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02-18-2010, 01:54 PM   #1
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Contemplating a K20 upgrade

Hi all,

I'm contemplating upgrading from my K10 to the K20.
Mainly as since I've been using my new FA*200 at the olympics I feel the K10 is letting it down a little.

There is a second hand package for sale locally with a grip and batteries that is appealing but I'm trying to justify the approx $400 outlay (with sale of K10) that I'd be up for. It comes with a grip and extra battery.

I've read a bunch of items on the forum but I'm looking for some direct answers to a couple of questions I have?
  1. Is it an easy transition moving from the 10 - 20 given most buttons are in the same place? How do the custom functions alter/change?
  2. Is the low light performance improved?
  3. Is the 400 - 800 iso more usable? (I suppose this is a little subjective) The Max ISO is greater - is it usable or not?
  4. What are the major benefits you have noticed when you made the same shift that I'm contemplating (K10-K20)?
  5. Am I silly not saving a little more and going for the K7 (or waiting for a subsequent model)?
  6. Does the shutter count really make a difference?

I think that is all, but I many think of some others after some responses.
Thanks very much.

02-18-2010, 02:00 PM   #2
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I owned both and went witht he 20D but honestly for one reason only, the ability to set AF correction on a lens by lens basis. The low light performanceis a little better but meh .. not much difference. Same for AF etc .... really think hard before doing it.
02-18-2010, 04:08 PM   #3
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Go with the K-7. Simply put you'll get more keepers with it over the K20D.
Camera is more responsive and the AF is better, speaking as an ex-K10D and K20D user.
02-18-2010, 04:11 PM   #4
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I have both and have not touched the K10D since purchasing the K20D. I am totlally happy with the K20D for myl areas of interest ranging from macro, portraiture, landscape to sport. I looked at the K7 but decided against it as there was no significant improvement to be had (I have a Lumix FT-1 P&S for HD Video). At the price you quoted, go for it.


02-18-2010, 09:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the responses people.

Most appreciated and they help a little.

I considered the K7, but can't quite justify the extra expense yet. I've used a friends and I do like it alot though....

I should have noted my general shooting preferences....though they are a pretty general mix from Architecture through to Sport

The AF correction I think would be good as I've been having a little trouble with my FA*200. Well I think that is what it is anyway.

If anyone else has any comments that'd be great.

02-18-2010, 10:07 PM   #6
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I bought the K20d when it came out nearly 2 years ago and still like it more every time I use it. I have not used a K10d, but think I have some value to offer in this post for you.

First of all, from what I know of the K10, I can't imagine a more smooth transition than if you move from K10 to K20. Indeed, the 2 are difficult to tell apart, unless you see the actual "K10" or "K20" designation on the camera's front.

I am pleased with the low light performance of my K20, but I think the lens you use will have more of an impact than the camera upgrade to be honest.

No, saving the money by not buying the K7 is not at all silly. After all, bodies come and go, but GLASS is forever--put the money into a fast, AF lens. The next Pentax body ought to be very interesting indeed!

The K20 has a much improved sensor over the K10, in most opinions. Not only that, but the K20 has a C-mos sensor, which has natural immunity to blooming--important with some older lenses--the K10 has a CCD sensor. The K20 has a generally recognized 1 to 1.5 stop advantage in high ISO over the K10. When researching the 2 cameras, I'm also pretty sure I read the SR was improved in the K20. As mentioned earlier, the AF adjustment in the K20 is alone justification for many upgrades from the K10 to the K20, back when that movement was big. The cropping power of the K20 over the K10 is a big thumbs up, and there is more too.

I know the wording for shutter count expectations went like this with the K20d:

"At least 100,000 actuations." Does this answer your question there.

Of course, this is another win-win situation, with no wrong choices. I remember the K10 winning camera of the year awards from more than one source. And the K7 already has a big following.
02-19-2010, 07:10 AM   #7
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I mostly use the K20, but still use the K10 as a second body if needed. The K20 produces very useable results up to ISO 1200, the K10's limit (just my personal opinion) was reached at around ISO 640. At ISO 400 you can use the K20 without hesitation, at ISO 800 it is fine, but newer modells will usually perform a bit better. If high ISO is a must for you, you should consider a K-x.

In terms of useability, the K10 and K20 are - as Jewelltrail wrote - hard to tell apart. Both handle exceptionally well in my opinion and the cheaper bodies (K-x) lack the second whell and ofcourse the really good viewfinder of the K10/20.

