REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
PentaxK20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body)
 
4.8

(based on 100 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (81)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

98%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Simple controls (91)
  • Strong construction (85)
  • Large clear LCD (71)
  • Image stabilization (55)
  • Great picture quality (54)

Cons

  • Loud (14)
  • Heavy (12)
  • LCD fragile/scratches (5)
  • Slow focus (5)
  • Poor in low light (3)

Best Uses

  • Travel (76)
  • Art (61)
  • Fun (60)
  • Landscape/scenery (47)
  • Portraits (42)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (35), Enthusiast (16), Semi-pro photographer (16), Pro photographer (12), Professional (11)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Poor Mans 5D

I don't own a K10D but I will use the one I used in Houston as a comparison, same with the 40D and D200 I have used over the last year ( I did...Read complete review

I don't own a K10D but I will use the one I used in Houston as a comparison, same with the 40D and D200 I have used over the last year ( I did not buy them as I wanted to try out different systems first ).

The first is the AF speed, the AF system may be the same but the K20D has a much stronger AF motor in Camera, this was noticeable right away as is the lack of the infamous Pentax double check ( some think it's hunting ). The AF speed is faster, if only slightly than the K10D, I can't stop watch it but pick both up and you'll notice the difference. The next noticeable difference is the shutter, it's quieter and slaps are much more controlled, IE less camera shake from the mirror, very nice the camera feels much more confident than the K10D and has a pleasing sound.

With the faster AF is the new 21 fps burst mode, now this proves that the AF system is capable but the processor isn't as you only get 1.6mp images when using it. Useful for regular new paper prints and web images, maybe even 4x6's. Many were wondering why Pentax did not put a 6 or even 3 mp mode at less fps but it seems reading 14.6 mp and downscaling it to anything more than 1.6 mp is too much for the logic, or for an SD card to keep up with but we know once they get better processors and better buffer memory ( humm DDR3 anyone ) the af system can handle it! Pentax I want 6 fps please!

The build is the same as the K10D with the exception of the larger lcd, I don't think they could have fit a 3" lcd with out a body redesign, same build, finder etc, even the menu system is similar. I will still say I want the iso settings put on the dial not in the menu plus a high point finder, eye glass wearers will smudge their nose all over the lcd but thats me. The LCD is very good, it's perfectly usable to check focus and colour ( as it can be adjusted to match your Pc's monitor! ), it's clear sharp and very viewable from all angles, a very big improvement here to.

Live view might be good for macro shooters etc, but this an item I will not be using much, I really laugh when I see people holding dslrs at arms length like a P&S cam using live view. It works and is easy to turn on, but no af in live view mode, it's a focus and use live view then turn it off or take the shot deal here. I am guessing but maybe Pentax implemented their live view in this way to intentionally make you not hold it at arms length when using it. Will be great for macro or landscapers while locked on a tripod. I changed the setting back to old DOF preview anyway.

Now for the images, after all this is what really counts, all I can say is jpgs from the K10D are poor in comparison, these are detailed and colourful. Maybe too colourful, way over saturated by default but easily adjusted to something more natural. Partly due to the increased pixel count there is noticeably more detail than either the K10D, D200 or 40D even in JPG! This is a change from Pentax's norm where jpgs were soft and the detail only came out in raw when converted, now you can shoot jpgs all day with out worry. I actually want to rent a 5D and put the K20D against it in low isos the images are so good ( once you adjust the saturation down a few steps ).

Now I have not done high iso tests and I'm sure my home cooked image tests are not all that accurate but there is more than enough sample images on the web to compare with other cameras.

Now Pentax just needs to design more lenses to match this camera.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

great resalution but....

