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12-13-2009, 12:48 AM   #1
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K20d or K-x

Hi All,

I've search and read a lot about the K20d and the new K-x, but have some doubts about what to choose...
Can any of you pro explain the main differences between those two?

Now days I can buy the K20d plus the two kit lenses or the K-x with the two kit lenses at the same price (!!).
My reading about the two have lead me to the following conclusion:

1. Body structure: K20d
2. Viewfinder: K20d
3. Shooting rate: K-x
4. ISO performance: K-x
5. AF speed: K-x (?)
6. Live view: K-x (plus the HD recording)
7. Shutter speed: K-x

Other then that - what make the K20d more professional (or better) then the K-x?
Is the K20d offers more option to the user (or more easy way to change settings)?

In other words, what will I miss if I choose the K-x and after some time want to go pro?

BTW - the K-7 is too much expensive here, so only the K20d and the K-x interesting me.

Thanks a lot!


Last edited by goldenzebra; 12-13-2009 at 01:06 AM.
12-13-2009, 06:06 AM   #2
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it has been discussed here i believe, but im in the exactly same position since my K10D has died with a "memory card error" message.
I want to know the opinion from people who actually have the K-x now but in the past used the K10D or K20D because i want to repleace my dead camera soon, i work with it.

Also.... do you believe that it'll be posible to use tethering with the K-x/K-7 in a near future? Pentax will do it?


ps: sorry for my english
12-13-2009, 07:37 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by goldenzebra Quote
Hi All,

I've search and read a lot about the K20d and the new K-x, but have some doubts about what to choose...
Can any of you pro explain the main differences between those two?
You have done a great deal of the footwork to answer your own question, which is one that has been debated on the forums before. It really comes down to a personal preference in my opinion. Both bodies offer unique qualities that you as photographer have do decide which is more important. Being able to make those decisions can only come from seat time and shoot as much as you can possibly stand.

Don't worry about which camera is best for a pro. What makes any camera "pro" is the person shooing with it. Make your selection on what you really need.

As it seems that you're still learning about what YOU want from a camera, my quick and easy suggestion is for you to buy the K-x. It is a current model, it has some features that the K20D does not and you can get a warranty easily while finding a K20D new in the box will be a bit harder.

If you find that the K-x leaves you wanting a K20D, my guess is that you'll find someone here on this forum who will do some sort of deal on a body swap.

Hope that helps, good luck shooting!

germar
12-13-2009, 07:42 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by goldenzebra Quote
My reading about the two have lead me to the following conclusion:

1. Body structure: K20d
2. Viewfinder: K20d
3. Shooting rate: K-x
4. ISO performance: K-x
5. AF speed: K-x (?)
6. Live view: K-x (plus the HD recording)
7. Shutter speed: K-x

Other then that - what make the K20d more professional (or better) then the K-x?
Is the K20d offers more option to the user (or more easy way to change settings)?

In other words, what will I miss if I choose the K-x and after some time want to go pro?
I own a K20D and I've only handled a K-x in a store. I believe the K20D is by far the better choice as a pro camera.

Wireless flash
14.6mp gives more detail and finer grain structure
Better balance with larger lenses
Li-ion battery for extended shooting
Available battery grip / vertical grip
Famous for ergonomics (all the buttons are in the right spots)
Pentaprism viewfinder
Top LCD panel
Weather seals and more solid construction.
TAv, User and Sensitivity modes, no annoying scene modes to cycle through
Switch for metering mode (eval, spot, CW)
Switch for changing focal points, with visual indication of focal point
Flash sync socket
AF fine tuning (adjust lenses individually for front or back focus)

I don't see that a rudimentary movie mode is a factor for a professional photographer. If the photography field you intend to pursue requires lightning quick AF and faster fps, then frankly Pentax should not be your first choice. The K20D has good high ISO performance, the K-x is one stop better (or possibly 2/3 stop). The K20D is designed and marketed as a semi-pro camera. The K-x feels like a toy in comparison and is not configured for professional use. The K-x is a great choice for personal use or as a second camera for a pro.

