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02-08-2009, 04:19 PM   #16
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Go with the K20D.

You can keep it at the factory defaults - where the camea does all the thinking for you. You can change away from the defaults as you aquire the skills to take charge of what is going on. In the end, you can set it up to act just like the "old" camera you started out with - plus you will have the numerous benefits of digital imaging.

By the machine with the most options/flexibility that you can afford.

Get the K20D.

The Elitist - formerly known as PDL

02-08-2009, 05:03 PM   #17
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As a K200D owner, I suppose I'll throw in my two cents.

I have handled both cameras and I must say that I really believe neither will be a disappointment. The K20D will be better in the long run if you are a true enthusiast and you intend to continue to demand transcendence in your own abilities. That second wheel is probably pretty useful once you get to the point of wanting quicker control over the camera.

However, with the exception of the sensor MP size, I think the two of them are very similar and both are definitely very wise buys.

Regardless of what you choose, if you are new to this format/type of camera I highly suggest the purchase of a Magic Lantern Guide to assist you in the learning of your new camera. I have read mine several times while the hurricane strength winds, rain drops and short days dominate the weather pattern here, dreaming of being out shooting.
02-08-2009, 09:55 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
if I put that high a priority on weight and maneuverability, why not consider the K-m/K2000? It has the same processor as the K200d and a much easier menu system which for me would be a useful feature. I realize there are negatives (no orientation sensor,no raw button, and no indication where the camera is focusing on auto)
You left out a few other negatives, including what for me is the biggest: no DOF preview, which means no live metering with manual exposure lenses. Also, of course, no weather sealing, no top LCD, no abiliy to choose focus points, and fewer focus points. I could live without most of these, but lack of DOF preview and orientation sensor would be deal breakers for me. If none of that bothers you, then by all - it's still a great camera, and as you have noted, smaller and lighter than the K200D. Can you try all three to see how they feel or are you just going by reading specs?
02-08-2009, 10:42 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
Hi, I'm new . . .

. . . to this board and to digital photography. I would appreciate opinions on whether to buy a K200d or K20d. Leaving aside the price issue for the moment, I wonder if I can actually handle a k20d.
With your key word about price. Definitely, the K20D is better in most cases. Aside from more functionality, more pixels are almost aways better.

At the risk of generating a groan from the peanut gallery... there is, at least, one potential issue with the K20D that isn't a problem on the K200D and that is, exposures of over 8 seconds currently require an equal length DFS (Dark Frame Subtraction). This is something to consider if you plan to take long exposures. Just an FYI!

QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
I'm not exactly a beginner, but the rise of digital photography has completely disoriented me.
Trust me when I tell you that after a few months (or whatever you need), you will NEVER wish to go back to film photography. Besides, in a small way, you are helping the environment too!

But to make your digital life easier/better, get the right tools. I recommend:
- lots of storage and backups (External HD, DL DVDs or Blueray storage)
- a relatively fast computer
- a SD card reader (because it is faster than plugging the camera in)
- a good editor (Paint.net is free, Corel is powerful with short learning curve, Photoshop is super powerful but more difficult to learn,
- Adobe Lightroom is almost a prerequisite for nearly everything else

Go to Lynda.com for training solutions if you need help.

QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
On the other hand, one major review says that the K200d's jpg conversions are not worth keeping. The recommend shooting in RAW meaning I would have to convert the RAW files on my computer.
If you are doing art, I would always recommend shooting in RAW. As a result of some experimenting I had done, I no longer shoot JPG (unless it is common snap shots). But it is important to consider that JPG (in high quality mode), even on the worst Pentax, is still exceptional to all but the most discerning eye. Careful about reading too much in reviews.

QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
Is this true? Is it difficult to convert RAW to JPEG files?
No, not at all. Pentax includes a program that can do that for you. There are also many free applications, such as Infranview and many others that will do the conversion.

QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
The other complication is that I imagine that I'd like to go back as soon as I can to manual mode. What I'm hearing on discussion boards is that the k200d has real limitations in this regard--awkward to use, contains only one dial, and it lacks the capacity to adjust ISO in manual mode(?).
I am not that familiar with the K200D but I can tell you that it is very easy to change the ISO on the K20D.

In manual mode, it is:
- hit Fn key
- press the right menu key
- then select up/down to choose ISO (between 100 and 3200)

Easy, easy.....

Finally, the learning curve (for common functions) on the K20D is relatively fast. In fact, I didn't bother with the manual for the first four months of ownership.

