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01-23-2010, 12:43 PM   #1
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K20D rated very low in Outdoor Photography (UK)?

Just flicking through the latest edition of one of my favourite magazines, Outdoor Photography from the UK (and certainly not to be confused with the US "Outdoor Photographer"). I very rarely look at the camera tests....gets me itchy to 'upgrade' especially when I'm not in a position to do so

Anyway, on their retrospective table of reviews, the Pentax K20D comes out as their worst rated dSLR at 82.5%. Ummm, why? I don't have Issue 102 and am unable to find the article on-line. Anyone out there able to enlighten me on this parlourous rating? I have come to respect this magazine and so am very curious as to their perspective.

01-23-2010, 01:00 PM   #2
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Its quite commong for people to group together on favorable equipment in circles and I think this is what were seeing here as well.

I shoot outdoor photography exclusively in the warmer seasons and I've been using the K20D without problems since the begining. Though I have been looking for a little more FPS for certain conditions, the K20 really does fill my needs very nicely.

Though, I must confess, I certainly didn't base my changing from Nikon to Pentax on magazines either
I think most people are the same way, though I could see newcomers falling into that trap if they were looking to start out. So goes the nature of influence I suppose.

Last edited by JohnBee; 01-24-2010 at 01:04 AM.
01-23-2010, 01:07 PM   #3
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I've seen a lot of the British reviewers and magazines give Pentax cameras absolutely no respect. What may be considered "quirks" on Canon and Nikon cameras become "flaws" in Pentax. In one of my "Digital SLR" magazines they called the K200D IQ "serviceable". I have to find it so I can quote it.

I wonder though if they'll change their tune somewhat when Pentax starts buying advertising space in their magazines. Were there any Pentax ads in your issue, Stillshunter?

Last edited by jboyde; 01-23-2010 at 01:19 PM. Reason: spelling
01-23-2010, 01:49 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by jboyde Quote
I've seen a lot of the British reviewers and magazines give Pentax cameras absolutely no respect. What may be considered "quirks" on Canon and Nikon cameras become "flaws" in Pentax. In one of my "Digital SLR" magazines they called the K200D IQ "serviceable". I have to find it so I can quote it.

I wonder though if they'll change their tune somewhat when Pentax starts buying advertising space in their magazines. Were there any Pentax ads in your issue, Stillshunter?
This is what most magazines do.
Even when it came to features, they list an Oly as having the electronic level and it was some sort os a good thing for the Oly but they never mentioned that the K-7 actually has it too!
That is why it is kinda hard to trust these reviews apart form asking actual users themselves.
That is also the reason why, before I buy a camera or equipment, I google, research and research more. I pay little attention to reviews but decide on the equipment features themselves!

01-23-2010, 01:58 PM   #5
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HI guys,

Well I have the K20D and, so far, am beyond happy with it If I were to nit-pick it would be for the lack of a dedicated ISO button...though I do use TAv if I need to vary it that much. The fps don't bother me too much as I'm more a sniper than a turret gunner

I too have shifted from other platforms; first Nikon (which I didn't really warm to...was like playing Gameboy trying to fish anything out of the menu during shoots and the low-end glass is really LOW end) and most recently Olympus (great quality and accessible buttons on E-1, but the Zuiko lens choice for wildlife work left a lot to be desired).

QuoteQuote:
I wonder though if they'll change their tune somewhat when Pentax starts buying advertising space in their magazines. Were there any Pentax ads in your issue, Stillshunter?
I've had a look through both Outdoor Photographer and Black + White Photography, which are published by the same house, and have not spied much in the way of Pentax advertisements. Hmmm...

Great pick-up jboyde...have a guess at who's feeling a little naive right about now.

Still be curious to know what quirks they identified though...
01-23-2010, 05:41 PM   #6
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Bear in mind that most mags have an allegance to one manufacturer or another, usually C***n or N***n. This can be seen by the amount of brand specific advertising. There's no way the mag is going to shoot itself in the foot by saying that another manufacturer's product is better than it's sponsor's.
01-23-2010, 07:19 PM   #7
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An old adage says that you should not believe everything you read in the newspapers. The same goes for magazines.

The magazine exists to make money for the owners. The provision of material is selected in order to maximise the readership by exploiting their perceived interests. It has nothing to do with promoting truth in print, but all to do with keeping their advertisers happy and buying more advertising space. Pentax do not do anywhere near as much advertising as CaNikon.

The sad fact is that consumers these days do not bother to fully research a product before buying it, they are often more swayed by status appeal of brand name over quality, and this is fully driven by marketing gurus who get paid very big bucks to influence consumers.

I recently bought a Pentax K20D and it has reignited my lost passion to get out and shoot the world around me. One VERY happy camper here (though if you have a spare 20,000 lying around I can think of a few nice lenses I would like).

