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Old Feb 8, 2009, 4:56 PM   #1
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I'm thinking of getting another camera. I have a K10D with the battery grip and it's one big, heavy camera, although the pictures are wonderful.

I want something lighter than the K10D , just to have a daily carry about camera....so I'm always ready to take a picture while I'm out and about.

I want:
  • relatively light weight...lighter than my K10D, 16-45 Pentax Zoom, battery grip[/*]
  • something cheaper than the K10D, that I won't worry about schlepping around on a daily basis...around my neck, belted in on the car seat...always ready for a quick photo[/*]
  • rugged....not huge as K10D and battery grip[/*]
  • something capable of taking pictures that approach the K10D...thinking of
    [/*]
Originally I was looking at the Canon G10, but the more I looked into it, the more I read that the pictures suffer over 200 ISO. I looked at some comparison pictures between a Pentax K200D and the G10...frankly no contest , IMO...the decision goes to the DSLR.

Not earth shaking news...I know the G10 may have multi MP's but it has a small sensor.

So back to square 1. I'm now thinking of getting a KM (K2000) with the kit 18-55...should be light ...rugged....easy to carry around and not horribly expensive...but still capable of taking top notch DSLR quality pictures.

So....what do you think ?


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Old Feb 8, 2009, 8:32 PM   #2
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Lesmore... where are you physically located? Is there a camera shop near you that carries Pentax or will you be ordering online? I ask because I really think you should handle both the K200D and the KM/K2000 back to back.

Unless the K2000 is much lighter than I think, I personally would opt for the K200D because it has a weather-sealed body. And with the new $100 discount for the K200D from Pentax, there might not be that much of a price penalty, if any. I say this as the proud owner of a K200D... and I'm looking at this as a choice between the KM/K2000 and the K200D.

But the god's-honest truth is, while the K200D is lighter than the K10D/K20D... I personally don't think it's a dramatic difference. And the same may be true when comparing the K200D with the KM/K2000. That's why I say pick them up side by side and decide for yourself. Of course, sticking with the kit lens and leaving off the battery grip on the new camera will be a big help in terms of size and weight.

It is possible you may find you need to move to a substantially smaller and lighter camera to notice a marked difference from the K10D. But if you want to use your existing Pentax lenses, then it's a choice between the K200D and the KM/K2000 and that's that. Especially if you want to stick with a DSLR with an APS-sized sensor. If you do, I can't blame you for a second.

But there are some other possible options I would seriously consider (and I say this as a confirmed Pentaxian) if I were in your position:

Olympus E420 (if you don't mind giving up IS). The E420 is currently the smallest and lightest DSLR you can buy. It comes with a 14-42mm lens (28-84mm equivalent because this is a four-thirds camera). Great deals can be had on this camera and lens along with the Olympus 40-150mm lens (80-300mm equivalent). Yes, four-thirds cameras do have some slight dynamic-range issues and high ISO (as in 1600) noise issues when compared with APS and full-frame DSLRs. But they're absolutely fantastic when compared with all the point and shoots - even the Canon G10. A four-thirds sensor is not that much smaller than an APS sensor - but it's a whole lot larger than the 1/1.6 sensor in the G10. The E420 might be a perfect second camera. Plus, it's not like you'd have to build a whole second camera system. The two zooms mentioned above should cover you just fine for second-camera use.

Olympus E520 if you must have IS. Slightly larger and heavier than the E420 because of the IS. But still pretty small and light compared with other DSLRs. All of the other notes for the E420 apply.

Panasonic LX3. If you would have been happy with the G10 if not for the reviews that complain about all the noise at ISOs higher than 200 - and you don't need a whole lot of zoom range - the LX3 is a great option. The sensor is the same size as the 1/1.6 sensor in the G10. But because Panasonic held the megapixels down to 10, the noise isn't nearly as bad as it is with the G10 at high ISOs. The LX3's non-interchangeable lens is also an ultra-fast f/2.0-2.8 - which means you can avoid high ISOs most of the time and get great indoor shots in natural light. While the LX3 isn't small enough for your pants or shirt pocket, it will fit in a jacket pocket and is smaller and lighter than a G10. The downside: The LX3 has a zoom range that's limited to 24-60mm (equivalent). But you you like the shoot wide, this is a great camera. Full disclosure: I have an LX3 myself.

Hope this helps!
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Old Feb 8, 2009, 11:09 PM   #3
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I'd definitely consider the K-M. It's not much heavier than the Oly, and it's significantly lighter than the K200. I wouldn't imagine that it would be as rugged as the K200 since it lacks the weather sealing, but you are talking about a second body, not a K10 replacement. And you can always share lenses between the two bodies (a good reason for getting those pancake Limited lenses, right?). I've always somewhat regretted selling my DS and keeping the K100, since the DS was lighter.

There are some drawbacks to the K-M, the biggest one (for me) being the lack of the top monitor. I could probably get used to it, but I'd miss it for a while.
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 12:39 PM   #4
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Biro wrote:
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Lesmore... where are you physically located? Large prairie city in Western Canada. Is there a camera shop near you that carries Pentax or will you be ordering online? I ask because I really think you should handle both the K200D and the KM/K2000 back to back. I'm in a large city...about 770,000...we have a few good , upper end camera stores...I agree with you, handling them first hand, checking out the weight would be the first thing to do.

Unless the K2000 is much lighter than I think, I personally would opt for the K200D because it has a weather-sealed body. And with the new $100 discount for the K200D from Pentax, there might not be that much of a price penalty, if any. I say this as the proud owner of a K200D... and I'm looking at this as a choice between the KM/K2000 and the K200D.Unfortunately I think those discounts apply only in the States, not in Canada, but our prices are generally very competitive.

