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01-29-2011, 10:48 AM   #16
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Writing about this actually helps me decide.
I always shoot at the lowest ISO possible (100, and never above 400), because not just noise, but everything is better at lower ISO. So the extra two stops of ISO capabilities of the K5 is atractive, especially for wildlife photography. And since I'm getting more into landscapes, the expanded DR range is attractive as well.
Even with a K5, I would shoot with the lowest ISO possible, but would be able to set the Auto range up to 1,600 for comparable results, which could give me more low-light opportunities. This, however, is another of those things that sounds good in theory, but loses something in practice. As far as maximum IQ is concerned, there's really no substitute for good light, so even with a K5, I would chase good light and shoot at low ISOs.
In the end, it is the expanded DR range of the K5 I find most attractive, with the most practical applications to all kinds of photography.
On the other hand, there is a slightly more plastic (to me this is a photographic term) look to K5 images. It is somewhat overcome and made up for by the expanded DR, but it's still there and nags at me slightly. As Pentax moves even Canon and Nikon in the ISO race, they seem to be drifting farter from the Pentax look as well.
This is a look that comes naturally, fully and richly with the K10, slips slightly with the K20/K7 (but can be adjusted to achieve) and seems to slip further away with the K5 (which also may be adjustable). At any rate, the difference in the look of the K10D and K5 is pretty wide. It is a progression to appeal to the auto-everything masses, and I understand the sound business reasons for doing it, but I have mixed feelings from a personal perspective and tastes.
Maybe I'm just old fashioned, but I think photography is more than just seeing further into the shadow details and being able to use a DSLR like a glorified P&S.
Maybe the way to stand out in the modern digital race is to downgrade, not upgrade.
I haven't decided.

01-29-2011, 01:18 PM   #17
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This is an interesting topic for me as I just bought my first DSLR, and it was a K20D.

I've been with a camera in hand since ~1970. Mostly hand-me downs etc. until I bought my first new camera ~1985 - a Nikon FA.

When the digital age started to hit me about 10 years ago, I kind of gave up my hobby and sold my FA and gear. Since then I've had a couple digital P&S's, but shot no more than a couple hundred photos in the past 10 years.

Fast forward to about a month ago - had the itch to get back into photography, and started looking for a DSLR. As you can imagine, I was quickly overwhelmed by all the choices. I read reviews and specs for hours on end.

One of my main requirements was to get a body that felt good in my large hands - I wanted to simulate my old SLR's as much as possible with my new camera. This would also include not having to dig into menus for settings as much as possible. This was hard as I have no camera shops or Best Buy type stores anywhere near me - all this research had to be done on the internet.

I settled on Pentax for the in-camera stabilization and being able to use old glass. I was about to pull the trigger on a new K-r until I started looking at some older Pentax models - enter the K20D.

Since I am used to my film days, the higher usable ISO of the newer cameras wasn't that much of a concern for me - heck, I used to think it was extreme to use ISO400 film back then!

Before my final decision, I came here to seek help on my final decision, and finally purchased a beautiful K20D right here in the classified section.

Now I know I don't have any comparison to any other DSLR's, but I feel I made the right decision - the K20D feels so good in my hands! It has more than enough features for me to explore, and I actually find it a nice challenge to hold my ISO at or below 400 - actually have left it set at ISO100 recently. I feel I was successful in buying a camera that feels and works pretty much like my older SLR's while bringing me into the digital age (finally!).

The feel of the build quality of the K20D is outstanding to me as are the overall ergonomics. The viewfinder is plenty bright for my older eyes and all the most used controls are within reach of my thumb or finger.

I think I will be stuck on my K20D for quite some time to come.
01-29-2011, 04:18 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
... they seem to be drifting farter from the Pentax look as well.
This is a look that comes naturally, fully and richly with the K10, slips slightly with the K20/K7 (but can be adjusted to achieve) and seems to slip further away with the K5 (which also may be adjustable).
Out of curiosity, what settings and techniques do you use on your K20 to attain the look of a K10?
01-29-2011, 06:06 PM   #19
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The K20D is a very fine tool indeed ;-)

01-29-2011, 06:56 PM   #20
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Part of it is in the settings, RIO, and part is in the processing. I shoot almost everything at 100 ISO, which gives richer colors to begin. I tend to shoot and/or process slightly to the left, which also deepens and intensifies colors. As long as you shoot at 100, you don't have to worry about noise. Shooting to the right makes a more plastic look.
Even though I shoot RAW only, I convert in the Pentax Browser, which retains the camera settings and applies them to the converted JPEG. Sat +1, contrast +1. I process the JPEG in ACDSee, which seems to like and understand Pentax colors better than other programs I've tested. In it I often (not always) adjust the HUE down one point as well, which deepens the colors. Contrast is bumped +2 to +4. Then I adjust the exposure accordingly (less than +1/3). All setting are small and all adjustments are small, but together they add up to a much richer image.
Part of it, however, is in the lenses. I have a 15mm Limited and a DFA 100mm macro that shoot as if they had a built-in polorizer, especially the 15mm.
It took me considerable experimentation to come up with this forumula, and at the time I wasn't trying to immulate the K10D, but the old Kodachrome look I loved. What I've come up with is very close to K64, and sometimes I get something with my 15mm that reminds me of K25.
This site doesn't allow uploads directly from my computer, but if you will Google Ron Kruger and click on any link to Photoshelter, and then click on Ozark Scenic, you'll see some examples.
01-29-2011, 07:05 PM   #21
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Love my K10 !

