Pentax K20D Memory Card Compatibility

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 25, 2019
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Olympus SD Memory Card Compatibility

The Pentax K20D has a card slot that is compatible with SD cards. SD memory cards with a max size of 32GB are compatible with the K20D.

An error code will be displayed if you try to use an SD card that has a capacity of 64GB or larger. For more storage capacity, you'll need to buy additional cards. The most important specifications to focus on should be the transfer speeds the SD memory card is capable of.

Faster read speeds will reduce the time needed to transfer files, especially if your Pentax K20D gets used frequently. At this time, a UHS-I memory card and a compatible SD memory card reader are the most efficient way to transfer files.

To make sure the memory card will work with as many products in the future as possible, get a top-level SD memory card. This will help you avoid a future situation where you are not able to use a feature on a device, such as recording 4k video, because the card's write speed is not fast enough.

Here is my recommendation for the best SD card for the Pentax K20D:

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB

  • Best SD card available
  • Largest compatible storage capacity.
  • Read speeds of up to 95MB/s.
  • Write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
  • Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.

Best SD Cards

Since the launch of the Pentax K20D, SD card prices have fallen and capacities have become substantially larger. The price difference between the the card that has the fastest transfer speed and a cheap one is surprisingly little. The price is more closely related to storage, with the bigger cards having a higher price.

Paying for the cards with the largest capacity only makes sense if you are going to shoot a huge amount of RAW files for sports, action, event, or wildlife photography. Another contributing factor could be if you intend to replace your camera or use the card in other devices.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro line of memory cards are almost always the best option for most cameras. They are extremely fast cards which gives them the best chance of working with future digital cameras or devices that use SD cards.

PNY Elite Performance And Lexar Professional are other cards that I have also had good experiences with. I have not had pictures or files become inaccessible or lost on these cards. If that situation did happen, all of the manufacturers provide image recovery software.

Issues I have experienced have been with generic SD cards. Having a low price or being a bundled item are the selling points of these cards. Unfortunately, this is also the most common version of SD card to have the wrong product information.

A sticker that claims Class 10 speed is very easy to put on a Class 4 SD card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is bound to be an error message or corrupted images if the card's write speed isn't fast enough.

Storage size controls a large portion of the cost. You'll be better off by getting a card with a smaller capacity to lower cost instead of using a relabeled brand. Read and write speeds are important as they will affect your enjoyment of the Pentax K20D.

Recommended SD Cards

Lexar 633x 23GB UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

Lexar Professional 633X 32GB

  • High-speed, Class 10 performance.
  • UHS-I technology for a read transfer speeds up to 633x (95MB/s).
  • High-speed file transfer from card to computer to dramatically accelerate workflow.

The Lexar Professional comes close to matching the performance to the SanDisk Extreme Pro card when used in the Pentax K20D. The main difference is that the Lexar SD card has a slower write speed.

There can be a difference in price between the Lexar and SanDisk cards. I would not spend more for the Lexar, but also would not have a problem purchasing it if it was much cheaper.

SanDisk Ultra UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Ultra 32GB

  • Good value to save some money.
  • Quick transfer read up to 80MB/s.
  • Class 10 rating for Full HD video (1080p).
  • Waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray Proof, magnet-Proof, and shockproof.

The SanDisk Ultra is a lower tier than the Extreme Pro with respect to performance. Additionally, that comes with a small decrease in price.

You will not start seeing a impact in workflow unless you need to write data that will take up a big part of the memory card's capacity. This isn't the ideal choice if you plan to use the memory card to shoot 4k video one day.

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB

  • Read speeds of up to 95MB/s; write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
  • Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.

Memory Card Reader

UGreen 4-in-1 Card Reader
There's a bright blue LED that bothered me. It is now covered in gaff tape.

The UGreen 4-in-1 memory card reader supports four different types of memory cards. These include all memory cart formats camera manufacturers make use of in all but their latest professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN memory card reader connects over USB 3.0. The card reader's USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer speeds than what the Pentax K20D can reach using the USB transfer mode.

There are overwhelmingly favorable customer reviews for the card reader, which I agree with. It's a good product because the card reader has worked with all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have tried it with.

