Pentax K20D

January 23, 2008 | Mark Goldstein | Digital SLR Cameras | Comment |

Pentax K20DThe new Pentax K20D DSLR camera offers 14.6 megapixels, making it the leading semi-professional model in terms of image resolution. The K20D builds on the success of the acclaimed K10D, offering more megapixels, a larger 2.7 inch LCD monitor, Live View mode, ISO 100-6400, Dust Alert System and an X-sync socket for studio flash systems. Other standout features offered by the Pentax K20D include built-in Shake Reduction system, 11-point AF, and support for a large number of older, pre-digital lenses. The 14.6 megapixel CMOS sensor inside the K20D has been developed in a joint-venture with Samsung, who are responsible for the fabrication. The Pentax K20D will be available in March 2008 for £899 / $1299 body only or £999 with the new 18-55mm II kit lens.

Pentax UK Press Release


The new semi-professional digital SLR for the ambitious photographer

The new K20D sets forth to build on the success of the acclaimed K10D which set new standards and established itself as a leading model in its class. A completely new camera concept has been developed for the K20D that clearly raises the standard for this class of digital SLR with its high performance features and extensive functions.

High performance precision
Outwardly it is immediately clear that the K20D meets professional standards with its dust and splash-proof body. At the heart of the camera is a CMOS sensor with an effective resolution of 14.6 megapixels with extremely low noise characteristics. A further new development is Pixel mapping that interpolates failed pixels, avoiding disturbing white spots in the final image. This function is completed automatically by the camera so that annoying and time-consuming retouching can be avoided.

An integrated dust shield prevents dust particles from contaminating the sensor. This is a two-step system that consists of an effective dust-rejecting special coating on the low-pass filter and a function that vibrates to shake the remaining dust off the sensor. The vibration system can be set to work automatically when the camera is switched on or can be activated manually as needed. The dust that is shaken off the image sensor falls onto an adhesive sheet positioned at the bottom of the SR unit, eliminating any possibility of its returning to the image sensor surface. As any such physical system is only effective while in actual use an additional warning system has been integrated. With the “Dust Alert” function a vertically and laterally correct image of the sensor is shown on the monitor to indicate exactly where any stubborn dust particles may be adhering to the sensor.

Professional detailing
Due to demand by photographers and the trade the K20D is equipped with finer compression stages. Now 4 JPEG compression levels are available providing for more highly detailed pictures. Most relevant for those in the know, the camera can store files as JPEG or as RAW or, depending upon user preference, simultaneously as both JPEG and RAW. The RAW selection may be either the Pentax “PEF” standard or the Adobe Photoshop “DNG” format. By pressing the RAW button the file format can easily be changed and the sequence individually specified.

Like the K10D this new top-of-the-range Pentax model features the in-camera opto-magnetic 3D-Sensor image stabilisation system (“Shake Reduction” system). The clear advantage of this system is that there are no restrictions on the choice of lenses. This unique “Shake Reduction” is fully functional with all PENTAX K-mount lenses.

The K20D works with a precision 11-point autofocus system with 9 cross sensors (SAFOX VIII) and the AF is freely adjustable. With the “AF Adjustment” function the focal point can be uniquely optimized for each lens, or, when desired, for all lenses around a freely adjustable, correction factor. Front or back focus problems are now a thing of the past.

The bright pentaprism viewfinder clearly displays a 95% field of view. The focusing screen is replaceable – additional focusing screens are optionally available.

On the large 2.7” monitor with 230,000 dots the resolution of the image quality can be reliably examined. A 32x magnification factor is provided to supplement more critical evaluation of the image. To provide for a better overview the display on the monitor can be divided for thumbnail image displays. Text size can be increased by 150%. The Preview option permits control of picture composition and exposure settings before the shutter is actually released, thus avoiding unnecessary test shots especially for night and series photographs. The K20D digital preview offers a marked improvement over the picture preview of the K10D. Now all photographic parameters can be changed on the basis of the electronic preview and the preview can be stored directly onto the memory card.

One of the most important innovations for SLR cameras is the Live View function, a feature that you know from compact cameras.

