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Oly E520 or Pentax K200D? Which would have better IQ, etc??
Hello:.

I pretty much ruled out the XSI. Reason being, I like the build quality of the Oly and Pentax better (they felt more solid)..

Now, I'm trying to decide between these two cameras. Has anyone debated between these two cameras (ruled out both nikon and canon)? Which one did you purchase, and why?.

They seem about equal on paper. Would one have better IQ over the other? Either one have issues focusing in a low light situation?.

Thx.....

Comments (8)

Phatjoe wrote:.

Hello:.

I pretty much ruled out the XSI. Reason being, I like the buildquality of the Oly and Pentax better (they felt more solid)..

Now, I'm trying to decide between these two cameras. Has anyonedebated between these two cameras (ruled out both nikon and canon)?Which one did you purchase, and why?.

I have a Pentax DS and a K10D, but were I buying my first DSLR I'd have no hesitation in getting either the E-520 or K200D as they're both great cameras..

I originally chose Pentax because the DS was a nice small camera and I was drawn to Pentax's FA Limited primes (although as it turns out I never did end up buying them). Now, though, Olympus is the better choice if small size and light weight are the primary considerations. Their kit lenses are also very good..

On the other hand, Pentax is a good choice if you need all-weather capabilities without wanting to fork out for the likes of an Oly E-3. Although only the top-end DA lenses are officially weather-sealed, I've been out in torrential rain for hours at a time with my FA 35mm f/2 lens, which is not sealed, and had no problems (apart from keeping rain off the front element, which is going to be a problem with any lens, sealed or not)..

They seem about equal on paper. Would one have better IQ over theother? Either one have issues focusing in a low light situation?.

The differences in image quality between the two are fairly small. The Pentax might do a bit better at higher ISOs but the difference isn't great. At low ISOs it's negligible..

I do know that the Pentax's low-light focussing isn't brilliant, but I couldn't say how it compares to the E-520's. Where the Pentax has the edge, however, is in the availability of fast primes like the 35mm f/2 or 50mm f/1.4 - these will get more light to the AF sensors, and mean you'll be able to use faster shutter speeds (and blur the background more, if that's what you want)..

If you do a lot of low-light shooting, I'd suggest the Pentax. If not, there's not a lot in it really - just go with the one that feels the nicest in your hands, has the more logical and easy-to-use control layout, most sensible menus, and so on..

~Andy Farrellhttp://www.caerphoto.com/http://flickr.com/photos/caerphoto/..

Comment #1

Phatjoe wrote:.

Hello:.

I pretty much ruled out the XSI. Reason being, I like the buildquality of the Oly and Pentax better (they felt more solid)..

Now, I'm trying to decide between these two cameras. Has anyonedebated between these two cameras (ruled out both nikon and canon)?Which one did you purchase, and why?.

They seem about equal on paper. Would one have better IQ over theother? Either one have issues focusing in a low light situation?.

Thx....

Based on everything I have read (I do not have experience with either the 520 or the K200) I think the OLY offers slightly more features for less $$. Both are good entry level DSLRs and both will take excellent shots. Both arguably have the best of the available kit lenses. In capable hands I think the overall IQ would be about the same. The Pentax will probably perform slightly better in low light..

The Oly has better (wider) exposure control, a better view finder, and generally better lenses overall (Before I get beat up, I'm saying that because the Oly lenses are specificaly designed for DSLR and the Pentax generally are not) but not so much better that I would make a decision based on that except at the high end. The Oly has MUCH better jpeg output selection, if that matters, frankly to me it really doesn't because I always shoot in RAW and would suggest that to anyone that asked..

In short I honestly think they are about equal in capability and cost. So as usual it all comes down to what YOU want, what YOU are comfortable with, and what YOU think..

Jim.

Olympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #2

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

Phatjoe wrote:.

Hello:.

I pretty much ruled out the XSI. Reason being, I like the buildquality of the Oly and Pentax better (they felt more solid)..

Now, I'm trying to decide between these two cameras. Has anyonedebated between these two cameras (ruled out both nikon and canon)?Which one did you purchase, and why?.

They seem about equal on paper. Would one have better IQ over theother? Either one have issues focusing in a low light situation?.

Thx....

Based on everything I have read (I do not have experience with eitherthe 520 or the K200) I think the OLY offers slightly more featuresfor less $$. Both are good entry level DSLRs and both will takeexcellent shots. Both arguably have the best of the available kitlenses. In capable hands I think the overall IQ would be about thesame. The Pentax will probably perform slightly better in low light..

The Oly has better (wider) exposure control, a better view finder,and generally better lenses overall (Before I get beat up, I'm sayingthat because the Oly lenses are specificaly designed for DSLR and thePentax generally are not) but not so much better that I would make adecision based on that except at the high end. The Oly has MUCHbetter jpeg output selection, if that matters, frankly to me itreally doesn't because I always shoot in RAW and would suggest thatto anyone that asked..

In short I honestly think they are about equal in capability andcost. So as usual it all comes down to what YOU want, what YOU arecomfortable with, and what YOU think..

Jim.

There are fors and against for both.The Pentax is weather sealed..

Jpegs from the camera can be just as good with either...depends on your preference..

The Pentax kit lens was designed to work with digital cameras as are a lot of the Pentax lenses but with the bonus that some of them can be used on 35mm cameras (film)....and if Pentax ever does come out with a ff model. Then there are the new da lenses..