I worked in sales for most of my life and I learned to ignore everything that comes out of the mouth of a salesperson, or some sales oriented publication such as a magazine. I refuse to buy them these days because they will print anything the advertisers want them to print and very little else.

Forget what a magazine says about any product, go and talk to the people who own and use the product, or hire one, and try it out for yourself before you buy it.
01-23-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshunter Quote
If I were to nit-pick it would be for the lack of a dedicated ISO button...
Hold down the ok button and use the front dial. Same thing...

01-23-2010, 08:57 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kenyee Quote
Hold down the ok button and use the front dial. Same thing...
Champion Ken! I'll give that a go this afternoon.
01-23-2010, 10:34 PM   #10
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QuoteQuote:
Stillshunter: Anyway, on their retrospective table of reviews, the Pentax K20D comes out as their worst rated dSLR at 82.5%. Ummm, why? I don't have Issue 102 and am unable to find the article on-line. Anyone out there able to enlighten me on this parlourous rating?

Many of the responders have already unpacked a lot of what is going on in photography magazines. Their livelihood depends upon their advertisers--just look through the pages; for every page of actual text concerning photography, there must be 3 pages of advertisements. The K20d is not a perfect camera, but neither is anything else out there on the market. It has strengths, it has weaknesses. For me, there simply was no better choice at the time I bought (April 2008) so I bought the K20d. I have seen the camera get a variety of reviews, and usually they are very good to excellent. Rating DSLRs is a subjective adventure, tainted at that with advertising $$. This is a combination which is bound to produce opinions from one end of the spectrum to the other. Usually, in subjective judging, the high and low scores are thrown out to help keep the judges closer to objectivity--unfortunately, this is not an option in the world of big business. I think it is enough to say that the K20d, on the whole, has received excellent reviews from a diverse group of people--that speaks volume to me. And lets us not forget the astute observation brought to pop culture by Mr. Dylan in the late 60s:


"Money doesn't talk it swears; obscenity, who really cares."

Last edited by Jewelltrail; 01-24-2010 at 11:43 PM.
01-24-2010, 12:36 AM   #11
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Bad review for the K20?

I guess i'm forced to sell my kit!
01-24-2010, 03:40 AM   #12
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Cold weather K20D

Two weeks ago we had the coldest temps in 15 years (St.Lou,Mo) I was out
every day, 4-6 hours with My K20 & DA 55-300. Average high was 21*f
kept it between body and coat,sneaking it out for a quick snap and then right back
in its nest. Still, lens got so cold that all it could do was moan and groan in auto-
focus, switched to manual focus ,parden the pun,"everythings cool"
Would come home , kept body & lens in case,wrapped in down parka for 4 hours.
After that 4 hour warm-up (really 4) would open everything up, no condensation
on lens,sensor, anything! I set out to makeit or breakit. Everything held!
Would love to see canon & nikon's comparable offerings do the same.
01-24-2010, 04:14 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by stillshunter Quote
I too have shifted from other platforms; first Nikon (which I didn't really warm to...was like playing Gameboy trying to fish anything out of the menu during shoots and the low-end glass is really LOW end) and most recently Olympus (great quality and accessible buttons on E-1, but the Zuiko lens choice for wildlife work left a lot to be desired)......Still be curious to know what quirks they identified though...
I see that you are satisfied with the K20D. What any magazine thinks about the product doesn't matter though I share your curiosity about what they thought wasn't right with K20D.

For wildlife, the Pentax K-series DSLRs are not the best choice unless you can get hold of K-mount long lenses. They haven't made anything beyond 300mm in their DA series and, despite the expectations of many Pentax users, it appears they won't do so for now. Long lenses from any major brand are an expensive business. It's one reason why I still use the SMCP-M 400mm f5.6 bought in 1981.
01-24-2010, 04:46 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by chhayanat Quote
They haven't made anything beyond 300mm in their DA series and, despite the expectations of many Pentax users, it appears they won't do so for now. Long lenses from any major brand are an expensive business. It's one reason why I still use the SMCP-M 400mm f5.6 bought in 1981.
I've had great success with both the Bigma and a *300 with and without TC.
Though I'd choose the later over the Sigma any day in terms of IQ, I find these to be fully sufficient for most everything I've tackled in my own area.

Though I could see those seeking 600mm+ left a little short handed.
I think this has just as much to do with the type of shooting as it does with the camera too.
01-24-2010, 12:50 PM   #15
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Just wait around for an A* 1000/8 to appear on the marketplace (whoever's willing to give it up...)

As for magazine ratings on cameras, I've read through a number of such warped opinions by so-called pro reviewers and have been disappointed at the vast majority of them for their clearly biased choice of language as well as overlooking the fundamental features of the cameras they review. I take the results they conclude with a grain of salt.

I am happy, however, that at least in Australia both the K-7 and K-x feature as full page advertisments in 2 of 3 of the major Australian photography publications, and intermittently in Australia's national newspaper. They're getting somewhere... Make no mistake!
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