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02-24-2012, 03:41 AM   #1
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K20D - A lot of camera for the money?

Is it just me, or is it a fact that K20D is a lot of camera for the money?

They can be had for 200-300 EUR here on ebay and other "used" gear sites, and I am thinking it may be a good complement/spare to my beloved K-r (that now is on repair for another 2-3 weeks and is SEVERELY missed....).

What are the backsides of the K20D?





Last edited by JFN; 02-24-2012 at 04:10 AM.
02-24-2012, 04:26 AM   #2
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As a spare it cannot be beaten IMHO.

Downsides:
-Slightly bulky
-Somewhat noisy shutter
-Some colorshift issues on higher ISO (>1600) for which an external software fix exists

Upsides:
-Excellent IQ right through ISO800
-Somewhat bulky (I actually prefer the formfactor of the K20D over my K-5)
-Separate switch for NR on the body (I sorely miss that one on the K-5)
-Better placement of the image review button and exposure correction button (this may just be due to me still getting to grips with the K-5)

All in all a very capable, sturdy and trustworthy body.
02-24-2012, 04:26 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by JFN Quote
Is it just me, or is it a fact that K20D is a lot of camera for the money?

They can be had for 200-300 EUR here on ebay and other "used" gear sites, and I am thinking it may be a good complement/spare to my beloved K-r (that now is on repair for another 2-3 weeks and is SEVERELY missed....).

What are the backsides of the K20D?
The K20d is a great option if you do not need video. Few problems, sturdy camera, WR, good controls...
Go for it.
02-24-2012, 05:50 AM   #4
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I agree it is great for the money. I also have some Nikons, but just seem to love this camera.

02-24-2012, 08:55 AM   #5
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JFN,

Bear in mind that the DSLR is "mature technology." Therefore, a good photographer is going to be able to take good photos with virtually any DSLR. Also, the changes from camera to camera are often either a moving of the buttons around or some new gimmick to allow people who can't take good photos to take them anyway. There are real improvements in terms of being able to take clear photos in very poor light, but I wonder how many people really need that improvement. I discovered that I don't. I start many a hike at dawn, but by the time I see anything I want to photograph ISO 800 will do the job.

When the K20d came out in June of 2008 it was the top of the Pentax line. Dpreview thought it a wonderful camera and gave it a "Highly Recommended" rating. Since that time, the K20d has held up well. K20d users found no flaws, that is, the sort of physical flaws that have turned up in some cameras.

The K-r came out in March 2011 but DPreview said it was essentially a K-x with better AF points. The K-x you will recall came out in 2009. Dpreview gave the K-x a "highly recommended" rating as an entry level camera. Because of the lack of real improvements over the K-x, DPreview only gave the K-r a "recommended" rating.

In my own case I so appreciated the K-20d that I got the K-7 as a backup for it. That is an oversimplification, of course. I considered getting a second K-20d in case I damaged mine on a hike, but then found a K-7, new, from a camera shop that still had a few, for about the same price as a new K-r.

If you compare your K-r to the K-x you may decide that the additional AF points enable you to take better photos, or you may not. In my case I looked at the "improvements" the K-7 made over the K-20d and didn't see any I really needed, but when it came right down to the time of purchase, I couldn't resist the K-7s price.

Condition is very important in all these cameras. I got my K-20d with about 700 shutter actuations on it and my K-7 with none. The K-20d & K-7 are "semi-pro" cameras with weather sealing -- just the cameras for hikers. Also, they were built to last a lot longer than beginner-grade cameras. So if you get a K-20d, get one with low-shutter actuations and it will very likely last a lot longer than your K-r. You might also consider taking your K-r out on sunny clear days and your K-20d out in bad weather -- although you would need a weather-sealed lens to match the K-20ds weather sealing if you take it out in the rain.

Lawrence
02-24-2012, 09:16 AM   #6
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Thanks for all great advice and experience here - I love this community!!

Will put K20D on the "to buy" list for the future, and when the right price/quality item shows up I'll snag it..

Just got me a MZ-6 today, for 30 EUR including a FA 28-90 (that I probably wont keep), so until my K-r comes back from repair it's all 35mm film shooting practice for me (being a new photographer with no experience until 2 months ago, I think the mz-6 will be a great shooting school teaching me more about photography than any digital camera would ever do...).


Last edited by JFN; 02-24-2012 at 09:33 AM.
02-24-2012, 09:32 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by JFN Quote
Is it just me, or is it a fact that K20D is a lot of camera for the money?

They can be had for 200-300 EUR here on ebay and other "used" gear sites, and I am thinking it may be a good complement/spare to my beloved K-r (that now is on repair for another 2-3 weeks and is SEVERELY missed....).

What are the backsides of the K20D?


