Summary: The Pentax K200D has a couple of flourishes -- like optical image stabilisation -- but lacks entry-level features such as live view and face detection. It's chunkier than we'd like with such a basic model, so if you're after an entry-level model there are lighter and friendlier models around.
Pros: Optical image stabilisation; compatible with most Pentax lenses.
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.
Summary: 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 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.
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