Wednesday, January 23, 2008

K20D Specifications Leaked

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 AF system is the same, i.e., SAFOX VIII, which is outdated and inferior in speed, low light sensitivity, accuracy and continuous tracking performance etc.;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)
Well, if things are to be compared, there are just huge disappointments everywhere again! :-(

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.


Anonymous said... trully are an arrogant need to get out more. If you don't know what you are talking should not talk about will only make you look..more stupid. Just shut up about it for once for your own good.

Anonymous said...

Don't rate a camera before you've seen actual specifications and tried it (or even been released nonetheless). Makes you look like a bigoted, idiotic moron.

1. Don't complain about a samsung produced sensor when you don't even know what it can do. If you actually waited a whole day longer (what an eternity!!!) to see that their photosites are the same size as competitors 12 MP sensors (it's a CMOS too, your favorite). That isn't even mentioning the improved ISO range of up to 6400 (which you complained about) and the better noise control (another thing you complained about) and better dynamic range with a special enhanced DR mode (noticing a pattern yet?). I haven't even mentioned the best's still APS-C!!! Lower lens costs with a sensor rumored to trump even your highly-praised 5D's image quality (of pictures we never see from you). I couldn't think of a better combination.

2. If i'm not mistaken, don't all DSLRs use some form of multi-segment metering. Otherwise they'd all be incorrectly exposed (or in the case of your 5D, overexposed with blown highlights).

3. Sure the continuous shooting is the same but they added a special burst speed just for you, 21 fps! (Can't complain about speed now can ya...huh? huh?)

4. About the LCD, once again you didn't wait for the literature and now you look like a fool. It has 230K dots (dots comprised of R,G,B pixels; i assume you can do the math at least) and what difference does a .3" make when your using the screen with a 32x to check composition? It has a 160* viewable range in both directions (which your 5D doesn't have), who needs a articulated screen with viewable range like that. It's just another thing to break (which you'd probably complain about). The screen's colors can also be calibrated to look true no matter what color light your in (perfect for a measurbator like yourself).

5. While the design of the AF hasn't changed, there have been a few tweaks. For instance, you can turn off the focus double check on AFS so that it takes the picture on the first focus lock (the engineers were listening to you). And in all fairness, i'd rather have a great jump in IQ then a slight increase in AF speed that isn't really needed. Those who rely on AF in tough situations are often those who expect great pictures to be taken for them (sounds familiar).

6. Don't forget all those great features that set the K10D apart. Increased SR, improved dust reduction with a neat little dust alert, innovative modes, weather-sealing (which Canon and Nikon still don't have) and in-camera processing with more filters. O yea, they added AF fine tuning for up to 20 lenses (no more worrying about FF/BF issues!; something you adamantly complained about).

7. 5 new lenses will be released over the next few months. You can't be at least somewhat estatic about that...o wait, your blog is about the gloom and doom of Pentax. I guess the joy of new lenses doesn't fit that.

Altogether, it appears to me at least that this camera is a nice upgrade to the K10D and i wasn't expecting much more. You however were expecting the second coming and then some. Even your blessed Canon can't get everything right everytime (1DMk3 AF!!!), how should you expect Pentax to do it magically overnight.

The point is that nobody expected a whole new camera. Is this camera no less of an upgrade as the 40D was to the 30D? Or what about the D80 to the D70? All the parts of the camera come together to make it a capable and excellent tool, just as a competent photographer (of which, you are not) and the camera together produce great works of art and capture priceless moments for all to remember.

No, the real lack in determination is you.
You lacked the determination to make a fair, unbiased opinion of the K10D.
You lacked the determination to provide us with samples of your so called "tests".
And you lack the determination to even wait for the camera to arrive before making your clearly opinionated, malicious, and derogatory views.

You are, how should I say this...Sad.

Anonymous said...

A living proof dumbass who only has his mouth to run because He can't proof anything else. Yet proving himself as a dumbass.
Sad. I mean very sad.

dosdan said...

I think it very presumptuous to condemn the new models without using them. Similarly, I think it's silly for some to say "I'm ordering one straight away!" without at least taking some shots and waiting for a broad range of reviews to balance out reviewer biases.

For me, it will come down to answering for myself "Do the new models (Pentax or Samsung) strike a price/performance balance that satisfies me". These will always be something better then these new models, (better AF, faster shot rate, better high ISO) but I don't want to spend a lot more to gain a little more. Since I’m not interested in sports photography and I use a lot of manual-focus older lenses, what’s most important to me is the picture quality and I don’t believe that can be determined from reading either the specs or the advertising copy that’s designed to push the right buttons and get me drooling.

Anonymous said...

Why deos a Canon lover doing Pentax review? it's like Gay person is protesting against the Gay marriage.
do a Canon review and see if you can come up with anything nice.

Tom said...

Ricehigh, you're completely right. Pentax has some serious problems that they haven't addressed. They obviously did the wrong thing and put their efforts on image quality. What a foolish thing for a camera company to do.

Anonymous said...

