Thursday, March 27, 2008

Pentax K200D vs Sony A200 / A300; Weather resist SLR vs. Live-View

Pentax K200D vs Sony A300In comparison with newest entry-level Digital SLR cameras such as the Nikon D60, the Sony A200, the Olympus E420 and old-fashion Canon Rebel Xti, the new Pentax K200D looks quite good. After Pentax K100D / K100 Super, this solidly constructed SLR camera with weather and dust resistant body can impress even advanced photographers, who are interested in serious cameras as the Canon EOS450 / Rebel Xsi or the Sony A300 / A350.
The Pentax K200 as a step-up of entry-level SLR
Sure, the Pentax K200D is strep of some cool features such as the Live-View mode (Olympus E420, Sony A300) and its ability for using AA batteries is a little questionable. However, the combination of high-speed aperture, in-body stabilization system, waterproof body ( it's a really cool feature, especially for my Sauna-blog), and low-noise high ISO means me much interesting that the Live View LCD, which only enables photographers to hold the camera away from their faces. Although the K200D designed mainly for family users and beginners, this SLR has a host of useful features and functions like any higher-class models.
Pentax K200D frontPentax K200D main features
- Shake Reduction feature incorporating a 10.2 megapixel CCD is compatible with any Pentax lens ever produced, including SDM lenses, minimizes the effect of camera shake
- Auto Picture and Scene modes offer shooting ease, while advanced modes, such as the Sv mode, allow photographers to grow with the camera
- 2.7 inch high resolution, wide view LCD panel allows easy review of pictures, while including enlarged menu lettering
- Weather and dust resistant body allows you to keep shooting even in harsh conditions
- Includes long life Energizer AA Lithium batteries for the perfect combination of long life and easy to find replacements
- Advanced 16-segment metering and 11-point AF, with 9 cross sensors, ensure perfectly exposed and focused images
- PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) image processing engine maximizes image properties and allows custom adjustment of image parameters
- Custom Image modes, with six preset options, offer superior control of how the PRIME processor develops images
- Enhanced Dynamic Range mode gives 200% more dynamic range
Optical Image Stabilizer
As in case of the Sony A200 (for more look at the previous post) and Olympus E510 / E420, main improvements comparing to previous Pentax K100 is in-body optical stabilization system. For more details about Olympus's SLRs look at Olympus SLRs: E330, E400, E410, E500 and E510. Can pop-cams fight vs. Nikon D80 or Canon XTi?. Pentax is using sensor shift stabilization (where the sensor is moving-shifting to compensate the movement of camera body) what means that you do not need an optically stabilized lens and can use any lenses you want. This mechanism shifts the position of the CCD image sensor vertically and horizontally at high speed using magnetic force, while adjusting the shifting speed in proportion to the amount of camera shake detected by a built-in sensor. It offers a compensation effect, equivalent to approximately 2.5 to 4 shutter-speed steps. Sure, the Pentax lens collection is not as big as Nikkor and Canon. In addition, its quality is an excellent and you can get more than enough from Pentax and do not look at some manufacturers as Sigma and Tamron.
Pentax K200D - entry-level SLRPentax K200D specifications
- Interline interlace CCD with primary color filter and integrated Shake/Dust Reduction sensor movement system; Size - 23.5 x 15.7mm; Color depth - 8 bits/channel JPG, 12 bits/channel RAW; Effective pixels - 10.2 MP; Total pixels - 10.75 MP; Recorded resolutions - 3872x2592 (10M), 3008x2000 (6M), 1824x1216 (2M) Quality levels: Best, Better, Good; Dust removal - Image sensor movement combined with SP coating
- Body-based, sensor shift Shake Reduction image stabilizer system - max 4 stops
- Pentax KAF2 bayonet stainless steel mount; Usable lenses - Pentax KAF2, KAF, and KA (K mount, 35mm screw mount, 645/67 med formats useable w/ adapter and/or restrictions)
