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12-25-2011, 06:16 PM   #1
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Used K20d or a used K7?

Hello everyone!

I'm a long time lurker of the forums but a first time poster. I had a quick question about a camera I'm hoping to post and I figured everyone here would be able to answer any questions before I put down the money!

I am a college student who will be spending the next semester in Cork, Ireland — I'm extremely excited for the trip and I will be leaving soon! I am a current Pentax user, with a Pentax K100d Super, and I want to look into possibly buying a new camera before my trip. I've been lusting over the K5 for awhile but I feel like it is a bit too out of my reach as of right now, so I was thinking of picking up either a used K7 or a used K20d. I'm just not sure which one to get.

I feel like the K7 may be the better investment as it is a newer model, but from what I've heard, I feel as though a lot of Pentax users were disappointed with the K7, at least in comparison to the K5. I know a lot of users were happy with the K20d when it was orignally released, but I'm not sure if that means it has aged well. Considering that I'm still with a Super, either option would probably make me a very happy customer, but I figured I'd research as much as possible before I decide.

As I mentioned, most of the use of the new camera will be general tourist-y pictures while in Ireland. In addition to this, I do photograph a few concerts here and there, so it would be great if my future camera is at least halfway decent with high ISO photographs.

Thanks for your help!

12-25-2011, 07:17 PM   #2
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There are plenty of threads o this forum comparing the two models. Do a quick search above to read through the pros and cons as they apply to you.
Generally, the later the model, the better the tool. In this case, the K-7 is designed for video as well as stillframe photography, so that's one advantage of the K-7. The K20D has a similar sensor and gives the same brilliant low ISO results as the K-7, but both don't perform all that well above ISO 1600. Autofocusing speed is also a good improvement in the K-7.
12-25-2011, 07:20 PM   #3
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I went from the K10D to the K-7, skipping the K20D, and was extremely happy with the leap to the K-7.
12-25-2011, 09:25 PM   #4
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get the k7 if you can afford it. the k20d feels a bit sluggish in use (compared to my k5), lacks video and instead has a useless burst mode, no af assist lamp, etc. i like the control system of the new bodies (grid screen to set most settings) better than the older cameras as well. image quality should be similar between the k7 and k20d, high iso should be fine till 1600 or 3200

12-25-2011, 09:56 PM   #5
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hmm... I'd have to suggest you go for a Kx or Kr.
The K7 was not a major improvement over the K20.
AF, sensor performance was generally the same.



The Kx has much better ISO performance (usable to 3200) and can be useful for concerts.
The Kr improves over that with better more decisive AF.
12-26-2011, 01:21 AM   #6
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As an EX K7 owner, here are my thoughts (and this is just my opinion so take it as you will).

K20D has better ISO 100-400. I got very annoyed seeing "grain" in ISO 100 on the K7 where-as the K20D is smooth.
K20D has better 1600 and 3200 ISO (easier to clean up in post processing too)
K20D and K7 AF is almost identical in performance.
K7 has movie mode (which I've never used).
K20 has a button for SR where'as the K7 is in menu (I actually found that very annoying).
K7 has a better screen and layout once you get used to it.
K7 has a more user friendly menu system.
K20D can be "hacked" to give you more freedom in AF adjustment (Debug Mode).
K7 is smaller and lighter. Despite it's smaller size it's also a lot more comfortable in your hand.
K7 can capture more frames in burst shooting.
K7 has better White Balance.
K7 has SLIGHTLY better P-TTL performance (K20D tends to underexpose).
Both are weather sealed units.
K20D has a BETTER Dynamic Range compared to the K7. I couldn't believe it when I first noticed that.
I found my K20D had less FF/BF issues with my lenses compared to the K7.

In the end, I had the K7 for about 6 months. Sold it and bought a used K20D as I was so frustrated with the overall performance.
12-26-2011, 01:55 AM   #7
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https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/106600-k-7-high-iso-success.html
after reading that and playing with my K7 I do not really want K5 any more.
K7 is brilliant camera and pleasure to use.
I still have KX with Sigma 17-70 2.8-4.5 DC ( the smaller older one, no HSM and better MACRO)more-less permanently attached to it, always stays in my backpack, great for indoors and traveling, on one set of 4x AA Lithium batteries can take up to 950 shots ( very convenient while you are moving around).
So, I would go to the shop and have a play with both bodies, KX/KR and K5/K7 , and if you could find K20, see what you like.
As from a body feel point of ( my) view :
1: K5/K7
2: KX/KR
3: K20
12-26-2011, 02:29 AM   #8
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K-r and even K-x trumps the K-7 in what is its primary role: still frame photography. The sensors are just more refined with the later models.

