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Got to have a PENTAX K20D - The World's Most Affordable Enviromentally Sealed DSLR Camera

Updated on March 14, 2016
If DSLR's were cars then the Pentax K20D is a fully armored Tank
If DSLR's were cars then the Pentax K20D is a fully armored Tank
Pentax K20D. A no non-sense DSLR
Pentax K20D. A no non-sense DSLR

A Tank of a Camera

When photographers (amateurs, professionals, wannabees) talk about Digital Single Lens Reflex cameras (DSLRs) it almost always boils down to the top producers like Canon, Sony and Nikon.  All others are left in the dust or the sidelines. But do these "leading" cameras really have what it takes to be a good camera?

Being the best dslr Doesn't always mean the camera with most features, the larger megapixel, the number of sers, the price of the lens, video mode... and all the other fancy stuff. Remember that DSLRs started with film and that things like live view, video... were never though possible. Yet if we compare the images of the old cameras, some of them are way beyond the output of DSLR's.

Now my point it, what does it take to be a very good dslr? Size? Features? Lens? Accessories? Looks? A few weeks back I would have gone for the Canon 500D or the Nikon D90 or anything in between. (Sony's are good.. but I hate their lenses).

Now I found somethingin the Pentax K20D that sets it apart from the rest.  Hear me out.

Pentax K20D is the World's most rugged camera
Pentax K20D is the World's most rugged camera


• Vertical-run focal-plane shutter
• 30 - 1/4000 sec
• 1/3 or 1/2 EV steps
• Flash X-Sync: 1/180 sec
• Bulb

Aperture values

• 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments
• Actual aperture range depends on lens used
• Ability to use lens aperture ring

Preview function

• Live view with magnify option*
• Depth-of-field Optical (lens stopped down)
• Digital (shot taken without saving, previewed on LCD)

White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Shade
• Cloudy
• Fluorescent (Daylight, Neutral, White)
• Tungsten
• Flash
• Manual
• Color temperature (3 memories) - Kelvin or Mired

WB shift

• Blue (-7) To Amber (+7)
• Magenta (-7) to Green (+7)

Color space

• sRGB
• Adobe RGB

Custom image settings

• Bright
• Natural
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Vibrant (All with adjustment for Saturation, Hue, Contrast and Sharpness)
• Monochrome (with adjustment for Filter type, Toning, Contrast and Sharpness)

Image parameters

• Saturation: -3 to +3
• Hue: -3 to +3
• Contrast: -3 to +3
• Sharpness: -3 to +3 (Fine sharpening option)


• Eye-level pentaprism
• 95% frame coverage
• Magnification: 0.95x (with 50 mm F1.4 lens at infinity)
• Dioptre adjustment: -2.5 to +1.5 dioptre
• Natural Bright Matte II focusing screen

Viewfinder info • AF points
• Focus confirmation dot
• Flash ready
• Shutter speed
• Aperture
• E-dial enabled
• AE lock
• Remaining shots/ISO sensitivity (custom function)
• EV compensation
• Flash compensation
• Manual focus
• Shake Reduction
• Metering / EV bar


• Manual release pop-up
• P-TTL with serial control
• Guide number approx 11 (ISO 100)
• FOV coverage up to 18 mm
• Flash sync speed: 1/180 sec
• Flash compensation -2.0 to +1.0 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 EV increments
• ISO range: ISO 100 to 6400

External flash

• Hot shoe with X-contact
• X-Sync socket*
• Designed for Pentax dedicated flashes
• Modes: Auto, Red-eye reduction, High-speed sync, Wireless sync

Shooting modes

• Auto (Green mode)
• Hyper-program (P)
• Sensitivity priority (Sv)
• Shutter priority (Tv)
• Aperture priority (Av)
• Shutter & Aperture priority (TAv)
• Hyper-manual (M)
• Bulb (B)
• Flash X-Sync (X)
• User defined (USER)

Drive modes

• Single
• Continuous Hi: 3 fps, up to 38 Best JPEG frames, 14 images RAW, 16 DNG*
• Continuous Lo: 2.3 fps, JPEG (Best) until card is full
• Burst mode: 21 fps 1.6MB JPEG, 115 frames*
• Self-timer: 2 or 12 sec (automatic mirror-up)
• Remote control: immediate, 3 sec delay

LCD monitor • 2.7 " TFT LCD*
• 230,000 pixels*
• -7 to +7 brightness level adjustment
• Color adjustable, 15 steps G-M, 15 steps A-B*
• 32x zoom playback*

Live view • TTL using imaging sensor*
• 4 or 8x enlargement*
• Grid view*

Instant review

• Off, 1 sec, 3 sec, 5 sec
• Histogram on/off
• Bright / Dark areas on/off

Other features

• Multiple exposure (2 to 9 images, with Auto EV adjust)
• Orientation sensor
• Status LCD illumination

