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K20D...honest appraisal from users please...

Posted 26/01/2009 - 22:08 Link
Decisions, decisions....

Well I recently decided to give Pentax a try rather take the next step on the Oly ladder. I'm glad I did because overall I'm very pleased with my K20D, it's a super tool. So now I have feet in both camps and it is an interesting place to be
I had seriously considered the E-30 and had it been weather sealed I would have probably gone that route. Are weather and dust seals important to you? If not may I suggest you take a good close look at the E-30 -v- K20D.

The E-3 is just a bit to big and bulky for my liking, the K20D handles better, buttons etc fall easier to my hands. Apparently the E-30 is better in this regard (based on early hands on reviews). The view finders of the E-3 and K20D are excellent, almost identical in size, but I feel the E-3 is just slightly better given 100 -v- 95 % coverage. Resolution is another plus for me with the K20D, cropping is now a delight where it is more a considered balancing act with my Oly (same res as E-3).
In terms of operation I find that while the K20D is not exactly slow at focussing my E-510 is snappier when fitted with the 12-60. In particular the Oly has an advantage in low light for focus lock and speed, I'm sure the E-3 / E-30 would be even better. My E-510 does have more high ISO noise than the K20D however I understand both the E-3 and E-30 are better in this regard. One point worth mentioning is that I find I can shoot at lower ISO for a given lighting situation with the E-510 negating some of the noise advantage the K20D has.
User customisation with the K20D is amazing, the Oly is definitely more limited in this regard. Build and feel of the E-3 and K20D are of a similar high quality IMHO, even though the E-3 is a magnesium alloy shell and K20D a stainless steel frame / plastic shell.
With regard to glass, yes no doubt Pentax is more extensive and the Primes are certainly to the fore. However if you are likely to use zooms Oly is your Holy Grail, the ED 12-60 SWD and ED 50-200 SWD are quite simply stunning. In my experience the DA* 16-50 whilst not a bad lens can't compete with my ED 12-60.

Which would I go for? I would still opt for the K20D when compared to the E-3, I believe on balance it's very comparable but much better value for money. If it were a K20D -v- E30 (with weather and dust sealing) then for me it may have been a different result
Regards Huw

Edited by Greytop: 26/01/2009 - 22:22
Posted 26/01/2009 - 22:21 Link
There are no minuses.
Posted 26/01/2009 - 22:36 Link
We ll I'll just back up what the others said.
1) At least 600, but I tend to think of Battery life in terms of weeks rather than shots!I have a spare anyway and it takes abut 10 seconds to change.
2)In some modes it's already assigned to one of the jog wheels so literally a flick of the thumb or forefinger will change it. You can even keep your eye to the viewfinder while you do it as ISO speed is displayed there, along with pretty much everything else! Even using the slowest method (Fn button and up down left right wheel and menus) it takes no more than 5 seconds.
3) I've had no problems but I guess It depends on your individual eyesight.Thre are times when a split prism might be nice but it's by no means necessary.Eyepiece magnifiers and aftermarket screens are available, as stated in one of the earlier posts. One of the main reasons for going with Pentax is that I could still use my old ( and very lovely) Pentax film lenses.
4) No idea,don't have one.

Pros, where do I start.
You can set the camera up pretty much exactly as YOU want it. Nearly every function is customisable.
Astoishingly sharp pictures when I get it right.
I can use my lovely old glass.
I can buy very nice old glass for relatively little money given the quality but it's (mostly) manual focus.
It's better value for money than the Olympus. (I.M.H.O.)

It will take ages to figure out what everything does and work my way throught the very thick manual. (I've had the camera nearly two months now and there are still functions I haven't played with. Which is a good thing I guess)
My lovely old wide angle 35mm primes aren't very wide at all any more
.........all the gear, no idea!
Me super, MX, LX, K5,DA 18-55WR, DA 17-70, DA 55-300, DA40 Ltd, FA50 1.4, Samsung D-Xenon 12-24,Samsung 100mm macro M50 1.7(x3), M28 3.5, M35 2.8, M100macro f4, M135 3.5(+others)
Posted 26/01/2009 - 23:03 Link
I've been reading this thread with interest as I'm now beginning to consider upgrading my Samsung GX10 (pentax K10D). Prices have fallen on the K20D body and strangely the Pentax is cheaper than the Samsung equivalent, which wasn't the case with the GX10 vs K10D.

For me the extra MP give a little more freedom if cropping is needed and I definitely like the idea of reduced image noise, whilst the GX10 is pretty good it does show some shadow noise from Iso 400 & above.

My primary use is landscapes so the review comments regarding "slow AF" aren't likely to be an issue for me. Certainly sounds as though there are plenty of very happy K20D owners on here !!

Posted 27/01/2009 - 02:42 Link
For those in the UK, today is a good time to order because the 100 Cashback offer runs out at the end of this month.

You must order a Pentax lens at the same time to qualify. I suggest the 18-55mm II to sell or keep. If you sell that for 60, the net cost of the K20D body after Cashback will be 419 from SRS.
Edited by iceblinker: 27/01/2009 - 02:44
Posted 27/01/2009 - 09:49 Link
just to add my bit,
Not seen much mention of shake reduction on K20D.
Because of a disability i frequently shoot one handed, even with my 16-45 zoom I still get rock steady shots under most conditions tested.
Although only had the camera a few days I cannot recomend it highly enough. It is superb.
K5 + 8mm-500mm zooms and primes
Please feel free to play with any images I post.
My flickr: link
Posted 27/01/2009 - 11:18 Link
davex wrote:
just to add my bit,
Not seen much mention of shake reduction on K20D.
Because of a disability i frequently shoot one handed, even with my 16-45 zoom I still get rock steady shots under most conditions tested.
Although only had the camera a few days I cannot recomend it highly enough. It is superb.

It does hit the spot doesn't it, works fine for me, a great DSLR!


Posted 27/01/2009 - 11:50 Link

A big thanks to all, this has been very helpful indeed.

cheers Steve.M.

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