Pentax K20D vs. Sony Alpha A330

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Shake 'n' Bake, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #1
    I've been shopping around for a DSLR for awhile, and it seems I might get one for my birthday in a few months.

    I've narrowed it down to two cameras: the Pentax K20D and the Sony Alpha A330. Both are pretty similar, except the A330 is 10.2 MP and the K20D is 14.6. Either would be a significant upgrade from my current Canon PowerShot A720 IS.

    It really boils down to cost and experience. The A330 is less expensive, and comes with a lens. The K20D does not, but Abe's of Maine has a K20D/18-55mm lens deal for $699, or about the cost of the body alone.

    I read up on Pentax, and they've been doing optics for around a hundred years. I've no clue about Sony.

    I did a spreadsheet earlier and found K20D (Abe's of Maine deal), 55-300mm zoom lens, 50mm macro lens, and bag (or some similar combo) would cost something like $1700. An comparably equipped A330 rang in at around $1400 or so.

    So what do you think?
     
  2. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #2
    I dunno, you're asking this question in mainly a "Canon vs. Nikon" crowd... :eek:

    My sig has my camera recommendations... ;)

    Good luck to you!
     
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #3
    The way to decide to to look to the future. Which company has the lenses and other things (flashes) that you would want to buy this year and over the next several years?

    Look carfully at the lens. If the seller is tossing in some third party cheap lens you don't want it. The difference between two camera bodies is not important. Look at the optics. Lenses make images, the body can only record an image.

    When you are planning the budget figure out what you will buy in the first year or 6 mounts. If you plan right you will have spent about halfthat budget on the SLR body and the other half of lenses and flash and whatever. One sign that you are over spending on the body is that you have to skimp on the lens. Don't In five years you will have replaced the body but you will keep good lenses for decades. That is what you invest in. Bodies are like computers new ones are so much nicers and cheaper that you find yourself upgrading but Lens technology is not moving so fast, 20 year old leses are still good today.

    Pentax does have a long history like Nikon or Canon. Sony bought Minolta's camera bussines but we don't know if they have a long term commitment they tend to drop product lines and move on.
     
  4. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #4
    Good point.

    The Abe's of Maine deal has the Pentax lens. It's the same one I'd buy if I hadn't found the package.

    All Pentax DSLRs are compatible with every Pentax lens ever. Probably not the same story with Sony.

    I would go Canon (my mom's already got an Eos Rebel (the 35mm film)) because we've got lenses, but the CMOS image sensor in the model I was looking at turned me off.
     
  5. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #5
    The K20D is a super camera, and you can do a lot better than that on the price. Amazon has the camera body for $620. Avoid those bundles with lenses and bags because you can almost always do better purchasing exactly what you want individually.

    The beauty of Pentax is that you can use every Pentax-mount lens ever made on any Pentax DSLR, and the camera will be able to meter with it (at the very least). No need for an adapter; any K-mount lens will mount. You'll also have shake reduction for every lens since SR comes in the body. This means you can pick up lenses with top-notch optics for amazingly low prices. Definitely worth considering.
     
  6. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #6
    Just to clarify some things.

    The combo deal with Pentax 18-55mm zoom lens is $699, about the same as the body alone. The A330 comes with an 18-55mm lens by default.

    I picked the other lenses and bags separately, using the ones on the manufacturer's site.

    All the prices except the K20D/18-55mm lens combo are direct-from-the-manufactuer prices, so I could probably do a lot better on both setups.
     
  7. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #7
    The camera debate boils down to camera company vs electronic company and Pentax needs to be considered along with Canon and Nikon. They make a lot of equipment and lenses, including pro-quality lenses. Sigma makes lenses for all major dslr outfits. I'm looking too, and it's down to good body and the best lens I can afford. K20 and XSi are high on my screen.

    Steamie shoots a Pentax K10. You can find his work in Photo of the Day.

    Dale
     
  8. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #8
    That reminds me. Nikon charges some outrageous prices for just-above-average pieces.

    What about Hasselblad? They're probably really expensive.
     
  9. gkarris macrumors 604

    gkarris

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    #9
    Pentax has a special place in my heart - my first camera was a K1000.

    You can use any K mount lens on a Pentax, and you can get some really cool old and classic glass for it.

    This thread has some pics taken with pretty cool old glass (some are K-Mount) that people use on their Canon cameras:

    http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=644277

    Have fun and post pics taken with your new camera.
     
  10. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #10
    Don't forget samsungs two slrs are basically pentax k10d and k20d's. These can offen be found cheaper.
     
  11. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #11
    To me, a Samsung camera is like a Kia car. They're cheap, good quality, etc. But it's not something I'd want to own.

    I'll also be joining in the pic of the day threads. If I do get a camera.

    EDIT: Posted a few. http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=8468609&posted=1#post8468609
     
  12. Phrasikleia macrumors 601

    Phrasikleia

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    #12
    Looking forward to it: the more the merrier! :)
     
  13. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #13
    Does :eek::eek::eek: 30 grand :eek::eek::eek: sound expensive?


