Pentax K20D

Last updated (03 February’12):
Review & Sample Photos @ ImagingResource

The Pentax K20D (announced 23 Jan’08) is the successor to the K10d featuring 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor, built-in Shake Reduction, Custom Image modes, with six preset options, offer superior control of how the PRIME processor develops images, Weather and dust resistant body, Dust Reduction and Dust Alert, advanced 16-segment metering and 11-point AF, with 9 cross sensors, and a 2.7 inch high resolution, wide view LCD monitor.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Expert Reviews

Pentax K20D Reviews

ImagingResource reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“noise isn’t a practical factor until ISO 800, edges are well-preserved, and even at ISO 1,600 8×10-inch prints are excellent. .. When used properly the Pentax K20D can produce excellent images, making it easy to declare it a Dave’s Pick.”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyReview reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“The K20D is a joy to use. From its spirited (yet pretty loud) auto focus to its awesome menu system and custom features, the K20D leaves very little for a professional to be desired… It has impressed me much more than irritated me and for that, makes a very solid design. ”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PCWorld reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“The K20D delivered very good image quality overall in the PC World Test Center’s digital camera tests. Even so, the competition–including models from Canon, Nikon, and Olympus–outperformed this Pentax.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

LetsGoDigital reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“The Pentax K20D does deliver outstanding pictures. I have no remarks up to and including ISO 400, higher than ISO 400 noise plays a bigger role. The dynamic range is beautiful, colour reproduction is pleasant and a lot can be gained using RAW…”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DCRP reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“Camera performance was very good in most respects. By default, the camera doesn’t shake off dust at startup, so the K20D is ready to go as soon as you flip the power switch. If you do choose to use the dust removal feature at startup, the delay is only about half a second.”
Rating: N/A

ComputerActive reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“Good points: Tank-like build; water and dust resistance; clear, easy-to-navigate menu screens and control layout; built-in anti shake. Bad Points: Expensive for anyone trading up from a compact camera; continuous capture speed could be faster and screen bigger. Overall: Solid model with high pixel count and feature set that ticks most of the boxes for enthusiasts”
Rating: ★★★★☆

ThinkCamera reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“mages at ISO100-200 are perfectly clean and clear, 400-800 workable, 1600 workable at a push.. All in all, the Pentax K20D is a decent camera with enough features to keep top-end enthusiasts, travel photographers and possibly even some pros happy.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

RegHardware reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“The image colours, though, are splendid and vibrant, and the blacks are the way we like our blacks: nice and black…A great camera for the serious snapper. Members of the point-and-click brigade need not apply.”
Rating: ★★★★½

InfoSync reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
” the K20D’s noise management is excellent, despite its megapixel density. Noise is irrelevant through ISO-200 and only just becomes visible at 400. Some distortion is apparent at 800 and 1600, but even 3200 remains perfectly usable and is, without a doubt, the best ISO-3200 we’ve yet seen..”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CNET reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“The good: Impressive performance, 14 megapixels at a relatively low price; weather sealed; nice control layout; wireless flash control. The bad: Slightly inaccurate colors; shake reduction could be more effective. The bottom line: Pentax’s 14MP K20D is a great choice for a midlevel SLR and offers a lot of bang for the buck.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

GoodGearGuide reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“It produces some of the crispest, sharpest pictures of any camera in its class. It also has a stack of features, including live view and sensor-based stabilisation. Some users will want a faster burst mode or better live view implementation. Nonetheless, this is a great option for enthusiasts.”
Rating: ★★★★½

CameraLabs reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“we can easily recommend the K20D, but its relatively high price, disappointing Live View, tendency to underexpose and uncomfortable positioning rules out our Highly Recommended award.”

Rating: ★★★★½

PhotographyBlog reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“This camera produces noise-free images at ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 800, with significant levels of noise first appearing at ISO 1600. The fastest speeds of 3200 and 6400 are undoubtedly noisy but still useable..Overall a great performance by the K20D.”
Rating: ★★★★½

TrustedReviews reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“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 K20D is a very accomplished camera and exceptional value for money.”
Rating: ★★★★½

NeoCamera reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“The bottom line is that the K20D has one of the most complete feature set of any DSLR. It brings some unique features and exposure modes into a very thoughtful and ergonomic design. Plus, since image quality and performance are great, there is no doubt the K20D is a worthy digital SLR.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PhotoReview reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“The pop-up flash performed as well as the flash on the K10D and provided good and even exposures throughout the test camera’s ISO range. Long exposures at night were relatively free of colour noise up to ISO 800 but noise increased visibly thereafter. At ISO 6400, noise was quite obvious, although no stuck pixels were found.”
Rating: ★★★★½