Shooting conditions for a working photojournalist are not always optimal: they are often in situations where camera placement can be difficult, necessitating shots from extremely high or low angle. This is where the Live View function comes into its own, replacing the viewfinder. Coupled with the 160° viewing angle of the monitor getting the crucial shot has become easier.

Working photographers fully appreciate monitor calibration as the first important step of the digital workflow. This is where the K20D shows another of its hidden strengths. Not only can the brightness of the monitor be changed but the “LCD Colour Tuning” functions allows the on-screen colour reproduction to be varied through in 49 steps.

The luminous sensitivity of the K20D operates over an extended range of ISO 100 to ISO 6400. The dynamic range has also been extended by a full stop so you now have an additional 2EV to play with. The result; improved details in bright and shaded areas. Additionally the K20D offers five colour profiles and a B&W profile that can be individually adapted. The photographer now has the possibility of adapting the colour characteristic of his images to meet his needs and circumstances exactly.

Summary of the most important features
• 14.6 MP CMOS Sensor
• Fast image processing thanks to PRIME
• Dust Alert System for detecting dust on the sensor
• Pixel mapping
• 14 Bit Digital - Analogue converter
• ISO 100 – ISO 6400
• Dynamic Range Enlargement
• Low noise sensor construction
• Additional noise through the software
• Live View over the high resolution Monitor
• Digital Preview (storable after processing)
• Depth of Field Preview
• Histogram for each channel
• Pentaprism viewfinder
• Shake Reduction 4 EV
• 16 segment metering
• 11 point AF control - 9 cross sensors
• AF adjustment
• Custom Image with 4 colour profiles
• B&W image function
• RAW files in DNG Format - simultaneous RAW + JPEG
• Individual file names can be attached to images
• Interval timer
• X-Sync for studio use
• 3 step sensor cleaning system
• 2.7” Monitor
• Calibratable Monitor
• Text enlargement – up to 150%
• 4 metering programmes (Normal, High Speed, Depth, MTF)
• Bracketing simply by pressing the shutter release
• Programmable control wheel
• Wireless flash control
• Body housing sealed against moisture and dust
• Consecutive shots: unlimited in JPEG, 16 in RAW
• Fast 3fps shooting speed – Burst Mode up to 20 fps
• Auto bracketing for white balance, saturation, colour tone, contrast, focus
• Water and dust protected

Data at a glance
- New 14.6 Megapixel CMOS Sensor with dust protection (Dust Reduction)
- Shake Reduction (SR) of the opto-magnetic 3D-Sensor adds up to 4 stops to handheld shooting
- 11-point AF with 9 Cross-sensors and individual AF-point selection
- Sensitivity ISO 100 – ISO 6400
- 2.7’’ monitor with 230,000 dots
- Pentax KAF2 lens mount
- Free selection of white balance with the auto bracketing function
- 14 Bit DA converter
- File formats: JPEG in 4 compression steps, RAW (DNG or PEF formats selectable)
- Preview Function: Real Time, Optical and Digital Preview
- Optional: Battery Grip, interchangeable focusing screens
- SD and SDHC memory cards
- Dimensions: 141.5 (W) x 101 (H) x 70 (D) mm, 
-    Weight: 715g (without battery or memory card)
- Recommended Retail Price (body only)  £899.99
- Body + 18-55mm lens £ 999.99
- Availability March 2008

Technologically advanced and particularly fast image processing (PRIME), discriminating functions and features, and the in-body Shake Reduction system make the K20D a genuine top class camera for ambitious photographers.  It is durable, compact and easy to use. It has a dust and splash-proof body and is compatible with all Pentax K-mount lenses.

Modifications from previous model (K10D)
• 14.6 Megapixels (effective)
• 2.7’’ Monitor with a resolution of 230,000 dots
• Live View
• Sensitivity ISO 100 to ISO 6400
• Custom Image with 4 colour profiles
• 36 programmable Custom Functions
• X-sync socket for studio flash systems
• Continuous Burst Mode with 20 fps
• Finer steps in JPEG format
• White balance bracketing

Pentax K20D

Pentax K20D

Pentax K20D

Pentax K20D

Pentax K20D

Pentax K20D

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