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Old Dec 20, 2009, 4:47 PM   #1
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Default DSLR Newbie: What camera is better?


I'm planning to buy my wife a Pentax dslr. My choice is either the K20D or the K200D. I also want to buy the camera w/ a lens. I notice that the 18-55mm lens alone costs $130 while the 15-45mm lens costs just over $300. This will be my wife's 1st dslr. Which camera and lens do you experts think will be good? She is above beginner level.

Thank you!
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 5:21 PM   #2
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Welcome to the Forum! Both Pentax models you have cited have been discontinued but are still available to varying degrees. Pentax creates their cameras with a lot of capabilities, so even though a specific model may be "entry level", does not necessary imply that the model is bare bones.

The K200D is an entry level model, that has been discontinued. The camera is 10MP, and uses the internals of the semi-pro K10D, but with the user controls of the K100D. It is a very capable camera, however it does come with the various scene modes available on most starter cameras.

The K20D is a semi-pro mode (replaced the K10D)l, that too has been discontinued and replaced by the K7 about 8 months ago. As such, they are available for a very reasonable price. It is a 14.6MP sensor, and a full featured unit. The K20 has many more user controls available on the back panel than the K200, and includes 2 wheels (front and back) that enables the user to set aperture, shutter speed and ISO across the various shooting modes.

the K20 is a slightly larger and heavier unit (by about 5 oz) than the K200.

The kit lens is very good, however if you select the K20D make sure you use the Kit version II lens, which came out with the K20 and supports the higher resolution. The DA 16-45/f4 lens is a very good lens. It is a bit larger than the kit lens, and does have a better resolution. It is a highly regarded lens.

I have the K100 and upgraded to the K20 almost a year ago. I also have the 16-45 lens along with the kit (ver I) lens. It is a very good combination.

You really can not make a mistake. If you wife is beyond the beginner stage the K20 may be a better choice, however there is learning associated with the body.

I would also scroll down to the dSLR section and post in the Pentax area. Steve's has a very active Pentax group here.

... hope that helps!
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 5:31 PM   #3
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Welcome to the Forum. We're pleased you dropped by.

I sold my Pentax K-20 because it was just to darned big for me to handle. In its place I first went to a Pentax Kx model, then returned the Kx as well. I finally settled on the Olympus E-620, a pleasantly small DSLR camera that fits my hands much better.

So if your wife is small of stature and has small hands, you might think twice about the Pentax K-20 camera for her. I my opinion, the Olympus E-620 is a much better size and far easier to handle. The E-620 is available as either a two lens kit, meaning the 14-42mm kit lens and the 40-150mm kit lens, or with just the 14-42mm lens.

Have a great day and a Merry Christmas.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Dec 20, 2009, 6:20 PM   #4
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When you buy it, keep the receipt just in case. The Pentax might be a good choice for your wife, especially if she already has some Pentax lenses. The Pentax K-x might be a good choice, but the final decision should be your wife's, so keeping the receipt so she can return it or swap it for something else. And yes, the 18-55 kit lens is a good one to start with, and since Pentax dSLRs have a narrower angle of view than their film cameras, it will suppliment any lenses she may already have.
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Old Dec 21, 2009, 12:22 AM   #5
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Every person is different, and while one person will find the K20 too heavy, another person won't. I happen to be quite small and love using the K20, even with some large, heavy lenses (much heavier than the kit lens you are looking at). So don't rule out the Pentax cameras based on someone else's opinion. TCav has some good advice - make sure you can return the camera if it doesn't suit your wife. There's nothing worse than having a camera you can't get along with for whatever reason (I know, I ended up selling a camera at a big loss a month after I bought it because I hated it so much).

If your wife is willing (or already knows) about photography, I'd go for the K20 over the K200 - I like having the ability to change things by buttons and levers on the camera, rather than going through additional menus like on the K200. It's not exactly like you HAVE to know a whole lot to start using it though, so if she's willing to learn (and ask questions) then she'll be fine with it.

The other Pentax camera you might want to look at is the new K-x. The pictures I'm seeing posted on the various bulletin boards taken with this camera look very, very good and it's reasonably priced.
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Old Dec 21, 2009, 4:52 AM   #6
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You may want to look at the kit packages, the K-X for 2 lenses is selling for 720 bucks with 18-55 and 55-300. This should cover a very good range. And it is a very light camera.
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