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Old Feb 1, 2009, 6:54 PM   #11
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Before Christmas Costco was selling the Lowepro Slingshot 200 for $68 - it normally goes for $90-100. This would be a great bag to get for that price, if Costco is still offering it at that price. I've been really happy with mine, it holds as much as I can safely carry weight-wise. I can easily carry the K20 with either the DA 55-300 or the larger DA*50-135 mounted, the DA 12-24, Viv Series One 105 Macro, A*300, a rocket air blower and the 77 Limited in the main compartment, with the 540 flash and either an extension tube or the M50mm 1.7 in the top, small compartment. I'm now carrying a 77mm circular polarizer and a small reflector in the front pocket, along with extra cards, batteries, camera and lens cap, cleaning cloth, etc. As you can see, my lens list includes some large, heavy ones.

I also have a Tamrac shoulder bag that's cheaper and smaller. I originally bought it because I had an FZ30 which has a fixed lens that's pretty long, but it works better for a dSLR. It can hold the camera and several lenses without problem. Best thing to do is go to a camera store and try them out.

While backpack camera bags are great for high weights and air travel, they aren't convenient at all. I'd probably start off with a (relatively) small shoulder bag at first - even if you outgrow it, you'll still have it for when you want to "go light". Also, I wouldn't buy a sling bag sight-unseen as they don't fit everyone well.
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Old Feb 2, 2009, 1:43 PM   #12
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mtngal and trojansoc, thanks tons for your help. However, looks like I'll have to postpone my foray into DSLR since a fellow poster clarified the K200D does not have a histogram to view to help compose the shot before one takes it (only in playback after the shot was taken). So I'll have to save up for a K20D and that will add some more cost, with the fact I'd have to buy the lithium ion battery it needs + at least one spare. Oh well...nothing's perfect, is it?
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Old Feb 2, 2009, 10:19 PM   #13
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You should get one battery with the camera as well as the charger for the battery. Some try to make an extra buck selling the battery and charger as an extra, when they are included with the camera.

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Old Feb 2, 2009, 11:19 PM   #14
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The K20 won't gracefully do what you want (if I understand your post correctly).

What you want probably would want in a camera is to have live view and have a histogram available on that live view before you take the picture. I think I read in another post of yours that you would be happy if this were available in either the LCD or the viewfinder.

First, at the moment no dSLR camera would have such a thing available in the viewfinder - all viewfinders of SLR cameras are optical viewfinders - the light comes through the lens and a mirror reflects that light up to a focus screen and the viewfinder. None of them offer an EVF for the viewfinder, though it may be available with one of the new micro four-thirds cameras as I think I read that they don't have the traditional mirror set-up like all other SLR cameras do. I haven't been interested in them enough to research it, so I could be way off on this.

I wanted to refer to my owners manual since I rarely use Live View and wasn't completely sure of what is available when using it. According to my owners manual the grid and auto focus frame is the only thing that can be displayed while the camera is on live view. So no histogram. I think that some of the other cameras that offer live view do offer this capability, but I'm not sure about that.

The only way to see the histogram before you take a picture is by using the digital preview mode. I've never thought much of that - it requires you to essentially take a picture (camera to eye, set the framing, push the button to digital preview, then move the camera down to look at the LCD, check histogram). Now if the preview is perfect you can only save it as a jpg (on the K20, at least, you couldn't save it at all on the K100. I don't know about the K200). If you want a raw file, you have to put the camera back up to your eye, frame everything again, hope the light is the same, then push the shutter. I thought it made more sense to just take the picture, check the playback and go from there (you can always delete what you don't like). If the camera got it right the first time, I don't lose that perfect first shot (that actually happened to me not long after I got the K100 - it does not have the capability to save even a jpg of the digital preview).

Can someone with the K200 owners manual check to see if you can save a digital preview to a jpg file, like you can with the K20?
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 12:40 AM   #15
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Thanks again, mtngal; you've really put in a lot of effort to help and I appreciate it.

At this site on their full review (http://www.photoreview.com.au/Pentax/reviews/digitalslr/pentax-k200d.aspx), they state the following about the K200D:

"The digital preview function lets users check shot composition and exposure levels before shooting. It's not the same as the live view shooting mode on the K20D because it doesn't support image capture. Pressing the shutter button ends the preview and re-engages the AF system (which is disabled in the preview mode). However, you can display the histogram or bright/dark area warning signals by selecting these settings in the Digital Preview section of the playback menu.

As in the K20D, you can save the preview image as a JPEG file by pressing the Fn button in digital preview mode. Digital preview shuts down automatically after 60 seconds. "

However, I'm a bit confused by this when I see in the dpreview that the digital preview function is in the playback menu. So yes please: if someone has a K200D manual, please chime in to nail this down as to which case is true for sure.

As for what I said about being able to see the histogram in the viewfinder and/or LCD I was thinking about my S3 IS while I was meaning to only include stuff on the K200D, so that's my fault. The Olympus Evolt E-520 4/3 camera indeed has a histogram available but only on the LCD, IIRC. I had considered that camera at one time, but the K200D really beats it hands down in everything DxO labs measured.

