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 Post subject: Older vs. Newer Model?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:33 pm 
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I'd basically decided on purchasing a Pentax k200d when I started looking into the k10d. The k20d is out of my price range, but I found that I could still get a refurbished or demo model k10d body (complete with 1-yr warranty) cheaper than the k200d body.

I'm looking to get a set-up with Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II and 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED lenses.

I have four major questions:

-How comparable are the k10d and k200d in terms of features? I've read reviews of both, but since I'm relatively new to photography I haven't been able to see the subtle nuances between the two.

-Is it worth purchasing a mid-level, older model over an entry-level, newer model?

-Will an older DSLR body work with newer lenses? (i.e. the k10d was released before either the 18-55 AL II or the 55-300mm)

-Has anyone ever purchased a demo or refurbished camera body before? Are there risks involved if a 1-yr Pentax warranty is included?

If you guys were making the decision, what would you go for? The k10d or the k200d? Or perhaps something else entirely?

I'd really appreciate any advice!

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Nikon D300 / 35mm f1.8 / 300mm f4 / TC-14E II
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:39 pm 
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Hi jaxzwolf,

As you have "decided on the brand" I've moved this thread over to the Pentax section where you'll get the best advice.

Bob.

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Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:42 pm 
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Sorry Bob- I briefly considered posting in the Pentax forum but it's been relatively slow lately, and general opinions are always welcome!

Thanks for moving it.

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Nikon D300 / 35mm f1.8 / 300mm f4 / TC-14E II
Pentax K200D / DA 18-55mm / DA 55-300mm
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 11:53 pm 
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No problem, and you're not the first and won't be the last to use the Buying a new camera... when the brand has already been decided. But if everyone decided not to post in the Pentax forum because it's sometimes slow then we might as well get rid of it. :twisted:

Hey, I can hear the howls of rage already - I'm only joking. :lol: Back on topic...

Bob.

_________________
Olympus OM-D E-M1 + M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8, Lumix 7-14mm f/4, Leica DG Summilux 15mm f/1.7 ASPH, M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8, M.Zuiko Digital ED 75mm 1:1.8.
Leica D Vario-Elmar 14mm-150mm f/3.5 - f/5.6 ASPH.
OM-D E-M5, H-PS14042E, Gitzo GT1541T, Arca-Swiss Z1 DP ball-head.
Astrophotography: TEC 140 'scope, FLI ML16803 camera, ASA DDM60 Pro mount.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 12:12 am 
I simply felt in love with the K10D when I tested it...beautiful,nice viewfinder,good grip,sturdy feel.

The differences between the K10D & K200D are minor.
The K10D has extra:
-a bigger viewfinder
-more weather seals
-the information lcd screen lights up (the K200D's doesn't)
-better FPS performance (3 frames/sec JPG unlimited)

The K200D has extra:
-better jpg output
-scene modes
-lighter body

As I recall,since last summer the K10D was already out of production. If you find it 2nd hand,test it & buy it! You will not regret your decission.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:53 am 
jaxzwolf wrote:
-Will an older DSLR body work with newer lenses? (i.e. the k10d was released before either the 18-55 AL II or the 55-300mm)

Yes.

jaxzwolf wrote:
If you guys were making the decision, what would you go for? The k10d or the k200d? Or perhaps something else entirely?

K10D if I need those more advanced features. Otherwise K200D as it has less issues reported.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:35 am 
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Bonjour jaxzwolf,

MU51CL faced the same hard choice and provided a full and comprehensive :arrow: K10D vs K200D hands-on report.

I'm myself a very happy user of the K10D and I wrote a :arrow: Pentax K10D User Review. As a prosumer camera, the K10D needs a learning curve, but that's great fun :)

I'd to stress the importance of ergonomics. For example, the K10D has two dials (one on the front and the other on the rear) which are very handy for speed and aperture selection.

In case of a difficult picture, I switch to RAW so JPEG output is not an issue for me. I appreciate the absence of scene modes, since those modes were tweaking the shots in ways I didn't understand on my previous Pentax *ist DL. (Incidentally, that was the reason for changing for the K10D :) ).

There's a point you don't mention: budget. Pentax has an agressive price policy on bundles: the body with one or two lenses could save lots of dollars. Obviously, this only applies for the cameras in production. :wink: Have a look a this specific thread about :arrow: Rebates :!:

I don't want to confuse you :?, but the price of the K20D has dropped recently. Maybe it's worth considering :?:

Make your choice, stick with it, and have great fun with your new camera :D

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:41 am 
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Bonjour Bob,

Bob Andersson wrote:
But if everyone decided not to post in the Pentax forum because it's sometimes slow then we might as well get rid of it. :twisted:

Hey, I can hear the howls of rage already - I'm only joking. :lol: Back on topic....


