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01-04-2009, 06:37 AM   #1
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K20D - should I go for it?

I would like to upgrade my K10 to K20D. I haven’t had the opportunity to check out K20D “in the flesh” (sorry can’t find other words to express my thoughts) …so I’m relying on your words and experience handling it in comparison to K10D…

Question number 1:
Are you pleased with the IQ from your K20D. Is there a big difference compared to your K10D?

Question number 2:
Are the functions on K20D much more superior compared your K10D? How would you rate the performance between these 2 cameras?

Question number 3:
I have a lot of spare batteries for K10D. Can these batteries work for the K20D or is it using a different batteries?

I will also be doing my annual heli-skiing at the end of this winter season. Do you think the K20D AF is fast enough to capture the action when paired with bigma 50-500mm lens? Some shots will also be taken from the chopper.

Last Question:
Do you think this year Pentax will release a better higher resolution camera than
K20D? Should I wait or just go for it?

Your thoughts and experience handling the K20D means a lot to my decision. Thank you in advance
Rae the tripod

01-04-2009, 07:12 AM   #2
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I am awaiting a K20D so cannot answer some questions directly.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
I haven’t had the opportunity to check out K20D “in the flesh” (sorry can’t find other words to express my thoughts)
You can say "in person".

QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
Question number 1:
Are you pleased with the IQ from your K20D. Is there a big difference compared to your K10D?

Question number 2:
Are the functions on K20D much more superior compared your K10D? How would you rate the performance between these 2 cameras?
The K20D is an incremental upgrade to the K10D, with subtle improvements in many areas. One thing owners really like is that the extra resolution (while maintaining the same IQ) means that one can take an image of the subject filling less of the frame, crop in, and still end up with a great image. This helps add reach for macro and telephoto shots especially.

At initial prices the K20D was not for everyone. At today's prices I see no reason to buy a K10D instead. As for upgrading from a K10D to a K20D, I think the difference after selling the old camera would be EURO 200 or less.


QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
Question number 3:
I have a lot of spare batteries for K10D. Can these batteries work for the K20D or is it using a different batteries?
Same batteries.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
I will also be doing my annual heli-skiing at the end of this winter season. Do you think the K20D AF is fast enough to capture the action when paired with bigma 50-500mm lens? Some shots will also be taken from the chopper.
Taking good and accurate action shots is not about machine-gunning the subject. The K20D will do just fine.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
Do you think this year Pentax will release a better higher resolution camera than K20D? Should I wait or just go for it?
It is inevitable that bodies will continue to improve. Buy what you need and can use now, enjoy the camera, and do not sweat progress.
01-04-2009, 11:48 AM   #3
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Rae, I can't tell you whether you should "upgrade" to a K20D or not, but I can give you my honest assessment of the differences in the two cameras. To put my comments below in context, keep in mind the following: 1) I've only owned a K20D since Christmas, although I've played with it intensely; 2) I'm comparing a late K20D (v 1.01) with a very early K10D, preordered from Amazon and shipped to me on the first day the camera was available in the U.S., which increases the likelihood that some differences I see may be due to sample variations rather than systemic differences between the two models; and 3) I shoot RAW, convert to TIF with Pentax software, manage noise with NN2 and then tweak everything else in Paint Shop Pro prior to printing or converting to JPEG for posting.

Operational Characteristics:

Autofocus - Some believe that AF of the K20D is somewhat faster than that of the K10D; that may be so, but qualitatively I can't tell the difference. I can tell you, however, that my K20D AF is the more accurate of the two, particularly under the conditions that occassionally baffle my K10 - low intensity, artificial light.

Exposure - In multisegment mode, the K20D consistently calls for about 1/3 more exposure than does the older camera - exposures are, of course, a bit brighter and generally require less tweaking in PP (although hardly a big deal).

Curiously, I've never been able to dectect a difference in exposure called for by my K10D regardless of multisegment or center-weighted settings, but the K20D shows a clear difference (center weighted calls for a bit less light) unless pointed at a featureless wall, in which case the exposure is identical.

Most important - to me - with regard to exposure: my K20D exposes far more reliably with my AF 360 than does the K10D, which tends to be a crap shoot; flash pictures with the older camera darken with each step a lens is stopped down. In contrast, with the K20D, exposures stay identical (DOF of course changes) when sequentially stopped down until the flash lacks the juice to properly illuminate the scene (exactly as my LX used to operate). I suspect, my particular K10D has an issue, and it's behavior probably doesn't reflect the norm for K10D bodies.

RAW Output:

I'm a scientist, and I detest terms like Image Quality, squishy, subjective terms that have no quantitative meaning. I'll do the best I can to explain the differences in output of the two cameras without using that term.

