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04-13-2009, 08:40 PM   #1
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K20 impressions (switching from K200D)

Hello all, thread title says all.

- First off, I was a bit disappointed by high iso noise. After all the praise for the K20D's sensor and since it has iso 3200 I expected cleaner high iso but it appears to be about the same as the K200D - max useable is 800, 1600 in a pinch. 3200 isn't usable at all and 6400 a bad joke. I find all the colours look much better and overall IQ is superior, though.

+ The memory buffer is great! The K200D filled it with only 3 RAW pictures and this was the main reason I upgraded. On the K20D I haven't hit the buffer limit yet.

+ Auto focus is ridiculously faster with my small primes (FA 50 and 77), quite faster with the big prime (FA 31) and noticeably faster, but not by a big deal, with the 18-250 zoom.

+ Viewfinder is much better, not only brigther, but clearer and easier to find focus, seems to have "higher resolution"

+ The green button finally has a use! Almost useless on the K200D, now it sets ISO to auto after changing it with one of the little wheels. What a dream it is to be able too set iso like that.

+ A switch to choose between AF-S and AF-C without opening menus is a great thing I missed before.

SMALLER STUFF

+ My mirror lens exposes correctly on Av now. On the K200D I had to use manual mode and green button to get good exposure. Focus confirmation also works with it now.

+ The ability to do autofocus adjustment is nice but I haven't felt the necessity yet.

+ Switches for AF and AE area selections are good but I won't use them much

+ TAv is a nice convenience, I had wished the K200D had it, as is auto exposure compensation on RAW files.

+ The backlit LCD is another nice convenience that I've missed before.

+ I don't care for multiple exposure, but will certainly find use for interval shooting

+ The battery and card door locks just show how well built this camera is

IN THE END

This is one great camera I'll be happy to hang onto until the Pentax FF camera comes out in 2017, and proud to show off to my friends with 50Ds and 300Ds.

04-13-2009, 08:56 PM   #2
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QuoteQuote:
kristoffon: - First off, I was a bit disappointed by high iso noise. After all the praise for the K20D's sensor and since it has iso 3200 I expected cleaner high iso but it appears to be about the same as the K200D - max useable is 800, 1600 in a pinch. 3200 isn't usable at all and 6400 a bad joke.
I think you are not exposing to the right. 6400 is usable, 3200 is very usable, amd 1600 down is excellent. Can you post a couple of examples? Thanks.
04-13-2009, 09:18 PM   #3
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Thanks for this, it explains a bit for me, having only used a K200D.

What are you referring to by "auto exposure compensation on RAW files"?
04-13-2009, 09:52 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I think you are not exposing to the right. 6400 is usable, 3200 is very usable, amd 1600 down is excellent. Can you post a couple of examples? Thanks.
Also, the K20D's noise reduction is set to off in default in the custom setting if I read correctly in Popular Photography. See if it is, and turn it on, if it is indeed off.

That may help at higher ISO's.

04-13-2009, 10:17 PM   #5
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The K20D has 4 setting for NR, did you use the strongest setting? Also its more of a semi-pro, 'in the true sense' in that some things are up to you to take care of and noise can be one of them. However I find with the K20 at its strong NR setting the K10 640 is 1250 on the K20, iso800 is like iso2500 on the K20, iso1600 on the K10 is not as good as iso3200 with the K20 because of banding and the noise is of a coarser type. I know the K200 is improved over the K10, but you should in time be please with the results.
04-13-2009, 10:18 PM   #6
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high noise

I always turn the noise reduction off. Pentax is one of the only camera manufacturers that has a hands off approach to noise reduction when the noise reduction is actually turned off. That way you can apply chroma noise reduction post process with noise ninja, or nik. it works great with the K20d.
04-13-2009, 10:41 PM   #7
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Basically the first shot I took with my K20D. Indoors, low light, using the FA 50 f/1.4 @ ISO 1600. Barely any noise to be seen:

http://deadwolfbones.smugmug.com/photos/451001124_SZvjm-XL.jpg
04-13-2009, 10:53 PM   #8
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QuoteQuote:
deadwolfbones
Basically the first shot I took with my K20D. Indoors, low light, using the FA 50 f/1.4 @ ISO 1600. Barely any noise to be seen:
LOL I still remember that shot from "Post Your Photos." I asked you where in the world you got the deadwolfbones from, and commented on the very expressive look on the dog's face--great shot.

