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07-20-2009, 12:14 AM   #1
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Is the K20D right for me? Hope so

Hi Guy's,

First I want to say thanks. This site is great. I've been learning a lot...still very green to the slr market though.

We've finally decided to step up from our p&s junk to something we can actually get some good quality pics of our kids and animals. I'm very excited!

The cameras mainly going to be used for:
1) Shooting my kids doing their various activities which include motocross, bmx riding/racing, and other misc pretty active activities. 90% of which is outdoors
2) Shooting various animals around our small farm doing who knows what.
3) Usual holiday and family get together shots. Which typically includes a lot of young, very active kids going nuts. We really miss a lot of great shots with our current p&s junk.

I started to go with a eos 40d because of the faster AF and 6.5fps...until I started to research lens. HOLY SMOKES the prices on those IS lenses are insane! I keep coming back to the k20d even though everyone seems to bash it regarding the poor sports/wildlife ablity of the camera. Both of which are my 2 top reasons for a new dslr unit. Budget wise, the IS and VR lenses required for the canons and nikons just aren't realistic for me. However, Pentax glass is obtainable because of the in body IS. That feature is very important to me. The new K7 is a little out of touch as well.

Do you think I will regret going with the k20 for what I'm looking to do? My main concern is the 3fps and the reports of slow AF. Other then that I love everything about it. Remember, I am coming from junk so any dslr will be a huge improvement.

Thanks for your time!

07-20-2009, 12:22 AM   #2
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You will be happy with the K20D. Nobody here on this forum bashes the K20D. I suppose you went on a Canon forum in the first place for suggestions? It's what happens, those Canikon fanboys are mad! And yes the K20D is good for all that you have listed. It is good for wildlife and sports also. Here are some links proving that.

Both taken with a K10D, the K20D is the successor of a K10D.

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/65451-panning.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/66453-motogp-racing-summ...july-09-a.html

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/330746-post24.html

And I know how expensivelenses IS lenses can be. That is one reason I bought my K-m/K2000. They have built-in anti-shake which allows you to use less expensive non IS lenses and even older lenses.

EDIT: Oh yeah, here are some wildlife shots with the K20D

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/post-your-photos/67123-some-real-ugly-critters.html
07-20-2009, 12:37 AM   #3
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Considering sports and wildlife/action photos are what you're after, you've probably answered your own concerns regarding the K20D's slower fps and AF limitations. If you really want a faster system with lightning fast AF, you'll have to invest a lot more money into a mid-range Canon or Nikon system. There's no compromise in that.

The K20D, however, is still a very decent and capable camera given those caveats, and is comparable in all other aspects to cameras twice its price. Lenses appropriate to your needs are expensive, regardless of system, by Pentax's would be comparatively cheaper.

All the best in your decision.
07-20-2009, 01:58 AM   #4
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I agree with Ash on this one and if you learn to focus manually and are quick at it which comes with practice and time you'll be taking photos on par with those using Canons and Nikons.

07-20-2009, 04:17 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by eshoremoto Quote
...regarding the poor sports/wildlife ablity of the camera.
I wouldn't say that here!

K20D is well capable of doing the photos you want.

Question is: do you know how to do it?
07-20-2009, 07:48 AM   #6
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Thank you guys for the quick help. The photo links from LeDave where great.

You guys are absolutely right about learning how to do it. I have a long way to go but can't wait to start! I think the reality is that the k20 will probably always be better then me.

Thanks again! This site is awesome! I'm gonna order my new baby today.
07-20-2009, 07:57 AM   #7
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It falls short regarding tracking af, fps is not really that important but the 20D just does not track a subject like a mid ramnge Canikon can and it is not as assure dunder low light conditions with regard to locking focus.

Other than that 'tis a fine bit of gear of a bit heavy for my liking.
07-20-2009, 08:30 AM   #8
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While I love my K20D, it wouldn't be my first choice for sports or anything requiring quick and accurate focusing. The more I use it with my DA* 50-135mm SDM lens, the more I'm disgusted with how slowly it focuses. I've also been a bit disappointed with the sharpness also...which I'm finding out isn't really a fault of the lens but appears to be a front/back focusing issue that I'm trying to track down. When it gets the focus right, it's a very sharp lens, especially in the f/4-11 range. F/2.8 is useless and becomes diffraction limited at F/16-22. Otherwise I LOVE IT!

