January 24, 2008: Pentax will expand its DSLR range with the addition of a new pro-sumer model, the 14-megapixel K20D, and a new 10-megapixel model, the K200D, which is targeted at entry-level users.
The K20D’s development was based on the popular K10D and the new camera has a similar dust-proof, water-resistant body construction. However, it adds several new functions and provides significant improvements to picture quality. Retailing for $1,999 with the smc Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II lens, the 14.6-megapixel K20D features a specially-developed CMOS sensor that measures 23.4 x 15.6 mm and has been designed to complement Pentax’s interchangeable lenses. A new Live View function allows photographers to view scenes on the 2.7-inch LCD screen before shooting. It also provides confirmation of the in-camera shake reduction function.
Front view of the K20D.
Rear view of the K20D.
Top view of the K20D.
A new Custom Image function allows users to select one of six pre-set modes and adjust the image’s tone, saturation, contrast, and sharpness to their preferences. A preview of the adjusted image can be recorded for checking the effect before the shot is taken. The K20D also includes a dynamic-range expansion function to minimise the risk of blown highlights and blocked-up shadows in high-contrast shots. With approximately 1EV of expansion effect, it assures richly graded images.
The K20D’s image processor is the Pentax Real Image Engine (PRIME), which features DDR2 (Double Data Rate 2) memory to assure speedy image processing and high-speed data transfer. Pentax’s SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism is improved in the new model and offers between 2.5 and 4 f-stops of shutter speed compensation. The built-in dust removal (DR) system includes a coating on the low-pass filter that repels dust, coupled with a sensor vibrating system. Dust that is shaken off the image sensor will fall onto an adhesive sheet positioned at the bottom of the SR unit. A new Dust Alert function lets the user confirm the dust-adhesion status of the image sensor in advance.
Shooting modes are similar to the K10D and include the Hyper Program function, which allows fast switching between the P and A or S modes as well as the Shutter/Aperture Priority mode. The K20D’s SAFOX VIII autofocus system features 11 sensor points with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle. Focus confirmation is provided in the viewfinder, which uses a glass pentaprism and offers a 95% field of view and 0.85x magnification.
The new K200D is designed mainly for family users and digital camera beginners and sports a 23.5mm x 15.7mm CCD image sensor with 10.2-megapixel (effective) resolution. Retailing for $1119 (with the smc Pentax DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II lens), it includes the same PRIME image processor, Custom Image function and SR system and the K20D. along with the same dust removal system. Dust and waterproof seals have been applied in 60 areas in the body, including the shutter release button, switches, levers and dials.
Front view of the K200D.
Rear view of the K200D.
Top view of the K200D.
The viewfinder combines a lightweight penta-mirror with Pentax’s Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen and offers 96% field-of-view coverage plus 0l85x magnification. A new Auto Picture mode automatically sets the most appropriate shooting mode (such as Portrait, Landscape and Macro) for a given subject or scene and automatically adjusts white balance, saturation, contrast and sharpness levels, allowing the photographer to concentrate on composition.
Both cameras are supplied with a comprehensive software bundle that includes Pentax Photo Laboratory 3 RAW data processor and Pentax Photo Browser 3 browser. The K20D also comes with Pentax Remote Assistant 3, camera control software. Optional battery grips are available for both cameras. Neither model has a HDMI interface but both offer USB 2.0 Hi-Speed compatibility and PictBridge support. For more information, visit www.crkennedy.com.au