- TTL phase-matching 11 point wide auto focus system, Focus modes - AF Single (w/focus lock), Manual, AF Continuous available in Action mode (including Auto Pict Action), Kids mode, Pet mode, P/A/S/M/B/Sv; Focus point adjustment - Auto, User-Selectable, Center; AF assist, via built-in flash
- Penta-Mirror viewfinder; Coverage (field of view) - 96%, Magnification - 0.85x (w/ 50mm f/1.4 at infinity), Standard focusing screen - Natural-Bright-Matte II, Diopter adjustment - -2.5 to 1.5, Depth of field preview - Optical diaphragm stop down, Digital
Pentax K200D lenses dance- 2.7” TFT colors LCD monitor, adjustable brightness, 230,000 pixel; wide angle viewable, approx 160 degrees horizontal/vertical
- Continuous Drive at 2.8 fps, up to 4 JPEG, 1.1 fps, RAW
- Retractable P-TTL popup flash, Guide number - 13 (100/m), Coverage - 28mm wide angle (equivalent to 35mm), Flash modes – TBA, Flash exposure compensation -2 to 1 EV in 1/2 steps
- Removable memory - SD, SDHC
- USB 2.0 hi-speed, DC input, cable switch, Video out - NTSC, PAL, Printer interfaces – PictBridge
- 4 AA (lithium, alkaline, NiMH rechargeable), Recordable images - Approx 1100 w/lithium (approx 550 w/ 50% flash use), Playback time - Approx 700 min; optional AC adapter
- ISO Sensitivity: Auto - 100-1600 ISO (1, 1/2, 1/3 steps), Manual - 100-1600 ISO (1, 1/2, 1/3 steps)
- TTL open aperture, 16 segment metering; Sensitivity range - EV 0-21 (ISO 100, 50mm f/1.4); Multi-segment, 16 segments; Center weighted, Spot, Exposure compensation - +/- 2 EV (1/2 or 1/3 steps); Exposure lock, Exposure bracketing, 3 frames, up to +/- 1.5 (1/2 steps) or +/- 1.0 (1/3 steps)
- Electronically controlled, vertical run, focal plane shutter; Shutter speed - 1/4000 to 30 sec, bulb available
- File Formats: RAW PEF/DNG, JPG (EXIF 2.21), DCF 2.0 (design rule for camera file system), DPOF, and Print Image Matching III
- Weight (inc. batteries) 690g - 24.3 oz w/lithium batteries (25.6 oz w/alkaline batteries), 22.2 oz without battery
- Dimensions 134 x 95 x 74 mm (5.3 x 3.7 x 2.9 in)
- Construction material - Reinforced plastic polymer shell around a rugged stainless steel chassis, operating temperature - 32-104 degrees F
Pentax K200D overviewPentax K200D pros and cons
The same as the Pentax K10D an excellent weatherproof construction body with some features and great image quality makes the Pentax K200D very attractive for advanced users. However, its weight and dimensions give the best fit for next-level digital SLR cameras. In comparison with the Nikon D60 (522 g), Sony A200 (572 g) and Olympus E420 (440 g), the K200D with its 690 g body is not so good for family shooting. Moreover, for sport shooting where you need a fast frame rate and a long Tele lens, you should consider a speedy camera. However, for those who need an excellent picture quality the Pentax K200D is a right choice.
- Goog and solid build quality, feels more expensive than any entry-level SLR
- Excellent image quality
- Good, low-noise performance at high ISO even at ISO 1600
- Weather sealed body
- Good 18-55mm Kit lens
- Very effective in-body image stabilization system
- Small buffer at 2.8 fps, up to 4 JPEG, 1.1 fps, RAW
- Not so small and lightweight as I'd like
Pentax DSLR shootConclusion
Looking through the Nikon D60 ($690 with 18-55mm Lens Kit, for any details look through Nikon D60 vs. Canon Xti, Sony A200, Pentax K200 and Olympus E510), Olympus E410 / E510 / E420 ($790 with 14-42mm Lens Kit), Sony A200 ($550 with 18-70mm Lens Kit) / A300 ($950), Canon Rebel Xti ($510) / Xsi ($1130 with 18-55mm Lens Kit), and of course the Pentax K200D it’s hard to find the worst camera as well as the best. All of these SLRs have some pros and some cons. Nevertheless, small 4/3 Olympus with excellent Zuiko lenses, famous Nikon and Canon, rich of features Sony etc. have they own users and admirers. For more look at Canon EOS400/XTi, Nikon D40x and Pentax K10 pros& cons; SLR over SLR-like triple benefits. As for the Pentax K200D, this SLR ($800 with 18-55mm Lens Kit) is good for traveling through dusty or damp climate countries. For those who rate the image, construction and lens quality highly than lightweight, Live View ability and brand name.


