Pentax K200D review

Pentax enthusiasts will be more than happy, but others may find it overwhelming.

David Fearon
17 Sep 2008
4
Price when reviewed 
426
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Large and fairly hefty, the K200D is gunning for enthusiast photographers. The size of the body is put to good use, though. You get a top-mounted LCD panel showing shot settings and battery status. There's also integrated optical image stabilisation. And, if you like giving your gear a hammering, all controls are sealed to make them splash- and dust-resistant.

For a camera aimed at advanced users, the surprising part about the K200D is its relative lack of dedicated buttons for changing common settings. There's no AF-point selector button, no ISO button and no metering-mode button, making trips into the menu system more common than we'd like. Strangely, there's a dedicated button to toggle between RAW and JPEG mode. One neat touch is the depth-of-field preview integrated into the power switch around the shutter, making it easy to flick on without looking. Set the mode dial to Scene and dig into the K200D's menus and you'll find modes with names such as Pet, Food and Candlelight, which are unlikely to be used by most enthusiasts.

Perhaps the biggest oddity, and one that hugely polarises opinion, is the fact the K200D takes four standard AA batteries. The upside is their availability anywhere in the world; the down is their high weight for a given capacity compared to proprietary lithium-ion batteries, and the need to be relatively careful with their charging to avoid reduced life. Two sets of non-rechargeable lithium AAs are supplied - you'll need to fork out extra for a set of rechargeable NiMH cells plus charger.

The 18-55mm kit lens is surprisingly good, with reasonable sharpness and few chromatic aberrations. Dynamic range from the sensor looks slightly limited, though, with more tendency to clip highlights than the best here, although noise performance is very good.

The K200D is a difficult camera to peg down. It's capable, but some features seem to be there just to be different rather than because they make sense. If you're a Pentax enthusiast with lots of K-mount lenses, you'll no doubt learn to love it. But newcomers will be better served by the Sony or Canon winners.

Details

Image quality4

Basic specifications

Camera megapixel rating10.2MP
Camera screen size2.7in
Camera optical zoom range3.0x
Camera maximum resolution3,872 x 2,592

Weight and dimensions

Weight956g
Dimensions130 x 136 x 92mm (WDH)

Battery

Battery type includedAlkaline AA
Charger included?no

Other specifications

Built-in flash?yes
Aperture rangef3.5 - f5.6
Camera minimum focus distance0.25m
Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent)28
Longest focal length (35mm equivalent)88
Minimum (fastest) shutter speed1/4,000
Bulb exposure mode?yes
RAW recording mode?yes
Exposure compensation range+/- 3EV
ISO range100 - 1600
Selectable white balance settings?yes
Manual/user preset white balane?yes
Progam auto mode?yes
Shutter priority mode?yes
Aperture priority mode?yes
Fully auto mode?yes
Burst frame rate2.8fps
Exposure bracketing?yes
White-balance bracketing?no
Memory-card typeSD card
Viewfinder coverage96%
LCD resolution230k
Secondary LCD display?yes
Video/TV output?yes
Body constructionPlastic
Tripod mounting thread?yes
Data connector typeMicro-USB

Manual, software and accessories

Full printed manual?yes
Software suppliedPentax Photo Browser 3, Pentax Photo Laboratory 3

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