Right before the widely rumoured embargo removal date of January 24, the Russian Pentax distributor has already published the "official" specifications of the K20D in their website, linked below:-
So, despite all the hypes, unsubstantiated imaginations or even hoaxes which have been floating around on the net in recent one to two months, the K20D is just essentially a K10D with a new Samsung (14.6M) sensor with LiveView capability, which is indeed rather disappointed afterall. Unless the specs still don't tell us the "secret weapons" (if any), we get no new stuff and enhancement at all in this "new" body, say:-
1. AF system is the same, i.e., SAFOX VIII, which is outdated and inferior in speed, low light sensitivity, accuracy and continuous tracking performance etc.;
2. Multi-segment metering is yet the dinosaur age old film *ist SLR type and design, which is again the most unsophisticated, low IQ and inaccurate metering in the DSLR field, amongst all other DSLR systems;
3. RAW is still 12-bit;
4. Continuous shooting rate and buffer size is the same, i.e., 3 frames per second and up to 9 RAW files maximum in a stream. The image size is now increased, though;
5. LCD monitor is of low resolution at 230k pixels (counting all R, G and B ones?) and of a small size less than 3" (just 2.7" - not much bigger than the 2.5" mon which the Pentax *ist DL had a few years ago, which was the biggest at its time). I just wish to ask: how difficult to include an at least 3" LCD monitor? Well, unless this LCD is twistable and rotatable, it just doesn't make any sense at all.
So, does the almost standard DSLR feature of LiveView but the ever highest pixel count packed in a rather small APS-C sensor can make a miracle to save Pentax and Samsung or even help them to get more market share? Probably Nope if you ask me! Frankly, who cares about the extra pixel count if all other more important and most basic features plus camera performance aspects are falling behind? (I have been hoping Pentax could improve but I'm afraid many of us will be disappointed again! Very likely..)
BTW, all the above are indeed under expectation since the feature list of the Samsung GX-20 was leaked a few days ago. I just wish to repeat that unless there are still some "secret weapons" which have not been mentioned yet (possibly no more major stuff anyway - as they should be there in the specs if any), the K20D is really a huge disappointment to many of us. Anyway, we should know within 24 hours if the embargo removal date is true, and if an announcement will be made first in Japan or in the Pacific region.
Lastly, for existing newer Pentax DSLR users, who will actually be much willing to invest in such an "upgrade" if the specs are true and for such a "new" body, especially for the current K body owners? In the Pentax land, WHEN shall we be able to see and get a true upper-market DSLR with more updated and advanced features and most importantly, better camera reliability and performance which the DSLR market leaders, namely Canon and Nikon, have?? Why CAN'T Pentax upkeep their DSLRs with a more updated design particularly for the designs of AE and AF systems used in their DSLRs??? Putting aside their limited capabilities and resources in R&D, a trivial reason comes to my mind immediately, as usual and again, is: "They simply don't listen"!
With the lack of true determination which I could never see with Pentax (and now Hoya), again the K20D yet again just look like another primitive entry level DSLR model in the market. Sad.
Update (January 24): As we all know, Pentax have made the official announcement for the K20D and the K200D today. Despite that there have been a lot of false information, imaginations, untrue rumours or even hoaxes out there during the months about the cameras, I have been able to successfully filter out all these junks and reported only the correct information about the two new bodies, here. :-)
But then it should be noted that Canon have also announced the EOS 450D/XSi today, which just have all the new features which I wished (and imagined) to see with the K20D or the K200D (but neither both have most of these newly offered updated features and enhancements of the 450D):-
So, how are the K20D and the K200D compared to the cheaply priced "entry level" Canon 450D actually? Here are some of the listed new features of the 450D (and how the more expensive K20D and similar priced K200D compares):-
The EOS 450D features:
- 12.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor (K200D has less pixels whilst the K20D has more)
- Canon’s EOS Integrated Cleaning System (It is an ultrasonic one which has been proven to be more effective whilst the Pentax or the Sony's "shaking off the dust by the sensor" itself is just a joke! The new Pentax software alert function is another big joke. How are the users be able to do in the *field* when the dust particles are detected??)
- 3.5 frames per second (faster than both K20D and the K200D as specified)
- 3.0” LCD with LiveView shooting (larger than both K20D and the K200D)
- "Quick AF" (flip the mirror up, thus quit LiveView temporarily, and do the AF) and "Live AF" (CMOS image contrast detection AF) in the LiveView mode (only the former method is available for the K20D plus it is yet problematic to use)
- 9-point wide-area AF system with f/2.8 cross-type centre point (Pentax have never produced any DSLR which is optimised for faster lenses for better focusing accuracy! Sad.)
- Picture Style image processing parameters (Yes, now that both K20D and K200D have that, but it's just a setting profile set.)
- DIGIC III image processor (Well, here is the Name of "PRIME")
- 14-bit per colour RAW (Both K20D and K200D stay at the 12-bit level)
- Digital Photo Professional RAW processing software (Now, we have the Photo Lab 3.5)
- Compact and Lightweight body (the K20D is heavy and bulky obviously but the K200D is still considerably larger and heavier than the 450D)
- Fully compatible with all Canon EF and EF-S lenses and EX-series Speedlites (No true compatibility with traditional K-mount lenses nor there are more choices to choose P-TTL compatible flashes which are rare)
Now, the last hope relies on the final Image Quality of the cameras, let's wait and see until the true test reports can see the light and we can see and compare more samples from all the new DSLRs (brand regardless). Yet very fortunately, the initial sample of the K20D shows to be quite good in terms of noise levels and the amount of retained image details, IMO, even at ISO 3200, according to the PopPhoto's initial trial. So, just go there to look yourself! But do also note from the test that the White Balance of the K20D has been found to be not so faithful and accurate as the PopPhoto testers needed to "warm up the pics" for a number of the limited test samples already. Anyway, time will tell and the true end-users will report and tell (not just the brand fanboys!). I shall keep on reporting those user reports later on when they appear.