Pentax *ist D Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Good tonal balance, average resolution, low in-camera sharpening
- Good metering, very little need for exposure compensation
- No sharpening artifacts, virtually no moiré artifacts
- Low noise up to ISO 800, slightly higher than the competition after
- Very natural color response, very film like
- Support for sRGB and Adobe RGB color space (better to be on main menu)
- Very compact for a 35mm based digital SLR, the smallest yet
- Solid build quality, feels robust
- Nice control structure, clear indication of dial function
- Viewfinder magnification better than competitors, bigger view
- Program Reset button and selectable program lines
- Fairly customizable thanks to wide range of custom functions
- Fairly quick operation, just over a second startup with a good CF
- RAW mode provides the 'digital negative', about 1 stop of latitude
in over exposed images
- Excellent battery life with CR-V3 Lithium batteries
- Onboard PC Sync flash terminal
Conclusion - Cons
- Soft appearance to images, converted RAW images are sharper
- Continuous shooting not as fast as competition, image buffer also
- No histogram on record review (immediately after shot)
- Image parameters don't offer enough latitude of adjustment
- Awkward to select WB, Image quality and ISO on mode dial
- Annoyingly small CF compartment, orientation of CF card
- Bundled software is fairly weak, RAW converter window too small
- Photo Laboratory converted RAW images show some Bayer pattern artifacts
- Large RAW files (stored as 16-bits per pixel?)
- Firewire or USB 2.0 should have been a consideration for connectivity
- Price competition from Canon's EOS 300D
Pentax has clearly left their earlier digital SLR false start behind them, the *ist D is a capable digital SLR which can stand shoulder to shoulder with the longer established names in the digital SLR's world without compromise. The camera's compact size and light weight may be an initial reason for interest in the camera, however they shouldn't stop there, the *ist D can also deliver the goods in performance, consistency and image quality. Credit where credit is due, Pentax have produced an excellent photogrphic tool in the *ist D.
Probably the single biggest 'issue' is the apparent softness of images straight from the camera, however it does seem to me that this was a conscious decision made by Pentax's engineers in an attempt to avoid adding artifacts to the image which can not be removed later. It also has the additional benefit of keeping visible noise levels down. You would need to examine our samples images (and those to be found on our Pentax Talk forum) to decide if this would be a major issue to you.
Clearly the market shifted when Canon announced the EOS 300D but this shouldn't stop buyers from considering all of the options, even if that means putting a little more money in the budget. There is also no doubt that many existing Pentax lens owners will be very interested in the *ist D and for them it is the logical step into digital photography, not one they would regret.
So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, and I wouldn't like to say. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask me specific questions which I've not answered in these pages.
|Saddle Bronc by Gerry Frederick|
from horsing around
|diamonds are forever by summicron|
|Reflections by Birdman50|
from No 6
Huawei's latest flagship device comes with the widest range of focal lengths of all current smartphones.
After shaking up the Lightroom ecosystem with Lightroom CC last year, Adobe has released version 2.0 of the cloud-centric photo organizer and editor. We look at new features like People View, how far Lightroom CC has come in its first year, and where Lightroom is headed.
Today, at Adobe MAX 2018, Adobe previewed Photoshop CC on iPad, a full-featured, desktop-class version of Photoshop for iOS.
The weather and has most definitely taken a turn toward fall here, and our shooting opportunities have followed suit. We brought the Canon RF 35mm F1.8 along to a harvest festival of sorts and a few of our usual haunts.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has signed House Bill 1346 into effect, which imposes a fine upwards of $300 to drone operators who invade the privacy or harm the physical wellbeing of citizens.
Sigma is a company in flux, but CEO Kazuto Yamaki is undaunted by the upcoming prospect of developing lenses for eight lens mounts. The challenge will be keeping the company's identity along the way.
If you've been meaning to convert all of your old photos, video, and audio to digital formats, but simply lack the time or willpower to get through it all, a new service from Kodak will help you get the job done.
Almost all new cameras include impressive video features, but for the best results you'll often need an off-camera recorder. Chris and Jordan take a look at the brand new Ninja V from Atomos, and explain why it might just be one of the most useful tools you can add to your camera.
Collect allows you to transform 360-degree into a more easily digestible format by transforming it into directed traditional videos.
Sick of using your plain ol' keyboard to edit your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop? TourBox is hoping to expedite your post-production workflow using a clever combination of dials, buttons, and knobs.
Bag and accessory manufacturer Hex has launched two bags as part of its latest collection: the Clamshell Backpack and DSLR Sling.
Crank out instant photos with Holga Digital's new analog printer, currently being funded on Kickstarter.
We got some hands-on time with Leica's new S3 medium format camera, which boasts a new higher-res sensor as well as other improvements.
Luna Display started its life as a crowdfunding project on Kickstarter. Now, it's available to purchase directly online.
We sat down with the Google Pixel camera team to learn about key new camera features on the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL, and an explanation of the sophisticated software advancements that power them.
A lawsuit filed on Tuesday claims the cameras in Apple's iPhone 7 Plus and newer dual-camera models infringe on a patent that was granted in 2003.
Nikon's Coolpix P1000 has moved the zoom needle from 'absurd' to 'ludicrous,' with an equivalent focal length of 24-3000mm. So far, it's a fun camera to shoot with – if a bit over the top.
Like the LG V40 ThinQ the A9 combines a super-wide-angle, regular wide-angle and tele camera, but adds a depth-sensor to the mix as well.
The FAA has issued a warning to drone pilots in anticipation of disaster response following Hurricane Michael, noting that fines for interfering with emergency operations can exceed $20,000.
According to a report from Fortune, Apple acquired Danish masking technology startup Spektral in December 2017 for "more than $30 million."
Insta360's latest model comes with a range of features that allow for the creation of unique action cam footage.
The Photogrip can be used as a camera grip, mini tripod or phone stand and comes with a detachable remote.
At a time when manufacturers are adding triple and even quad-cameras to their flagship smartphones, Google is sticking with one main camera. But given the sophistication of the company's computational efforts, we think it's the right approach for now.
DPReview is hiring! We're seeking three Software Development Engineers at a range of experience levels to join our Seattle-based team.
The University of Dayton Research Institute created a video detailing what damage is caused when a drone strikes the wing of an airplane.
Lenovo's upcoming high-end smartphone will be the first model to feature four cameras on the back.
The Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL offer a second front-facing camera and a host of improved computational features such as digital zoom based on super-resolution capture, better depth mapping and a fill-light effect for low light portraits.
Canon has ported a large chunk of its Digital Photo Professional (DPP) Raw processing software's feature set to iOS and launched the DPP Express app.
The Panasonic LX100 II offers a higher-resolution sensor over its predecessor, but it's the addition of a touchscreen that makes the Mark II so gosh-darn enjoyable to shoot with. We've got some fresh samples from Panasonic's new premium compact camera.