Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Customer review from Amazon.com about the Pentax K2000

image from http://www.gadgetvenue.com

Customer Reviews from Amazon.com

E. J Tastad "ejt"

High quality (sturdy feeling)
Well designed
Superb Image quality
No pattern noise at high ISOs (looks more like film grain)
In body image stabilization

No image orientation sensor (if you hold portrait style have to manually rotate)
No red focus confirmation dot (still has green dot in viewfinder at bottom)

Who should buy the K2000? Anyone also considering entry level Nikon or Canon DSLRs. This is fully competitive, but offers in body image stabilization that works with any lens (old and new). Nice feature set at a great value.

The auto focus of this camera is improved, focusing more precisely in low light than previous Pentax models, and also works with the new SDM lenses. Auto white balance is also improved. It does much better under tungsten light than some previous Pentax cameras.

The shake reduction is highly effective, as much so as most in lens systems. About 3 f-stops for me. This is a handy feature because it works with ALL lenses. You don't have to keep buying the same feature for $100 to $500 every time you buy a lens for which you want stabilization. Not to mention, when a new body comes out you get an improved stabilizer. With an in lens system, you have to replace your lenses to get improved stabilizers.

Even though this is a no frills system, it is very capable for those advanced amateurs or pro's looking for a compact body to use with the Pentax Limited prime lenses (compact lenses offering outstanding image quality). The big two haven't invested many resources in prime lenses suitable for APS-C sensors (by far the best selling dSLRs), Pentax has bucked the industry trend with their superb DA Limited series lenses.

Image quality is outstanding. I used it at a studio shoot recently, and had no issue. My only complaints were the lack of user selectable focus points (besides all or center only) and lack of orientation sensor. For the most part these were easy to work around. The picture results were stunning, even up to ISO 800. By 1600 there starts to be a fair amount of noise, but there is no pattern to it (my K20d has awful horizontal pattern noise). These photos are highly suitable for B&W conversion, and they resemble high speed film better than many digital cameras.

In conclusion, you get a lot of bang for you buck with this camera. The bundled AF200FG flash is very good compared to any built in flash offering much better range, better fill, and being off camera helps reduce red eye and shadowing from lenses. The kit lens is excellent at apertures 5.6 and up at any focal length (it is a tad soft at the corners at wide angles at apertures larger (smaller number) than f/5.6. I mounted it to the K20d and it had no problems resolving for the higher resolution sensor. I recommend this without many reservations (see my cons), and for a starter or enthusiast it is a great little camera. With my review title, it is the first time I can feel comfortable to recommend a Pentax to a non-DSLR user (previously they have been better enthusiast, non-beginner models).

Update One: First set of batteries that came with the camera have more than 1000 shots on them, many of these with the flash. This has truly amazing battery life, especially considering how much the back LCD is illuminated (no top information display). This would last many users a year!

The only other little things I have noticed is there is no slot for a cable remote and the back LCD can be bright. This camera wouldn't be the best for star trails for example, but this will only impact a small percentage of users.

I still love it!

John Five

This is a great camera. Its pictures are stunning. The camera is well built and it feels solid in your hand. The kit lens is excellent and it uses all of my old 35mm Pentax lenses with the camera's stabilization feature.

The camera is very intuitive to use; I was able to use it right out of the box and have then progressed to use more and more powerful features by reading the manual. The features are all well thought out; this camera clearly implements many lessons learned from previous DSLR's because so many things are done so well. It is simply very well engineered.

I have had a series of point and shoot digital cameras over the last several years including a Fuji, a Sony and a couple of Canons. Before that I used a 35mm Pentax SLR and am therefore familiar with SLR operation. I also have a number of good lenses from the film SLR.

Part of my enthusiasm is this is my first DSLR and it offers so much more than the point-and-shoots and my old 35mm SLR. For example, I have been using its RAW feature and can save photos in both a Pentax and a standard Adobe RAW format, the latter I was able to use with Photoshop Elements 6 and have found all kinds of useful adjustments that were never available to me before.

I also like the fact that this camera uses regular AA batteries available anywhere.

The AF200 flash works well in my group photo shots and is a great value bundled with the camera. It has a nice diffuser cover for the flash to support wide angle shots. On the negative side, the AF200 is not extremely powerful-- I was used to a more powerful one with my old 35mm's external flash and the AF200 can not be swiveled to bounce the flash off the ceiling--another feature I miss. However, it is much more powerful than the pop-up on the camera and it too uses AA's.

Another feature I like about this camera is its low light performance. The pictures I took at night making use of high ISO and image stabilization were simply amazing.

The camera does not have live display on the LCD on the back; you have to look through the viewfinder. Despite my recent experience with the point-and-shoots which all have live view, I have not missed that feature-- looking through the viewfinder works well for me under all lighting conditions.

Overall, this has proven to be the perfect camera for me. I STRONGLY recommend it for folk coming from the point-and-shoot world and if you happen to have some old Pentax lenses (or buy some on e-bay) it makes an even more compelling purchase. Five stars!

more at reviews from amazon.com


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