I'm wondering out-loud if you wouldn't be better off with something like the Pentax X70 or, better yet, jump to the K-7?

Regards,
Terry

07-21-2009, 10:55 AM   #9
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Thanks again guys! I special ordered my k20d yesterday from a local shop. They gave me a great price( actually they even beat most of the BIG online discount places.) They were great to deal with and spent a lot of time with me. The owner is a big nikon guy but after spending time with him he agreed that the pentax was probably the best bet for me on considering my concerns... It's hard to beat the features/value of the k20d.

On an interesting note, he said that I'm maybe the 3rd person in the last 3-4 yrs who has asked him anything about Pentax. Pentax really needs to start a new marketing campaign or something. I could not find one store anywhere within 2hrs of my house that actually stocked Pentax equipment. I do live near 3 major cities and nothing. Doesn't make any sense!


I can't wait to start playing with it. I'm sure it's going to be incredible...especially considering what I'm coming from. Once I actually start to get a clue of what I'm doing, maybe the speed thing could be a good reason to trade up to the K7 down the road. Right now I just want to learn as much as I can and start saving for lenses.
07-21-2009, 11:03 AM   #10
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Congratulations on your new camera man. You might want to take online in consideration for buying your products, you will find a lot of good deals and more options. You probably got really lucky on your K20D from reading what you said. Some websites you might want to look at are B&HPhoto, Adorama, and Amazon for buying some gear.

And yeah man, the K20D is a great camera for its pricing and you will be able to take fast paced shots, you just need some practice and some reading on how to do it. A Canon might be able to take it easier, but that does not mean the K20D can't do it too, you just need to read and practice. Remember this, in the end no matter which camera you go for, you will always be able to take the shot you want.

And for the K-7, a lot of people are happy with their K20D over the K-7. The only reason why you would want to trade your K20D for one is if you want to record videos with a bunch of extra features, which is always true for a newer camera. And of course the more newer or the more expensive will pack more features. From what I've read, the K20D will take just as equal in image quality as the K-7. And the video capabilities of a camera has nothing to do with taking pictures and photography which is what a DSLR is all about. But I shouldn't be talking because I am eventually going to get a K-7 in the next couple years as replacement for my K-m/K2000.
07-21-2009, 11:06 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by eshoremoto Quote
On an interesting note, he said that I'm maybe the 3rd person in the last 3-4 yrs who has asked him anything about Pentax. Pentax really needs to start a new marketing campaign or something. I could not find one store anywhere within 2hrs of my house that actually stocked Pentax equipment. I do live near 3 major cities and nothing. Doesn't make any sense!
Enjoy your new cam.

Pentax been purposefully 'light' on marketing (comparatively speaking) for most of their time in business from what I gather. This has not stopped them from capturing a significant portion of the market (however small that may be compared to Canikon). That portion consists of us loyal, eccentric, photographic purist, or just plain mad people who go for quality gear without the big-company price tag. Those who do the research find Pentax a good brand featuring what they need at a reasonable cost to them.

The question of availability of Pentax gear in stores is more complex - some retailers I know have these 'agreements' with the big guns to keep their stock at the forefront of sales. Being in bed with Canikon ensures they get their gear thrust upon the undiscerning consumer well before the name Pentax is mentioned. Money talks. But Pentax certainly has no shortage of their cameras or lenses - you just have to find it, most easily through the big online stores (B&H, Adorama, KEH, etc.)

You're in the US - think of how we Aussie Pentaxians have to find our gear - in fact most of us would turn to B&H and the like to get Pentax gear, not just because it's scarcely available in any Australian retailer, but because the prices are astronomically higher than that of the US. Hasn't phased me in still sticking with Pentax, though...
07-21-2009, 11:57 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by eshoremoto Quote
Hi Guy's,

First I want to say thanks. This site is great. I've been learning a lot...still very green to the slr market though.