At high ISO (800 and above), as many have said, noise from the K20D is more homogeneous (we chemists would say the grain size distribution is narrow or uniform), and I find it infinitely easier to "clean up" than higher ISO files from my older camera. At low ISO, the difference between the two cameras is much less striking (I believe printed images from the K20D are a bit richer with better skin tones - but the difference, if it's there at all, is subtle).

Sorry to be long winded. Hope this helps.

Jer
01-04-2009, 04:50 PM   #4
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thanks sailor for taking the time to be precise... that is info that makes things much clearer for me and allows me to have more realistic expectations.

04-03-2009, 07:34 AM   #5
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Sorry it took me so long to come back. Thank you for everyone's input when I made the first post.

As an update, I did got me the K20D recently but not for what I intended to use it for when I started this thread.

I am still trying to understand the behaviour of my K20D, but on thing I can clearly feel and see is the AF definitely work better in low intensity/artificial light.

The colours produced are so punchy, I had to tone down the saturation and still trying to fine tune depending on the kind of lens I'm using.

All in all, I am happy with my new toy and decided to keep the K10D as a back up.

Thanks again
04-03-2009, 08:09 AM   #6
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Rae,

My answers follow.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
I would like to upgrade my K10 to K20D.
Of course you would. Everybody does.


QuoteQuote:
Question number 1:
Are you pleased with the IQ from your K20D. Is there a big difference compared to your K10D?
Yes, I'm very pleased with image quality from the K20D. Now, I was pleased with image quality from the K10D, too, indeed, still am pleased, because I still use the K10D all the time. I think there is a difference in results. But is it a "big" difference? Depends on what you mean by "big". When I shoot an event I usually have both cameras around my neck and I use them both. So later, when I'm post-processing, I'm sorting through a gallery of photos in which photos from both cameras are sitting side by side. I have to say that I can't tell at a glance which camera took a photo - unless I look at the file name. (I have set the naming for the K20D so every image's name starts with "K20D".)


QuoteQuote:
Question number 2:
Are the functions on K20D much more superior compared your K10D? How would you rate the performance between these 2 cameras?
Well, one of the very best things about the K20D is how much it's like the K10D. I mean, if you get as much right as Pentax got with the K10D, then it's SMART not to change much.

The thing that matters most to me about the K20D is its superior performance in low light.


QuoteQuote:
Question number 3:
I have a lot of spare batteries for K10D. Can these batteries work for the K20D or is it using a different batteries?
Yes. I have three batteries for two cameras. I never worry about which camera I'm putting a battery into.


QuoteQuote:
I will also be doing my annual heli-skiing at the end of this winter season. Do you think the K20D AF is fast enough to capture the action when paired with bigma 50-500mm lens? Some shots will also be taken from the chopper.
I can't imagine why it would NOT be fast enough. How fast does it need to be??

Not sure what you mean by "fast" here. Shutter speed? 1/4000th sec. I never use it. Autofocus speed? If there's lots of light, autofocus should work fine; and if you're able to stop down you should be able to get lots of depth of field and everything will be great.

I don't have a lot of experience shooting things that are moving real fast, but this shoot on the lake last year might be remotely similar to what you want to do. I was in the motor boat that was pulling the ladies in the inflatable raft. (Somebody else was driving the boat!) The ride in the boat was NOT super-smooth - I would imagine that a helicopter would bounce less than the boat did. Of course, the ladies in the raft were bouncing around like crazy. I'd have to say that the camera's in-body shake reduction + weather resistance were significant factors in the modest success of these shots. (Here's a link to the full size shot. The full-size shot is rather sharper than this small shot.)

Bottom line: The K10D was a great camera. The K20D is everything the K10D was/is, and more. Ergo, K20D > K10D. Whether the improvement is sufficient to justify upgrading, I can't say. A number of folks here have NOT upgraded and I think that's a very reasonable choice, too. Figure out exactly what the differences are between the cameras and decide whether any of those differences really matter to you. And if you still can't make up your mind, save your money and buy a new lens. :-)


QuoteQuote:
Last Question:
Do you think this year Pentax will release a better higher resolution camera than
K20D? Should I wait or just go for it?
I have no idea what the heck Pentax will do this year or in the future, or when make their next move, or whether it will be interesting or not.

