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05-31-2013, 06:48 AM   #16
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If you want a larger body for more grip, K20D is probably your best bet in that price range. The high ISO performance isn't that great (I would never go above 1600) but at 1600 the shots look good after some de-noising in lightroom. Below 1600, the image quality is superb. Dynamic range is pretty good (if you shoot RAW) but won't be as good as something like the K5 or K30 (but they are more expensive). The difference isn't drastic, however. I've run into only a handful of photos where (by my fault) the shots were either under or overexposed and I couldn't fix them.

05-31-2013, 10:29 AM   #17
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I have a K-x and K20D. The K-x focusses more reliably in low light, where the K20D can hunt. According to DXOMark, these bodies are virtually equal for noise performance up to ISO 1600, above that, the K-x pulls away. The K-x has video, which is nearly irrelevant to me. The K-x is very small for a DSLR, but no add-on grip available which makes it awkward with large lenses and/or flash.

The K20D is my main body. Controls and handling are superior, with dual wheels and buttons instead of menus, front and rear remote sensors, larger, brighter pentaprism OVF, significantly quieter shutter sound. Weather-resistance is very important to me, not to everyone.

Some will say the K-x has better IQ because it scores higher for DR. I beg to differ. Dynamic range on the K20D is not a strength but it's adequate, especially if you shoot in raw. More important to me is the look of the photos. The K-x sensor has a problem with blooming on reds and yellows. That's probably why it is colour balanced to the cool side (blue).

The K20D has better noise performance than the *istD or K200D and sounds like it would tick the right boxes for the OP. I have a K-01 too, but that is not a body to use for weddings. AF is poor in low light and a bit random in good light (often locks on a contrasty background instead of the subject).
05-31-2013, 12:28 PM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
Is the primary purpose of the grip to make the body larger and/or to add weight
The grip makes it much easier and less awkward to make a vertical picture. It also doubles the battery capacity. Highly recommended.

As to the question asked by OP: undoubtably the K20D is the answer.
05-31-2013, 01:56 PM   #19
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DMS - Again great info! Funny you mentioned lenses! That was to be another thread! But briefly I have purchased a DA 18-55, just got in the mail today my FA 35-135 and I have a 50mm F1.4 A mount manual focus coming in the next day or so. I figured if I was going to spend $250 for a Bowers 85mm F1.4 from B&H, I rather get the 50mm f1.4... at $170. The lens thread was to ask about the 24mm f2 and the 20mm f2.8 which are the prime wides I have been considering... as a side note I have never had (canonikon) kit lens as sharp as the Pentax I got...

Nick - I have had the Olympus E-PL1 cameras and lenses... I really prefer a SLR.

Gibby - Thanks for the suggestions... I will research out the Kx for sure!

Jim - The purpose of a grip for "ME" is the ability to have a vertical shooting button and the extended battery life one gets from a grip.

The camera size issue comes from lugging around Canon's 30d, 20d, 10d and 5d bodies with the heavier lenses. As I get older I find I am not really able to lug the heavy gear anymore. I also realize that it's not always the camera that makes the image but me! I have shot weddings with everything from Mamiya C330's to Olympus 4/3's. I just don't know the right Pentax gear as well as I would either Nikon or Canon. So all this information means a great deal to me and I am very appreciative of the advice!

05-31-2013, 02:54 PM   #20
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Although I still like my K20, I wouldn't call it compact (of course, I've never owned a Canon DSLR either). I have the grip for it but almost never use it; it makes for too big a package. My wife's smaller K-x has much better low light (high ISO) performance than the K20 and is both compact and light. It focuses well, despite the absence of indicator lights in the viewfinder. My K5 is smaller than the K20, has better low light performance, and focuses more quickly than the K20. The battery seems to last forever on the K5, making a grip seem superfluous to me. (Different strokes etc.) The K5 can be had for much less now (even new) and, as someone else said, the K-x is not much at all.
05-31-2013, 02:58 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by pbmax Quote
Hi all... I am new to the Pentax Digital Camera world... But I am not new to Digital Cameras or photography... I recently had to dump all my gear and now am starting to rebuild a system. I decided to pick up a very inexpensive *ist DL body and 18-55 DA lens. Realizing the body is older, I just wanted to see if I liked the Pentax in general. And I do. I decided to go to Pentax for the quality of the lenses and the compactness of the bodies.

So here is the question! I am going to do event work, such as weddings and parties. I want a body that will do decent images upto 1000iso or so... I want a body that will allow for a battery grip (for longer shooting time and vertical handling)... And I need to keep the costs in the $300-$350 range for the body as I also have some lenses I wish to get (that being for another thread!). Oh! I am not a videographer, but a photographer so video is not needed.

When I look at reviews I certainly get confused with the body choices. So far I think either the 200d or 20d make sense. But I am not sure, I would love some input from others. I won't be purchasing until the first of July and am using June to research.

I am sure this has been asked a million times, and I appreciate all input.
Until you get into CMOS sensors, I.e. K20 or later flagship (not sure what entry model, but definitely after K200) ISO 1000 is not an option for professional work.

I have a K7 and can get some good results at ISO 1600 but that is the limit until you go for K-x K30 or K5
06-16-2013, 06:57 AM   #22
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Ok, I am getting closer to when I will be able to purchase my gear... and of course I have been doing a lot of reading! And that of course has gotten things a bit confusing... So here is what I think I have found...

For my budget and needs either the k20d or k200d will do the job. And from what I read the k200d (CCD) will not do good at iso1000 or greater... And the k20d will do better. But I have also read that the CCD sensor is better for color, skin tones. My top needs for iso will be around 800. I have had Olympus's and Nikon's that have CCD sensors with no issues... And if I re-read this thread the consensus seems to be toward the k20d. One thing I like about the k200d is that it uses AA batteries... And I am going to keep my *ist DL as my second body with a fast prime on it. So I am wondering if having two bodies that are CCD would be better than having two different sensors? Thought process here is images compared next to each other.

Just as a reminder, I am going to use these cameras to do low cost wedding photography and general event work. No sports, mostly portraits ~ people pictures.

Any thoughts that haven't been already addressed? As always I truly appreciate the feed back!
06-16-2013, 08:42 AM   #23
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I went from a K100D Super (same sensor as your DL) to a K20D, which is still my main body. I know many people love the warm CCD tone, but IMO the K20D is more accurate. I recall a famous fashion photographer with a K20D, K-7, full-frame Canon, and K10D (same sensor as K200D), who said he was still using the K20D because skin tones were the best.

Nevertheless, you should not make your decision based on colour, because you will be shooting raw and colours are easily modified. ISO performance is better with the K20D, but even more importantly, you need to look at features. The K20D is undeniably superior for wedding photography:
  • Larger, brighter pentaprism vs. pentamirror
  • 2 wheels and buttons instead of menus for much faster handling
  • Hyper-program, Hyper-manual, X-mode, User Mode, for versatility and handling speed
  • Larger buffer, holds more, clears faster
  • Higher resolution allows tighter crops or larger printing
  • Focus adjust for individual lenses
  • Live view and tethering

I like AA batteries too, but the K20D battery lasts very well. Cheap replacements are available on eBay and are perfectly fine for backup. pentax K20D battery | eBay

06-16-2013, 08:46 AM   #24
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Thanks Dan, that does help... a lot!
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