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Pentax K20D 14.6MP Digital SLR Camera with Shake Reduction and DA 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II Lens
List Price: $879.95

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Product Description

An All New Digital SLR for 2008 - The Pentax K20D Digital SLR With 14.6 Mega Pixels and smc P-DA 18-55mm F3.5-5.6 Lens Improving on the technology of the award winning K10D, the flagship Pentax K20D is the highest resolution camera in the advanced photo enthusiast category and allows more experienced photographers, who demand complete control, to fully customize the camera. The most significant features in the K20D include: A newly developed CMOS image sensor to bring out the optimum performance of Pentax interchangeable lenses. Featuring 14.6 effective megapixels and the latest noise-reduction technology, the sensor assures superb image quality. Custom Image functions that allow users to select between six preset options and further adjust image processing, including saturation, hue, contrast and sharpness. The K20D also offers an Expanded Dynamic Range function that allows users to gain more contrast and detail in bright settings. A Live View that allows users to see the full image area to confirm composition, focus status and lighting on the large 2.7 inch LCD monitor. A grid display may be engaged to help assure the perfect arrangement of an image and Auto Focus may be activated by simply pressing the AF button on the back of the camera. Further fine tuning of the image can be confirmed with the 4X or 8X zoom option. An improved Dust Reduction system that features the new Dust Alert function to pinpoint the exact location of dust particles for the photographer to remove. A weather and dust resistant body that allows photographers to keep shooting even in harsh conditions. A PC sync socket for more advanced photographers who use studio lighting. Pentax K20D Digital SLR Key Features 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor offers superior image resolution with the maximum control over noise. Shake Reduction compatible with any Pentax lens ever produced, including new SDM lenses, minimizes the effect of camera shake

Improving on the technology of the award winning K10D, the flagship Pentax K20D is the highest-resolution camera in the advanced photo enthusiast category and allows more experienced photographers, who demand complete control, to fully customize the camera. The most significant features in the K20D include:

  • A newly-developed CMOS image sensor to bring out the optimum performance of Pentax interchangeable lenses. Featuring 14.6 effective megapixels and the latest noise-reduction technology, the sensor assures superb image quality.
  • Custom Image functions that allow users to select between six preset options and further adjust image processing, including saturation, hue, contrast and sharpness. The K20D also offers an Expanded Dynamic Range function that allows users to gain more contrast and detail in bright settings.
  • A Live View that allows users to see the full image area to confirm composition, focus status and lighting on the large, 2.7-inch LCD monitor. A grid display may be engaged to help assure the perfect arrangement of an image and Auto focus may be activated by simply pressing the AF button on the back of the camera. Further fine tuning of the image can be confirmed with the 4x or 8x zoom option.
  • An improved Dust Reduction system that features the new Dust Alert function to pinpoint the exact location of dust particles for the photographer to remove.
  • A weather and dust-resistant body that allow photographers to keep shooting even in harsh conditions.
  • A PC sync socket for more advanced photographers who use studio lighting.

Pentax K20K Digital SLR Highlights

Newly Developed CMOS Image Sensor The Pentax K20D features a newly developed CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) image sensor measuring 23.4 mm x 15.6 mm. In designing the K20D, Pentax made the significant transition to a higher resolution 14.6 megapixel sensor, rivaling the detail previously only found in images captured with 35mm film. This considerable gain offers 50 percent more resolution than 10 megapixel sensors, and 20 percent more resolution than 12 megapixel sensors. Pentax Imaging (a leading innovator in the imaging business) collaborated with Samsung Electronics (a market leader in developing and producing semiconductors) in the development of the 14.6 megapixel CMOS Sensor found in the Pentax K20D Digital SLR. The larger photo diode in the sensor gathers more light in a shorter time and therefore can respond more sensitively. As a result, the K20D is able to achieve higher sensitivity levels (up to 6400 in the expanded ISO mode). Also, there is a more direct light path to the pixels. Coupled with a high-performance imaging engine incorporating Pentax-original image-processing technologies programmed to yield natural, true-to-life images, the new model assures fine-detailed, rich-gradation images.

Pentax Original Shake Reduction mechanism The K20D is equipped with the Pentax-developed Shake Reduction mechanism, which reduces camera shake for sharp, blur-free images even under demanding shooting conditions, such as shooting with a telephoto lens, shooting in low light conditions or at night without supplementary flash illumination, or using extended exposures for sunset scenes. This innovative mechanism offers outstanding compensation equivalent to approximately 2.5 to 4 shutter-speed steps. In addition, the lighter image sensor unit and refined data-control algorithm offer improved image stabilization over previous models. Pentax Shake Reduction is compatible with existing Pentax interchangeable lenses.*
* Lenses compatible with this mechanism are: Pentax K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount lenses, screw-mount lenses (with an adapter); and 645- and 67-system lenses (with an adapter). Some functions may not be applicable with certain lenses.

Large, 2.7-inch wide-view LCD monitor The K20D features a large 2.7 inch color LCD monitor. The wide-view design allows the photographer to view the monitor image from approximately 160 degrees both vertically and horizontally. Since it assures effortless image viewing from a diagonal position, it facilitates low- and high-angle shooting using the Live View function.

New Live View function The K20D features a Live View function that allows users to view an image on the LCD monitor during shooting. This feature is beneficial when the photographer moves his or her eye from the viewfinder in specialized applications, such as low and high-angle shooting, or when perfecting composition. The function also allows users to confirm the Shake-Reduction effect on the monitor while shooting.

High-performance, high-speed PRIME Imaging Engine The K20D incorporates the Pentax-original PRIME (Pentax Real IMage Engine). Designed exclusively for Pentax digital SLR cameras, the engine ensures well-balanced, true-to-life images with faithful color reproduction by efficiently controlling digital signals transmitted by the CMOS image sensor. It also allows complete control over other photographic factors including white balance and the new Custom Image functions. This imaging engine also features a Double Data Rate 2 (DDR2) memory to assure speedy image processing and high-speed data transfer.

