Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home

Show Printable Version Search this Thread
04-26-2012, 09:53 AM   #1
New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 17
K20d or K7

I am looking to upgrade from my istDL which is not working all that well anymore and I am now well beyond its limitations. Considering a used K20d or K7.

I mainly shoot nature, landscapes, cityscapes, night, events, action and sports. (A little bit of everything). Serious amateur but help out a pro action and event photographer occasionally using her Nikon equipment.

I like Pentax and go back with them to 1983 when I got an MESuper and have several old Pentax lenses that I still use. I just like the color that I get from Pentax and ease and familiarity of using Pentax equipment.

I am leaning toward the K7 because the focusing is rated better and it has some neat features although I really don't need the video.

Any suggestions out there for the type of pictures I take? I know for sure either will be light years ahead of my istDL.

Thanks and Happy Snapping,

04-26-2012, 10:31 AM   #2
Giveaway winner!
MysteryOnion's Avatar

Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: beantown
Photos: Albums
Posts: 925
I have a K20d and will skip the K7 and try to get the K5.
K7 is nice, but articles seem to point the K5 and the improved version over the K7.
04-26-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
Junior Member

Join Date: May 2011
Location: San Jacinto, CA
Posts: 41
Hmm. I have both the K20d and the K7 and don't know what to tell you. I started with the K20d and liked it so much I wanted a backup for it; hence the K7. What mode do you prefer? I shoot in Manual so really don't see much difference between the K20d & the K7. Nothing is ever completely the same so more has to do with the scene, the light, etc than the camera. I don't use the video either.

I like the feel of the K20d a bit better than the K7. It feels better in my hand. The K7 is smaller but blockier and my fingers have to reach a tiny bit further to hold it. But once out shooting one thinks about settings not hand-holds.

If it were me, I would look for the best deal I could get. I would pay a little extra for low shutter count, and maybe it will be easier to get the newer K7 with low shutter-count than the K20d.

04-26-2012, 10:34 AM   #4
Senior Member

Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Shrewsbury, NJ
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 108
Add Macro and I shoot similar to you. I've been shooting with a k20d for almost a year and love it. I just got a k-7 yesterday and my first impression of the k-7 is that it is markedly improved. Image quality wise, they are virtually the same, but feature-wise the k-7 has a lot more to it.
The k20d is a MORE THAN SOLID performer and if price is a concern, is an EXCELLENT camera.
That being said the K-7 has:
Real built in HDR (Multi-Exposure, not filter)
Quieter Shutter
Faster focusing (low light lamp independent of flash is also a big +)
Much better 'on camera' software.
Easier and more accessible control functions.

The form factor is also a little smaller than the k20d. This is not a plus in my book, as I like a bigger camera, but I'm sure I will get used to it.

The above are only the added features that I've found in my one day of having the k-7 and shooting some macro and sports. I'm sure there are many more that I will discover as time goes on. I was reluctant buying a K-7 instead of another K20d, but I'm glad I spent the little extra to get more on camera control.

04-26-2012, 10:41 AM   #5
Veteran Member
ihasa's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: West Midlands
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 2,054
Out of those two I'd go for the k7 as it's only a little more expensive. But consider the k-x too! It's also quite a snappy performer, and better high iso might be more important than weather sealing / external controls.
04-26-2012, 10:45 AM   #6
Veteran Member
RioRico's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Limbo, California
Posts: 11,264
If you need video and hi-ISO, get a Kx or Kr.
If you need video and WR, get a K7.
If you need WR and great controls, get a K20D.
If you have money, get a K5.
04-26-2012, 10:46 AM   #7
Loyal Site Supporter
eddie1960's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,264
I had the K10 and skipped the 20 and went to the K7. ergonomically and build wise i think the K7 is a big step up. sensor wise the K7 and the K20 use the same sensor AFAIK.
K7 adds some useful tools
+/- 5 ev versus +-3
Faster AF
More FPS
Better meter (77 segment)
SDXC support with firmware update

It really feels more solid as well in my hand
04-26-2012, 10:58 AM   #8
New Member

Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 17
Original Poster

I have spotted a few of both the K7 and K20 for what I am budgeting. I don't need a whole kit just the body so K20 with a lot of extras is not appealing. Although a grip would be nice but not necessary. The HDR is a nice plus as I have done some HDR using HDR software. Is a nice feature to have on the camera. I am a bugger on faster focusing especially in low light. I know this is Pentax's Achilles heal and one of the most frustrating complaints I had on my istDL was the focus hunt. I know K20 is better and K7 even better on focus.

