110 and 220V, 8 AAs, 2 AAAs, and C and D adapters.
Madbrain, I'm still going to have to stick to my stubborn guns here. I've had regular AA's leak inside expensive equipment, had rechargeables leak inside chargers and seen them fail at different rates, making it kind of a pain. I was a little annoyed when I bought the k10 that it didn't accept higher capacity disposable batteries (like my *istd), but have been really happy with the life I get with the proprietary battery (especially when used with a grip). But I think I'm veering off-topic here, so apologies to all........
01-27-2009, 12:16 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ari Quote
Madbrain, I'm still going to have to stick to my stubborn guns here. I've had regular AA's leak inside expensive equipment, had rechargeables leak inside chargers and seen them fail at different rates, making it kind of a pain.
The fact that bad batteries are bad doesn't mean Eneloops aren't great.
01-27-2009, 02:16 AM   #14
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At the risk of sounding like a heretic.....for someone who shoots so infrequently, I can't help but wonder if he wouldn't be just as well served with a nice film body instead. Lots of very nice ones out there at very low prices.
01-27-2009, 07:00 AM   #15
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Hi Bikesmith,
I'd say go with k200d. I don't think that k20d is much more complicated - just more bells & whistles. I had the same dilemma. The deal breaker was price. You can put saved $$ towards a better lens and/or a flashgun.
As for the 'battery' argument in k20d vs k200d, as I stated in some other post, it's a bogus argument, IMO. Reliable AA batteries => get 2 sets of eneloops and a charger, say from Thomas distributing, and you'll be set for a long time. Also, you can find occasionally a deal for lithium energizer.
Good luck with whatever you get,
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