I picked up this great hobby in 1980, my first camera was a brand new K1000 - stuck with the Pentax brand throughout the years. So when I decided to make the digital switch 2yrs ago, with the advice of a friend I started looking over a K10 and purchased it. With film I never shot above ISO 400 so naturally, as some of you have stated, this camera fulfills all of my needs. As long as this K10 takes pics I'll be using it !
01-29-2011, 10:40 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ron Kruger Quote
I tend to shoot and/or process slightly to the left, which also deepens and intensifies colors. As long as you shoot at 100, you don't have to worry about noise. Shooting to the right makes a more plastic look. . . . .
That's REALLY interesting. A few months ago, I read an article by a pro who asserted that if you want rich, dynamic colours, underexpose by 1 stop at low ISO and recover in postprocessing, which seems similar to what Ron Kruger is saying. So then I stopped fretting about my K20D underexposing, and life became easier and my photos got even more beautiful. Pentax' technique of exposing to avoid blowing any highlights is the best, as far as I am concerned.

I do believe that the K20D is the best purchase that I have ever made in my life. . . . and that's a rather long time. I do want the K5 for its DR and its high ISO, but that K20D will remain my main camera for as long as I have the dollars to repair it (if it ever breaks!).

Last edited by snofox; 01-29-2011 at 11:13 PM.
01-30-2011, 08:17 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by snofox Quote
That's REALLY interesting. A few months ago, I read an article by a pro who asserted that if you want rich, dynamic colours, underexpose by 1 stop at low ISO and recover in postprocessing, which seems similar to what Ron Kruger is saying. So then I stopped fretting about my K20D underexposing, and life became easier and my photos got even more beautiful. Pentax' technique of exposing to avoid blowing any highlights is the best, as far as I am concerned.

I do believe that the K20D is the best purchase that I have ever made in my life. . . . and that's a rather long time. I do want the K5 for its DR and its high ISO, but that K20D will remain my main camera for as long as I have the dollars to repair it (if it ever breaks!).
I really love the color rendition of the K20D's sensor.

01-30-2011, 10:49 AM   #24
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Use what you have until it will no longer work for you. Then worry about upgrading. The K20d is a fine camera and the Tamron 90 is a very capable macro (as well as telephoto). So let's see what you can do with the pair.

01-30-2011, 09:13 PM   #25
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I just upgraded from a K2000 to a K20D myself. What, IMO, a perfect upgrade! I had absolutely no hope of getting a K-5, so I gritted my teeth and faced reality. It was either get a K20D or get nothing at all.
The improvements are incredible.. I have big hands, and the K20D w/ grip fits me perfectly. The sensor produces rich, pleasing and highly detailed images just fine; And I use ISO1600 on a daily basis with excellent results! Something I could NEVER do with my K2000.. ISO800 with a bunch of NR was my best hope.

Here's a shot of a Hammered Dulcimer I took at a celtic concert recently with my K20D and Sigma 24-60mm f/2.8..
http://i51.tinypic.com/281bms.jpg
1/15s at f/4.5, ISO1600, JPEG, with in-camera NR set to Weak and NO extra noise reduction applied in PS.

So, all-in-all, I'm very, very happy with my choice. It's going to be a friend for many moons to come.
01-30-2011, 10:02 PM   #26
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Congrats on the new camera. K20D is a very good camera indeed.

I've used all Pentax dSLR cameras (other than the 645D), and bought most of them as soon as they came out. After used K7 and K5, there is no way I'd go back to a K20D or K10D. To me I just feel it's a lot more fun shooting with a K7 or K5
01-30-2011, 10:51 PM   #27
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While it's certain that the K-5 is a world of difference to the experience for the photographer, the K20D is without a doubt one of the best value for money purchases you can make for a body today.
02-10-2011, 08:38 PM   #28
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I find these threads interesting because of the opinions folks have on upgrading, lack of features, etc..

I finally went to -mostly- digital less than a year and a half ago due to film development costs. It was also because after five years the price for used Minolta Maxxum 7D's finally came down to where I could afford one. So yes, I patiently waited five years to buy the camera I lusted for since it first came out. The wait to me was worth it. I simply love that -6MP- DSLR!

Be that as it may, it does have a few shortcomings, and I also simply would like to semi-retire it to my collection while it is still fully functional.

I stewed and stewed over what DSLR to buy next. It finally boiled down to the following candidates: Sony A100, Pentax K10D, and an Olympus E-520.

The K10D edged out the other two, and I began to search for a nice used one. Low and behold someone had a really nice used K20D for less cost than what I had planned for a K10D, so I bought it. I don't regret buying that "old" body at all, and believe it will be the wonderful photographic tool I expect it to be.
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