Pentax showed us a new digital compact SLR camera at the beginning of June 2005. It’s not intended as a successor of the current Pentax *ist DS, but it surely is a digital reflex that looks rather similar to the *ist DS. At first glance you’d even think they are identical except for the larger monitor on the Pentax *ist DL. But there is more to it than that. Pentax will continue its production of the *istDS (for now) and the Pentax *istDL will be available as a cheaper alternative for the *ist DS.
The difference in price is interesting, some 150 euros. This low price makes the Pentax *ist DL the cheapest digital reflex camera for now (August 2005). And the smallest one, because Pentax still is an expert in manufacturing small cameras. The Pentax *istDL SLR also lost some weight compared to the *ist DS. This loss of weight is probably due to replacing the prism for mirrors. Normally the prism is situated inside the viewfinder of a reflex camera, but in the *ist DL digital SLR the light is being diverted to the ocular through mirrors. This technique is also used at the Canon EOS 350D and the Nikon D50. So it might not be a coincidence that these two cameras are the biggest competitors of the Pentax *ist DL digital reflex.