Abstract: Pentax *ist D Digital SLR Preview -Tests - Reviews

Photography - Canon EOS, digital, nature, Canon EOS 20D

Pentax *ist DL Digital SLR

The Pentax *ist DL is a slighly smaller, slightly cheaper version of the Pentax *ist DS which was announced on June 1st 2005. The anticipated release date is August 10th 2005. Most of the camera remains the same as the DS, but there are some differences among which are:

  • The pentaprism is replaced by a pentamirror, giving a somewhat smaller viewfinder (now 0.85x)
  • The LCD is larger (2.5")
  • The DL has 3 AF zones (the DS has 11)
  • The buffer is now 5/3 (Jpeg/Raw) [vs. 8/5 for the DS]
  • The DL has an auto ISO model
  • The DL is 7% lighter (ca. 565g vs. 605g)
  • The DL is about 12% cheaper (ca. $700 vs. ca. $800)
  • The DL has no high speed flash sync
To me it looks like the size and weight (and cost) aren't that much less, but you do lose the large viewfinder which sets the *ist D and DS apart from most of the other DLSRs selling at under $1000 (or even under $1500). You also lose 8 AF zones and get a smaller buffer. I think I'd be tempted to stick the *ist DS if I were in the market for a Pentax DSLR at under $1000. Your mileage may differ of course!

According to Pentax, the DL features the following:

  • Simple, accessible operation, from the multi-function four-way controller to the large, easy-to-use mode dial, all switches and dials are efficiently and functionally positioned.
  • Compact design with high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis Body measures just 4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches. 
  • Large 2.5-inch LCD monitor remains easy to view, even on sunny days. Power saving mode extends battery life.
  • 6.1 megapixel CCD and sophisticated 16-segment multi-pattern metering delivers outstanding image reproduction.
  • Convenient SD media Card storage and High Speed USB 2.0 data transfer.
  • Versatile multi-source power supply operates on AA batteries, 2CR-V3 lithium batteries, or optional AC adapter.



Camera Type: Auto-exposure digital SLR still camera with TTL auto focus and built-in retractable P-TTL auto flash
Effective Pixels: 6.1 megapixels
Sensor: Interline interlace CCD with primary color filter. Size: 23.5mm x 15.7mm Total pixels: 6.31 megapixels
Recorded Pixels: JPEG: [6M]3008x2008 pixels, [4M]2400x1600 pixels, [1.5M]1536x1024 pixels RAW: 3008x2008 pixels
Sensitivity: ISO Auto Manual (200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200)
File Formats: Still: JPEG (Exif 2.21), RAW, DCF (Design rule for Camera File system), DPOF (Digital Print Order Format), PRINT Image Matching III
Quality Levels: Compressed: JPEG-baseline ***Best, **Better and *Good Non-compressed:RAW
Storage Media: SD memory card
Color Composition: Color Depth - 8 bit (JPEG) or 12 bit (RAW) x 3 colors
White Balance: Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light ((W,D,N), Flash, Manual
Lcd Monitor: 2.5 inch, low temperature polysilicon TFT color LCD (low reflection) Approx. 210,000pixels
Lcd Function: Image rotation, slide show, digital filter
Delete Function: Single, all
Video Output: Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats
Interfaces: Type - USB 2.0 high speed; Video Output - Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats
Lens Mount: PENTAX KAF mount compatible with PENTAX KAF2, KAF and KA mount lenses; Power Zoom Function - Not available; K-mount Lenses - usable with restrictions; S-mount Lenses - usable with adapter and restrictions; 67/645 Lenses - usable with adapter and restrictions
Exposure Modes: Program AE, Auto Picture Mode, Picture Mode, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Bulb;
Shutter: Type – Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter; Shutter Speed - 1/4000 - 30 seconds and Bulb
Viewfinder: Penta mirror with Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen; Viewfinder Coverage - 96%; Viewfinder Magnification - 0.85x (with 50mm f1.4 lens, -1-1); Diopter Adjustment - -2.5m-1 to +1.5m-1
Viewfinder Indication: (1) Flash information; (2) Picture mode (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Night scene portrait); (3) In-focus; (4) Shutter speed; (5) Aperture value; (6) Exposure compensation factor; (7) Manual white balance; (8) Manual focus; (9) Sensitivity warning;(10) Auto exposure lock signal; (11) AF.C (AF-continuous
External Lcd: (1) Shutter speed; (2) Aperture value; (3) Flash Information (Auto, Flash-On, Flash-Off, Red-eye reduction); (4) Single frame advance/Continuouse advance; (5) Self-timer; (6) Remote control; (7) Metering Information; (8) Focus point indicator; (9) Auto bracketing; (10) AUTO/ manual white balance information; (11) Battery information; (12) Exposure compensation factor;(13) Exposure frame number
Exposure Meter: TTL open-aperture metering with choice of: 16-segment, Center-weighted & Spot meter; Metering Range – EV1 - EV21.5 (At ISO 200 with 50mm F1.4 lens);
Exposure Compensation: Exposure Compensation - +/-2 EV (1/2 or 1/3 steps)
Auto Bracketing: Auto Bracketing - 3 frames +/-1.5EV (1/2 steps) or +/-1EV (1/3 steps)
Ae Lock: Push button type with approx. 20 sec. timer
Drive Modes: Single-shot, Continuous (2.8 fps), Self-timer (12sec, 2sec), Auto bracketing, Remote Control (0 sec, 3 sec)
Autofocus: TTL phase-matching 3-point autofocus system (SAFOX VIII); Autofocus Modes - AF-Single (with focus lock), AF-Continuous, Manual; Illumination Range - EV1 - EV19 (at ISO 200 with 50mm F1.4 lens)
Built In Flash Rtf: Built-in series-control retractable P-TTL pop-up flash; Operation Modes - Auto, Flash-off, Flash-on, Auto + Red-eye reduction, Flash-on + Red-eye reduction; Guide Number - 15.6 (at ISO 200/m); Angle of View Coverage - 28mm (equivalent to 35mm); Flash Exposure Compensation - +1 to -2 (1/2 steps);
Synchronization: Flash Synchronization - With RTF and via hot shoe; Synchronization Speed - 1/180 sec.
Self Timer: 12 sec., 2 sec.
Remote Control: 0 sec., 3 sec.
Power Source: Four AA (Lithium, Alkaline, and rechargeable NiMH) batteries, or two CR-V3 Lithium batteries (optional AC adapter also available)
Preview: Depth of Field Preview - Via main switch
Dimensions: (W x H x D) - 4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches (125 x 92.5 x 66mm)
Weight: 16.6 oz. (470g) without battery and SD memory card; 19.4 oz. (550g) loaded and ready
Computer System Reqs: Mac Requirements - OS: Mac OS 9.0 or later, standard equipped USB port; PC Requirements - OS: Windows Me, 2000, XP Home edition / Professional, standard equipped USB port
Operating Temperatures: 32 degrees to 104 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees to 40 degrees Celsius)
Time: Modes - dd/mm/yy, mm/dd/yy, yy/mm/dd; World Time - Displays the time in 72 cities (28 time zones)
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