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03-24-2009, 08:07 AM   #1
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K20d + lcd tv

Hi guys,

I'm getting serious in food photography and 1 thing that's really important is instant feedback of shots taken. I've tried tethering and it takes forever. Anywhere between 15-30 seconds PER photo, and I take 500-1000 photos per day/session. I brought a regular CRT TV to a shoot and it made things SO MUCH faster. Quality was very good too, not HD but very clear and sharp.

So I settled into getting an LCD TV since lugging around a tube TV was too much, those things are just too bulky and heavy. I went to a store the other day and tried my camera with some LCD TVs and they looked terrible!!!

The photos looked pixelated and blurry but when you zoom in it looks pretty okay.

I believe it's something to do with the analog to digital transition, since the K20D uses the old school composite video output.

Has anyone tried using an LCD TV with an LCD TV with good results? The output on a traditional CRT TV looks great, but it's just way too heavy and bulky to carry around

I'm really really happy with the output of the photos but honestly shooting tethered is something really important in food photography. My clients have to see it instantly for the approval of the dish/layout. I was actually thinking of going dual system since the canon/nikons have HDMI output.

I really hope the upcoming models have HDMI output

03-24-2009, 08:21 AM   #2
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Well, maybe you could have a look to different LCD tv sets...
I've seen HUGE differences in how they handle analogic input. Some are plain awful, others are good (and those are not always the more expensive!)...
It would be cheaper than switching systems.
03-24-2009, 08:23 AM   #3
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I hope I find a good set that handles the K20D output well! I tried the expensive ones from Samsung and Sony and they looked awful

I'll go to a store again tomorrow to try all the sets, wish me luck!
03-24-2009, 08:30 AM   #4
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Just my 2 cents...

Hi, and I highly appreciate all Your fight with tethering- been there and seen that: my initial idea was to make a custom Y-cable for K20D: one branch for USB for tethering and another for video output- but if You recall from my post on that topic- impossible as FW excludes use of both...
Now about LCD: it has only *ONE* acceptable resolution and it is called native- so 1366x768 or 1920x1200 will *NOT* definitely suit K20D- my wild guess would be that it outputs video signal at some very low resolution depending on system (PAL vs NTSC) used (IIRC 720x576 for PAL and xxx for NTSC). CRT IS an analog device and renders all input MUCH more perfect without pixelation (You can Google digital vs analog display...) BUT digital one gives a real satisfaction only at 1:1 pixel ratio- and all this applies not only to Your problem but also to all LCD monitors/laptops whatsoever... Just try Your laptop/LCD at another resolution (non-native) and You see how ugly Your desktop will be (not talking about the sub-par P&S images from Your RAWs-hee-hee.
Let us round it up: is digital better than film, LCD better than CRT...
Answer is IMO depending on goal to be achieved :-)
Best and hoping You can find a satisfactory solution, JR

03-24-2009, 08:34 AM   #5
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Hi JR,

Thanks for the input. Yeah that's pretty much what I suspected

Sigh. I'll try to see if there's a compact and light CRT TV that's easy enough to carry around.

How about those portable DVD players that have video inputs? Anyone try those?
03-24-2009, 08:35 AM   #6
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The issue is more of pixel mapping. LCD's have discrete pixels. Analog TVs do not...they just spray electrons on the screen and also have limited resolution.
Best bet is to match the LCD resolution w/ composite resolution which is roughly 640x480 deinterlaced, or 640x240 interlaced:
NTSC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That's why I suggested a portable DVD player in a previous thread...it's low enough resolution that it should look fine.
03-24-2009, 08:40 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
The issue is more of pixel mapping. LCD's have discrete pixels. Analog TVs do not...they just spray electrons on the screen and also have limited resolution.
Best bet is to match the LCD resolution w/ composite resolution which is roughly 640x480 deinterlaced, or 640x240 interlaced:
NTSC - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That's why I suggested a portable DVD player in a previous thread...it's low enough resolution that it should look fine.
Aha! You're a real blessing

Is there a way to set an LCD to VGA resolution so it'll look good? Or do I have to get an LCD that uses VGA as a native resolution?