Will
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04-03-2009, 09:46 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
Question number 1:
Are you pleased with the IQ from your K20D. Is there a big difference compared to your K10D?
The one area where the K20D is much better is high ISO, otherwise it's pretty much a wash IMHO. You could nitpick here and there (ISO 100 on the K10D is probably better, less PF on the K20D, etc.) but nothing really as striking as the ISO performance.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
Question number 2:
Are the functions on K20D much more superior compared your K10D? How would you rate the performance between these 2 cameras?
It's actually a bit slower. You loose the 3fps unlimited in jpeg. The auto review is much slower (there is an annoying delay). AF is mostly the same except maybe for AF-C where the K20D make less errors.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
Question number 3:
I have a lot of spare batteries for K10D. Can these batteries work for the K20D or is it using a different batteries?
Definitely same batteries and same grip. Nice.

QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
Last Question:
Do you think this year Pentax will release a better higher resolution camera than
K20D? Should I wait or just go for it?
Don't wait, even if the new camera is coming the price will certainly be less attractive anyway. In any case you can still sell your K20D for a minimal loss now that the K20D has reached a rock bottom price.

There is actually not much difference between the K10D and K20D. Mostly the difference is the sensor, the Liveview (crude, barely usable) and the AF adjustment feature. And some more subtles or minor (shutter sound, improved SR, jpegs, better AWB, etc.)

Now there are some people who had one of these bugged K10D and the upgrade to the K20D has been a revelation. Not for me, my K10D was performing very well (and still does in the hand of my father-in-law).

EDIT: I see you finally bought it. Good move.
04-03-2009, 11:08 AM   #8
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Hi Manu, yes, I bought it but thanks anyway for responding as this confirmed my decision was well made.

You know, the usual "should I should I not"...but I am happy with the K20D. So far so good and hopefully as I explore its capacity, I will only discover good stuff.

04-03-2009, 11:28 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
The thing that matters most to me about the K20D is its superior performance in low light.

I can't imagine why it would NOT be fast enough. How fast does it need to be??

Not sure what you mean by "fast" here. Shutter speed? 1/4000th sec. I never use it. Autofocus speed? If there's lots of light, autofocus should work fine; and if you're able to stop down you should be able to get lots of depth of field and everything will be great.


Will
Hi Will,
yes, I found out at last, K20D is able to take pictures in dim poor light conditions where my K10D struggle to autofocus. I really like that ability and very happy with my decision. I wish I had bought the K20 earlier (for the heliskiing) but at that moment (when I started this thread) I was really unable to make the decision, as you mentioned it yourself, if there's enough lights....

Heliskiing above 3000meters comes with 3 challenges.
1- the speed of the skiier, is very fast, between 70 to 130km/h and the chopper is also moving
2-It can be intensely blue sky sunny with blinding white snow
3-very very foggy and grey that the snow cast a blue shadow ( was the exactly the situation we had that week)

Last edited by Tripod; 04-03-2009 at 11:37 AM. Reason: just to say, great looking picture Will, I haven't got the chance to really explore my K20D yet.
04-03-2009, 12:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tripod Quote
Heliskiing above 3000meters comes with 3 challenges.
1- the speed of the skiier, is very fast, between 70 to 130km/h and the chopper is also moving
2-It can be intensely blue sky sunny with blinding white snow
3-very very foggy and grey that the snow cast a blue shadow ( was the exactly the situation we had that week)
You forgot to mention what I would regard as #1: staying in the helicopter. :-)

Sounds like loads of fun, if you're into extreme photography.

Will
04-03-2009, 04:54 PM   #11
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I just upgraded from a Samsung GX-10 to the Pentax K20D. As others have said, the differences are smallish steps rather than leaps and bounds. I love this camera though. I wonder why we would need so many fine adjustments for white balance in camera? A feature that I'll probably not use much as I can do most in Capture One. Besides, making adjustments on the fly using that small lcd doesn't get me excited. Bad eyes. AWB, pre-selected WB or manual custom WB is all I would need.

Since my Samsung used only the dng raw format, I've chosen to use the same with the Pentax to keep the flow seemless with Capture One. Funny, converting this file now to tif creates a nice large 48mg picture. Good thing my pc can handle it.

So far so good. It's a nice step up and a keeper for me.

Larry
04-05-2009, 10:31 AM   #12
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And speaking of white balance. I'm shocked at how well the K20D handles fluorescent lighting using AWB. My GX-10 never could get it right. A very pleasant surprise.

Larry
04-05-2009, 02:54 PM   #13
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Besides k20d is so much cheaper now. It is a very capable camera that it allows me to get images in Jpegs instead of Raw. The image quality is good enough for me.
04-07-2009, 08:31 AM   #14
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Even I upgraded from the K10D to K20D two weeks ago. Still learning how to use it though.
04-07-2009, 09:42 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by felixkh Quote
Even I upgraded from the K10D to K20D two weeks ago. Still learning how to use it though.
Meet up early with the rest of the group for this month's photo outing and you'll get to pick up plenty of tips on how to get the most from your new toy.
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