Pentax *ist D Review
As you can see the *ist D produced good automatic white balance results in natural light but faired less well in incandescent and fluorescent light. That said the preset setting for outdoor and incandescent light is set well, however we were not able to find a fluorescent setting which produced good results with our fluorescent lamp. As expected manual preset white balance delivered the best result.
Settings: ISO 200, FA 50 mm F1.4 @ F5, Small/
|Outdoors, Auto||Outdoors, Cloudy (or Sunny)||Outdoors, Manual|
|Incandescent, Auto||Incandescent, Incandescent||Incandescent, Manual|
|Fluorescent, Auto||Fluorescent, Fluor 1 (2 or 3)||Fluorescent, Manual|
Overall flash performance was good, using exposure compensation with the flash up doesn't modify the exposure but instead modifies flash output (effectively flash exposure compensation). As you can see from the samples below the camera's TTL flash system was fooled by the light background behind the subject, adding some exposure compensation solved this. The shot of our color patches was well exposed with no color cast and a nice tonal balance.
Settings: ISO 200, FA 50 mm F1.4 @ F5, Large/
|Av, 1/60 sec, F7.1
Underexposed - fooled by light background
|Av, 1/60 sec, F7.1, +0.7 EV
Better with some exposure compensation
|P, 1/60 sec, F2.5
Well metered, no color cast, good exposure
The *ist D uses dark frame subtraction noise reduction method for long exposures. It performs this by taking a second exposure immediately after the long exposure and using the noise from that image to subtract from the first. In our tests the *ist D delivered clean long exposure images (at ISO 200), that said they did have the same soft appearance as other *ist D images.
Settings: ISO 200, FA 28-105 mm, Large/
|ISO 200, 10 sec, F16|
|ISO 200, 6 sec, F9|
Like all digital SLR's (and several prosumer level digital cameras) Pentax offers a RAW format option on the *ist D. RAW simply means data direct from the sensor (12 bits per pixel) which hasn't been processed in any way. Additionally the current camera settings (such as parameters, exposure etc.) are recorded in the header of the RAW file. Pentax uses the .PEF extension for RAW files which appear to use some kind of lossless data compression (probably similar to Zip) as the actual size of the file varies. Interestingly the *ist D's RAW files are very large (12+ MB), approximately 16-bits per pixel location which is a shame because this will have a storage impact for users.
The *ist D is supplied with Pentax Photo Browser and Pentax Photo Laboratory, the later of which is a RAW converted with a relatively good range of flexibility. The biggest problem with Photo Laboratory is that you can't work on an image in a large window (or magnified).
RAW vs. JPEG resolution
Below are two 100% crops taken from images shot within seconds of each other. The first crop is from a Large/ JPEG, the second from a TIFF created from a RAW (.PEF) file using Photo Laboratory 1.0. While there isn't a noticeable resolution advantage shooting RAW the final image output is certainly sharper than JPEG from the camera. This is interesting as one thing we have observed with *ist D JPEG's straight from the camera is their softness.
|JPEG||RAW (converted to TIFF then cropped)|
RAW vs. JPEG sharpness
Below are a set of crops from the same shot taken in JPEG and RAW modes, as you can see the RAW image appears to be sharper (although equally has some edge artifacts around black detail), so either in-camera sharpening isn't as strong as that carried out in Photo Laboratory or there is a problem with the interpolation algorithm used in-camera.
|JPEG||RAW (converted to TIFF then cropped)|
Photo Laboratory RAW artifacts
One thing we observed on our resolution chart were strange artifacts which look like Bayer interpolation artifacts. These appear as uneven colored blocks along the edge of curve detail. It looks to me as though Photo Laboratory could do with a little tweaking.
RAW latitude (digital exposure compensation)
Shooting RAW on the *ist D appears to provide you with somewhere between three quarters and one stop (0.7 - 1.0 EV) of additional latitude above the visible clipping point (255,255,255) of the original image. In the example below you can see that some detail is recovered from the top of the clock and more noticeably in the gradiation of the crayon tips.
|RAW||RAW -1.0 EV|
|The sights this window has seen! by NPW UK|
from Creative Window
|Tacking Point Light House by photoman555|
from Nikon Challenge
The EF-M 32mm F1.4 is a welcome addition to Canon's APS-C mirrorless lens lineup. It's a good performer all-around and enjoyable to use on the EOS M50, and we hope to see more like it introduced to the EF-M range.