The cable stops card slots from getting in the way of other accessories or devices that are plugged into a laptop or desktop.

When I searched for a card reader that would be lighter for travel, I needed to send a couple of orders back. I came across the most commonly seen problem mentioned in customer reviews, the memory card readers were not recognized by my computer.

The UGREEN card reader supports the following memory card formats:

  • CompactFlash Cards
  • SD, SDHC, & SDXC Cards (UHS-I supported)
  • Memory Stick (MS), MS Pro, MS PRO-HG, & MS XC DUO
  • MicroSD, Micro SDHC, & Micro SDXC Cards

Pentax K20D SD Card Compatibility

Only SD and SDHC memory cards can be used by the Pentax K20D. For best performance, ensure that your camera has the most recent firmware installed.

SDUC or SDXC cards are unable to be used with the K20D.

Four different types of Secure Digital (SD) cards exist that you need know of. They are divided by storage capacity.

  • Secure Digital (SD) - 128MB to 2GB.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - 4GB to 32GB.
  • Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - 64GB to 2TB.
  • Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) - 4TB to 128TB.

Image Capacity

Olympus SD Memory Card Contacts

Image quality settings on the Pentax K20D will effect the quantity of images will fit on the SD card. Higher image quality options will create bigger image sizes.

If you're planning to shoot hundreds of RAW files, getting a larger storage size card can be a good idea.

If you shoot JPEGs, you would likely be better off purchasing an extra camera battery instead of a larger SD card. An SD memory card that comes with 32GB of space should have enough room for days of images that would require batteries to be recharged several times.

In fact, the limiting factor to how many pictures you can take will likely be your camera batteries. Take into account that, any time the camera is turned on, even if you're just going through menu settings or using the live view, that will still eat away at battery life.

For low light environments, like indoors or at night, the flash built-in to the camera can be useful. Without using the flash, shutter speeds won't be fast enough to prevent motion blur. Utilizing the built-in flash is going to fairly quickly deplete the camera batteries. These environments are when you'll need to own at least a couple of Pentax D-LI50 rechargeable batteries.

The following is an approximation of how many high-quality JPEG images you will be able to store on a card for the provided storage size:

  • 4GB - 1,160 images
  • 8GB - 2,320 images
  • 16GB - 4,640 images
  • 32GB - 9,280 images

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

Speed ratings of an SD memory card is determined by the sequential write and read speeds. The write speed of an SD memory card is essential for video as well as continuous shooting.

A slow card can cause a reduction in the number of continuous photos the Pentax K20D can capture. This is because the camera's buffer is not able to write to the SD card quickly enough.

With video, a slow memory card can cause a sudden end to shooting. The video file could also end up being corrupted. If you intend to capture video, it is essential the SD card you use meets the required continuous write speed for video.

Card read speed is nice to have for transferring files to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, an SD card with a fast read speed will reduce the transfer time.

Speed Class Rating

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class
The 10 inside of the C means the card is Class 10.

The Class rating of a card is based on the sustained write speed. Memory cards that have a write speed of at least 10MB/s are labeled as Class 10.

  • Class 2 - 2MB/s
  • Class 4 - 4MB/s
  • Class 6 - 6MB/s
  • Class 8 - 8MB/s
  • Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster

Every name-brand card that you can purchase today will be rated Class 10. To check the class rating of a card, find a number inside of a C on the label.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

Example of an SD memory card with a UHS-I rating.
The UHS rating of a card can be determined by a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the label of the card.

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus comes in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. UHS memory cards to have increased write speeds.

There are three separate specs. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

To figure out the rating of an SD memory card, look at the front of the card. A Roman numeral I, II, or III on the front of the SD memory card, that is the UHS rating of your memory card.

  • UHS-I - Maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/s
  • UHS-II - Maximum transfer rate of 312 MB/s
  • UHS-III - Maximum transfer rate of 624 MB/s

Related Cameras

If you found you had to choose one, SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro is the best Pentax K20D memory card. You are now also prepared for any future camera you own.

Listed here are more posts on Pentax cameras related to the K20D:

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