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Pentax *ist D

By dpreview staff on Feb 26, 2003 at 15:45 GMT

Pre-PMA 2003: Pentax has today announced the world's smallest and lightest digital SLR. The new *ist D is based on the *ist 35 mm film camera which was announced this time last week. The *ist D measures just 129 x 95 x 60 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.3 in) and weighs 510 g (18 oz). The camera has a 6.1 megapixel 23.5 x 15.7 mm sensor (identical size to the D100) which equates to a 1.5x field of view crop. It's compatible with K, KA, KAF and KAF2 mount lenses and 645 / 67 lenses with an adapter. It has a sixteen segment metering system, eleven point AF sensor and continuous shooting rate of 2.7 frames per second. Pentax has also announced a new 18 - 35 mm lens to complement the *ist D. Picture shown here is of the 35 mm *ist, pictures of the digital *ist D to follow. UPDATED: New official pictures added.

Press Release:

The New PENTAX Lens-Interchangeable Digital SLR Camera

Sample to be displayed at PMA, CeBIT, and PHOTOEXPO, spring 2003

PENTAX Corporation has successfully developed a lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera - an innovation that delivers the clarity of 6.1 effective megapixels and satisfies the requirements of various kinds of users. This new advance will be showcased at PMA 2003* (the largest exhibition for photographic equipment in the US), at CeBIT 2003** (the largest exhibition for IT-related products in Europe), and at PHOTOEXPO 2003*** (one of Japan's most comprehensive photographic fairs).

Product outline

Product name : PENTAX *ist D
Expected launch : June/July 2003

Major features

1) 6.1 effective megapixels

Employing a high-performance CCD with dimensions of 23.5mm x 15.7mm and embracing unique image processing technology, the *ist D achieves impressive 6.1 effective megapixel resolution for the recording of precise, superior quality images.

2) The world's smallest, lightest body*

The architecture of the *ist D has been specially designed to combine the utmost in compact dimensions with surprisingly light weight. Indeed, with dimensions of just 129mm (5.0") x 95mm (3.7") x 60mm (2.3") (width x height x depth) and a weight of just 510g (18 oz.) (not including batteries), the *ist D is the smallest, lightest lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera available.3) A wide range of compatible PENTAX lenses for flexible shooting
A wide range of compatible PENTAX lenses are available for use with the *ist D, allowing the user to compose satisfying scenes regardless of the type of subject.*

*Compatible lenses: K, KA, KAF, and KAF2 mount lenses; screw mount lenses, 645, and 67 series lenses (adapter required). Some functions may not activate depending on the choice of lens.

4) New pentaprism viewfinder

An optical pentaprism viewfinder was developed especially for the *ist D. This makes viewing easy with an ample 95% field of view and 0.95X magnification. There is also a superimposed display function which assists composition by illuminating the AF points in red.

5) Other features

  • New 16-segment metering system achieves more accurate exposure
  • New 11-point AF sensor (SAFOX VIII) realizes enhanced focusing
  • Fast 1/4000 sec. shutter speed and high-speed flash sync at 1/150 sec.
  • Continuous shooting at approx. 2.7 fps
  • 2-dial system separates aperture and shutter speed settings
  • With individual dials for shutter and aperture selection, Hyper program makes it easy to switch between Shutter-Priority AE and Aperture-Priority AE.
  • Hyper manual let you achieve the proper exposure with simple button operation.
  • Custom function allows functionality to be tuned to satisfy user preferences
  • Noise reduction function activates for long exposures
  • Compatible with MicroDrive� and CompactFlash� Type I/II
  • Compatible with widely available AA batteries (4 of) or CR-V3 lithium-ion batteries (2 of)
  • PC-based camera control and easy data transmission with USB 1.1 compatibility
  • 1.8 inch, 118,000-pixel LCD monitor for easy, high-precision viewing
  • Convenient playback functions, such as nine imageand 12X magnification-display
  • Choice of JPEG, TIFF and RAW recording formats
  • Comes complete with software compatible with RAW format data
  • Special battery grip (expected to go on sale at the same time as the *ist D)

Interchangeable lenses

PENTAX also presents a new wide angle lens for 35mm AF SLR cameras, which will also be displayed at PMA 2003, CeBIT 2003, and PHOTOEXPO 2003 together with the *ist D. Its structure is comprised of 12 elements in 10 groups and it has a focal length equivalent to 28-54mm in 35mm format when used with the *ist D.

Product name : smc PENTAX-FA J Zoom 18-35mm F4-5.6 AL
Expected launch : June/July 2003 (same as that of the *ist D)

In its quest for ever higher performance combined with compact dimensions, PENTAX has been developing lenses compatible with the new PENTAX digital SLR camera. PENTAX aims to launch these in fall 2003.

Note: Specifications and capabilities may be changed without notice.

* As of February 27, 2003. Based on test model specifications.

More Pictures

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