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Pentax *ist DL Digital SLRs
The Pentax *ist DL offers an array of advanced, user-friendly features including Auto Picture mode, a 2.5-inch LCD monitor, a 6.1 megapixel CCD, convenient SD media card storage, high speed USB 2.0 data transfer, and a compact stainless-steel chassis.
Submitted by Sheila Kaifesh a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: December 6, 2009
Strengths: Light, uses AA batteries which is affordable
Weaknesses: The camera flash does not go up unless I press lightly on the flash to one side while pressing the flash button. Now just recently the battery is showing battery depleted when there are new batteries in the camera. At the begining I would pull the batteries out and move them around a bit when putting them back in the camera (I thought I was just not putting them in correctly) Now I may get 1 - 2 pictures out of this camera before it reads batteries depleted. I am not starting to look on line and notice that there are many people with this same problem. I would think that there should be a recall on this camera. Or a payout for a chance to upgrade. I have never in all the years that I have been taking pictures had this problem. Next time I will think twice about purchasing a Pentax.
I bought this camera because I wanted to make the move from SLR to a Digital SLR and have pretty much always owned a Pentax, so when I was looking it made sense to me to go for a camera name that I trusted. I find now that that was a mistake.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $500.00
Purchased At: 500
Type of photography: People
Submitted by mikel54 a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: October 25, 2006
Strengths: Works with most any lens in the Pentax mount family. Uses AA batteries very convenient and less expensive to replace. Well placed controls. Top panel readout always on easy to check settings. Focus is fast and accurate. A good sturdy camera for the price.
Weaknesses: Viewfinder readouts hard to see in bright light.
It would be nice to have a backlight for top panel readout.
Has some trouble focusing in dim light. (The camera can use the built in flash as an aid to focus, works for close range but quite annoying with all the flashing).
I understand digital SLRs use an anti-alias filter, I believe this makes the image appear less than tack sharp when viewed at the pixel level, I seem to see that in this camera. (like they say just don't do that, pictures look fine when viewed at higher resolutions.)
I've use the *ist DL mostly for nature photography. I've used a mirror lens and an old screw mount lens with adapter, these are a bit cumbersome as far as needing to be used in the manual mode but they do work. I have a Promaster 70-300 zoom autofocus it works very well.
I find the controls very intuitive in the placement. Battery life is very good with minimal flash use, I've gotten over 500 shots from one charge. I did have to "clean" the sensor once, not difficult I used canned air and common sense.
I purchased the DL because I already had lens' and I've had good experience with Pentax film based products. Good for amateur and serious photographers, pros would want more than 6 megapixel. I think it would make a good backup camera for a pro.
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Similar Products Used: Have a Canon S1 IS closest in the digital realm. I have owned a film Pentax SLR (don't recall model). Other SLRs Yashica and Sears many years ago!
Type of photography: Outdoor
Submitted by J Cabrera a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: July 24, 2006
good quality, easy to use
Weaknesses: can't really see any. no more bracketing options?wish I could use canon and nikon lenses
This camera is excellent! For whoever said there are not enough accesories, This camera is fully compatible with any lens that pentax has made!!! I use a vivitar series 1 zoom from the 70s and a 50mm f1.7 pentax-A lens, as well as one of their zooms for the AF-35mm cameras, and the kit AF lens built for digital specifically. all take great pictures. quality IS just as good as film, ADMIT IT!! over 6mp is impossible with that CCD...
Obviously, camera is small and limited compared to a medium format, but this camera beats the d50/d70 and the digital rebels out of the water in terms of price-quality relationship!!!
Duration Product Used: 2-5 years
Price Paid: $450.00
Purchased At: beach camera
Type of photography: Fine Art
Submitted by Cord Lange a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: July 7, 2006
Strengths: - Lightweight
- Easy to handle
- Good and great 2.5" LCD
- Normal NiMH accus
- Spot metering (!)
- ISO max. 3200
Weaknesses: - no ISO 100
- only P-TTL no normal external TTL-Flash support
I wanted a light, wellbuild D-SLR with normal MIGNON NiMH accus and Spot-Metering.
