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05-29-2013, 08:31 PM   #1
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Is the K20d still worth buying?

I currently have the K100d with the kit lens, but have been thinking of getting a new body and the 18-250mm lens. Is the K20d worth getting at this point, or should I look at some of the newer models? I really don't a need the video options, so I'd rather spend less on the older body, and mabey invest in some better glass in addition to the 18-250 for my walk-around/travel lens.

Thank you in advance for any feed back!

05-29-2013, 08:50 PM   #2
klh
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My opinion is that it depends on what you are shooting. If you need low light capabilities for indoor shooting, then spend the extra money to get the K-5 or K-5II. If most of your shooting is outdoors or with flash, then the K20D is still an excellent camera and on a limited budget, you will be better spending some on a high quality lens. I have a K-5 as my main body, but I still use the K20D as my backup as well as a second body when I need it. I actually prefer the K20D ergonomically due to its bigger size as well as a dedicated SR switch.
05-29-2013, 09:04 PM   #3
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I would get the K5 simply for the expanded dynamic range and 14 bit RAW, and I've seen used bodies dipping below 500 here on the forums at times.
05-30-2013, 11:55 AM   #4
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I have a K20d I use for theatre photo's (iso 1600, mostly PK 35mm f2., PK M 50mm f1 .7, 70-210mm VS1 Version, often as low as about 1/15 s). I purchased a Kx 1/2 year ago thinking it would be an improvement--per DXO's test it looked like about 50% of the way between K20d an K5. (I wanted 2nd body to handle two lenses!)

Short story is I will get another K20D: low light level is fine and way better SR. I would guess (intuition) 3-4 stops vs essentially nothing on Kx. And a lot quieter. And the body of the K20D is a dream (for me). I realize this does not address the K-5, but my gut feeling, from handling in the store, is the K-5 is between the K20d and Kx. At $250-300 for the K20d (e.g., KEH) I think is is still a great camera. For me the handling of a robust heavier camera--that has more of an older film camera feel is paramount import--for some this may be the opposite. Suggest you handle one before committing.

BTW I don't use AF and I did need to replace the screen. But that is likely unrelated to the camera--believe all are optimized for using AF and slower glass.

05-30-2013, 12:40 PM - 1 Like   #5
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I upgraded from a K20D to the K5 almost a year ago. I think that the K20D is a better handling, easier to operate camera. I can operate the K20D with gloves on. Since we have 6 months of winter where I live, that's important to me. If you don't especially need the high ISO capabilities of the K5, then the K20D would be a good choice.

For me, the perfect Pentax would be a K20D that contained the K5's improved imaging capabilities.
05-30-2013, 12:58 PM   #6
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Then again . . . if the improved image quality is your main motivator, consider the K01. Similar IQ to the K-5, but much more cheaply had. There was one going on the forums here the other day for $240--which is probably less than you'd pay for a K20d.
05-30-2013, 02:11 PM   #7
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If you are not frequently shoot with above ISO1250 then K-20D is good enough. But after using K-20D for few years, too many times I found that I needed the focus assist light and cleaner at higher ISO, so couple months ago I acquired a K-30 and have been so much happy with my decision.
05-30-2013, 03:48 PM   #8
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You don't mention if you use raw files or jpg. If raw I believe you shouldn't go above iso 1600 (you gain nothing--except loss of DR), and for me iso 1600 on the K20d is fine. But (for some reason) opinion is very divided on the acceptable maximum iso. I do no adjustments for noise and find the minor evidence in the shadows to be no worse than grain in film.

05-30-2013, 09:08 PM   #9
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ISO 1600 is as high as I go on my K20D. Anything higher just results in some pretty bad looking photos. But at 1600 it does alright. Nothing compared to my new K-01 though, which looks great even at 3200.

However I adore the ergonomics of the K20D. Controls and placement are absolutely perfect. It's slightly bulky, but not overly so. It's definitely heavier than a K-01 or a new K-5 but I kind of like it. Looks very cool with the grip on. K-5 looks a bit awkward with a grip, imo.
05-31-2013, 07:57 PM   #10
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What are you doing with it? That should always dictate what you buy, not someone's opinion :-)
If you're doing studio work, it works fine: Flickr: kenkyee's Photostream
And I've done low-key shots w/o issues when you'd think the shadows would be annoyingly noisy.

If you want to do weddings or other low light stuff, get the K-5II for the faster AF module.
06-01-2013, 11:17 AM   #11
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If your K100D is working and fully functioning, I think you would do better saving a little longer and picking up a used or reconditioned K5. Not that the K20D isn't a decent camera. I have a K10D that I still use and it's my go to outside winter camera because, as others have mentioned, you can use it easier with gloves. (The K20D body is nearly the same) Since you live in Texas, I doubt you will be seeing below zero temperatures so the gloves issue isn't really worth mentioning. Being fair to the K5, I mostly need to take the gloves off to turn the mode dial because it has a lock button and if you aren't changing modes often then it really isn't an issue. I have outfitted my K10D with a Katz Eye screen and I shoot with manual glass a lot. All that said, the K5 is much more camera in regards to resolution, high ISO shooting in low light, larger and much better rear LCD, (I could go on). My K10D is my backup and second camera. My K5 is much better all around.
06-01-2013, 04:40 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by reeftool Quote
If your K100D is working and fully functioning, I think you would do better saving a little longer and picking up a used or reconditioned K5. Not that the K20D isn't a decent camera. I have a K10D that I still use and it's my go to outside winter camera because, as others have mentioned, you can use it easier with gloves. (The K20D body is nearly the same) Since you live in Texas, I doubt you will be seeing below zero temperatures so the gloves issue isn't really worth mentioning. Being fair to the K5, I mostly need to take the gloves off to turn the mode dial because it has a lock button and if you aren't changing modes often then it really isn't an issue. I have outfitted my K10D with a Katz Eye screen and I shoot with manual glass a lot. All that said, the K5 is much more camera in regards to resolution, high ISO shooting in low light, larger and much better rear LCD, (I could go on). My K10D is my backup and second camera. My K5 is much better all around.
My K20D is still worth keeping, so I guess my answer would be that it is still worth buying. I will not let that camera go until it dies. And if it ever quits, I would replace it. I love the sensor on this camera, and it is such a reliable performer (and sturdy!) I love to pick it up and use it. I use it mostly for indoor work now, although I would have no hesitation in taking it outside in any weather. You can use a flash with it with no problems.

The K20D will put a really big smiley face on you once you put better quality glass on it. The camera is just a mount, really, and the glass is what counts.

EDIT: I have to confess though that I haven't met a camera that I didn't like. I have two Pentaxes and two Canons and I am fully satisfied with all of them. As long as you put fine quality lenses on the front, any of them will perform beautifully. I guess I am just very promiscuous.
06-02-2013, 12:59 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by IDR1219 Quote
Is the K20d still worth buying?
I'm still using one most days, as it still gives me the results that I need.
06-02-2013, 01:05 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by johnyates Quote
I upgraded from a K20D to the K5 almost a year ago. I think that the K20D is a better handling, easier to operate camera. I can operate the K20D with gloves on. Since we have 6 months of winter where I live, that's important to me. If you don't especially need the high ISO capabilities of the K5, then the K20D would be a good choice.

For me, the perfect Pentax would be a K20D that contained the K5's improved imaging capabilities.
Big +1 from me! I love my K-5 but still miss the K20D's form factor.
06-02-2013, 02:35 AM   #15
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Anything's worth buying if the price is right. I would certainly get a K20D if one came along at a good price.
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