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10-24-2011, 10:15 AM   #16
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10-24-2011, 01:24 PM   #17
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Agreed, I'm a brand new user and this feed has answered 99% of my questions regarding whether to go for the K20D or the K7. Thanks to all!!
10-24-2011, 03:02 PM   #18
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As a recent K5 purchaser as my first DSLR, and both myself and my wife interested in the hobby, I've already run the scenario of a 'backup'/second camera through my head a number of times. So far, it's really without much result. I don't care much about video, the K7 is smaller (and could share the same backup battery with the k5, in my case), 3fps vs 5fps, high ISO is about even between K20 and K7, metering and AF slightly better on K7. There may be some other misc differences of relevance, and if so, please jump in...

In my case, it would be nice, but unlikely to pick up a second K5 as I'd rather buy some faster lenses, and there isn't too much difference that I'm aware of (except for size) that matters to me too much, so it would come down to $, with a preference to the K7 if it was within a reasonable amount of cash. That's based on picking up a used camera, as pricing in the US seems to be pretty bizarre right now, with the K7 new still at or above 1k, with the K5 very little above that - in which case the K5 is a clear win (and what I purchased as camera #1).

The leveling is ok but not magic, easy enough to do in Lightroom or any editing software. Likewise, you can create a default import template to embed copyright and other metadata into your images on import into your PC, so I guess it's nice 'in camera' maybe if only shooting JPG or handing the card from the camera to someone, but it's easily works around.

You can also get lens profiles for lens correction within Lightroom and for other software, including being able to apply it in a batch.

You still have all exposure modes including green, HyperProgram, TAv across all 3, I'm not sure you'll really miss auto program mode on the K20.
I think you've got two choices to make here - used or new, followed by K20/k7 pricing, or K5.
I would personally be buying the K5 new only, and adding the $20 extended warrantee as cheap insurance/peace of mind 'just in case.'
On the K20/K7, for your purposes, I don't think you'll be missing too much between those two. The K7's better metering may be helpful (77 segment vs 16), and were i making that call, I'd be looking at both the K20 and K7 used, as once you get to k7 new pricing, you really need to just spend another $100-200 and get the K5.

Sorry if it's not helpful, I'm still weighing my own options in the event we 'need' a second camera. I did go through a similar process before I bought the K5, and went with the K5, mostly due to the new K7 pricing, wanting a camera to grow into and keep for some time, etc...very happy with the K5 so far.
10-24-2011, 03:21 PM   #19
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PS - you didn't say what your budget was or what lenses you'd be needing, or have already, that I saw?
You mentioned street/candid, and some early evening, maybe something like the DA 18-135 WR + a fast fifty (used, < $100 f/1.7), then whichever body works best in your budget, makes the most realistic sense? It's really easy for people to spend other people's money, and easy to forget it's not unlimited just because it's someone else spending it.

Also, here's something that may help out, discussion over the k20 vs K7 when the K7 was just out:

10-24-2011, 07:30 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
The K7 is a refinement, as the K20D was of the K10D. The K5 is far beyond those.
Actually, the K20D and K-5 are both refinements over their respective predecessors - K10D and K-7. The only reason K-5 is better is because Pentax finally decided to part ways with Samsung sensors and use Sony, but that was only common sense, not the beginning of a new era in camera design

The K20D is a good camera, but it's a representative of the K10D generation. The K-7 and K-5 are better featured overall. So the preference is natural: K-5, then K-7, then K20D. Especially because for street photography, a silent shutter is an important point and the K-7 and K-5 are both at a different level than the K20D.
10-24-2011, 07:34 PM   #21
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The K-7 is a far better backup camera for the K-5 simply because the controls are the same...
10-30-2011, 07:40 AM   #22
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Hi Friends,

Just as an update, I thought I'd let you know my decision. I went and saw both the K5 (glorious!) and K20d in person. Because I had never used a dslr, I found both to be pretty overwhelming in terms of features and whatnot. In the end the decision was based a) on what was said here, and b) on finances because, much as I would love to think I have 1099 to lay down on the k5 body alone, in all honesty I don't.
So I think I'm going with the used k20d with 18-55mm lens, memory card, cables and charger for $465.
I'm scheduled to pick it up today - I was wondering if there are any last minute things I should check out when I look it over to make sure I'm not being scooped? The girl who is selling it is super-nice, gave me a tutorial on it while i looked at it the first time, etc. so I don't think she's scamming me. Just wanted to be prepared.

Thanks in advance!
10-30-2011, 03:46 PM   #23
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The K20 was Pentax's top of the line body several years ago. It has all the bells and whistles. It is the last body that Pentax supported Tethering on (using the PC to control the body and take images). I am thinking that depending on the type of photography you do, it may be your last body, you may need or want. I do evening and night photography - landscapes, cityscapes, etc. I am finding that the sensor noise, sometimes needing higher ISO, and would love to have lower ISO (80 would be great), that maybe in a couple of years, you might be thinking about an upgrade. $465, with the kit lens is a very good price. Essentially you are paying $400 for the body. Three years ago I paid $650 brand new - body only.

I still have the original battery, I was going to get a spare but never got around to it. I get about 600 images to a charge. I use Raw images and 4GB sd cards. I get 200+ shots per card.

