back to article Pentax K200D digital SLR

Pentax is pretty clear about the target group for the K200D: the head of a family and digital camera beginner. Automation is the key here – most folk will simply want a camera they can pick up and shoot. The first thing that hits you about the K200D is its size. Pentax describes it as “one of the most compact DSLRs on the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    <no title>

    I find these things rather confusing. Some while ago I was warned off of looking at "effective" pixels as manufacturers will interpolate between pixel readings to guess pixels that aren't really there, thus bumping the figure up. Now I see this one has more "total" pixels the "effective" pixels ?!? Still I guess at the 14 million level the lens quality becomes more important anyway ?

  2. Altis

    Re: Batteries...

    Errm... You don't mean Lithium-ion at all.

    These are the rechargeable (and usually proprietary) batteries used by most other dSLR cameras.

    You are probably referring to the non-rechargeable Lithium/Iron Disulphide batteries that are available from Energizer:

    http://data.energizer.com/PDFs/l91.pdf

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    The reflex is a lonely child

    "Now I see this one has more "total" pixels the "effective" pixels".

    As I understand it, digital sensors are sometimes mounted in such a way that the outer edge is masked off, and thus the total number of pixels is slightly higher than the effective number. This is however a complicated subject (e.g. the old Nikon D1 had something like ten million photosites, but produced a 2.7mp image). As a rule of thumb, in the world of digital SLRs the manufacturer's stated resolution in megapixels nowadays tallies with the sensor's resolution in megapixels. In the early days Fuji tended to inflate the resolution of their SLRs via interpolation. Sigma's Foveon sensor cameras are problematic for a different reason, but that is another topic and a whole new world of pain.

    This is assuming you aren't mixing up the stated resolution of the LCD screen with the resolution of the image sensor. In my opinion the quality of the pixels trumps the quantity.

  4. Anton Ivanov
    Flame

    A few points

    1. Having normal batteries in an SLR is an old Pentax feature. My K110D has it.

    2. This looks very similar to the 110D and the 110D is so easy to use that my 6 year old can use it and make nearly perfect pictures every time. Same for weight and size. If a camera can be handled by a 6 year old it is as family friendly as it is going to get. Unless family-friendly is meant to mean "moron friendly" of course.

  5. caffeine addict Silver badge

    @AC

    IIRC, in an camera with image stabilisation, you have 'spare' pixels round the outside of the frame which are used as part of the stabilisation. They're there, and they collect data, but they're only of use in stabilisation mode.

  6. Keith Williams
    Thumb Up

    Pentax k200D

    I recently carried a K100D around on vacation in Vancouver and did not find it a burden at all whether with the 18-55mm lens or the 80-200mm lens. If the the k200 is as good or better than the k100, then it is a very fine camera.

  7. Alex

    Pixels

    Strictly speaking a pixel should have 3 components: one each for red, green and blue colours.

    What gets quoted as a pixel in a digital camera is in fact just one of the colour components. It boils down to the fact that CMOS/CCD sensors only record luminence rather than colour. To record colour the sensor is overlayed with a matrix of red, green blue filters.

    Thus each of the 10 megapixels only record one colour. Clever software "guesses" at the missing 2 colours for each pixel based on the values of the surrounding pixels. So technically speaking you should require 30million photosites to create a 10megapixel image but the clever processing reduces the photosite count by one third.

    The sensor used in the Fuji SLRs (called something like "Fineveon" or something) works slightly differently in that it has fewer photosites but each photosite captures all three colours. However, even Fuji have bowed to the marketing man's pressure to tot up all the photosites and quote that figure instead.

  8. RW
    IT Angle

    How is it with older lens series?

    There's an enormous amount of older Pentax glass out there (after all, Pentax is fundmentally an optical company that builds cameras in order to sell lenses), so anyone with Pentax film equipment (like me) is acutely curious just how convenient it is to use those classic older lenses.

    For example, if I use an old SMC or SMC-M lens, will the camera still offer aperture priority, automatically setting the exposure?

    http://www.mosphotos.com/PentaxLensesExplained.html

    lists the various lens series Pentax has produced with bayonet mounts.

  9. J

    one of the most compact DSLRs

    Well, I guess this is PR material recycling, maybe... I remember when the K10/100D were said to be the most compact DSLRs around. So they probably just indulged in some copy/paste, as it feels it is usual with these things.

  10. Michael Tansley
    Thumb Up

    Very adaptable camera

    With a simple adapter, $10-15 on ebay, you can mount virtually any screw-mount lens made in the last 40-50 years to the K200D. You lose the auto-focus and auto-exposure (only really needed for snap shooting, not needed for portraits) but keep the image stabilisation. You can get some fantastic prime, zoom and telephoto lens for very reasonable prices.

    I keep a set of NI-MH AAs in my K200 and alway have the Lithium ones in my camera case as an emergency backup. Also, you can ALWAYS find a set of AAs for a real emergency.

  11. Dave
    Alert

    I wouldn't try that in Britain...

    Taking photographs on a beach? With an SLR? The Rozzers would be on you in seconds and you'd be signing the sex-offenders register before you could say "cheese".

  12. Paul

    Size and older lenses

    "Compared with your typical compact, it's enormous."

    Bit of an apples-to-oranges comparison here surely?

    "How is it with older lens series?"

    The K-mount lenses work very well. Pentax-A lenses work normally in all modes, set the lens to auto and the aperture on the camera body. Focus and shoot.

    Earlier manual aperture K-mounts use the lens aperture ring to set aperture and can be used in aperture priority or manual, with spot or center-weighted metering. The green button stops the lens down momentarily for metering and sets the appropriate shutter speed. Camera can make the lens stop down to what's set on the aperture ring to meter or shoot, but doesn't know what aperture was set.

    Screw mount lenses with an adapter can't be controlled at all by the camera, so whatever aperture you select on the lens is what you get through the viewfinder and you use stop-down metering.

    I believe you can use some of the medium-format lenses too with a suitable adapter, probably the same limits as M42 mount lenses.

    All makes Nikon's famed backward compatibility look a little half-baked really. ;-)

  13. A

    @ altis

    Actually there are Li-ion batteries that will fit many devices that run on AA's. The rechargeable CR-V3; sometimes known as RCR-V3 is one.

    As for the review, whilst a novice might not need all the functions the camera has to offer immediately, it's nice for them to have room to grow. Most dSLR's have a simple mode, where they're just point-and-shoot; so the extra features aren't a drawback if you don't need them.

  14. Nathan

    @caffeine addict

    Image Stabilisation: Thats only true of CCD based/software based image stabilisation.... most decent modern DSLRs (Nikon, Canon spring to mind) are using lens based image stabilisation. Nikon have VR series lenses (Vibration reduction), Canon have IS lenses (Image Stabilisation) and Sigma have their OS lenses (Optical stabiliser)..... so there is no loss of use of pixels on the CCD.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    are you sure about lens focal lengths...

    i would have thought the lens is already corrected for the 1.6x crop factor of the APS-C sized sensor, the canon EF-S lenses are already.

    infact - dont think i would swap from canon to pentax anyway

  16. Francis Boyle Silver badge

    re: @caffeine addict

    And Pentax uses a moving sensor system. Now, you could argue for hours over the relative merits of the two systems but, in the end, both systems give quality results and don't waste any part of the sensor.

  17. Gary Holcombe

    Sony/Konica Minolta

    I have a Minolta Dynax 5D and the back of it is identical to this camera, even the image stabilisation button is identical and in the same place, I wonder if this camera has some doings with Sony, seeing as Sony took over from Minolta???

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