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06-04-2011, 01:51 AM   #1
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Just downgraded and couldn't be happier

I used to own a K10D before buying a K-7 in hope that it would be a major improvement in IQ and overall performance.

I had the camera for 6 months and in that whole time I kept saying to myself "I wish I didn't sell the K10D"

Comparing the pictures I took with the K10D to the K-7, it was quite obvious that the K-7 missed the mark in the IQ department.

Sure the K-7 has better AF and WB control but to be honest, the noise even from ISO 100 I just couldn't bare.

SO. I sold the K-7 and bought a DEMO K20D locally for under $500.

Could not be happier. The IQ is back and even my Sigma 100-300mm f/4 is performing the way it used to on the K10D. On my K-7 the Sigma had really bad focusing issues (even after being taken in for servicing).

Think I'll be keeping this body for a while and not sure how long it will be before I upgrade to the K-5, if at all.

Anybody else out there is of simillar opinion?

06-04-2011, 02:05 AM   #2
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The K-7 and k20 use the same sensor- so my only doubt here is whether or not setting were to blame!

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06-04-2011, 02:17 AM   #3
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G'day mate.
I'm with Adam - K20D is a great camera, but it has essentially the same guts as the K-7.
I'm thinking your K-7 wasn't properly calibrated to your 100-300, which is pretty common with Sigma lenses in particular.
Noise is going to be the same, and only surface at low ISOs in long exposures (>15sec).
Now, the K-5, that's another story altogether...
06-04-2011, 02:21 AM   #4
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I bought a K-7 over a year ago. In retrospect, maybe I should have gone for a used K20D at the time. A lot cheaper and - compared to the competition - very good low-light noise (better than D300 and 50D). I felt I spent a little too much money on the K-7. But on the other hand, I like what I got out of the K-7, apart from noise > 640 ISO. I struggled to keep the ISO as low as possible, which is why I upgraded to the K-5 .

The sensor of the K-7 is different from that in the K20D. Four one thing, it can be read out a lot faster (allowing for more fps). They are similar, but not the same.

06-04-2011, 02:30 AM   #5
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I spent 3 hours in the shop showing the local Pentax Representative/Tech the issues I was having. There were definitely no settings issues. I went through all of that before sending my lens AND K-7 for calibration.

I even tried another K-7 body, not as bad but still had issues with IQ and focusing.

No such issues with the K20D. The Sigma lens mated to the K20D works flawlessly and focus is spot on. I no longer experience the "fog" problem I used to have with the K-7 and this lens.

By the way, they may share the same sensor but the K20D ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 is WAY cleaner than the K-7. I studied the outcomes of both cameras and could not believe how bad the K-7 was.

I appreciate there will be people who will believe it's a user issue (and I can assure you it's not), but for me the K-7 was a dissapointment and a step backwards in IQ compared to the K20D.
06-04-2011, 02:36 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by starbase218 Quote
The sensor of the K-7 is different from that in the K20D. Four one thing, it can be read out a lot faster (allowing for more fps). They are similar, but not the same.
that's correct, may be that has affected the k-7 noise performance? I remember reading in another thread here that Samsung NX-10 which seems to have same sensor as K20D has better noise performance compared to k-7
06-04-2011, 07:08 AM   #7
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No denying that at high ISO, the K-7 is a step below the K20D. But no way should you have experienced any sort of visible difference at ISO 100 - that had to have been either user error or a defective sample.
06-04-2011, 08:32 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The K-7 and k20 use the same sensor- so my only doubt here is whether or not setting were to blame!
It is not the same sensor. The K20D and K-7 sensors were Samsung/Pentax developed and are obviously very similar, but the K-7 accomodates video. The movie circuitry resulted in poorer noise performance and lower dynamic range, clearly evident in the DXOMark test.