But the god's-honest truth is, while the K200D is lighter than the K10D/K20D... I personally don't think it's a dramatic difference. And the same may be true when comparing the K200D with the KM/K2000. That's why I say pick them up side by side and decide for yourself. Of course, sticking with the kit lens and leaving off the battery grip on the new camera will be a big help in terms of size and weight.I would not use a battery grip on a new camera to carry around and I figure the 18-55 kit would be a bit lighter than the 16-45 on my K10D.

It is possible you may find you need to move to a substantially smaller and lighter camera to notice a marked difference from the K10D.I did...but the more I checked them our especially the G10 I realized that this camera, although impressive with it's controls and 14.6 MP rating, just will not cut it, when it comes to comparitive picture quality as a DSLR. Initially reading the ads and looking at the G10, I was under the impression that it was like my film Leica...small, able to manipulate outside controls...same ability pix wise as a film SLR, but it isn't, from what I've read and the comparative pictures it takes vs a SLR or even the LX3.. I have to admit the G10 disappoints me, I did think at first, this was the camera for a carry around, but if the pix aren't the equivalent of cheaper cost DSLR...I'm not interested. I saw comparitive pix that could be blown up G10 vs K100 vs LX3 on a website and above 200 ISO...I was surprised. But if you want to use your existing Pentax lenses, then it's a choice between the K200D and the KM/K2000 and that's that. Especially if you want to stick with a DSLR with an APS-sized sensor. If you do, I can't blame you for a second. I think I'm headed this way...see if I can get a new old stock K100 Pentax...or a KM, although the pricier 200D with it's weather sealing is a good deal to have as a carry around.

But there are some other possible options I would seriously consider (and I say this as a confirmed Pentaxian) if I were in your position:

Olympus E420 (if you don't mind giving up IS). The E420 is currently the smallest and lightest DSLR you can buy. It comes with a 14-42mm lens (28-84mm equivalent because this is a four-thirds camera). Great deals can be had on this camera and lens along with the Olympus 40-150mm lens (80-300mm equivalent). Yes, four-thirds cameras do have some slight dynamic-range issues and high ISO (as in 1600) noise issues when compared with APS and full-frame DSLRs. But they're absolutely fantastic when compared with all the point and shoots - even the Canon G10. A four-thirds sensor is not that much smaller than an APS sensor - but it's a whole lot larger than the 1/1.6 sensor in the G10. The E420 might be a perfect second camera. Plus, it's not like you'd have to build a whole second camera system. The two zooms mentioned above should cover you just fine for second-camera use.Not familiar with this camera will have to check it out.

Olympus E520 if you must have IS. Slightly larger and heavier than the E420 because of the IS. But still pretty small and light compared with other DSLRs. All of the other notes for the E420 apply.

Panasonic LX3. If you would have been happy with the G10 if not for the reviews that complain about all the noise at ISOs higher than 200 - and you don't need a whole lot of zoom range - the LX3 is a great option. The sensor is the same size as the 1/1.6 sensor in the G10. But because Panasonic held the megapixels down to 10, the noise isn't nearly as bad as it is with the G10 at high ISOs. The LX3's non-interchangeable lens is also an ultra-fast f/2.0-2.8 - which means you can avoid high ISOs most of the time and get great indoor shots in natural light. While the LX3 isn't small enough for your pants or shirt pocket, it will fit in a jacket pocket and is smaller and lighter than a G10. The downside: The LX3 has a zoom range that's limited to 24-60mm (equivalent). But you you like the shoot wide, this is a great camera. Full disclosure: I have an LX3 myself.I have a 2004 Panasonic Lumix DMC 8 (5 MP) and it's a nice little camera , has the Leica lens, etc. I will have to look at the LX3 closer...when I checked out the reviews they seem to be better than the G10. My problem is that I love the looks, feel of the G10...just wish the pix quality was better. I have had good luck with my lillte Lumix DMC8...the thing is reliable, easy to carry around...the pix quality quite different from the K10D...not a fair comparison I know.
The LX3 is a wonderful little camera, but it is expensive...compared to a DSLR....decisions...decisions...thank you for your detailed thoughts, it helps. I usually take a while to mull things around.....Les

Hope this helps!
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Old Feb 9, 2009, 12:46 PM   #5
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mtngal wrote:
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I'd definitely consider the K-M. It's not much heavier than the Oly, and it's significantly lighter than the K200. I wouldn't imagine that it would be as rugged as the K200 since it lacks the weather sealing, but you are talking about a second body, not a K10 replacement. Right and that second body thing makes me think...I could use a Pentax DSLR as a carry around and when I'm out with all my paraphenalia and weight isn't as much of an issue, it would be handy to have a second body that I could use with my exisiting Pentax lenses. This consideration is starting to be a big factor. Hmmmmnn. And you can always share lenses between the two bodies (a good reason for getting those pancake Limited lenses, right?). I've always somewhat regretted selling my DS and keeping the K100, since the DS was lighter.

There are some drawbacks to the K-M, the biggest one (for me) being the lack of the top monitor. Never thought of that, I use the top monitor on my K10D...a lot. The K100 and the K200 sem to have a couple of advantages over the KM...weather sealing, top monitor...both very useful. I could probably get used to it, but I'd miss it for a while.
Thanks for your advice....this is why this forum is useful...two responses Biro and Mtngal, with good, practical user info have brought up some considerations I hadn't thought about....
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