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02-06-2009, 04:34 AM   #1
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Quandry

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.

I'm not exactly a beginner, but the rise of digital photography has completely disoriented me. I still have a Pentax ProgramA which I enjoyed using and before that I had a Canon AE-1 which I loved--both of which I bought used. I had prime lenses, 50mm and wide angle--and still have a Pentax M 1:2 50mm. The Canon had a light meter built into the body of the camera; you took a reading and then set the aperture and shutter-speed. I did o.k. with it and I loved using it. I liked to take the camera into the woods or up in the mountains; or take pictures of buildings and street scenes.

This was years ago. It's amazing the number of people lugging around sophisticated cameras today. When I got my Canon 30 years ago very few people had SLRs. I feel very much like Rip Van Winkle, awakened into an age of pixels and jpgs and raw. Hence my thinking that the K200d would be a better choice, especially considering the fact that I'm going on a trip shortly (two weeks actually) in order to take a set of photographs to illustrate a lecture I'm writing. Hence 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.

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?

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'd certainly appreciate any comments or suggestions you might have.

Thanks,
LUKE

02-06-2009, 04:39 AM   #2
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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(?).
You can adjust ISO in all modes, but you have to go through menus, unless you're in sensitivity priority mode in which case you can use the dial. It's still probably more convenient than having to change the film.
02-06-2009, 04:44 AM   #3
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Hello neigboor

Well, the k20d is a flagship for one reson. It outperforms the other.

I shot film today and my only digital experience is a cheap compact canon camera.

I was buy the K20d yesterday and I will have it today. I was look at the k200 too, but If you really want to improve your photography you will also be able to learn the k20d.

Anyway, if you find it too hard, the pentax k20d also have atomatic-programs thats works exellent. And you will get much better result then any other pentax camera even when you use that.

So if you want improve and like shooting. Grab the k20d. (in sweden it's very cheap now).

If you just want a portable camera for familyshooting and normal shooting take the k200. Both are good cameras, but IMO I like the k20d's fit.
02-06-2009, 06:36 AM   #4
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I'm not sure that there's a steeper learning curve out of the box for the K20D. Both can be set to program initially, and the camera will do its best for you. If you enjoyed your manual camera and price is not a prohibitive concern, I would suggest the k20D. With two dials (one for aperture, one for shutter), it will more closely resemble your earlier experiences.

02-06-2009, 07:16 AM   #5
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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.

I'm not exactly a beginner, but the rise of digital photography has completely disoriented me. I still have a Pentax ProgramA which I enjoyed using and before that I had a Canon AE-1 which I loved--both of which I bought used. I had prime lenses, 50mm and wide angle--and still have a Pentax M 1:2 50mm. The Canon had a light meter built into the body of the camera; you took a reading and then set the aperture and shutter-speed. I did o.k. with it and I loved using it. I liked to take the camera into the woods or up in the mountains; or take pictures of buildings and street scenes.

This was years ago. It's amazing the number of people lugging around sophisticated cameras today. When I got my Canon 30 years ago very few people had SLRs. I feel very much like Rip Van Winkle, awakened into an age of pixels and jpgs and raw. Hence my thinking that the K200d would be a better choice, especially considering the fact that I'm going on a trip shortly (two weeks actually) in order to take a set of photographs to illustrate a lecture I'm writing. Hence 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.

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?

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'd certainly appreciate any comments or suggestions you might have.

Thanks,
LUKE
I'd go with the K20 myself.
Reviewers need to figure out that in camera jpegs can be adjusted. There is nothing wrong with the jpeg outputs from Pentax.
The K20 has a nicer sensor.
02-06-2009, 07:57 AM   #6
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i too am in the same boat. I shoot film, know next to nothing about digital. I am leaning toward th K20D because it gives me room to grow instead of outgrow.
02-06-2009, 08:06 AM   #7
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Don't ealuate a camera based on DPReview's analysis. To say the the jpeg is a bit softer than the competition or whatever at 100% means nothing. How do the pictures look at actual size. ALL DSLRs on the market can produce amazing images.

I am always a bit confused about people who say they need a camera that allows them to 'grow'. Unless you need high FPS or some other feature these cameras have how will a lesser spec'd camera interfere with your growth as a photographer. Pros used to make a living with 6mp and their work with these higher mp cameras isn't really qualitiatively better than it was before.

