A Viewfinder Darkly

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Pentax K200D Easy to Use Digital SLR

January 31 2008

by Phil Northeast

The K200D inherits technology from Pentax’s K10D, adding an easy-to-use interface for users new to Digital SLR cameras, while allowing them to grow as they learn photography.

Pentax DSLR

Pentax K200D DSLR with optional battery grip

While there is very little new in the K200D, it is more than just a rebadged of the K10D. The K200D takes the sensor and sealed body of the K10D, then applies the proven automatic assistance from the K100D to produce an easy to use high performance DSLR. The auto picture and scene modes offer a fast track into shooting quality pictures without the intimidation of the advanced button controls on the K10D. The new K200D still offers the photographer the option of complete control as their expertise increases.

“The K200D offers an easy-to-use interface while incorporating advanced imaging technology from the award winning K10D.  This K200D will grow with an amateur photographer’s skill as they learn more about their hobby by offering more features than what is found in entry level models,” said Ned Bunnell, president, PENTAX Imaging Company.

The entry level DSLR market segment is hotly contested with stiff competition from excellent offerings from other makers such as Nikon, and Canon. The upgrade to a 10-megapixel sensor keeps Pentax on par with the other entry-level offerings and finally retires the original Sony 6 Megapixel sensor from Pentax’s first DLSR the *istD.

Camera internal sealing

Weather seals on Pentax DSLRS

The K200D has a number of advantages to make it worth considering alongside other entry level DSLRs. It does inherit the sealed body from the K10D allowing photographers to keep shooting even if the weather turns nasty. Severe weather can present unusual photo opportunities, and photographers can now capture these images with less fear of damaging their cameras.

The other significant Pentax advantage is their built in shake reduction. Because this is built into the camera body it can be applied on every shot, no matter what lens is used. Because photographers do not have to buy a shake reduction system every time they buy a lens, it keeps the price and size of the lenses smaller.

Two New Lenses

Pentax also announced two new zoom lenses ideal for general-purpose use. The first is a revamp of their standard 18-55mm lens commonly sold bundled with their camera bodies. Pentax say the DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II now has improved resolution to match the new higher resolution sensors. More important is the smc PENTAX DA 55-300mm f/4-5.8 ED (focal length equivalent to 82.5mm to 450mm in the 35mm format) with ED elements to compensate for chromatic aberration. This really fills a gaping hole in the Pentax lens range giving plenty of reach with the 300mm maximum focal length with the flexibility of a 55mm minimum focal length. In the unpredictable world of sports and action shooing allows you to follow the action using the zoom facility.


pentax DA18-55mm

The only real drawbacks are the lack of ultrasonic drive (SDM) for the autofocus drive for these lenses, and the lens bodies are not weather resistant and dust resistant. At the moment these features are only available on Pentax’s * model lenses.

originally published by suite101.com


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