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Pentax K2000 / K-m Review

January 2009 | By Richard Butler, Lars Rehm

Preview based on a production Pentax K-m with firmware 1.0

The fastest-growing part of the camera market is currently being powered by photographers moving from compact cameras to DSLRs. Unfortunately for manufacturers, the added competition this has attracted has seen the prices they can charge being eroded (although it could be argued that the lower prices are spurring some of that growth). Rather than trying to slash the prices on their existing, highly-featured cameras, there has been a trend towards designing simplified cameras that can be made and sold more cheaply, offering only the features that first-time DSLR users will want without appearing too intimidating.

For many years, Pentax was often in the position of offering the least-expensive DSLR on the market with some keenly-priced entry-level offerings. However, the latest generation of down-specced and aggressively-priced models from Nikon and Sony have dramatically changed the price-conscious end of the market. Pentax has clearly been watching these developments closely and has responded with this, the Pentax K2000 (K-m in Europe).

The K2000 follows many of the trends we've previously seen in camera-downsizing, with Pentax finally giving-in to the trend of removing the top-panel LCD. It uses the K200D's sensor but comes with a simplified control layout (geared towards users coming from compact cameras) and a less sophisticated AF-system (5 points vs 11 on the K200D). The K-m also lacks the K200D's weather-sealing but in turn you get an ISO 3200 setting and slightly quicker continuous shooting.

Lightweight lenses

In addition to the smaller body, Pentax has re-engineered two of its consumer zooms to further reduce the weight of the overall package. The new versions of the the 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 and the 50-200mm F4.0-5.6 are designated DA L (for lightweight, on our scales the 18-55mm L measured 24g lighter than its standard counterpart), and can be distinguished by the silver, rather than green ring encircling them.

The new DA L lenses The 18-55 new DA L next to its DA counterpart

Compared to K200D - key differences

 

Pentax K2000

Pentax K200D
Body material Plastic, stainless steel chassis Plastic, stainless steel chassis, weather-sealed
Sensor • 23.5 x 15.7 mm CCD sensor
• 10.75 million total pixels
• 10.2 million effective pixels
• 23.5 x 15.7 mm CCD sensor
• 10.7 million total pixels
• 10.2 million effective pixels
Image sizes • 3872 x 2592 pixels
• 3008 x 2000 pixels
• 1824 x 1216 pixels
• 3872 x 2592 pixels
• 3008 x 2000 pixels
• 1824 x 1216 pixels
Dust reduction CCD-shake CCD-shake
Image stabilization CCD-shift CCD-shift
Flash

• Built-in P-TTL pop-up flash
• Guide no. approx 11 (ISO 100/m)
• Angle of coverage 28 mm (35 mm equiv.)
• Flash sync 1/180 sec
• Wireless flash capability

• Built-in P-TTL pop-up flash
• Guide no. approx. 13 (ISO100/m)
• Angle of view coverage: 28mm (35mm equiv)
• Flash sync 1/180 sec
• Wireless flash capability

AF-System • 5-area AF (SAFOX VIII)
• TTL Phase matching AF system
• 11-area AF (SAFOX VIII)
• TTL Phase matching AF system
• Focus point selectable
ISO • Auto
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• 3200
• D-Range
• Auto
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
• D-Range
Shadow compensation • Yes • No
Continuous shooting • 3.5fps for 5 frames JPEG or 4 RAW
• 1.1fps JPEG until card is full or 7 RAW frames
• 2.8fps for 4 frames JPEG or RAW
• 1.1fps JPEG until card is full or 4 RAW frames
LCD monitor • 2.7" TFT LCD
• 230,000 dots
• 2.7" TFT LCD
• 230,000 dots
Dimensions 122.5 x 91.5 x 67.5mm
(4.8 x 3.6 x 2.7 in)
133.5 x 95 x 74mm
(5.2 x 3.7 x 2.9 in)
Weight 625g (22.0oz.)
With and alkaline batteries SD card
690g (24.3oz.)
With lithium batteries and SD card

Foreword / notes

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read some of our Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / recommendation / ratings are based on the opinion of the author, we recommend that you read the entire review before making any decision. Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of them, click to display a larger image in a new window.

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Dpreview use calibrated monitors at the PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally also A, B and C.

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