Any camera will stimulate growth depending on the photographer's attitude and approach. Oops sorry I started ranting.
02-06-2009, 08:22 AM   #8
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That one review happend to like JPEGs from other cameras better than the K200D. Other reviewers happen to like the K200D JPEGs better. It's all pretty subjective. Who knows which you'd prefer. But either way, the differences being discussed are tiny - visible only under a magnifying glass if you're making prints.. So I wouldn't let one persons opinions of the JPEG quality be a factor.

Either camera can be shot in something resembling a "point & shoot" mode, although both cameras will produce better results at times if you override the meter's suggestion (eg, knowing that you need to exposure higher when shooting a white object). Same as with film, except you are probably accustomed to the autocorrections the lab performed on your film prints. The K20D ma have more stuff you can customize, but no one said yo have to use them. If you're used to working one Pentax camera, you can use a K20D with no problems - the extra controls don't make it *harder* to do anything.

As for manual mode, it works fine with either camera, but it does work a little differently. On the K20D, there is one dial for shutter speed, one dial for aperture, and you can change ISO by holding down the OK button while changing one of the dials. On the K200D, there is just one dial. It controls shutter speed normally, but if your turn it while holding down the Av button, it controls aperture. The controls are well-placed so this doesn't feel awkward at all. To change ISO, you have to take your eye off the viewfinder and use the Fn menu. It's very simple, requiring only two button presses to reach the place where you change ISO - it's not like it's buried somewhere deep in some obscure menu. But you do have to look at the rear LCD rather than the viewfinder to so it. Coming from film, it's still about, oh, 100 times easier than having to change an whole roll of film just to change ISO :-). But I do wish they ha come up with a way to set ISO more directly.

You should also be the K200D has a smaller viewfinder. And even the K20D is probably smaller than you are used to. Some people find that adjustment hard to make.

Bottom line, either camera camera would work fine. I wouldn't rule out the K200D because of the JPEG quality nor would I rule out the K20D because it seems complicated. The K20D is the more sophisticated camera and has the better viewfinder, but if the K200D fits your hand better (it is noticeably smaller & lighter) or you get a better deal on one, then I wouldn't hesitate to go that way, either.

02-06-2009, 09:31 AM   #9
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I made the jump from film SLR's to a K10D a little over a year ago. While I don't own a K20D, I have friends who do and to me it is identical is layout and operation. I had no trouble at all adjusting to using it. I loved it from right off after picking it up in the store and taking a few test shots. It is very easy to use in manual mode if you prefer to. One wheel in front of the shutterbutton and the other directly behind and you adjust the exposure until the meter reads 0 and then shoot. The ergonomiics are great. Everything is right where it should be and I find it usable even with gloves on in the cold.
I haven't used a K200 so I can't comment much on operation modes and ease of use but if cost isn't the issue I would get the K20D. It will be an easy transition. When I first got the camera I was either in full auto or using it manually like my old "center the meter needle and shoot" cameras. I have more manual lenses than AF auto lenses so I still shoot in manual most of the time. I have found that learning how to use all the post processing features in software like Photoshop, etc to be much more of a learning curve than using the camera.
02-06-2009, 10:58 AM   #10
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Marc makes a good point. Seeing the cameras in person would be ideal, and holding them in your hand. Or, at least consider what your preference list is--weight/size vs. control layout vs. viewfinder vs. price, etc--and check the specs online (reviews can be helpful in this regard). You might find one or the other an obvious choice then.
02-06-2009, 12:45 PM   #11
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Hello friend

[QUOTE=losecontrol;479372]Hello neigboor


So if you want improve and like shooting. Grab the k20d. (in sweden it's very cheap now).

Takk skal du ha! Good advice, but of course as you probably know prices are much higher in Norwaty than in Sweden. Thanks ahgain.
02-06-2009, 09:40 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by LUKE Quote
I wonder if I can actually handle a k20d.
Answer: yes, you can.

QuoteOriginally posted by luke Quote
Is it difficult to convert RAW to JPEG files?
No. You can start with something like Google Picasa, which is free and not very complicated, and move up from there.

Don't worry about reviewers crabbing about bad JPEGs. If you do want to shoot JPEG, you can adjust the settings in the camera so they come out to your liking.

Reid
02-06-2009, 09:47 PM   #13
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What I've learned_K200d vs.K20d

Thanks for everyone's input. Much appreciated.

1. Quality

QuoteOriginally posted by losecontrol Quote
Well, the k20d is a flagship for one reason. It outperforms the other.
QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I'd go with the K20 myself.
The K20 has a nicer sensor.
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
The K20D is the more sophisticated camera and has the better viewfinder . . .

They are both very good cameras, but there are reasons to favor K20d which I suppose is logical considering the higher cost.