We've finally decided to step up from our p&s junk to something we can actually get some good quality pics of our kids and animals. I'm very excited!

The cameras mainly going to be used for:
1) Shooting my kids doing their various activities which include motocross, bmx riding/racing, and other misc pretty active activities. 90% of which is outdoors
2) Shooting various animals around our small farm doing who knows what.
3) Usual holiday and family get together shots. Which typically includes a lot of young, very active kids going nuts. We really miss a lot of great shots with our current p&s junk.

I started to go with a eos 40d because of the faster AF and 6.5fps...until I started to research lens. HOLY SMOKES the prices on those IS lenses are insane! I keep coming back to the k20d even though everyone seems to bash it regarding the poor sports/wildlife ablity of the camera. Both of which are my 2 top reasons for a new dslr unit. Budget wise, the IS and VR lenses required for the canons and nikons just aren't realistic for me. However, Pentax glass is obtainable because of the in body IS. That feature is very important to me. The new K7 is a little out of touch as well.

Do you think I will regret going with the k20 for what I'm looking to do? My main concern is the 3fps and the reports of slow AF. Other then that I love everything about it. Remember, I am coming from junk so any dslr will be a huge improvement.

Thanks for your time!
Well, don't worry, the K20D is better then you can imagine.
It offers MUCH better controls and customization. More professional functions.
It is dust and weather proof (a weather proof lens is more expensive I'm sorry to say).

What is does not offer you is "Push Here Dummy!" functionality.
Yes, there is the green option and the green button, but it lacks all the scene modes etc.
This is a camera that, when you know what you are doing, will give you more flexibility than the 40D. My K10D (K20D predecessor) compared to all the 40D's and 50D's in my photo club has much more to offer...

Don't worry too much about auto focus, trust your eyes in difficult conditions more then your camera.
When I started with my Ricoh SLR in 1975, it had only manual focus and the FPS number depended upon your thumb speed, while you could do only 36 shots in a row!
And boy, no problems with sports then.... The K20D will do great if you believe that it will not solve any situation magically for you. By the way, that is something no C****n camera can do as well.

- Bert
07-21-2009, 02:42 PM   #13
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You can definitely get great shots with your K20D, but it might take a bit more skill on your part. I don't have extensive experience with Canikon, but supposedly their AF is better but you definitely pay through your eyeballs to get it.

If AF truly becomes a problem, you could consider upgrading to a K-7 when the price starts to drop.
07-21-2009, 09:14 PM   #14
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Hey eshoremoto, here's a story from this past weekend. I decided to use my FA 50mm f1.4 lens on my K20D to shoot a mock battle scene at an outdoor Medieval event (it's my longest lens; I wish I had had something like the DA* 50-135 mm). I set my autofocus switch to AF.C (which means "continuous autofocus") and I set my Drive Mode in the Fn menu to "continuous shooting Hi". I also set my aperture to f/5.6 for a deeper depth of field yet still some background blur (my camera was in Av mode) and I set the autofocus to activate with the AF button on the rear of the camera instead of with the shutter button; this means that you can fire away like mad with the shutter button while not interrupting the autofocus procedure, since the AF is now no longer being shared with the shutter button (hope this makes sense!).

Anyhow, I had mixed success before with the continuous AF mode, but this is probably because I hadn't also selected the continuous shooting drive mode; I was only shooting a single frame at a time. So with this new knowledge, this past weekend I fired off many shots of the battle and nearly all of them were in pretty much perfect focus. So I found the AF to be fast enough for my needs, as well as the drive mode speed (i.e. the number of shots per second).

I hope some of these terms make sense even though you're new to the whole DSLR thing, and I hope this story encourages you that the K20D will be more than enough for your needs (that is, once you practice and learn your equipment really well). Until you feel the need to break into the professional sports market, you'll do just fine with the K20D!
07-22-2009, 06:45 AM   #15
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Thanks for the tip enoxatnep! That's a great idea to move the auto to the AF button instead. That does make a lot of sense.

I've been studying up on many of the things that the K20 does. I just need to learn how to apply all the cool stuff it does. It will come with time and practice. Man I can't wait to get started...she should be in by the weekend.

Thanks again for the help guys!
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