12-26-2011, 08:55 AM   #9
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My Take

QuoteOriginally posted by brian.rentas Quote
Hello everyone!

I'm a long time lurker of the forums but a first time poster. I had a quick question about a camera I'm hoping to post and I figured everyone here would be able to answer any questions before I put down the money!

I am a college student who will be spending the next semester in Cork, Ireland — I'm extremely excited for the trip and I will be leaving soon! I am a current Pentax user, with a Pentax K100d Super, and I want to look into possibly buying a new camera before my trip. I've been lusting over the K5 for awhile but I feel like it is a bit too out of my reach as of right now, so I was thinking of picking up either a used K7 or a used K20d. I'm just not sure which one to get.

I feel like the K7 may be the better investment as it is a newer model, but from what I've heard, I feel as though a lot of Pentax users were disappointed with the K7, at least in comparison to the K5. I know a lot of users were happy with the K20d when it was orignally released, but I'm not sure if that means it has aged well. Considering that I'm still with a Super, either option would probably make me a very happy customer, but I figured I'd research as much as possible before I decide.

As I mentioned, most of the use of the new camera will be general tourist-y pictures while in Ireland. In addition to this, I do photograph a few concerts here and there, so it would be great if my future camera is at least halfway decent with high ISO photographs.

Thanks for your help!
I owned 2 K20s which I shot with for many years.

I originally skipped the k7 as the IQ was a bit worse than the K20 (in general) and the other upgrades did not seem worth the price to me.

I now own a K5 and a K7, so I can compare the K20 and K7:

I am not seeing very much difference in IQ between the K20 and k7. Neither camera will match newer models in high ISO shooting, but at used prices, the K7 rear screen resolution, body size, and overall performance are all better than the K20 and to me, make the K7 a better choice.

I also wanted a second body to backup the K5, and the handling is so different between the K20 and K5 that I could not switch between them easily.

I think the K20 performs better in PTTL flash as I see a bit of the inconsistent over-exposure with the K7 that I also see with the K5 but did not see with the K20.

Some say that the K7 AF system performs just like the K20, but in my use so far, the K7 is better than the K20. It does not match the K5, but the K10/K20 bodies could be very frustrating trying to track even minor subject motion, or in AF lock in low light.

If you are lusting after a K5 and hope to buy one someday, I would suggest you go with the K7 which will make the future upgrade much more seamless.

Good luck and have fun.

Ray
12-29-2011, 10:57 PM   #10
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If you're upgrading from the K20, the K7 probably isn't as big of a leap forward. But if you're upgrading from a entry-level dslr, the K7 is the way to go - basically the K20d sensor in a smaller, more responsive body with the addition of HD video.
12-30-2011, 02:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ash Quote
K-r and even K-x trumps the K-7 in what is its primary role: still frame photography.
Sorry... I really do find this quite a silly statement...



QuoteOriginally posted by i_trax Quote
K-7 High ISO Success!
after reading that and playing with my K7 I do not really want K5 any more.
K7 is brilliant camera and pleasure to use.
This has been the view of many... I may well skip the K5 and upgrade from K-x to K7 when the next 'flagship' comes out...
12-31-2011, 07:50 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by CrazyNuts Quote
K20D can be "hacked" to give you more freedom in AF adjustment (Debug Mode).
Do you really need that as you have the 'individual adjustment' anyway?
01-02-2012, 06:58 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by sterretje Quote
Do you really need that as you have the 'individual adjustment' anyway?
With the poor QC these days of lens manufacturers, you have no idea how usefull this becomes, especially when -/+ 10 isn't enough to sort out the focus.
01-03-2012, 06:00 AM   #14
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I have K20D. It have better go to K-R and K-5 as they use new CMOS of samsung with better noise control than K20D and K7. Beside, you can off the noise reduction function in K-R and K-5, which cannot be done in K20D and K-7. It is nightmare to take night scene or fireworks in K20D and K7 as those cameras are compulsory to turn on the function of noise reduction when long exposure more than 0.3 second.
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