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05-23-2009, 06:33 PM   #1
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k200d or k20d? Help!

Here's the question...I'm ready to get my first DSLR after several years using a Kodak 5 megapixel 10x zoom.. There's a little more than $200.00 difference between the k200d and the k20d depending on which website you look at. I'm an amateur photographer who's ready to go to the next stage. Will I wish I had purchased the k20d after a few months or is the k200d enough of a camera for most people? Is the k20d challenging to the point of frustration? Sorry the question is vague but I really would appreciate the advice. Thanks in advance.

05-23-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
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I don't have either of these two (I have the K100D), and while I really like the K100D, I am now looking at the K20D. At the time I bought (9/07), there was about a $400 difference between the K100D and the K10D, and I wasn't sure I was interested enough in a DSLR to fork over the $400. Wasn't long after buying the K100D that I was thinking....."hmmmm, sort of wish I had bought the K10D". I'm hoping the price of the K20D comes waaayyyyy down after the K-7 is available. Bottom line, I would get the K20D.
05-23-2009, 09:43 PM   #3
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I started with a P&S and picked a K200D.

The K200D has various Scene modes, similar to most P&S cameras these days. I find them useful as quick presets, instead of doing the same things manually. They also kept me in a comfort zone while I was learning the behavior of the other modes in relation to how I shoot. Besides the scene modes, the K20D has pretty much everything else the K200D does, plus more. (Note that the K20D does have a full auto Green mode, so it's not like you're stuck scratching your head when you aren't sure what to do. Even P mode is pretty easy on any camera.)

So far the only thing I've found myself missing is TAv mode, which requires two control dials -- something the K200D lacks. On the few occasions I've wanted that, it would have been extremely handy, and it was frustrating to have to jump through hoops to get around the lack of a second quick control.

Otherwise I'm happy with my K200D, and there are a few things that made me deliberately choose it over a K20D, such as AA batteries and the sensor. (That last bit will sound odd, since many people are immensely pleased with the K20D's high ISO performance. I wouldn't mind better high ISO performance either, but the K20D's sensor is a first-generation design, and some of the low-level tradeoffs were things I didn't feel comfortable with. I suspect the K-7 is going to perform better with lessons learned from the K20D.)

Well, that and the price. The difference was larger when I was ready to buy, and the K20D didn't offer anything worth that price difference to me as a newcomer.
05-23-2009, 11:00 PM   #4
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There's basically nothing about the K20D that's more complicated or difficult to use than the K200D - both have fully automatic, semi-automatic, and full manual modes. The only reasons *not* to go for for the K20D - aside form price, of course - would be if you like the smaller size of the K200D better, or have a preference for AA btteries, or maybe if you are concerned that a 14MP camera might produces files bigger than you want.

05-23-2009, 11:35 PM   #5
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Yes, I was confused last year when I changed DC to DSLR between K200d and K20d...
At last, I choosed K20d and loved it very much.

My reasons:
1. I dont like "AA btteries"
2. I prefer 14M pixels
3. K20d, a mid-end DSLR, is the higher product than K200d
4. I can afford the price gap

In my opinion, it is a good time to buy K20d now, due to the coming of K7.
However, if you were patient, waiting for K7 maybe a good option~

I remember someone says: Buy the most expensive camera that you can afford.
I just followed this advice.

Wish you are happy with your new Pentax, no matter which type it is
05-24-2009, 12:08 AM   #6
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Get the 14 Mp, the difference will be staggering. Also the feel of the K20D in your hands is nice and solid. The price difference is unbelievably low, actually I wouldn't be surprised K20D prizes will start going up slighly until production is stopped. It is, quite simply, in a different league than the K100D/K200D.

A K100D owner until yesterday and a K20D owner today. My first steps with the K20D include:
05-24-2009, 03:23 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
Get the 14 Mp, the difference will be staggering. Also the feel of the K20D in your hands is nice and solid. The price difference is unbelievably low, actually I wouldn't be surprised K20D prizes will start going up slighly until production is stopped. It is, quite simply, in a different league than the K100D/K200D.

A K100D owner until yesterday and a K20D owner today. My first steps with the K20D include:
What a nice shoot~!
Could I ask which lens do you use, thanks~

Last edited by holoso; 05-24-2009 at 05:03 AM.
05-24-2009, 04:28 AM   #8
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I don't think you'd be disappointed with either.
Would be best to have both in your hands in a store to see what you think, as I'm assuming you've not used Pentax cams before.
Points above should be heeded too...

05-24-2009, 08:35 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by holoso Quote
What a nice shoot~!
Could I ask which lens do you use, thanks~

Good question! After the K20D arrived with the postal services I went to the photostore. Had my eye set on the Pentax 50-135, Sigma 50-150 because of their constant F2.8

The salesman actually convinced me to take the Sigma 70-200mm/F2.8 as it has a much more pleasing close focus behaviour, more reach than the other two but at the same constant F2.8, almost the same price as the 50-150mm but 100 cheaper than the 50-135mm.

The guy was knowledgeable about Pentax, photography and technical details so I followed his lead and ended up with the Sigma 70-200mm/F2.8 II APO macro.

It is one hell of a heavy beast at twice the weight of the other two, but it has HSM focussing and that works so well I cannot believe it.