I'd like to have the DVD player as a last resort, I need a big screen. I know it doesn't affect the output, it's really marketing but when the client sees the photos nice and big it really makes them happy. With a positive experience with me, they'll get me for more projects.
03-24-2009, 09:02 AM   #8
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computer lcd monitors that can handle full adobeRGB (like the k20d) would be your best bet, they will be expensive and not have very good response times (high ms) but are designed for graphics pros.

cheap lcd technology is utter rubbish and does not come close to crt for reproduction. They are usually too bright and colourful to make them sell well inside a shop environment.

03-24-2009, 09:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote
Is there a way to set an LCD to VGA resolution so it'll look good? Or do I have to get an LCD that uses VGA as a native resolution?
Some highres LCDs have good upscalers probably but most will look crappy

AFAIK, there aren't any 640x480 LCDs any more unless you get smallish 7-8" ones...
03-24-2009, 09:25 AM   #10
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as kenyee said, composite video (the yellow plug) is only capable of streaming 480i. even 720p is very low res compared to the photos that come out of the k20d (over 4000pixels per edge?). until pentax makes a camera with hdmi output like you stated, all your pictures on an hd tv screen will look like garbage (unless the screen is very small). it's really not the lcd thats the problems its the output of the k20d

i use a plasma 1080p as my computer monitor and the pictures show up pretty nice at that resolution (1920x1080). the native resolution for my laptop screen (1280x720 which is what most 'cheaper' lcd hdtvs are) is almost unuseable because the pictures are so large.

Last edited by eyou; 03-24-2009 at 09:40 AM.
03-24-2009, 09:26 AM   #11
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I see! Thanks everyone. I'll look for a portable player with inputs

As for uploading to a laptop, it just takes too long I need 5 seconds max per photo
03-24-2009, 09:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by soccerjoe5 Quote

Is there a way to set an LCD to VGA resolution so it'll look good? Or do I have to get an LCD that uses VGA as a native resolution?
the signal from the camera is an analog signal. youd have to get a converter to have this signal go to VGA (i think $100-200). many tvs support VGA resolution.

picture quality will not make a difference because youre starting at a lower resolution and going up (from 480i to 600p) so it will still look bad (maybe a little better on an LCD than the composite but still not great)
03-24-2009, 09:59 AM   #13
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Getting good looking NTSC on an LCD display is a losing battle. NTSC (at approximately 720x480, interlaced) is a very difficult beast, and is best viewed on an analog CRT.

For your purposes, I recommend you get a nice studio CRT monitor that is designed for use by broadcasters or video post-production facilities. These come in sizes from 9" to 27", and feature MUCH sharper picture and better colour reproduction than your average television set. These monitors are made by Sony, JVC and Panasonic. They often have handles built into the sides allowing "convenient" portability (I know that's relative when talking about a 30 pound monitor). These monitors are professional quality, and look the part, which can be important with clients.

These studio CRTs can be had much more cheaply than before, as the industry moves away from NTSC to ATSC/HD with digital connections. You should be able to get a nice used, or blowout new, monitor for a few hundred bucks (instead of the $2000 they were a few years ago.)

Eventually, Pentax's DSLRs will offer HD outputs over HDMI. Until then, work with the NTSC they give you and get the best picture reproduction you can. Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater just to get LCD output.
03-24-2009, 10:00 AM   #14
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(I haven't tried tethering since as a Linux user my only choice is pkremote and I haven't gotten it to work, yet...but) does K20D connect as a USB 2.0 device? USB 1.x is such that a ~20 meg raw file should take around 20 seconds to upload.
03-24-2009, 10:05 AM   #15
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I checked the review on the K20D and it says USB 2.0 but when I tether using RAW (PEF) files it takes forever. And when taking successive shots it really slows down
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