Pentax K20D

Released January, 2008
New: K-30 (Jun, 2012)
  • 14.5 MP
  • APS-C 23.4 x 15.6 mm CMOS
  • 2.7" LCD
This isn't as much of a problem as over-exposure, and is easily corrected in RAW post-processing, but it really shouldn't be happening on a camera of this quality.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2011)
9.1 Out of 10

Camera Rocket Review Our evaluation of the Pentax K20D

Image Quality

RAW image quality independent of lens

Pentax K20D
Pentax K-5
Nikon D90
DxOMark Low light, DxOMark Color depth and DxOMark Dynamic range


How fast and easily does the camera nail focus

Pentax K20D
Nikon D90
Focus lag, cross type focus points and focus points


How much delay is there between you and your photo?

Pentax K20D
Nikon D90
Focus lag, continuous shooting and Startup delay


What do the experts think?

Pentax K20D
Nikon D90
Reviews from,, and


Camera Rocket Score

Image Quality, Focusing, Responsiveness and Reviews

Pentax K20D
Nikon D90

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Pentax K20D

Low light image quality Highest ISO setting that still achieves great image quality

Pentax K20D
639 ISO
Pentax K-5
1,162 ISO
Pentax K-30
1,129 ISO

Focus lag Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Pentax K20D
174 ms
Pentax K-7
93 ms
Pentax K10D
254 ms

Shutter lag Delay to take a photo when prefocused

Pentax K20D
659 ms
Nikon D300
57 ms
Nikon D90
67 ms

Startup delay Delay from power on to first photo

Pentax K20D
400 ms
Pentax K-30
1,100 ms
Pentax K-5
600 ms

Continuous shooting Delay between fully pressing shutter to image capture

Pentax K20D
3 fps
Pentax K-5
7 fps
Nikon D300
6 fps

Battery life How many photos per battery charge (CIPA)

Pentax K20D
530 photos
Nikon D300
1,000 photos
80 photos

Photo Gallery Wallpaper quality closeups of the camera

Reviews Word on the street for the Pentax K20D

High ISO noise control is very good though, with little sign of noise until 800 ISO, and perfectly usable images at 1600 ISO.

Pentax did upgrade the LCD to a 2.7-inch screen from a 2.5-inch display.

The extra position on the power switch which activates the Live View can also be set to produce a 'digital preview', or a traditional depth of field preview in the viewfinder.


8.8 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight


One of the nice things about Pentax's K lens system is that you can use the vast majority of the lenses the company has made with the K20D.
by c|net (May, 2008)
Pentax has substantially increased its range of DA and DA* 'designed for digital' lenses in recent years.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
These remain when you zoom in, so you can get a clear idea of where detail may have been lost.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)


This system moves the sensor to counter camera movement, where Canon and Nikon systems put the stabilisation mechanism in the lenses.
by TechRadar (Apr, 2008)
It's worth noting that, although the Operating Manual states that all "Noise Reduction is set to Strong when shooting with a sensitivity of ISO 3200 or high, regardless of the setting in the Custom Menu," this doesn't appear to be true.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
What it actually appears to do is to apply standard unsharp masking (using both dark and light halos) at a fairly conservative strength and small radius, producing crisper looking detail without introducing any significant artefacts (though it does have the side effect of sharpening 'noise' at higher ISO settings).
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)

Image quality

Dynamic range performance is outstanding even without the Enhanced Dynamic Range feature, and colour reproduction is as good as ever.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2011)
This is reflected in our image quality score that without these niggles would have been even higher.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
The automatic color balance does a good job of neutralizing colors, though it leaves a slight warm cast when shooting in incandescent lighting.
by c|net (May, 2008)


As a result, the images become much more noisy from ISO 800 upward but retain much greater levels of detail by doing so.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
Even shots at the 3200 ISO maximum are far from hopeless.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2011)
I also noticed some inconsistency in white balance from shot to shot, especially at higher ISO speeds.
by TrustedReviews (Feb, 2011)


The solution - to underexpose slightly and use post-processing to change the curve - will introduce a little extra noise, but this is unlikely to be an issue unless you're making poster prints.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
Likewise, the continuous shooting rate looks pedestrian by contemporary standards, so sports shooters should look elsewhere.
by DPReview (Jun, 2008)
Editors' note: The competitive landscape for this camera has changed since our review, and we've updated the text and ratings to reflect that.
by c|net (May, 2008)

Specifications Full list of technical specs


Megapixels 14.5 MP
Resolution 4672 x 3104
Size APS-C
Area 23.4 x 15.6 mm
Crop factor 1.5x
Pixel size 25.2 microns
Light sensitivity 100 ISO to 3,200 ISO
Light sensitivity (Boost) 3,200 ISO to 6,400 ISO
  1. RAW
  2. JPEG
Self cleaning sensor Yes

focus system

Type Phase detection
Focus points 11
Cross type focus points 9
Supports continuous No


Viewfinder mirror Opaque
Viewfinder Viewfinder
Type Pentaprism
Coverage 95%
Magnification 0.95x
Viewfinder size 0.62x


Max continuous shooting 3 fps
Battery life 530 photos
Continuous shooting 3 fps, JPEG
Focus lag 174 ms
Shutter lag 659 ms
Startup delay 400 ms


Video None


Type LCD
Size 2.7"
Resolution 230 k dots
Has a touch screen No
Has a flip out screen No
Supports live view Yes


Min 30 s
Max 1/4000 s

form factor

Size 142 x 101 x 70 mm
Thickness 70 mm
Weight 800 g
Is weather sealed Yes


Is a smart camera No
Includes a GPS No
Supports HDR No
Automatic panorama No
Create realistic 3D images No
Image stabilization Sensor shift
Report a correction


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