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Pentax K20D Digital SLR Review

Review Summary
Reader Score: 6.57 (out of 10)
Review (Summary): "The Pentax K20D is a new digital SLR that follows the K10D with several dramatic changes. As Pentax's flagship DSLR, the K20D has a 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor with a few more megapixels than its predecessor. The new model also has a live view on its larger LCD screen, increased dynamic range, an improved dust reduction system, and a battery that lasts much longer. Like its predecessor, the K20D has a lens mount that accepts old and new Pentax lenses. ...

The 14.6-megapixel Pentax K20D has a lot going for it. It has a water-resistant camera body that is durable and tightly sealed and is backwards compatible with Pentax lenses. It is comfortable to hold and there are tons of on-camera buttons, but the features that aren't on the body are tough to find in the lengthy and confusing menus. ..."

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Other Reviews For This Model

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Trusted Reviews 9.00  04-18-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "While we're still awaiting news on the future of Pentax's compact camera range, its digital SLR range continues to expand in interesting directions, with the launch of the latest semi-pro model. The K20D has been developed in partnership with Samsung who are responsible for the camera's powerful new 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor. It replaces the 10.2-megapixel K10D, launched last year, and joins the K200D and K100D Super in Pentax's current range. ...

... With the launch of the K20D Pentax is taking on the top players in the semi-pro DSLR market. It has a class-leading specification, with build quality, handling and performance to match, and has exactly the sort of features that will appeal to advanced amateurs and semi-professionals. The slight problems with exposure consistency are annoying but not fatal, and the breathtaking detail of that 14.6MP sensor more than makes up for it. The K20D is a very accomplished camera and exceptional value for money."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Imaging-Resource 8.88  02-17-09 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "The Pentax K20D digital SLR follows in the footsteps of the company's well-received K10D model. The hallmark of the new camera is a newly developed 14.6-megapixel CMOS sensor, made in conjunction with Samsung, Pentax's partner in digital SLR development. ...

The Pentax K20D has enough features to appeal to the advanced photographer, and has the rugged construction to appeal to the professional. However, Pentax is only now beginning to provide a few key lenses in its SDM (supersonic drive motor) line. ..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DCResource 8.75  09-08-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "The K20D ($1199, body only) is the flagship model in Pentax's digital SLR lineup. While it has the features of a mid-range SLR (most notably its 14.6 Megapixel sensor and weatherproof body), the K20D costs several hundred dollars less than the competition. ...

... Despite its flaws, I liked using the Pentax K20D. It offers build quality and features that make you assume that it's in the same price range as the Canon 50D and Nikon D300, but you can pick one up for around $1000 (body only). If live view and a fast burst rate are very important to you, then I'd probably look at something else. But for a sturdy, good all-around D-SLR, then the K20D is worth a look. ..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
PhotoReview 8.75  03-11-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "Pentax has designed its 14.6-megapixel K20D model to appeal to demanding photo enthusiasts but many of its features will also appeal to professional photographers. Like the earlier K10D model, the K20D is built to resist dust and moisture with seals protecting 74 different parts of the camera body. ...

Imatest showed resolution to be slightly lower than expectations, although still relatively high - and quantifiably higher than the K10D. It also showed a close correspondence between center and edge resolution, indicating good flatness of field and negligible corner darkening in the lens. ..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DPReview 8.50  06-19-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "Having risked being left behind by the speed at which the 'affordable' DSLR market developed, Pentax showed how serious its intentions were with the K10D, a semi-pro-level DSLR with a features list to humble the competition at a very attractive price. Having added so many bells and whistles to the K10D, it's not much of a surprise to find that its successor, the K20D, is essentially a refinement of the same design. ...

In short, the K20D is a great stab at making a photographers' camera - a camera for people who love taking images, are happy to invest in lenses (perhaps the primes that can make the most of those 14.6 million pixels), but aren't going to be recouping the cost of their equipment through regularly selling images. It offers a very pleasant, near pro-level, photographic experience at a reasonable cost and in a body that feels solid, well built and as if it was designed by someone who used one themselves. ..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Camera Labs 8.10  05-19-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "The Pentax K20D is a 14.6 Megapixel mid-range DSLR which packs-in a broad range of features many of which are normally reserved for semi-pro models. Announced in January 2008, it's the successor to the popular K10D, from which it inherits an impressive core specification including a dust and weather-resistant body, built-in Shake Reduction, a decent optical viewfinder, a number of innovative exposure modes, a wealth of custom options and the choice of recording RAW images in either Pentax's own PEF or Adobe’s open DNG formats. ...

