Pentax debuts entry-level dSLR, lenses

The K2000 slips into the product line below the K200D

Pentax has introduced a new entry-level model that perplexes me a bit. The K2000, which will be known as the K-m everywhere but here, is priced the same as its slightly older sibling, the K200D--that competitive $700 mark occupied by the Canon EOS Rebel XS and the Nikon D60, among others--but makes a few tradeoffs. Here are some basics:

  Pentax K2000 Pentax K200D Canon Rebel XS Nikon D60
Sensor 10.2-megapixel CCD 10.2-megapixel CCD 10.1-megapixel CMOS 10.2-megapixel CCD
AF system 5 points 11 points 7 points 3 points
Maximum ISO sensitivity 3200 1600 1600 1600
LCD 230,000 dots, 2.7 inches 230,000 dots, 2.7 inches 230,000 dots, 2.5 inches 230,000 dots, 2.5 inches
Viewfinder 96% coverage, 0.85x magnification 96% coverage, 0.85x magnification 95% coverage, 0.81x magnification 95% coverage, 0.80x magnification
Image stabilization Sensor shift Sensor shift Optical Optical
Mfr. Price $699.95 $699.95 $699.99 $699.95

In exchange for a lighter, slightly more compact but less weather-protected body and a less sophisticated AF system, Pentax includes an extra stop of sensitivity, a bundled flash unit, and an updated user interface. The f3.5-5.6 18-55mm kit lens is also one of Pentax's new DA L series budget lenses, which the company says uses the same optics as the older models but uses less expensive construction. Is a slightly lighter body and a flash worth it to you?

The lens is the first in a series that will also include a 50-200mm model for inclusion in a two-lens kit in early 2009. The single-lens kit is slated to ship in November.

For the high-end lens crowd, Pentax also announced a DA* $1,499.95 60-250mm f4 ED[IF] SDM (ultrasonic motor), scheduled to ship in November, and a $799.95 55mm f/1.4 SDM model for December shipment. The latest accessory is the AF160FC Ring Flash, shipping in October 2008 for $499.95.

Finally, the company announced a DA 15mm f/4 ED AL Limited lens and 1.4X Rear Converter SDM with as-yet unknown pricing and availability.

About the author

Lori Grunin is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. She's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 1988.


Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments