Pentax *ist DL Digital SLRs

*ist DL

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.

User Reviews (8)

Showing 1-8 of 8  
Sheila Kaifesh   Intermediate [Dec 06, 2009]
Strength:

Light, uses AA batteries which is affordable

Weakness:

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.

OVERALL
RATING
2
VALUE
RATING
2
mikel54   Intermediate [Oct 25, 2006]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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.

Customer Service

Not applicable

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!
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
J Cabrera   Intermediate [Jul 24, 2006]
Strength:

lightweight

cheap

good quality, easy to use

Weakness:

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!!!

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
Cord Lange   Intermediate [Jul 07, 2006]
Strength:

- Lightweight
- Easy to handle
- Good and great 2.5" LCD
- Normal NiMH accus
- Spot metering (!)
- ISO max. 3200

Weakness:

- 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.

Customer Service

Never needed

Similar Products Used: NIKON D50
CANON 350D
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
colsen   Intermediate [May 19, 2006]
Strength:

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.

Weakness:

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!!!!!!!

Customer Service

Have not needed to contact Customer Service as of yet.

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.
OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
5
cyberlord   Intermediate [Apr 10, 2006]
Strength:

Light and decently built. I like the feel much better than some of the earlier Canon XT/Rebel plastic models. Nice big decent resolution LCD for viewing pictures. I have big hands and this fits better than the Canon digital Rebel. Shutter release placement falls right under my finger. Had to force my finger forward on the Canon. Price, you just can not beat the price. Period! Has continuous focus setting (automatic in sports mode) and also continuous shutter mode. 2.8fps up to 5 frames then it slows to about 1/5fps (1 frame per 5 seconds), but it will keep shooting continuously!

Weakness:

Built in flash. You will want an external flash and a flash frame. Short lens has shadow at wide angle with lens hood left on. Just remove it (lens manual makes mention of it). Flash seems to wash out at close range (camera manual makes mention of it) but there is a flash EV reduction mode that helps with that problem so it's not too much of a problem if you remember to tame the flash down a bit. Nose prints on LCD screen. Can't be helped for me as I have a big head and nose. Buy some LCD protection sheets. The camera body could be just a tad taller for my big hands(3 1/2 fingers), but it is taller then the Canon digital (3 fingers). I don't feel however that it wants to fall out of my hands like some smaller P&S or cell phones do.

A great little camera with loaded big features. Use it as a point & shoot or use any of the builtin settings, Av/Tv priority, or fully manual mode. Kit has a decent lens but it has it limitations. Not bad for a beginner lens, quite capable. USB download is very fast. I was impressed compared to some other P&S digitals we have. Print up to 8X10 @ 300dpi or up to 16X20 @ 150dpi. The strengths outweight the weaknesses by a long shot! This is my first digital SLR and it was worth the wait. I give it 5 *s for value rating and 4 *s for overall. If you want a firewall 5 * camera you will have to pay for it.

Customer Service

I have not needed it yet!

Similar Products Used: Fuji Finepix 3001 (digital P&S)
Canon A1 (Film SLR)
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
FLYBYU   Beginner [Jan 08, 2006]
Strength:

Great picture quality for a beginner, I'm very please with it. Also as I learn the different settings and controls it becomes easier to take photo's then before. I love the zoom lens it is exactly what I was looking for, you get the wide angle and a bit of telephoto all in one small lens, I love it. The details and colors in the photos ar amazing, when blown up I can see little specks of dirt on snow and things like that, stuff that would have been just a blur with my old camera.

Weakness:

Auto focus is slow sometimes, I prefer manual focus most times anyway. Some of the controls are buried in menus and hard to find, also it is very confusing compared to a film camera, but I'm a beginner at this too.

I bought this camera to replace my 2mb HP camera which is almost 5 years old now. I bought a SLR style because I've been dabbling with my Mom's film SLR and I really liked the photo quality and ease of use compared to a point and shoot camera. My camera came as a kit with the Pentax 18-55mm Zoom lens, I didn't know that it was zoom until after I bought it. Also the camera I bought was the last one they had and the flash doesn't work at all, so they are replacing it as soon as they get a new one in.

Customer Service

Very good so far.

Similar Products Used: Fujica SLR film camera
OVERALL
RATING
4
VALUE
RATING
5
MichaelSalvatore   Expert [Dec 27, 2005]
Strength:

Very light weight! Easy to use functions and one very large screen. Beautiful build quality, Pentax did this camera right. Uses the small and easy to find SD chips.

Weakness:

Picture quality is still not as good as film. (8+ megapixels ties or beats quality 35mm film. This isnt Pentax's fault, all 6 mpx SLRs are at fault here) HUGE lack of accessories! (such as: extra lenses, filters, battery packs to replace the AA batteries, remotes etc etc) I think that the lack of accessories will be compensated for in time.

This camera is perfect for most people who are looking for an entry level digital SLR with easy to use features. One thing I have found that is troublsome is the lack of accessories. Pentax is trying to fill that massive void (when compared to the other digital SLRs on the market) however, they are not doing it fast enough for my taste. One other interesting feature that this camera has is the use of AA batteries. It does not use standard battery packs like other cameras. This is an advantage and a disadvantage at the same time. You can get batteries at nearly every gas station, supermarket or news paper stand on the planet. Good luck finding a Nikon D70 battery pack at those same locations. The downfall to this battery situation is that they dont last as long as the battery packs do. The answer? Rechargable batteries fix that issue (the quantaray battery charger has both home and car charger cables, power on the go)

Customer Service

I have not had to deal with their customer service lines at all. I doubt that I will have to any time soon. Ritz Camera is where I grabbed the camera and if I have troubles I will be taking it back there.

OVERALL
RATING
5
VALUE
RATING
4
Showing 1-8 of 8  

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