Dimensions 142 x 101 x 70 mm (5.6 x 4.0 x 2.8 in)


• No battery: 715 g (1.6 lb)
• With battery: 800 g (1.7 lb)


• Secure Digital (SD) / Secure Digital HC (SDHC)
• FAT / FAT32

Pentax K20D Specification Highlights

Body build

• High-impact plastic with metal sub-structure
• Dust and weather resistant seals throughout


• 14.6 million effective pixels*
• 15.1 million total pixels*
• 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Built-in low-pass filter
• 3:2 aspect ratio

Shake Reduction

• Sensor-shift system
• Permanent magnets and electronic magnet coils
• Can compensate in x, y direction and rotational

Dust removal

• SP coating
• Dust removal by shaking sensor (using SR unit)
• Dust alert mode to help locate dust*

Image processor

• "14-bit ADC"
• DDR2 buffer RAM

Image sizes

• 4672 x 3104 (14.5 MP)*
• 3872 x 2592 (10.0 MP)
• 3008 x 2000 (6.0 MP)
• 1824 x 1216 (2.2 MP)

Image formats*

• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - Premium* / Best / Better / Good

Lens mount

• Pentax KAF2 bayonet mount
• Pentax KAF3, KAF2, KAF or KA mount lenses
• Pentax K mount lenses with restrictions

FOV crop 1.5x


• 11-point TTL sensor (SAFOX VIII)
• Center 9-points are sensitive to both horiz and vert. detail
• AF working range: -1 to 18 EV (at ISO 100, F1.4 lens)

Focus modes

• AF Single (AF-S)
• AF Continuous (AF-C)
• Manual focus

AF point selection

• Single Area AF
• Dynamic Area AF
• Auto Area AF

AF assist Stroboscopic flash


• 16 segment sensor
• Metering range: EV 0.0 - 21 EV (ISO 100, 50 mm F1.4)

Metering modes

• Multi-segment
• Center-weighted average
• Spot

AE lock

• Button
• Locked for twice the meter operating time or as long as the shutter half-pressed

AE bracketing

• 3 or 5 frames, +/- 0.5, 1.0, 1.5, 2.0 (1/2 EV steps)
• 3 or 5 frames, +/- 0.3, 0.7, 1.0, 1.3, 1.7, 2.0 (1/3 EV steps)

Other bracketing

• White balance
• Sharpness
• Saturation
• Contrast
• Hue

Exposure compen.

• +/- 2.0 EV in 1/3 EV steps
• +/- 3.0 EV in 1/2 EV steps


• Auto (user defined range)
• ISO 100 - 3200 in 1, 0.5 or 0.3EV steps*
• Up to ISO 6400 as a custom function*

Playback rotation

• On
• Off

Playback features

• Single image, no overlay
• Single image, basic overlay
• Single image with histogram (brightness or RGB)
• Single image with detailed shooting info and histogram
• 4 / 9 / 16 image index
• Folder view
• Image magnification up to 32x*
• Optional blinking low- / high-lights
• 2 image compare mode*

Playback retouching

• RAW to JPEG (with parameters)
• Filters: B&W, Sepia, Color, Soft, HDR*. Slim, Brightness

Custom functions 36 functions

Menu languages

• English
• French
• German
• etc

Firmware User upgradable

Battery grip Optional D-BG2


• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• Video out


• Lithium-Ion D-LI50 rechargeable battery (supplied & charger)
• Optional AC adapter

Pentax K20D performs better than it looks.
Pentax K20D performs better than it looks.

The Most Rugged DSLR in the World

Have you ever tried shooting pictures near a waterfall? How about taking shooting during a foggy morning? Were you ever concerned about those teeny weeny droplets of moisture that could invade the privacy of your camera? Well I did. Because a few days from that my digital camera conked out on me and up to this day is still in coma.

With a Pentax K20D... you don't have to worry about anything. This camera is rugged and so solid that it puts to shame all those "top of the line" magnesium based cameras. With a feature like this and those listed above you've got a very nice protected investment.

That does have its own downsides. But it is so well rounded that it compensates for every disadvantage. Professional photographers may laugh at this DSLR but I hate running around in the rain with a Mark 5 or a D300 hanging on my neck.

And id you know that this camera has the ability to use prime lenses from Pentax film SLR's? Do you even realize the advantage of this? These old lenses can compete with any of the new ones and they are way cheaper than those in the market today. It has a special adpater that makes it possible for the Pentax K20D to use the "legendary" Nikkor lenses and some of the lenses of Canon. Now that is like taking a slice from the best manufacturers.

So the next time you're on the market for a new DSLR don't get carried away by the Hype built around the Top brands. Trust me... or when your new DSLR conks out you'll soon realize that this hub will haunt you for the rest of your life.

Pentax K20D - You can shoot rain or shine

Express yourself

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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Misleading title!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      l like this

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      So where's the free camera?

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I want one too.


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