Pentax K2000 (K-m) review
Great Camera! It's leica a small German rangefinder experience in an SLR. It is a joy to use! The build quality is great. It feels solid and "right" in your hands.
It misses some bells and whistles but nails the must haves. It it does have a number of user adjustable tone settings, assignable buttons, anti shake and a good viewfinder. AF is zippy and accurate and all my K, M, A, F, FA, DA and DAL lenses work great.
I did buy the limited edition white package which is beautiful. The 2 kit lenses are also white to match. The mounts on the lenses are plastic but tough. The 18-55 is better than the original 18-55 and one of the best kit lens but not that refined in its rendering as other Pentax lenses are. The DAL 50-200 is a keeper. It is almost as light as my F50/1.7 prime (which is small and light). It is also a far more refined lens than the 18-55. If you want to travel light and have a tele photo, this lens is a good choice.
Image quality is very good. The Silky Pix based JPEG engine does provide incredible resolution when you use the Natural Tone setting. Bright Tone as used in the DPR review does cut down on the hard edged sharpness in high contrast areas. Natural Tone approaches ACR in these high contrast situations and delivers higher resolution in more normal and lower contrast areas! The JPEG's also deliver more texture detail and more accurate representation of shading and color compared to ACR.
The K2000 does come with Silky Pix RAW converter. This will provide the benefits of RAW and will provide some additional control over shooting JPEG.
The JPEG engine is getting more out of the camera's RAW data than ACR. ACR can work well but one needs to use the camera profile, cut down on the sharpening and contrast and then add some fill light and recovery as needed. Some additional detail in extreme bright areas can be found compared to JPEG's but the JPEG's do better at the other extreme.
It is an entry level model but it does get the finer things right. IMHO it does make a great starter camera or a second, travel camera to mate with some really good, small primes.
The AF is quick and incredibly accurate with all my lenses. MF lenses can utilize the AF system which offers immediate confirmation of focus. This works even better than a split prism.
Anti Shake consistently delivers 3 - 4 stops of help. The key is to make sure you do not go beyond the range of motion.
None so far
Some may lament the lack of live view, focus confirmation lights and a couple other doo dads.
It does take great photos and its basic operation is far above any entry level camera I have handled. It is not a replacement for the K20D which is a monster of a camera. However, it is a great camera for a beginner or for an advanced user who wants a good match for the limited pancake lenses.
The Silky Pix derived JPEG engine may rub some the wrong way. It delivers excellent tonality at the expense of hard edged sharpness in the highest contrast areas. Beyond that, JPEG performance is excellent. It really gets the light right. ACR is great but falls short compared to the JPEG engine.