K20D is a very good bargain, IMO. Except for a few K-m and K100D shots, every Pentax picture from me in this forum sine 2008 is from the K20D .
02-24-2012, 10:08 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by jsherman999 Quote
K20D is a lot of camera for the money?
It is.

02-24-2012, 12:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Historicity Quote
JFN,

Bear in mind that the DSLR is "mature technology." Therefore, a good photographer is going to be able to take good photos with virtually any DSLR. Also, the changes from camera to camera are often either a moving of the buttons around or some new gimmick to allow people who can't take good photos to take them anyway. There are real improvements in terms of being able to take clear photos in very poor light, but I wonder how many people really need that improvement. I discovered that I don't. I start many a hike at dawn, but by the time I see anything I want to photograph ISO 800 will do the job.


The K-r came out in March 2011 but DPreview said it was essentially a K-x with better AF points. The K-x you will recall came out in 2009. Dpreview gave the K-x a "highly recommended" rating as an entry level camera. Because of the lack of real improvements over the K-x, DPreview only gave the K-r a "recommended" rating.





Lawrence
The place where higher ISO's are nice is for sports/action photography without a fast lens. If you want to freeze a ball or person in lower light without blur it is almost imperative to have usable quality high ISO to get those shots.

Also, I think lack of "real" improvements is very subjective here. I consider the uniqueness and versatility of the battery options, the much higher resolution and larger screen, the visible af points, the considerably faster continuous shooting, and the significantly faster live view capabilities to be quite real indeed.

Besides, the ratings you cite on dpreview are skewed by the original terminology of recommended or highly recommended. The ratings now are more specific....and the K-x is only 2 percentage points higher than the K-r (73 - 71). That makes it seem much less significant of a difference, and could reflect in part the the K-x being the first of its kind (ie great, low noise sensor in entry level camera), as well as the fact that the K-r is considered to be (ironically in this case because of the improvements!) in that hybrid ground between entry level and mid level.
02-24-2012, 10:32 PM   #10
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What about a K-x?

CCD333,

Right. Some people will find some changes "improvements" while others will not. The reviewer at dpreview found only the 11 AF points to be a K-r improvement over the K-x. In my case Dpreview found a list of 12 K-7 improvements over the K-20d; however in reviewing that list I didn't find anything I needed. Some people found the K-7 improvements important but there are many who did not. That is what I intended to point out to the initial poster: Find out what the differences are and then determine whether you need (or want) them. Because the technology being mature means for example that if you were to find a brand new K-x it would be just as good as a brand new K-r if you didn't need the 11 AF points.

For example, consider the Dpreview list of K-7 improvements over the K-20d:

  • 720p/1536 x 1024 HD video recording
  • Smaller magnesium/steel alloy body
  • Revised viewfinder (less magnified but with greater coverage)
  • Updated sensor with four-channel readout
  • 3.0" VGA (920,000 dot) LCD
  • New shutter mechanism with 1/8000th shutter speed
  • Faster continuous shooting (up to 5.2 fps)
  • 77 segment exposure metering sensor
  • Revised autofocus algorithms
  • AF illumination lamp
  • New dust removal system
  • HDMI output
There isn't anything on this list that I needed, but I understand that some people appreciated some of these changes, the video recording capability for example. And if I didn't say it, I intended to, anyone wanting to "upgrade" should examine the differences and decide whether they need some of the changes. Because DSLR technology is mature, and a brand new K20d will last as long and do everything quite as well as a brand new K-7 in terms of taking excellent photos. And the same thing will be true of the K-x and K-r. In fact if someone loved the K-r and didn't need the weather protection or ruggedness of the K-20d, a brand new K-x might be a better choice. Where can someone buy a brand-new K-x? There are 46 of them for sale on eBay for $580: Pentax K-x 12.4 MP Digital SLR Camera - Black Body Only 0027075159440 | eBay



Lawrence
02-25-2012, 02:17 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Historicity Quote
Where can someone buy a brand-new K-x? There are 46 of them for sale on eBay for $580
And I have seen K-r's here in france for 750 eur...

(I paid 438 eur for my K-r brand new two months ago)

02-25-2012, 03:03 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JFN Quote
Thanks for all great advice and experience here - I love this community!!

Will put K20D on the "to buy" list for the future, and when the right price/quality item shows up I'll snag it..

Just got me a MZ-6 today, for 30 EUR including a FA 28-90 (that I probably wont keep), so until my K-r comes back from repair it's all 35mm film shooting practice for me (being a new photographer with no experience until 2 months ago, I think the mz-6 will be a great shooting school teaching me more about photography than any digital camera would ever do...).

Personally I miss my K10d. I have K20d back up for k7, Just quietly I think the 20D does a better job then K7 for what and how I shoot. Dont need speed, high iso ect. The only way I shall part with my MZ-S is from my dead cold hands. Actually the best camera and lens combo you can have is......... the one you have on you at time of shoot.

Cheers
Macca
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