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Wednesday, 23 January 2008


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Just saw this elsewhere. Thanks for the info!

It's not a typo but there's a catch to the 20 fps feature: this can only achieved at a resolution of 1.6 megapixel.

So, Mike, do you buy the K20D and the pancake 21 and 40 primes?

Quite a few other little hidden features in the D20D as well, stuff like storing front/back focus profiles for up to 20 lenses, special dust removal functions and so on.

Typical Pentax upgrades, bunch of weird but useful stuff.

Most people talk about the K20D, but I must say I was more impressed with the K100D. They pretty much fitted a K10D into a K100D body.

Now you get a 10mp, small lightweight camera with in body SR, dust removal, support for SDM lenses...that's WEATHER SEALED, for $799 (including kit lens!).

Nobody asked me, of course, but I knew two weeks ago that this was coming. I knew because I was at that moment clicking the "Check Out" button for my K100D and 40/2.8 lens, thinking that the body was getting a little long in the tooth, and that I'd really rather have a 35 than a 40.

Hmm, the K200D probably has the same Sony sensor that the K10D has, and which I've been quite happy with, with weather sealing and the same antishake system (if the stats are to be believed). It's essentially the K10D in the smaller (less expensive) package of a K100. The new sensor (and high-ISO ability) sounds intriguing, but if were to get a camera today I wonder if I wouldn't just go for the K200 rather than the K20.

I work with one of the leading dance photographers in America. Timing is EVERYTHING in her business... and she nails the photo almost every time. Her shooting mode? Single frame.

What happened to the focus scale on that 35mm lens—only f/11 and f/22? My 21mm pancake has the full range.

I have evaluated every DSLR on the market (and several which are reputed to appear soon), and have vacillated between them.

The "buy it now" line for the K20D forms right behind me.

The K20D is the attention-grabber with its new and presumably fancy sensor, but the K200D is big news too: essentially the widely acclaimed K10D in a smaller, entry-level body.

If the K10D was a good deal for advanced amateurs, the K200D should be great at entry-level.

And you can't accuse Pentax of neglecting primes... ;-)

As a Pentax user and a K10D owner, the only thing that really interests me in the new bodies is the low light performance of the K20D. The idea of ISO6400 is okay, though I think I'd find that useful only in very special circumstances. But what I would really like to see is how it performs at 800 and 1600, and even at 400 (where the K10D often exhibits more noise than it should). If its noise levels are as good as my 6mp *ist DS, I would be really excited, and it would be a tough test of willpower to keep myself from upgrading. Though the pessimist in me thinks that's asking a lot from a 14mp APS-c sensor, no matter what kinds of technical breakthroughs they've come up with.

Meanwhile, the 35mm ltd. macro strikes me as a bit odd. I'm sure it will be a nice lens and all, but 35mm seems a bit short to me for a macro, even if it does have the same field of view as a 50mm macro on a 135 body. And when Pentax already makes the excellent 35/2, and the even more excellent 31/1.8, I can't see as where it would have very much appeal as a general purpose lens. I hope this doesn't mean that the 31, 35/2, or both, are going out of production. That would be a sad loss. Plus, what's up with the glut of "Limiteds?" Three FA limiteds is special. Three FAs and three DAs makes sense. But are all the new Pentax primes (minus the teles) going to be limited? This seems muddled to me.

Hm. I didn't mean to rant so much about the 35mm macro. I suppose that I'll just say, finally, that the real news on lenses seems to me to be the new telephoto primes. It's nice to see Pentax finally rounding out its lens lineups with something respectable (and in production) in the 100mm+ range.

Don't forget that for the moment, you can get an actual K10D for less than the price of the new K200D.

Mike J.

I agree with Adam (as far as the K10D). I tend to use ISO 400 a lot and I also find my K10D a little noisier than I would like at that ISO. The only thing that would make me upgrade from the K10D to the K20D would be cleaner images at ISO 400 and 800.

How well do the Pentax DSLR's play with old lenses (M42 in particular)?

I find these Pentax cameras awesome. Olympus and Sony don't excite me, I don't get along with Canon ergonomics (that's just me) and Nikon doesn't include anti-shake in any of its bodies. While I just bought a D300, I am really in awe of Pentax's focus on giving consumers as much as it can, both in terms of features and USABILITY, at prices that are sensational. I really hope Pentax catches on and captures some of Canon and Nikon's market share. They certainly deserve it.

BTW, B&H is selling the Pentax K10D for $600 after rebate. To all those who, like me, are in Euroland, that is Euro 410. Not a typo, four hundred and ten euros!!!


P.S. Did I mention that I constantly drool over Pentax's primes? Not just the DA Limiteds, either (which seem almost impossibly small in real life. The pictures on the web actually make the DA Limited seem larger than they actually are). I would love to get an FA 35mm f/2.0 AL or an FA 50mm f/1.4....

Anyone knows if Pentax will release the 645D camera?
This APS-C based system is really good, but the big boys (Canon, Nikon, Sony) will play simultaneously in different leagues. The idea of combining APS-C and 645 formats for a complete line of products is very good.

Tyler, the scale in question is the depth of field scale. Only 11 and 22 are printed, and I'm sure that's because all the other pairs would be so close together they would be pointless (there's a huge difference between 21mm and 35mm in the markings' positions).

I was about to order a D300 when this shows up. I still miss the size and handling of the old *istDS. If testing shows the new higher ISO function to be as good as some of the others and the new sensor, etc. et al to be a step forward then I would say Pentax has got a winner.

