Pentax K200D SLR Review

By Movable Type Admin


Review posted 5/20/2008

Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the PENTAX K200D
Click on the K200D for a QuickTime VR tour

The new PENTAX K200D dSLR is designed for the novice photographer. Yet it includes many advanced features including a 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor, a weather-resistant body and in-body anti shake & dust removal systems. As the replacement for the K100D the K200D is chock-full of user-friendly features and sophisticated functions borrowed from higher-class models. Even digital camera newbies will enjoy the advanced features of this new model.

PENTAX uses a 10.2-megapixel CCD image sensor in the K200D. All that resolution means you can print larger and sharper images that ever before. The high resolution CCD combines with a DDR2 memory image buffer to give quick capture rates up to 2.8 frames per second. The body of the K200D is designed so that every button and dial is in easy reach. This makes shooting a simple, intuitive operation.

To aid the entry-level photographer the K200D offers Auto Picture and Scene modes. After evaluating your subject the Auto Picture mode instantly selects one of the four settings to help you capture the best image possible. And the Scene mode allows you to select from eight settings designed for specific environments such as a landscape or sunset. You choose the mode to match the scene and the camera automatically selects the proper exposure, white balance, and other settings. The K200D includes a Sensitivity-Priority AE (Sv) mode that is designed to automatically select the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed for a user selected sensitivity. In the SV mode you may shift the sensitivity simply by turning a dial. When you're ready to take over manual control, the K200D offers 23 custom options with 52 settings that allow you to adjust how your camera functions.

A bright and clear 2.7 inch color LCD on the back of the K200D allows quick access to the menu system and image review. Featuring a wide-view design, the LCD allows you to view images on the monitor over a 160 degree angle of view. New scrolling menus offer you a complete description of each menu item and the function it provides. The LCD also offers digital zooming of playback images up to 16X for easy confirmation of the image�'s focusing status and details. The large monitor allows for larger menu screens to manage camera operations and you can increase font or letter size by 50 percent vertically in menus for easy viewing..

Off the shelf AA batteries are the power source for the K200D and PENTAX promises long battery life �- up to 1,100 images - using Lithium batteries. Since AA batteries are easy to purchase almost anywhere, you can keep on shooting even in the most remote locations. To extend your shooting time even further an optional BG-3 battery grip takes an additional four AA cells. The battery grip features an additional shutter release, particularly practical if shooting vertically. With proven PENTAX ergonomics the camera fits reliably and comfortably in your hand.

The RAW button on the front of the K200D allows you to quickly change your file format to RAW while shooting - without having to navigate through a series of menus. The K200D has an in-camera RAW converter for those times you need to access a image but aren't near a computer to process the RAW file. The resolution, quality setting, white balance, sensitivity, Custom Image mode, and Noise Reduction may all be adjusted, and the image can be saved either as a JPEG or an 8-bit TIFF file.

The K200D uses an 11-point autofocus system. In automatic operation mode the camera recognizes which object is nearest and chooses that object as the main focus point. For more direct control, select any of the 11 points individually. It is also possible to simply select the center of the image as your main point of focus. Should you prefer more direct control, you may always focus manually.

The PENTAX Real IMage Engine (PRIME) was developed to meet the performance requirements of higher resolution sensors. The PRIME engine converts the digital signal into the image you desire by assuring truer color tones, a wider dynamic range, and natural looking high ISO images. Ultimately, PRIME provides beautiful, natural results similar to what you see shooting with film. By allowing customization of the image, the advanced circuitry frees you to focus on the image and capture the perfect shot.

PENTAX�'s digital specific DA Series of lenses are tuned to properly focus with all PENTAX bodies. However, the time tested K-mount allows you to use any PENTAX lens ever produced. K-mount compatibility extends to the high performance smc PENTAX DAH series of lenses. Each PENTAX DAH series lens feature a tightly sealed, weather-resistant and dust-resistant construction to enhance durability for use in rain or dusty conditions making each a perfect companion for the weather-sealed K200D. A new SDM system has been incorporated for smoother, quieter autofocus operation using a built-in supersonic motor.

