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09-15-2010, 12:49 PM   #31
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Pentax K200D Camera Review

Pros solid build, weather seaing, easy to use functions, reliability, top lcd, shake reduction, DNG, in camera raw editing and processing
Cons heavy and bulky, viewfinder could be better, RAW buffer. battery meter
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) About $800 (with 18-55II)
Years Owned 2

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The K200D is a well built, very well specced entry level SLR. It has many features that current entry level cameras lack, such as a top lcd, weather sealing, manual focus confirmation (with anything you attach to the front of it), and a metal frame. There are some features however, that fall under par for the class. The buffer is slow to clear, and you can only get roughly three frames per second in continuous shooting mode. The camera's sensitivity range of 100-1600 iso is rather modest compared to newer offerings, and I try to avoid straying above 800 iso unless I want to apply some heavy post processing.

The K200 is a big and heavy camera for its class. It really isn't much smaller than the K20D. If need be you can likely fend of an attempted mugging with this camera (but only if you have a metal lens attached).

Camera Review
I use the K200D almost exclusively with manual focus lenses, shooting in DNG, in manual mode, therefore there are some aspects of the camera that I have not had much experience with. My limited experience with autofocus (with the 18-55 kit lens) has been fine, likewise I find that if I am willing to tweak jpeg settings, the camera produces very nice files.

However, to make those shots really shine, I shoot in DNG. The sensor gives quite a bit of room to play with exposure and curves, and at low sensitivities I've been surprised at what I can get away with. In addition, I've been able to get away with some pretty severe crops depending on the lens ( IMGP6053-2 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! and December-6748 | Flickr - Photo Sharing! )

I bought this camera mainly for it to be a digital back for manual focus lenses, and it has served very well in that capacity. I find the focus confirmation accurate and very handy, as the viewfinder is not the most well equipped for fine manual focus. Aftermarket screens and magnifiers can be installed. The shake reduction makes my old lenses even more viable, I can comfortably shoot handheld two stops slower than I typically would with most lenses, and can sometimes push it further if needed.

The robust body provides the perfect counterpart to old heavy lenses, and rarely feels unbalanced. I've handled a few other entry level slrs (Nikon D40, Canon Rebel XT) with these lenses attached and they tend to be front heavy, whereas the K200 is well balanced.

I've also used the K200 extensively for long exposure work. Mirror lock up is very handy in this case, though I wish it could be activated independent of drive mode. I typically stick to 100 iso for long exposures, but have gone to 200 or 400 on occasion and have not found them to be overly noisy as long as thirty seconds to a minute.

There are many comments here about the short battery life of the K200D. I've found that the batteries last a very long while (I wish I could estimate the number of shots), but sometimes the battery metre gives false readings. Often the camera says the batteries are dead when they are newly installed, or just under half capacity. I simply turn the camera off and on a few times, and remove and reinstall the batteries if necessary and it clears up.

Overall, this is really a terrific camera that punches well above its class, even three years after its release. Though newer cameras have it beat in high iso and shooting speed, the K200 produces beautiful files (with a bit of coaxing) and provides many features no longer to be found among entry level slrs (weather sealing, top lcd, robust build).*

* Though my demands on this camera are likely in the minority (manual focus, long exposure, DNG only), hopefully someone with similar requirements will value my views on the K200D.

11-14-2010, 08:18 PM   #32
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 5
Pentax K200D Camera Review

Pros very nice images, construction
Cons AA rechargebles
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) $0, it was a gift from my wife
Years Owned 4

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Great Camera

Camera Review
I taken some great images with this camera and 18 - 55 mm lens.
The build is very solid.
Handles well
Optional battery grip with the additional shutter release makes it easy to take vertical shots.
I love this camera.

My only gripe was that rechargeable AA's would not work in the optional battery grip, when used it would cause all kinds of bizarre behavior, including camera lock-up'.
Lithium AA's solved that problem
12-02-2010, 08:51 PM   #33
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Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Whitesboro, NY USA
Posts: 4
Pentax K200D Camera Review

Pros The set up is a breeze and defaults are enough for the beginner. Once you get used to how it works out of the box, then get your hands on David Bush's book to further add you customization. I also like the fact that you can use most of the older Pentax lens. I have several from my SLR days including a nice 50 mm.
Cons It's a bit heavy and bulky. But don't let thet discourage you. I always keep a point n shoot hand for those quick snapshots.
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) $850 with kit lens.
Years Owned Two years.

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
This camera's weather resistance is one big selling point and the image stabilization is exceptional in my opinion.