the color tonality is medium... the colors look digital to me...and skin tones gradient could b smoother espaciely in highlights... I am professional fashion and portrait photographer i have been...Read complete review

the color tonality is medium... the colors look digital to me...and skin tones gradient could b smoother espaciely in highlights... I am professional fashion and portrait photographer i have been working with the fuji S3 for 3 years and also work with medium format digital p30 phase one back for my mamiya afd... i sold my Fuji and since i didnt want to invest too much in new digital SLR (after the fortune i spent on my phase 1 back for mamiya) i opted to choose the Pentax... the resolution and sharpness look better then the Fuji s3 but color rendition and tonality dont even when expanding the dynamic range to 200% (the fuji had 400%) or maybe quality of lenses in comparison to Nikon lenses used by my former camera just didnt look as good... color seem more digital especially in reds... i miss the film simulation that my Fuji used to give. i wasnt that happy with the outfocus that doesn't preform the best in low light situations... i obtained the 70 mm fixed lens and a genral pantex zoom lens for the camera but still i think the files need some photo shop work to obtain film like color rendition...we will see but as a portrait photographer i wouldnt go for this specific camera for fashion or beauty... more for travel and general commercial or non pro use.

Reviewed by 100 customers

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(1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Quite the camera!

By CHLB

from Burlington, VT

About Me Photo Enthusiast

Pros

  • Fast / Accurate Auto-Focus
  • Fast Shutter Speed
  • Good Image Quality
  • Good Image Stabilization
  • High ISO Performance
  • Large Clear LCD
  • Quiet

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Indoors/Low Light
    • Landscape/Scenery
    • Sports/Action
    • Travel
    • Wildlife photos

    Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

    Wow. This camera is capable of a lot. I researched Canon, Pentax and Nikon and ended up with the K20D and boy am I glad I did. No "dummy" mode buttons to deal with which means greater room for growth as a photographer. I nearly bought the Canon T1i but am sure glad I didn't now! In fact, the T1i seems 'cheesy' compared to the K20D IMO (too small, too many dummy modes, no LCD panel, etc.). The K20D is very ergonomic and comfy to hold. Big bang for your buck with this camera. Not an entry level camera like the Canon T1i, however. You need to know about exposures if you want to get the most out of the K20D. There is still an "green" button that will do it all for you. But whey own this camera if all you are going to do is leave in auto?! If that's what you want then buy the T1i!

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    "I can't put it down"

    By nosmo king

    from Toronto, Canada

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Bright LCD
    • Comfortable Controls
    • Easy To Use
    • Fast Focus
    • Fast Shutter Speed
    • Great Image Quality
    • Image Stabilization
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

    • Loud

    Best Uses

    • Art
    • Fun
    • Landscape
    • Photojournalism
    • Portraits
    • Sports
    • Travel

    Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

    I'm an enthusiast whose previous camera was the istDS. It fell in the water and was ruined so I upgraded to the k20d.
    All of the important controls are a button away. I especially like the two dials for instant av and tv adjustments. With the shake reduction on and my 50mm 1.4 attached, I can walk around at dusk and take nice, clear pictures.
    Looking at the 14.6 mp pictures on the computer,I can crop so much more than my last camera.

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    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    K20 feels better to hold

    By kevin

    from Whitewater, WI

    About Me Photo Enthusiast

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Comfortable Controls
    • Image Stabilization
    • Strong Construction

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Art
      • Fun
      • Landscape
      • Photojournalism
      • Portraits
      • Sports
      • Travel

      Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

      I haven't had a chance to really put this camera through the paces, but I can say that the setup is much nicer than my k100d was.

      It's a bigger camera, so for me more comfortable to hold. Also, there are more functions available on the back of the camera so you don't have to dig into the menus for everything.

      One thing I have found is that the LCD oversharpens the preview images...but that's ok.

      All in all, so far I'm loving it!

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      4.0

      I'm liking it

      By Newport Preacher

      from Newport, OR

      About Me Semi-pro Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Bright LCD
      • Comfortable Controls
      • Image Stabilization
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Art
        • Fun
        • Landscape
        • Portraits
        • Travel

        Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

        As others have noted, the live view is not the most useful implementation of this feature, but occasionally it is helpful. Still, I'm enjoying this camera. I stepped up from a K100D and feel that this camera is bigger & heavier, although not excessively so. The extra megapixels are useful and the additional dedicated controls make such things as changing metering, focus point, ISO, etc., much easier than with the less-advanced cameras.

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        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Awesome Camera!

        By Kestrel1029

        from Philadelphia, PA

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Comfortable Controls
        • Easy To Use
        • Great Image Quality
        • Image Stabilization

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Landscape
          • Portraits
          • Sports
          • Travel

          Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

          This camera is very well built and all of the controls are right where you can get at them easily while shooting. Image quality is very impressive. While Pentax is a new brand for me, I find it easy to navigate the menus and rthe controls are very intuitive. The in-body stabilization is a great feature. The fact that it is in-body means that I don't have to pay for it again and again in the lenses.

