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02-24-2008, 03:50 PM   #1
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time to order the K20D?

Two questions.

I'm going to get a K20D. Is it a BAD idea to go for it now? I'm wondering if these camera models are released in revs in which little improvements are made. If that were the case, then perhaps a K20D build later in the year will be a better piece of hardware than one of the first ones off the assembly line. I know some here have bought already and I hope for their sake that they're getting the best camera possible. But I have to ask.

Second, if I do decide to order now, where can I get it? I don't understand how it happens that folks are getting them already. At least as of 2-24-2008, neither Amazon nor B&H seem to have them in stock.

Will

02-24-2008, 04:38 PM   #2
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Or maybe they're really careful with the first ones as they're not used to putting them together, and later will get used to it and get slack about putting them together and quality will deteriorate....
02-24-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
I'm going to get a K20D. Is it a BAD idea to go for it now? I'm wondering if these camera models are released in revs in which little improvements are made.
Well, there was a frenzy a few months ago where someone was claiming this about the K10D that later models had less noise. But I don't think it turned out to be demonstrably true.

QuoteQuote:
Second, if I do decide to order now, where can I get it? I don't understand how it happens that folks are getting them already. At least as of 2-24-2008, neither Amazon nor B&H seem to have them in stock.
Apparently Calumet Photographic had some in stock but they don't anymore.
02-24-2008, 05:04 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Two questions.

I'm going to get a K20D. Is it a BAD idea to go for it now? I'm wondering if these camera models are released in revs in which little improvements are made. If that were the case, then perhaps a K20D build later in the year will be a better piece of hardware than one of the first ones off the assembly line. I know some here have bought already and I hope for their sake that they're getting the best camera possible. But I have to ask.

Will
Well I picked up mine on Saturday and thus far I'm very happy with it.

Mind you, I took the precaution of buying it from a reputable high street store (SRS) that I trust completely so that if I did get a lemon I knew I would have no problem returning it.

dave

02-24-2008, 05:09 PM   #5
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Yep, I piggie-backed another thread voicing the same concern ... wondering if I might get burned being an early adopter and not get any late-design stage / early-production stage tweeks. I guess maybe $ will be the deciding factor, me thinking I have a $1K price-point in my mind that would make me comfortable.
02-24-2008, 05:39 PM   #6
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Given that camera bodies only drop in price over time, I would assume that the advice on buying a body is always : buy when you need it, and not before!
02-24-2008, 08:03 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by bt*ist Quote
Given that camera bodies only drop in price over time, I would assume that the advice on buying a body is always : buy when you need it, and not before!
yep i have my k10D and K100D still working fine i LIKE some things about the K20D BUT i think that it going to be a LOT better @ 800 to 1000$ or so in a couple of mouthes
02-25-2008, 11:40 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Two questions.

I'm going to get a K20D. Is it a BAD idea to go for it now? I'm wondering if these camera models are released in revs in which little improvements are made. If that were the case, then perhaps a K20D build later in the year will be a better piece of hardware than one of the first ones off the assembly line. I know some here have bought already and I hope for their sake that they're getting the best camera possible. But I have to ask.

...
1. The price is always the highest when the product is first introduced. The price will drop over time. Sometimes the price drops a lot fairly quickly (e.g., iPhone) and sometimes it will drop just a small amount. Look at Pentax' track record with recent models such as the K10D, and you can expect a fairly significant price drop in maybe 6-9 months. The only factor that could change this is the weakening strength of the U.S. dollar vs. the yen. (Yes, I know that the cameras are not made in Japan, but it is a Japanese company.)

2. There will be firmware updates and hardware updates. With the K10D, there were significant firmware updates over time to correct bugs and add features. Early adopters were basically beta testers for the original firmware. But other Pentax models just got very minor firmware updates.

Most manufactured products have hardware changes over time. Sometimes new features or bug fixes are "slipstreamed" into the manufacturing process. Other times, they just find cheaper ways to build the product, and the quality of the product actually decreases over time. (LinkSys routers are a good example of the latter: sometimes the later revisions use cheaper and fewer parts and useful features are deleted.) And sometimes changes from suppliers requires some changes in the parts or manufacturing process.

I can think of one example where Pentax slipstreamed an improvement into a product: The FA 77mm f1.8 Limited went from two ball-bearings in the focus ring to three ball bearings improve performance and minimize the problem with the ring catching or binding. I am not aware of any example where Pentax went to a cheaper, inferior product without a change in the model number. I doubt that even Pentax knows at this point in time what changes will be made to the manufacturing process over the life of the product.

02-25-2008, 12:55 PM   #9
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Just for the record:

- I understand that the price may (probably will) go down later. I didn't ask about the price. I also know that, those who pay the higher price earlier, get to have the camera sooner and use it longer.

