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09-09-2008, 06:17 PM   #1
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What is the learning curve of the K20d?

This post is directed to any owners of the K20d who also have experience with the K10d.
I purchased my k10 about one year ago, this was my 1st DSLR and thru alot of reading (mags and this forum)
I have came to understand how to use my camera and most all of it's functions. To all of you who post here thanks for the great sharing of photography tips and the advice on all types of Pentax gear.
My question is this, was there a big learning curve to the K20 as opposed to the K10? I just ordered a K20, and "I think" it is going to be easy to pull out of the box and start picking up on how it works right away. Is my assumption correct, or am I only fooling myself? Thanks again to all who share on the forum. Jeff


Proud Pentax owner, K10d, (all Pentax lenses) 12-24, 100mm macro, DA 16-45, DA* 50-135, DA 55-300, 18-55, and 50-200

09-09-2008, 07:24 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by roverlr3 Quote
This post is directed to any owners of the K20d who also have experience with the K10d.
I purchased my k10 about one year ago, this was my 1st DSLR and thru alot of reading (mags and this forum)
I have came to understand how to use my camera and most all of it's functions. To all of you who post here thanks for the great sharing of photography tips and the advice on all types of Pentax gear.
My question is this, was there a big learning curve to the K20 as opposed to the K10? I just ordered a K20, and "I think" it is going to be easy to pull out of the box and start picking up on how it works right away. Is my assumption correct, or am I only fooling myself? Thanks again to all who share on the forum. Jeff


Proud Pentax owner, K10d, (all Pentax lenses) 12-24, 100mm macro, DA 16-45, DA* 50-135, DA 55-300, 18-55, and 50-200
I don't have the k20d, but since the controls are virtually identical, there will be a learning curve only to pick up some of the exotic functions. The ones that intrigue me most are
  • Catch-in-focus with my DA* lenses. I have three lenses with which I use snap-in-focus, but it only works with manual focus lenses. I, if I ever move my model up, with have to find the function in the menu to enable it. I was extremely disappointed to find out the MF/AF switch on my 50-135 turned it off at the camera, so to speak. It still works great with the A and M lenses I have.
  • Interval shooting. This could be a very neat process, and to do it with the k10d, I would have to invest an inordinate amount of time watching the second hand on my watch, or an inordinate amount of money on external timing equipment.
09-09-2008, 10:01 PM   #3
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I walked into the store and started using it without even thinking it was a K20D. It feels and operates exactly like the K10D.
09-09-2008, 10:32 PM   #4
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The short answer is out-of-the-box you can operate the K20D exactly the same as the K10D.

But, there is some pretty cool stuff under the hood (or menus)...
  • K10 has 2 image tone settings in the Record menu. K20 has 6 fully programmable "Custom Image" settings; sort of like having scene modes but on steroids.
  • Extra fine (****) JPEG quality setting.
  • Expanded drive modes.
  • 200% Dynamic Range mode.
  • One-touch bracketing.
  • Interval shooting - time lapsed shooting mode.
  • Catch In Focus - shutter fires when subject comes into focus.
  • Custom File Name prefix.
  • Hot pixel mapping.
  • Dust alert.
  • Live View.
  • AF Adjustment.
  • There are also some differences in noise reduction behavior and how the RAW button works.
But out of the box, you don't really need to know about any of the above in order to start shooting and the ergonomics are virtually identical.

Enjoy!

09-10-2008, 02:25 AM   #5
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I just picked mine and started shooting. It felt natural and intuitive to me. I dont remember looking something up in the manual, maybe once. And I did not have K10 prior to K20. K20 menu logic and organisation just feels right to me.
09-10-2008, 04:55 AM   #6
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That's good info from you all. Now I'll wait for the camera to show up and hopefully I'll get a couple days to play with it before I go on holiday next week. Jeff
09-10-2008, 05:44 AM   #7
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I started out with K100D a year and a half ago, and almost wore the manuel out in figuring out it's operation, moved up to the K10 eight months ago and started shooting after couple hours setting it up and reading up on a couple of the new operations. Just bought an ist. DL
and back to the book again. I think it is easier to figure out new operating features than it is to do backward ability. Still looking forwqrd to K20. Wife keepsasking me when we are going to adopt a husky teen-ager to carry my camera eq. around for me. I picked up my K1000 the other day and fired it up, looked through the viev finder and thought," what the heck do I do now". jim
09-10-2008, 09:16 AM   #8
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My previous SLR was an EOS 650, so I was starting nearly from scratch with the K20D, though I am familiar with photographic principles. One of the main reasons I purchased the K20D is its usability and ergonomics. The only thing I had to learn to start off with was memorizing which way the wheels go (push the wheel towards the center of the camera for more light). Some extra features required me reading the manual (program shift in manual mode for instance, or hold the OK to shift ISO)