02-08-2009, 11:08 PM   #20
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QuoteQuote:
pentaxmz:I am not that familiar with the K200D but I can tell you that it is very easy to change the ISO on the K20D.

In manual mode, it is:
- hit Fn key
- press the right menu key
- then select up/down to choose ISO (between 100 and 3200)

Easy, easy.....
Hey Pentaxmz, lots of great advice--thanks. Just one thing on the ISO switchover in the K20d--it is actually even easier than you write here. All one need do to switch ISO is hold the OK button & move the front wheel simultaneously..
02-08-2009, 11:36 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
Hey Pentaxmz, lots of great advice--thanks. Just one thing on the ISO switchover in the K20d--it is actually even easier than you write here. All one need do to switch ISO is hold the OK button & move the front wheel simultaneously..
Oops, forgot about that. Thanks for the reminder!
02-09-2009, 01:30 AM   #22
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To Marc,

Thanks a million for your lucid summary of what the K2000 lacks in comaprison with the K200d. In effect what you're saying is that you really cannot effectively use manual lenses on the K2000 since it lacks live metering? Remember, I'm coming from film (and it has been a few years). It sounds as if on the K200d you get a live metering function from the DOF preview page? Thanks, again.
02-09-2009, 01:45 AM   #23
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One other thing, Marc,

I am trying to get myself to the biggest camera shop in Norway today to check out what they have so that I can see how they feel in the hand. I have relatively small hands for a man . . . . so we'll see.

02-09-2009, 02:05 AM   #24
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Thanks a million, pentaxmx! Fantastic information! Very much appreciated.

I do have decent PCs--so that should't be a problem. Yes, I do want to shoot RAW for artistic purposes, you're right, but that's secondary to my main and immediate purpose for purchasing the digital camera: collecting images of landscapes and 'cityscapes' for illustration purposes. This is for my courses and papers at conferences etc.

My original question about RAW came about because I had gathered from reading around the net that performance on the K200d, and the K2000/K-m also, varies greatly between RAW and JPEG--so much so that it makes sense to shoot in RAW and convert. But then you've said that's just nonsense or "nonsuch" to quote Mark Twain.

Thanks again, Luke
02-09-2009, 09:07 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
To Marc,

Thanks a million for your lucid summary of what the K2000 lacks in comaprison with the K200d. In effect what you're saying is that you really cannot effectively use manual lenses on the K2000 since it lacks live metering? Remember, I'm coming from film (and it has been a few years). It sounds as if on the K200d you get a live metering function from the DOF preview page? Thanks, again.
I can't say for certain, because I couldn't find the answer quickly in a google search, but I did want to say you can use manual lenses on the K2000, but it'll be more like your film experiences and less like the ease of a digital experience. How easy it is depends on whether the lens has an A mode on the aperture ring. On my k110D with my manual lenses without the A mode, I have to push a button to tell it to meter. With the A mode, it's not significantly different than any other lens other than having to manually focus.

If you're concerned, when you go the camera store, do what I did: Bring your favorite lens with you and a memory card in your pocket. Don't forget that in all cases you're going to need to go into the custom settings menu and enable the Using Aperture Ring function to let lenses without an A mode work.
02-09-2009, 09:28 AM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mister Guy Quote
If you're concerned, when you go the camera store, do what I did: Bring your favorite lens with you and a memory card in your pocket. Don't forget that in all cases you're going to need to go into the custom settings menu and enable the Using Aperture Ring function to let lenses without an A mode work.
When using a lens without an A mode on the K20D is there a way of entering the aperture setting manually so that the metering works and the setting is stored within taken photos? When I connect such a lens it immediately asks for the focal length but not the aperture and so I end up having to play with the shutter speed and/or the sensitivity to get the correct exposure. I've looked through the manual but can't find it.
02-09-2009, 10:59 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
....I need to start taking clear, decent photographs in a relatively short amount of time. According to the reviews the K200d would be foolproof, hence I could rest assured. When you add that to the lower price and lighter weight, it seems as if the K200d is the logical choice.
No camera is foolproof. I have lots of experience, make money with my cameras shooting weddings and other events - and yet I still take photos that are badly exposed, out of focus, badly composed, etc. Some of my goofs look worse than those you might find on the camera of a total beginner because I try things that the ordinary amateur wouldn't try. Still, goofing up is inevitable. I expect I'll be goofing up for the rest of my shooting life. And if I ever do stop making mistakes, I'll know I'm in a deep, deep rut.

If you're really looking for something easy, get a compact, fixed-lens camera. The smaller sensors give you greater depth of field so it's hard to take a photo that is out of focus. You can still mess up the exposure but if you don't step away from the common exposure challenges you'll probably do fine. But these cameras aren't foolproof either.



