Today I had the opportunity to lay my hand on both of these and I thought I should share my observations.
The K10D is of course a semi-pro model that now has K20D replacing it - over time, there will be an overlap of the two. It means that pricing is shrper than it was.
Australian body-only price at the store I went to, which is quite competitive here, is -
K10D $949 K20D $1559 (now 14.6 megapixels and Live View, look out Nikon 300D!)
By comparison the new K200D is $869, which puts it at a similar price point although it is notionally the more "consumer" model. The same store sells the Canon 400D body for $869 so that is the perspective. More on some of that a bit later in this piece.
What makes the comparison of K10D (now) and the new K200D most cogent is that with the new model upgrade, the new consumer model gets the "older" semi-pro model's 10.2 mega pixel sensor, shares its anti-shake, anti-dust arrangements, has similar weather-proofing arrangements, gains a larger 2.7" screen over K10D's 2.5" jobbie, and adds some more consumer-friendly capture modes.
Whether the 2 cameras also share the processing engine and frame buffer I'm not sure. According to the man in the store, the Pentax rep said they have the same continuous shooting performance. That is NOT how I read the 2 brochures however, which say:
K10D - 3fps, unlimited jpg, 9 RAW
K200D - 2.8fps (4 jpg & continuous Hi, 4 RAW)
1.1 fps (unlimited jpg and continuous Lo, 4 RAW)
Which while expressed differently looks like the K10D is superior in this respect and better suited to sports photography. Jury is out though: I am prepared to be shown otherwise, but I know where my money is
The K10D also uses a Li-Ion battery, the K200D uses 4 x AA NiMH rechargeable batteries, which seems an odd choice. For mine this is a weak point of the Pentax - even the Li-Ion in the K10D doesn't report its charge status well. You get a clumsy 3 bar status, compared with say the Nikon D80's % "fuel gauge" report.
This is something that has caught me out more than once in the past in mission critical situations. Pentax needs to improve its game in this area for mine. Something that was near the top of my wish list....
Back to the comparison:
The K10D FEELS like what it is, a semi-pro camera. The K200D FEELS like what IT is, a consumer DSLR.
The shape, texture, ergonomics, balance, and the extra function thumbwheel on the front of the grip are all in favour of the K10D.
Likewise the viewfinder, which is a pentaprism on the K10D and a pentamirror on the K200D.
No doubt about it, looking through the K10D's viewfinder is better.
The difference in screen size (for mine) amounted to nothing, 2.5" vs 2.7".
To summarise, the new K200D has a lot going for it and to these eyes is a far superior piece looked at objectively than Canon's 400D/XTi, although the 450D is just about to make that all a bit different.
You do of course buy into a system including lenses, flash etc etc when you buy the body. There is also a difference in size etc but it looks to me like Pentax has a winner. The sales charts are very likely going to prove me wrong however.
All THAT said, a semi-pro body is clearly a step up from this class of camera, and to me the K10D looks excellent buying at the moment, while it lasts on the shelves. It is a Canon 40D / Nikon D200 class camera for a good bit less cash.....in my opinion:)
And while the Canon lens range has more variety (Nikon too), as near as I can tell you get more lens for your money in a Pentax. The better 3rd party lenses have more Canon and Nikon mount options than for Pentax, so that is a consideration as well.
So did I reach for my wallet and buy the K10D today?
Well.....no. As I said, proper modern battery monitoring was right near the top of my wish list, and I have been caught out too many times. Probably my own fault, but I need my camera to hold my hand sometimes.....so Iam going to think about that one.
A second consideration is current pricing. It seems there are still too many K10D's around in Australia at the moment, and it suits the local distributor to run K10D and K20D in parallel for a while, such is the price of the K20D. This is different to markets in Europe / USA where I see K10D already selling for LESS than K200D.
I can see that happening in Australia soon too. Circumstances here are such that I need to be more price-conscious than usual.
So I'm going to let the dust settle for a bit and watch developments.
Any way you slice it though, I have to say that I was in general terms very impressed with what is a bit of a forgotten brand in DSLRs.
Canon and Nikon probably deserve to be market leaders, but I think the discerning would do well to cast their nets a little wider if they don't have a lens-based attachment to either of the Big Two.