Custom Image function The K20D is equipped with a new Custom Image function that lets the user select one of the six modes and adjust an image's processing to their preference by automatically adjusting tone, saturation, contrast, and sharpness. These modes include Natural, Bright, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, and B&W image modes. The photographer can make further fine-tuned adjustments to each setting. The effect on each of the primary colors is shown in a radar-type display on the LCD panel. The user can easily see the effect of their adjustments by using the digital preview option.

Expanded Dynamic Range Function The K20D adds a dynamic-range expansion function, which allows the user to expand the dynamic range (or range of gradation reproduction) while retaining the proper contrast to avoid white-washed areas. With an approximately 1EV expansion effect, it assures beautiful, rich-gradation images.

Dust-proof, water-resistant construction The K20D boasts an extremely reliable weather-resistant and dust-proof construction with special seals applied to 72 different parts of the camera body, including the shutter release button and all the switches, levers, dials. This dependable body makes it possible to use the K20D in the rain or dusty locations without worries.

Comprehensive Dust Removal System With Prevention, Removal and Alerting Devices The K20D features the user-friendly Dust Removal system to prevent dust from sticking to the surface of the CMOS image sensor (or low-pass filter). The Pentax-original Super Protect (SP) coating, applied to the image sensor surface through vapor deposition of a fluorine compound, effectively prevents dust from sticking to the surface. In the next step, dust that may remain on the surface will be shaken off when the system shifts the image sensor at high speed. Finally, the dust that is shaken off the image sensor falls onto an adhesive strip positioned at the bottom of the unit, eliminating any possibility of the dust returning to the image sensor surface. This upgraded Dust Reduction system also offers a new Dust Alert function, which shows the user exactly where dust may be sticking to the sensor surface.

The K20D also features a versatile exposure system for faithful reproduction of creative intentions:

Hyper Program Function The K20D's Hyper Program function allows users to instantly switch to the Shutter-Priority or Aperture-Priority AE mode from the Programmed AE mode with a simple turn of the electronic dials on the grip. To return to the Programmed AE mode, simply press the green button positioned next to the shutter release button.

Hyper Manual Function When shooting in Manual mode, one push of the green button allows the user to instantly set the proper exposure for the subject.

Sensitivity-Priority mode The K20D features a unique Sensitivity-Priority (Sv) mode designed to automatically select the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed for a user-selected sensitivity. The sensitivity can be shifted instantly in 1/2 or 1/3 steps by turning the electronic dial on the back panel.

Shutter/Aperture-Priority mode Taking full advantage of the unique capability of digital cameras, which permit automatic shift of sensitivity at any time, the Shutter/Aperture-Priority (TAv) mode automatically selects the most appropriate sensitivity for a user-selected shutter-speed/aperture combination. This mode allows users to experiment with a greater range of photographic expressions with greater ease.

Bright, clear viewfinder Featuring a glass pentaprism, the K20D's viewfinder offers an approximately 95 percent field of view and an approximately 0.95x magnification for easy viewing of the subject and effortless confirmation of focus and composition. Coupled with the acclaimed Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen, it delivers a large, bright subject image.

Continuous shooting at approximately three images per second To trace the movement of an active subject or capture a sequence of the subject's expressions, the K20D offers a continuous shooting mode that allows the photographer to capture as many as 38 images in succession (in JPEG recording format) at a maximum speed of approximately three images (frames) per second. When switched to the new high-speed advance mode, the user may capture up to approximately 115 images at the speed of approximately 21 images per second.*
* The image size is fixed at 1.6 megapixels in the Burst Shooting mode.

High-precision 11-point wide-frame AF The K20D's sophisticated SAFOX VIII autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors) to automatically focus on the subject with utmost precision, even when it is positioned off center. When the subject is captured in focus, the in-focus sensor point is automatically superimposed in red in the viewfinder for at-a-glance confirmation.

Powerful rechargeable batteries The K20D features large capacity Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, which can capture approximately 740 images when fully charged. The dramatically improved battery capacity (over the previous K10D) is the result of a new energy saving design.

Additional Features
  • A PC Sync socket for shooting with studio lights. The camera remains weather and dust sealed even when the PC socket cap is removed.
  • Choice of 16-segment multi-pattern metering, center-weighted metering and spot metering to accommodate various photographic applications
  • Reliable, durable shutter unit assuring more than 100,000 shutter releases
  • High-rigidity stainless-steel chassis
  • 36 custom functions to personalize camera operations
  • Universal-type X-sync socket
  • RAW button for single-action image-file switching
  • Digital Preview for verifying camera settings
  • Optional Battery Grip (D-BG2) for extended shooting sessions
  • Nine digital filters to add creative and artistic touches
  • In-body RAW data development for image filing in JPEG and TIFF formats
  • Compatibility with SDM equipped lenses for quiet, extra-smooth autofocus operation
  • Pentax PHOTO Laboratory 3, RAW data processing software, Pentax PHOTO Browser 3, browser software and Pentax REMOTE Assistant 3, camera control software, included on the accompanying CD-ROM

Features:
  • 14.6-megapixel resolution captures enough detail for poster-sized prints
  • 2.7-inch LCD display; Kit includes 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 AL II Lens
  • Dust-proof, water-resistant construction; comprehensive Dust Removal system
  • New Live View function
  • Capture images to SD/SDHC cards (not included)

Customer Reviews:

  • Pentax never gets the credit it should
    Owning several film cameras from Pentax I discovered the LX years ago. An under-rated but super machine, which I still own.
    After reading some reviews of the K20D I wanted to try one out. Although I live near Baltimore, upper quality cameras by Pentax are difficult to find.Trying to locate the best price from a dealer with good reputation, I discovered Amazon.
    There are many things about the K20 I like and some things I wish were different.
    The menu is repetitive. and the instruction booklet like a King novel. I don't care for the LCD, but can't say why exactly. It should have a higher shutter speed than 1/4000th and the processsor could be 14 bit as opposed to 12 bit.
    It has a great "feel" in one's hand and this is improved by the grip. Looking over how the camera is made brings confidence, in the same way the LX did. Any lens with the p/k mount will work. The in camera processing is to be commended as well.
    The lens system for Pentax has never seemed as extensive as others, but the quality for the better lenes is there and why have so many choices that are close to each other. How many does one truly need or can carry.
    Speaking to dealers about Pentax, most caused me to feel like a renegade for not choosing Canon or Nikon. I have other cameras, and if the 20 is half the camera the LX has been, I'll be a happy camper!...more info
  • Almost Perfect
    A much bigger jump from K10D than I expected; wonderful color and contrast; A little on the heavy side but very good balance....more info
  • Rugged, reliable research camera with outstanding features
    I bought my K20D to do research photography in rough environments in Cambodia, Thailand and Laos. I'm not a technical equipment expert but I have plenty of experience using cameras as a tool of my trade. This review relates a few tips and personal impressions about this terrific camera.

