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11-22-2018, 09:04 PM   #1
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Would you upgrade from the K20d to the K5?

Just curious. I am returning to the hobby after several years. I have not kept up with the technology so I'm not really sure if it is much of an upgrade.
Most of my lenses are manual focus lenses from the 1980's. (They make me feel more connected to the process) Though I am on the market for a modern general purpose/ portrait lens. The reason for my return to the hobby is taking senior portraits of my daughter. So I want to feel a little more equipped. Maybe that just means an af lens. Maybe it means a more advanced body also...

I look forward to any suggestions. Cheers.

11-22-2018, 09:14 PM - 1 Like   #2
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The K20D is dated by modern standards, so yes, I would certainly consider upgrading it. It will probably hold you back more than your lenses, though I guess that would be a good topic for a separate thread. The DA 50mm might be what you're looking for in that department:


Why not go for a more recent body, though? The K-5 itself is starting to show its age. Right now, I'd say the KP is extremely competitive in terms of value, and it will get you the best APS-C image quality currently available:
Black Friday 2018 - $200 off the Pentax KP - PentaxForums.com

Hard to pick a better time to get back in the game, IMO. Everything is on sale

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11-22-2018, 09:35 PM   #3
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Manual lenses work wonderfully on digital bodies, so staying connected, as you say, is easy to maintain. Regarding the camera body question, having had the K20d and the K-5, I'd say the upgrade is well worth it. But Adam's advice is spot on, and I'd recommend following it if your budget will allow for it.
11-22-2018, 09:47 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
The K20D is dated by modern standards, so yes, I would certainly consider upgrading it. It will probably hold you back more than your lenses, though I guess that would be a good topic for a separate thread. The DA 50mm might be what you're looking for in that department:


Why not go for a more recent body, though? The K-5 itself is starting to show its age. Right now, I'd say the KP is extremely competitive in terms of value, and it will get you the best APS-C image quality currently available:
Black Friday 2018 - $200 off the Pentax KP - PentaxForums.com

Hard to pick a better time to get back in the game, IMO. Everything is on sale
I agree that a new body - I just purchased the KP 30 minutes ago - is step One.
I plan to use the 18-135 I already have with the body .... that is a wonderful lens.

11-22-2018, 10:24 PM   #5
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I can't speak to the k20d to k5 move, I've never owned either, never shot either. I did upgrade from the k100d super to the k50, in many ways a similar generation jump. I was very very happy with that upgrade. From what I recall the k-50 has a few focus system improvements over the k-5 and also added additional features like focus peaking, but lacked a grip, 14 bit raw, and pro ergonomics.

What's your budget and what do you photograph mostly? I know you mentioned senior portraits, do you have lighting gear?

---------- Post added 11-23-18 at 12:42 AM ----------

What working distance for head and shoulders shots do you want? Are you planning to use backdrops or natural settings?

APSC portrait options are good. The DA 50 Adam mentioned is quite inexpensive. The DA* 55 is a bargain used these days. Additional easy choices include the FA 77 and DA 70.
11-22-2018, 11:12 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by ElwoodP Quote
Just curious. I am returning to the hobby after several years. I have not kept up with the technology so I'm not really sure if it is much of an upgrade.
Most of my lenses are manual focus lenses from the 1980's. (They make me feel more connected to the process) Though I am on the market for a modern general purpose/ portrait lens. The reason for my return to the hobby is taking senior portraits of my daughter. So I want to feel a little more equipped. Maybe that just means an af lens. Maybe it means a more advanced body also...

I look forward to any suggestions. Cheers.
The K20D is a fine camera. It felt great in the hands when I had tested it for a friend years back. I wouldn’t upgrade at all unless I feel the camera is imposing some limitations on me. If not, just have fun with it.
11-22-2018, 11:13 PM   #7
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Unless money is the main issue. Tech has advanced significantly. All newer cameras are better in some way. Digital is not like analog.
11-23-2018, 12:21 AM   #8
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In my experence, the move from the K20D to the K-5 was more of an evolutionary one than a revolutionary one, even though there are many improvements. I would at least go for a K-5 IIs or a K-3 which can both be found for a steal. The original K-5 had a couple of quirks such as slow and unprecise focusing under indoor lighting. Also, the K-5 IIs and all of the bodies which came after finally lost the AA filter in front of the sensor which caused detail sharpness to jump.

