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Pentax *ist DL2

By dpreview staff on Jan 27, 2006 at 17:54 GMT

Pentax has announced a minor upgrade to the *ist DL - but only for users in Asia and Canada. The *ist DL2 offers a couple of extra focus points, a few new scene modes and a couple of bits of silver plastic (where the DL was all-black). Looking at the spec the DL2 appears to be the Pentax version of the Samsung GX-1L, which was half-announced earlier this month along with the GX-1S, and may be an indication of the intention to sell the future cameras as Pentax branded in some markets and Samsung cameras in others (namely Europe and the US).

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Press Release:

PENTAX Introduces the Compact, Lightweight *istDL2 to Deliver Excellent Cost Performance and Simple Operations to Digital SLR Beginners

January 26, 2006 PENTAX Corporation is pleased to announce the marketing of the PENTAX *istDL2 lens-interchangeable digital SLR camera to offer the fun and excitement of high-quality digital SLR photography to many levels of photographers — especially first-time digital SLR users.

Developed as a proud successor to the popular *istDL, this new digital SLR inherits many of its predecessor’s popular features, including a compact, lightweight and easy-to-hold body and a simple, accessible operation system. At the same time, it provides several improvements and additions, such as an increased number of AF sensor points and eight user-friendly Scene Modes.

As a result, it delivers greatly enhanced overall cost performance to its users.
PENTAX believes that the new *istDL2 is an ideal starter camera for many different users around the globe, ranging from photographic novices and family snapshot enthusiasts to current digital-compact and film-SLR users who want to take up digital SLR photograph.

This camera is not available in Europe.

Major Features

1. User-friendly automatic operations

The *istDL2 is equipped with the innovative Auto Picture Mode, which automatically and instantly selects the most appropriate Picture mode from Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro or Action for a given subject or situation to assure the optimum combination of aperture, shutter speed, white balance, saturation, contrast, and sharpness. 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.

2. Simple, accessible operation system

The *istDL2 features a functional, easy-to-access operation system to simplify complicated camera operations. From the large, easy-to-use mode dial and the responsive Av/Tv select dial to the multi-function four-way controller, all switches and dials are designed and laid out for optimum accessibility and maneuverability. Coupled with its ergonomically designed, easy-to-hold grip, it assures smooth, flawless operation at every stage of photography.

3. Auto sensitivity setting

Like many digital compact cameras, the *istDL2 features an “AUTO” position for sensitivity setting. In this position, the camera’s sensitivity is automatically set by the camera, based on such factors as subject brightness and lens focal length, while the user can randomly select the upper limit of sensitivity between the standard output of 400 and 3200. This position is extremely useful to avoid camera shake in poorly lit locations and to prevent sensitivity resetting failures by the photographer.

4. Large 2.5-inch color LCD monitor

The *istDL2 incorporates a large, high-precision 2.5-inch color LCD monitor on its back panel. With approximately 210,000 pixels, this monitor displays recorded images sharply and beautifully for effortless confirmation of focus and composition, even when the original image is enlarged by 12 times using the digital zoom capability. To maximize the benefit of this large monitor, the menus are displayed on-screen with large characters and digits for easy, quick confirmation. The menu screen also provides an optimum color scheme between menu descriptions and background to assure effortless menu reading under all types of lighting conditions.

5. Compact, go-anywhere body

The *istDL2 offers a compact, lightweight body for outstanding portability and maneuverability, thanks to such advanced downsizing technologies as a high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis, 10-layer electronic circuit boards, high-density packaging technology, and mirror-box and shutter units that are designed in perfect proportion to the CCD size. By combining a compact, lightweight penta-mirror with PENTAX-original optics and focusing screen, it provides a large, bright viewfinder image for easy confirmation of the subject’s expression and picture framing.

6. 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 *istDL2 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 “bright” and “natural” to satisfy user preferences.

7. User-friendly guide screen

The *istDL2 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.