Camera Review
It's a nice entry level camera but might still be a little much for the beginner. Too bad they don't make this one any more. I'm certainly hanging on to mine, even if I do upgrade.
12-03-2010, 08:12 AM   #34
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Location: San Francisco
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Pentax K200D Camera Review

Pros Compact size, AA Batteries, weather and dust resistant, solid construction, well placed grips, basic Shooting Modes on the dial
Cons Weight
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) $475.00
Years Owned 1 Year

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
The K200D is a very reasonably priced camera, it is compact (though not lightweight), it uses regular AA Batteries and is sealed against weather and dust. The construction is very solid and the body has great ergonomics. It has easy simple to use features on the outside of the camera that even a novice like me can utilize to get photos they will be happy with.

Camera Review
(Note the price included a Grip)

This is actually my 3rd DSLR however I am not a very experienced photographer and I actually got this for that reason. I start with a K100D Super and learned the extreme basics of using a DSLR with that and loved it then got the upgrade bug and replaced it with a K20. This was a mistake for me really as the K20 had features and abilities I was in no way ready to tackle, not to mention it was HUGE, and I was using it less because of it; I start to miss my K100. So I sold the K20 (on this forum) and bought this lovely camera (K200D, again on this forum). With the K200D I got my upgrade from the K100D, gaining weather sealing, a few more megapixels, new and better rubber grip bits, while retaining the compact size, and controls that I was familiar with, and had grown to love, from the K100D. I am now using my camera more than I did during the brief period I owned the K20D.

So what do I really like or dislike about this camera..

Likes:

Compact size: I have small children and most of the time when I can carry my camera at all, it is stowed in a messenger bag full of snacks, changes of clothes (for both me and at least one kid), towels, etc. that go with a kid outing. The bag gets cramped getting a camera in and out in a hurry requires a svelte camera. The K200D is small and with the kit lenses or the 50mm on, it comes out quick.

AA Batteries: Oh man, in this day of mobile this and than, kids toys all powered by electricity of some sort or other, computers in every room etc. the last thing we need in the house is another tangle of cables or another proprietary charger. We have lots of other things around that require AA batteries and have a charger always at hand and probably charging. I have plenty of Sanyo Eneloop AAs and so this is just the right power option for me.

Weather and dust resistant: I live near the ocean in San Francisco where it is wet and foggy all the time and so most of my shooting is out in the weather. The weather resistance is just the right thing for the area.

Solid construction: Just picking the camera up after using a friends canon or nikon puts a smile on my face. There is some heft to the K200D but it is just such a good solid feel that I feel like a pro just holding it (never mind my amateur photos)

Well placed grips: One thing of the K20D I liked was the ergonomics of the body. The K100D was a slippery customer and the new K20 design for the grip and thumb thing was just great. Well, the K200D has that same setup (pretty much) and just feels perfect in my hand.

Basic Shooting Modes on the dial: Another thing about the K20D that I missed from the K100D was the camera for dummies settings on the dial. I mostly use “M” or Aperture Priority however when the kids are running wild, and I gotta get something in quick, I really like the settings like the one with the mountain or the one with the Person on it. Having there where I can click to it in a second and click back to “M” again if I wish is awesome.

Dislikes:

Weight: If it could be a little lighter, but not too much, I would be in heaven (and give a 10) but this is the only (though minor) dislike and I can definitely live with this one.

So overall I love this camera and could not be happier after downgrading from the K20D. This little camera does it all.

12-03-2010, 12:57 PM   #35
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Cape Town, South Africa
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Posts: 646
Pentax K200D Camera Review

Pros Weather/Dust sealed; Solid construction; Nice grip; AA batt.; Top LCD panel
Cons Noisy above ISO800; Small RAW buffer; Low fps
Rating 8
Price (U.S. Dollars) US$900 (high premium on all camera gear in South Africa)
Years Owned >2yrs

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Great value for solid rugged camera.

Camera Review
Good solid camera that filled a niche for people looking for rugged and weather/dust sealed model without necessarily all the bells and whistles and the associated high price of the semi-pro/pro models.

The camera feels good in the hand with a comfortable grip, and fairly convenient controls.

Camera works fine with good "low self-discharge" hybrid NiMH (Enerloop, Hybrio, etc)

ISO performance good up to 400, but gets noisy after 800.
12-04-2010, 11:25 AM   #36
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Posts: 4,068
Pentax K200D Camera Review

Pros Weather sealed, sturdy, runs on AA batteries, top LCD, reliable
Cons Noise above ISO 400 (especially in dark portions of the photo), loud shutter (can sometimes startle twitchy wildlife)
Rating 9
Price (U.S. Dollars) 605
Years Owned 2

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Sturdy and Reliable for Outdoor Photography

Camera Review
General Comments: The K200D was my first DSLR, and I've been happy with it from day one. I'm primarily an outdoor photographer, so weather sealing was one of my primary considerations, as was the ability to use AA batteries. I've used the K200D in sub-zero F cold, in rain and snow, and in dusty 90-degree heat. I carry the camera around my neck when hiking, and have accidentally smacked it against trees and rocks without any marks on the body or damage to the works. When bicycling, I carry the camera in a padded bag on my bike's rear rack. I've never had any trouble despite having over 35000 actuations. Here's a summary of the K200D's main characteristics:

• Thorough, understandable instruction books
• Excellent neck strap (though I swapped it for one I made)
• Logical placement of controls
• Labels on camera and lens are easy to read
• Camera can be used while wearing gloves
• Ability to select LARGE TEXT for monitor menu commands
• Uses AA batteries
• Uses standard SD and SDHC memory cards
• Mirror lock-up capability
• Shutter release is crisp, certain, quick
• Quick recycling time means quick picture-taking for action shots
• Image stabilization feature
• Black body (subdued is good for bird photography)
• “Sticky” textured hand and thumb grips
• Shoots JPEG, RAW, or both at once
• Viewfinder diopter adjusts easily to suit eyesight
• Downloading images to computer is a snap

Winter Use: In winter cold, I can operate the camera without removing my gloves because the hand grip is just the right size and shape, and the controls and shutter are not too cluttered or cramped.

The Downside: The downside of the K200D when compared to more recent Pentax DSLRs is that ISOs higher than 400 introduce noticeable and even distracting noise into the pictures, especially in shadows. In my book, this is more than offset by the camera's other benefits.

A note about batteries For most of the time I've owned the K200D, I've used Sanyo Eneloop rechargeable batteries, with lithium spares in my camera bag as backups. The Eneloops work a charm. DO NOT rely on alkaline rechargeable AA cells. They will not work in this camera.

Summary: Though I will get another Pentax camera body to use as a backup or for low-light situations, the K200D will remain my go-to camera for most of my work. The sturdiness, reliability, weather sealing, and ability to use AA cells (good for when I'm on cyclotour) just can't be beat. Unfortunately, the K200D is discontinued and there is no obvious replacement, but there are used models on the market, and they're well worth considering for anyone who wants a reliable and capable camera for shooting outdoors in any weather. I've written more about the K200D, including photos of the camera, here.
12-05-2010, 03:54 PM   #37
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Posts: 1
Pentax K200D Camera Review

Pros Great weather resistance, good image quality,great glass (compatible with all K-mount lenses), Aperature priority mode, LCD top screen
Cons Low ISO, high noise above about 800 ISO,
Rating 7
Price (U.S. Dollars) 650 AUD$ (2 lens kit)
Years Owned ~1.5 years

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Durable, good to great image quality, reliable, weighty but solid.

Camera Review
This is my first DSLR camera, and my first review of any sort, thus I apologize if this is not as in-depth as other reviews. I intend this a brief look at the features/benefits of the K200D. and after using it heavily for about a year and a half it has proven to be incredible durable and reliable through heavy weather and deserts.

First off, this camera has great value, you get a lot of upper level features for a (at its time) entry level price, putting it slightly above the entry level DSLR's in some respects. The upper LCD screen is a great feature, one which I would not go without. The green values in the viewfinder can be hard to see in bright light, but the LCD remains visible. The LCD is also great for quickly checking settings.

The weight of the camera is more than it's competitors (D40/D60, Rebel 450D); this however gives it a solid feel, and confidence in the superb build quality.

Image Quality: good to great depending on the subject below about 640-800 ISO, decent above ISO 800 for smaller prints/monitors. I have used this camera for everything from landscapes, to portraits, to sports and to covering plays and it covers them, with some knowledge of how to best set up the camera/choose mode almost without issue. The only problems arise when the ISO is pushed up above 1000 for dimly lit plays/events.

Build Quality: Superb, the weather seals are excellent and managed to hold back a New Zealand rainstorm with stronger winds, and survive the Australian Outback. Only camera entry level priced camera to have weather sealing. This camera is also carted to and from school a fair bit for use as a yearbook camera and it has no issues after a year of daily use like this.

This camera is a great camera for beginners and more advanced photographers alike thanks to the automatic modes and 5 manual modes. The fully automatic and scene modes which help to give you an idea of what exposure/aperture combinations are suitable for different circumstances. The 5 manual modes make this camera suitable for more advanced photography. The inclusion of bulb mode is a nice feature for long (>30s) exposures with a locking remote trigger.

Customization: The ability to customize many of the settings on the camera is a great feature. The ability to fine tune image types for immediate conversion or in-camera RAW conversion is a great ability, one I use extensively. The in-depth fine tuning of white balance makes precise control, and counteraction of lens hues (cool/warm) much easier and automatic once you set it. The fine-tunning in the menu controls of various features and settings while shooting makes it easy to personalize the camera to individual shooting styles.

Conclusion:
Overall this is a great camera with great potential for those looking at their first DSLR as it can and will grow due to it's excellent manual modes and extensive customization capabilities. The ability to process RAW files in-camera right after you take the shot is a very useful tool, especially if you lack batch conversion software or the time to manually convert in photoshop/light room.
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