What you should look for. Overall condition, take some pictures and see what they look like. Some one had a post here about buying used equipment - Lenses I think - bodies - I would do a search on here at the forum. I would just take it out and shoot and shoot and shoot some more. Try a bit of everything - you really can not hurt it - well don't drop it. Stay with one lens for a week, until you get to understand the camera. Then change only major one thing at a time. Take a bunch of pictures, down load to the PC (larger screen), take a look, figure out what you like and what you don't, and then use your improved knowledge to try again. Essentially rinse and repeat. The instant feed back is great for learning. The rear screen is great, however when you see you images on a large monitor, you can really tell what you did and if you like the effect or not.

Everything is here - firmware, manuals, etc.
Downloads & Literature - PENTAX Imaging USA

Here is the pdf for the manual. Use the search capability to find what you are looking for fast. Its much better than the index. Also, I just down load a copy to my desktop so its always handy for reference.

So, I guess that you have it by now - what do you think?

PS - I just saw a post from him and remembered that he has never upgraded beyond the K20

Last edited by interested_observer; 10-30-2011 at 04:39 PM.
10-30-2011, 04:50 PM   #24
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I have a k7 and a K20, the K7 is a big step up from the k20, however it is not a night camera. Or atleast my copy isn't, there is bothersome noise from 400 and banding at 1600. For what I do it's unusable beyond iso 400. I can't wait to pick up a k5 for its lower noise sensor, that said the k7 is a wonderful camera. And could probably be had for $700 or so if you watch Amazon. Its also near unbreakable. I've left it timelapseing in the rain for days on end, I fell off a boat with it once, its been dropped numerous times, and it just keeps on going.
Basically your question comes down to budget, the K5 is the best camera but if money is tight my priority would be to get the best lens rather than the best body.
10-30-2011, 07:51 PM   #25
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Here are a couple more observations:

K-7 uses the same batteries as K-5 - the battery model for the K20D is no longer used in any Pentax camera.

The K-7 is pretty decent for low light shooting if you pair it with a fast lens. Sure, the K-5 is even better, but it's not like you cannot take shots in low light with the K-7, and the K20D won't give you any significant advantage over it.

Here are a couple of samples - K-7+Cosina 55/1.2@1.2+ISO1600 (click images for larger size):

11-01-2011, 09:15 PM   #26
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It sounds like you got the K20D. You'll like it - it's a very nice camera. Feels quite solid in the hand. I kept mine even after I got a K-7, and still use it. If you wind up with a longer lens like the 55-300 the K20D balances quite nicely with it. Don't worry that it's not the latest technology, for what you paid it will be very good. There is always a trade-off.

Enjoy your new camera.
11-02-2011, 01:38 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by Frank B Quote
If you wind up with a longer lens like the 55-300 the K20D balances quite nicely with it.
A quick comment: Balance is important. Besides the heaviest Pentax SLR body (K20D, 715g) I also have what is probably the lightest (ZX-M, 305g). That very light film body makes using longer heavier lenses awkward. I bought a grip that boosts the weight to 445g without batteries. Now the FA100-300 (silver, 380g) feels right on the ZX-M, where before it was just WRONG.

Some very small|pancake lenses look almost absurd on the K20D, but they still feel good, as do much longer and heavier lenses. My Lil'Bigma 170-500 (1270g) may be heavy, but it balances well on the K20D.
11-02-2011, 05:12 AM   #28
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What ever you chose some will say... because it was not their model of choice.

The greatest help I can really give is a free program written by a guy for free and who did not own the K20D. GordonBGood is a engineer and computer programmer. He knows all about data coming off a sensor to make a pic. Anyways above ISO1600 when the light starts getting low the K20D pics can have a magenta cast creeping in from the edges. At worse it can tint the whole pic. This was a slight over-sight by Pentax. However his free program removes the tint with no pixel harmed or altered from the original data in a negative way.

Take a read -
Google GordonBGood Pentax K20D Raw Border Corrector

Program -

As you can see he writes programs but his primary interest is in sensor and noise (being into astrophotography) and is a real engineer.

His program enables you to shoot ISO3200 in low light with good results with the K20D. He does not take donations, and did it free. It was very nice of him so when people buy a K20D as you its a great tool I shamelessly promote for him . Nobody gains nor will but you.
11-05-2011, 02:46 PM   #29
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Hey Everyone,

thanks for checking in and for all the additional info! I did indeed end up getting the K20d which on first impressions is great. Admittedly I haven't had the chance to take it out and do some serious shooting yet, so i can't completely comment on its awesomeness, but suffice to say I'm pleased with my purchase at this time. I'm trying to familiarize myself with all the settings and features as I was a bit overwhelmed by everything when first trying to operate it (it being my first dSLR experience and all), but I'm sure once I get the hang of the different modes, etc., it'll become 2nd nature to me.

So once again, I really appreciate all your feedback, and I'd be happy to keep up with this thread to let you know my progress, and possibly help others who are in a similar scenario that I was last week in trying to make a decision between 2 awesome cameras.

Loving being a member of this forum, that's for sure.
Thanks everyone!
11-05-2011, 04:11 PM   #30
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The K20D is a great camera to get into Pentax family. It is especially nice for a cautious attempt on a reasonable low budget to try out. There is always a better and more capable camera around the blocks out there but the one you can afford to use is the one that matters most. Please value your newest asset that you have now, it is a very capable camera. You can see my personal favorite photos taken with K20D for 3+ years and I welcome you to see my blog page with photos taken with K20D, K-x, and films with Pentax 645N and others.

And congratulation on your newly acquired camera.


Last edited by hinman; 11-05-2011 at 05:03 PM.

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