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Pentax *ist DS Review

March 2005 | By Phil Askey


Review based on a production *ist DS, firmware version 1.01

The Pentax *ist DS digital SLR was announced on 13th September 2004 in the run-up to Photokina 2004. The *ist DS is Pentax's second digital SLR and is aimed at a lower price point than the original *ist D. At the time of writing this review the street price of the *ist DS (body only) is $899 in the US and £699 which is just a little more expensive than the six megapixel Canon EOS 300D (Digital Rebel) and about the same price as the eight megapixel Canon EOS 350D (Digital Rebel XT). The *ist DS continues the *ist D's tradition, being one of the smallest and lightest digital SLR on the market. The *ist DS features a six megapixel CCD sensor and has a Pentax K lens mount which supports K, KA, KAF and KAF2 lenses. Just like the *ist D it is also possible to use screw mount lenses, 645 and 67 series lenses with an adapter.

Pentax *ist DS vs. *ist D (differences)

 

Pentax *ist DS

Pentax *ist D
Image sizes

• 3008 x 2008 (Large)
• 2400 x 1600 (Middle)
• 1536 x 1024 (Small)

• 3008 x 2008 (Large)
• 2400 x 1600 (Middle)
• 1536 x 102 *
• 1152 x 768 *
• 960 x 640 *
* Small size customizable
Image formats • RAW (12-bit)
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - 3 levels
• RAW (12-bit)
• TIFF (8-bit RGB)
• JPEG (EXIF 2.21) - 3 levels
Shooting modes

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

• Auto-exposure with hyper-program
• Programmed AE Mode
• Shutter-Priority AE
• Aperture-Priority AE
• Metered Manual
• Bulb

Picture modes 7 picture modes None
Program lines None • Normal
• Hi-S
• Depth of field
• MTF
Metering range EV 1 to 21.5
(at ISO 200 with 50 mm / F1.4 lens)
EV 0 to 21
(at ISO 200 with 50 mm / F1.4 lens)
Manual WB One preset Three presets
Image parameters • Saturation (-2 to +2)
• Sharpness (-2 to +2)
• Contrast (-2 to +2)
• Saturation (-1 to +1)
• Sharpness (-1 to +1)
• Contrast (-1 to +1)
Viewfinder dioptre -2.5 to +1.5 adjustment -2.0 to +1.0 adjustment
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 display
• Spot AF frame

• Built-in flash status
• In-focus
• Shutter speed
• Aperture value
• AE lock signal
• Exposure compensation factor
• Bar graph
• Focus point indication
• AF frame with superimposed display
• Spot AF frame

LCD monitor • 2.0 " TFT LCD
• 210,000 pixels
• 1.8" TFT LCD
• 118,000 pixels
Flash • Guide number 15.6 (ISO 200/m)
• Angle of coverage 28 mm (equiv.)
• Flash sync 1/180 sec
• Electronic manual / auto release
• Guide number 11 (ISO 100/m)
• Angle of coverage 18 mm
• Flash sync 1/150 sec
• Mechanical manual release
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• Video out
• DC-IN
• Remote terminal
• USB 1.1
• Video out
• DC-IN
• Remote terminal
• PC Sync flash terminal
Mirror lock-up Yes, with self-timer Yes
Continuous 2.8 fps, 8 frames 2.7 fps, 5 frames
User memories One Three
Menu languages 9 languages 6 languages
Storage SD card Compact Flash Type I/II
Dimensions 125 x 93 x 66 mm (4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 in) 129 x 95 x 60 mm (5.0 x 3.7 x 2.3 in)
Weight (inc batt.) 605 g (1.3 lb) 650 g (1.4 lb)


If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2005 Phil Askey and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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