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06-23-2008, 05:13 PM   #1
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K20D action shooter

Hello pentaxians, i've recently started to use photography as an income source, i'm a wedding photographer.
I started shooting weddings with my DL and kit lens, very happy with the results in terms of IQ, quite dissapointed with the features (focus points, low light AF speed). I sold the DL and shot a couple of weddings with my boss's D80, very fast, handles great, i was dissapointed though with the level of detail at ISO 800, overall IQ, my DL was better.

Now i saved some cash and i want to buy me a camera and lenses. My main option would be the 40D Canon, great ISO/noise, fast AF. The D80 would be second, i could use the spare cash and buy a macro lens that i would use for portraits and low-light work.

I didn't consider Pentax because i shot some tests with a friend's K10 and i was rather dissapointed.

Now though there's a new boy in town, the K20. I've tried to read some reviews and check out some samples but the general impression was that the high ISO noise problem perpetuated. Also the reviews are incomplete and missleading in most cases (one of these reviws tried to compare the K20 to the 450D from Canon )

I had some kind pentaxians send me pics shot at ISO800 and 1600, but they were irrelevant, shot in good light, so on.

If someone here is an wedding photographer, can you please send me some jpegs (straight out, 6 Mpix resize, no time for RAW conversions for me) shot at a wedding, in low light (say, at the restaurant), at ISO 800 and/or 1600.

nicolaiecostel@yahoo.com or posted here

Also, can you describe in a few sentences how the K20's focus keeps up during the action, is the metering allright, the ergonomics, what ISO do you use often (i'd go for 1600 if the camera would allow, in some cases), would you recommend the DA* 16-50 over the Tamron 17-50 ???

I've noticed alot of Pentax users praising and recommending the K20, without actually using it for some demanding work. I need a fast Af camera, good WB on auto, good jpeg straight out, low noise ON RESIZES (the clients don't want posters of themselves, i would shoot at 14 MPx and then use the resolution as an advantage to reduce noise, say, resize at about 4-6 MPx in order to achieve optimal results in Photoshop, or prints)

I don't need the liveview, weather sealing and all that, i would like to hear opinions ESPECIALLY from wedding photographers, this is the area where the detail in the low and especially high ISO makes a difference.

The lens i first wanted was the star 16-50, but there are no reliable reviews to consider (i.e. photozone kind of review), so i was considering the Tammy 17-50 given the fact that on a review site performed better than the Tokina 16-50 (does it ring a bell ??).

Anyway, this is a secondary concern, can you please advise in the matter of the K20 ??

Thank you for your time.

06-23-2008, 06:51 PM   #2
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im not a k20d owner and surely not a wedding photographer as well
but here is a gallery that some of the people here started

its about k20d shots w/ high ISO

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/27927-pentax-k20d-...o-gallery.html
06-23-2008, 10:01 PM   #3
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Well, I don't shoot weddings, but this shot was taken with the K20D and the DA*50-135 at 135mm, f/2.8, 1/180s, ISO 2000 using the 360 flash. Even though I used the flash, the auto ISO selected 2000, so it was still pretty dim. Also, the lack of noise impressed me. Even though not all my low light shots turn out this well, I'm still very happy with the K20D. YMMV. You can see the full sized shot (cropped some, but at 100%) in my Flickr stream.

06-24-2008, 02:16 AM   #4
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Original Poster
thanks guys, i tried to find a high-ISO gallery previously, no luck, i'll certainly examine this one. no wedding photographers around here ?

06-24-2008, 02:25 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicolaie Quote
thanks guys, i tried to find a high-ISO gallery previously, no luck, i'll certainly examine this one. no wedding photographers around here ?
I guess you missed this post of high ISO K20D shots. There are currently 3 pages of high ISO shots from a variety of situations.
06-25-2008, 02:01 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by rfortson Quote
Well, I don't shoot weddings, but this shot was taken with the K20D and the DA*50-135 at 135mm, f/2.8, 1/180s, ISO 2000 using the 360 flash. Even though I used the flash, the auto ISO selected 2000, so it was still pretty dim. Also, the lack of noise impressed me. Even though not all my low light shots turn out this well, I'm still very happy with the K20D. YMMV. You can see the full sized shot (cropped some, but at 100%) in my Flickr stream.

Rus

Perfect composition and great timing. You even have got catchlight at the bull's eye. Acceptable noise level even at high iso. Job well done

Daniel
06-25-2008, 03:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicolaie Quote
If someone here is an wedding photographer, can you please send me some jpegs (straight out, 6 Mpix resize, no time for RAW conversions for me) shot at a wedding, in low light (say, at the restaurant), at ISO 800 and/or 1600.

nicolaiecostel@yahoo.com or posted here
Let me post an image from an extreme case of such a situation. Because it will show both, the limits and capabilities, of the K20D.

The image is from a candlelight dinner situation (2 LV):
K20D, DA70mm Ltd., 1/30s, f/2.4, ISO3200 +0.5EV -> ISO4500, 2100 Kelvin!
Raw processed in LR without luminance noise reduction. Exported with 6 MPixel as requested.

It shows noise. Still lots of detail (even more at 14.6 MPixels). A printout at 6x8" has a very natural, pleasing look, with the grain (bearly noticeable) actually adding to the overall impression. Very film-like.
<Image deleted after 24h>

Last edited by falconeye; 06-26-2008 at 04:32 AM. Reason: Image deleted
06-25-2008, 03:46 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by nicolaie Quote
thanks guys, i tried to find a high-ISO gallery previously, no luck, i'll certainly examine this one. no wedding photographers around here ?
Well.. I don't have the k20D but I do like to shoot weddings (If I am invited to)

Here are some shots which you might want to take a look:

Weddings - a set on Flickr

06-25-2008, 12:43 PM   #9
RaduA
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Well, Nicolae dpreview.com has it's review of K20D at last:

Here it goes:

Conclusion - Pros
Excellent image quality at low ISO settings
Image quality still good as ISO 1600
Ergonomics up with the best of the best
Large and bright Pentaprism viewfinder (0.95x magnification)
Robust body with dust and weather seals, high build quality
Accurate, reliable auto-focus
Sharpening modes give better image control
Unique exposure modes; sensitivity, shutter/aperture priority, hyper program
Selectable program lines; Normal, Hi speed, Depth and MTF (lens sharpness)
Good level of user control over high ISO noise reduction
User definable Auto ISO (set in 1/3EV if desired)
Good built-in flash metering
In-camera Shake Reduction system offers some advantage in low light
Dust reduction by anti-static coating and optional sensor 'shake'
Dust alert makes sensor cleaning simpler
Mirror lock-up implemented as part of the self-timer
Function menu for quick access to important settings (although hard buttons are better)
First color-adjustable LCD monitor
Proper hinged doors covering the connectors (not the cheap rubber bungs)
In-camera RAW development with parameter control and batch conversion
Interesting modes, such as Interval shooting and multiple exposures
Value for money

Conclusion - Cons
Continuous shooting rate slow by modern standards
Hot pixels can occur and can't be automatically removed
Noise reduction cannot be raised as high as the competition
Live view mode adds very little to the camera (it is neither seamless nor able to usefully magnify)
Autofocus not as fast or consistent in low light as the more expensive competition
Menu navigation a little clunky and won't revert to last-used location
Would have been nice to have hard buttons for White Balance
Average automatic white balance performance, still very poor under incandescent light
Flash must be raised for AF assist (although AF works even in very low light)

Underlined are your matter of interest. I guess the pros outweights greatly the cons.

Buy one my friend and enjoy it.

Numai bine,
Radu
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