Pentax *ist D review
Been using film cameras since the 50's as a student. Have owned Leicas, Nikons, Canons, Olympuses. Been using Pentaxes since the late 80s. Had the PZ-1 for 10 years before switching over the *ist D when it first came out. I have always like smaller-sized SLRs and for that reason, been steering away from the Nikons and Canons since Olympus first came out with their OMs. With the advent of auto-focus SLRs, I switched over to Pentax. The *ist D was the smallest DSLR made at the time of its introduction and it is still a joy to use. Ergonomics and user-friendliness is unsurpassed and is a very sophisticated camera. The viewfinder is the brightest amongst its competitors. The camera has dual control dials and is feature-packed. The utilization of AA and CR-V3 batteries render the camera very versatile even when used in remote locales in foreign countries where custom batteries are hard to find. Body is built well and mine survived more than a couple of falls during vigorous use. Must have taken well over 100,000 shots and the camera still operates flawlessly. I now have a K10D and in spite of that, the *ist D still gets used just as much. With one of Pentax's limited edition prime lenses like the 21mm, 31mm or 77mm on this camera and used in manual mode (exposure and focusing with split-image focusing screen), this camera is so small, stealthy and quick that I consider this my Leica-substitute and better than a Leica when it comes to travel and street photography. With Pentax limited prime lenses, the image qualities rivals those taken with Leica systems. Pentax took a bit longer to bring this camera to market initially, but they apparently did everything right when they finally debuted it.