The only D-SLR with this features is the PENTAX *istDL on the market. Also it has a big 2.5" LCD monitor and you can use all (!) the older PENTAX lenses on the market with or without autofocus and also the very old ones with only manual operating. The Lens-Kit PENTAX SMC DA 18-55 is okay for the price, for more you should buy the DA 16-45 zoom. The implemented firmware is 100% errorfree and with a fresh accuset you can make 400 photos. You can´t find a better camera with 6MP for that price. I would buy it again.
Duration Product Used: 6-10 years
Price Paid: $749.00
Purchased At: AMAZON
Similar Products Used: NIKON D50
Type of photography: People
Submitted by colsen a Intermediate
Date Reviewed: May 19, 2006
Strengths: Other family members can pick it up in auto mode and take wonderful point and shoot pictures. Someone with a bit more experience will be able to push it to its limits, and those limits look to be out there a ways.
The use of standard AA batteries in the camera is a big plus in my book.
The ability to use all past Pentax K mount lenses increases the overall value of the camera.
I have used my Konica FT1 Dedicated Flash Unit on the *ist DL with outstanding results. This was a pleasant surprise, as information about flash units that will work with the *istDL seems hard to find.
I am very happy with the quality of the camera and the overall layout of the controls.
Raw image conversion software that comes with the camera is intuitive enough to use with minimual reference to the manual.
Weaknesses: As of yet, I have not found any weaknesses with the camera.
Great little entry level DSLR that will keep surprising you as you grow with it.
Fit and finish on this camera blew me away. The camera feels well balanced in my hands, and my fears that this "compact bodied slr" would be too compact were pleasantly unsubstantiated. As a glasses wearer I was worried about trouble with the viewfinder. With the rubber eye piece that comes with the camera that fear too was put to rest.
If you have a nose, you will be putting it on the lcd screen...........that is a given. The glass on the lcd seems to be of very good quality and should be able to withstand all the cleanings you will end up giving it, using the correct tool for the job. If you feel the need, you could cut down one of the PDA screen protectors to fit over the lcd.
Picture quality stood out from the start. There has not been an instance where I could not get the camera to give me a wonderfull picture. As a convert from the older SLR frames, I have done most of my shooting with the *ist DL in Tv or manual, with some playing in full auto mode. The flexibility of this camera is nothing short of astonishing.
I would not hesitate in recommending it to anyone wanting to move over from a point and shoot digital or film SLR. In auto mode it is very forgiving, and in manual mode it can humble you in an instance... or make you look like a hero.
Note to self: Must take more photos!!!!!!!
Duration Product Used: 11-20 years
Price Paid: $625.00
Purchased At: Cameta Cameras
Similar Products Used: Have played with numerous digital point and shoot, EVF digital slr, and years of service from my Konica FT-1 film SLR.
Type of photography: Other
Related *ist DL Forum Posts
My caamera had been working well until last week. When I take a picture I only fw black screen (no Photo) I have updated the firmware from 1.00 to 1.03, all the settings show up on the screen. the lens focuses, I can change settings and have gone through the menus and have reset where the camer giv ... Read More »
Hi Everyone, I rarely post pictures and thought yall might like this one. I took it at dusk on the 30th of October in Clarksville, TN. I was using the DL with an older Tamron 28-200mm zoom. It has been cropped a bit and touched up a little in photoshop. It's a picture of the Delta Queen in a ... Read More »
Hi all...I'm shooting the West Texas Relays today and tomorrow and am uploading them to [URL="http://www.leavethecamera.com"]www.leavethecamera.com[/URL]. My problem is that I need to find a way for my camera to auto rotate to make uploading a little easier. Does anyone know if it is possible. It s ... Read More »
I just got my new *ist DL last night. I noticed that there seemed to be a hot pixel or a cluster of hot pixels in many of the images. Today, diving a bit mroe into a the problem I disable noise reduction and take soem more photos which will cause hot pixels to show up. here are the results... ... Read More »
I recently purchased the Pentax *ist DL. This is my first SLR, digital or otherwise. I want to know if its possible at all to use the LCD as a viewfinder, the way most regular digital cameras can. If it is possible, I can't figure out how. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.Read More »
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