    I actually bought a K10D in January 2007 for a series of research trips in Southeast Asia. I took about 15,000 trouble-free photos with that camera when it was, unfortunately, destroyed in an accident (a fire, incidentally, and I think it would have survived just about anything else).

    In November 2008 I bought a K20D as a replacement. I bought my K10D with the standard lens. This time I bought the body and lens separately, which gave me a much better camera for my application. I decided on a Sigma 18-50mm f/2.8 EX DC SLD ELD Aspherical Macro Lens for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras, which I'll review separately.

    After my experience with the K10D it was a no-brainer to buy the K20D. Features are similar so there was no learning curve, and all my accessories (Pentax BG2 Battery Grip for Pentax K10D and K20D DSLR Cameras, Tamron AF 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Di LD Macro Zoom Lens for Pentax Digital SLR Cameras, Pentax AF540FGZ Flash for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras (Includes Case)) were compatible. The K20D is an even better camera with higher image resolution, color enhancement and (I think) improved image stabilization.

    Battery life is outstanding - Up to 600 shots on one charge, including many with fill in flash and checking each shot in the LCD screen as it's taken. With an extra battery this camera far exceeds my endurance for a day of shooting.

    Two boy scout tips will make life better (or at least more relaxed) with this camera:

    1. Buy an extra battery and charger - The uncommon format used in this camera makes these items very difficult to find in local camera stores (impossible to find where I go). No battery or no charger = no pix. I got this inexpensive kit with both 2 Replacement Pentax D-LI50 Batteries and Mini Battery Charger for the K10D & K20D Digital SLR Cameras. Good insurance.

    2. Take an extra USB cable to download your pix to computer. Like the batteries, the tiny D-shell connection to the K20D body is not a common size. On one trip when I lost this I ended up buying a flashcard USB reader because the cable was nowhere to be found...at least in Cambodia.

    November 2008 I shot 7,000 trouble free photos in 9 days. High heat, high humidity and occasional jolts (oops) never slow this rugged piece of equipment down. A great camera that is easy to use in difficult shooting situations....more info
  • Pentax With A Winner
    I've been a photographer for twenty-five years or so, and eight years of that I was a pro. I've owned Hasselblads and Canons and Nikons and Linhofs. I've owned pentax in the past and loved them. This camera continues the tradition, offering more for your money - more quality than comparably priced cameras, more pixels, more features - you name it. It's priced like an enthusiast camera with enough "pro" features to deserve the appellation. It's no EOS 1Ds MKIII, but the full size image is breathtaking. There's resolution to spare, and the shake reduction works miracles for me. I have a handheld image shot at 1/4 sec that's sharp at 100% crop!

    And the ease with which you can use the old lenses is just ridiculous. Throw even an old Pentax-M lens on it, set the camera to manual, set your aperture, touch the "Green Button", and the camera sets the programmed exposure - you can adjust from there to your heart's content. You can even specify the kind of program used by the green button - optimized for fast shutter speeds or depth of field - or the sharpest resolution settings of the appropriate lens. You can pick up used Pentax lenses all over for next to nothing, excellent glass on par with any manufacturer. Pentax glass is known for its color saturation and contrast, and this camera shows it off.

    I don't want to just repeat what's already been said, but I also have to say - this is a photographer's camera. It does everything you'd want a camera to do, and then some. The "Hyper Program" is unbelievably cool - you touch the shutter, it sets the exposure, then you roll dials to adjust from there. Absolutely transparent. You can customize the functions of the wheels to a ridiculously convenient level - this can be any camera you want it to be. All in all, this is a real jewel, and the king of bang-for-the-buck....more info
  • Pentax K20D
    I have been using this camera for several weeks now and I have found the camera to be outstanding. In many ways the camera keeps surprising me with its flexibility and with the resulting image quality. There is only one complaint that I have and that is that all of the information available through the viewer is not also available on the LCD. This is only a minor annoyance. On the other hand many other capabilities keep surprising me. Although the learning curve of this camera [and other cameras of this type] is clearly steeper than a "point & shoot", the flexibility is very much appreciated. [Let me note that "point & shoot" is also an option with this camera, but I usually use the manual modes except when shooting outdoor scenery.] Part of my positive reaction is probably also due to the excellent 18-250 mm ~14x zoom lens that I bought with the camera. This lens takes you all the way from moderate wide angle to long telephoto. This camera does not use a full 35 mm detector but uses a "C type" cmos processor which is approximately 25 x 16 mm and all lens focal lengths should be multiplied by 1.5x to determine the 35 mm equivalent, therefore this lens, combined with this camera, produces an effective focal length of 27-375 mm. The positive of this is that the resulting lenses can be MUCH smaller than for a full 35 mm SLR. One of the really pleasing characteristics is the ability of this camera to take high quality images at high equivalent asa ratings up to 800 asa and with tolerable noise levels at even 1600 or, in a pinch, 3200 asa. This is important to me since I almost never use a flash. Finally, note that the "body only" antishake enables this camera body to use most older model Pentax lenses. ...more info
  • Best Bang for the Buck
    I've had the k20 now for 2 months after getting my k10 stolen in South America, and i am totally stoked. I was shooting a riot a few days ago and got maced in the face by a cop while taking pictures, and the camera was totally fine even after being soaked in the stuff. (Cops don't like when you take pictures of them being mean to others.) The housing is awesome and more or less water (mace) restistant. The k10 handled the jungle with pleasure and i'm sure this baby will too. Liveview is pretty lame no matter what camera its on, so thats not an issue for me, except sometimes when using a tripod and remote, in which case liveview performs ok. I shoot everything in raw, so i don't bother with the jpeg funkiness. so if you don't have a trustfund, or somebody else to pay for your gear, this is the one you want. i can't believe what canikonians pay for decent lenses?!!" and yes the 2.8 optics are heaven. All i can say to canikonians is NAH NAH NAH na na NAH!!! sucks for you. ;)

