Compared to...

As the table below shows, the K2000 fits very well into the entry-level category. It may be the most expensive camera in the group at present but it's also the most recently released, so it should settle down to a price similar to its peers.

Camera Body only price Sensor
(effective pixels)
Pixel density
Pentax K2000 $ 550 10.1 MP CCD; 23.5 x 15.7 mm (1.5x crop) 2.8
Canon 1000D $ 470 10.1 MP CMOS; 22.2 x 14.8 mm (1.6x crop) 3.1
Sony DSLR-A200 $ 500 10.2 MP CMOS; 23.6 x 15.8 mm (1.5x crop) 2.7
Olympus E-420 $ 420 10.0 MP NMOS; 18.0 x 13.5 mm (2.0x crop) 4.0
Pentax K200D $ 550 10.1 MP CCD; 23.4 x 15.6 mm (1.5x crop) 2.8

Lenses used

For direct comparisons we always use sharp prime lenses stopped down. Here we have used the Pentax FA 50mm F1.4, Canon EF 50 mm F1.4, Minolta 50mm F1.4 and Olympus Zuiko 50mm F2.0. We have tested each of these lenses and their performance is all-but identical at the apertures used (though the Zuiko is more consistent into the corners of the frame).

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Pentax K2000 (K-m) vs. Canon EOS 1000D

Camera settings:

  • Pentax K2000: Pentax FA 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Best, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Bright) Self-Timer
  • Canon 1000D: Canon 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Standard), Self-Timer
Pentax K2000
Canon EOS 1000D
3.4 MB JPEG (3872 x 2592)
3.1 MB JPEG (3888 x 2592 )

The usage of 'Bright' as the default Custom Image setting (note this varies by region) makes some sense at this end of the market, with many compact camera users used to seeing high-contrast, highly saturated output. However, the overdone sharpening is harder to fathom. The result is that on first inspection the K2000's output looks as sharp and detailed as the Canon's but that impression doesn't bear much scrutiny. The Canon is producing cleaner images with a fraction more detail and none of the obvious sharpening artefacts of the K2000.