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06-26-2011, 01:50 AM   #1
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Trade a K-x for a K20D?

Here's the thing: as much as I like my K-x and it's compact size, the viewfinder is inappropriate. I'm into shooting manual primes, so I would like something with a bigger/brighter VF.

Around my market here I found an used K20D in mint condition, together with a DA 14-45 + extra battery, for the equivalent of $ 1000 USD. I know, it's more expensive than Ebay, but importing things to Brazil is prohibitive (I pay 60% tax).

My question is, would it be a good deal, or is the K20D too old already? Should I look into getting a K-7 instead?

06-26-2011, 03:13 AM   #2
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hey, k-x shooter here. My brother shoots a k20d and honestly, its a whole different experience. Sure, the jealousy over the extra dial and buttons and whatnot dies down once the sun goes down, but he just sticks a flash on it and the little green eyed monster is back again

thing is, how will the k20d impact your shooting? Are the features you gain worth what you lose?
if it is, then go for it, the k20d is a beautiful camera
06-26-2011, 05:57 AM   #3
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I really like my K20D. But its viewfinder doesn't make a huge difference with my deteriorating vision. To me, it is not appreciably brighter or clearer than the viewfinders of my FF film SLRs. I have not compared it with a Kx viewfinder. I depend on CIF (catch-in-focus) to assure spot-on focus with my many MF lenses. CIF, and focus confirmation, and a katzeye-type split screen, make MF lenses very usable for me. If you want to sacrifice video and high-ISO and the Kx's settings for the WR and tethering and professional controls of the K20D, then do so. But you might not find the viewfinder difference to be significant. Try CIF with your Kx and see if that helps. Good luck!

Last edited by RioRico; 06-26-2011 at 06:03 AM.
06-26-2011, 07:04 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
I really like my K20D. But its viewfinder doesn't make a huge difference with my deteriorating vision. To me, it is not appreciably brighter or clearer than the viewfinders of my FF film SLRs. I have not compared it with a Kx viewfinder. I depend on CIF (catch-in-focus) to assure spot-on focus with my many MF lenses. CIF, and focus confirmation, and a katzeye-type split screen, make MF lenses very usable for me. If you want to sacrifice video and high-ISO and the Kx's settings for the WR and tethering and professional controls of the K20D, then do so. But you might not find the viewfinder difference to be significant. Try CIF with your Kx and see if that helps. Good luck!
I can use MF with my K-x with the standard screen reasonably well, I still have fairly good vision, but I would really prefer a bigger and brigther VF, specially when closing down the aperture on full manual lenses.

I noticed here on the camera comparsion page that the K-7 has a pentaprism like the K20D, but it is 100% coverage. Can anyone who own/ed/s both a K-7 and K20D comment on how the viewfinders compare, also how it compares to the one in a K-x?

I may get a K-7 instead as it has less compromises (has video and I liked the button layout better, it's more similar to the one in K-x), although more expensive.

06-26-2011, 07:06 AM   #5
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I too have a K20 and for manual focusing lenses you are going to have similar problems. The current crop of viewfinders (for autofocusing) are just not conducive to manual focusing. I have been considering getting a Katzeye split screen. My old Spotmatic (circa 1970) has that type of viewfinder and its joy to use. The K20's pentaprism is better than the Kx's pentamirror, so the problem (at least for me) is the split screen focusing capability. I have been wearing glasses since I was 1 year old - and my vision is not the best - however I am not ready for the white cane.

The K20's two wheel controls is light years better than the Kx - my opinion. The ISO on the high end is not as good.

Rico's catch in focus suggestion has a lot of merit - currently I use the beep and the focus indicator, however that can be off.

06-26-2011, 07:33 AM   #6
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I can't say I ever noticed a huge difference between the K7 and K20 viewfinder. Then again, I've always used (and still do) an O-ME53 viewfinder which crops the view. I've never used one of the smaller cameras though (k100, kx, etc). Between that and getting the diopter just right, I find I'm able to nail focus. I also rely on Catch In Focus a lot as well for the days when my eyes aren't what they should be.

06-26-2011, 08:37 AM   #7
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When I down-sized from the K-7 to my k-x I was certain that the VF would be the most noteworthy change I'd need to live with. It really wasn't. That's just me though, and being able to shoot decent iso5000 images in a pinch makes other issues less important to me. In this generation only the k-r or K-5 would match or best what the k-x brings me, so I'm off the fence for a year or two.

Making that change without testing it in real time feels risky to me. If you can try it for 10 minutes first, you'll know for sure what the viewfinder is worth to you.
06-26-2011, 09:50 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jimr-pdx Quote
When I down-sized from the K-7 to my k-x I was certain that the VF would be the most noteworthy change I'd need to live with. It really wasn't. That's just me though, and being able to shoot decent iso5000 images in a pinch makes other issues less important to me. In this generation only the k-r or K-5 would match or best what the k-x brings me, so I'm off the fence for a year or two.

Making that change without testing it in real time feels risky to me. If you can try it for 10 minutes first, you'll know for sure what the viewfinder is worth to you.
Thanks. I expected the pentaprisms on the K20/K-7 to be a lot better than the K-x lousy pentamirror, but looks like most people don't see much difference.

I thought I would use more of K-x's high ISO, but I never shot over ISO 800 as I don't make sports/action shots, and for night shots I end with more enjoyable pics at ISO 100 and longer exposures anyway. On the other hand, from the samples I gathered on the net, even having an older Samsung sensor, the K20D seems to produce much prettier images at lower ISO than my K-x. It's hard to describe but colors just seem more true to life and reds don't get blown out. I don't know if the K-7 is the same in this regard, I'm not sure they share the same sensor.

Of course, there are other things like WR, two dials, Hyper Program, TAv that make those bodies more appealing, but despite WR, I could live with the limited K-x controls, I find the ergonomics pretty good and it feels instinctive to use.

I wish Pentax had a mid-level model, with K-x specs but Green/Hyp/TAv modes and a better viewfinder. I would be all set, I just want something good to MF with


Last edited by hcarvalhoalves; 06-26-2011 at 09:55 AM.
06-27-2011, 07:36 PM   #9
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Partly it is because I have an after-market screen, but I do find focus on manual lenses easier on the K20d. However, I still reach for my K-x more these days because of the high ISO capabilities small size. I still use the K20d, but I wouldn't trade my K-x for it.

Last edited by GeneV; 06-28-2011 at 02:01 AM.
06-27-2011, 08:38 PM   #10
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I didn't really notice a difference in the VFs between a K100ds and my k20d; however, the K-X VF seems a lot smaller than the K20. I just [icked the k-x up on a whim, so too early to tell, but the k20 feels a lot nicer in the hand.
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