I am leaning slightly toward the K7. Will let you know what I decide to do. I hate making decisions!!!!! I bought the istDL when it first came out without really thinking. It was the newest pentax camera at the time and I figured if it was the latest it would be the best but I should have got the D or DS back then as the DL was below what I was needing. I was happy with it and it served my needs at the time but I quickly outgrew it when my son hit high school and tried to photograph night football with it and indoor events. In the daytime sun it was great. DL not the best at action shots.

Been sitting on the fence for almost a year!!!!!!!! First was looking at K10 then K20 and now K7 has almost come in line with my budget. Since my DL broke a year ago I have been borrowing a Nikon D80 and D300 from my girlfriend and I just can't get used to Nikon.

Thanks will let you know what I get. Would like to get one before summer so I can get out and snap.

04-26-2012, 11:57 AM   #9

Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: NJ
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,879
QuoteOriginally posted by eddie1960 Quote
I had the K10 and skipped the 20 and went to the K7. ergonomically and build wise i think the K7 is a big step up. sensor wise the K7 and the K20 use the same sensor AFAIK.
K7 adds some useful tools
+/- 5 ev versus +-3
Faster AF
More FPS
Better meter (77 segment)
SDXC support with firmware update

It really feels more solid as well in my hand
Similar sensors, but the K7's is a bit of a regression, a little less dynamic range and a little noisier at high-ISO than the K20D... I guess that was the price to be paid for video capability.
04-26-2012, 12:01 PM   #10
Loyal Site Supporter
eddie1960's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 12,264
From the OP's DL either will be a huge step forward though.

the other thing to consider is the odds are better of getting a low count K7 than K20.
04-26-2012, 12:37 PM   #11
Veteran Member

Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: New York
Posts: 328
Ironically, I've been having kind of the same issue. But in my case, its which one to SELL. I'm leaning towards keeping the K20 even though it has a noisier shutter, but the grip is WR also and its a bit less noisy at all ISOs (in my opinion). I never used the HDR function on the K7 and even with the 3rd party grip it still feels a bit small.
We both have some tough decisions to make.
04-26-2012, 12:48 PM   #12
Lowell Goudge's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Toronto
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 15,399
i have an *istD, a K10D, skipped the K20D, got a K7D and now have a K5D as well.

I use the K5 and K7 interchangeably, the K7 more with my wide angle the K5 with super telep[hoto lenses due to the improved high ISO performance.

DOnt get me wrong the sensor in the K7 and K20 is not that bad, and they are slightly different, with the K7 having reportidly better thermal management as a result of the inclusion of video

As for use between K10/20 or K7/5, either is fine once you pick it up and don't look, the K7 and K5 are super quiet, the K10 and K20 are really really loud.

if you are thinking of future upgrades, hopefully pentax wont change the form factor and all the accessopries for the K5/7 will fit future cameras.

One thing to consider, i think the K20 uses the same battery as the K10, and the battery metering is not great, it shows 100% charge for ever, when it goes to half charge you have less than 20 shots before dead, the K7 and K5 have a much better metering system for hte battery
04-26-2012, 02:33 PM   #13
Site Supporter
Ex Finn.'s Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Southern Maryland.
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 6,216
Beg and borrow if you have to, get the K5.
04-26-2012, 02:49 PM   #14
Site Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Temple City CA
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 726
for mostly nature shots, K20D has the CCD sensor, which a few people think is better than all CMOS sensors after that, not a whole lot, I love my K-7, just saying
04-26-2012, 04:48 PM   #15
Site Supporter
twilhelm's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Florida
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 635
K20D was a CMOS sensor, which is why I'll never let my K10D with CCD sensor go. It's great in studio.
I played with the K-7, but didn't think it was enough of an upgrade from the K20D to justify the extra cost. As I don't shoot video either.
Love the feel of the K20D, especially over the ist DL.
I've saved for the K-5 (which ships tomorrow), that I feel is an upgrade from the K20D.

Just my 2 cents.

  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
action, camera, dslr, equipment, istdl, k20d, k7, pentax, photography
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pentax k20d or k7 davide164 Pentax DSLR Discussion 14 07-31-2010 08:34 PM
L-Plates and K20D/K7 lsquare Pentax Camera and Field Accessories 10 08-12-2009 07:34 PM
B&W on K20d/K-7 K-9 Pentax DSLR Discussion 6 08-10-2009 08:26 PM
AF-button: Does it engage the SR in K20D/K-7. pcarfan Pentax DSLR Discussion 5 05-26-2009 10:35 PM

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 09:27 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]