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Thursday, Jun 02, 2005

Pentax *ist DL Review

Category: Pentax *ist DL

Pentax *ist DLSimple, Affordable, Small Body Features Large LCD Monitor

Carrying on the PENTAX tradition of compact digital bodies with simple operation and outstanding performance, the Pentax *ist DL features a 2.5 inch LCD monitor and the lightest PENTAX digital SLR body at only 16.6 ounces.

The *ist DL is the smallest digital SLR with the largest LCD in its class offered at a very affordable price

Positioned as an addition to the popular PENTAX digital SLR family, the *ist DL is a perfect camera for beginning digital photographers including families and digital users who are ready to step-up from a point-and-shoot, compact digital camera.

Featuring 6.1 effective megapixels and compatibility with most interchangeable PENTAX lenses, the *ist DL will ship in July 2005 with the smc PENTAX DA 18-55mm digital lens for under $800 US.

Extra-large 2.5-inch color LCD monitor
The high-precision 2.5-inch color LCD monitor, with approximately 210,000 pixels, displays recorded images clearly and beautifully, even when the original image is magnified 12 times using the digital zoom capability. The camera also facilitates image confirmation after shooting and menu selection during shooting and editing operations. The menu screen also provides an optimum color scheme between menu descriptions and background to assure easy reading under all types of lighting conditions.

User-friendly automatic operations
Equipped with an innovative Auto Picture mode, the *ist DL automatically selects the most appropriate Picture mode from Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro or Action to ensure optimum combination of aperture, shutter speed, white balance, saturation, contrast, and intensity of edges. In addition, the built-in auto flash automatically pops up in dimly lit or backlit situations. As a result, even first-time digital SLR users can immediately produce high-quality digital images with minimal effort.

Simple, accessible operation system
From the multi-function four-way controller to the responsive electronic Av/Tv dials and the large, easy-to-use mode dial, all switches and dials are positioned on the *ist DL body for flawless fingertip control. The ergonomically designed grip assures firm, comfortable hold of the camera.

Compact, go-anywhere design
The *ist DL features a compact, high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis and a compact, bright viewfinder combining the PENTAX-original penta-mirror and a newly developed focusing screen. Combining other advanced downsizing technologies, such as 10-layer electronic circuit boards and high-density packaging technology, it offers the outstanding portability — as one of the world’s smallest lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras.

High-definition, maximum-gradation images with 6.1 effective megapixels
Thanks to its large, high-performance CCD image sensor (23.5mm by 15.7mm), the *ist DL offers 6.1 effective megapixels. Coupled with PENTAX’s original image processing technology using a high-performance engine, it produces high-definition images rich in gradation and saturation. It also offers a choice of finishing touches between “brightâ€? and “naturalâ€? to satisfy user preferences.

User-friendly guide screen
The *ist DL features a user-friendly, multi-data guide screen, which offers detailed description of shooting modes, displays drive, flash and white balance settings using text and sample photos, and presents a comprehensive list of all camera settings on the large 2.5-inch monitor.

High-precision 16-segment multi-pattern metering
The *ist DL incorporates a sophisticated 16-segment metering system to assure high-precision light measurement, even under complicated lighting conditions. It also offers center-weighted metering and spot metering for specialized applications.

High-accuracy AF sensors
Featuring the advanced SAFOX VIII AF system incorporating three cross-type wide-area AF sensors, the *ist DL automatically selects the most appropriate sensor for a given subject. It also lets the user fix the sensor point on the middle sensor for specific applications. Using the menu screen, the user can select the preferred focus mode between Single AF, which locks the focus hen the shutter release button is half-depressed, and Continuous AF,* which adjusts the focus to the subject’s movement. * This focus mode is available in the Auto Picture and Picture modes, only when the Action mode is selected.

1/4000 second high-speed shutter
The *ist DL incorporates a high-speed shutter unit, with a top speed of 1/4000 second and a top synchronization speed of 1/180 second, to assure greater visual creativity. The bulb setting is also available to accommodate extended exposures at night.

High-speed 2.8-frame consecutive shooting
The *ist DL records up to five images (at “bestâ€? image quality in JPEG format) consecutively at a speed of approximately 2.8 frames per second, allowing the user to capture a series of photos of the subject’s motion.

Compatibility with PENTAX interchangeable lenses
The *ist DL offers the outstanding benefit of lens interchangeability, letting the user take advantage of the wide selection of PENTAX interchangeable lenses for use with diversified subjects and applications.**

** PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount 35mm-format lenses can be used without an adapter or modification. PENTAX screw-mount 35mm-format lenses and PENTAX 645- and 67-system lenses can be used with an adapter. Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

SD memory card compatibility
The *ist DL uses the widely available SD memory card as its storage media, not only assuring high-speed recording and readout of image data, but also helping to reduce the camera body size.

Others
· Eighteen user-programmable custom functions to personalize camera operations to user preferences
· Noise-reduction system to minimize annoying digital noise during extended exposures
· Dual power source, with a choice of two CR-V3 lithium batteries or four AA-size batteries
· Effortless PC data upload via USB 2.0 (HIGH-SPEED) connection
· Functional playback functions, including 12X zoom display and nine-image thumbnail display
· A choice of image format between JPEG (good, better or best) or RAW
· Four digital filters (black-and-white, sepia, slim, and soft-focus in three patterns) for easy post-shooting image processing
· PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 2.1 RAW-data processing software and PENTAX
· PHOTO Browser 2.1 browser software included
· Pictbridge compatibility

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