    Dale
     
  14. gnd macrumors 6502a

    gnd

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    #14
    I think the biggest feature that K20D has over Sony is the weather sealing. You can get the new weather resistant kit lens, that just got released with the K-7, and your camera will be completely weather sealed, you could use it under the shower.
    K20D is also a camera for a more advanced photographer. It has two control wheels, a second top LCD screen for quick overview of the settings. It also has a lot more buttons for direct camera control. That way you don't need to go into the menus to change often used settings. If you're into HDR you'll like the special bracketing button, which lets you select the number of bracketed shots and exposure difference between them. It also lacks automatic shooting scene modes (like portraits, landscape, sports, fireworks ...)
    But none of this will matter if you don't like the feeling of the camera in your hand. So go to a nearby camera store and try holding both cameras in your hands, see how it feels. If you don't like the ergonomics you won't like using the camera, it will feel distracting.
    As previous posters said one of the nice things about Pentax cameras is the huge variety of old glass that's out there. Every lens ever made for the K-mount will work on the camera and be stabilized. There are a ton of them on ebay for cheap.
    There are quite a few photographers that post to the daily thread that use Pentax; TheReef and Steamie are the first two that come to mind, but I'm sure there are more.
     
  15. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #15
    The K20D is the better camera. That's barely necessary to say. It's a relatively small but full featured and tough camera body.
     
  16. TheReef macrumors 68000

    TheReef

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    #16
    I'd highly recommend the K20D (I have the K10D which is very similar).

    The build quality, feel and ergonomics are excellent imo. It feels solid to hold, not plasticy like some others. It also has a nice large and bright viewfinder with convenient on-body controls. See what feels best for you.

    A good old lens to buy to save money may be a manual focus macro lens (they're quite expensive new), as others say they these too become stabilised.

    I've read the 55-300 is a great lens, there are also alternatives from Sigma which are cheaper but IQ from these lenses aren't as good. - http://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-news-rumors/20765-ben-how-new-55-300-pentax-zoom-2.html

    Most kit lenses can get kinda close to objects for macro, my advice would be to just get the kit lens and perhaps zoom and find which focal lengths and distances you enjoy using most, then take it from there. Manual 50mm primes can be had for very cheap these days for very shallow DOF photography.

    I can't speak for the Sony but the K20D has a very useful lens focus adjustment feature that can be profiled and tuned for different lenses back/front focusing and saves you sending the camera/lenses away to the factory for recallibration.
     
  17. Grasher macrumors member

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    #17
    Sonys are compatible with any Minolta so you're not as limited as you may think.

    Surely the Canon sensor can't be so bad that you'd forego the benefit of already having glass for it?
     
  18. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #18
    Yes, that's more than I thought.

    I think the next step is to go try out the cameras. I could probably do that today. If so, I'll post my findings.

    I think the K20D will feel more solid, as its got a stainless steel frame, whereas the A330 doesn't. I also forgot to say the K20D also has a CMOS image sensor. Now that I've found that out, I'll take another look at Canons.
     
  19. clams macrumors member

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    #19
    Just curious though. What do you find off putting about CMOS sensors? The CMOS sensors in both Pentaxes and Canons are superb
     
  20. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #20
    CMOS sensors are made with just about the same process as microprocessors. It's not an inmgae-sensor specific process, thus lower quality.

    CCD sensors, however, are made on a process specific to image sensors.

    Update on the trial: Mom's not feeling well and Dad's too lazy to take me out, so I suppose we'll try the cameras tomorrow.

    In case you want to fill your knowledge tanks: http://electronics.howstuffworks.com/question362.htm
     
  21. luminosity macrumors 65816

    luminosity

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    #21
    That's crazy. CMOS sensors are in the best 35mm cameras in the world (5D/Mark II, D3/x/700, etc.).
     
  22. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

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    #22
    when was the article you linked to written?

    one of the big things about the pentax k20d was its use of a cmos sensor over the ccd used in the k10d. the process used to manufacture a sensor doesn't matter, your skill as a photographer and the image created does.

    you might want to check out dpreview.com and look at their reviews of the cameras you are interested in--be forewarned you might discover that samsung is the manufacturer of many of the sensors used in the cameras you like.
     
  23. poopyhead macrumors 6502a

    poopyhead

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    #23
    the article you linked to was written 9 years ago, things have changed.

    "What is the difference between CCD and CMOS image sensors in a digital camera?." 01 April 2000. HowStuffWorks.com.
     
  24. clams macrumors member

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    #24
    I also agree with the above posters. This is crazy talk. It's an outdated article. Nikon used to have all CCD, but they're switching to CMOS. All of their top line cameras are CMOS. I think the only one that's CCD is D60. All of the Canon line is CMOS and their image quality is superb.

    I think the only advantage to getting the Pentax would be the fact that it's well built and cheaper than the Canon or Nikon alternatives.

    EDIT: Sorry for being a little harsh. Even if you look at pictures from the first dSLRs, from when this article was written, they are still very good. Just comes to show you that its more the photographer than the camera. Nice glass is important too though if you're an image quality nerd.
     
  25. Shake 'n' Bake thread starter macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

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    #25
    I didn't see a date. If it's nine-years-old, then I don't think it can be trusted; I'll try to find another comparison.
     

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