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02-16-2011, 05:08 PM   #1
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Any opinions on used 20d vs. new Kx?

I am a complete newbie and don't actually own a dslr. Back in the day I was very happy with my k1000 film camera and today I am VERY unhappy with my Olympus SP600UZ superzoom. What a piece of crap. Anyway, I had pretty much decided on the Kx (I must admit I'm attracted to the red and the white versions). Had been considering the Canon T1i, but the Kx is cheaper, which is a big bonus. What started me wondering though, is that while going through the photos on this site, I noticed an awful lot were taken with the 20d (and 10d). I really don't know much about this camera (I researched the Kx to death) other than that, when new, it was a much more expensive camera than the Kx, but that it can be bought for Kx type prices used. So . . . I'm not sure if that would be a wise move or not. I take mostly indoor and outdoor family gathering pics, the occasional landscape, and would love to get into portraits (but taking good portraits looks like a tough art, but I'd still like to aspire to it). Any thoughts from anyone would be appreciated before I make either a dumb or smart move. Thanks.

02-16-2011, 05:21 PM   #2
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I would go with the Kx. I have one and it is GREAT for indoor family shots. This is where the K20 will lack. High ISO on the K20 cannot compare to the Kx. Where the K20 is better is at low ISO (100-200). The K20 is also weather sealed and the Kx is not, not sure if this is important to you. The Kx also has video and the K20 does not.

There are other minor differences but I suggest asking yourself which are more important to you:

Low ISO (K20) vs High ISO (Kx) performance

Weather sealed (K20) vs non (Kx)

No video (K20) vs video (Kx)

Used K20 vs New Kx
02-16-2011, 05:27 PM   #3
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K20D was old, chunky with slow AF. Get the K-x.
02-16-2011, 05:43 PM   #4
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K20D = intervalometer, focus points in viewfinder, battery grip, weather resistant. dedicated SR switch, 2 dials.
K-x - high ISO performance, small size.

The reason you see so many K10D/K20D shots is they have been out longer.


Last edited by SpecialK; 02-18-2011 at 07:07 PM.
02-16-2011, 05:46 PM   #5
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thanks for the insight, but the k20d isn't really that old, is it?
02-16-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Technologies advance fast, and the K20D wasn't really that great on performance when it was new. The Pentax DSLR AF performance jump started from the K-m which is the model after the K20D. Good high iso performance starts with the K-x, which is 2 models after the K20D. K-r & K-5 are supposed to be great as well but seem to be buggy so far.
02-16-2011, 06:02 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by wlachan Quote
K20D was old, chunky with slow AF. Get the K-x.
Whilst relatively speaking this is true, the K20D is not a complete AF slouch, nor does being 'chunky' make it necessarily a less favourable body. I have both and prefer the ergonomics of the K20D as well as its build. The performance may be slower but can still do the job.

OP, Do a search on the comparison between these cameras and you'll see lots of previous discussions on the topic.
02-17-2011, 05:55 AM   #8
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ok, thanks. I guess I should have done that in the first place. For some reason, I thought I had come up with an idea that nobody had ever thought before. Thanks for all the answers. Jim

02-17-2011, 07:04 AM   #9
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Hi Jim. I've had my white K-x for a few months, and the longer I have it, the more I come to appreciate it. It can be a bit buggy -- the e-dial has a mind of its own, live view focus is hit or miss and it has some battery issues. I don't know what issues the K20D has.

I love the white body -- it's definitely a sexy camera. It feels amateurish to me, though, in comparison to black bodies. It's a toss up between looking pro or looking cool. I chose cool. :P

The image quality is fantastic -- especially when shooting brightly colored scenes. It handles colors really well. The kit lens is great, but limiting. I'd definitely suggest getting the bundle with the 55-300 as well. Did you check out the K-x threads here? There are some amazing photos posted that really show what this camera can do.
02-17-2011, 08:16 AM   #10
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I owned both the K20D and the K-x together for about a year and my opinion is the K20d performed better for what I was using it for. Landscape and nature photography. The K-x is a wonderful camera and is capable of beautiful pictures, but is lacking the top data display and focus indicator overlay in the viewfinder that the K20D has and the K20D is more customizable. Color saturation with the K20D was far better imo as well.