I'm very happy with my K20D. I much prefer it to my K-x, and it's not just because of the semi-pro feature set. The K-x has lower noise at extreme ISO's, but I prefer the look of photos from the K20 at anything below ISO 3200. If Pentax releases a K-mount compatible MILC with K-5 sensor, I'll sell the K-x and buy that. Otherwise I'll upgrade the K-x for a K-5. I'm keeping the K20D for the foreseeable future. It's a classic.


Last edited by audiobomber; 06-08-2011 at 06:02 AM.
06-08-2011, 05:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
It is not the same sensor. The K20D and K-7 sensors were Samsung/Pentax developed and are obviously very similar, but the K-7 accomodates video. The movie circuitry resulted in poorer noise performance and dynamic range, clearly evident in the DXOMark test.

I'm very happy with my K20D. I much prefer it to my K-x, and it's not just because of the semi-pro feature set. The K-x has lower noise at extreme ISO's, but I prefer the look of photos from the K20 at anything below ISO 3200. If Pentax releases a K-mount compatible MILC with K-5 sensor, I'll sell the K-x and buy that. Otherwise I'll upgrade the K-x for a K-5. I'm keeping the K20D for the foreseeable future. It's a classic.
Agree! Samsung even said the sensor was redesigned from the ground up. We know they share some features but...

It's not the same sensor, not really! Samsung redesigned the K20D sensor for video and made many changes. Its close but different. One major change is going from a two channel to four channel design.
06-08-2011, 07:03 AM   #10
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I don't find much difference between K20 and K7 with regard to image quality. If anything, K7 images are a little easier to use noise reduction on, due to lack of magenta tinging. I like the ergonomics/body style of the k7 better than the K10/20 body style, but that is a personal choice.

K7 at iso 1600:



I seldom shot above 1600 with either the K7 or K20.
06-08-2011, 07:27 AM   #11
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RAW noise of the K-7 is slightly worse than that of the K20D (about 1/3 stop), according to the reviews, which may have been disappointing but it was still in line with the competition (EOS 50D is even slightly worse I believe). But JPEG noise reduction on the K-7 is subtle, so more noise - and detail - is present in its JPEG images. Of course this also depends on camera settings. I think that's where most of the rumors of its "awful noise levels" come from.

So for shooting RAW, the K-7 may not have been class-leading, but it wasn't appalling either. It's just that not too long after the K-7 went into production, a new generation of sensors changed the ballgame. K-x, EOS 7D... all with significantly less noise than either K20D or K-7.

At least that's how I see it.
06-08-2011, 07:34 AM   #12
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Just a matter of personal preference, but at ISO 100, I'll take the K10D over any of them. At higher ISO, not so much, but I'll keep that body just for the times I want the look of the K10d ISO 100.
06-08-2011, 08:05 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by GeneV Quote
Just a matter of personal preference, but at ISO 100, I'll take the K10D over any of them. At higher ISO, not so much, but I'll keep that body just for the times I want the look of the K10d ISO 100.
The big problems that I had with the K10 were two: first of all, I ran into to serious banding with it after iso 800 and second, it was really slow. It would almost always lock focus, but it often would literally take 5 or 6 seconds to do it. Just not really conducive to taking photos of anything moving (other than turtles/snails).

As you say, below iso 400, the sensor output was pretty amazing.
06-08-2011, 08:26 AM   #14
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The K20D is the only DSLR I have ever owned.
It has turned me into a Pentaxian because I love my camera, its handling and the IQ and the only upgrade I would ever consider would be to a K5 or K3 in the future.
That's not bad for a 5yr old camera..
06-08-2011, 12:39 PM   #15
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6 years of hard abuse and my K10D still trundles on - now used by my eldest son.

I once gave it to my 15 yr old to take on a rock climbing trip - just stuck it on program and auto iso 100-500.

He had never used a dslr before - he got some fantastic pics.

For me the K10D sensor's color reproduction at iso 100/200 is class leading.

I would say that the new sony sensor in the K5 has the same color but all the way to 2500 iso!
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