Upgrading from K20D to K5 - is it really worth it?


LennyBloke

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 09:14
It's clear that the K5 is a real hit (from many posts on this forum) and I am almost ready to bite the bullet, but I'd like some opinion from users who have had both cameras.

I'm pretty certain that the DR and High Iso will be significantly better, but the areas that I am less sure of are around the Viewfinder and AutoFocus. I currently use the OME53 which I find helps on my K20D, but I do still get a fair few photos that seemed good in the viewfinder but are not quite as sharp as I would expect on screen (and I get a fair few that are excellent, so I'm pretty sure it's my judgement some of the time and maybe the AutoFocus on others). I don't have the worlds best eyesight, I wear glasses but take them off and use the viewfinder compensation setting for taking photos.

I realise that the next model will have more bells, whistles and a go faster stripe - but I tend to buy towards the end of a products marketing life to gain the price benefits and a bedded-in product.

Opinions and experiences would be greatly appreciated
LennyBloke

johnriley

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 09:50
There is a huge difference between the K20D and K-5. We upgraded a while back, although I keep one K20D as a back up camera and for some studio shots.

The K-5 has more detail, lower noise and is a faster, more responsive camera. The low light capability is stunning and it made a huge difference to wedding disco shots. Using the 50mm f1.4 FA lens I could shoot virtually in any light that I could actually see in.
Best regards, John

jwoodman

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 10:08
Haven't had my K5 long enough to comment on the focus question, but I think you will be amazed at the difference that the improved high ISO performance makes. As a non-user of flash, I can get perfectly usable shots now in situations where I wouldn't have bothered to switch the camera on.

bforbes

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 10:17
+1 for JR's comment
Barrie
Too Old To Die Young

http://www.pentaxphotogallery.com/artists/barrieforbes

MartynUK

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 10:23
Depends what you photograph... but if it's any kind of wildlife then the low-light capability is worth the extra money on its own! I've taken loads of shots with the K5 that would never have been possible with my previous K10D
Martyn

http://www.flickr.com/photos/northamptonshirecouk/

davidstorm

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 10:31
MartynUK wrote:
Depends what you photograph... but if it's any kind of wildlife then the low-light capability is worth the extra money on its own! I've taken loads of shots with the K5 that would never have been possible with my previous K10D

Congratulations to you Martyn on the results you are achieving with your K-5. The shots on your Flickr stream are stunning. I've just bought a K-5 so I'm looking forward to seeing what difference it makes (currently I use a K-x and a K-m).

Regards
David
My Website http://imagesbydavidstorm.foliopic.com

Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

DrOrloff

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 10:34
+1 to all the above. The high ISO capability is most often mentioned. For my purposes the main advantage of the lower noise sensor is the ability to pull up dark areas at low ISO whilst keeping noise minimal. I could show you a direct comparison of a very similar scene I took with the K20 and the K5 and the difference in detail retrieval is amazing.
You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined

davidstorm

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 10:38
Dr. O, could you please post the comparison images you have just referred to? I'm sure a lot of the members would be interested to see them, myself included.

Regards
David
My Website http://imagesbydavidstorm.foliopic.com

Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

prsjnb

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 11:04
I took advantage of the price drops and cashback offer to supplement my K20D with a K5 in January and I've not been disappointed thus far.

IMO, the K5 surpasses the K20D in terms of the brightness and coverage of the viewfinder, level of mirror/shutter noise (very much reduced), speed and maximum number of captures when shooting in continuous mode (much improved whether JPEG or RAW), dynamic range of the sensor, performance at higher ISO settings (1600 ASA perfectly useable on the K5 compared with 800 ASA, just, on the K20D) and the resolution/sharpness of captures direct from the camera (RAW and JPEG).

As noted by Martyn and David (above), the advantages of the K5 are particularly noticeable when shooting wildlife in low light with long lenses. The K20D remains capable, however, of stunning results (as does my Samsung 'clone' of the K10 for that matter) and have absolutely no intention of parting with it now or in the forseeable future

Whether your, hopefully , hard-earned cash should remain in your pocket or be invested in new kit and, if so, whether it should be a K5 or new glass, only you can decide, LennyBloke

Job
Last Edited by prsjnb on 16/02/2012 - 11:05

DrOrloff

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 11:36
Comparison images, identical processing, detail pulled out of very dark areas (near black) at ISO100 with +2.5stops and bags of fill light. No noise reduction applied.

K20




K5



You can see some of my photos here if you are so inclined

davidstorm

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 12:09
Thanks Dr. O, that comparison really is an eye-opener. If the comparative noise performance gap continues to widen the higher up the ISO range one goes, then the difference will be massive once you hit ISO 1250 and higher.

Regards
David
My Website http://imagesbydavidstorm.foliopic.com

Flickr

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs

Fletcher8

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 12:28
As the price of a K5 has dropped recently you really can't go wrong. The K5 IMHO is a photographers camera, it does everything very very well and is a pleasure to use. I think it will be a while before Pentax or any other manufacture will bring out a camera as good as the K5. I guess a few cameras will be released this year, but I doubt that they will be as innovative as the K5 was when it was released. The image quality just has to be seen and you will wonder why you had to ask the question is it really worth it.
Fletcher8.

digitalCG

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 13:06
The difference is night and day. Having not used the K20D for a while, last weekend I took it as second body to a paid shoot. After being spoiled by the K5 the last year or more, everything about the K20D seemed less responsive, less refined, less capable. I ended up dropping the 'two body' plan and just swapping stuff around on the K5.

There's little wrong with the K20D of course, it's just that the K5 bests it in every department and noticably so. If you're shooting static subjects in good light then don't worry about it, but if you could benefit from better AF, usable live view, vastly improved ISO performance and an all round 'tuned up' body then the K5 at current prices is hard to ignore.
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Frogfish

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 14:00
Well since digitalCG has used NIght and Day I guess I'll have to use Chalk n Cheese ?

I haven't had the K20D but if it is anything like the K7 then the difference is as astounding in 'taxing' shooting conditions as Dr' O's example above. In good conditions I doubt there is much difference that most people could discern between the K7 & K5 but as soon as you step outside the bounds of 'excellent shooting conditions' then the K5 races away.
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cabstar

Link Posted 16/02/2012 - 16:55
The jump between the k20d and the K-5 is huge, The k-5 is just so responsive, faster to work with and final image quality are vastly better than the k20d. I still have a gx20 as backup and I can only equate it to cars a 1980s porsche to a 2011 porsche..
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