Upgrade Cost/Benefit

Discussion in 'Pentax' started by djnathan, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. Which camera would best replace my K100D?
    I am looking for several reasons: better low light performance, and higher resolution for selective cropping possibilities.
    The K7 is more than I wish to spend, but that leaves me three choices under $1000 in Canada: K20, Kx, K200. The K20 with the WR18-55 is selling for $1000, the others would be about $650 each.
    I like the Kx but am disappointed that Pentax removed the focus point lights from the viewfinder, since I have found this to be very useful. Now that I am used to the flashing red lights I fear that the Kx will fail when I most need to be selective about critical focus. What were they thinking here?
    The K200 would seem to be a good choice, as it has enough pixels for my needs. I believe it has the sensor from the K10? I note that it is rated from ISO 100-1600 however and wonder how this compares in real terms to the 200-3200 range of the K100.
    The K20 looks very good, but I generally shoot jpegs and do not like to spend a lot of time in PP, as I spend all day working at a computer and would rather not spend my free time doing the same!
    Maybe I should wait a year....
  2. A similar dilema here. First... should I replace? because k100 is still good enough for me. Could be funny for some, but for me the most useful feature upgrade should bring vs K100 is flash slow sync mode. Is the biggest missing I feel, even if I use flash for less than 1% of my pictures.
    About the model, no dilema, k-x will be, without any doubt.
    Why do you feel so much the need to crop ? Maybe is the result of the 20 years of film shooting, but not remember me cropping too much, the pixels are too precious to throw them away, I prefer to compose the picture from the start as should be. Cropping surely is more time consuming than a batch raw conversion with default values, which give you a result better than a JPEG, and the freedom to come back and change parameters.
    Imo, resolution is not a benefit, but a damnation. Most of us don't need more than 6-8M, and must endure the marketing fancy decissions to associate top bodies with more megapixels ! That's absurd, I want to be able to put what sensor I want in what body I want ! In the film era I had this freedom of film choice !
  3. Not sure what the big deal with slow sync is...can't this be done with any model with manual mode? Does it do anything other than alter the program? Just expose the background for ambient with manual mode then raise the flash, it will properly expose the foreground. Is there more to it than this?
    I think the 6MP 200-3200 sensor is only very slightly better for low light than the 100-1600 sensor in K10D/K200D; 3200 on the 6mp bodies is terrible, the 1600 on the K10D is quite usable if you expose carefully (don't underexpose!).
    In my mind there's little reason not to also consider a K10D if you were willing to go for a K20D or K200D, but all three are good choices. K200D is a little more compact and probably has more JPEG options than K10D but K10D has more hard controls, better viewfinder, etc.
  4. > Is there more to it than this?
    Yes, when the flash is raised, k100 get control of exposure time whatever mode you are. Can't be done any way with internal flash. For me is abig deal, I don't like flash pictures if they are not balanced with ambient.
    The difference between k100 sensor and the others is tremendous, much more than figures can't tell. I know many pros here who abandoned Pentax system at all, dissapointed by the k10D noise and early models banding issues. I'm doing comparations every new model, and until now only k-x is superior at iso 1600, all the others are at par or worse.
  5. The K10D was/is a very good RAW shooter, but mediocre JPEG shooter. Not too great on noise above say ISO 640 but, depending on user's expectation, is acceptable to ISO 1200 or even 1600 if one carefully adjusts exposure to slight increase. This is from all image examples I have seen and read.
    The K20D IS INDEED an excellent JPEG shooter, as is the K200D, and now the K-x too. All have all proven to be very fine JPEG shooters. The setting I like are on the K20D for JPEG sharpness is generally at +2 ( bright mode default plus 1 more), and K200D in bright mode default, which is +1. Both these models tend to underexpose slightly, moreso the K20D, engineered to protect highlights- a good thing for JPEG shooting and flash use. It is therefore appropriate to make slight exposure adjustments, especially in lower lighting.
    I shoot nearly all JPEGs.
    The K200D uses the same sensor as the K10D, but it is a totally new redesign in terms of imaging processing by the camera. As a K100D owner, I was pleasantly surprised by the very crisp JPEGS from both K200D and K20D models, and by their very good noise control. The user control for noise at higher ISO really does work, with very good preservation of image detail.
    Both these models are built exceptionally well, and both handle great, with excellent features for their respective categories. The K200D is the best built compact body out there, other than the K-7. If you want a really built compact body with fine IQ and a good feature set at a low price, I still love my K200D a LOT, even though I now own the K20D. It can go up to ISO 1600, where it can do a good job, and the K20D goes much higher. The K20D is a larger body, and in a higher category, with pro-style features and controls. New K20D or K200D bodies are getting hard to find. But they are now bargains for what you get, if you do locate one.
    But if higher ISO shooting, for low light, and/or fast action under dimmer lighting, is a major aspect of your shooting needs, the K-x is the best choice- if you can bring yourself to forgo the build and certain features the other two will provide.
    I am likely to eventually pick up a K-x body for those special needs it affords, but for most normal needs, I am more than happy with my K20D and compact K200D.
  6. A couple of things I noted when moving from a K100D to a K20D - the K20D's image stabilisation looks to have lost about two stops in effectiveness compared to the K100D (bear in mind that I have yet to upgrade the firmware to V1.03, which may well improve this), the autofocus is still slow and hunts in reasonable-to-poor light, and the focus confirmation is very slow and inaccurate - an issue only if you're focussing manually. Finder, handling, and image quality, are vastly improved. Weather sealing is very effective.

    My experiences with high ISO performance - anything up to 400 is clean, 800 is still attractive, 1600 is passable, 3200 really only usable for black and white, and 6400 is hideous.
  7. Somebody might castigate me for saying this, but I read the model designs this way: the K200D is a K10 in a different housing, after the internal programming went through some revisions. In other words, when you see the cameras in pairs, the lower will be close to the previous higher pair. So, a K[x]0 of the previous set would be like a K[x+1]00 of the next set.
    Really, none of them are lemons. That WR kit lens sure is attractive, but there's nothing that says you can't get one and put it on whichever body you like.
  8. John, I am seriously contemplating getting the WR kit lens for use on my K20D or especially on my K200D as part of a compact kit. I already have the 18-55mm II which is the same lens without WR, which I could then designate for use when taking along only the forthcoming K-x. I got that lens for a song packaged with my K200D deal. I already have the excellent DA*50-135mm and DA* 200mm, which are both WR, so having the WR 18-55mm would give me a full range WR outfit for drippy conditions.
    AF performance is also very lens specific. With a fast-performing AF lens on either the K20D or K200D, I have had good success shooting indoor roller hockey fast action under well below optimum lighting conditions.
    I do not find the SR to be worse on my K20D, or K200D, compared to the K100D. In fact, it has been very effective for allowing me good low light shots with my DA* 50-135mm tele zoom. I have the latest firmware update installed.

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