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          5.0

          Wonderful camera!

          By Pen

          from Beulah, Colorado

          About Me Semi-pro Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Bright LCD
          • Comfortable Controls
          • Easy To Use
          • Fast Shutter Speed
          • Great Image Quality
          • Image Stabilization
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Art
            • Fun
            • Landscape
            • Travel

            Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

            This is my second Pentax Digital SLR, and with the new lens, it fits my needs perfectly!

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            4.0

            I love my new camera

            By Sealution

            from Denver, CO

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Bright LCD
            • Comfortable Controls
            • Easy To Use
            • Fast Shutter Speed
            • Great Image Quality
            • Image Stabilization
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Art
            • Fun
            • Landscape
            • Photojournalism
            • Portraits
            • Sports
            • Travel

            Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

            Though a bit heavy, this camera is great to use as a point-and-shoot, for action shots, or in low light. I've yet to master (or even use) all it's features, but look forward to doing so.

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            5.0

            Fantastic Product

            By ao318

            from Sacramento

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Comfortable Controls
            • Fast Shutter Speed
            • Great Image Quality
            • Image Stabilization

            Cons

            • Heavy

            Best Uses

            • Landscape
            • Portraits
            • Sports

            Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

            It was on sale for the price of the 200d so couldn't pass it up. You will not be disappointed. There is a little bit of a learning curve for this camera but once achieved it is great.

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            (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Lived up to expectations, and then some

            By Kevin

            from Scottsdale, AZ

            About Me Photo Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Bright LCD
            • Build Quality
            • Comfortable Controls
            • Easy To Use
            • Great Image Quality
            • Image Stabilization
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Slow fps

            Best Uses

            • Art
            • Fun
            • Landscape
            • Portraits
            • Travel

            Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

            As a pro-am photographer (using the term loosely - probably closer to Very Enthusiastic Enthusiast), I have tried all brands of cameras, including Nikon, Canon, Olympus, and Sony. I've handled pro bodies and beginner SLRs. Also have experience with film photography. I ordered the Pentax on a whim because of its value for the money, and reviews I had read (trying to pass the buck here), and I had my fingers crossed because I was set on a Canon 40D, and had a little crush on the Nikon D90 as well. When it arrived, I fell in love. This camera is tough, well-built, well-thought-out, and on par with the Canikon crowd, to say the least. Now, that doesn't mean that it's better or worse; that means that it should definitely be considered when buying into a lens system. Personally, because of the fact I was impartial to any of the "big-name" camera systems, I wanted to keep an open mind, and I'm glad I did, because Pentax has a long line of great legacy lenses. In addition, ANY K-mount lens options tend to be less expensive than their Canikon counterparts (although sometimes less readily available).

            One problem any camera buyer runs into when deciding on a new camera body is the endless amount of spec data out there. Yes, the Canon's framerate at full res may be higher, but I chose to overlook that because I barely ever utilize it. Yes, the menu structure is different than Canon or Nikon, but I actually have found it to be simpler and somewhat more intuitive once you get used to it.

            The Good:
            Build quality - it will not disappoint. It's very solid. Not a magnesium shell, but for some reason, I actually like that better than the Canon
            Ergonomics - aside from not having a dedicated ISO button (you can access the ISO menu with just two button presses, however) every button and control is well-placed and easy to use
            Image Quality - from what I can tell with my shooting habits, it is stellar. It's actually exposed some of my lens collection as being less sharp than I thought they were because it's capable of reproducing the image better

            The Bad -
            3fps: this just won't cut it for many people looking at this class of camera. If you don't need it, its a gimmick, and if you do, you really really do.
            Availability of lenses - there is somewhat of a smaller selection of lenses available. That being said, the legacy lenses and Limited Primes somewhat make up for it.

            There you have it. The downfalls are negligible, and very few. It is a very solid, capable, and respectable camera body that should definitely be considered when wading through Canikon rave reviews. My advice is to handle all models thoroughly before using to help with your decision and weigh out the benefits personally. For me the Pentax fit the bill.