Don't even think about it :lol:

Thank to you and all the contributors, this forum devoted to Pentax is really a very nice place compared to other sites and forums (no, I'll give no names) :!:

I'm waiting for The Never Coming PENTAX smc DA* 60-250mm f/4 ED (IF) SDM to post my usual user review :)

Best regards,

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 4:26 pm 
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Posts: 361
Thanks to everyone for the input.

rei_vilo, I have followed your Pentax k10D user review very closely, and read it through again yesterday very thoroughly.

Then I did something silly and added to my indecision by going in and playing with the mid-range Nikon D90, which I really liked.

Now I'm debating between the D90 and the k20d. Prices on the k20d have gone down considerably and I found that I can get it and the 18-55mm AL II and 55-300mm lenses for a decent price, significantly less expensive than the D90. And the weathersealing on the Pentax is still hugely important to me, since I travel a great deal and am often out in poor weather.

Hoping to have a feel of the k20d sometime this week. We only have one store left in my city that carries Pentax products, though, so I still need to check and make sure they have one in-stock.

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Nikon D300 / 35mm f1.8 / 300mm f4 / TC-14E II
Pentax K200D / DA 18-55mm / DA 55-300mm
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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Bonsoir jaxzwolf,

You're welcome :)

As I always say, ergonomics make a big difference between a camera you feel comfortable with and a camera you're not going to use :!:

So go to your local dealer and check
  • the camera with a lens - how well balanced in your hand?
  • the viewfinder - how clear and easy to read?
  • the hardware buttons - are they well placed and right under your fingers?
  • changing the lens - how easy and fast?
  • the grip - does it suit your hand?

About ISO hard button on the K20D: on my K10D, ISO could be selected by simultaneously pressing on OK and rotating the front dial. The same is valid for the K20D (see page 79 of the user manual). The ISO value is then displayed on the top LCD. Simultaneously pressing on OK and on the green buttons goes back to AUTO ISO.

Disclaimer - Please note that, as a happy K10D user, this very post may be (possibly is) biaised and I couldn't provide information on the Nikon D90 :)

Also, don't forget the little extras, like a large and fast SD card and perhaps an additional battery.

Check also the rebates alvailable in your country. In France, there's 100 EUR cash-back for a limited time.

Nice to see your first pictures and comments on your new camera :)

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 8:26 pm 
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Quote:
About ISO hard button on the K20D: on my K10D, ISO could be selected by simultaneously pressing on OK and rotating the front dial. The same is valid for the K20D


That is an interesting feature of which I was not aware... seems a similar function to the way in which the ISO hard button works on the D90. Obviously makes it easier to change the ISO than having to enter the Fn menu.

Do you know if there is a similarly easy way to adjust the white balance? It may just be the tipping point for my decision...

Thanks again for your input!

EDIT: I just called the only shop in this area that carries Pentax products and found out that the k20d is on "special order only." I'm assuming this is because of the impending release of the k30d :?:

Still... makes the decision that much more difficult, since there will be no way for me to handle the k20d before deciding to buy.

_________________
Nikon D300 / 35mm f1.8 / 300mm f4 / TC-14E II
Pentax K200D / DA 18-55mm / DA 55-300mm
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Last edited by jaxzwolf on Mon Feb 23, 2009 2:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:40 pm 
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Bonjour jaxzwolf,

On my K10D, I have several options for the white balance setting. They are very similar on the K20D:
  • Option 1: selection of the white balance.
    press button Fn, select Left, then select the desired options (AWB, Sun, Clouds, Tungsten, Manual, and so on) then press OK (see page 160 of the K20D user manual).
  • Option 2: extended bracketing.
    press button Menu, pane Parameters, go down toExtended Bracketing, Select and then Select White Balance, then press OK and finally Menu twice. When you take one shot, 3 pictures are stored with 3 different values for white balance (see page 131 of the K20D user manual).
  • Option 3: RAW picture.
    press the RAW button: white balance settings are not applied for the shot (see page 158 of the K20D user manual) and the RAW picture will be post-processed with the Pentax Photo Laboratory software supplied (see page 85 of the Pentax Photo Laboratoy Operating Manual).

I mostly play with two options: option 1 and manual setting of the white balance (with a white card I keep on my bag) and option 3 with RAW file.

But my favorite solution is option 3, since it's fast: just press the RAW button so no risk of losing that special moment; and it's versatile thanks to the post-processing options.
So I do recommend RAW for all difficult or not so obvious situations. It's also the best way to learn, as I did with :arrow: The Red Affair and :arrow: The Red Affair Continues.

A good idea is to read both the :arrow: K20D user manual and then the :arrow: Pentax Photo Laboratory Operating Manual to get an idea of all the possibilities.