12-13-2009, 08:53 AM   #5
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K10D -> K-x

I'm moving from K10 to K-x and have written a few words about it here:
Going from Pentax K10D to K-x, part 1 on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

Since I'm doing a lot of street photography the K10D was a little to big and heavy, so I've been waiting for Pentax to make s small camera like the *ist DS (my first dslr).

The K10D and K20D feel more solid, more like professional cameras, but the K-x isn't bad either. The shutter sound of the K-x is more like a crash than the damped sound from the bigger brothers.

Viewfinder is smaller and darker, not bad, but it shows you that the K10D viewfinder is excellent. So far no problem, even with manual focus (but I will install split prism later anyway).

If you are interested in video, Pentax made a big mistake in letting out a microphone jack. I can't understand why, because the internal mic will record all kind of camera and other noise that have been easy avoided by an external mic.

I also miss the aperture step down (with preview and histogram) on the power button. You can assign this function to the green button on the K-x, but since I mosty use the camera in manual mode I'm using the green btn to make a quick P exposure setting as with manual (Pentax-m) lenses. But I can live with that, I'm just taking a test photo to check the histogram.

Red focus indicators are missing. I can live with that since the focus is much faster on the K-x so it's easy to prefocus (shutter button half pressed) and move the camera to a nice crop and then take the photo. Maybe it's a good idea to only use the center AF point for full control.

The BIG advantage is the small size of the camera. Follow the link and go to image #2, it shows the K-x with a M40/2,8 lens together with the K10D and the kit lens. You would not believe how small it is. Event Canon and Nikon people are talking about how small the K10D is, he he.

Dont't buy the DA-L kit lens. It's missing the quick manual focus option. I can't live without that, but it's only to buy the K-x body and use your old lenses.

Every one is talking about low noise. It's a little bit hyped, but you can except about one EV step better noise level compared to the K10D. It means that the K-x is near Nikon D90 and D5000 in noise level, but not better. ( I think the D5000 is a hair better)

GK
12-13-2009, 09:03 AM   #6
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The Kx performs better in almost every regard except user interface...

So the k20d is nicer to work with, but the Kx produces better results.

This is because the kx is a consumer camera, with only one dial, no switches for functions like SR, bracket photos etc.

So you need to go into menu's on the Kx to change things that you can do far faster with a k20d.

Its a really hard choice, but I'm happier with the Kx because its auto focus is a fair bit better. I am also hanging out for a k8 at the same time because one e dial is driving my crazy :P And at the same time i need the extra performance of the kx's sensor.
12-13-2009, 09:22 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by audiobomber Quote
I own a K20D and I've only handled a K-x in a store. I believe the K20D is by far the better choice as a pro camera.

Wireless flash
14.6mp gives more detail and finer grain structure
Better balance with larger lenses
Li-ion battery for extended shooting
Available battery grip / vertical grip
Famous for ergonomics (all the buttons are in the right spots)
Pentaprism viewfinder
Top LCD panel
Weather seals and more solid construction.
TAv, User and Sensitivity modes, no annoying scene modes to cycle through
Switch for metering mode (eval, spot, CW)
Switch for changing focal points, with visual indication of focal point
Flash sync socket
AF fine tuning (adjust lenses individually for front or back focus)
thought I would do a little counter point (many agreements as well though!)

K-x has wireless flash sync (that or there is a ghost in my house firing the flash when I press the shutter!).

the detail from either cameras is kind of like splitting hairs, sensors have come very far!

I actually like the balance on the K-x as well (have the k20 w/grip too) - even with the 50-135 the K-x is kind of more attached to the lens than vice-versa - my left hand partially supports both body and lens, and is quite comfortable - I think this is pretty much a wash/personal preference.

Haven't had any problems with battery life (and any problems have been addressed via the firmware update).

