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*September 22, 2008 - *At the Photokina 2008 show in Cologne, Germany today, Pentax introduced the K2000 digital SLR, to be sold in a complete package with an 18-55mm lens and an external flash for $699.95 beginning in November. The 10.2-megapixel camera features a 2.7-inch LCD screen, built-in sensor-shift image stabilization, a sensor-shaking dust removal system and a dedicated Help button to display on-screen guidance for SLR newcomers. Another user assist comes from the Auto Picture mode, which chooses the most appropriate preset scene mode from five choices by analyzing the image at hand. Users can also choose from a broader array of preset scene modes as they see fit, and experiment with a variety of digital filters and effects.
In addition to the AF200FG external flash included in the kit (with a guide number of 20 at ISO 100/m), the camera body also includes a pop-up flash.
The K2000 is a compact 4.8' x 3.6' x 2.7', weighing in at 20.8 ounces including batteries (4 AA cells). Pentax estimates that a set of lithium batteries will last for 1650 shots. SD and SDHC memory cards are supported.
While the K2000 is designed for beginners, the camera does support RAW file capture and burst mode shooting at 3.5 frames per second. Three metering choices are available: 16-segment multi-pattern, center-weighted and spot. There is a five-point auto focus system, with the option to enable only the center sensor for spot focus. ISO settings range from 100 to 3200. The K200 also incorporates dynamic range enhancements to minimize loss of detail in highlights and shadowed areas.
The kit lens is the smc Pentax DA L 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL . The company also anounced a compatible long-zoom lens, the smc Pentax DA L 50-200mm f/f-5.6 ED, which will ship in a two-lens-and-camera kit (without the external flash) in early 2009, at a price to be announced.