2. Initial use. I was concerned that K20d might be too complicated to start with.

QuoteOriginally posted by unkabin Quote
I'm not sure that there's a steeper learning curve out of the box for the K20D. Both can be set to program initially, and the camera will do its best for you.
QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
If you're used to working one Pentax camera, you can use a K20D with no problems - the extra controls don't make it *harder* to do anything.
Good to know--that eliminates that concern as an issue.

Points 1 and 2 suggest I should really go for the K20d. But then . . .

3. It is not the technology itself that matters most (assuming that the cameras being considered are capable instruments and both of these are), but the skill one develops in using it.


QuoteOriginally posted by arbutusq Quote
I am always a bit confused about people who say they need a camera that allows them to 'grow'. Unless you need high FPS or some other feature these cameras have how will a lesser spec'd camera interfere with your growth as a photographer. Pros used to make a living with 6mp and their work with these higher mp cameras isn't really qualitiatively better than it was before.

Any camera will stimulate growth depending on the photographer's attitude and approach. Oops sorry I started ranting.
No need to apologize, I see your point.

4. Camera's "fit"_

QuoteOriginally posted by unkabin Quote
If you enjoyed your manual camera and price is not a prohibitive concern, I would suggest the k20D. With two dials (one for aperture, one for shutter), it will more closely resemble your earlier experiences.
QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
I made the jump from film SLR's to a K10D a little over a year ago. . . if cost isn't the issue I would get the K20D. It will be an easy transition. When I first got the camera I was either in full auto or using it manually like my old "center the meter needle and shoot" cameras. I have more manual lenses than AF auto lenses so I still shoot in manual most of the time. I have found that learning how to use all the post processing features in software like Photoshop, etc to be much more of a learning curve than using the camera.

A tool is the extension of the hand (and eye) and must be comfortable, become "second hand." Perhaps the more familiar dials would be very important for me, considering my "earlier experiences" as you say, unkabin. Strong recommendation for the K20d, reeftool.

QuoteOriginally posted by losecontrol Quote
. . . IMO I like the k20d's fit.
Yes, losecontrol, "fit" is important!

QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
. . . . if the K200D fits your hand better (it is noticeably smaller & lighter) or you get a better deal on one, then I wouldn't hesitate to go that way, either.
Exactly, Marc. I must check it out.


5. Trade-offs

QuoteOriginally posted by unkabin Quote
Marc makes a good point. Seeing the cameras in person would be ideal, and holding them in your hand. Or, at least consider what your preference list is--weight/size vs. control layout vs. viewfinder vs. price, etc--and check the specs online (reviews can be helpful in this regard). You might find one or the other an obvious choice then.
Thanks for the analysis, unkabin. Seems to me that weight/size is very important factor. I want something I can maneuver, but that is solid. I'll start there.


Last point, trade-offs. I started this thread by putting price aside. Price comes into the picture in consideration of buying a lens for the camera. I read that he so-called "kit-lens" that you can buy with the camera is not worth it. If I like the k200d's fit, might it not be wise to take the money saved and use it on a good lens?

Thanks again, Luke
02-06-2009, 09:56 PM   #14
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I really like the handling of the K200D, but the JPEG engine + sensor on the K20D is just plain better.

With my K100DS and K-M, I shot RAW about 30% of the time (as with my Nikon D80,) but I almost never shoot RAW with the K20D - in-camera jpegs are outstanding.

That alone should actually make the K20D the easier camera for you, IMO.
02-08-2009, 04:00 PM   #15
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More complications--the K-m?

I have been leaning more and more to the K20d because there has been so much praise on the boards here and elsewhere; a Norwegian newspaper review that I found yesterday called the camera a "coup for Pentax."

Then I started studying the K20d more carefully on line and what I found astonished me. It's huge—or so it seems—and is quite heavy. I travel often and I need to be able to bring the camera along as well as my laptop, etc. without going through gymnastics at the airport. Will I want to lug something that big around . . . I don't know. It's very questionable.

With weight and size suddenly at the foreground of my thinking, I began thinking about the K200d again. It is smaller than the K20d, but still "clunky", according to one reviewer, and a bit on the heavy side. Of course it's weather sealed which is an undeniable plus and I may like the feel of the camera. But I was thinking . . . 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) but it seems as if it has clear advantages over the K200d in speed, size and weight. Here in Norway it comes in at a substantially lower price than the K200d as well.

My question at this point is the K-m worth looking at or is it a substantially inferior camera to the K200d?

I must get to the camera store—after work tomorrow. I’ll check them all out for handling.

Thanks, Luke
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