1990's Pentax

Pentax Z-20

Pentax Z-20

The Pentax Z-20 is an 35mm camera with autofocus. The shutter speed goes from 30 to 1/2000 of a second and it has a self-timer of up to roughly 12 seconds.

Pentax released the Z-20 in 1993, as a cheap successor to the Pentax Z-1. It wasn’t a well-known or popular camera.

Exposure modes

The camera has all the usual exposure modes, such as AV, TV, Programme and Manual. These are selected and controlled using the dials and buttons on the back, similar to other Pentax cameras.

It also has a viewfinder that is similar to the Pentax Z-1 and a small panel to the right which shows information on the picture settings. There is another larger LCD screen at the top of the camera that shows the mode selected, but this won’t illuminate so you find it’s not useful for night time photography.

Using the Camera

The Pentax Z-20 is quite a small and light camera which makes it a good beginner camera. The controls and layout are clear and fairly intuitive plus, the autofocus works well compared to other cameras released around the same time.

It will work with most Pentax lenses but you may lose some features based on which ones you choose. For example, some lenses won’t allow the camera to display the aperture being displayed.

The camera has the hot shoe off center, there are a lot of advantages to this but the placement Pentax has used can make it quite difficult to get to the power switch when an external flash is used.


Like other Pentax cameras, this camera is quite cheap when brought now. It is lightweight and has clear controls so could be a good starter camera for beginners. It uses a wide range of lenses and these can be used on other models if you decide to upgrade later.

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