Hands on with the Pentax K200D DSLR

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Being a Pentax man I’ve been looking forward to the arrival of the K200D since I first saw it at CES. I was completely blown away by the new features and UI, but my time with it was limited so I didn’t get an exact feel for it then. Now that I’ve a little over a day to manhandle the K200D I can say without a doubt that I’m in love. Very rarely do I love any of my gadgets, but the K200D is definitely one to break the barrier.

For starters, it’s much heavier than its predecessor, the K100D Super. I like that a lot, but I’m sure I’ll complain about it at some point. It just feels better. The grip is much bigger and the shutter is much more quiet. There was no chance of snapping a shot of an insect or bird up close without it flying away unless I had a telephoto zoom lens. The build quality is much better overall. I can finally get a battery grip for this, too! The 18-55mm kit lens has also been overhauled. Details and shots compared to the old kit lens will be forthcoming in the full review.

The weather sealing is an added plus and I recall being told that one of the engineers on this particular project would or had taken it out in the rain to snap photos with nary an issue. While I’m sure that’s accurate, I will not partake in such activities.

The AWB appears to be much improved over the K100D Super from a small batch of initial shots. The K20D has live preview but the K200D does not. However, one of the new features is the ability to adjust WB using a previous photo that was just taken or using the preview shot (I don’t know the official name for it) and adjusting accordingly. There’s now a dedicated RAW button for shooting in RAW on the fly. And the sensor was boosted from 6- to 10-megapixels.

The coolest feature I’ve found so far is Dust Alert. It shows every spec of dust on the sensor on a simulated image so you know whether or not you need to clean it. The Dust Removal system is a little more robust as well. I’ll have to check on this, but I’m positive that the K100D Super’s dust removal system only did one swipe while the K200D’s system shakes a few more times.

That’s it for now, folks. I’ll have a more comprehensive review in the coming weeks once I’ve had more time to see what this badboy can really do. But so far I totally dig it.

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