Summary: Pentax's K200D entry-level SLR gives a lot of bang for the buck and has better performance than last year's model. Despite low noise and pleasingly detailed images, technically inaccurate colors keep it from capturing the gold medal for image quality.
Pros: Sensor-shift image stabilization; wireless flash control; sensitivity-priority mode; dust and water resistant.
Cons: Inaccurate, though still pleasing colors; tends to underexpose images; no live view mode.
Conclusion: The Pentax K200D is competing in a very crowded segment of the marketplace. All manufacturers have been increasing the number of features and the quality of their cameras over the past couple of years or so and the entry-level segment is characterized by fierce competition. So, was the step that Pentax made from the K100D to the K200D enough to stay a serious alternative to the big boys in this bracket of the market?
Pros: Superb build quality for the class, weather-sealed body, Efficient image stabilization (not as good as Pentax claims though), Top LCD (but no backlight), Largest and brightest viewfinder in its class, Reliable flash exposure, Wireless flash, Intuitive menus and displays (but slightly dated design), Optional battery-grip improves handling, In-camera RAW-development (but limited options only), Good range of JPEG customization options, 11-point AF, Accurate and fast auto...
Cons: Default JPEGs too contrasty, oversharpened and smeared, JPEG engine not making the most out the camera's RAW data, No live view, Few direct buttons (but Function menu sort of makes up for it), Dynamic range in the highlights slightly below average (but efficient D-Range tool), Limited continuous shooting capability, slower than average and small buffer, Flash must be raised for AF assist (although AF works even in very low light), No Kelvin white balance option
Summary: The Pentax K200D is certainly a unique proposition in the current entry-level DSLR market. While most rival manufacturers are packing in the gadgets on their latest models, Pentax has opted for a more traditional approach, eschewing fashionable features like Live View and instead focusing on controls, customisation and build quality.
Pros: Tough and weatherproof body., Built-in Shake Reduction., Convenient AA battery power., Broad degree of customisation.
Cons: No Live View facilities., Anti-shake not as effective as rivals., Disappointing continuous shooting., Tendency to underexpose.
Excerpt: Jump to Page: K200D SLR Playback Features & Menus Function, Record and Custom Menus Flash and Viewfinder Shake Reduction, Lens Mount, Lenses Bundled PENTAX Software Controls, Storage, I/O, Power Steve's Conclusion Sample Pictures 360-degree QuickTime VR Tour Next: Playback Features & Menus Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability.
Conclusion: Pentax definitely earned our respect with this D-SLR. It straddles the line between an entry-level camera and what market watchers describe as mid-level (to reach the big leagues it needs higher resolution and faster speed). Still this is a responsive D-SLR that takes quality 10-megapixel images. It has a value price, feels substantial, offers plenty of photographic options, has built-in stabilization and sensor cleaning plus it comes with a decent kit lens.
Excerpt: With Pentax's 6 megapixel entry-level concept beginning to really show its age, few were surprised by the addition of a new 10.2 megapixel mass-consumer DSLR, the Pentax K200D , to the company's stable this year. Adding a rugged, sealed body, a larger LCD, and imaging technology from the K10D to the K100D's 11-point AF and in-camera image stabilization makes the new model seem like a pretty sizeable leap for Pentax in the generally incremental world of entry-level DSLR...
Pros: Solid AF performance for an entry-level cam, Good battery life with the right cells, Rugged, all-weather construction, High-quality kit lens
Cons: Menus awkward at times, Heavy and large for a consumer cam, ISO 1600 a bit weak, Continuous shooting still slow