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Compared to...

Studio scene comparison (JPEG)

This is our standard studio scene comparison shot taken from exactly the same tripod position. Lighting: daylight simulation, >98% CRI. Crops are 100%. Ambient temperature was approximately 22°C (~72°F).

Lenses

For comparisons (and the resolution chart) we always use sharp prime lenses stopped down (typically to between F8-F9 and F6.3 to maximize lens performance and depth-of-field). In the case of this comparison we used 50 mm lenses; Pentax 50 mm F1.4, Minolta 50 mm F1.4, Olympus 50 mm F2 Macro and Canon EF 50 mm F1.4.

Before these K20D scenes were shot, we first tested the camera with the Pentax FA 50 mm F1.4 and D-FA 50 mm F2.8 Macro at 0.3EV intervals from F5.0 to F11. There was no perceived difference between the shots at F5.6 and F8 with either lens so, for consistency with previous reviews and across systems, the FA 50mm F1.4 was used at F8.

Pentax K20D vs. Pentax K10D

Here we compare the K20D with its predecessor, the K10D. How much of an advantage does the new 14.6MP Samsung/Pentax sensor actually deliver and to what extent has Pentax addressed the slightly soft JPEG processing of the older model?

  • Pentax K20D: Pentax 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Bright CI), Self-Timer (auto MLU)
     
  • Pentax K10D: Pentax 50 mm F1.4 lens, Aperture Priority, ISO 100
    JPEG Large/Fine, Manual WB, Default Parameters (Natural IS), Self-Timer (auto MLU)
Pentax K20D
Pentax K10D
9.4 MB (4672 x 3104)
2.6 MB (3872 x 2592)

Soft JPEG output was one of the biggest criticisms made of the K10D in our review, and it's something the company appears to have addressed. The K20D defaults (when English is selected as the screen language, at least) to the 'Bright' custom image settings that include sharpness set to +1. The difference, compared to the K10D is stark. Not only does the K20D appear to be capturing much more detail (as you'd hope for a camera with more pixels), but its representing that additional detail much more clearly, thanks to its sharper image output.

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