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01-31-2020, 12:24 PM   #1
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upgrade from k20d

Hello,

I am looking to upgrade my workhorse k20d!


It has produced some stunning photos for me, and I have progressed and learned a great deal along the way. I went from a K1000 to the K20D in 2009, and added a Sigma 100-300 f4 in 2017 to the 18-250 kit lens and a handful of manual lenses (50mm, a Tamron 90mm macro, and a 300 mm that I never use). I have lately felt the K20D may be limiting me somewhat at this point. Also, it occasionally fails, skipping shutter opening, or producing lines of colour instead of an image. I feel it may be about to die.


From my reading a research, I am strongly considering a K3. I value the onboard flash, but not at all GPS. I am also strongly considering purchasing at this time a Sigma 17-70mm CON f2.8-4 to extend my capability. I mainly shoot pets, dog sports, and a smattering of nature, birds, children, landscape. I value a camera setup that can handle low light and action very nicely.

I wonder if the K3 is a sensible choice or if I am missing an obvious better option. I also wonder if there is a market for my K1000 and some of the old lenses I do not use. I may look to getting rid of the K20D as well, but with it acting glitchy, I am not sure anyone would want it.

Thank you for any wisdom you can impart!

01-31-2020, 01:55 PM   #2
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Many might argue that Pentax isn't quite the best brand to capture action shots due to 'slower-than-the-competition' autofocus modules.
However, if you're satisfied with your K20D in capturing your shots, then the options from Pentax only get better!
For low light performance, maybe look into one of the newer cameras that contain the accelerator chip (think K-70 or KP).
There is definitely a healthy market for used gear!
01-31-2020, 01:58 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forums

lots of friendly members and knowledge can be found here

here is a side by side comparison of the K 3, KP and K 3 II

Pentax K-3 vs. Pentax KP vs. Pentax K-3 II - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

I like both the K 3 and K 3 II

I have just started to learn about the KP which I got luckily through November's contest
01-31-2020, 02:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
Pentax Camera Comparison
This tool should be updated to include a field for cameras that contain the accelerator chip, eh? If it is in there, I can't find it :P

01-31-2020, 02:21 PM   #5
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What would be handy is a reference of various DSLR camera models comparing intended audience, weather sealing, and some of the features mentioned like capability in low light and fast auto focus. I hadn't heard of the accelerator chip, for instance. Does such a reference exist? I know of and have made great use of the comparison charts here which is how I came up with my suspected target the K3, but have also combed the forums for reviews, and found those more useful in terms of build quality and performance.
01-31-2020, 03:21 PM   #6
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Hi cls, welcome to the forum.

It will depend on your budget. I upgraded from a K-10D to a K-5IIs. Lots of new features, more megapixels, and better high ISO performance. Really better in all respects, except perhaps for the color rendering of the K-5's CMOS sensor vs. the K-10D's CCD sensor. It's a matter of personal taste. I do love my K-5IIs, and they are readily available used at good prices. Of course, a K-3 would be a step up from the K-5. You can do a side-by-side comparison to your K-20D here:
Pentax K20D vs. Pentax K-3 vs. Pentax K-3 II - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com
Readily available used at good prices. Check out the Marketplace here on the forum, or forum partners Adorama Camera or B&H Photo.

QuoteOriginally posted by cls Quote
I mainly shoot pets, dog sports, and a smattering of nature, birds, children, landscape. I value a camera setup that can handle low light and action very nicely.
For fast action like dog sports or scampering children and low light performance, you may want to consider the KP:

Pentax K20D vs. Pentax K-3 vs. Pentax KP - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

High ISO performance is better than the K-3, allowing faster shutter speeds for action and better low light capture. The KP's on-board flash is anemic though at GN6 compared to the K-3's GN13.

I own an older Sigma 17-70mm DC Macro:
Sigma 17-70mm F2.8-4.5 DC Macro Lens Reviews - Sigma Lenses - Pentax Lens Review Database
I got it used from a forum member and have been very happy with it. Several shots in my albums here on PF were taken with it. I imagine the more current Contemporary model would be similar.