I think your mouth is just huge disappointment. I have never seen or heard somebody whine this much about Pentax. It sounds as if you got turned down by Pentax when you submitted your photos to their gallery? I bet you, Canon may accept you. It sounds like you are good at kissing ass to them.
If you seek acceptance, you need to stop talking about it and do something about it. I really feel sorry for you.

Anonymous said...

Canon does not, Never, had an ultra Sonic sensor cleaner. Only Olympus has the Untra Sonic sensor cleaning technology and it is the BEST for a fact.

"EOS Integrated Cleaning System
The new Rebel XSi DSLR utilizes Canon's EOS Integrated Cleaning system, first introduced on the EOS Rebel XTi camera. The camera's Self-Cleaning Sensor Unit shakes dust particles off of the low-pass filter in front of the sensor. The dust is then trapped by an adhesive along the base, preventing it from causing further nuisance. Cleaning is engaged each time the camera is powered up or shut down or manually through the "clean now" function."

it is the same as the others, Nikon, Sony, Pentax they all use/share the same technology for sensor dust.

Rice High, where do you get the technical information from?? are you creating your own thoughts into facts? are you sick? do you need counseling? I think you should see a doctor. you can't even see the difference from your own world and the real world.

kittykat46 said...

I was (still am) a long time Canon user before I bought my K100D six months back. Canon makes very good equipment, I won't bad mouth them.

Its pointless to stack up Pentax vs. Canon on paper. Market share is more about marketing power than anything else.

K10D and K100D takes excellent photographs, so does the EOS 350D and EOS 450D. They all have their quirks and limitations as well.

By the way, Canon's DIGIC III image processor has its own flaws, which some pixel peepers have written about in other forums.

Just enjoy taking photographs, make the best use of your camera...don't worry too much about its flaws...

Anonymous said...

So are you finally going to sell all your flawed Pentax equipment (I know you don't think all of it is flawed) and go completely Canon (or Nikon or whatever)? For Canon's new DSLR has all you were waiting for. Go on and be happy.

Anonymous said...

I think he is not completely wrong this time. Pentax should have updated the AF and speed FPS. Even the entry level DSLR 450D do more... Many of the +++ provided by the k20d are software updates (or fixes). Considering the high price tag (more than 40D) there is absolutely no way to buy this camera. No comments on lens line up (still no 60-250 ???)

they failed big time to me

Anonymous said...

Hmmm, you're talking about the bad AF system ... how many cross type focusing points does the 450D have? K10D and K20D have 9 plus two linear. And believe me, when you screw the FA 50mm f/1.4 on a K10D you do get better focus abilities in low light. To sum it up, Pentax AF hasn't been a disappointment for me. When I pick up the 400D I get all nervous when I work with the 9 focusing points ... the same with the 40D which has the clumsy joystick to choose the focusing points with ... UGH, I'd hang the guy who thought of that.

And 3FPS is completely enough for me, even though I photograph basketball quite a lot. If you're good enough you can do wonders with 1FPS, why would you want to waste your shutter for bad shots. :)

And I bet that you're going to bitch about image quality on the K20D even if it's going to be better than on the K10D.

If they made ISO 1600 look good on the K20D that's good enough for an upgrade for me.

The 60-250mm is coming for sure and I hope we get a high aperture SDM 300mm+ lens, the 300mm f/4 doesn't cut it for me. The 200mm f/2.8 looks nice tho.

Anonymous said...

Your expectations are out of line with reality. You complain about the backwards compatibility of the K-mount even though current bodies support every lens pentax design for the last 27 years or there about There are issues with the
screw mount lenses which were standards before 1975, and the early K mounts made between 1975 and 1980.

You might mention what your favorite Canon did to their customer base when they switched to AF.

Pentax has thoughtfully put a manual override on the focus system so if you don't like what the AF did you can easily overide it.

While I agree in substance that the k20 is a K10 with a new (and apparently much advanced) sensor.

Is it a clean sheet new design---no, but is it a decent and thoughful upgrade---from all appearances yes. Does it hold a promise of taking materially better photos and a variety of conditions---yes. Does it have all the buttons we dream about, no.

Will it sell well---my estimate is yes, as I believe that cost per megapixle is driving sales of these cameras, and a 14 mp in a pile of camera witih 10 and 12 mp will stand out.

Anonymous said...

" ... which is again the most unsophisticated, low IQ and inaccurate metering ..."

Uhm - how can a metering system have "low IQ". I think that term more correctly refers to you!

AnselAdams said...

Doesn't matter WHAT Pentax would have done with the K20D. This guy would have churned out this drivel anyway, just complaining about different things.

For goodness sake, if you claim you're interested in "photography", spend some time going out and taking some pictures!

Anonymous said...

Whats the fps on your amazing Canon 5D? Yknow, the camera that still costs more now, 2 years after its release, than the Pentax K20D will cost at retail the day it comes out?

Don't know why it would matter, not like you need high fps to take photos of brick walls and test charts, since you don't take photos of anything else.

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