All in all I spent 1280 which should become the price of the K-7 body, but I got an awesome bit of equipment that I think should outperform the K-7 with a crappy lens which is all I would have money left for were I to have taken the K-7.

You are looking at one happy camper!

Today's shots with this combo:




05-24-2009, 11:33 AM   #10
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Thanks for the input

I appreciate the input and posting of actual photographs. Those photos are great and give me something to "shoot" for.
I think I've coming close to reaching the limits of my Kodak z740 although I certainly have a lot to learn.
As I understand it, the k200d has scene presets (landscapes...flower macro...etc) and the k20d does not. Is this correct? Does the k20d have an automatic setting to help the newbie? (me) I'm slowly learning about f-stop/shutter speed/iso but I think I know just enough to be dangerous.
Thanks again
05-24-2009, 11:54 AM   #11
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Scene modes are mostly owrthless. You get results just as good with less effort by using the fully automatic "P" mode, rather than constnatly fiddling with a scene dial. And yes, the K20D has the fully automatic P mode.
05-24-2009, 01:25 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Scene modes are mostly owrthless. You get results just as good with less effort by using the fully automatic "P" mode
Not really -- that's why I said they were useful as quick presets.

Normally for P mode I run with Auto ISO and either Bright or a tweaked Natural image tone, Matrix metering, AF-S.

Landscape mode forces ISO 100 and F8-ish, getting me slower shutter speeds, plus the Landscape image tone. I can do that in P mode if I first use the menu to select ISO 100 and Landscape tone, then use the dial to Shift aperture into the F8 range while keeping an eye on it. Av mode would mean I keep less of an eye on it, but I still have to menu dive. If you don't like the image tones or are shooting RAW, that's one step you can leave out, but the others remain.

[K20D: use Hyper Program to get to Av without taking the dial off P, and the hold-OK-and-turn-front-dial method to change ISO. There's still the image tone, but getting set up to take the picture should be quick, and you can always shoot RAW and apply the image tone later either in-camera or with the Pentax software.]

Moving Object mode prefers higher shutter speeds and gets me AF-C, without babysitting Program Shift or switching to Tv and menu diving again.

[K20D: Again, Hyper Program gets you to Tv easily, and AF-C is a switch; no menu diving. More importantly, it's got TAv mode, which I'd absolutely love for these kinds of scenes.]

Candlelight mode uses either center-weighted or spot metering to capture the scene instead of the flame.

[K20D: Metering is a switch too.]

Night Portrait mode drags the shutter with a toned-down flash -- just plain not happening in P mode, even with negative Flash compensation.

[K20D: Not aware of anything that will make this quicker. These shots take some planning.]

Can you get the same results with other modes? Absolutely. With less effort? Not a chance on the K200D.

It might be fair to say: if you know what's needed to get the desired result, the K200D requires Scene modes to compensate for the rapid control methods of the K20D, but isn't as flexible because of it. If you don't know what's needed, the K200D is friendlier.

kenhreed, do you use all the scene modes of your current camera? That's probably a pretty good measure of how often you'd use them on a K200D. I personally use the various standard modes more often than I do the scene modes. Yes, there are things to learn about a DSLR, but the curve is really not that steep -- it just requires some experimentation and time to get familiar. Based on what you've said so far, I doubt you'd regret getting a K20D because of missing scene modes.
05-24-2009, 01:47 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Quension Quote

It might be fair to say: if you know what's needed to get the desired result, the K200D requires Scene modes to compensate for the rapid control methods of the K20D, but isn't as flexible because of it. If you don't know what's needed, the K200D is friendlier.
I think that may simply be the best way I've seen the difference described - ever! Apart from the difference in Mp's the above seems an excellent rule of thumb. So your decision matrix suddenly becomes a lot easier with the question "How many times do you need/want to print A3+ or over and how often do you crop to less than 75% of the original image?" making up the other criterium.

I'd been quite happy with the K100D-Super up to A4 and slightly beyond, but A3+ was clearly pushing it a bit with 6Mp. With that comes the fact that my own horizon is often crooked leading to the need for rotating and cropping. By now, I think I know what I'm doing with the photographic controls and I'm a RAW-only user so my choice went for the K20D.

My wife is quite a good shot but would struggle with stuff like DOF, shutterspeed against movement. The K100D (so the K200D as well) suits her just perfectly. Guy at work is the exact same thing: he has a great photographic eye but not so interested in the mechanics of it.

Good advice there, Quension!
05-24-2009, 01:55 PM   #14
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I have the K200d and love it, with the exception of the viewfinder which is small and, IMO, is a good enough reason to consider the K20d. Apart from that, I just love the size, weight and everything else...
05-24-2009, 02:31 PM   #15
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I was in the same position a couple of weeks ago. I was trying to choose between the K200D and K20D. The only difference is that up until a few years ago, I used a Vivitar V335 with a PK mount, so I was used to total manual control.

With the prices of the K20D coming down, I decided to go for it instead of the K200D. The main selling point for me was the second dial and a little faster drive. I would have been happy with either, but the K20D seemed perfect. I've had it for just over a week, and I'm loving it. I couldn't be happier with it.

My recommendation is to go for the K20D, but I'm obviously biased. It has an automatic mode which will work fine until you get used to the manual settings. You probably won't miss the scene modes, but if you do, then just write down on a note card the equivalent manual settings for each scene you would use.
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