The best Pentax lenses are as good as any from any brand. yes, some of those Oly lenses are very good....but the top level pro ones cost as much as a car..

I shoot mainly jpegs (K100d) and they are fine...the K200d is better than the K100d except for low light where I have a need for iso 3200..

Now...as to auto focus in low light....

The Pentax system is not as bad as many seem to make out....in fact there have been reviews where it rates as better than Nikons d40 d40x and d80......

Yes, it can be slow and hunt in low light...but in very low light manual focus is better to ME...in fact the best way to ME in very low light is to use manual focus lenses WITH the auto focus system...Pentax auto focus system is actually very very good in intself....

Most Pentax dslrs use 11 points with 9 cross type sensor (the lower level Ist*DL and DL2 used 3 point...all cross type).

As I have said before, I would rather have the Pentax system, with stabilization than a slightly faster system without it..

(K200d uses the same af, though maybe a little faster due to the higher capacity battery)With many of my old lenses I can only use the centre point, but that is fine..

As an example, it is 6 am here now and dark outside...I have one fluro light in this room aand it is not THAT bright. I have a Nikon 85 1.8 lens with a auto focus adapter on the K100d, this gives an effective 150mm 2.8 auto focus lens. This is light dim enough to be at iso 3200 and with the lens stopped to about f4 turning around in a circle I get shutter speeds of 1/6 to 1/40...af is almost instant and does not hunt (except when there is nothing to focus on, ie a bare blank light coloured wall). The stabilization means that you can just pick up a camera and shoot for the most part, something you can not always do without stabilization..

Though some Oly cameras are stabilized, there are few fast lenses that can take advantage of that to auto focus in low light unlike pentax when there more than just about anyone.. (lots of manual ones, like pentax)......and yes, there are those two f2 zooms for Oly (at a cost).

Neil..

Comment #3

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

The Oly has better (wider) exposure control, a better view finder,.

I disagree about the view finder..

And generally better lenses overall (Before I get beat up, I'm sayingthat because the Oly lenses are specificaly designed for DSLR and thePentax generally are not) but not so much better that I would make adecision based on that except at the high end..

I disagree about better lenses. Different lenses yes, better no. I and others favor pancake primes. I think Oly just recently came out with one. Pentax has three in current availability, and a bunch of other primes which aren't quite pancakes but are fast and very small physically. I don't think I can afford anyone's very high end lens, if I could I'd own Leica M cameras..

Consider yourself beat up with the obligatory wet noodle ..

Comment #4

My reasons for saying the viewfinder on the Oly was better was based on the specs listed on DP review..

E520Optical (Pentamirror, 95% coverage, 0.92x magnification)K200DOptical (Pentamirror, 96% coverage, 0.85x magnification.

Also I forgot to mention the burst rates on the Pentax are frankly bad, again if burst rate matters to you..

As for pancake primes. It's great Pentax has them and now Oly has them. However it only matters IF you want one. Most newbies, as I have stated before don't know pancake primes from waffles. And most of them won't care..

My point is that in reality they are about equal in image quality. The difference would be who is holding the camera..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #5

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

My reasons for saying the viewfinder on the Oly was better was basedon the specs listed on DP review..

E520Optical (Pentamirror, 95% coverage, 0.92x magnification)K200DOptical (Pentamirror, 96% coverage, 0.85x magnification.

Don't let the numbers blind you..

0.92x * 225 (square millimetres) = 2070,85 * ~370 (square millimetres, approximate APS-C size) = ~314.

I don't know if this is the correct way of calculating. However, I have compared a Pentax K100D against competitors (by holding different cameras in front of my eyes simultaneously, no less) and Pentax do have a (small) edge against all the others in the pentamirror class..

At the same time, Olympus have a bit smaller viewfinders. Both these differences from the mean are small, but when one compares the worst to the best performance they could make a difference.http://flickr.com/photos/iskender..

Comment #6

Maddogmd11 wrote:.

My reasons for saying the viewfinder on the Oly was better was basedon the specs listed on DP review..

E520Optical (Pentamirror, 95% coverage, 0.92x magnification)K200DOptical (Pentamirror, 96% coverage, 0.85x magnification.

The higher mag will lead to a darker image all other things being equal. I do prefer the higher mag if a pentaprism is used since the image will be brighter..

Also I forgot to mention the burst rates on the Pentax are franklybad, again if burst rate matters to you..

As for pancake primes. It's great Pentax has them and now Oly hasthem. However it only matters IF you want one. Most newbies, as Ihave stated before don't know pancake primes from waffles. And mostof them won't care..

Sad. I do hold out hope though..

My point is that in reality they are about equal in image quality.The difference would be who is holding the camera..

I agree with your basic premise. The ergonomics and the user matter more than everything else put together. Both are fine cameras and I'm please such choices exist. It's a good to have difficult choices of this type...

Comment #7

That arguing about these very subtle issues is basically pointless. And in the real world they seldom matter. I like the Pentax AND the Oly. I think both provide far better value then the Canikon group..

The overall differences are so small overall that for an entry level camera both will do more then the novice user could ask for. The Newbie needs to make the choice and most of us will exclaim the positive aspects of the systems we use and the negative aspects of the systems we don't use so what is the point. We cancel each other out..

The OP needs to make the decision and our inputs are for the most part of such a nit picking level that they should be ignored totally infavor of which camera is the most comfortable for the OP..

JimOlympus E-510 and a bunch of stuff to hang on it...

Comment #8

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