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Pentax K20D | Digital Camera Review | Control
The hand-fit of the Pentax K20D is fine, you have a reassuringly solid grip on it thanks to the big handgrip. The weight is just perfect, not too heavy nor too light. Exactly right actually. For average photography the operation is quite logical and the camera has a small learning curve. The main dial around the shutter release is an excellent spot, in my opinion, and the dials are perfectly within reach of the fingers. The remaining buttons, however, are placed on the camera rather illogically. It took me quite a while to find my way with them.
Pentax K20D | Digital Camera Pentax K20D | Digital Camera
Pentax K20D sensor cleaning
Upon activating the camera, the Pentax K20D will start vibrating. You clearly feel the sensor cleaning starting. You'd almost think it's a finger massage, the way the camera shakes so vigorously. The K20D is ready to shoot immediately. Taking a picture is accompanied by some sounds. Also when focussing. I haven't experienced the sound when USM lenses are being used but I assume they are a lot quieter.

Focussing with the Pentax K20D
Focussing could speed up a little as far as I'm concerned. In itself AF works fine but not really fast. This is the case when using pancakes and the standard lens and with dim light. Moreover, it is hard to see in the viewfinder which focus point is selected. The viewfinder has been enlarged and a lot of information is displayed in it.

Navigation buttons on the Pentax K20D
Just as was the case with its predecessors, the position of the buttons of the Pentax K20D need time to get used to. White balance, image speed, sensitivity and flash settings are found under the Function button that I overlooked all the time. And there are more buttons that are not placed so logically. You have to assume, however, that a certain amount of thought has gone into this. A remake of the layout would be a good thing for this camera, in my opinion. The same applies to the menu. It is too disorderly and not well-structured.

Pentax K20D offers Hyper program
The exposure programs of Pentax are unique. Famous is the Hyper program function which instantly switches to either the Shutter priority or aperture priority mode from the program mode. You are hardly in need of any other program. Pressing the Green button on top of the camera, will return you to the Program mode or the manufacturer's default setting. When shooting in Manual mode, the same button allows the camera to set the correct shutter speed and or aperture for the subject. You can also opt to lock one of these two values by selecting this option in the menu. Truly great! And if you use the AE-L button when shooting in Manual mode you can change the aperture or shutter speed at which the camera adjusts the other value to obtain an identical exposure.

Shutter / Aperture Priority on de Pentax K20D
A plus for the Pentax K20D is the fact that it uses the sensitivity to control the exposure. This option gets overlooked many times, or is used and changed only in emergencies.
The Pentax K20D features, just as its predecessor, sensitivity priority shooting mode, Sv (called Sensitivity Value). You select the sensitivity you want to work in, and the camera will control shutter speed and aperture. As if placing a different film in your camera. Very smart is the shutter/aperture priority (Tav). You select the shutter speed and the aperture, and the camera will control the sensitivity. I myself used this mode quite frequently. This mode has similarities with the way photographers think. I took for granted the fact that the sensitivity sometimes increased highly. I don't mind a bit of noise.

Live View functionality on the Pentax K20D
A completely new addition for Pentax is Live View. It is a glorified version of the digital preview we know from the K10D. Every time when you make a different composition you have to focus all over again. And now, you will find a black screen every time since the mirror has to be folded in before focussing. An AF on the sensor usually works slowly but it would have been nice if the Pentax K20D would offer this possibility. Sony has proven with their Alpha 350 that Live View does not have to be slow. Handy is the fact that you can zoom in on the picture to a large extent if you want to manually focus in Live View.

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