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10-06-2008, 05:58 PM   #1
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K100 to K20D - some observations

Last week I finally gave into temptation and purchased a K20D. Here's some observations from the first few days of use.

Build Quality and Feel: The K20D is on a whole new level compared to the K100D. It sure doesn't feel like plastic, it's built like a tank. The extra size is great once you get used to it, as is the weight, the K20D feels more balanced especially with heavier lenses.

Controls and Layout: This was one of the main reasons I upgraded. Everything is well within reach once you learn where it is. Having control of ISO, metering mode and the ability to switch between AF-S and AF-C without going into the menu is great. TAv mode is genuinely useful. I'm not sold on the green button yet, it seemed easier to half-press the shutter and hit AE-L on the K100D with manual lenses that it is to use the same finger for the green button and the shutter on the 20D. The only thing I could wish for was the ability to change drive modes without going into the menu, maybe you can and I just haven't delved deep enough into the manual to figure out how.

Viewfinder: Not as noticeably bigger as I was expecting however the image appears to snap-in to focus better when using MF.

Performance and Battery Life: The K20D definitely focuses faster than the K100, again more so with the heavier lenses (Sigma 70-200) it also tends to hunt less. Speed with a fast SD card is great, the larger buffer keeps things nice and speedy. Battery life was pretty good - I got 410 shots with a fair amount of chimping on the battery's second charge.

6MP vs 14MP and Noise: This is a huge step up, the K100 is no slouch but the K20D blows it out of the water detail wise. The extra space to crop is great, most of my images from the weekend that I cropped were still larger than those from the K100D. I haven't done any proper test shots as far as noise goes but it definitely seems to be improved over the K100, however the extra resolution helps it out in the noise department anyway. Finally if noticed that I seem to be able to recover highlights from the K20 RAW files better than the K100. The only downside to the extra resolution is the file size - around 15mb if you shoot PEF.

All in all I'm very impressed so far, money well spent.

10-06-2008, 07:23 PM   #2
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The price of K20D drop 10% this week. I am still debating about the proposed upgrade.
10-06-2008, 09:58 PM   #3
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Nice report, since i came new to Pentax with the K20D, it's interesting to read how people feel upgrading from a say Rebel XT to a 50D (resolution wise this is off, but K100D is not as old iirc).

15MB is avg i think, nice bokeh shots (couldn't get closer to the butterfly) i get around 12MB and stopped down shooting a busy rock wall with waterfall i saw 20MB too, so hope for crap lenses or lot's of bokeh if your filesize is important to you

Enjoy your camera,

Daniel
10-06-2008, 10:51 PM   #4
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File size isn't a big issue as memory is pretty cheap anyway. I have a 2GB and 1GB Sandisk Extreme 3 and a generic 2GB. The generic card was tolerable in the K100 but with the K20D you really notice the slower write speed compared to the Extreme 3s.

10-07-2008, 01:04 AM   #5
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Thanx for the comparison. I have 2 K100 bodies and I'm thinking about upgrade all the time. But by the time I'll get to it there'll be K30 & 300 out maybe even later so we'll see
10-07-2008, 01:55 AM   #6
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I've got a K100D Super & I'm tempted to upgrade to the K20D. But there are three things that are holding me back:

1. I would really like a 3" 920K LCD screen. The K20 one has a similar resolution to the K100D & I don't believe it's not enough to confidently check accuracy of focus. (I do a lot of MF).

2. When it comes down to it, the K20D to me is not much of a great leap forward over the K10D.

3. I feel there will be significant improvements in the CMOS sensor & maybe A/D converter over what is provided in the initial release which will reduce hot pixels & perhaps improve the DR a bit more.

I really don't know.

Dan.

Last edited by dosdan; 10-07-2008 at 02:01 AM.
10-07-2008, 02:33 AM   #7
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I came from a K100D to the K20d.
It's a major jump for me, I have all the controls I want on a body (although it's the same as the K10D), and the features are great. I really cannot complain about it at all, the LCD is a bit bigger than the K100D? Either way, its sharp and bright, and works very well for me, even in direct sunlight at the airshows and gardens.

The ISO performance is great with 1.01, Im doing a lot of long night landscape expsoures, and my lens qualities are bottlenecking, not the camera.

