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07-01-2009, 04:00 PM   #1
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K20d from QVC arrived

I don't know if you folks remember me from this thread , but I morphed from a k2000 to a k20d.

I've only purchase about 3 things from QVC, but I was aware the they have a generous return policy, and at $699 for the k20d kit with the 18-55 DA II lens, it seemed like a good opportunity to at least try it out.

I was concerned that it would feel too big and too heavy, and it's big and heavy for certain.

My father is gifting me with a slew of Canon film slr's and EOS lenses from the late 1980's. He said that I can keep or sell them. So, after my k20d arrived, I went down to the local camera store and looked at the 450D (xsi). It's $649 body only (don't want their kit lens), so it's in the same price range as the K20D.

My impression is that the K20d is much more camera for the $. I have a Panasonic FZ28 if I need a small lightweight camera that does take some decent shots, and I was planning on keeping it for just that. I thinking that I might just sell of the Canon stuff, and use the $$ to get some nice lenses and such for a pentax?

I really wish my local store carried Pentax, and I would really prefer to purchase from them, but they don't. They won't order it either. They did point out that I won't be able to get accessories for the Pentax and that it was a very noisy camera. I've been on the Adormama and B&H website, and it looks like all sorts of extras are available. I assume that they are just talking "salespeak".

Anyhow, I have been playing with and reading the manual of the K20d today, and it's not 100% familiar to me off the bat, but since I did really take the time to learn the many features of my FZ28 that I could use in the non-automatic modes, it's seems like I just need to learn where to go to access the various settings to feel comfortable with using the K20D. Lots of reading and playing should take care of that.

Now, I OFTEN read that this is a bad choice for a first time DSLR. Ok, it's NO point and shot camera, but I must be missing else something here. Why couldn't I learn to use this as my first DSLR? I am will to spend the time to read the manual, and apply what skills I remember from my film slr experiences 100 years ago. My one weak point is that I enjoying learning about photography MUCH more than I enjoy screwing with convoluted PP programs. Some PP, ok, but tons of PP, not so much.

So, am I beating my head against the wall trying to get to know this camera over the next few weeks and then evaluating whether or not to keep it? What are the odds this will be an exercise in futility? Is this just a bad choice for a first DSLR?

So far, apart from being heavy, I like it. It feels "serious". I'm hoping that it won't seem that heavy after I get usde to it.


Last edited by Sew-Classic; 07-01-2009 at 04:29 PM.
07-01-2009, 04:11 PM   #2
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I think that the K20D is an awesome choice for a first DSLR. It was my first as well!

I did months of research before I bought mine in Jan09 and I have taken over 13000 clicks since. This camera never leaves me. I take it everywhere. Going DSLR opened my eyes to the world. The capabilities of the K20D have never left me wanting. Lens choices, features, weather proofing, it is just an awesome all-around camera. You are going to love it!
07-01-2009, 04:18 PM   #3
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From what you said, it is not your first SLR. Just because it's digital, the rules and methods of photography haven't changed. You shouldn't need to delve too deply into PP either. I use PSElements 5, but mostly just for converting RAW to jpeg and resizing for the web & email. I have saved a few stupid mistakes by being able to control the RAW development, but no real "darkroom magic". I have a K10D and will be buying a K20D as soon as savings lets me (lots of other goodies to spend money on). When your local salesman said that their were no accessories for Pentax, he was either outright lieing or he meant that he couldn't sell you any. Too bad for him. Places like B&H, Adorama, and many others will gladly exchange some of your money for the appropriate accessories for you.
Enjoy the camera. It's a wonderful tool.
07-01-2009, 04:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sew-Classic Quote
Now, I OFTEN read that this is a bad choice for a first time DSLR.
Not much difference between a k10D and a k20D. K10D was my first DSLR. Seriously, if you are committed to learning the camera, it will grow with you. It's a fine choice.

woof

07-01-2009, 04:54 PM   #5
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Hi SC
Well good for you! I think you'll find that the K20D isn't "too much camera" Photography hasn't changed THAT much since "100 years ago" and while the K20D doesn't have "scene modes" as a crutch, I doubt very seriously you will need them. If you can handle the K2000 you can handle a K20D. I've got only one tip for you, get the K20D "Magic Lantern Guide" I found it very helpful in clearly detailing some points that were merely mentioned in the manual. I use mine in conjunction with the manual. The manual is pretty clearly written, but the Magic Lantern Guide goes into much greater detail on some subjects.
The only "accessory" I know that's avaliable for Canikon that's not available for Pentax is a scuba divers waterproof housing. Everything else can be found at B&H, Adorama, KEH etc etc. So while that sales person wasn't lying, you have to get pretty esoteric to find an unavailable accessory.

