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11-24-2010, 07:35 PM   #1
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refurb K20D vs new K-x

I am new to DSLR. Currently I have a choice to either get a refurb K20D or a new K-x for around $500. Do you guys have any suggestions as which one is better? Picture quality, performance wise? Thanks!

11-24-2010, 09:38 PM   #2
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It depends on how much you want the extra controls on the K20. The sensor in the K-X, by all reports, is much superior to that in the K20, and the K-X will carry a new warranty.
11-24-2010, 10:24 PM - 1 Like   #3
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There are new K20's out there for around the same price, body only. A few bucks more will get you a WR 18-55 ($150 or less). Now for $650 you have a NEW camera setup that is built like a tank, weather sealed and takes excellent pictures (the Kx is superior only in terms of iso, IMO). If you can live without the Kx's mediocre video feature and plan to use the camera where WR is beneficial, I'd shop around and go with a new K20. Refurb to me is a hit or miss- what was reburb'd on the camera you'll get?. New is new and worth the $150 extra.
Nothing wrong with the Kx either, just my choice if I had to choose only one.
11-25-2010, 06:38 PM   #4
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I have both and unless you shoot video or shoot in a lot of low light situations, I would recommend the K20D. I wasn't as impressed with the photo quality of the K-x compared to the K20D. The focus of the K-x was faster and in low light and high ISO it can't be beat for the price, but the colors weren't as rich and the camera was not as customizable.

Don't get me wrong, the K-x is a great camera for the price. For pure photographic quality, I would go with the K20D.

11-25-2010, 06:59 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I recently bought a refurbished K20d. I have been happy with it so far. Everything seems to work just fine and it looks like new. I really like the quality of the photos, the solid build and all of the customizable settings it has. If possible, it might help if you could hold each camera and see which one fits your hands. Something that I did that might help is to download the operations manual on each and read them.
Good luck on your decision, you can't go wrong with either of these fine cameras.
11-25-2010, 07:31 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by vincey Quote
I am new to DSLR. Currently I have a choice to either get a refurb K20D or a new K-x for around $500. Do you guys have any suggestions as which one is better? Picture quality, performance wise? Thanks!
Where can you get the K20D refurbished these days? I know Best Buy used to have those but it's no longer the case.
11-25-2010, 07:48 PM   #7
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The K20D is a better camera overall, but unless you really want a colored camera.... haha

11-25-2010, 10:08 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by ducdao Quote
Where can you get the K20D refurbished these days? I know Best Buy used to have those but it's no longer the case.
I think had the k20d for $500 a day or two ago...
11-25-2010, 10:28 PM   #9
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I started with the K-x around a year ago and recently acquired the K20D, so perhaps I can offer some insight.

The K-x has terrific high ISO noise performance, but the K20D is no slouch either. I've found that with the K-x you can get away with ISO 6400, but I'd say the upper limit is 3200. The K20D tops out for me at 1600, and maybe 3200 if absolutely necessary. So basically, the K-x has around a one stop advantage, IMO.

Build quality is no contest, the K20D is tough, rugged and grippy, while the K-x is very much less so. The K-x isn't bad, it's just that the K20D is exceptional. The K20D has two command dials, and more buttons to change settings quickly and easily.

The K-x can take HD movies, while the K20D has some psudo movie mode thing... frankly I haven't found where to use this, but then again, I can probably count the number of videos I've taken with my K-x with one hand, so video isn't a priority to me.

If you can find that refurbished K20D set, it comes with the metal mount 18-55 with quick shift and hood- higher quality than the DAL 18-55 that comes with K-x.

The K-x is much lighter. I found my hand getting tired from using the K20D after a short while, (probably also because I don't have a strap on it right now, preferring to death grip it) but I've acclimated a bit. If you have bigger hands, the K20D should feel right at home.

The K-x shoots like 5 fps, while the K20D only shoots 3 fps. I left my K-x on single shot before I got the K20D, so this didn't matter to me at all.

