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11-06-2012, 04:57 PM   #1
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Replacement For K20D

To make a long story short, I need a replacement body for my trusty K-20D (don't ask why....i just do). I generally liked the K20, except for its low light shooting capabilities/ISO noise and the confusing menu system. It was a big improvement over my K100d super (which a still have). Looking at Pentax's current lineup, I am not sure what is right for me. I would maybe consider the mirror-less options, but having a viewfinder is a must for me. I was eying the K30 or K-5 (leaning K-5), but don't really care about shooting video, live-view, in camera HDR, or other marketing bells and whistles. I do care about image quality, low light/high ISO capability, weather sealing, ergonomics, and manual controls.

Just looking for some direction/suggestions. I am an enthusiastic, and, although I have sold some prints, I do not consider myself a professional. I shoot mostly landscapes and city shots/architecture. As I haven;t looked at DSLR bodies in a while, I am a little confused by the new offerings and their relative prices. (K-R, K-x, K-7, K-5, K5II, K30D)

Any help would be much appreciated.

11-06-2012, 05:43 PM   #2
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Sounds like the K-5 is the right choice for you, since you're the most concerned about stills- and that's where the K-5 shines!

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11-06-2012, 06:09 PM   #3
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At this point I would probably say it all comes down to budget.

The k-r, k-x, k-7 and k-5 are discontinued, although k-5's can still be found new.

The entry level k-x and it's successor the k-r both lack the weather seals, but have similar performance and features, obviously the k-r tops the k-x for most parts.

The high end K-7 replaced the k20d, which was a big improvment in terms of features and general body, but didn't make any image quality advances (still noisy at high ISO). The K-5 then replaced the k-7 keeping the same body and very similar features, but brought incredibly low noise high image quality. The now flagship K-5II and K-5IIs have replaced the k-5, keeping the same sensor/ body and features, except Auto focus was significantly improved in low light. the K-5IIs goes a step further and has the AA filter removed. The AA filter is there to prevent miore' (by blurring) and hence the k-5IIs can get greater resolution but is succeptable to miore' patterns which are very difficult to remove.

the K-30, is a re launch of the mid range body with weather seals and more advanced video features than the other bodies in the pentax lineup, excluding maybe the K01 mirrorless. It uses 12bit raw instead of the 14 bit raw of the of the flagship models. It also recieved an upgrade to the Autofocus system the saw a very small increase (if any) over the k-5.

Assuming your want the most IQ from your camera and don't want the mirrorless k-01 as it doesn't have a view finder, my personal preference would be:
$0-$400 range: K-R, or a cheap K-7
$400-$650 range: K-5 (in a month or two when the price falls to this level) or if needed now k-7 or k-30 second hand (K30 is are the upper end of the price range where as the K-7 is the lower end)
$650-$800 range: k-5
$800 +: really comes down to your decision on the AA filter. you can pay $100 less for the K5-ii or get the still class leading IQ from the K5 IIs

Last edited by Chaos_Realm; 11-06-2012 at 06:17 PM.
11-06-2012, 06:23 PM   #4
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I went from a K20D to a K-30 and never looked back. Handling and image quality is much better on the K-30, and it is significantly smaller. I don't do video, it isn't very good anyway (jello effects.) I never used the LCD screen much on the K20D, if you do you'd be better off with a K-5 or better yet the K5 IIs.

11-06-2012, 07:00 PM   #5
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I have been through the same route as you, upgrading to the K5 last January. I do a lot of ambient low light shots in the late afternoon, early evening and night - 'scapes, both land and city. The bottom line is:
  • Low noise - K5/II/IIs or K30. The K5/II/IIS will do better than the K30 with night, shadows and dynamic range with the 14 bit A/D along with the ISO 80
    High ISO - K5/II/IIs or K30 - the K5/II/IIs does go up to 51600, and I believe that the K30 only goes up to ~25K. These are essentially the same sensor, so I would think that in the normal 3200+ area and above, they should all be pretty much equal.
  • IQ - Again I would lean towards the K5/II/IIs again for the 14 bit A/D along with the ISO 80. As I understand (through reading) the IIS will do better due to not having the AA filter, providing a bit more resolution and better color.
  • Dynamic Range - K5/II/IIs over the K30 - again the ISO 80 with the 14 bit A/D makes any of the K5's better than the K30. It also depends on how you shoot and how large you print in order to actually see the difference.
  • Weather sealing, Ergonomics - K5/II/IIs or K30.
Now in terms of AF, this is one area that breaks apart the K5/II/IIs set. If you are looking for low light AF, then its the II/IIs over the classic K5. The II/IIs does much better in therms of this. If you use just manual focus, then it will not matter.