SO I don't really know either, it's just a damn nice body, and it keeps me excited everytime I use it.
But as I always say, my k100D was a damn reliable and trusty workhorse, and I will always miss it's feel in my hands
10-07-2008, 04:11 AM   #8
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Me Too! (too)

Just to compare, I set aside my K20D for a while and have been using my K100D exclusively. In a nutshell, I feel (and I'm still on a steep learning curve) the K20D experience has helped me with the K100D. As mentioned by the OP and others, the K20D is a stunningly positive upgrade. Its "WOW!" factor is quite high.

On the other hand, the K100D when its limits are understood and paired with the right lens, can produce dazzling results, too. It just takes a bit more mental planning knowing you don't have as much room to crop for composition. This means a good zoom lens is much more important to success with the K100D than the K20D. A DA 55-300 paired to the K100D is a great match up.

...my 2 cent$...

10-07-2008, 04:53 AM   #9
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I think that I will upgrade when the rebates come back. That's me always looking for a good deal.

Dave

QuoteOriginally posted by nobbsie Quote
Last week I finally gave into temptation and purchased a K20D. Here's some observations from the first few days of use.

Build Quality and Feel: The K20D is on a whole new level compared to the K100D. It sure doesn't feel like plastic, it's built like a tank. The extra size is great once you get used to it, as is the weight, the K20D feels more balanced especially with heavier lenses.

Controls and Layout: This was one of the main reasons I upgraded. Everything is well within reach once you learn where it is. Having control of ISO, metering mode and the ability to switch between AF-S and AF-C without going into the menu is great. TAv mode is genuinely useful. I'm not sold on the green button yet, it seemed easier to half-press the shutter and hit AE-L on the K100D with manual lenses that it is to use the same finger for the green button and the shutter on the 20D. The only thing I could wish for was the ability to change drive modes without going into the menu, maybe you can and I just haven't delved deep enough into the manual to figure out how.

Viewfinder: Not as noticeably bigger as I was expecting however the image appears to snap-in to focus better when using MF.

Performance and Battery Life: The K20D definitely focuses faster than the K100, again more so with the heavier lenses (Sigma 70-200) it also tends to hunt less. Speed with a fast SD card is great, the larger buffer keeps things nice and speedy. Battery life was pretty good - I got 410 shots with a fair amount of chimping on the battery's second charge.

6MP vs 14MP and Noise: This is a huge step up, the K100 is no slouch but the K20D blows it out of the water detail wise. The extra space to crop is great, most of my images from the weekend that I cropped were still larger than those from the K100D. I haven't done any proper test shots as far as noise goes but it definitely seems to be improved over the K100, however the extra resolution helps it out in the noise department anyway. Finally if noticed that I seem to be able to recover highlights from the K20 RAW files better than the K100. The only downside to the extra resolution is the file size - around 15mb if you shoot PEF.

All in all I'm very impressed so far, money well spent.
10-07-2008, 05:20 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Michaelina2 Quote
This means a good zoom lens is much more important to success with the K100D than the K20D. A DA 55-300 paired to the K100D is a great match up.
I kept my K100DS when I upgraded to the K20D. I leave the DA 18-250mm mounted on it all the time. This combo provides 14X zoom in a package that's heavier but not much larger than the bridge cameras, with image quality beyond any bridge camera. I love the IQ of the K100DS, and I find the 18-250's bright punchy image quality an ideal match. I have a friend with a Canon D40 and he constantly remarks on the K100's beautiful Pentax colours.

What I value most about the K20 compared to the K100 is the ability to crop. I shoot a lot of wildlife and I often can't get close enough. I bought the K20 instead of a 400 or 500mm lens, thinking that for the same cost I could get similar quality and fov with the K20 and my 55-300mm as a I could with the K100 and a long Sigma. I think I've achieved that.

I had heard about CMOS technology giving improved noise. I was hoping the K20 with all those pixels would still match the K100 in noise performance. In my testing the K20D didn't match, it surpassed the K100DS by about 2/3 of a stop. Hgher FPS is another nice feature, but not having to navigate the menu to change AF and metering is even more important to my style of shooting.
10-07-2008, 05:22 AM   #11
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Just upgraded from the Samsung GX-10 to the K20D and I could not agree more with your observations. You are right about the headroom for highlights and the good news is that the K20-D retains highlight detail as you increase the ISO. As a test a took a snapshot of a white biulding with both the Samsung and the Pentax and the Petax retained the detail but the Samsung did not. Another thing I have noticed is the the midtones on the Pentax are more evenly graduated whereas on the Samsung the midtones seem more compressed. Now all I need are some more lenses. lol
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