The K20D AF tends to hunt. It will get very very close to the correct focus point and then typically make small adjustments to lock focus. The K-x either does this much faster, or doesn't do it at all- it just seems more zippy and responsive.

The K20D viewfinder is larger and the bottom status bar is actually legible in bright light. Overall much better than the K-x.

I could trust the AWB on my K-x. I now set the WB manually all the time with my K20D, it just can't be trusted with artificial lighting IMO.

Sorry if these points seem random, I pretty much just typed them as they came to mind! I'll add more if I think of anything else
11-25-2010, 10:48 PM   #10
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hard to say, better body or better sensor. Thats the options. I went from a k20d to a K-x... miss the body dont miss the sensor

hanging out for a k-5!
11-25-2010, 11:53 PM   #11
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I'm still love the WR, the weight .. of K20D. It makes me feel more comfortable when shooting.

We still can do a lot with an old sensor like K20D ( even in low-light ).

Anyway, your choice !
11-26-2010, 05:22 AM   #12
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It really depends on what you want/need. Wshi really did a good job of summarizing major points/differences between the two. The K20 is a very sturdy and good sized camera (particularly with the grip). If you want weather sealing, feel like you will want a grip, or feel like you will want to shoot a lot with longer, heavier lenses than it is probably the way to go.

If, on the other hand, you want a lighter camera with video and better low light capability, the kx is better.

They are both great cameras, very capable of taking great photos.
11-26-2010, 07:10 AM   #13
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I have the K20D and K-x.
- I prefer the K20D image quality at any ISO up to 1600. The colour depth is better, it exposes more accurately (K-x burns highlights in matrix mode), and the K-x is more subject to moire.
- The K-x had about 2/3 stop better high ISO performance in my test (tested in raw with NR off).
- K-x in general has more accurate AWB, but goes too blue in daylight. I shoot raw, so AWB doesn't matter.
- The extra modes, switches and second wheel on the K20D make it much nicer to use.
- Added bulk and grip are advantageous with large or heavy lenses and flash. The K-x small size is nice if I'm trying to pack light.
- I notice a focus difference in low light AF, in favour of the K-x. In normal light I see no difference.
- I rarely shoot on continuous high speed and I don't use video, but if you do, both are K-x advantages.
- I never use any focus point other than center, so that K-x disadvantage means nothing to me
- All the reviews say K-x has one stop better dynamic range, but in practice I haven't seen a difference. That's probably because I'm mostly concerned with burned highlights and the DR advantage is on the dark end. The left hand side of the histogram is inconsequential to me 99.9% of the time.
- Having WR is a comfort. I have yet to buy a WR lens, but I will soon.

Here's a comparison I did to illustrate IQ at ISO 200 (shot in Portrait jpeg mode, my default):
Portrait is my default image tone because I find it just right for general use, Bright is too punchy and Natural is too bland. I adjust as necessary in p-p, but the test above is out-of-camera.

Last edited by audiobomber; 11-26-2010 at 07:26 AM.
11-26-2010, 01:19 PM   #14
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Have Both and .....

I would go for the K20D.

The body is weather proofed, the controls are pro grade, and the sensor is very, very good ( many report better in low light than the K-7, which is why I would rather have the K20D than the K-7, and did not purchase a K-7, but that's another post :- )

The K-x is a very nice little high ISO camera, and has video, but it is not even close to the quality of the K20D.

I just bought another used K20D as my walk around beat up street camera (everything I own is in perfect shape and I could not stand a scratch on my camera).

The controls on the K20D are fantastic and it is a pro grade camera for around $500.00 now, that is terrific.

Be sure firmware is version 1.04 if it is not already !

Remember, the new noise reduction software is fantastic, take a look at Topaz De-Noise 5 and see what it does to 6400 K20D shots in low light : - 0

Anyway good luck .....Put a battery pack on it and you will be impressed by its feel and handling :- )

11-26-2010, 01:41 PM   #15
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vincey, be more specific about what you want to get out of the camera as both of your options have pros and cons. There's nothing else to add than the myriad of advice that has been given already, but it's now all up to you to decide what features from each camera suit your needs the most.

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