For overall best autofocus speed in the Pentax lineup, my understanding is that you can't beat the HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE:
HD Pentax-DA 55-300mm F4.5-6.3 ED PLM WR RE Reviews - DA Zoom Lenses - Pentax Lens Reviews & Lens Database
Others can correct me if I'm wrong, but I've seen this lens referred to as the fastest autofocus lens Pentax makes. Great for action shots.

The K-3 would be a big step up from your K20D; it was (is?) the flagship model in APSC format. Estimated shutter life of 200,000 clicks. I'm sure you would love it. The in-depth review of the KP here on the forum gives it a slight edge over the K-3 in image quality though, and the high ISO performance is apparently much better.

QuoteOriginally posted by cls Quote
I also wonder if there is a market for my K1000 and some of the old lenses I do not use.
Probably yes. (I might be interested in your 300mm prime depending on which one it is.) If you have contributed financially to the forum you have access to the Marketplace The Pentax Marketplace | Buy & Sell Pentax Cameras and Lenses - PentaxForums.com You can see what other people are listing and the prices they are asking.

No doubt several others will weigh in with their opinions. Lots of knowledgeable, helpful people here on PF!

Last edited by Apet-Sure; 01-31-2020 at 03:28 PM. Reason: .
01-31-2020, 04:33 PM   #7
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I think if you like the flagship body feel, the K-3 is the obvious choice. I am looking into upgrading my K-S1 to a K-3 this year as well - or perhaps a K-70, which is not a "pro" style body but for what my needs are, is probably more than good enough. Right now I think I'd go for the K-3 as used prices for the K-3 are lower than used prices for the K-70.

I had a K20D like you and I think you will be quite amazed at the image quality and features of the newer cameras compared to the K20D - even my entry-level K-S1 blows it away. The K10D that I still keep is another story... I just love the ISO 100 to 400 files that I get from it... that one will be staying for a long time...
01-31-2020, 05:34 PM   #8
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I have and shot with the K20D for years. Mine is in excellent shape, low use, but hardly ever used now. I should sell it.

I have and still use my K-5 IIs. A very fine camera. But my most-often used over the last 2 years plus is my newest- the KP. I bought mine in the silver/black option and it is a beaut. From all you've said, it would be my recommendation for you. It has the accelerator chip, as does the lesser K-70, and the full-frame K-1 II. The KP's metering, AF, SR, low light performance, and image quality are top-notch, and well above the K20D or the K-5. It is quite a different animal than the K20D- a lot more camera in a more compact form. It has a new controls design atop the camera, necessitating lack of a top LCD, and dual-use of a couple of buttons. The new controls make up for those minor inconveniences IMHO. It has built-in flash, and if you feel the need for even more gripping area plus longer battery life without changing, the optional battery grip does the job very well. With the battery grip on, its weight is about the same as a K-3 II but then will have even more battery life than the K-3 without the battery grip.

As for low light use, I have the Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8 EX DC HSM lens, and find it to be excellent. I often couple it with my DA* 50-135mm f/2.8, which has WR so then the camera's WR feature is in effect. My all-around lens is the Pentax DA 18-135mm, which features WR as well. It also has fast, quiet, accurate AF and can bring very good results.

If you are in the US, stores like B&H now have the KP featured at very reasonable cost for such an advanced camera with magnesium alloy construction.


Last edited by mikesbike; 01-31-2020 at 05:40 PM.
01-31-2020, 05:40 PM   #9
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Sigma17-70mm C upgrade

I am not commenting about camera upgrade as my *best* camera is a K-3 (and it exists few more camera upgrades after), but I certainly can comment about my Sigma 17-70mm C.

To replace the *kit lens*, I would say this is one of the best options out there (price wise vs IQ).
I am very satisfied with my Sigma 17-70.
I upgraded around 2015-2016 (not sure) and never regret it.