- I also understand that the first bodies sold may not have the same firmware as later builds of the same product. I also know how to install a firmware update, should one be released later.

I asked only to see if anybody knew anything about the change history of past Pentax products that would suggest that the first copies off the assembly line are more likely to have defects that can't be remedied by a firmware update. Sounds as if the consensus here is that will NOT be the case, that either later copies of the K20D will be basically identical pieces of hardware to the first copies, or that the changes are likely to be minimal. That's sort of what I expected, and I'm further encouraged by the fact that the K20D appears to retain many elements of the body of the K10D. (Not the sensor, of course, but the case and controls.) Anyway, I asked because I don't have enough history with Pentax to have answered the question for myself.

Thanks,

Will
02-25-2008, 01:31 PM   #10
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Hey WMBP

I think the main statement are making here is do you need to get the K20D right away? If not it's smarter to wait for the price drop and any improvements that come along the way.

I think if you check the history of any new product with any company you will see instances of fixes / upgrades and or downgrades when improving manufacturing efficiency.

It's really one of those questions you can't really answer even from a companies history. The only times I see this not happening as much is something like the K100D Super where it was just a tweak from a previously model. In this case it probably will be the same camera from beginning to end.

The only factors you can really judge by are

1) Is there a long history of buggy cameras in general
2) How fast do fixes come out after a bug is known
02-25-2008, 01:40 PM   #11
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Hi Will

Admit it man, you're just itching to pull the trigger ! Have courage 'mon brave' and always remember, Guinea Pigs have ALL the fun.....lol ! Seriously though, although there are undoubtedly risks in becoming an early adopter, the similarities in the manufacturing process between the K10D & K20D are such that I think I'd tend to have more confidence rather than less, especially as this is an evolutionary 'upgrade' rather than a brand new 'top-to-bottom' design. It really depends on whether you believe the new camera will offer you all the improvements you require ? If it does and you have the necessary financial resources in place, simply go for it.....

Best regards
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 02-25-2008 at 02:26 PM.
02-25-2008, 01:41 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Just for the record:

- I understand that the price may (probably will) go down later. I didn't ask about the price. I also know that, those who pay the higher price earlier, get to have the camera sooner and use it longer.

- I also understand that the first bodies sold may not have the same firmware as later builds of the same product. I also know how to install a firmware update, should one be released later.

I asked only to see if anybody knew anything about the change history of past Pentax products that would suggest that the first copies off the assembly line are more likely to have defects that can't be remedied by a firmware update. Sounds as if the consensus here is that will NOT be the case, that either later copies of the K20D will be basically identical pieces of hardware to the first copies, or that the changes are likely to be minimal. That's sort of what I expected, and I'm further encouraged by the fact that the K20D appears to retain many elements of the body of the K10D. (Not the sensor, of course, but the case and controls.) Anyway, I asked because I don't have enough history with Pentax to have answered the question for myself.

Thanks,

Will
You shouldn't be worried. NO company releases a product with the intention to fix or change anything in the assembly line. Things only go on sale when they are ready. Surely the odd failures happen, but with the amount of people that have already bought it and the lack of any reports on defects, I think you're safe.
02-25-2008, 01:53 PM   #13
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Hi ricardobeat

I nearly fell off my perch laughing when reading your touching comment:

QuoteQuote:
Things only go on sale when they are ready.
In that case, kindly explain the regular Product Recalls so beloved of the Motor industry ? By the way, have you ever heard of a small-time outfit called Micros**t ? Or all the other lousy software companies for that matter.......jeez, you must be the ideal customer, for whom NOTHING ever goes wrong. Just wait till Sod's Law strikes.......lol !

Yours with a modicum of cynicism,
Richard

Last edited by Confused; 02-25-2008 at 03:18 PM.
02-26-2008, 01:49 PM   #14
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Well, mine just arrived a bit ago (via Ritz). Everything that was supposed to be there was there. The battery is charging now. Having only the K100 I was a little shocked at the size difference, though the weight is not appreciably more.....can't wait to try it out....and maybe put some pix up, once I figure out how. YES!
02-27-2008, 08:33 AM   #15
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Interesting question Will. I don't think anyone short of some Pentax exec could tell you if camera hardware is spot on. One would hope. I tend to think the only real changes will be in the software arena which is common. If there is some hardware glitch, I would send the unit back under warranty to get that taken care of. With todays high pace of change I bet there will be a K30 out shortly after the warranty on the k20 expires. Since you use the camera in your job, I would go for it now to get the most bang for the buck. Just my uneducated two cents worth - and with the falling dollar it's less than it used to be.
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