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Old Mar 11, 2009, 12:33 PM   #1
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Would really appreciate any advice/suggestions.

Currently a happy owner of a Canon Powershot S3. Most of my photography is landscapes - primarily back-country and wilderness areas - waterfalls, mountain scenery, etc. Also some macro work - wildflowers, reptiles, dragonflies, etc.

Am considering the 2 lens kit currently offered by Pentax - the K2000 together with the DA-L 18-55 lens and the DA-L 50-200 lens. Any thoughts about the quality of these lenses? How about a comparison of the K2000 and the k200D?

Thanks so much for a great forum and for all your help!
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 1:56 PM   #2
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Don't have the K2000, but do have the K200D. I think the K200D build quality (sturdiness) and weather sealing are better. It also has more focusing points. The K2000 has ISO 3200, which the K200D doesn't. From what I have seen online, image quality is similar.
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Old Mar 11, 2009, 2:26 PM   #3
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Another happy K200D owner here. Thetwo cameras are very similar... with the K200D offering a weather-resistant body and a more robust build. That also makes the K200D a bit larger and heavier. In fairness, it should be noted that people who have handled the K2000 still find it to be well-built. If the build quality of your S3 was fine for you, so will the K2000.

As robbo mentioned, there are some improvements included on the K2000 that aren't on the K200D. ISO 3200 is one of them (the K200D is limited to ISO 1600). Also, Pentax has bumped up the continuous shooting/burst mode to 3.5 frames per second compared with 2.8 frames per second with the K200D. Judging by what you say you photograph, I don't think this last item will be a factor to you. And Pentax also says the low-light auto-focus speed is a bit faster on the K2000 compared with the K200D.

Now,I haven't spent time with the K2000, but I am told those compact L series lenses arenot quite as good in terms of image quality as Pentax's standard (and slightly larger) kit lenses. In particular, Pentax's smc DA 18-55 II (emphasis on that Mark II) lens is considered one of the best kit lenses around. Now, I am NOT saying the L kit lenses that are offered with the K2000 are bad. I'm just saying Pentax's normal-sized kit lenses may be a bit better.

Also, the AF200FG flash unit that is usually included with the K2000 kit, while certainly adequate in terms of power, does not pivot in its mount. That means you can't turn the flash upward in order to bounce flash off the ceiling, which is a pretty standard practice for DSLR shooters.

If you've been happy with theresults you get with the S3, I'm sure the K2000 kit you're considering will do even better. How much will that kit cost you, if I may inquire? Just for jollies, you might want to see what kind of deal you can get on a K200D with the smc DA 18-55mm II lens and the DA 55-300mm Pentax zoom, which make a great combination. If theK2000 kit comes with the flash, see how much the K200Dkit would cost with the AF-360FGZ flash. There's no doubt the K200D kit will costmore. But how much more? Ifthe difference is $200 or less, the K200D kitI am talking about might be worth the extra money.

And one last thing: While the K200D's body is weather-resistant, NONE of Pentax's kit lenses are. For weather-resistant lenses, you're looking at Pentax's more-expensive DA* line. But that might not even be importantto you at this point.

The upshot: If size, weight and price arecritical to you, the K2000 will be just fine. But if you'd like to push it a bit in terms of image quality, the K200D - with Pentax's normal kit lenses - might be a bit better. Of course, you could put the regular kit lenses on the K2000. But I don't think Pentax is currently selling the K2000 without at least one lens, so you'd be paying for an extra lens. Plus, the K200D might be a better match for the regular kit lenses in terms of size and weight.

Hope this helps... and welcome to Steve's!

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Old Mar 11, 2009, 2:47 PM   #4
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While I don't have either camera, I had the earlier K10 (same sensor) and currently have the older K100 and the K20.

The biggest difference between the K2000 and K200 is the weight and weather sealing (there are a number of other differences that will be important to some but not to others). As a hiker who's going to take landscape pictures, you'd need to decide which is more important to you - having a light-weight camera or having weather sealing. I generally opt for the heavier K20's weather sealing, but can certainly understand why someone would prefer the light-weight K2000. Especially if they aren't snowshoeing or hiking in deserts much.

From what I've read, the L lenses have the same optics as the heavier (non-L) lenses. The 18-55 is quite nice, I still often use mine, even though I have other alternatives. It's not the fastest lens in the world, but for landscape, it wouldn't be a problem. It focuses reasonably close, but isn't a true macro lens. You could get flowers, but not parts of flowers to fill the frame. There are a number of ways to get macro pictures - some are cheaper than others.

I'm not real crazy about the DA 50-200 - I bought mine several years ago and thought it was all right until I dropped it and something got out of alignment, not worth getting it fixed. I recently bought the DA 55-300 lens, which seems like a somewhat sharper, better lens (as well as being longer). It's not as light as the DA-L 50-200 but not very heavy either. The DA 55-300 also can do 1:3.5 (a 3.5 cm subject will take up 1 cm on the sensor), which is pretty close for a non-macro lens. I don't think the 50-200cango asclose. On the other hand, others who have the DA 50-200 really like their copies.

If weight is really high on your list of priorities, then the K2000 with the 2 lens kit will serve you very well. You can always add to your lens collection later, if you find yourself wanting something else. If the extra weight isn't a killer for you, then the weather sealing of the K200 is REALLY nice to have.
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Old Mar 12, 2009, 5:18 AM   #5
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Thanks to all three of you for some excellent advice and suggestions. I really appreciate your time and your wisdom.

After carefully considering your helpful advice, I think I will continue to use my little S3 for a while longer, and slowly save up for the 200D and some better lenses.

Thanks again!
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