Happy shooting!
01-31-2020, 06:39 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by cls Quote
I wonder if the K3 is a sensible choice or if I am missing an obvious better option.
That would be the KP. I upgraded from a K10D to the KP two years ago. The improvement in low light performance, focus speed and accuracy, controls and general ergonomics was welcome.
02-01-2020, 04:43 PM   #11
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Hmmmm. I thank you all for your replies which I have found very informative. I went down the rabbit hole of forum posts, reviews, and comparisons, and I am going to have to mull this some more. I am concerned about the handling/feel, low fps and burst and shorter battery life of the KP, but drawn in by the promise of low light functionality and IQ compared to the K3. Of course either will be lightyears ahead of the K20D. I will be sad to let my trusty companion go, maybe. The thing to do of course would be to rent or borrow both, but I am afraid that is just not an option where I live.
02-01-2020, 05:45 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by cls Quote
I am concerned about the handling/feel, low fps and burst and shorter battery life of the KP, but drawn in by the promise of low light functionality and IQ compared to the K3.
This depends a bit on your level of post-processing. The KP low-light performance is achieved with a good level of pre-processing of the sensor data from ISO640 on, before writing it into the raw file (DNG or PEF). You can get fairly close with a K3 also above 640, but it takes a lot more effort and the right software. The JPG engine has also seen significant (to me) improvements on the KP, in case you're using the JPGs out of camera directly. AF may has seen some incremental improvements, but nothing major, as far as I can tell.
02-02-2020, 11:39 AM   #13
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Oh, well that is an interesting insight that I haven't seen before. It is comforting, somewhat. I do mainly use JPG, actually. I have done some reading and tried RAW but I just don't have the processing skill yet to really make this worthwhile. I use Lightroom primarily for minimal post processing.

I could and should perhaps move this next question to a different post, but I am now in a panic as I have just ordered a used Sigma 17-70 and wonder if I should have gone for the 24-70 f2.8 (fixed aperture) instead!? Any thoughts on comparing the two? I see both have some focus inconsistencies, but both get pretty good reviews generally.
02-02-2020, 12:00 PM   #14
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might I suggest that the OP look at the comparison of what the K 20 D is, the K 3 is, the K 3 II is and the KP is

Pentax K20D vs. Pentax K-3 vs. Pentax K-3 II vs. Pentax KP - Pentax Camera Comparison - PentaxForums.com

look at what is the same or similar and what is different between each camera body

what is important to the OP

what is not

what is the size and weight

what sd slots are available and how can they be used

the reputation - the K 3 II still being considered as the ASPC flagship

QuoteQuote:
While we still consider the Pentax K-3 II to be the APS-C flagship model due to features such as higher burst speeds and dual SD slots, as this review will show, the Pentax KP actually surpasses the K-3 II in image quality and customization options and it doesn't lag far behind the K-3 II in ruggedness. The KP exposes the K-3 II's age, as the KP is more modern in many ways, through built-in Wi-Fi and a facelifted user interface to faster general performance. At the time of writing, the KP is selling at a slightly higher price than the K-3 II.
Read more at: Pentax KP Review - Introduction | PentaxForums.com Reviews

is only important if the improvements offered by the KP make no or very little difference to the OP

the KP having different options and improvements over the K 3 II

unless the OP would like what the K 3 family offers instead


and the costs - the K 3 being very similar to the K 3 II but cheaper on the used equipment market, the K 3 II being cheaper if found new or on the used equipment market than the new or used KP

money saved could go to buying lenses

I own all three and would not own the KP except I won it.

I like the k 3 and k 3 II

I am not sure I need the advancements of the KP and I know I am struggling with the different set up between it and the K 3 family

that will hopefully be a small matter as I become more experienced with the KP

would the KP be wrong, only the OP knows that one
02-02-2020, 12:06 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aslyfox Quote
I know I am struggling with the different set up between it and the K 3 family
Yes, indeed, this is my concern as well. But if the image quality is superior for my use, trying new things just expands my brain.
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