PopPhoto reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“In noise or color accuracy tests, however, the K20D doesn’t outclass the Nikon D300, especially at ISO 3200 and 6400, or when shooting JPEGs at any ISO. At ISO 1600 it earns a Moderate noise rating, but thanks to its high resolution and Excellent color accuracy at that ISO, it still qualifies for an Excellent image quality rating from ISO 100 to ISO 1600..”
Rating: N/A

DCI has a preview of the Pentax K20D and writes;
“It is the best option for photographers who have bags of old Pentax lenses laying around and otherwise won’t be able to use them. But if you’re buying a DSLR for the first time, you might be better off with a cheaper model like the new Digital Rebel XSi.”
Rating: N/A

PopPhoto has a preview of the Pentax K20D and writes;
“The camera is fun to use, without being intimidating and it’s backlog of compatible lenses will prove to be useful to existing Pentax users. On the downside, the inaccurate metering is a disappointment, though easily remedied by anyone with a basic understanding of the principles of exposure, but it really should be better.”
Rating: N/A

TrustedReviews has a preview of the Pentax K20D and writes;
“The camera is fun to use, without being intimidating and it’s backlog of compatible lenses will prove to be useful to existing Pentax users. On the downside, the inaccurate metering is a disappointment, though easily remedied by anyone with a basic understanding of the principles of exposure, but it really should be better.”
Rating: N/A

ePhotozine reviews the Pentax K20D and writes;
“All the time I used the camera, it felt sturdy and even in the desert, I knew I wasn’t going to have too much trouble…If you need a DSLR with 14Mp, dust alert features and good anti-camera shake, then the K20D is definitely a camera to look at.”
Rating: ★★★★½


Pentax K20D Samples

Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital
Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ DCRP
Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ RegHardware
Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ InfoSync
Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ NeoCamera
Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ PopPhoto
Pentax K20D Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
Pentax K20D Sample Photo @ ISO 3200


Pentax K20D Firmware

– Download Firmware Update Software Version 1.01 for K20D for PC
– Download Firmware Update Software Version 1.01 for K20D for Mac
– Updating your K20D Firmware Manual


Pentax K20D User Manual (PDF)

Click to view or right click and select Save Target As..(Firefox) or Save link as.. (IE) to download

– Coming soon..

Press Release

Pentax K20D Press Release

PENTAX K20D: A High-Performance Lens-Interchangeable Digital SLR Camera for Truly Demanding Photo Enthusiasts

PENTAX Corporation is pleased to introduce the PENTAX K20D lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera. This medium-class model offers superb image quality, an array of advanced features and outstanding reliability and operability to meet the specialized and exacting demands of photo enthusiasts, including advanced amateurs. It incorporates a newly developed image sensor to bring out the optimum performance of PENTAX interchangeable lenses, while offering the features and functions needed to maximize the pleasure and excitement of digital photography.

The K20D’s development was based on the popular PENTAX K10D, which not only attracted great interest and high acclaim from users around the world, but also swept prestigious camera awards across the globe in 2007.

The new CMOS image sensor, exclusively developed for K20D, is designed to optimize the performance of PENTAX interchangeable lenses. Featuring approximately 14.6 effective megapixels and the latest noise-reduction technology, it assures superb image quality a step above its predecessors.

The K20D also offers an array of advanced features and user-friendly functions, including: a new Custom Image function that lets the user select or adjust the image’s finishing touches to their preference; an upgraded, more reliable SR (Shake Reduction) system; a comprehensive Dust Removal system; a multi-mode exposure system for faithful reproduction of the photographer’s creative intentions; and a dependable dust-proof, water-resistant body construction. As a result, the K20D easily meets the diversified, exacting demands of discerning photographers.
Major Features

1. High-quality image reproduction

■ Newly developed CMOS image sensor:
The K20D features a newly developed CMOS (complementary metal oxide silicon) image sensor measuring 23.4 mm x 15.6 mm. After a thorough review of previous image sensors, PENTAX greatly reduced the area of circuitry around the pixel field to expand the light-sensitive area, while narrowing the camera’ depth to nearly 60%, it achieved overall downsizing. Since it can detect diagonal light with great accuracy, the sensor can bring out the optimum performance of PENTAX interchangeable lenses. It also keeps annoying digital noise to a minimum by automatically raising its own sensitivity, allowing to increase the sensitivity from ISO 100 to the highest level of ISO 6400 (via a custom function).

■ Approximately 14.6 effective megapixels for true-to-life, rich-gradation images:
The K20D’s new CMOS sensor features an approximately 14.6 effective megapixels. Coupled with a high-performance imaging engine incorporating PENTAX-original image-processing technologies programmed to yield natural, true-to-life descriptions, it assures fine-detailed, rich-gradation images. In addition, the K20D features a new Custom Image function, which lets the photographer select one of six finishing touches to reflect his or her creative intentions with great ease.