09-10-2008, 10:31 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by roverlr3 Quote
My question is this, was there a big learning curve to the K20 as opposed to the K10? I just ordered a K20, and "I think" it is going to be easy to pull out of the box and start picking up on how it works right away. Is my assumption correct, or am I only fooling myself? Thanks again to all who share on the forum.
Jeff,

99% of the time, the K20D works exactly like the K10D. I own them both and shoot with them both all the time. I am always aware which one I have in my hands, because I have the grip on the K20D and not on the K10D. But otherwise, virtually no difference. I seldom use the handful of features that the K20D has and the K10D lacks.

The K20D is easy to learn and easy to use, and the same is/was true of the K10D.

Will
09-10-2008, 10:39 AM   #10
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the learning curve is not so much learning the camera functions, all you have to do is read the manual

its understanding how to use those functions to achieve a desired effect

recently i have been experimenting with TAv mode, and its definetly not as simple as i thought it would be.
09-10-2008, 11:15 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
the learning curve is not so much learning the camera functions, all you have to do is read the manual

its understanding how to use those functions to achieve a desired effect
But that's true of any camera, no?

It's important to distinguish between taking photographs and using cameras. You use a camera to take photographs, of course, but the basics of photography are the same no matter what tool you're using. An experienced photographer can pick up just about any camera in the same general class (let's say, in this context, any other digital SLR) and start using it quite capably within minutes. I have questions about how to do this or that with every new camera and I certainly make mistakes. But I think the only time I've ever been really stumped by a new camera was when I first tried to shoot with a Rangefinder.

The more basic (roughly = less expensive) the camera, the more likely it is that the camera sort of expects that you do NOT want to take full control of the shooting process, so you get scene modes and some of the other options get buried in menus. The more advanced (roughly = more expensive) the camera, the less likely it is to have scene modes and the more likely it is to have most of the controls right on the outside of the body so you can get to 'em quickly. In other words, if you want to be in control, the more expensive cameras are easier to use, not harder.

That said, it must also be said that you can master just about anything if you are motivated. In my judgment, the K100D is harder to work with than the K10D/K20D; but the K100D can certainly take wonderful photos and if you have a K100D, well, you become familiar with it and you make it work. It's almost always true that a good photographer with a camera at the low end of the product spectrum can take better photos than a mediocre photographer with a Hasselblad or a Nikon D3.


QuoteQuote:
recently i have been experimenting with TAv mode, and its definetly not as simple as i thought it would be.
What do you find tricky about TAv, Gooshin? I'm curious. I use it quite a bit, especially when shooting sports. It's just like shooting full manual except that you give the camera the ability to lower the ISO when it can. Shooting volleyball indoors, for example, I will often set the aperture to f/3.2 and shutter to 1/200th sec (or something close to that), and let the ISO adjust between 800 and 1600 or (if I'm shooting with the K20D) a little higher. If I were shooting M, I'd use the same aperture and shutter, set the camera on ISO 1600 and deal with the exposure problems later on. I really like TAv mode, think it's one of the great features of the K10D/K20D bodies.

Will
09-12-2008, 06:04 PM   #12
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The K20D just arrived, After charging the battery, Set the language/time/date and began firing away.
So far, very easy to figure out. Now I'll do a photo comparison between the K10 and the K20. Thanks to all who responded to the post. Jeff
09-12-2008, 08:57 PM   #13
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You're welcome. Enjoy your new toy.
09-12-2008, 09:42 PM   #14
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There are a few differences in the menus stuff, but it's the same camera, just better. I love mine!! And I still have two K10s as back ups. Both are great cameras and the change should be flawless. But the truth is that glass is where it is at. Get good glass and a K20, you are good to go!! Just a little something from one of a few Pentax pros.
09-12-2008, 09:58 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Gooshin Quote
recently i have been experimenting with TAv mode, and its definetly not as simple as i thought it would be.
I use Tav mode most of the time and it works pretty well for me I think. Then again I don't have the foggiest idea what I'm doing most of the time.
The thing I like about Tav is I don't have to worry about ISO. I just hate using higher ISO's so I just let the camera decide. I know that's a bit weird but that's me.
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