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12-07-2010, 04:22 PM   #1
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K-x v. K20D

Hello All!

I'm currently a very proud owner of a K-m and have obtained a nice collection of m42, M, F, DA-L and other brand lenses, all I think good to excellent! (Most of my photo friends really dig the idea of being able to use almost any lens made to mount a pentax body.)

Since I'm now invested into these lenses, I am looking to acquire another Pentax body... I've done the comparisons etc. and I'm really down to a K-x or K20 (as far as value and personal use). I generally take photos of static objects or scapes and rarely will photograph moving objects. I also looked into the K-r and cannot justify the price difference considering what the camera offers v. the K-x or K20, and to be quite honest, I am not 100% sure what the advantages of the K-r. I am pretty happy with everything on my current Pentax.

I'm looking for some advice and opinions re: the K-x and K20...

Thanks, Rick

12-07-2010, 04:58 PM   #2
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Rick, I don't think you could go wrong with either camera for your applications. Even a K10D would suffice (and even be better for ISO 100 shots). Anyway the way you'd decide is by assessing your desire for camera size, video capability, weather sealing, and advanced camera customisation settings and convenience of a second e-dial. Not much to go by, but I'd suggest using the forum's side-by-side camera comparison tool in the reviews section.
12-07-2010, 05:38 PM   #3
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If you are happy right now, don't buy anything .

The KX would be an upgrade in low light, but do you find yourself having issues in low light?

The k20d's main advantages are that it allows you to work faster. Do you have this problem considering you shoot static objects?
12-07-2010, 06:27 PM   #4
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I too recently upgraded from a K-m to a K-x and I also was considering either the K20D or the K-x.
I chose to K-x because of the better dynamic range, faster autofocus, much better high iso performance and because I could buy it new locally and try it out before buying it.

Overall, I am very satisfied. I find the K-x to be a much better camera than to K-m overall. The body is the same, but the camera is much improved in almost every other way.

My only complaint is that I would prefer a larger body as I find the K-x and K-m hard to hold when using a flash and heavy lens.


I find the live view on the K-x very useful for accurately focussing manual lenses when shooting static objects.

12-07-2010, 07:41 PM   #5
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My post from a similar thread:
https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/123861-refurb-k20d-vs-new-k-x.html

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): Picasa Web Albums - Dan Bonhomme - K-x K20D
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.
12-07-2010, 08:02 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
If you are happy right now, don't buy anything . The KX would be an upgrade in low light, but do you find yourself having issues in low light? The k20d's main advantages are that it allows you to work faster. Do you have this problem considering you shoot static objects?
+1 on that.

If you feel you need to upgrade/add a body and can't nail down which body, go the K20 route - the unit is a great deal and would give you the "pro" body experience. The k-x is somewhat close to what you have now.

Thanks, and just my $0.02 worth.

Glenn
12-07-2010, 10:30 PM   #7
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Both the K20d and K-x are a step above the K-m. Granted, the K-m is an often overlooked camera, but it's no slouch.

I've got a K20d and my wife has a K-x. I beg/borrow/steal her K-x when:

- I'm shooting low light
- I need video
- I want faster AF
- I want it small
- I want it red

I stick with the K20d when:

- it's raining
- light conditions are changing and i need quick control
- I need extra megapixels for cropping
- I need fancy bracketing
- I need the intervalometer
- I need to use a manual focus lens

Good luck!
12-08-2010, 01:00 AM   #8
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I was in the same boat a couple weeks ago. I went with the K20, my fiances dad is a pro and has been for about 40 years. He always stuck with Pentax. He, right now has a K20d after upgrading his K10 and will not be upgrading anytime soon even when looking at the specs of the other cameras even different brands. I took his advise and bought the K20d on ebay for $435 and I LOVE it!! I'm glad I didn't get the K-x that I played around with in the store... The image quality difference blew me away (between the k-m and k20d) Im very happy with my decision

12-08-2010, 08:45 AM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses!!!

- the main reason for buying another body is I don't want to be stuck one day w/o a working camera and being able to maybe get a little more crop room when needed (whether 12 or 14 mp)

- I do more manual focusing with all lenses even AF lenses, so bigger view and focusing points in K20 would come in handy and is a big big plus

- I pretty much use whatever available light is present and rarely use the flash or external flash, so low light is a plus for the K-x

- I am intrigued by the "HDR" in the K-x

and this point I am leaning towards the K20 but it looks like I can't get a "new" one, I think Buy.com has a refurb for @ 500 and ebay for the same price. The k-x can be found with lens for @ $480 or even $670ish for the 18-55 and 55-300 and I do want a 300mm some day.

For all K-x users, are there any limitations you've run into so far?

Also, I don't quite understand how the K20 can take better pics using the same exact setup than a K-x, this kinda boggles me. I am assuming the most current sensor and software would tend to favor the k-x but apparently it doesn't as per audiobomber's photo comparison.

Thanks, Rick!!!
12-08-2010, 09:12 AM   #10
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Just one things: The k20d meters terribly with lenses lacking an A setting on the aperture ring... sounds like you have quite a few. Not sure if the KX is any better, though.
12-08-2010, 10:26 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by paperbag846 Quote
Just one things: The k20d meters terribly with lenses lacking an A setting on the aperture ring... sounds like you have quite a few. Not sure if the KX is any better, though.
My tests show they're equally off the mark with manual lenses. I get around it by metering wide open where metering is accurate, and counting stops to get to the same exposure for the smaller aperture. This always works.
12-08-2010, 10:48 AM - 1 Like   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
My tests show they're equally off the mark with manual lenses
A shame. I mean, it's easy enough to cope, but it does slow you down quite a bit. Manual focus is one thing, but in most dynamic environments, the M or K lenses means I'll fudge more shots than I bring home... everything past the A series is considerably better in my experience.

Anyways, the way I would break it down is this:

K20d is wonderful at ISO 100. Better than the KX.

As you increase the ISO, the opposite becomes true.

WR is neither here nor there unless you own WR lenses, but you should really pick both up. Some will prefer the heft and tactile feel of the K20d, and some will prefer the streamlined approach of the KX.

One of the things I love most about the K20d is the feel of it, when I am working fast. I can grip the camera in one hand and change all the settings BY FEEL with my spare fingers. That leaves my other hand completely free, to focus, steady the camera, or steady my body.

After a few months, you will play it like an instrument .
12-08-2010, 07:22 PM   #13
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I'm purist at heart... I own, what I consider the last and best iMac G5 by Apple before they switched over to the intel...

I'm leaning heavily towards a k20, and I read here at the forum somewhere, that it is the last camera made by Pentax before the Hoya move... I like that...

As per metering terribly with m and k lenses, I'm hoping it's at least consistent.

Thanks again for the feedback!!!
12-08-2010, 07:41 PM   #14
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have Both K-x and K20D....and .....

The K-x is a very nice small high ISO camera ... but it is not in the same league as the K20D as far as I'm concerned.

The feature set, the ability to add a battery pack and the construction of the K20D is very, very high, and built to take heavy use.

The K-x is not IMHO.

What the K-x has and the reason I bought it is great high ISO ability, beating the K20D by maybe 1.5 to 2 stops.

I would use the K-20D at 3200 in a pinch, but the K-x will handle that with ease !

Just my opinions ;- )


wll
12-08-2010, 07:42 PM   #15
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It's not consistent, which is why it's frustrating. As you move through the apertures, you exposure will go between over and under.

And Hoya's not as evil as Intel .
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