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06-01-2012, 06:53 AM   #1
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Should I go from K20D to K5

I have a K20 that I have been loving for the last 4 years but I I find myself getting angry with speed and autofocus and I have a chance to get the K-5 at a good price... The thing is.. I do love my K20 and it is still an amazing camera for me so it could be just the thrill of getting something new...

Is it worth it? or should I just pick up a new lens instead

just to add... I do shoot a lot of low light and action... (I don't use flash and have kids)

06-01-2012, 07:00 AM   #2
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I say definitely, specially if you shoot low light and action. I have a K7(Same sensor as the K20?) awesome camera but my first Dslr was a K-r. And I have to be honest, I miss the Kr's high ISO capabilities that would able me to shoot at low lights much easier(I miss shooting at 3200 ISO or even 6400 /: ), but the k7 is more sturdier and has more option that I love thus I went for it. If you get the k5 you get the best of both worlds, also if you can get the k5 for cheap, then why not right? Good luck
06-01-2012, 07:22 AM   #3
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I would never turn down a K-5 at a good price just on principle. I upgraded to a K-5 from a K20D, and to me, it's about a stop of difference in low light. I was comfortable shooting up to 800 ISO on the K20D, it wasn't preferable, but it' didn't kill my pictures. Using the same standard, I'll go to 1600 ISO on the K-5. It's amazing how much difference that makes. I got a shot of a moose a while ago, where you could barely see the moose with the naked eye, but he came out great in the image. But these are relatively minor differences. When my wife has the K-5 andy I have the K20D (like on our walk yesterday) I'm not walking around thinking "oh darn she has the better camera." For 90% of our shots the differences are minimal. But the K-5 shots are all marginally better. The K-5 is always the first camera out the door. But the K20D is not that far behind and produces excellent images.
06-01-2012, 07:41 AM   #4
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06-01-2012, 07:50 AM   #5
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I upgraded from a K20 in January. I have written a couple of times that I had made the decision to not upgrade being really satisfied. Then I ran across a sale at Samy's Camera in LA - some wonderful person made a post here, that they had a tremendous price. I went to their website, saw $750 and just ordered as I had already saved up. I am in no way sorry that I placed the order.

I do low light ambient landscapes / cityscapes and the ISO 80 and great dynamic range of the K5 is really worth wild. It is everything folks say it is. The other aspect for me may be small to others, but they moved the external wired shutter release from the left to the right hand side of the camera, so now it does NOT interfere with an L Bracket. This is great news for me. The user interface is REALLY improved, and the electronic level is absolutely wonderful (I was not really thinking that I would use it that much, but its great - especially how it is integrated into live view). I had dismissed the live view capability, but when used on a tripod it really shines (especially when panning and in the dark). The one main improvement would be the addition of focus peaking from the K-01, and a better design of the SD card door (the K20 was an absolutely perfect design). I would expect this to be in the K5 replacement. Overall, the sensor over the K20 is really that much improved. Autofocus I believe is improved substantially, but probably still behind Canon and Nikon, however I am not the best judge since I tend to focus to infinity anyways (one benefit of landscapes).

Now with the pending replacement of the K5, you will get camera envy with the new model. I bought the K20 at the end of its model run for a great price. For me that is the way to go. I skipped a model, the K20 was still VERY useable for everything I wanted it for, and could have pretty much waited another 2 years for the end or the K5 replacement (in order to get some good pricing). For me and what I do, this is working out exceptionally well. There will always be a capability that I could use, but is it critical? For me the K5 has everything. I still feel a bit guilty about upgrading, I sold the K20 to a good home (she wanted to photograph antique teacups in her home studio, and the K20 is perfect for this), so for right now all is well here in Tumbleweed.