NaCl(enjoy your new camera!)H2O
07-02-2009, 06:25 AM   #6
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Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions everyone!

What do you think about the noise issue that the local camaera store salesman mentioned?

I do understandthat the NR is off by default on the k20d and many of the reviews and comparisons for the K20D used that default setting and then compared it to cameras with the NR activated. Seems odd that they would compare apples to oranges, but....Whatcha think?

So far, I've been pleased with the K20d. I love the amount of customization. As far as images, I have only looked at the images on the back lcd not on the "big screen". Honestly, I'm not much of a pixel peeper. I'm only interested in getting nice 8X10's at the most with good dynamic range, and not an intrusive amount of noise. My high iso shots will be somewhat less common, but I'd like the option and flexibilty to use it and get nice results.

I've not noticed any problems with in camera metering that couldn't be addressed by changing the metering mode in conjuction with the AE lock or adjusting the exposure comp. - at least not so far.

Oddly enough, the built-in flash on the k20d actually has LESS adjustability than the flash on my Panisonic FZ28. I'm assuming that to get the utmost in flah control, I'll need a dedicated flahs for the hot shoe.

And the k20d is feeling less heavy everytime I pick it up.
07-02-2009, 07:14 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sew-Classic Quote
Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions everyone!

What do you think about the noise issue that the local camaera store salesman mentioned?

And the k20d is feeling less heavy everytime I pick it up.
k20d is also my first dslr camera, it was heavy, but as you say it get's lighter everytime you pick it up. Then if you pick up someone elses camera they practically fly through the air.

Noise issue? I don't really understand that one, I've had no whatsoever noise issues with my camera.

I've had my for about 6months, and I love it. The 18-55 lense is pretty good, I just got it myself(I only had some old lenses before) and it's handy.

As I changed directly from a digital half manual camera to the k20d with old lenses which meant, all manual shutter, focus etc. The first week I thought "hell no, I can't do this, I'm sending this back". But, it changed. Now I love it, I wouldnt change it for anything and I just dream and drool about new lenses for my baby.
07-02-2009, 07:55 AM   #8
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I don't think noise is much of an issue

S-C check out the High ISO thread here:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/64295-pentax-high-...post-here.html and you will see that you can obtain pretty darn good results even up to 3200 with the K20D. It is easily the best high ISO camera I've ever owned. I've had very little noise issues with it.
Taken with the K20D and Sigma 24mm F1.4: ISO 1600, f1.7, 1/30 sec.


Shot was taken from a moving boat with a monopod. You can see many more like this (and much better!) at the link I pasted above.

NaCl(the K20D is a very good low light camera)H2O

07-02-2009, 08:19 AM   #9
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K20d on QVC??? With the amount of stuff my grandma gets off of there, maybe I should be expecting to see her with one? Not expecting it though unfortunately.

The K10d was my first attempt into any SLR system as all the uncles stowed their slrs away before I ever had any interest, and I don't think I'm having any problems beyond a slight LBA.

You'll be fine, congrats.
07-02-2009, 09:29 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sew-Classic Quote
Thanks for the encouragement and suggestions everyone!

What do you think about the noise issue that the local camera store salesman mentioned?

I do understandthat the NR is off by default on the k20d and many of the reviews and comparisons for the K20D used that default setting and then compared it to cameras with the NR activated. Seems odd that they would compare apples to oranges, but....Whatcha think?
I don't think this is a weak point of the K20D, because it does retain more detail at high ISO. You can always apply noise reduction later if you want, with more flexibility and adjustments, but you don't have that choice on some of the competition. There is an issue with very long exposures on the K20D, I think over 30 seconds. Another type of noise reduction called dark frame subtraction is always on. This is a problem for some types of astronomy photos but not a big deal ortherwise.