■ High-performance, high-speed PRIME imaging engine:
The K20D incorporates the PENTAX-original PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) as its imaging engine. Designed exclusively for PENTAX digital SLR cameras, it assures well-balanced, true-to-life images with faithful color reproduction by efficiently controlling digital signals transmitted by the CMOS image sensor and other photographic factors, including white balance. This imaging engine also features a DDR2 (Double Data Rate 2) memory to assure speedy image processing and high-speed data transfer.

2. PENTAX-original SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism assuring greater reliability

The K20D is equipped with the PENTAX-developed SR (Shake Reduction) mechanism, which effectively reduces camera shake for sharp, blur-free images even under demanding shooting conditions, such as when using a telephoto lens, shooting in the dark or at night without supplementary flash illumination, or using extended exposures for sunset scenes. This innovative mechanism offers an outstanding compensation effect equivalent to approximately 2.5 to 4 shutter-speed steps. In addition, the lighter image sensor unit and refined data-control algorithm realize further image stabilization. Since it does not require special anti-shake lenses, this extends outstanding shake-reduction benefits to nearly all 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.

3. New Live View function
The K20D features a new Live View function, which allows the user to view the image on the LCD monitor on the camera’s back panel during shooting. This comes handy when the photographer must move his or her eye from the viewfinder in specialized applications, such as low- and high-angle compositions. This function also allows the user to confirm the shake-reduction effect on the monitor during the shooting.

4. Expanded Dynamic Range function
The K20D has added a dynamic-range expansion function, which allows the user to expand a dynamic range (or a 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.

5. Comprehensive Dust Removal system, including prevention, removal and confirmation devices
The K20D features the user-friendly Dust Removal (DR) system to prevent dust from sticking to the surface of the CMOS image sensor (or low-pass filter). Applied to the image sensor surface through the vapor deposition of a fluorine compound, the PENTAX-original SP (Super Protect) coating effectively removes dust and stains from the surface. In the next step, dust that still remains on the surface will be shaken off when the SR system shifts the image sensor at high speed. Finally, the dust that is shaken off the image sensor will fall onto an adhesive sheet positioned at the bottom of the SR unit, eliminating any possibility of its returning to the image sensor surface. This upgraded DR system even offers a new Dust Alert function, which allows the user to confirm the dust-adhesion status of the image sensor in advance.

6. Custom Image function for easy creation of intended images
The K20D is equipped with a new Custom Image function that lets the users select one of the six modes and adjust the image’s finishing touches to their presence. Allowing a minor adjustment of tone, saturation, contrast, and sharpness, this function enables the user to take photographs with their intend image. The user easily operates the selection and adjustment process by recording a preview images and checking the effect.

7. Versatile exposure system for faithful reproduction of creative intentions

■ Hyper Program function:
The K20D’s Hyper Program function allows the user to instantly switch to the Shutter- 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, a single 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, which is 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 permitting 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. It allows the user to experiment with a greater range of photographic expressions with great ease.

8. Bright, clear viewfinder
Featuring a glass pentaprism, the K20D’s viewfinder offers an approximately 95-percent field of view and an approximately 0.95-times 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.

9. Dust-proof, water-resistant construction
The K20D boasts an extremely reliable dust-proof, water-resistant construction, with special seals applied to 74 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.

10. 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 per second. When switched to the new high-speed advance mode, the user can take 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.

11. Large 2.7-inch wide-view LCD monitor
The K20D features a large 2.7-inch color LCD monitor with approximately 230,000 dots on its back panel. Its wide-view design allows the photographer to check 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.

12. High-precision 11-point wide-frame AF
The K20D’s sophisticated SAFOX VIII autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) 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.

13. Powerful rechargeable batteries
The K20D features new, large capacity lithium-ion rechargeable batteries, which can capture approximately 740 images***, approximately 50% more compared with conventional one, when fully recharged. Drastic improvement of battery capacity is realized with through energy saving design.

*** Under testing condition prescribed by PENTAX, when using D-LI50 lithium-ion rechargeable batteries with no flash

14. Other features

* 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 (new feature)
* RAW button for single-action image-file switching
* Digital Preview for recording images in addition to checking
* 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

One Response to “Pentax K20D”

  1. darelo says:

    Pentax K20d is the best and has the most functions in DSLR market at present but maybe K30D will be better who knows.. as far as i know ever since i got the K20D on hand i almost forgotten my K10D, K100D, MZ50 It’s like you’re not gonna leave home w/o K20D. Versatility of this DSLR makes this on the top of any photographer’s list. When this baby is team up with limited lenses… Only the pentax users can judge the result coz they know what that means..

    Hurray PENTAX !!!

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