You are right and that's more practical in not missing something. I could/should just be willing to take the picture and review it right afterwards although while reading Wignall's book he makes it seem like a no-no to do, I suppose primarily for the additional time and battery use to switch it over to review.
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Old Feb 3, 2009, 10:02 PM   #16
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I'm not sure what some sites that I read were doing in terms of "explaining" the "digital preview" on the K200D, but it seems some of them possibly could have cut/pasted something they saw for part of their review from somewhere else, since after several more hours of research it indeed appears the "digital preview" is only a "preview" of AFTER someone's TAKEN a shot (provided the option is enabled). In that case, calling the option "digital REVIEW" would have been 100% right and avoided confusion (sigh...obviously good grammarians weren't around when these options were named). The only thing it really seems useful for is to apply modifications to the image under the "Custom Image" function, where someone could change the white balance and other things, so in that sense one can see how applying the different options to the RESULT would change the END RESULT but AFTER the picture is taken. So for strictly seeing how close one got, it almost seems (like mtngal said) it'd be best to take the pic then press 'play' (I think that's the option on the left side of the LCD) and 'info' (or whatever it would be) to get the histogram up and check. :?
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Old Feb 4, 2009, 2:26 AM   #17
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So the only things that one could tell from the display information either via the viewfinder or LCD while composing the shot would be this (correct me if I'm wrong):

1) An indication of if the the shot is in focus or not

2) The aperture value and shutter speed's color will change if either value is not sufficient to properly expose the shot (they might turn red to indicate the value needs adjusting)

3) If the camera thinks the flash is needed

Is that about it? (I'm only asking about the very essential things one would be looking at in order to try to get the proper exposure, not all the items that could be showing up.) Are these effectively the only things I'd have to go by before taking the pic?
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Old Feb 4, 2009, 2:36 PM   #18
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Just my opinion, but the only advantage I can see to the digital preview is that it would save you room on your memory card for shots that had obvious exposure errors, since you don't have to save the preview. I think they called it "preview" when the K100 came out because you couldn't save the file at all. So it was a preview rather than a review.

Personally, I have the camera set to automatically show the image briefly on the LCD right after you take the picture. I can quickly glance at it and see if there's any horrible errors, especially if it's a difficult lighting situation. I don't have to press play, and it disappears quickly (you can adjust how long it shows up in the menu). You can turn on "blinkies" that will flash when there's clipping in the shadows or highlights, so you can see at a glance if things look all right. I don't bother with the histogram all that much until I get into post processing. It doesn't seem to make that big of a difference with the battery consumption, less than using the flash.

Your viewfinder will show the point that the camera is using to focus (which can change or be changed), whether it is in focus or not, the aperture and the shutter speed the camera (or you) have chosen to use. It will also show whether you have a + or a - Ev set, and in manual modethat meter will show if the camera thinks it will be under or over exposed. I think there are other things that are shown, but I never pay any attention to them, including whether the camera thinks it needs a flash or not.

The back LCD on the K200 and K20 (the K2000 is different)only show what you have the camera set for (if you have the camera set to display that information - highly recommended) when you turn it on. It does not show information while you are shooting - all that information (and ISO, number of shots left, etc) are shown in the top monitor. In fact, the LCD spends most of its time being black, which does help save battery power I guess, and I like the fact that I don't have to hold the cameraout to see the LCD if I'm having trouble reading the figures in the viewfinder.
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Old Feb 4, 2009, 6:23 PM   #19
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Yeah, aside from some in-camera processing one could apply to the picture and save it, the digital preview almost seems slightly repetitive as a function. However, that's not the main reason for my reply here.

Then that means you set the "instant review" function to display the picture just taken X # of seconds after shooting. I saw the same functions (histogram, highlighting of shadow/highlights) could be enabled for display in that as in digital 'preview.' That is a good idea.

At least having the camera in manual mode telling me the shot could end up over/underexposed is something very useful to me (needed, really). Knowing that helps a bunch since aside from maybe trying the auto exposure setting on the camera to see what the camera things would be good settings (another user said that was a possibility) for the picture, I would have something to go by. That way I would literally be "shooting in the dark" until I finally got to see the picture by instant review or by review in playback.

thanks again for the feedback, mtngal. Problem is where I live there's no actual dedicated camera shop and the places I checked with won't let a person insert batteries and a memory card to really 'try out' the camera by taking some shots. Even if they did, I've not found a single place yet that carries a K20 or K200D so this kind of information is very essential. :G
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Old Feb 4, 2009, 9:27 PM   #20
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You might want to download the K200 owners manual - its available in pdf. I had it for a while but can't find it any more.

The K20 has a green button next to the shutter. If you are using manual mode, you can push the green button and the camera will set the exposure it thinks you should use. You can change aperture or shutter speed from there. About the only time I use M mode is if I'm using a manual exposure lens (M or K lens). Then I have to set the aperture on the lens, which isn't reported to the camera. If you push the green button, the camera temporarily stops down the lens, so it can meter and set the shutter speed.

I tend to use the P mode mostly - that leaves most things to the camera, but you can still change things if you want. For instance, with the K20 if you want a bigger depth of field and the camera wants to set a big aperture (say f4) and you want to use f11, then you can use the rear wheel to adjust the aperture (essentially changing the camera to Av mode), and the front wheel operates the shutter speed in the same way (you can adjust either one or the other in P mode, but not both at the same time).

I don't know if the K200 has the green button, or if it is like the K100 where you use the AE-L button to do the same thing in M mode. I know it only has one wheel, so I think you have to change the mode to enter Tv or Av mode, but you can still make other changes.
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