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09-25-2009, 12:01 PM   #1
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Should I keep the K20D I just bought?

After much deliberation and research, I have purchased a K20D.

What I need from this community is help in deciding whether or not to keep it.

The story:
I missed the boat on B&H's $619 closeout (and I can't find anything close to that online anymore), so I headed to my LOCAL CAMERA SHOP (wow! what a concept!) thinking, "Well then, I'll just support the local economy, and, shucks, they even give a couple free classes with the purchase of a new camera." I ended up buying their DEMO K20D for $649 (throw in tax and a "deal" on an 8gb SDHC class 6 card at $20, and my total was $717). It's got a few scuffs on the metal ring thingy onto which you attach the lens (I'm a camera noob)... evidence which suggests they've swapped lenses on the thing no less than 180 times. There are a few minor scratches on the bottom of the body. Other than that, though, it seems to be in pretty decent shape. As for shutter count (which apparently is a big deal, according to some on this forum), I have no idea what it is, though I haven't looked very hard.

[By the way, I'm going to buy a Pentax 18-250mm as an all-around lens til I figure out what the heck I'm doing with photography and decide what other lenses to buy. Haven't even bought that yet by the way. (Yeah, I'm pretty much shooting from the hip on this one.)]

Anyhoo, I'm not so sure I didn't get hosed on the "deal". On the one hand, I don't mind paying a bit more to A) support a local camera shop and B) get the DSLR classes that come with the purchase, but on the other hand, I want to make darn sure I'm getting a good camera. I'd rather know I was the one screwing things up and not previous handlers.

I'm also not a good decision maker, and any outside input is greatly appreciated, WHICH is why I'm reaching out to this fine forum for help.

What should I do?? I've got exactly 29 days left to decide (as of this post).

09-25-2009, 12:19 PM   #2
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deal or no deal...


Just a few things that I noticed from your post that I'll point out, and don't take this the wrong way:

1. While the thought of supporting a local shop is a noble idea, I would say that your first and foremost objective was to get you into digital SLR photography at a reasonable price.

2. Being that you don't seem to particularly mind that it was a demo you picked up that would have been handled by many hands and not necessarily the care of one owner, did you consider purchasing used from the forum?

3. The so called lessons from a local store are more or less familiarization courses for people that are too lazy to read manuals. I always recommend reading the manuals since they will invariably uncover some functions most sales staff don't even know existed.

4. This community has enough members and a body of knowledge that you would be able to post any questions you had and get answers in fairly short notice.

I would suspect a used K20D in better shape than the demo you found could be had for quite a bit less than what you paid. The marketplace forum is a perfect example.

Just my 2 cents...
09-25-2009, 12:20 PM   #3
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Not sure if it is a good deal.

At my local camera shop, they have a remaining K20D body-only demo, boxed and appears like new, for $599.99. I was thinking of buying it, wondering if it was a good price.
09-25-2009, 12:29 PM   #4
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I bought my K-7 from one of the local shops here. I don't know about the shop there but the one here will help me if there is an issue. I'm supporting local folks and supporting a shop that will actually show people a Pentax that might not have seen one otherwise. I see it as a win win.

If the k20d you picked up is good...and you can have some fun at the classes....I think you did just fine...

09-25-2009, 12:31 PM   #5
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I can't comment on the price, as I don't know the US market good enough. But you should get the full warranty with the ex-demo camera body and that alone justifies a small premium over buying a secondhand camera from somebody you know or don't know.

If there is any question about the full warranty, I would of course return the camera asap.

09-25-2009, 02:01 PM   #6
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Sounds like a reasonable deal to me as long as it's working correctly and under waranty.
09-25-2009, 02:14 PM   #7
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I think you could possibly have done a bit better, however here are some thoughts.

1) Call Pentax with the serial number from the bottom of the camera to see if they are still offering the 3 year warranty on the unit (it was free) since it came from a camera shop. There might be a card in the box indicating this too. The extended warranty is worth some peace of mind.

2) slide in the SD card and take a picture, then load it on your computer. There is a utility called PhotoMe that will open up the EXIF data attached to the picture. Go down in the list of the data to shutter count and it will give you the number of the picture you just took. The reason this is important is that the shutter is rated for 100,000 actuation, and if this is picture 90,000 you might want to think again.