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David said...

Hey! After doing a bunch of reading about digital cameras, I finally found your blog by accident. After all that dry BS on the net it was exactly what I needed, and I was laughing out loud too. :)

I am curious. What do you think of the recently released Fuji S100FS?

Seems early, not many reviews yet, but from the specs I am very curious. Nice big sensor...

fototramp said...

The Fujifilm S100fs is a great SLR-like camera with a large 2/3" (8.80 x 6.60 mm) Super CCD HR sensor, an excellent Fujinon 14.3x (28-400mm) optical zoom lens and a lens-shift image stabilization system. However, its weight without battery is 918g/32.4 oz and it costs about $700 (Amazon). For example, the Sony A200 Kit with Super Steady Shot Image Stabilization with 18-70mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens costs abt. $599 (532 g (1.2 lb), Canon Digital Rebel XTi with EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens costs $589. Sure, the Fuji S100 is good as SLR-like but in comparison with an entry-level SLR...

David said...

I see what you mean. Image-wise, why take a 2/3" sensor when you can get an APS-C for less?

I was looking for some stopping point in between a cheaper cam that does video but has a tiny sensor and a pro cam with a nice sensor and no video. (Also nice to have a versatile lens without having to spend more $$$, but that's gravy.)

To travel around and take nice shots and video, I guess you really need to bring two devices, or compromise your photography... :(

fototramp said...

I'm a travel fan too. Unfortunately, I'm obliged to take two devices: an SLR and a camcorder to my journeys. Maybe it's better (and cheaper) to buy a compact such as a Canon Powershot with a good movie mode as a second camera.

Digital SLR Camera said...

But when I do my research on DSLR camera on the net. Most ppl will vote for either Canon or Nikon. Seldom vote for other brands.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is very nice and good to see a different opinion about SLRs when everywhere else you get to hear Nikon or Canon bragging only!
I am in the hunt for a good SLR with very image quality and low-light handling. I do'nt want to spend so much on lenses, but i would like to to have a good wide angle lens and a macro lens. Which system would you suggest for this ?

I am considering the following

Pentax K200D
Canon XTi
Nikon D40/x
Sony A200
Oly E-510

Out of this if i want to put together a good system in a cost efficient way, which one would be the better choice.

Thanks for your help


fototramp said...

To Krishna
Look at the Pentax K200D. In my opinion, this SLR is the best from these five.

Anonymous said...

Nikon system is silent and fast. Very save along with Canon. Great colors - Extra $$ for VR/IS Lens

Olympus - Wait for the e520 - the 510 colors are off slightly.

Pentax...Very interesting. Lacking live view

Sony - If you are taking pics of scenery than it is a great camera. Skin tones are very very pale.

fototramp said...

To anonymous
Thanks for your reply. I was thinking about the Sony A700 (instead of my A100), however, the Pentax K20D looks much interesting. As for Nikon and Canon, the Nikon D300 is an excellent, but a little expensive; the Canon 40D...I don't now. Now I'm thinking about Pentax.

Anonymous said...

Find Digital Cameras and Digital Camcorders

Anonymous said...

You have an awesome blog. Not all dry and humorless like the professional sites. I just wanted to say that I bought a K200D yesterday after finding very little to go on, other than your site, and you're spot on with everything. Compared to the beating the K10/100 took in the press, the noise levels on this camera are right up there with my roomie's XTi. Thanks again!

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