    peace love and happiness!
    ...more info
  • Best value on the market!
    I got into photography through a Pentax SLR kit, and am returning to the Pentax fold after five years in the Canon wasteland. I couldn't be happier. Whether its the supportive and eccentric user community, the forty-plus years of compatible equipment on the market, or the high-quality, affordable lenses, Pentax people simply have more fun. Don't let your sunken costs deter you from making the switch. I sold off my Canon gear for about 80% of retail; plenty of people will pay a premium for Canon's middle-tier junk because some Anna Kournikova look-alike told them to. Now I have a premium camera and pro-level lenses to match, plus weather sealing and a camera body that's built to last....more info
  • Pentax K20D superb camera
    I've been using this camera for nearly three weeks now and it is great! The camera feels very steady and all of the buttons and knobs are well placed. the pictures are also very good. The only issue that I've run into is that the x-sync speed isn't as high as I would like. 1/180 max sync speed isn't enough to really freeze any high speed motion. Overall though the camera is excellent and works well, even with the manual 20 year old lenses I am using. Also the battery life is good I can take more than 800 shots on one charge, without flash....more info
  • Pentax K 20D - Awesome Camera
    I've owned a Pentax K-1000 in the past but did not know what to expect from them when it came to digital images. I recently received my camera and began to take experimental pics from around the house. Each time the picture came out extremely clear with excellent image form and detail. The images required just minor enhancements with photo shopping software and they were good to go. I was surprised that the flash images worked out so well (up to a point). The rechargeable battery is incredible and lasts for a long, long time. I've had the camera for about two weeks and have only charged it once and have taken hundreds of pictures both with and without the flash.

    I took the camera with me to Wyoming and captured some of the most incredible images I've every shot. The details just jump off of the image. The 14mp file (actually around 12mp)allows me to crop and size without loosing details. Can't wait to use it to collect aerial images....more info
  • Just an amazing camera... especially at these prices!
    All the camera I could ever want. Amazing ergonomics. All the customization I need. Picture quality to salivate for... especially low light capability. I've owned the previous version of this camera, the Pentax K10d which uses the 10 MP chip made by Sony which is also used in several Nikon cameras like the D80, and high ISO pics (like 800 and above) are a bit noisy in these older cameras which require a bit more work to get rid of the graininess. The K20d on the other hand is much cleaner at these higher ISO's with a lot of detail. Most other cameras in this class tend to use a lot of noise reduction at these higher ISO's which makes for a relatively clean picture but these cameras also reduce a lot of sharpness and detail in the process. The K20d leaves the detail and sharpness and lets me use more advanced noise reduction software to take care of the areas that I think need it (try noiseninja or neat image).

    Weather sealing - awesome for those who like to hike, sports, or street photography. I took my camera and a da* Pentax weather sealed lens in to a snowstorm and had no concerns taking pictures... And this kind of build quality that helps keep water and dust out of your camera is something you can feel: the camera is just solid and feels like it laughs at the elements.

    Image stabilization in the body - EVERY lens you put on this camera will benefit from image stabilization. I took some pictures in an old church which was not lit well at all, and even without a tripod, I was taking pictures with a 50mm lens at 1/20th of a second and the vast majority of my images were sharp. My old camera without stabilization required me to have shutter speeds of around 1/80th to get reliably sharp images. This is a difference of 4 times as much light the camera needs to make an equally exposed picture! The images at 1/20th are much better exposed and I don't have to turn up the ISO to a point where the image is too grainy like I would have to do on other cameras without stabilization. This feature is especially important if you take pictures indoors... lower shutter speeds without blinding everybody with flash is so much less intrusive.

    Custom Focus Adjustment - as much as we expect perfection, lenses often have differences in how they focus. Being able to adjust the focus forward or backwards on up to 20 lenses is critical if you want razor sharp images. This is a main reason I upgraded from the K10d... it makes a huge difference!

    14.6 MP - This much detail is clearly not necessary... unless you need to crop. I find that if I need a fast lens because of low light (say, if I need an f stop of lower than 2) then I'm usually using a prime lens (fixed focal length = no zoom) and sometimes I can't get as close as I'd like b/c of furniture or maybe the action is happening NOW and I don't have time to move. With this many megapixels, I can crop a lot and focus on the important part of my picture and still have enough detail to print 8x10's or even 11x14's if I want.

    Yes, this camera is a few hundred dollars more than an entry level DSLR... but really it should be much, much more expensive than that. It's an amazing camera that I could easily use for many years. And my pictures have benefited from it... Getting this quality of a camera for less than a thousand bucks is an amazing value! ...more info
  • Great camera
    I've had mine for about a month now, and I'm very pleased. This is my first DSLR - this has restored my passion for photography that I had years ago with my old SLR's. I bought the Pentax both because I have some older Pentax lenses and because it seemed like the best value for the money. I'm learning the idiosyncrasies of the camera, one being that auto white balance works poorly with my external flash - but choosing the flash white balance setting works beautifully. I'm taking most pictures in RAW+ mode now so I can modify them as needed, but have ready JPEGs to upload to my web site if they don't need any fixing up. This works well with the 8GB memory cards I'm using. I'm having a lot of fun, learning a lot, and wishing I had lots more money to spend on lenses and other accessories, but the kit lens that came with it seems to be a pretty good one for the money....more info
  • What a camera!
    I've a long history with Pentax and my expectations were satisfied and then some. While there is a bit of a learning curve to this camera, once you have even the basics down this camera performs marvelously. The gimmick features are fine enough, but for me it's the quality of the pictures that counts. That is after what I bought the camera for. They're clear and crisp with excellent color rendition. The fact that I can drag out my Pentax 500mm 4.5 lens and use it again makes the legacy lensing of both my 35mm and 6x7 once again useful. This is a camera for photographers, especially for those who still shoot as though they were using film. You can control your shots precisely as far as exposure is concerned, and require very little in the way of software correction. I especially like the infrared mode of the black and white area. All in all this camera will do what you want for a much more affordable price than it's competitors....more info
  • Great buy
    Pentax K20D Digital SLR Camera with Pentax SMC DA 18-55mm AL II Zoom Lens + Tamron 70-300mm Di LD Macro Lens + 8GB SDHC Card + Spare D-LI50 Battery + Case + Cameta Bonus Accessory Kit (Purchased on 02/14/2009)