At some point you have to abandon lab tests that search for any small reason to differentiate between cameras that are pretty darn close, and go into the real world. Take a walk down your street after sunset and pretend it's an exotic destination. Take some photos and see how far you can push ISO before your photos suffer. Every digital camera can be set to an ISO that can look pretty bad, but not all shots will be ruined at this setting. Some naturally mask the noise problems, some can be saved by noise reduction, some can be converted to B&W and some are so strong in other ways that the noise is not a problem. And some are going to be just bad because the ISO was too high.

You mentioned that the K20D might be a bad choice for a first dSLR. The K20D is perfect for this sort of learning and problem-solving. Take a bunch of pictures and identify the limits of ISO. With that information, the camera can be set to avoid the highest ISOs or warn you before using them or stay permanently on the lowest number or control ISO in ten other ways. The work pays off because the camera is very flexible. It may require some effort to attack each area, but the result is a camera that should shoot exactly the way you want it to.
07-02-2009, 11:27 AM   #11
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QuoteQuote:
Sew-Classic: My impression is that the K20d is much more camera for the $. I have a Panasonic FZ28 if I need a small lightweight camera that does take some decent shots, and I was planning on keeping it for just that.
I owned both of these cameras, but never seemed to shoot with the FZ28--I love the K20 that much. So, just a couple of weeks ago, I gifted the FZ28 to a family member.

I think the noise handling of the K20 is one of its strengths, unless you are really into pre-set noise reduction by the manufacturers. As others have said, ISO performance is good even up to 3200, and, at times, I get nice quality @ 6400.

You are going to fall for the K20--big time. Best to you!
07-02-2009, 02:26 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Just1MoreDave Quote
At some point you have to abandon lab tests that search for any small reason to differentiate between cameras that are pretty darn close, and go into the real world.
Yes, that's why I bought this camera from qvc. I looked at it as a great opportunity to USE the camera for 30 days. Love it- keep it, or sent it back.

Thanks everyone for the thoughts and experiences with this camera!
07-04-2009, 05:01 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sew-Classic Quote
Yes, that's why I bought this camera from qvc. I looked at it as a great opportunity to USE the camera for 30 days. Love it- keep it, or sent it back.

Thanks everyone for the thoughts and experiences with this camera!
Let us know what you do.... Reading your posts you are No beginner,,are you?? Dave
07-04-2009, 05:35 AM   #14
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I definitely consider myself a beginner. One that reads the manual, but without a doubt, a beginner.

Yes, I did a very limited bit a tinkering with a film SLR a LOOOONG time ago. More recently I've worked with my Panasonic FZ28 to refresh my memory on the basics and learn more about the dealings of the digital image capture realm.

One thing that I notice about the K20D as I wander around taking photos of odd things around the house and yard (the dogs are still seeing spots), is that the camera doesn't lock the exposure with the shutter button half way pressed unless you also press the AE-L button or change the default setting for this in the custom menu.

This almost threw me for a loop. I tend to use the center focus point and then re compose from there. If I was also using the spot or center weighted metering, the exposure settings would change. so, I dug out the manual to try and figure out what was going on. Not a faul of the K20D, just different from how I expected the camera to behave and I simply need to be aware and adjust my approach.

The size and weight are now a non-issue with just a little bit of use.

Honestly, There are things that I don't like about it. But, there are things that I don't like about every DSLR on the market that I have considered. Nope, no manufacturer has built the perfect DSLR for me. After holding, and playing with a few, I think the Pentax DSLR's were the closest.

I'm still contemplating the Canon 450D (XSi), but less and less so as I play with the K20D.

BTW, this forum is a FANTASTIC resource!
07-08-2009, 10:56 AM   #15
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I sent the K20D back to QVC for a refund.

It wasn't a bad camera. Personally, I didn't warm up to it enough to justify the $700 to keep it. Perhaps over time I would have come to like it. but I just wasn't going to have anymore time to play with it within the 30 day return period. I'll be taking care of a sick relative for a few weeks, and I wanted to resolve the keep it or return it decision before hand. I'd sum it up by saying that it just wasn't the camera for me.

At the moment, I'm thinking that I might just ditch the DSLR idea altogether. Dunno...

Last edited by Sew-Classic; 07-08-2009 at 11:18 AM.
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