PENTAX K200D Features:

  • 10.2-megapixel CCD sensor
  • Shake Reduction compatible with any PENTAX lens ever produced
  • 2.7 inch high resolution, wide-view LCD monitor
  • Durable, weather and dust resistant body
  • PRIME image processing engine
  • Dust reduction mechanism and Dust-alert function
  • TTL Phase-matching 11-point wide autofocus system (SAFOX VIII
  • TTL open-aperture 16-segment metering with lens and AF information
  • Manual sensitivity of 100-1600
  • Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter (1/4000 to 30 sec. & bulb)
  • 8 White balance settings
  • 9 Shooting, 8 Scene, and 6 Picture modes
  • Penta-mirror type viewfinder with 96% field of view
  • 9 selectable Digital Filter playback modes
  • Built-in retractable P-TTL pop-up flash, guide number approx. 13
  • Supports external flash with hot shoe or wireless-sync
  • Continuous shooting of 2.8fps for 4 frames (JPEG and Continuous (Hi), RAW
  • Connectivity: Video (NTSC and PAL formats ), DC input, USB 2.0 (HI-SPEED)
  • Uses SD memory card (SDHC compatible)
  • Powered by 4 AA (lithium, alkaline, and rechargeable Ni-MH) batteries and optional AC adapter
  • Weight with batteries and SD card is 690g (24.3oz.)
  • Software CD includes the PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 3 and PENTAX PHOTO Browser 3

The K200D body sells for approximately $699 US, and as a kit with the DA 18-55mm II lens for $799. The BG2 Battery Grip is less than $130.00 US.

In the box:

  • K200D Body
  • USB Cable I-USB17
  • Video Cable I-VC28
  • Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery D-LI50
  • Battery Charge Cradle D-BC50
  • Camera Strap O-ST53
  • Hot shoe Cover FK
  • Eyecup FO
  • Body Mount Cover
  • Finder Cap for ME
  • Focusing Screen LF-80 Frame Matte
  • 4 AA Lithium batteries
  • Software CD-ROM S-SW74

Physical Views








The PENTAX K20D next to thePENTAX K200D (right) for size comparison.