    I received this kit and have been very happy with it *****

    The K20D is amazing. Found the build quality to be top-notch, feels solid in the hands. This camera has been very ez to work with and the learning curve has not been to steep. The pictures are beautiful and sharp, have a few that I have had printed out at 24"X30" and they look great. The 18-55 Pentax lens it top notch for a kit lens, very sharp, focuses very well even in low light plus you can always tweak the focus manually. The D-LI50 battery is amazing. 500 shots ez if you use the flash some, 1000 if you don't do a lot of flash. I can't say enough about this camera. Oh... and low light performance is good too, compared to every camera out there. Want less noise, turn the settings up, and all of the reviews have been done with factory default which is NR off.

    Now the bad

    There are 3 sets of people this camera is not for.
    1st. If you like to do a lot of long exposures over 5 min (star gazers). The way the sensor is set up, any exposure over 1 sec or so, the camera hot pixle hunts for a time equal to the exposure time. If you take a 5-minute exposure the camera exposes the sensor for 5 min then closes and hot pixel hunts for another 5 min, effectively locking out the camera for 10 minutes total. This can put a cramp on the number of shots you can take, especially if you like doing 1-hour exposures.

    2nd. PROFESSIONAL SPORTS. It's not that you can't take good action shots with this camera, you can. (I have great air show pics from my K1000 film, stopped dead) but the frames per second are too slow for someone making a living at it. You will also spend $1500-$2500 USD more. For having fun with the kid's games or any other than that, you want to get paid for shooting it's fine. Just try to anticipate your shots the way you would a film camera and you will be fine.

    3rd. Sadly, if you're the type that likes to run down to the corner camera shop and pick up the latest lens flash or other PENTAX SPECIFIC item FORGET IT. The new owners of Pentax have pretty much dumped all of their smaller retailers so they're not carrying the cameras and lenses. I live in the Dallas area and have been to most of the shops here and I have heard the same story from every one of them. Their reps are gone and they don't do the volume needed to keep the cameras and be competitive. So for the most part, lenses and flashes will have to be gotten on line. Anything not body specific (filters) your fine.

    Tamron 70-300mm: This lens came with this bundle. For the price, it's a nice lens with one major flaw, PURPLE FRINGE. If you have the lens wide open and at full mag, its pretty bad and depending on what your shooting it will be impossible to get rid of post process. Keep it at f8 and around 250mm and it does a great job. For a budget zoom, its not bad. Just remember budget. ***

    SPARE Battery: D-LI50 battery. This bundle comes from Cameta Camera and the spare battery they are sending is an NP-400. Compared to the D-LI50 it's about 1/3rd to1/2 weaker. As soon as I saw it was not what they stated in the ad. I emailed them and asked about it, thinking it was a mistake. I received this response:

    " Hi,
    Thanks for contacting us. The battery that you received is the replacement battery for the DL-I50. This battery is made to replace 3 different batteries that are used in 3 different cameras, the Pentax as well. Using the battery will not void your warranty since it will work perfectly in your camera.
    If you do not want it than we can take it back for a purchase price refund through Amazon.

    If you would please be so kind as to return the battery in its original packaging to the address listed on the top of your invoice, marked to the attention of the "Returns Department," I would be most appreciative. Please be sure to include a copy of your invoice, as well as a brief note describing the reason for the return. Once we do receive said unit back at our facility, we will process the return and refund."

    So I opened it up and gave it a shot (TOO LATE NOW) 200 shots 50/50 with flash and this battery is gone. **

    Cameta Camera got me the order with in a week, it arrived well packed and with the above exception as promised. I would buy any major item from them any time but for the small stuff I would call and see if they're subbing out 1st. ***

    Over all ****

    I will put some pics up shortly
    ...more info
  • Almost perfect
    This was quite an upgrade from the Samsung GX-1S (clone of *ist DS2) I used previously . Pentax have always put out nice products but haven't really been pushing the envelope until now.

    The bad:

    Auto white balance is still pretty poor. This has been the case with the other Pentax DSLRs. Certainly not a huge concern--especially if you shoot RAW--but a little annoying considering other manufacturers seem to manage it much better.

    It has a tendency to underexpose. Normally I find myself shooting with +0.7EV compensation and rarely do I run into situations where it blows out the highlights with that setting.


    The good:

    Absolutely outstanding image quality. I have shot everything from 110 to large format in film, and the first thing that struck me looking at some of the K20D shots was that it looks like medium format film: the ultra-smooth gradations and gorgeous tones.

    The lens focus adjustment! Both my Pentax SMCPDA 16-45mm Zoom f/4.0 ED/AL Lens for Pentax and Samsung Digital SLR Cameras and Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG Macro Telephoto Zoom Lens for Pentax and Samsung SLR Cameras required some adjustments to compensate for slight front and back focusing. Without this feature I would have been stuck with lenses that would not focus perfectly wide open.

    The viewfinder. Large, bright, clear.

    TAv mode. I spend 90% of my time shooting in this; Pentax treats ISO like a third variable in addition to shutter speed and aperture. Simple and brilliant. You just adjust the shutter speed and aperture with the wheels and it tells you the ISO so you can make a judgment call on a good compromise between all three.

    Clever battery grip design that lets you store a spare SD card and remote.

    Nice high ISO performance. I have shots at 5000 that look good, though 6400 is pretty noisy.

    Hands-off noise reduction. Default is OFF, which lets you control it entirely in post-processing. Much rather have that than the water color paintings other cameras prefer to output.