3) I do agree that you may have maybe found a better deal from the marketplace forum here. Pentax folks take care of their gear, and you might have found a very well cared for camera with 10 to 30,000 images - possibly a lot less, for probably a better price.

If your unit comes with a warranty from Pentax, then you need to balance things out and make a decision. If it does not, you still should go down to the market place and see what is available.

With the K20 being discontinued, and supplies running short of new, I see the normal web retailers are out, and the second tier retailers selling with prices higher than what you paid. So, you have the weekend to look and see what may be available, and make some decisions on what you may want to do.

hope that helps...

09-25-2009, 02:38 PM   #8
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If you check the shutter count with photome keep in mind a brand new body may show a couple hundred shots. (at least all mine did)
09-25-2009, 03:18 PM   #9
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Coming from Australia, I can't understand this dithering attitude. In this US do you have a 30-days "no questions asked" return policy? Here, there would usually have to be some specific quality reason why you were unhappy with the goods purchased to have a hope of either a refund or an exchange.

From what I can see, your reason for considering a return is that you did not get a good enough deal. The time to do your shopping around is before the purchase, not afterwards. As a buyer you have to accept responsibility for your side of the contract you enter into when you purchase an item.

Image how this attitude must make a retailer feel. Say you're an honest retailer trying to feed your family. You sell something to someone in good faith. They can use it to their hearts content and then return it because they've gotten "cold feet".

I'm only aware of one major retailer, ALDI (a German multi-national), who offers a 60-days "no questions asked" return policy in Australia. I've never used that policy yet on an item I've bought from them, and if I were to, to satisfy my ethical standards I would only do so for quality-defect or unsuitability-for-task reasons.


Last edited by dosdan; 09-25-2009 at 08:19 PM.
09-25-2009, 07:00 PM   #10
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It depends on the store in terms of their return policy. I was just assuming that there was some sort of return policy involved, or he had negotiated some type of agreement within so many days if he was not happy. Bottom line, I do agree with you, that you should make your decision prior to the purchase.

Now on the other hand, if he sees that he has 90,000 images on the body, and that was not understood - given that it was a demo, he might then have leg to stand on. I would think that a demo body would have less than 5K shutter activations on it.

09-25-2009, 08:27 PM   #11
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I doubt that it has actually taken any photo's or at least very few because they only put one lense on the camera and seldom install memory card so all you can do is digital preview. So maybe coulpe hundred actuations. Go to a camera repair shop and buy yourself a 50 or 55mm f1:7 or 1:2 lens for 50/60 bucks and try it out. Be sure to set the apature setting to allowed. See Stickey at top of page on how to use manyal lens.
Ps. For a local camera shop not a bad price but price can be beat bying used on forum here.
09-26-2009, 04:16 AM   #12
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I wouldn't worry too much about the lens changes. I personally change lenses a lot and have never seen any problems with the lens mount -- that's just not the part of a camera that wears out in general. I would go ahead and check if you can get the 3 year warranty. That also includes the ability to send the K20 in for a "tune up" at some point along the way for free. Don't think too much about the money, you may have been able to get a slightly better deal on line, but it's still a lot of camera for 700 dollars. Considering you will probably take thousands of photos, it will prorate out to less than a penny a photo. Enjoy!
09-26-2009, 10:32 AM   #13
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Explore the settings, shoot some pictures and make sure it works.

Regarding worries about getting the best deal, you could:
1. Take evidence of a better deal, present it to the shop asking them to match it.
2. Return the camera and buy the better deal.
3. Go take pictures.

My preference is to shop like crazy and compare prices until I'm sick of it, and then buy something and NEVER, EVER look at prices again until I want to sell.
09-26-2009, 01:57 PM   #14
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As long as the camera comes with the full warranty keep it. You will have shipping charges on the mail order camera so do't forget to add that price and you still may get charged tax. Lots of states are now requiring mail order companys and online retailers to collect sales tax. There is always somebody selling something a few bucks cheaper. Your local store will probably provide service and advice you won't get from a online seller.
09-28-2009, 12:17 PM   #15
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Warranty is the one you need.
If it comes with it, then keep it.
A demo camera usually isn't handled too much (specially if Pentax).
If it where the other brands, then definitely it might have been handled far too much.
Try it out and see how it performs overall.
If there isn't too much of a price difference, then keep it.

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