Continue on to
Page Two

PENTAX K200D Specifications

Type: Digital SLR
Sensor: Type - Interline interlace CCD with primary color filter and integrated Shake/Dust Reduction sensor movement system; Size - 23.5 x 15.7mm; Color depth - 8 bits/channel JPG, 12 bits/channel RAW; Effective pixels - 10.2 MP; Total pixels - 10.75 MP; Recorded resolutions - 3872x2592 (10M), 3008x2000 (6M), 1824x1216 (2M) Quality levels: *** Best, ** Better, * Good; Dust removal - Image sensor movement combined with SP coating
Lens Mount: Type/construction - PENTAX KAF2 bayonet stainless steel mount; Usable lenses - PENTAX KAF2, KAF, and KA (K mount, 35mm screw mount, 645/67 med. format useable w/ adapter and/or restrictions); SDM function - YES
Focus System: Type - TTL phase-matching 11 point wide autofocus system (SAFOX VIII); Focus modes - AF Single (w/focus lock), AF Continuous, Manual; Focus point adjustment - Auto, User-selectable, Center; AF assist - YES, via built-in flash
Viewfinder: Type - Penta-Mirror; Coverage (field of view) - 96%; Magnification - 0.85x (w/ 50mm f/1.4 at infinity); Standard focusing screen - Natural-Bright-Matte II; Diopter adjustment - -2.5 to 1.5; Depth of field preview - Optical diaphragm stop down, Digital
LCD Monitor: Type - 2.7" TFT color LCD monitor, adjustable brightness; Resolution - Approx 230,000 dots; Wide angle viewable - YES, approx 160 degrees horizontal/vertical
Built-in Flash: Type - Retractable P-TTL popup flash; Guide number - 13 (100/m); Coverage - 28mm wide angle (equivalent to 35mm) Flash modes - TBA; Flash exposure compensation - -2 to 1 EV in 1/2 steps
External Flash: Type - Hot Shoe (P-TTL, high speed sync available), Wireless with PENTAX dedicated flash, X-Sync socket; Synchronization speed - 1/180sType - Hot Shoe (P-TTL, high speed sync available), Wireless with PENTAX dedicated flash; Synchronization speed - 1/180s
Storage Media: Internal memory - n/a; Removable memory - SD, SDHC
Interfaces: Ports - USB 2.0 hi-speed, video out, DC input, cable switch; Video out - NTSC, PAL; Printer interfaces - PictBridge
Power Supply: Power source - 4* AA (lithium, alkaline, NiMH rechargeable); Recordable images - Approx 1100 w/lithium (approx 550 w/ 50% flash use); Playback time - Approx 700 min; AC adapter available - YES (optional)
Physical Specifications: Body dimensions (W x H x D) - 5.2 x 3.7 x 2.9"; Body weight (without battery or removable memory) - 22.2 oz; Loaded and ready - 24.3 oz w/lithium batteries (25.6 oz w/alkaline batteries); Construction material(s) - Reinforced plastic polymer shell around a rugged stainless steel chassis; Operating temperature - 32-104 degrees F
Language Support: English, French, German, Spanish, Swedish, Dutch, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Danish, Finnish, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, Traditional/Simplified Chinese
Image Stabilization: Type - Body-based, sensor shift Shake Reduction (4 stops maximum)
Metering System: Type - TTL open aperture, 16 segment metering; Sensitivity range - EV 0-21 (ISO 100, 50mm f/1.4); Multi-segment - YES, 16 segments; Center weighted - YES'; Spot - YES; Exposure compensation - +/- 2 EV (1/2 or 1/3 steps); Exposure lock - YES; Exposure bracketing - YES, 3 frames, up to +/- 1.5 (1/2 steps) or +/- 1.0 (1/3 steps)
ISO Sensitivity: Auto - 100-1600 ISO (1, 1/2, 1/3 steps); Manual - 100-1600 ISO (1, 1/2, 1/3 steps)
White Balance*: Auto preset modes - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent (W, D, N), Flash, Color Temperature; Manual mode(s) - YES * WB fine adjustment available
Shutter: Type - Electronically controlled, vertical run, focal plane shutter; Shutter speed - 1/4000 to 30 sec, bulb available
Capture Modes: Mode selection - Auto Picture, Picture (Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Night Scene Portrait, Standard Flash-Off), Scene (Night Scene, Surf & Snow, Food, Sunset, Kids, Pet, Candlelight, Museum), Program, Sensitivity Priority, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Metered Manual, Bulb; Green simplified mode available - n/a; P/A/S/M/B - P, A, S, M, B (extended modes include Sv); Date stamp - n/a ; Digital filters (capture) - TBA; Data record - Folder Name (standard, date)
Drive Modes: Mode selection - Single, Continuous (Hi, Lo), Self-Timer (12s, 2s), Remote (0s, 3s), Auto Bracket; Continuous FPS - * 2.8 FPS (4 JPG and Continuous Hi, 4 RAW), * 1.1 FPS (unlimited JPG and Continuous Lo, 4 RAW); Self-timer - YES (12s, 2s); Remote control - YES, infrared (0s, 3s) and cable switch supported
Playback Modes: Mode selection - One shot, two shots, index (4, 9, or 16 thumbnails), magnification, image rotation, folder view, slideshow, histogram, bright/dark indicators, RAW to JPG; Magnification - Up to 16x, scrollable; Digital filters (playback) - B&W, Sepia, Color (18), Soft (3), Illustration, HDR (3), Slim (+/- 8), Brightness (+/- 8)
File Formats: Still - RAW PEF/DNG, JPG (EXIF 2.21), DCF 2.0 (design rule for camera file system), DPOF, Print Image Matching III
Custom Functions: Functions available: 23
Computer Requirements: *For device connectivity. Bundled software requirements may vary. Windows - Windows XP/Vista, USB port; Mac - MacOS 10.2 or later, USB 2.0 port
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer, subject to change)

Continue on to
Page Two

Return To Our
Reviews Menu

Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.