Pentax K200D Review

 
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Pentax K200D Performance


Timing and Performance

Very good to average speed for a consumer digital SLR.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

0.5 second

Time it takes for camera to turn on and take a shot.

Shutdown

~0 second

How long it takes to turn off. Too fast to measure.

Buffer clearing time
Large Fine JPEG

3.5 seconds*
(after 5 LF JPEGs)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Buffer clearing time
Small Basic JPEG
3 seconds*
(after 20 SB JPEGs)
Buffer clearing time
RAW
8 seconds*
(after 3 RAW frames)
Buffer clearing time
RAW + JPEG
9 seconds*
(after 3 RAW + JPEG frames)

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and other settings such as NR can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

The Pentax K200D's start-up and shutdown times were very fast; difficult to measure. Buffer clearing is a bit slow and depends on the image size and quality, burst length and how fast the card can be written to. For the average user shooting JPEG-format images, the buffer clearing time is fast enough that it's not likely to be an issue. For those interested in capturing RAW or RAW+JPEG files, though, the 8-9 second clearing time (even with a very fast card) could be an issue when shooting fast action.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

0.3 second

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to Play

1.0 second

Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

1.0 second

Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching is about average for an SLR, though switching from Record to Play was a bit on the slow side.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus

0.125 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture using Sigma 70mm f/2.8 lens.

Full Autofocus with flash enabled

0.263 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture with built-in flash enabled in P-TTL Auto mode.

Pre-focused

0.108 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Continuous AF
0.108 second
Continuous-servo AF mode on the K200D forces release priority, so while shutter response is faster, the resulting image may not be in focus.
Manual focus
0.108 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "pre-focused."

Full autofocus shutter response is quite fast for an entry-level SLR, at 0.125 second. With the flash enabled, shutter lag increased to 0.263 second, which is still pretty good. Pre-focus time was also fast, at 0.108 second (pre-focusing means half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure). Continuous AF mode and Manual AF mode were the same speed as pre-focused.

 

Cycle Time (shot-to-shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.51 second

Time per shot, averaged over 13 shots, then 0.71 seconds (variable, ranged from 0.47 - 1.22 seconds) for the next 7 shots, 3 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
Small Basic JPEG

0.49 second

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots, 3 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW

0.48 second

0.48 second for 4 shots, then 2.0 seconds (highly variable, ranged from 0.5 - 4.2 seconds) for the next 16 shots, 8 seconds to clear*.

Single Shot mode
RAW + JPEG

0.66 second

0.66 second for 3 shots, then a pretty steady 2.3 seconds for the next 17 shots, 9 seconds to clear*.

Early shutter
penalty?

Yes

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.34 second (2.96 frames per second);
5 frames total;
3.5 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over 5 shots, then slows to an average of 0.61 seconds (variable, ranged from 0.35 to 1.19 second) (1.63 fps average) for the next 15 shots.
Continuous mode
Small Basic JPEG
0.36 second (2.78 frames per second);
9 frames total;
2.5 seconds to clear*
Time per shot, averaged over 9 shots, then slows to a pretty steady average of 0.58 seconds (1.72 fps average) for the next 11 shots.

Continuous mode
RAW

0.37 second (2.74 frames per second);
3 frames total;
8 seconds to clear*

0.37 seconds for the first 3 frames, then slows to an average of 1.81 seconds (highly variable, ranged from 0.35 - 4.03 second) (0.55 fps average) for the remaining 17 shots.

Continuous mode
RAW + JPEG

0.37 second (2.70 frames per second);
3 frames total;
9 seconds to clear*

0.37 seconds for the first 3 frames, then slows to a pretty steady average of 2.49 seconds (0.40 fps average) for the remaining 17 shots.

Flash recycling

4.62 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity and other settings such as NR can also affect cycle times and burst mode performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are good, at about 0.51 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and the camera was able to capture over 13 frames before slowing down. RAW mode was 0.48 seconds per shot, but the K200D had to slow down after 4 frames to flush to the card, which took 8 seconds, even with a very fast SD card. Continuous speed is about average, at about 2.96 frames per second, but the buffer filled after only 5 large/fine JPEGs. RAW continuous mode managed 2.74 frames per second for only 3 frames before slowing. Once its buffer is full, the K200D can continue taking shots, but the interval between them is often highly variable, ranging from a fraction of a second to slightly over 4 seconds between frames. The flash takes 4.62 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is pretty good considering its power.

One annoying aspect of the Pentax K200D is that it "penalizes" you for pressing the shutter early. If you press the shutter button again too quickly after the previous shot, the camera will just sit there until you release the shutter button and press it again. This behavior is somewhat common in digicams, but is almost unheard of in DSLRs.

 

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

7,853 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are very fast. (Note that download speeds can also be limited by card speed; the number above was measured with a very fast SanDisk SD card.)


Bottom line, the Pentax K200D is a very responsive camera, able to handle average family shots as well as faster action in short bursts.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Below average battery life for an SLR.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
Alkaline Disposable Batteries,
(CIPA standard)
80
2500mAh NiMH Rechargeable Batteries,
(CIPA standard)
400
Lithium Disposable Batteries,
(CIPA standard)
550

The Pentax K200D uses four AA batteries for power, and ships with a set of disposables. Battery life is a bit below average for an SLR, so we recommend you pick up a couple sets of good quality NiMH rechargeable batteries and keep them freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Pentax K200D accepts SD/SDHC cards, though no card is included.

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
1GB Memory Card
Fine Normal
Basic
RAW
RAW+
JPG
3872 x 2592
Images
(Avg size)
207
4.9 MB
352
2.9MB
601
1.7 MB
60
17.1 MB
47
21.8 MB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 18:1 1.8:1 -
3008 x 2000
Images
(Avg size)
344
3.0 MB
584
1.8 MB
999
1.0 MB
- -
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 18:1 - -
1824 x 1216
Images
(Avg size)
924
1.1 MB
1,548
661 KB
2,626
390 KB
- -
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 17:1 - -

The table above shows the approximate capacity of a 1GB card, file sizes and compression ratios at each image size/quality setting. We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/SDHC memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 2 or 4GB or larger one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings or if you plan on shooting in RAW mode. (Check the shopping link above. Cards are really cheap these days, so there's no reason to skimp.)

 

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