Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Pentax 06/01/2005 Press Release


Press Release - June 1, 2005

PENTAX Announces New Digital SLR Model: Simple, Affordable, Small Body Features Large LCD Monitor

Pentax *ist DL SLR

Golden, CO (June 1, 2005)…PENTAX Imaging Company has unveiled a third digital SLR camera - the PENTAX *ist DL digital SLR. Carrying on the PENTAX tradition of compact digital bodies with simple operation and outstanding performance, the *ist DL features a 2.5 inch LCD monitor and the lightest PENTAX digital SLR body at only 16.6 ounces.

"The *ist DL is the smallest digital SLR with the largest LCD in its class offered at a very affordable price," said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company.

Positioned as an addition to the popular PENTAX digital SLR family, the *ist DL is a perfect camera for beginning digital photographers including families and digital users who are ready to step-up from a point-and-shoot, compact digital camera.

"Anyone seeking simplicity of operation and a large LCD monitor will appreciate the *ist DL," said Bunnell. "Responding to consumer demand, our goal at PENTAX with the *ist DL is to further reduce the cost for an entry-level user."

Featuring 6.1 effective megapixels and compatibility with most interchangeable PENTAX lenses, the *ist DL will ship in July 2005 with the smc PENTAX DA 18-55mm digital lens for under US.

Major Features

1. User-friendly automatic operations

The *istDL is equipped with the innovative Auto Picture Mode, which automatically and instantly selects the most appropriate Picture mode from Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro or Action for a given subject or situation to assure the optimum combination of aperture, shutter speed, white balance, saturation, contrast, and intensity of edges. In addition, the built-in auto flash automatically pops up in dimly lit or backlit situations. As a result, even first-time digital SLR users can immediately produce high-quality digital images with minimal effort.

2. Simple, accessible operation system

From the multi-function four-way controller to the responsive electronic Av/Tv dials and the large, easy-to-use mode dial, all switches and dials are efficiently and functionally laid out on the *istDL’s compact body for flawless fingertip control. The ergonomically designed grip assures firm, comfortable hold of the camera.

3. Extra-large 2.5-inch color LCD monitor

The *istDL’s high-precision 2.5-inch color LCD monitor, with approximately 210,000 pixels, displays recorded images clearly and beautifully, even when the original image is magnified by 12 times using the digital zoom capability. It also facilitates image confirmation after shooting and menu selection during shooting and editing operations. The menu screen also provides an optimum color scheme between menu descriptions and background to assure easy reading under all types of lighting conditions.

4. Compact, go-anywhere design

The *istDL features a compact, high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis and a compact, bright viewfinder combining the PENTAX-original penta-mirror and a newly developed focusing screen. Combining other advanced downsizing technologies, such as 10-layer electronic circuit boards and high-density packaging technology, it offers the outstanding portability — as one of the world’s smallest lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras — to accompany the user anywhere.

5. High-definition, maximum-gradation images with 6.1 effective megapixels

Thanks to its large, high-performance CCD image sensor (23.5mm by 15.7mm), the *istDL offers 6.1 effective megapixels. Coupled with PENTAX’s original image processing technology using a high-performance engine, it produces high-definition images rich in gradation and saturation. It also offers a choice of finishing touches between "bright" and "natural" to satisfy user preferences.

6. User-friendly guide screen

The *istDL features a user-friendly, multi-data guide screen, which offers detailed description of shooting modes, displays drive, flash and white balance settings using text and sample photos, and presents a comprehensive list of all camera settings on the large 2.5-inch monitor.

7. High-precision 16-segment multi-pattern metering

The *istDL incorporates a sophisticated 16-segment metering system to assure high-precision light measurement, even under complicated lighting conditions. It also offers center-weighted metering and spot metering for specialized applications.

8. High-accuracy AF sensors

Featuring the advanced SAFOX VIII AF system incorporating three cross-type wide-area AF sensors, the *istDL automatically selects the most appropriate sensor for a given subject. It also lets the user fix the sensor point on the middle sensor for specific applications. Using the menu screen, the user can select the preferred focus mode between Single AF, which locks the focus when the shutter release button is half-depressed, and Continuous AF,* which adjusts the focus to the subject’s movement.

* This focus mode is available in the Auto Picture and Picture modes, only when the Action mode is selected.

9. 1/4000-second high-speed shutter

The *istDL incorporates a high-speed shutter unit, with a top speed of 1/4000 second and a top synchronization speed of 1/180 second, to assure greater visual creativity. The bulb setting is also available to accommodate extended exposures at night.

10. High-speed 2.8-frame consecutive shooting

The *istDL records up to five images (at "best" image quality in JPEG format) consecutively at a speed of approximately 2.8 frames per second, allowing the user to capture a series of photos of the subject’s motion.

11. Compatibility with PENTAX interchangeable lenses

The *istDL offers the outstanding benefit of lens interchangeability, letting the user take advantage of the wide selection of PENTAX interchangeable lenses for use with diversified subjects and applications.**

** PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount 35mm-format lenses can be used without an adapter or modification. PENTAX screw-mount 35mm-format lenses and PENTAX 645- and 67-system lenses can be used with an adapter. Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

12. SD memory card compatibility

The *istDL uses the widely available SD memory card as its storage media, not only assuring high-speed recording and readout of image data, but also helping to reduce the camera body size.