K20D looks like a very nice camera. That said, I can't help but notice two things...

Samsung appears to have done with the sensor something like Panasonic did with the sensor on E-3. Make the circuitry smaller, make the photosites bigger.

Plus, Pentax dust-buster... can you spell "Olympus"? I mean, they seem to have lifted the whole thing off an Olympus. Adhesive tape!

But, there's something that I as an Olympus user would really like to have - that 300/4 lens. The whole thing is 1.02 kilos, has HSM, length of less than 19cm plus has IF. Way to go, Pentax!

Sure, at this point you can get the K10D for much less than its $899 list price. But presumably the K200D will be available before long below its $799 list price, especially once the "old" bodies are phased out. And it is smaller + has a few new gimmicks.

The only significant omission in the K200D seems to be the prism (and possibly the buffer size).

This seems a credible upgrade for people waiting for a smallish body to replace a *istD-something series...

I too long for a 645D. I am still hanging on to some of the 645 lenses in hopes of being able to shoot digital files with them -- along with film.

Interesting - The K10D's I'd handled all had the extra battery/grip thingie on the bottom; I just now realized that was optional; I had strongly preferred the feel of the smaller/lighter K10D in the hand (I'm still shooting with an original *ist-D, which about identical to the K100). If you compare the dimensions of the K20 and K200 there's really not that much in it: 690g, vs 800g, 5.6 x 4.0 x 2.76 in vs 5.2 x 3.7 x 2.9 in. So if that sensor turns out to be good stuff, the K20D starts to look awfully attractive. Pentax ergonomics are hard to beat.

I actually don'tcare a bit about digital cameras. But I can't help to express how ugly these are..

@Cyril: If it will be possible to put on the magnification viewfinder loupe Pentax O-ME53 (x1.2!) and combine it with a splitscreen by Katz Eye or Virtual Village (this combo i use in my *istDL & happy with it) the K200D viewfinder is ready for serious manual focusing - if this 3rd party upgrade fits the K200D, this will save a lot of money compared to K20D with similar viewfinder performance.

[I am also thinking that this parts will fit into K200D, Pentax hasn't changed the clip that holds the screen since the DL & that allows you in less than a few minutes to change the screen - browse in the suburbs of the worldwidewait ;-) (forums etc. for tipps regarding this]

The K200 paired with one or two Pentax pancake lenses or limited lenses seems like it would be an amazing little travel kit. You get a tiny weather-sealed body with built in shake reduction and a good sensor, even if it doesn't quite rival the low noise capabilities of the comparable Nikon or Canon. But slap on a pancake or limited lens and seems like you could really have a lot of fun.

The K10D still has some life left in in in spite of the K200D sharing its sensor... One important thing that the K10D has that the K200D doesn't is a front e-dial. Being able to adjust both shuuter speed and aperture without making a menu change is invaluable and the reason I upgraded from K110D to K10D in the first place.

$1300 is also Amazon pre-order price for the K20D, release date listed is 5/5/08. I read somewhere that there will be no official body+lens kit.

Oh, not again. Everytime you post something about a Pentax release, you just remind me that I sold an MX, Super Program, flash, bellows, and Pentax prime lenses from 24 mm to 400 mm 4 years ago because I figured they would not be of any use in the film-less future.

The lenses included a 40 mm pancake that I paid a measly $70CDN for, a beat-up 400 mm Takumar screw-mount that I found for $85CDN, and a 50 mm macro that I tried duping slides with.

Please stop.

(All told, I paid less than $1000CDN for all of that, and sold it all for about the same, except for the pancake that I turned a modest profit on. I may still have the K-mount to screw-mount converter though. Do you need one?)

Response to 'Max':
Regarding the depth-of-field/focus scale on the new 35mm lens (marked only at f/11 and f/22), both my 35mm Summicron and 38mm Biogon lenses have scales engraved with the full range of f/stops.

I now think that this 35mm macro lens is marked this way because the focusing is very coarse (note how little movement is required between infinity and two feet) and this was done to keep the size and weight down while retaining the greater throw required for macro distances.

What you lose is the ability to zone focus, but maybe I am just showing my age and everyone now relies on autofocus. (I've tried it for candid work and it's usually off.)


A short focusing throw in the normal distance range is very common with macro lenses simply because the helical keeps on going and they keep on focusing closer. To make the focusing throws acceptable in the near range makes them short for longer distances. Some photographers actually like this aspect of macros because it makes focusing quicker, but others dislike it because it reduces accuracy at normal distances. In any event it's typical of macros and not a special characteristic of the new Pentax 35mm.

Mike J.

On youtube: "hands-on" demos of the new Pentax SLRs from Pentax, quesabesde, and prophotos.ru.


quesabesde's lets you see and hear the burst modes.

New to me: a sensor dust map displayed on LCD to aid cleaning.

As a current Pentax user I am quite impressed by the latest models since they show a real effort on Pentax's part to compete. Like mcananeya I also find the inconsistent user interface of Canon DSLRs a problem (compare the Rebel with the $0D with the D1 and you will find that the controls look like they came from three different companies). I like Nikon but don't care for having to purchase VR lenses to get stabilization. Olympus is interesting, and Sony is worth watching but Pentax seems to do the best job of putting quality equipment into the hands of the not-so-well-heeled, like me.

I think the K200D appeals to me most since it is more like the models I currently have access to (*istDL, *istDS and my wife's K100D Super). Maybe I will upgrade, eventually< and I am glad to see that there is a clear upgrade path.

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