    Again, AMAZING image quality. I was worried that they were pushing the sensor too far with 14.6mp but they manage to control noise and retain wonderful detail. It does require good optics to get the most out of it, so I would recommend looking at some high quality glass. The 16-45/4 is one of the bargains out there; tack sharp, great color and contrast, and just around $300 new.

    If Pentax could do a little better on the white balance and metering it would be absolutely perfect for me. As it stands, it is still an incredible bargain though!...more info
  • Excellent camera
    I didn't purchase my Pentax K20D at Amazon but I can tell you that this reduced price is amazing. The camera is well worth it at the original price! I'm an amateur photographer but it gives me some incredible shots - and actually helps me learn so much more than my SLR or a regular digital zoom camera. Play around with the settings, take a photo and instantly see how it turned out. It's easy enough for a beginner like me and complicated enough that I will have a lot of features and settings to look forward to experimenting with for a long time.

    The first national photography contest I entered a photo taken with this camera in - was published! Check out: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/2895213772/

    I think it helps to look at other people's photos when selecting a camera so here are some other photos taken with this camera:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3108110893/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3220500923/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3240718681/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3224517496/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/2985463962/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3086994919/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3157141987/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3239456543/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3235573470/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3197649805/
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/gandert/3052615287

    As you can see, for everything from macros to landscapes, horses to small animals and more, it's a great camera. If I can take photos like this with my very limited knowledge and experience, you will love it!
    ...more info
  • K20D is a Awesome Camera
    I purchased my K20D a few weeks ago and I'm very impressed. There are some minor things like the formating, it's 100 times faster than my K100D, the focus is faster also. I was out yesterday and it started raining and I had the wife cover up the K100D, but I just kept shooting with the K20D. No other company's camera can do or say that. I also love that Pentax can use every lens they ever made, and ebay has become a shopping haven for me.
    All I can say Is you won't be dissapointed with the K20D. Just go out and hold one and then hold the competitors and you can feel the better quality of the K20D....more info
  • Great Camera
    I won't duplicate what has been said elsewhere. Bottom line this has been a great camera for me and has top notch features, erganomics, and control. Just used it for a wedding with great results. ...more info
  • Glad I Switched
    I have been really happy with this Pentax K20d, and I am impressed with the 16-45 f.4 lens that I bought to go with it. I initially upgraded from a Canon Rebel 300D to a Canon 40D, it was a nice upgrade but the new Canon wasn't bringing me enough enjoyment to be worth the near thousand dollars I paid for it, and I knew it would lead me to buying lenses that would be too heavy and expensive. I sent it back and a moth later decided to buy the K20d. I was impressed with the low price and low weight of Pentax's mid-range lenses. I honestly thought that the camera itself wouldn't be as good as the 40D but I decided to follow the mantra that lenses are what matter and thought I could sell my Canon lenses and get some great Pentax prime lenses, and a wide zoom lens.

    I have had the K20d for a over a month, and it is a great camera. It takes the pictures that I want it to take. This is the first digital camera I've been really excited about using and I think it is because it allows me to get the exact exposure I want. The metering won't produce as many decent pictures on full auto as a Canon, because it will always preserve bright highlights. The reviews say that it underexposes, because if you take a picture of a person with the sky behind them, it will consistently keep the sky from blowing out - making the person too dark. At first this means more missed and underexposed shots, but it exposes the same way all the time, and after a week with the camera I found that I always knew how the camera was metering and I now get the exact exposure I want on the first shot far more often than I used to.

    The camera also makes manual mode far more useable. I like finding a good exposure for the light and then sticking to that as long as I know I am in similar light. If my photos are looking a little bright or a little dark on the histogram, I change the shutter speed or aperture a click. With the green button, I can be in manual mode but have an automatic resetting any time the light changes, from full sun to shade. Anytime I know that there is a big change in light I hit the green button and get the automatic exposure setting, instead of having to spin the dials.

    I like the ability to change what the dials and buttons do in many of the modes. I can customize what the control wheels do in each picture mode. Also note that many reviews say the K20d does not show ISO in the viewfinder (which was a big detractor for me since it was one feature I really liked about the 40D upgrade) but actually you can customize this and show ISO in the viewfinder instead of the number of remaining shots. You can also change ISO in any mode by holding OK while turning the finger wheel.

    Negatives: The K20d does produce more noise over ISO 800 than the Canon, but I like that it keeps more detail and I like the grain of the noise far better. However sometimes in very high ISO shots there can be too much chroma noise (colored noise) to do anything but convert to BW, and in two or three pictures I have seen banding in high ISO pictures when I try to push them a stop in my raw converter. Also the auto-focus sometimes hunts in single shot mode in light that the 40D would handle, although I have found that if I put it on AF-Continuous (AI Servo in Canon) it usually finds focus. My understanding is that the Pentax AF system attempts to be more exact, and I think I have noticed that when I am in good light I have less missed pictures due to focus than with the Canon. ...more info
  • very impressive.
    disclaimer - going to write this in an almost bullet'ed fashion to save time.

    reasons why i bought this: -already have old pentax lenses. (work fine with it. 2 lens from 1960)

    -14.6 megapixel. i read that its comparable to the 35mm negative in enlargement. that's true. after scanning and old negative at 1200 dpi, the lens captured the same amount of detail. it's pretty amazing.

    -weatherproofing. in the past, i've always used very old manual cameras -because they're built like a tank, and will never break. and usually don't need a battery. this is about as close as you can get for under 1500$ i believe. and if i'm spending money, i don't want to buy another for many a year.

    -2 knobs. as someone who's never used a camera with "modes", this is perfect. the aperture and shutter are very easy to control, so the picture comes out how you'd like it. also as a plus, the only "modes" this has are useful. aperture priority, shutter priority, manual, hyper program, and sensor priority. no fireworks, portrait, sports.... etc.