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Why under rate Pentax?

            By Powellstinger

            from Powell, Ohio, USA

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Bright LCD
            • Comfortable Controls
            • Easy To Use
            • Fast Shutter Speed
            • Great Image Quality
            • Image Stabilization
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Loud

            Best Uses

            • Fun
            • Landscape
            • Sports
            • Travel

            Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

            I Have owned Canon & Nikon cameras in the past and for the cost and features that my Pentax has, there is no comparison. This SLR is far easyer to use and is much more user friendly than the opposition. I dont understand why it it not as popular. (maybe marketing?)

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            K20D Pro Body, well designed.

            By Bill

            from Dallas, PA

            About Me Pro Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Comfortable Controls
            • Easy To Use
            • Good feel in hands
            • Great Image Quality
            • Image Stabilization
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

            • Lack of shift lenses

            Best Uses

            • Any application you need

            Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

            I am a big guy found and after using 6 months. Comfortable, easy to use, all features that a pro needs

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            (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Great Deal

            By The creative engineer

            from Newport News, VA

            About Me Semi-pro Photographer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Bright LCD
            • Comfortable Controls
            • Fast Shutter Speed
            • Great Image Quality
            • Image Stabilization
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Art
              • Fun
              • Landscape
              • Portraits
              • Sports
              • Travel

              Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

              Incredible for night shots, landscapes, and portraits. Very good for action shots if you have good aim and timing. AF is generally good, sometimes in low light I have to use Manual focus, but that is expected.

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              K20D Super Cam!

              By erniephoto

              from albany, ny

              About Me Pro Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Bright LCD
              • Comfortable Controls
              • Easy To Use
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Great Image Quality
              • Image Stabilization
              • Lens compatibility
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Nothing yet

              Best Uses

              • Animal Photography
              • Fun
              • Landscape
              • Photojournalism
              • Sports

              Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

              I still have my very old screw mount Pentax film camera (don't use it anymore). I think it was an ESII or something like that - you young guys probably never heard of it. In addition, there is my 1st film camera, my PZ1 and 645 medium format (all of which I still use). Then there is my 1st Digital and now my K20D. I went for the K20D because I have a bunch of high end video equipment and I don't need the added feature of video & audio on a 35MM. I call my K20D my super cam. I admit that I am still making my way through the book but I gotta tell you that this is a dream to use. Best of all, with the flick of a switch I can do automatically all of those fun things I did manually 100 years ago. You have to try this camera - for the price it is a no brainer!!

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Exceptional Product

              By pikoony

              from La Habra, CA

              About Me Photo Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Bright LCD
              • Comfortable Controls
              • Compact
              • Easy To Use
              • Ergonomic
              • Fast Shutter Speed
              • Great Image Quality
              • Image Stabilization
              • Reasonable Price
              • Strong Construction
              • Trusted Brand

              Cons

              • Not manufactured in Japan

              Best Uses

              • Fun
              • Landscape
              • Portraits
              • Travel

              Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

              This is my first Digital SLR camera and it is very satisfying. I have other Pentax cameras (Pentax MX and ME film SLR camera, Optio SV digital compact camera) and this new K20D is just like them: it performs very well and has very good quality. I use this K20D for every occasion, and I use it with SMC Pentax-M 50 mm f/1.4 manual focus lens. The resulting photographs are excellent. This camera is also very easy to use, the buttons and dials are located ergonomically, just like the camera body itself is ergonomic.

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              4.0

              Waited for the right one.

              By Donna

              from Baltimore, Maryland

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Bright LCD
              • Comfortable Controls
              • Great Image Quality
              • Image Stabilization
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Art
                • Fun
                • Sports
                • Travel

                Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

                I wanted a digital camera that could use my older SLR lenses. Really like the style of camera body, easy to hold and support, clear viewing of taken pictures. Only thing a little difficult with the digital (probably all brands) is they are complex to use. You need to spend a lot of time getting use to all the new settings.

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                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Best Pentax camera ever!