Granted the low-light and high ISO performance is not as good with the K20D and the K20D does not do video. The K20D does not have highlight and shadow correction either, which works very well with the K-x and makes indoor low light photos more pleasing to the eye. I have examples of pictures from both cameras on my flickr page (fccwpe64) that you are more than welcome to check out.

I ended up giving my K-x to my daughter and buying the K-5 which is really better than the best that either the K-x or K20D has to offer. Ergonomically I like the heft of the K20D with battery grip where the K-x is smaller and weighs far less. Batteries......... The k-x, as you know, takes AA's which are easy to find anywhere and the Energizer lithiums will last quite awhile. The K20D proprietary rechargeable will outlast any AA out there and if you get the battery grip for it (an option not available for the K-x) you battery life is doubled.

That's my opinion and my experience. Whatever you choose, have fun and enjoy! Once you do make your purchase, post some photos!
02-18-2011, 02:28 PM   #11
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TO me a no brainer, the 20D all the way. Just having two dials and the customisation the camera allows .... a Kx would drive me nuts.
02-19-2011, 10:58 AM   #12
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If you are going to shoot video, the K20D doesn't. End of debate.

How much control do you want over the camera? The K20D is very customizable, the Kx is much less so. The big difference for me is the ability to adjust the sensor to compensate for focusing issues with lenses. Modern lens quality control is frankly awful.

The K20D is much more rugged and has weather sealing but to fully take advantage of that you need to buy sealed lenses. That's expensive. The ruggedness comes at the cost of a substantially heavier camera. I say the K20D is a much better landscape camera.

If your subjects move about, the the Kx has better autofocus, not great but better. Really good continuous autofocus is expensive. The Kx is better in low light. If you shoot indoors a lot or in poor light, that's a consideration.

I'd buy either before the T1i. Its sensor isn't as good as either Pentax and it just feels cheaply built. The T2i has a really nice sensor. Still don't like the build quality but they don't seem to fall apart.
02-19-2011, 10:39 PM   #13
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Thanks. The T1i and the Xsi are the two cameras I'm also considering (or possibly even the XS--you can buy one refurbished for only $400). But after spending quite a bit of time looking at the Kx picture thread, I'm REALLY impressed with lots of the images taken by the Kx. If I can learn to take pics nearly as good as some I've seen on the Kx thread, I'll be real satisfied. I spent a little time on the Canon forum and checked out the portrait section (because portraits are something I'd like to get a whole lot better at) and they all were great--but they all were also taken by professional photographers, and looked it. A little too professional for my taste. At least when I checked out the portaits here at Pentax, they looked real, and like they were taken by non-professional photographers (and I mean that in a good way). Besides, I can get a whole lot more for the money if I buy a Kx vs. the T1i.
02-19-2011, 10:43 PM   #14
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PS. Can anyone tell me what a Super Tak is? I know it must be a lens made by a company called Takumar, but I sure have never heard of Super Tak. I've seen some shots on this site taken with Super Tak lenses and they look really good.
02-19-2011, 11:29 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by jjhenders Quote
PS. Can anyone tell me what a Super Tak is? I know it must be a lens made by a company called Takumar, but I sure have never heard of Super Tak. I've seen some shots on this site taken with Super Tak lenses and they look really good.
It's just shorthand for Super-Takumar. Asahi Optical Co. made lenses with the Takumar brand name and cameras branded Pentax. Various series of Takumars include Super, Super-Multi-Coated and SMC, which broadly describe the lens coatings. Most lenses with those names have similar features, mostly irrelevant to using them on a DSLR. Some older specialty lenses have different names like Tele, Macro or Fish-Eye. There are older series called Auto, and lenses meant for Pentax 6x7 cameras with 6x7 in the name.

I'm skipping a lot of fussy details here, but basically Super-Takumars have simpler lens coatings than Super-Multi-Coating or SMC lenses. It's hard to be exact because coating technology was being improved constantly. Early lenses might have one layer, and later lenses three or more. The coatings make a subtle difference in color and contrast, and are less resistant to flare than later lenses.

Asahi tried and often succeeded in making these lenses the finest available at the time, in both optics and build. You can pick up one of these 50 year old lenses that's well-used, and it is very rare for it to not work great. If someone was making these lenses the same way today, they'd all have 4-figure price tags.

In the mid-70s, they began to make Pentax-branded lenses, which all have the K-mpunt. The Takumar brand was used on some budget lenses afterwards. Some bonehead decided that, because these lenses used cheaper coatings.
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