... one look at the K20D's images and you know you're dealing with something special. It really does capture a great deal of detail and unlike Sony's 14 Megapixel sensor and processing engine, this detail remains at higher sensitivities. And like the K10D before it, the decent viewfinder, comfortable grip, innovative exposure modes, twin control dials and vast degree of customization makes it a great camera to use in traditional photographic terms. ..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
LetsGoDigital 8.00  10-08-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "As far as appearance is concerned, the Pentax K20D digital SLR is quite similar to its predecessor. If you were to switch the type tag of the cameras, you probably wouldn’t notice it. Still, some essential things have changed. Such as the larger screen on the back of the camera and the connection for a flash unit. The seals to prevent water and dust from getting inside remained untouched, which makes the Pentax K20D a camera that is still interesting to the outdoor photographer. ...

... Nevertheless, the Pentax K20D has yet again conquered my heart. Mainly because the camera is developed, just as the K10D, with the photographer in mind. The clever exposure programs, such as the Sensitivity priority, are really well thought-through. ..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Popular Photography 7.86  02-19-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "... At first, the K20D seems to be a twin to the K10D. Pentax kept what was outstanding in the K10D and improved it in all the right places, so the K20D is more of an upgrade than a new design. We got our hands on one of the first production units, and after running it through the Pop Photo Lab and field tests, found five reasons why this camera promises to be a big hit. ...

Will all of these new capabilities, combined with the well-proven aspects of the K10D, be enough for the K20D to challenge the Canon EOS 40D? We think so, except at the upper ISO limits and in extremely low-light AF challenges. The price is competitive with - or even below - DSLRs in the nearby 12MP class, and it's built to outlast most lower-cost models. ..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
CNET Labs -----  05-30-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "In case you haven't been paying close attention to the digital SLR market lately, there's been a shift toward CMOS sensors. Though Pentax has stuck with CCD for its entry-level K200D SLR, they have moved to a 14.6-megapixel CMOS chip in their new flagship K20D. That puts it ahead of some more expensive models in terms of pixel count. Notably, Canon's similarly priced EOS 40D sports a 10.1MP sensor, Sony's Alpha DSLR-A700 includes a 12.24MP chip, and even Nikon's pricier D300 checks in at 12.3 megapixels. ...

... Overall, the K20D is a very good camera for the price. Pentax users looking to step up should feel comfortable doing so. If you're brand agnostic and looking for a solid midrange SLR, the K20D is a safe bet. It has an extra stop of sensitivity compared with the Canon EOS 40D, which tops out at ISO 3,200 compared with the K20D's ISO 6,400. ..."

Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
DPReview -----  06-19-08 Read Full Review
Hands-on Preview (Summary): "... The stand-out feature of the K20D is undoubtedly its 14.6MP CMOS sensor, co-developed with the giant South-Korean conglomerate Samsung. The companies claim the design reduces the amount of circuitry around each photosite, offering a similar light-sensitive area, per pixel, to a 12MP chip of conventional design. The other major change is the addition of a live-view mode that provides a zoomable, live preview directly from the imaging sensor. ..."
Web Site Review Score Date Added Go To Review
Photography Blog -----  04-29-08 Read Full Review
Review (Summary): "... As it's aimed at the more experienced digital SLR owner, the K20D is a complex camera in terms of functionality and the number of external controls that it offers, with around 22 in total and some of them having more than one function. Despite the presence of so many buttons and switches, the Pentax K20D doesn't feel overly cluttered or intimidating and it quickly becomes second-nature to use.

... The new 14.6 megapixel Samsung CMOS sensor manages the tricky feat of offering comparable image quality to the 10 megapixel sensor in the K10D, whilst obviously increasing the image size and allowing you to create bigger prints from the native file. The quality between the two cameras is very similar when comparing the ISO speeds - both produce noise-free images from ISO 100-800 and both start to suffer at 1600, and on the new K20D, the highest settings of 3200 and 6400. ..."

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