13. Others

  • Eighteen user-programmable custom functions to personalize camera operations to user preferences
  • Noise-reduction system to minimize annoying digital noise during extended exposures
  • Dual power source, with a choice of two CR-V3 lithium batteries or four AA-size batteries
  • Effortless PC data upload via USB 2.0 (HIGH-SPEED) connection
  • Functional playback functions, including 12X zoom display and nine-image thumbnail display
  • A choice of image format between JPEG (good, better or best) or RAW
  • Four digital filters (black-and-white, sepia, slim, and soft-focus in three patterns) for easy post-shooting image processing
  • PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 2.1 RAW-data processing software and PENTAX
  • PHOTO Browser 2.1 browser software included
  • PictBridge compatibility

*ist DL Specifications

TypeInterchangeable lens Single-Lens-Reflex type digital still camera with TTL auto exposure,autofocus and built-in TTL auto flash.
Lens MountPENTAX K AF mount
Compatible LensesPENTAX K, KA, KAF, and KAF2 mount lenses; screw mount lenses, 645, and 67 series lenses (adapter required). Some functions may not activate depending on the choice of lens.
Image SensorInterline interlace CCD.
Size: 23.5mm x 15.7mm (diagonal line: 28.40mm).
Total pixels: 6.31 megapixels
Effective Pixels6.1 megapixels.
Recorded PixelsLarge: 3008 x 2008 pixels.
Middle: 2400 x 1600 pixels.
Small: 1536 x 1024 pixels.
SensitivityEquivalent to ISO 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
File FormatsExif 2.21, RAW, DCF, DPOF, PRINT Image Matching III
Quality LevelsCompressed: 8-bit JPEG-baseline with compressibility rates of 1/3, 1/6 and 1/12
and 12-bit RAW.
Storage MediaSD (Secure Digital)
White BalanceAuto: TTL control using image sensor.
Preset: Daylight, Cloudy, Shade, Tungsten light, Fluorescent light, Flash and Manual.
LCD Monitor2.5 inch, 210,000 pixel low-reflection TFT color LCD with histogram display
LCD FunctionSingle frame, zoom in/out up to 12X, nine-image, slide show, image rotation, shooting data indication (including date and histogram), quick view (instant display of image after shooting)
Delete FunctionSingle-frame-deletion, All-frame deletion, card format, protect
Video OutputNTSC/PAL switchable
InterfacesUSB 2.0 High Speed
Exposure ModesProgram AE, Auto Picture Mode, Picture Mode, Shutter-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Metered Manual, Bulb
Continuous ShootingApprox. 2.8 fps., JPEG (up to 5 fps.), RAW (up to 3 fps.)
ShutterElectronically controlled vertical-run focal-plane shutter with electronic release.
Speeds: 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec. and Bulb
ViewfinderPenta mirror with Natural-Bright-Matte II focusing screen; Viewfinder Coverage - 96%; Viewfinder Magnification - 0.85x (with 50mm f1.4 lens, -1-1); Diopter Adjustment - -2.5m-1 to +1.5m-1
Viewfinder IndicationAF frame; Spot AF frame; Focus point indication (high lighted in red) Flash information; Picture mode (Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Night scene portrait); In-focus; Shutter speed; Aperture value; Exposure compensation factor; Manual white balance; Manual focus; ISO sensitivity warning; Auto exposure lock signal
Exposure MeteringTTL open-aperture 16-segment metering.
Spot metering and center-weighted metering selectable.
Metering range (at ISO200 with 50mm F1.4 lens): EV1 to EV21.5
Exposure compensation±2EV (in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps)
Auto Bracketing3 frames (proper/over/under) within range of ±1.5EV (1/2EV steps) or ±1.0EV (1/3EV steps)
Simultaneous use with exposure compensation possible.
Drive ModesSingle-shot, Continuous Advance, self-timer (2 or 12 sec.), Auto Bracketing, Remote Control (0 or 3 sec.)
AutofocusTTL phase-matching 3-point autofocus system (SAFOX VIII) with selectable wide/spot AF
Applicable illumination range: EV0 to EV19 (at ISO200).
AF-Single, AF-Continuous, Manual
Built-in Flash (RTF)Guide number: 15.6 (at ISO200/m), Guide number: 11 (at ISO100/m).
Angle of view coverage: 28mm.
Synchronization speed: 1/180 sec.
Auto, Flash-Off, flash-on and Auto+red-eye reduction functions available.
Flash SynchVia hot shoe (with X-contact for dedicated flash unit).
Standard PC flash sync connector
Sensitivity range: ISO200 to ISO1600.
Flash synchronization: up to 1/180 sec.
Self-timerElectronically controlled type with 12- or 2-second delay.
Mirror lock-up mechanism available.
Mid-operation cancellation possible.
Remote ControlInfrared wireless remote control with optional remote controller.
Effective range: 5m (16.6 ft.) from front side of camera.
Instant release or 3-second-delay release switchable.
Power Source2 CR-V3 batteries or 4 AA-sized batteries (lithium, Ni-MH, alkaline).
Optional AC adapter available.
Battery LifeCR-V3: Approx. 850 frames no flash, Approx. 750 frames with flash used 50% of the time
Dimensions125mm x 92.5mm x 67mm (4.9 x 3.6 x 2.7 inches)
Weight470g (16.6 oz.) (w/out batteries and memory card)

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