11-23-2018, 02:17 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I can't speak to the k20d to k5 move, I've never owned either, never shot either. I did upgrade from the k100d super to the k50, in many ways a similar generation jump. I was very very happy with that upgrade. From what I recall the k-50 has a few focus system improvements over the k-5 and also added additional features like focus peaking, but lacked a grip, 14 bit raw, and pro ergonomics.

What's your budget and what do you photograph mostly? I know you mentioned senior portraits, do you have lighting gear?

---------- Post added 11-23-18 at 12:42 AM ----------

What working distance for head and shoulders shots do you want? Are you planning to use backdrops or natural settings?

APSC portrait options are good. The DA 50 Adam mentioned is quite inexpensive. The DA* 55 is a bargain used these days. Additional easy choices include the FA 77 and DA 70.

My budget is limited.
My usual photography is just things that look interesting at that moment. This could be leaves with sunlight coming through or an old barn, macro shots etc.. The idea of providing free portraits for people who can't afford it is very interesting to me.
I have no plans for studio/ backdrop type of work. I have not thought beyond ambient lighting with some fill. I have not considered distance from model yet.
11-23-2018, 02:45 AM   #10
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I did that upgrade 6 years ago, and it was out of this world! While the K20d was good for it's time, the K5 was miles ahead in terms of DR/ISO/noise (also compared to the k7 which was in some terms worse than the K20), I just sat and laughed to myself when post processing the first year because of how much more everything could be pushed. Since last year I got a K1, but while more pixels due to a larger format, and maybe a little iq-per-pixel increase, that jump isn't nearly as large a difference in IQ. I'd say everything since the k5 is just small incremental improvements, mostly in other areas than IQ (AF for example), so I'd say go for it!

Now of course you'd get still a bit more iq with a more modern camera, but bang for buck I think K5 is the sweet spot if not AF is too important, the new stuff is mostly cosmetics =)

But one note, the K5IIs is the first one without an AA filter, adding a bit of max sharpness for lenses that allow it, so I'd want to go for that instead of the "normal" K5/k5ii, the price difference being rather small.
11-23-2018, 02:47 AM   #11
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I upgraded from the K20 to the K5 when it came out. I skipped the K7. It was a huge upgrade, especially in usability. The pictures from the K5 are leaps ahead of the K20.

I’d second Adam’s suggestion to get the DA 50 1.8 with it. Great choice for portraits on a budget!
11-23-2018, 02:48 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by newmikey Quote
In my experence, the move from the K20D to the K-5 was more of an evolutionary one than a revolutionary one, even though there are many improvements. I would at least go for a K-5 IIs or a K-3 which can both be found for a steal. The original K-5 had a couple of quirks such as slow and unprecise focusing under indoor lighting. Also, the K-5 IIs and all of the bodies which came after finally lost the AA filter in front of the sensor which caused detail sharpness to jump.
What?! nono...if there ever was a revolutionary step between any generation the K5 was it! The aa filter was a little improvement for certain max sharpness cases, K3 had more pixels but less DR and ISO, and KP/K1 etc are just marginally better if looking at per-pixel properties. Yes, larger improvements in AF, Astro, etc, but the IQ itself, nono, the others were the evolutionary there.
11-23-2018, 02:59 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Igor123 Quote
What?! nono...if there ever was a revolutionary step between any generation the K5 was it! The aa filter was a little improvement for certain max sharpness cases, K3 had more pixels but less DR and ISO, and KP/K1 etc are just marginally better if looking at per-pixel properties. Yes, larger improvements in AF, Astro, etc, but the IQ itself, nono, the others were the evolutionary there.
You seem to have read over the part where it says "in my experience". I understand you might have skipped these insignificant words or misread them as if they say "I think that..." or "It is my opinion that...". So please don't tell me "nono". I shot the K20D for 3 years and the K-5 after that. Feel free to share your experience of both cameras but please stop stamping on mine...
11-23-2018, 03:08 AM   #14
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Excellent responses. Thank you.

Will I really notice a difference between K5 and K5lls?
If it matters, I do a lot of macro with extension tubes and a Vivitar Series 1 lens.

Would the K5lls be better for portrait?
11-23-2018, 05:18 AM   #15
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The K5 IIS will be a bit sharper thsn a K5 without the AA filter.

I too think if you have the money, go for a K3-II, K-70 or even KP.

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