I will say that for me, especially when using the tripod, LiveView works very well, and I am finding I use it a lot.

The K5 is end of life and the prices are very good while they last. The K30 prices are also very good. The K5II and IIs are brand new and thus they are at a premium.

hope that helps...

Last edited by interested_observer; 11-06-2012 at 07:27 PM.
11-06-2012, 07:10 PM   #6
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I jumped from the K20 to the K5 as my main body. The K5 is light years ahead of the K20. I was skeptical of the ergonomics since I had started with the K10, I was use to and comfortable with the body of that line. The K5 is considerably smaller than the K20, which I thought would bother me since I have large hands. But I find the camera very comfortable, especially with the grip added.
Right now you can still find some of the K5 "classic" cameras new and the price is a steal.

note to self: I really should pick up another one.
11-06-2012, 08:51 PM   #7
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Great thread since I'm considering upgrading from the K20D also. Too bad the K5 ii is 50% more than the K5. I'm not sure it's a 50% bigger improvement over the K20 versus the old K5.
11-07-2012, 10:43 AM   #8
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Late last summer I upgraded from a K20 to a K-30 and I could not be happier. Would a K5 or one of the K5II variants beat it in certain areas? Undoubtedly, and for the price that should be expected. However, I'm not into video and so I don't seem to wanting for any of the features the K5's would offer. Of course, you cannot miss a place you've never been to, so it could be that a K5 would make me even happier. However, I've not been disappointed with my K-30 in the least. If you go that direction, I don't think you'll regret not spending the extra money on the K5. But I could be wrong ...

11-07-2012, 03:54 PM   #9
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Oddly enough, I find myself drawn to the K-01. Assuming I could learn to live with holding the camera for live view, the manual focus wiz bang gadget thingy looks pretty cool....any the liveview would solve my problem of having to remove my glasses everytime I shoot. At its current price, it seems like a steal---assuming the IQ is better than the K20D. It also looks a tad smaller and easier to carry around. I also like the low light capabilities. Other than the mirror and viewfinder, what would I be giving up if I went from the K20 to the K-01?
11-07-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by twilhelm Quote
I jumped from the K20 to the K5 as my main body. The K5 is light years ahead of the K20. I was skeptical of the ergonomics since I had started with the K10, I was use to and comfortable with the body of that line. The K5 is considerably smaller than the K20, which I thought would bother me since I have large hands. But I find the camera very comfortable, especially with the grip added.
Right now you can still find some of the K5 "classic" cameras new and the price is a steal.

note to self: I really should pick up another one.
+1, I moved from K20d to K5. The change was easy and seamless. My advice is to get one quickly at the fantastic prices one sees around.

Richard
11-07-2012, 04:27 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxian_tmb Quote
Oddly enough, I find myself drawn to the K-01. Assuming I could learn to live with holding the camera for live view, the manual focus wiz bang gadget thingy looks pretty cool....any the liveview would solve my problem of having to remove my glasses everytime I shoot. At its current price, it seems like a steal---assuming the IQ is better than the K20D. It also looks a tad smaller and easier to carry around. I also like the low light capabilities. Other than the mirror and viewfinder, what would I be giving up if I went from the K20 to the K-01?
Ergonomics are one thing, but these are a very personal taste. The body will be smaller and has more boxy edges, and some think the button layout is irritating. You will gain focus peaking which if you use manual focus, would be fantastic.

You lose PDAF of the DSLR but the CDAF is one of the best by pentax according to the K-01 review by Adam. there is probably a heap more but If considering this option I highly recommend having a read of this indepth review if you haven't already: Pentax K-01 Camera Review - Review Introduction - PentaxForums.com
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