    -a few plusses i wasn't expecting. double and triple exposures are possible in camera. the anti shake is amazing. i can shoot down to 1/10th of a second with almost no problem.
    -when shooting in black and white, you can use in camera "filter" effects. it has an ifra red filter that while isn't a true infra red look, it does have a very high contrast, and seems to pull more tones out of any available scene.


    negatives: (kindof)
    -at work we use a nikon, the buttons and meter are reversed. so i have to stay used to two setups.
    -the preset white balances are close, but not dead-on. the transitions are very subtle, so i don't think anyone who wasn't there will know.. but at the same time i don't mind at all. if i don't adjust the white balance, some images kind of take on a weirdly enhanced look.
    -in very low light, the autofocus has a challenge. again, not a problem because it has a manual focus.
    - the weatherproofing. the camera is tough as hell, but unless you use a certain lens set (i read) that water could enter where the lens meets the body. (so far i've yet to shoot in a hard rain though)
    ...more info
  • K20D purchase
    I upgraded from the K10d and expected just a minor tweak to the hardware. The upgrades are there but I was really surprised by the more saturated colors. I thought my polarizer was at fault...but i wasn't using it! It still underexposes about 1 fstop like the K10D(no biggy). I bought this for a second camera for wedding photography (can't get by with one camera...too dangerous). With 4 megapixels more resolution to play with I can also get by with shooting in horizontal position and doing cropping to vertical format in many cases. Makes life simpler than shooting vertically 1/2 the time. Noise control is way better at 800 ISO too (Good for dark churches). Haven't tried 1600 ISO yet. As always Pentax Rocks!!! I got the cheapest(legitimate!) price I could find anywhere right on Amazon. Beware the cheapo websites they are *not real* prices. ...more info
  • The best choice you can make
    Pentax k20D is a good upgrade form Pentax k10D. Camera comes with a stabilized 14.6 megapixel CMOS image sensor, high quality image processing, dust- and weather-proof seals, 11-point AF, and more custom features than any photographer would need. Good image quality, low noise, excellent build quality. Nikon D300 is faster, but much more expensive....more info
  • Great value. Great pics.
    Ditto all the reviews. The only thing I would change is the weight. I wish it were a bit lighter....more info
  • Best $700 I have ever spent
    This camera is just amazing, it has no equal in it's price range. The clarity of the pictures captured with just a kit lens is astounding. It is certainly the closest to a pro model that most photo enthusiasts will afford. The only complaint I could have is Pentax's decision to hold on to the P-TTL flash system. It limits the selection of external flashes and I am not convinced on it's performance. Other than that I think the many pro features, the amazing construction and the amazing ability to capture strikingly sharp detail makes up for it's P-TTL downfall. I am not easily satisfied with cameras and I love this thing!...more info
  • A great camera, but not perfect.
    In March of 2008 I bought a K200D, my first DSLR. Loved the camera, but wanted more control and more options. So, I then bought a K20D.
    -----------------------------------

    ****CONTROLS :: The controls on the K20D are incredibly awesome. Everything is just *right*. Changes from the basic K200D layout:

    A) External Metering dial
    B) External bracketing button
    C) External focal point mode dial
    D) A second e-dial, which is great.

    I absolutely love, love, love K20D ergonomics and menu system.. I can operate the camera and all its functions without looking at it. I never press a button I don't intent to press, and I never confuse buttons. Things just "make sense". It's so hard to describe. This is worlds different coming from Canon and Nikon comparisons -- Perhaps it was my unfamiliarity with those cameras, but their menu systems, while flashy, were downright confusing.

    You also have a "Green Button" mode and a "User Mode" on the K20D which is very interesting -- You can set up a custom "profile" on the K20D in User mode which sounds cool, but truthfully I haven't used it yet.


    ****PERFORMANCE:

    The K20D performs admirably, just like the K200D. There are a few differences, though:

    1) The K20D has a MUCH improved buffer - I can shoot 15 RAW files at 3.0FPS (still low), compared to 4 RAW at 2.8 FPS on the K200D. Unfotunately the FPS on the K20D remains incredibly slow at full resolution.

    2) The K20D has a "burst" mode of 21 FPS at around 1.4MP. Neat to play around with but nothing special.

    3) ISO goes up to 3200 standard (K200D is maxed at 1600) with 6400 available. However, IQ drops severely after ISO 1600. ISO 3200 is OKAY if you have a picture with non-dark areas, but there is visible banding at ISO3200 and for the most part I avoid it. I use NoiseNinja on my ISO3200 images and they're acceptable if you're not going to crop.

    4) A noticeably improved viewfinder -- I can tell the difference immediately over the K200D. Brighter, nicer. Lovely.

    **** IMAGE QUALITY

    Great, just like the K200D. As a matter of fact, I really couldn't tell you the difference in IQ between two 100% crops of the cameras, except that the K20D's crop is going to be slightly larger from the added MP.

    I've tested this extensively with three lenses (DA 16-45, DA 55-300, DA* 50-135) and there is really no IQ difference between the cameras. I may need to get a high quality prime to tell the difference, and even then, you'll be pixel peeping.

    However, the K20D *DOES* allow you to get slightly larger prints before you start interpolating pixels, which is something to consider.


    ****OTHER:

    Live view - Almost worthless. I get hot pixels on the image when I use live view for any extended period of time. I've refused to upgrade to the 1.01 firmware for fear of it breaking some software compatibility. Nothing really important to me, though, because the Pentax implimentation of Liveview isn't that great.

    Sealing - Better than the K200D, but by how much I don't know. The battery and SD card doors are latch opened instead of slide opened like the K200D.

    Battery Performance -- Pretty good. Pentax has retained their rather uninformative battery meter, unfortunately. I really wish they'd get with the times and introduce a %-estimate for their battery meter.

    Autofocus Speed-- Absolutely zero difference between the K200D and the K20D -- I have tested this extensively with two lenses using a video camera for frame-accurate timing.

    Autofocus Performance -- Decent. Low light it suffers (EV5/6 or lower), but tries for accuracy, so I'm not sure what to say. I wish it were faster.



    OVERALL --- A highly recommended camera. Pentax makes some great glass. Match them up with a K20D and ENJOY shooting photos. The camera is an absolute ergonomic and control-layout pleasure to use. Menus make sense. Performance is good with just a few small things to gripe about.

