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07-14-2010, 10:14 AM   #1
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Tell me why I should buy a new K-7 over a used K20D

I love using my Pentax K10D. When I started looking at cameras I hadn't even thought of Pentax until I picked it up in the store. The controls, the body and even the lift and turn levers for the battery and SD doors that are reminiscent of the old film winding cranks made me fall in love with the camera.

Trouble is, I can't seem to take a decent photo to save my life. While I realize it comes down to the photographer and not so much the equipment, I tend to see better images from the K20D and even better ones from the K-7.

I have no desire to get rid of the K10D. After all I do have a DA* lens and the K10D is the only camera I can flash back the firmware to a screw-drive for the * lens.

But the improved IQ and low light capabilities of the K20D/K-7 are tough to resist.

I am more partial to the K20 since it is bigger, the K-7 is nice but I can't stand the cheap SD door and rubber cover over the USB ports.

Where was the bigger jump in IQ and high ISO performance? Was it from the K10D to the K20D or was it the K20D to the K-7?

07-14-2010, 10:26 AM   #2
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If it were me, I'd figure out why I can't take a picture that satisfies me before I decide to buy another camera of any brand, make or model. It helps a lot to know what is going wrong so that you have some idea whether the equipment will help or even hurt.
07-14-2010, 10:36 AM   #3
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The bigger jump was definitely from the k10 to k20 in terms of IQ and high ISO performance. The K-7 is certainly a nice camera, but if you get one refurbished or in excellent condition with a low shutter count and save a few hundred dollars in the process, getting the K20d you will have a camera that you are immediately 90% familiar with.

With that said, there is likely a K7 replacement/refresh on the horizon that may offer a more significant and worthwhile step up (imho). If you've been using a k10d for this long, it can't wait to hurt to wait a few more months!

To responde to GeneV, I really liked my K10d, but found the K20d got alot of little bumps ironed out - menu driven BF/FF adjustment, better sensor, viewfinder that wasn't skewed slightly so most photos required post processing alignment, in other words, mostly little stuff.
07-14-2010, 10:46 AM   #4
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The K20D is an improvement over the K10D, you can share the grip and battery between the two, so costwise may be a better bet. Now a days the price difference for a used K20D and K7 is around $200 - $250. Is it worht? If you like the K20D size, go for it.

07-14-2010, 10:54 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by sebberry Quote
Where was the bigger jump in IQ and high ISO performance? Was it from the K10D to the K20D or was it the K20D to the K-7?
Given that we can coax uncompromized(full size) ISO6400 images out of a K20D, I'd say that the biggest leap in high ISO performance came with the K20D. Though on the ergonomics and feature side of things, the K-7 clearly stands as the champion of Pentax updates.

Unfortunately... for the first of this generation of Pentax camera's, the addition of video and higher FPS brought along with it a small decline in noise performance and DR over that of the K20D. Which really doesn't come as an issue for a number of people as it all remains quite manageable up until ISO2000, after which, things escalate quite quickly in terms of efforts vs reward with image definition.

The K20D on the other hand, has received a number of breaks with regards to performance enhancements(see: Gordon B's tinge removal tool), that have allowed it to live past the initial operating ranges that came with it. Though the biggest advantage was the K20's unique ability to hold off longer than any other Pentax camera on ultra low frequency noise(aprox. 1.5 stops)

Which all works to place the K20D at the top of the Prosumer Pentax line-up, insofar as noise performance and DR goes. But all that is about to change... as we have very good reason to conclude that Pentax will announce a Kx class sensor in a prosumer body this year that will inevitably replace and retire the K20D's legendary status for good.

But that's neither here not there
As the winner for ISO/DR performance gains clearly goes to the Kx
07-14-2010, 11:08 AM   #6
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If you already have the K10D I would wait until there is more info released on the new models and look at one of those.