QuoteQuote:
On the other hand, one major review says that the K200d's jpg conversions are not worth keeping. The recommend shooting in RAW meaning I would have to convert the RAW files on my computer. Is this true? Is it difficult to convert RAW to JPEG files?
It's so difficult you don't have to think about it at all, ever.

Raw-to-jpeg conversion used to be a separate problem - several years ago. But now, all the software that you use will recognize and display raw files just as easily as jpegs. If I took 50 photos on a card and switched constantly from DNG, to PEF to jpeg format while I was shooting, I could import 'em all into Lightroom without ever being aware of which photos were in which format, unless I looked at the file name extensions. In other words, forget about the raw issue.

With one or two rare exceptions, there is no reason these days NOT to shoot raw. The only disadvantage to raw files now is that they're bigger. But storage is cheap.


QuoteQuote:
The other complication is that I imagine that I'd like to go back as soon as I can to manual mode.
Get the K20D. You WILL NOT regret it.

I've said this many times in this forum (and others) so I apologize to those who've heard me say this before, but more expensive cameras are ultimately easier to use than less expensive cameras. The two e-dials on the K20D allow me to control aperture and shutter speed quickly and intuitively. I seldom use my old *ist DS because it has just one edial. The K20D's hyperprogram (P) mode is brilliant - you can switch into effective Av or Tv mode by simply moving one or the other of the edials.

If you want to save money, see if you can get a new or used K10D.

Will
02-09-2009, 11:19 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by dfn Quote
When using a lens without an A mode on the K20D is there a way of entering the aperture setting manually so that the metering works and the setting is stored within taken photos? When I connect such a lens it immediately asks for the focal length but not the aperture and so I end up having to play with the shutter speed and/or the sensitivity to get the correct exposure. I've looked through the manual but can't find it.
Not that I'm aware of, on the k110d there's not even the focal length thing, so a ton of my exif looks like:

Exposure Time |1/124 sec.
FNumber |f/0.0
ExposureProgram |Manual
ISO Speed Ratings |200
Focal Length |0.0 mm
02-09-2009, 12:04 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
Thanks a million for your lucid summary of what the K2000 lacks in comaprison with the K200d. In effect what you're saying is that you really cannot effectively use manual lenses on the K2000 since it lacks live metering?
That's going a bit too far. While you are doing a DOF preview, then lens stays stopped down as long as you hold the switch, and you can see the meter reading in real time, like you're presumably accustomed to. And this won't be possible on the K2000. But most people rely primarily on the "Green button" metering (uses the AE-L button on some cameras; not sure which button does it on the K2000, but it's definitely available). Pressing the button causes the lens to stop down momentarily and the camera takes a quick meter reading and sets what it thinks is an appropriate shutter speed. Kind of a manually-assisted Av mode (manually assisted in that you have to press a button). It's a quick and easy process and should work fine on the K2000. But I like to have the option of doing a DOF preview after hitting the button so I can scan around the scene and get a sense of the dynamic range - how the meter reading varies between the shadow and light areas - and whether I might want to alter the camera-suggested shutter speed as a result. That's what I'd miss on the K2000.
02-09-2009, 12:05 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
Thanks a million, pentaxmx! Fantastic information! Very much appreciated.

I do have decent PCs--so that should't be a problem. Yes, I do want to shoot RAW for artistic purposes, you're right, but that's secondary to my main and immediate purpose for purchasing the digital camera: collecting images of landscapes and 'cityscapes' for illustration purposes. This is for my courses and papers at conferences etc.

My original question about RAW came about because I had gathered from reading around the net that performance on the K200d, and the K2000/K-m also, varies greatly between RAW and JPEG--so much so that it makes sense to shoot in RAW and convert. But then you've said that's just nonsense or "nonsuch" to quote Mark Twain.

Thanks again, Luke
You're welcome. Happy to help!

But I think you misunderstood my reference to jpg vs RAW (or I didn't explain this properly).

Because jpg uses an inherently lossy algorithm (it is possible to see compression artifacts even in high quality) and it has less dynamic range than a RAW file (jpg maximum is 11 stops and RAW is to the limit of the sensor) .... RAW *always* yields a superior image. Additionally, since a RAW image is an exact copy of what the camera's sensor captured, you have much great flexibility with what you do with the image in post processing. The question is, do you always need RAW. In my opinion, only when you do art (art being a loose term for whenever the highest possible quality is necessary).

Here is an excellent article on the RAW file format: Tutorials - The RAW File Format
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