The data breach we reported on last week did not only affect 500px but a total of 16 websites, including mobile image sharing platform EyeEm, Animoto, Artsy and Fotolog.
Camera Rescue, a Finnish organization determined to rescue more than 100K analog, has already saved 46,000 cameras and plans to more than double that number by 2020.
Independent lens manufacturer Sigma has announced that its new 28mm T1.5 cine lens for full frame sensor cameras will be available from the middle of March.
Panasonic has announced the impending release of two new cameras, the ZS80/TZ95 compact camera and the FZ1000 II superzoom camera.
At Dubai's recent Gulf Photo Plus event, Fujifilm showed off several of its early concept mockups for GFX cameras that (sadly) never made it into production. We took a closer look.
Panasonic is well known for including impressive video features on its cameras. In this article, professional cinematographer Jack Lam explains one killer feature the company could add to its S series that would shake up the industry – and it all comes down to manual focus.
Lens manufacturer Irix has announced it's expanding its product lineup into the Japanese market.
Full-frame cameras get a lot of attention lately, but Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks that APS-C makes the most sense for a lot of people – and there's just one company consistently giving the format the support it deserves.
The 12th International Garden Photographer of the Year winners have been announced. We've gathered the top photos from each category and rounded them up into a slideshow.
Kosmo Foto has announced the release and opened pre-orders for its new Mono 120 black-and-white film.
Uber software engineer Phillip Wang has created a website that shows a portrait of a person that doesn't actually exist by using AI to merge multiple faces together.
The Atomos Shinobi is a compact, lightweight monitor that features the same display found inside the much more expensive Ninja 5 monitor/recorder.
Want to know more about the Canon EOS RP? Dying to ask a question that hasn't been addressed anywhere else online? Join the editors of DPReview for a live Q&A about this new camera next Tuesday, Feb. 19 on our YouTube channel. Click through for details.
Got a couple of minutes? Then you have all the time you need to learn about Canon's second full-frame mirrorless camera body – and why it's a compelling option for someone stepping into full-frame for the first time.
NASA's Curiosity rover captures a 360 panorama from its Vera Rubin Ridge 'Rock Hall' drill site before moving on to greener...er...redder pastures.
Xiaomi's new flagship Android smartphone is expected to be launched on February 24 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
A quick glance at the spec sheet doesn't make the Canon EOS RP look that exciting. But having shot with it, we've become oddly fond of this little full framer.
Pixelmator Pro has received an update with new and improved features, including support for Portrait Masks with images captured by the iPhone's Portrait Mode.
Alongside the EOS RP, Canon showed us mockups of the six lenses it says are in development for 2019. There's a distinct high-end flavor to the options in the works.
The new X-T30 may not be Fujifilm's flagship model, but it arrives with some very impressive features and specifications. Chris and Jordan have been shooting it for a few days and share their first impressions, along with a look at an iconic new building in their hometown of Calgary.
We don't often get excited about $900 cameras, but the Fujifilm X-T30 has really impressed us thus far. Find out what's new, what it's like to use and how it compares to its peers in our review in progress.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is equipped with the same 26.1MP X-Trans sensor and X-Processor 4 Quad Core CPU as the X-T3, along with some autofocus improvements. The new camera arrives in March for $900 body-only.
Fujifilm's new XF 16mm F2.8 R WR is a compact, weather-resistant lens that weighs just 155g/5.5oz. It'll be available starting in March for $399.
Fujifilm's XF 16mm F2.8 is one of the widest lenses in the company's lineup of compact primes for its X-series interchangeable lens cameras. We've been up and down the streets of snowy Seattle - a rare sight - to see just what our pre-production copy of this petite prime is capable of.
Firmware version 2.00 brings two new shooting modes and one new setting to its X-T100 and X-A5 camera systems.
Fujifilm has announced its upcoming rugged point-and-shoot, the FinePix XP140.
Get a closer look at Canon's second full-frame mirrorless body and its unique combination of features, capability and price point.
Canon has unveiled its second full-frame mirrorless camera: the entry-level EOS RP. Touting its compact size and approachability for beginners, the RP uses a 26.2MP sensor and will sell for $1300 body-only this March.
A pre-launch event gave us a chance to shoot a sample gallery to show what sort of image quality you can expect from the least-expensive digital full frame camera ever launched.