I do like the ergonomics of a grip, but don't miss it when I'm handling a smaller camera like the Kx.

The remaining ergonomics all come down to user knowledge and preference - I absolutely love the handling of the K20 as well - buttons are logically placed, viewfinder is nice and bright, top LCD is a plus (but not really missed when using the Kx either), TAv, user modes, AF adjustments are all apart of a camera that originally retailed at $1299 - if you know your way around a camera, understand its functions and how they relate to getting the right shot, these are all big pluses.

While the Kx doesn't have all of the ergonomic accessibility, it does get enough of it right, and in the right spot, that I don't feel like I am being held back. Once all of the long term settings are adjusted to your liking, I have just been using P mode, with the rear dial set to adjust aperture. ISO set to auto upto 2500 - if I want to go higher than that, Sv is the next setting on the mode dial, and I have that tuned to start at ISO4000. EV compensation is achieved quickly via a button next to the shutter and a quick turn of the rear dial. The AF on this camera is noticeably quicker, and better in low light, and also a higher FPS if you need that sort of thing. You also have access to pretty much all the higher functions (WB, ISO, Shooting modes, AF modes, metering, etc) via a single button press, or the rear lcd.

Personally, the only thing keeping my k20d on the shelf at the moment is weather sealing. I might have picked it up once since receiving the K-x. That is my not-so-brief assessment!
12-13-2009, 10:47 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by pxpaulx Quote
K-x has wireless flash sync (that or there is a ghost in my house firing the flash when I press the shutter!).
That's good to know. I'll take out wireless flash and put in the front e-dial that I forgot to list.

Even without the battery grip, there's no comparison for me. All my fingers fit on the K20D. The smaller camera leaves my pinky with nowhere to hold and the camera is front heavy with anything bigger than a kit lens.

12-13-2009, 10:57 AM   #9
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Audio - I totally agree about the size - it is completely different. I have big hands, and the k20/grip/50-135 feels awesome in my hands - well balanced, easy to use and access everything.

At the same time, I find the K-x balances very well with larger lenses...in my left hand. While this might seem awkward at first, it makes sense in that the right grip is smaller on the K-x - this leaves your right hand free to make adjustments. Admitedly, those adjustments would be harder to make if I have to hold tight with my right hand as well, but, I have such a firm grip with the left hand that the right hand can hold loosely and let go if needed.

I think, addressing ergonomics to the original poster, it comes down to whether you know you will be making adjustments to the camera on a very regular basis. The k-x does a very good job of taking care of things for you, while allowing enough control to make changes when needed. If I weren't comfortable with the camera's auto settings 80-90% of the time, then it would become a burden at that point. But that comes down again to whether or not you know you will be making alot of adjustments on a regular basis - this is a largely personal choice, but I think you have the main points to consider between the two. Good luck!
12-13-2009, 12:36 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by goldenzebra Quote
Other then that - what make the K20d more professional (or better) then the K-x?
Is the K20d offers more option to the user (or more easy way to change settings)?
This is quite simple actually, the K20D has sealing and user control points aimed at achieving a professional workflow which the K-x lacks. Which may not seem very significant unless a person actually works with both systems to appreciate. I'm also tempted to say the Kx is better than the K20D on the IQ front, though I have yet to see a definitive analysis between to two as of yet.

Having said that, I can't wait for Pentax to put out a body with the Kx sensor next year.
12-13-2009, 12:39 PM   #11
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Hi Folks!

I'm a Pentax user since the 70s, and the bulk of my photo work now is as a news photographer...

I just picked up a used K20D, and I absolutely love it. The key controls (metering, auto focus, bracketing, et al) are easily accessible, and it's easy to hold steady, especially with the add-on battery grip. Most importantly, the images are wonderful.

However, back in the day when I was hiking and doing scenic photography, I would have hated it. The weight, especially with the add-on battery grip, is tremendous.

So, as always, it depends a lot upon your needs.

Enjoy!
Dave
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