8. High-precision 5-point AF system

The *istDL2 incorporates a five-point wide-area AF system (SAFOX VIII with five cross-type sensors) to assure dependable, high-precision autofocusing. Using the five sensors positioned in a cross pattern over the image field (one in the middle, two at sides, and two at top and bottom), this system automatically and unfailingly selects the optimum sensor for a given subject. It also allows the user to fix the AF detection point at the middle sensor. In addition, the *istDL2 offers a choice of two AF modes: Single AF to lock the focus when the shutter release button is half-depressed, and Continuous AF to adjust the focus continuously to the subject’s movement.*
* The AF-mode switching function is available only when the Programmed AE, Shutter-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Metered Manual or Bulb shooting mode is selected. In the Auto Picture Mode, Picture Mode or Scene Mode, either the Single AF or Continuous AF mode is automatically selected by the camera according to the mode in use.

9. Eight Distinctive Scene Modes

The *istDL2 offers eight different Scene Modes (Kids, Pets, Candlelight, Museum, Night Scene, Surf & Snow, Text and Sunset) to simplify camera operations for particular subjects or certain situations. The user can easily and quickly set the most appropriate Scene Mode for a given subject or situation by selecting the corresponding icon on the mode palette displayed on the LCD monitor.

10. Two preview functions

In addition to the conventional optical preview function, which allows the photographer to confirm the depth of field in the viewfinder, the *istDL2 also comes equipped with a new digital preview function, which allows confirmation of not only the depth of field, but also the exposure level, image composition and flash lighting effect, on the LCD monitor.

11 . 1/4000-second high-speed shutter

The *istDL2 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.

12. High-speed 2.8-frame consecutive shooting

The *istDL2 records up to five images (at “best” 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.

13. Compatibility with PENTAX interchangeable lenses

The *istDL2 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.

14. Sporty, fashionable design

The *istDL2 is designed to be sporty and fashionable, with eye-catching silver-colored edges around the shutter release button and LCD data panel on the upper panel, and the LCD monitor and four-way controller on the back panel.

13. Others

  • Eighteen user-programmable custom functions to personalize camera operations to user preferences
  • SD memory card compatibility
  • Storage of recorded images in separate day-by-day files on an SD memory card
  • Versatile three-mode metering system, with a choice of 16-segment multi-pattern metering, center-weighted metering and spot metering.
  • 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
  • Five built-in digital filters (black-and-white, sepia, slim, soft and brightness) for easy processing of recorded images.
  • PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 2.1 RAW-data processing software and PENTAX PHOTO Browser 2.1 browser software included
  • PictBridge compatibility

Pentax *istDL2 specifications

  *istDL2 *istDL
Body material Plastic coating, metal subframe
Sensor • 23.5 x 15.7 mm CCD sensor
• RGB Color Filter Array
• Interline interlaced CCD
• Built-in fixed low-pass filter
• 6.31 million total pixels
• 6.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 3008 x 2000
• 2400 x 1600
• 1536 x 1024
• 3008 x 2008 (RAW)

File formats • RAW (12-bit)
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - 3 levels
Color space • sRGB*
• Adobe RGB*
Lenses • Pentax KAF2, KAF, KA mount lenses
* Power zoom not available
* K mount lenses available with (function limited)
* S mount lenses available with adapter (function limited)
* 67/645 lenses available with adapter (function limited)
FOV crop 1.5x
Focusing • TTL Phase-matching 5-point wide AF system (SAFOX VIII)
• EV 1 to 19 (ISO 200 with 50mm F1.4 lens) detection range
• TTL Phase-matching AF system (3 area)
• EV 1 to 19 (ISO 200 with 50mm F1.4 lens) detection range
• Wide / spot AF
Focus modes • AF-Single
• AF-Continuous (Action mode)
• Manual focus
AF assist Yes, via flash
Shooting modes

• Auto picture mode
• Programmed AE Mode
• Shutter-Priority AE
• Aperture-Priority AE
• Metered Manual
• Bulb
• Picture modes