The philosophy behind Pentax' choice between the hardware buttons and the software menues is smart and clear: hardware buttons deal with classic settings as for a film camera; while software menues deal with digital parameters. One of my greatest pleasure with the K10D is I've the same feeling as with my first film SLR - just forgetting about the d of dSLR and just dealing with a film SLR :!:

About the K30D, I think you're going to face the classic dilemma: unknown new and well known present. The K30D is not available yet, and you're going to wait for a while till tests and reviews are published. There're plenty of great feed-backs about the K20D and the price is a real bargain.

Choosing a camera is not an easy business, but forum like CameraLabs could help, as it did for my K10D purchase :)

Stay tuned :!:

_________________
--- rei_vilo
Pentax K-5 + BG4 + DA* 16-50 + DA* 50-135 + DA* 60-250 + AF-540FGZ
reivilophotography.weebly.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:53 pm 
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Location: Wales
I agree - the Pentax forum is a nice, friendly place full of nice people :D

With regard to the D90 I posted a mini winge a while ago - it appears to behave a little like the K10D in that the default jpegs aren't great but this was dealt with as though it is a plus but with the K10d it was always a negative - go figure that.

The D90 reportedly clips highlights whereas the K10 does not (as often - apparently) but is noted as a bad point for exposing for the highlights (underexposing in many peoples views) - whatever happened to 'expose for the highlights and the shadows will take care of themselves' ????

Moaning over - I note that you may have changed your mind when handling a different camera - this is more important than many believe - try all of your choices and choose the one you are genuinely happy with and despite my moan above - if the d90 does tend to clip highlights I am sure that it will be very easy to dial in a little underexposure if required (it is certainly easy to alter the exposure on the k10d).

I am sure that you will be very happy with whichever you choose so go buy it and start to enjoy :D

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My pic's - http://www.flickr.com/photos/10126769@N05/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:43 am 
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Today I found another camera store not too far from where I live. Talked to someone over the phone and all they had left in ways of the k20d was their demo model, and they aren't going to restock. But at least I finally got the opportunity to handle it!

Quote:
So go to your local dealer and check:

the camera with a lens - how well balanced in your hand?

the viewfinder - how clear and easy to read?

the hardware buttons - are they well placed and right under your fingers?

changing the lens - how easy and fast?

the grip - does it suit your hand?


Hmmm... the bullets didn't transfer when I copied that quote.

Anyway, the camera was very well-balanced in my hands. A little weighty, perhaps, but even mounted with the DA* 50-135mm it wasn't overwhelming. The viewfinder was clear, no worries there, and changing lenses was a breeze. But then I ran into three issues.

I changed up a bunch of the settings, and found that the front dial on the camera was a bit of a reach for my index finger, based on the way I was holding it. Trying to change the ISO using the "ok + front dial" method wasn't nearly as fluid as I would have liked. The second problem was the grip. When I initially picked the camera up it felt okay, but the longer I played with it in the store the less certain about it I became. It wasn't uncomfortable, necessarily... it just wasn't perfect. :(

The biggest issue, however, was with the AF. I didn't think it very dark in the store, but it seemed to take an inordinate amount of time for the camera to AF, especially after zooming in or out. Even the DA* lens wasn't particularly fast. I'm not sure if it was something I was doing, or perhaps that whatever SD card they had in there was really slow to write, or the camera itself. But it unnerved me, because I envision myself taking a lot of photos of birds in flight, and fast AF would definitely help things along.

Of course, they were out of stock for the D90, so I couldn't compare them side-by-side. Figures...

I can't say I'm any further along in my decision. The grip and AF troubles do bother me, and make me sway a little more towards Nikon. But the weathersealing in the Pentax still gets me. Of course, the guy at the store reminded me that I'd need the DA* lenses (which I can't afford) to have a completely weathersealed kit.

So I have a couple more questions now:

-Is it still beneficial to have weathersealing in the body, even if my lenses won't be protected?

-How do the AF systems of Pentax and Nikon generally compare? Is the k20d known to have sluggish AF?


Thanks again for all your input. I really just want to make a decision and get all this over-analysis over with!

_________________
Nikon D300 / 35mm f1.8 / 300mm f4 / TC-14E II
Pentax K200D / DA 18-55mm / DA 55-300mm
Flickr


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 2:12 am 
- -Is it still beneficial to have weathersealing in the body, even if my lenses won't be protected?

yes it is beneficial to have tough body but it off course you still can't use it in rain because the lens is not weather sealed.


-How do the AF systems of Pentax and Nikon generally compare? Is the k20d known to have sluggish AF?

in bright light (daylight) it is as responsive, in low light, it is slower, but general purpose it is fine.


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