    I really like the camera and it's recommended for those people not needing very fast FPS or first-party lenses past 300mm.
    ...more info
  • the peak of APS-C technology
    At least for now, the K20D and possibly the Canon 50D (but I think it has too aggressive NR), are the peak of the APS-C sensor DSLRs. The theoretical 15Mpix max resolution for lenses has been hit and you can indeed see this in the K20D's photos if you don't have good lenses. In particular, it shows you that Pentax's Limited and DA* lenses (except for the 16-50) are indeed ultra sharp and detailed. My Sigma 17-70 has to be stopped down an extra stop for images to look sharp (my previous 10Mpix K10D was sharper with the Sigma 17-70).
    The pixel mapping feature alone is worth the upgrade from the K10D. Hot pixels (even the "moving hot pixels" that DPR's review complain about) are cured by running this so you don't have to send it back to the factory to do it.
    Dust removal lets you find and clear off dust before you end up shooting a big sequence of pictures only to find that you have to PP out a big blob in the upper right hand corner.
    The PC sync port is a screwlock PC sync port that is robust enough to handle a lot of usage in the studio; it's also weathersealed and can survive a high voltage flash.
    Liveview is useful (though not as well implemented as Canon's which has contrast AF) for the shots when you don't want to stick your head against the ground and get all muddy.
    Lens microadjustments (though you can't calibrate zooms at different focal lengths) works great on prime/limited lenses.
    It's a very refined, bang for buck DSLR and it's a shame more stores don't carry this so people can see how good it really is :-P
    Thanks to Amazon for carrying it and having a great x-mas deal on it....more info
  • Jeff Walters
    I've just had the K20D for about 2 weeks and have really enjoyed it. Having to decide between Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus, and Sony was difficult after reading so many reviews. I took a chance on the Pentax based on forums & reviews. I couldn't find the camera in any stores around my home other than the other brands mentioned. The Pentax does feel the best in my hands and when I first held it, it is definitely better built than the others. I bought the 18-55mm AL II kit lens and it does excellent and will purchase the 18-250mm in the future. I have taken the same type shots with my Minolta film camera from the early 80's and this camera surpasses it in quality. I was stubborn for a long time to switch to digital after having the money invested in the Minolta lenses and other equipment.
    I personally think all the major cameras are good and I picked Pentax on a leap of faith. It was the best camera for the money and future lenses and accessories won't break the bank. I have not much use yet for the live view feature but many of the features are usable and intuitive. I really like the idea and flexibility of the front and rear e-dials. I can adjust the aperture with the rear dial and the shutter speed with the front dial. If I could change anything I would make the ISO a dedicated button and maybe the white balance. At least they are at the beginning of the Fn(function) menu button and only requires one extra button to push.
    I would highly recommend this camera unless you shoot alot of sports which the 3 frames per second burst rate doesn't cut it for you. The picture quality is A-1 and the cropping in on some shots I've taken are just great since I don't have a strong zoom lense yet. They don't pixelate on the computer and that has to be the 14.1 megapixels at work with the CMOS sensor. It is a big difference and I'm glad I have purchased the K20D over the K10D if just for the sensor only. ...more info
  • Another happy photographer
    This is my first DSLR so I really can't compare from experience. I did a lot of research in advance and I'm happy to say that I got what I expected. Love this camera!...more info
  • Smething Shakes Badly(?) Inside
    Recieved my new K20D a few days back. as the camera moved in my hands i could hear something shaking inside.

    i asked Amazon to replace it, they did it very fast, and the next one has the same problem.

    i wonder: all K20D are like that?
    mine was assembled in the Philippines.

    your comments, please. thanks.
    ...more info
  • Great DSLR
    This is a well designed, and well made product. Since this is my first digital camera, I was prepared to be frequently baffled and frustrated by a steep learning curve. Not the case-- for having as many controls as it does, operating it is very intuitive and the results are impressive....more info
  • Takes time to get used to but awesome once you do.
    I recently bought this unit. My previous camera was a Canon Digital Rebel Xti. Honestly it took some time to get used to the controls. But now I'm used to it and it feels perfect. The colors and the image quality are top notch. In-Body SR performs very well and the image viewfinder is huge.

    The things that take time to get used to are:

    1-The parameters are not displayed on main LCD. They can be seen through viewfinder and top/small LCD. But main LCD stays dark. You can review the parameters by pressing the info button, but when you change any parameter, the screen turns off.

    2-The dial to switch between spot metering and area metering is too close to mode dial. Sometimes you involuntarily change the mode without noticing.

    3-The metering is a little bit dark. Some + metering is needed to get some shots.

    Once you get used to it, it performs incredibly well. When I switched from Canon to Pentax, my friends were asking me why. After seeing the shots, they agree that it was a wise choice....more info
  • Great camera
    This camera will do everything you need. You can start out with simple auto everything and use the features that make it great as you become a better photographer. I have had mine for a year now and have no desire to upgrade. Don`t let the low price fool you, this is the real deal!...more info
  • Good camera for general photography but fails for long exposure work!
    I've been a serious Pentax photographer for over 20 years... so naturally, because of my investment in PK type lenses, I purchased one of the first K20D's as soon as it was available.

    I should have waited!

    Please understand, there is a reason for all these great reviews. It really is a good camera in many respects. However, if you have special requirements, such as long exposures (e.g. astrophotography), this is NOT the camera to purchase.

    The K20D uses a new and jointly developed Samsung CMOS imager. Unfortunately, they have not worked out all the kinks... um... namely heat! As a result, the K20D produces a significant amount of noise (hot pixels) and this is why the K20D is the *ONLY* current DSLR camera that forces the user to endure an automatic DFS (Dark Frame Subtraction) for any length of exposure in Bulb mode (or any manual/automatic exposure greater than 15 seconds). This means that a 2 minute exposure is actually 4 minutes, a 30 minute exposure will take 1 hour, and so on...

    If money is no object, consider Canon or Nikon. Canon is especially prized by astrophotographers as being the best DSLR for long exposures.

    The other annoying problem is that the K20D is terribly slow (and even worse in low light) with auto focus! Again, Canon and Nikon do a much better job.

    Other than two major complaints.... I echo the positive attributes spoken by others about this camera.

    The K20D loses two stars (out of five) because of the forced DFS and high noise levels. Pentax almost made the perfect camera!...more info