04-13-2009, 10:58 PM   #9
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Feels like it's been ages but it's only been 3.5 months.
04-14-2009, 12:55 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by eccentricphotography Quote
Pentax is one of the only camera manufacturers that has a hands off approach to noise reduction when the noise reduction is actually turned off. That way you can apply chroma noise reduction post process
Is that actually true with the K20D? It doesn't seem to be with the K200D.
04-14-2009, 07:28 AM   #11
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Original Poster
QuoteOriginally posted by Jewelltrail Quote
I think you are not exposing to the right. 6400 is usable, 3200 is very usable, amd 1600 down is excellent. Can you post a couple of examples? Thanks.
QuoteOriginally posted by res3567 Quote
Also, the K20D's noise reduction is set to off in default in the custom setting if I read correctly in Popular Photography. See if it is, and turn it on, if it is indeed off.

That may help at higher ISO's.
Are you guys referring to JPEG or RAW? AFAIK, RAW is not supposed to have ANY noise reduction done by the camera, even if I set it to. I only shoot RAW on both cameras.

Also, isn't exposing to the right the equivalent of using lower iso? I.e., shooting with EV = +1 @ ISO 1600 isn't the same as shooting with EV = 0 @ ISO 800? That's what I experienced so far.

I'll definitely post an example shot later when I get back from work.

QuoteOriginally posted by Quension Quote
Thanks for this, it explains a bit for me, having only used a K200D.

What are you referring to by "auto exposure compensation on RAW files"?
Sometimes you take a picture and the exposure will be off, requiring adjustment in post processing. When shooting JPEG, the camera is already supposed to fix the exposure. This setting fixes it in RAW too, equivalent to changing the exposure in lightroom in post, only the camera does it now. .
04-14-2009, 08:30 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
- First off, I was a bit disappointed by high iso noise. After all the praise for the K20D's sensor and since it has iso 3200 I expected cleaner high iso but it appears to be about the same as the K200D
FWIW, I have the K200D but not the K20D, and when I hear claims of the K20D's vast superiority in high ISO, I'm always intrigued, but when I *really* look at the images and consider the specifics (eg, what kind of lighting was involved, whether dark frame subtraction was kicking in, camera NR settings, whether the picture was "exposed to the right" or not), I pretty much always come away with a similar impression as you - the differences are not actually all that great. The best high ISO pictures - taken under the most favorable conditions - from either camera look great; the worst look bad. There's no doubt a win overall in the K20D, but perhaps not as great as some would claim.

QuoteQuote:
+ The green button finally has a use! Almost useless on the K200D
I take it you don't use manual lenses very often, then! But being able to set ISO using OK + wheel in M mode is definitely a plus for the K20D.
04-14-2009, 09:58 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by kristoffon Quote
+ The green button finally has a use! Almost useless on the K200D, now it sets ISO to auto after changing it with one of the little wheels. What a dream it is to be able too set iso like that.
It has quite a useful function for those of us who shoot with manual lenses!
04-14-2009, 01:25 PM   #14
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@kristoffon - Any exposure over 0.3 seconds will cause a separate Dark Frame Subtraction frame (shutter closes and sensor stays on) equal to the length of the original exposure to be taken by the K20D. This happens whether you are shooting RAW or jpeg.

Jack
04-14-2009, 10:31 PM   #15
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QuoteQuote:
kristoffon: Are you guys referring to JPEG or RAW? AFAIK, RAW is not supposed to have ANY noise reduction done by the camera, even if I set it to. I only shoot RAW on both cameras.
I am talking Raw. You really should read here: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/27334-how-reduce-h...-shooting.html Thanks PentaxPoke


And when you are done reading there, visit this thread too: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/26796-k20d-high-is...00-6400-a.html
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