                By Yuri D.

                from Palm Coast, FL

                About Me Pro Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Bright LCD
                • Comfortable Controls
                • Easy To Use
                • Fast Shutter Speed
                • Great Image Quality
                • Image Stabilization
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Art
                  • Fun
                  • Landscape
                  • Photojournalism
                  • Portraits
                  • Sports
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

                  I own two K20's. I am using them for portraiture, wedding, modeling, ladscape and macro. Very well made and easy to use. Very comfortable fits in hand, but live preview is useless.

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                  (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Big Bang for the Buck

                  By Mac Girl

                  from USA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Comfortable Controls
                  • Easy To Use
                  • Great Image Quality
                  • Image Stabilization
                  • Strong Construction
                  • Weather sealed body

                  Cons

                  • Large Image Files
                  • Loud

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

                    The K20D is an amazing camera for the money at the moment. Image quality is breath-taking and the advanced controls and features were a welcomed upgrade, items such as two control dials, focus selection wheel, and an exposure mode dial. I've used it for concert photography, nature, portraits and general walkabout photography. Weather seals and dust removal system work decently and I've had it in dry, dusty horse riding arenas.

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                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    No regrets!

                    By katu01

                    from Las Vegas, NV

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Comfortable Controls
                    • Easy To Use
                    • Great Image Quality

                    Cons

                    • Heavy

                    Best Uses

                    • Landscape
                    • Photojournalism
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

                    Primarily used for nature and landscape photography, there are many positive things to be said about this camera. Yes, it is heavier than a trusty Pentax ME Super (35mm film) carried on every backpacking trip, but the comparative advantages are endless. From pinpoint focus targeting, to fully automated DIN, aperture, and shutter coordination, I can capture shots that would be gone where long setup times might have been needed. With exposure compensation, many images look like they were bracketed exposures composited using image enhancement software. Battery life is remarkable - over 100 shots using an autofocus lens and the battery life indicator shows near full charge. At full resolution, enlargement up to 36"x24" prints - without obvious pixellation or spectral grain - is possible. For me, this camera is a lot like buying AOL at the IPO - beyond expectations. Great product, great retailer, thanks B&H.

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                    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Great Camera at a Great Price

                    By P. J.

                    from Connecticut

                    About Me Semi-pro Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Backward Lens compatibili
                    • Bright LCD
                    • Comfortable Controls
                    • Exellant viewfinder
                    • Great Image Quality
                    • Image Stabilization
                    • Strong Construction

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Art
                      • Landscape
                      • Photojournalism
                      • Portraits
                      • Publicity
                      • Travel

                      Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

                      I'm not an early adopter of new equipment usually waiting until I have a need for something. I needed a higher resolution camera with better fine control for an assignment that came my way. I've been a Pentax user for years and have a raft of fine K mount lenses, 99% of which are usable on the K20D. The client seems to have been happy with the results, and I'm happy not to need to replace my entire lens collection to make them so. The K20D has more than lived up to my expectations.

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                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      A Great Camera with 16/45 mm

                      By Michael

                      from Bluffton, SC

                      About Me Photo Enthusiast

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Bright LCD
                      • Comfortable Controls
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Great Image Quality
                      • Image Stabilization
                      • Strong Construction

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Art
                        • Landscape
                        • Portraits
                        • Travel

                        Comments about Pentax K20D SLR Digital Camera (Camera Body):

                        After 5 years of excellent pictures with a K100, I decided to upgrade to the K20. As a Pentax owner the switch was seamless. The controls are simple, purposeful( in exposure terms) and intuitive. The ability to toggle instantly from aperture priority to shutter priority is amazing in its simplicity, and very useful in low light situations. More importantly is the quality of the pic.
                        Pentax was known for underexposure and soft pics ( ie sharpening) despite having the best glass around.The K20 has put an end to this perception. The default setting produces exceptional pics which are natural ( not punchy ), razor sharp and with the appropriate amount of contrast. There are a myriad of possible exposure adjustments in case the default is not your "look" but after experimenting awhile I returned to the default setting.
                        One more observation: with the K100 I would post process the majority of my pics on Aperture on the Mac. With the K20, I rarely adjust anything despite searching for things to correct.
                        And finally a word of caution: the K20 records massive files which you would only use if you printed posters as a matter of course. For everyday use, the quality level needs to be drastically reduced, but I would defy anyone to discern the difference with the human eye.
                        All in all, a great camera for the best glass around.

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