06-01-2012, 08:13 AM   #6
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In a word...yes. I've kept my K20 as the back up camera and I still love mine but, it's K5 all the way now.
06-01-2012, 09:10 AM   #7
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OK... I'll do it! I'm excited
06-01-2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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I'm with everyone else. I got my K5 about 2 months ago - to upgrade my K20D - and don't regret it a bit. As Norm noted, the K20D performs great when there's enough light - but sometimes there isn't. A perfect example - I've got 3 kids graduating from high school this year. The ceremony for 2 of them was last week. If all I would have had would have been the K20D I probably wouldn't even have tried for shots of the ceremony inside the church - and just waited for the group shots outside afterwards. With the K5 I was able to get a bunch of shots of the ceremony itself - at 1600 & even some at 3200 - which looked better than shots I would have gotten at 800 with the K20D. Our other senior graduates next week - in a large auditorium (so not much light I imagine) - and I have every confidence I'll be able to get shots in there as well.

The K20D has served me very well for all the high school sports & events - I just had to work within its limitations. With the K5, there are just far less limitations, so more opportunities. And the K20D makes a great backup, so you don't have to waste time switching lenses at events.

Good luck with your decision,


06-01-2012, 09:57 AM   #9
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Upgraded from the K20 to the K5 when it appeared and never regretted it, and I'm sure you won't either.
06-01-2012, 10:10 AM   #10
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Yes, 100% for sure. I remember the K20D turning all pinkish once I hit ISO3200, but with the K-5, there's none of that pink banding at any ISO setting. I can live with the noise at the pixel level because it doesn't really show on web resolutions and smaller prints, and can be easily fixed with NR software, but the pink banding really frustrated me with the K20D.

Here's an example of the pink/purple banding that always came up on the K20D - absolutely none of that with the K-5 even at ISO12800.

Push the exposure at all and it gets real ugly real fast

Autofocus and general responsiveness of the K-5 is also a lot better than the K20D.

I say go for it and never look back. The K-5 is really a game-changer for Pentaxians.

(I did end up leaving the K-5 as I needed more autofocus and capabilities, but I really enjoyed using the K-5 apart from the mirror flop issues)
06-01-2012, 10:15 AM   #11
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All the leapers say yes. I haven't leapt, and I'll say... it depends. Where the K5 beats the K20 AFAIK: high-ISO, size, DR, AF, video. Do the K-01 and K30 match the K5 there? I've considered the K-01 as a possible supplement to my K20D, as a more pocketable platform for smaller lenses. And will the upcoming K5 replacement just smoke those more primitive models? Yes, I have no doubt that the K5 is superior to the K20D, and you'll be quite happy with it. I just have this notion that the newest camera (yet to be announced) will satisfy longer than the old top camera at the end of its model life. Leap if you will. Have fun!
06-01-2012, 10:49 AM   #12
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The K5 is a great camera. But it's a tad smaller than the K20D and if you have big hands you may prefer holding the earlier model.
If you are interested in video you might want to buy the K-01 instead -- cheaper and more versatile in the video world.
06-02-2012, 03:59 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by paxye Quote
I have a K20 that I have been loving for the last 4 years but I find myself getting angry with speed and autofocus and I have a chance to get the K-5 at a good price... I do shoot a lot of low light and action...
Wow, how did you manage to read what was going through my mind last December? The difference is, I took the plunge and got the K-5 and sold my K20D and haven't had one microsecond of regret. In my experience, there is a quantum leap from the K20D to the K-5, and I can't think of a single reason why you should not make the upgrade. The K-5 is a fantastic camera in practically every respect.
06-02-2012, 05:03 PM   #14
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I upgraded from the K20D to the K-5. I was very pleased with my K20D, but sometimes had difficulty with needing higher ISO and better focusing. I found it in the K-5.

If you're interested, you can see my review which is my opinion on the direct comparison between the two cameras.

Pentax K-5 - Digital SLRs - Pentax Camera Reviews and Specifications

By the way, I still keep my K20D as a backup and second camera.

Last edited by klh; 06-02-2012 at 06:55 PM.
06-04-2012, 09:18 AM   #15
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I did this just last week. The K20D is now on it's way to my daughter (who is thrilled to be getting it).

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