The AF-performance of the K20 has been slightly improved over the K10, but it isn't a big step forwards. Even the K-m/K2000 has better AF…

If you have used one, you'll shoot with the other right away.

Anyway, all in all, I still think, that the K20 was a worthy investment, succeeding the K10 as my standard camera body. Though I would like the higher framerate of the K7, I think, I'll go only for the next generation following this latest modell, as in most other terms, the K20 stays very competitive with the K7.

02-19-2010, 08:24 PM   #8
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I feel like such a pleb.

As far as the K10 to K20 switch went for me, I like that I can focus bias my lenses.
Other than that, the K20 files take longer to process and make bigger prints if that is what I want.

02-21-2010, 10:21 AM   #9
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K20D is still the best for the price

I'm only more and more impressed with my K20D since it came into my life 1.7 years ago. (Except for high ISO performance, but it's still better than shooting and PP'ing IR on my Sony DSC-V1.) I'd considered a K10D, but not for long -- the 20's sensor is 'way ahead of it. If and when a K30D emerges, FF and kicking Canikonypus butt, I'll swallow hard and use the 20 less... but that likely won't happen this year, will it?
02-21-2010, 06:01 PM   #10

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Hi Andrew,

This is probably quite a bit too late to be of use, but I'll list my seat-of-the-pants impressions of the K10, K20, and K-7 shooting Birds in Flight, which is something of a test for suitability for sports shooting. Though I'm a pretty good bird shooter, BIF is not something I do a lot of, so I figure the results of my test is more a test of the equipment than the shooter. . .

I took all three bodies with my FA*300/4.5 and Tokina 80-400 f4.5-5.6 out to a local pond to see how the bodies compared shooting the ever present Ring Billed Gulls, some relatively unusual Caspian Terns, and pigeons.

I shot the Tokina first, using it exclusively at 400mm, Av priority @ f8, AF C, multipoint Auto Focus mode, Continuous High shutter, ISO 400, jpeg High. I used the same settings for each body. IQ, other than focus accuracy and ability to frame accurately was irrelevant. I shot the K10, K20, then K-7 in that order, and tried to get close to the same kind of strings with the birds flying in at somewhere from 45° or less from where I was standing. All shots were taken handheld.

When I changed to the FA*300/4.5, I shot the K-7 first and the K10 last to offset any advantage from experience gained and any disadvantage lost to muscle fatigue during the shoot.

I was surprised to find that the K-7 showed no significant frame rate advantage, giving about 3 FPS -- I later figured out that the multipoint AF mode apparently uses enough processing power to slow the frame rate from the maximum.

The K20 was a bit faster than the K10 in acquiring initial focus, and the K-7 was a bit faster than the K20. Initial focus is important to a continuous string, as the AF system is usually not quick enough (and I'm not good enough in following action accurately) to correct for significantly OOF moving subjects during a string. If the subject starts out pretty close to in focus, SAFOX AF C can pretty much keep it there or gain better focus with any of the bodies, but if you start significantly OOF, then the likelihood that all of the shots will be badly OOF is pretty high.

The biggest surprise though, was how much easier it was to track the flying birds with the K-7 during the string. I quickly realized that this was because of the significantly shorter Viewfinder blackout times. This is just one of the advantages of the K-7 that doesn't show up on the spec sheets. I'd always struggled to track a moving subject with the DS, K10, and K20, but with the K-7, it's almost easy. It's hard to believe that a few thousanths of a second can make that much of a difference, but it does. . .

The final results were similar with each lens -- K10 averaged 4-6 shot strings with acceptable focus, K20 averaged 7-9, and the K-7 averaged 14-16. Of all the shots the best of the K-7 were better than either other body, with better composition within the frame and better critical focus.

There are some performance parameters that just aren't reflected well in spec sheets. Relying on testimonials from shooters who have apparently rationalized their choice to keep an older model rather than upgrade without giving the new model an actual trial (especially in a style of shooting that pushes the camera's performance) are, at best, questionable, IMO.

The K20, with better resolution for cropping, better higher ISO performance for higher shutter speeds, and a touch faster AF performance should perform considerably better than the K10, and IMO would be competent performer. Add the slightly faster AF acquisition, much easier tracking and better AF accuracy in AF C mode, and the K-7 would easily be my choice to take to the Olympics.

02-21-2010, 07:16 PM   #11
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TBH if you're seriously into moving targets that requires tracking, continuous AF ....... i mean really, this is the wrong mount.

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