Picture modes • Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Macro
• Action
• Night scene portrait
• Standard flash-off
• Night Scene
• Surf & Snow
• Text
• Sunset
• Kids
• Pet
• Candlelight
• Museum
• Standard
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Macro
• Action
• Night scene portrait
• Standard flash-off
Metering modes • 16-segment
• Center-Weighted Average
• Spot
Metering range • EV 1 to 21.5 (at ISO 200 with 50 mm / F1.4 lens)
AE Lock • Button (20 sec timer)*
• Half-press shutter release*
AE Bracketing • 3 frames
• 0.3, 0.5 or 1.0 EV steps
Exposure compen. • -/+2.0 EV in 0.5 EV or 0.3 EV steps
Sensitivity

• Auto
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
• ISO 3200

Shutter • Electronically controlled vertical-run focal-plane shutter
Shutter Speed • 30 to 1/4000 sec
• Bulb
Flash X-sync 1/180 sec
Aperture values Depends on lens
DOF preview Digital preview / Optical preview Yes (optical), on power switch
White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent W
• Fluorescent N
• Fluorescent D
• Manual
• Flash

• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Shade
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent W
• Fluorescent N
• Fluorescent D
• Manual
Image parameters • Saturation (-2 to +2)*
• Sharpness (-2 to +2)*
• Contrast (-2 to +2)*
Viewfinder

• Eye-level type fixed penta-mirror finder
• Natural bright-matte II focusing screen
• Magnification approx. x0.85
• 96% frame coverage
• Dioptric adjustment (-2.5 to +1.5)
• Viewfinder info bar

• Eye-level type fixed penta-mirror finder
• Natural bright-matte II focusing screen
• Magnification approx. x0.85
• 95% frame coverage
• Dioptric adjustment (-2.5 to +1.5)
• Viewfinder info bar
Viewfinder info

• Built-in flash status
• Picture mode
• In-focus
• Shutter speed
• Aperture value
• Exposure compensation factor
• Manual WB
• Manual focus
• ISO sensitivity warning
• AE lock
• Focus point indication
• AF frame with superimposed dislpay
• Spot AF frame
• Scene Mode
• AF-C (AF-continuous)

• Built-in flash status
• Picture mode
• In-focus
• Shutter speed
• Aperture value
• Exposure compensation factor
• Manual WB
• Manual focus
• ISO sensitivity warning
• AE lock
• Focus point indication
• AF frame with superimposed display
• Spot AF frame
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 210,000 pixels
Custom function • Default
• Custom (18 functions)
Record review • Off*
• 1 sec*
• 3 sec*
• 5 sec*
Flash • Built-in P-TTL pop-up flash
• Guide number 15.6 (ISO 200/m)
• Angle of coverage 28 mm (35 mm equiv.)
• Flash sync 1/180 sec
• Electronic pop-up
Flash modes • Auto
• Flash on
• Auto & Red-eye reduction
• Flash on & Red-eye reduction
External flash • Hot-shoe
• Wireless sync*
• P-TTL sync
Drive modes • Single shot
• Continuous (2.8 fps, up to 5 JPEG images, 3 RAW images)
Self-timer • 12 sec
• 2 sec
Remote release • Wired (optional)* • InfraRed remote
• Wired (optional)
• Instant or with 3 sec delay
Playback mode • One frame
• Zooming in/out (up to 12x)
• Nine-image
• Slideshow
• Image rotation
• Delete: One-frame-delete, All-frames-delete, Card-format, Protect
Menu languages

• English
• French
• German
• Spanish
• Swedish
• Dutch
• Italian
• Russian
• Korean
• Chinese
• Japanese

Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• Video out
• DC-IN
• Remote terminal*
Video out Selectable NTSC or PAL
Storage SD card
Power • 4 x AA batteries (NiMH rechargeable recommended)
or • 2 x CR-V3
• Optional AC adapter
Firmware User updatable
Dimensions 125 x 93 x 67 mm (4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 in)
Weight (unloaded) 470 g (1 lb)
Weight (loaded) 565 g (1.3 lb) (reduced by approx. 15 g if using CR-V3 batteries)

*spec not available for *istDL2 at time of writing, presumed to be unchanged.

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