If you are serious about adding another camera now, I would recommend the K-7 over the K20D for you. Another possibility would be the K-x since it's cheaper and gives you the better low light performance you seem to want. I would still wait a while though and keep practicing your technique.
07-14-2010, 12:15 PM   #7
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Main thing you get would be an extra stop (I set auto-ISO to 800 on the K20D vs. the K10D), but the K10D is sharper if you pixel peep because of the AA filter.
The K7 is faster than the K20D in focusing...very noticeable to me...
07-14-2010, 05:41 PM   #8
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To me, the K7 wins in every respect except for the small step back in high iso performance. As far as auto focus, additional features, ergonomics, and the addition of video, everything else in the K7's favor. I can get decent iso 3200 images out of the K7 (shooting RAW) and truthfully, that is all the farther that I ever push my K20 either. With the price difference down to a couple hundred dollars, I would go with K7.

I guess the other thing to remember is that if you have accessories for the K10 (extra batteries, grip), they can be used on a K20 where they wouldn't be useable on the K7.

07-14-2010, 05:49 PM   #9
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I wish they hadn't bothered with the video feature on the K-7. So far I haven't been able to shoot video for more than a couple minutes without the camera over-heating. Seems to me that weather sealing, with apparently no way to vent heat, and high performance video are a bad combo.
07-14-2010, 06:03 PM   #10
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In my opinion (having gone from K10D to K-7), I agree with the first reply - I would discuss why you find your images poor rather than worry about a camera. Maybe a better investment would be books of photographers' work whose composition you like?

Apart from that, I would say the K10D to K20D was a decent IQ upgrade - although the K10D is a very capable camera, K20D is a good high ISO upgrade, and more pixels if that matters. Also has the sync connector, as does K-7.

The K20D to K-7 to more of a non-IQ performance upgrade (I don't care about video). Significantly improved AF, 100% viewfinder, more responsive, great ergonomics, faster shutter speed, better metering, higher frame rate, meant to be better SR and dust removal.
07-14-2010, 06:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
In my opinion (having gone from K10D to K-7), I agree with the first reply - I would discuss why you find your images poor rather than worry about a camera. Maybe a better investment would be books of photographers' work whose composition you like?
+1

I use the ancient K100D
The shots that are no good are my fault
Pete
07-14-2010, 07:48 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CWyatt Quote
In my opinion (having gone from K10D to K-7), I agree with the first reply - I would discuss why you find your images poor rather than worry about a camera.
Cameras don't usually solve those kinds of problems by themselves.
07-14-2010, 08:18 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentup Quote
I wish they hadn't bothered with the video feature on the K-7. So far I haven't been able to shoot video for more than a couple minutes without the camera over-heating. Seems to me that weather sealing, with apparently no way to vent heat, and high performance video are a bad combo.

You should check your firmware, and then your card - I doubt that your video problem is overheating. If it is, then you have a warranty repair, as my K-7 will take video up to the 4 gig limit.

And it does so beautifully for a device whose primary use isn't video.
07-14-2010, 08:40 PM   #14
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"Tell me why I should buy a new K-7 over a used K20D."

Nope, I won't. I have both and I really wouldn't say one or the other is clearly superior across the board. The K-7 is a great match with small primes and I like the viewfinder but the K20D is one very capable camera which seems to give me better results at high iso.

Quite frankly, unless there's something the K-7 offers that you think is really important, I think the K20D is a better deal.
07-14-2010, 09:26 PM   #15
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K-X has the upper hand right now in pure IQ but as always that will not last for long.

I have the K20d, and if I'm lucky, I can get great shots. IQ depends much more on me than the body - I know this because I picked up my friend's high end Nikon and the picture quality stayed the same . My dad's old Canon rebel looks pretty much the same too, as long as I am being consistant. It's just whether I have it in me that day.

More importantly, my friend who is a pro photographer can pick up my k20d and make it look 100 times better then I could ever dream of pulling off. It's the photographer, not the camera.

The k10d is very respectable and the longer you wait, the better camera body you will be able to buy for the price.
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