Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Pentax 08/21/2005 Press Release


Press Release - August 21, 2005


Pentax *ist DS2 SLR

Golden, CO. (August 21, 2005)…PENTAX Imaging Company announced today it will continue to expand its digital SLR line with another new model and accessories.

The latest model, the PENTAX *ist DS2 digital SLR camera, comes equipped with a large, high-resolution 2.5 inch color LCD monitor and a high-magnification glass pentaprism viewfinder for a large, clear view at every stage of digital photography from shooting to playback to editing. With its enhanced operability and maneuverability, the new *ist DS2 assures high-quality digital SLR photography to photographers of all levels.

"Following in the footsteps of the *ist DS, our most popular digital SLR to date, the *ist DS2 is a user-friendly camera that is an ideal digital SLR choice for use by families that include beginning and more advanced photographers," said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company.

PENTAX also announced another DA lens and an auto flash unit for use with the latest digital SLR and the entire line of PENTAX digital SLR cameras.

PENTAX will ship the smc PENTAX DA 12mm-24mm F4 ED AL [IF] lens in October 2005. First announced earlier in the year, the latest digital SLR lens offers ultra wide- angle coverage and exceptional optical performance for digital SLR users. The smc 12mm-24mm marks the eighth lens product offering developed by PENTAX that is optimized for digital SLR sensors.

PENTAX also unveiled an AF540FGZ auto flash unit featuring a large guide number of 54 (at ISO100/m). This clip-on, twist/tilt, auto-zoom flash provides a variety of advanced flash applications, including P-TTL auto flash, high-speed synchronization and wireless P-TTL auto flash, when mounted on a PENTAX SLR camera.

Availability of the PENTAX *ist DS2 digital SLR is September 2005 for under US for body alone. The 12-24 lens will ship for under . The AF540FGZ auto flash will ship in October 2005 for under US.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital and film cameras, sport optics, lenses, mobile printers, scanners and internet cameras. For more than 80 years, PENTAX technology has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses. PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of PENTAX Corporation of Japan.


(all specs subject to change)

Major Features

Large, high-resolution color LCD monitor

The *ist DS2 incorporates a high-precision 2.5-inch color LCD monitor with approximately 210,000 pixels for easier post-shooting image confirmation. Recorded images can be magnified up to 12 times during playback for closer examination of subject focus and image details. In addition, on-screen menus are displayed with large, easy-to-read letters and digits to facilitate user operations.

Compact, go-anywhere design

Featuring a host of advanced downsizing developments, including a high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis, multi-layered electronic circuit boards and high-density packaging technology, the *ist DS2 is designed extremely compact and lightweight — measuring 4.9 inches (125mm) wide, 3.6 inches (92.5mm) high and 2.6 inches (67mm) thick, the *ist DS2 weighs 17.8 ounces (505 grams) without batteries and an SD memory card.

Bright, high-magnification pentaprism viewfinder

The *ist DS2 comes equipped with a glass pentaprism viewfinder offering a 95% field of view and 0.95times magnification. The camera offers a large, bright viewfinder image equal in size, clarity and brightness to those incorporated in conventional 35mm format SLRs to make confirmation of the subject’s focus easier even in manual focus mode.

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

With a large, high performance CCD image sensor measuring 23.5mm by 15.7mm, the *ist DS2 offers 6.1 effective megapixels. Coupled with original image processing technology from PENTAX, it produces high-definition images rich in gradation and saturation. It also offers a choice of finishing touch between "Bright" and "Natural" to reflect the photographer’s creative intention.

Auto sensitivity setting

Like many digital compact cameras, the *ist DS2 features an "AUTO" position for sensitivity setting. In this position, the camera’s sensitivity is automatically set by the camera, based on such factors as subject brightness and lens focal length, while the user can randomly select the upper limit of sensitivity between the standard output of 400 and 3200. This position is extremely useful to avoid camera shake in poorly lit locations and to prevent sensitivity resetting failures by the photographer.

Compatibility with PENTAX interchangeable lenses

The *ist DS2 offers the outstanding benefit of lens interchangeability, allowing the user to take advantage of a wide selection of existing PENTAX interchangeable lenses to deal 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.

User-friendly function guidance

Taking full advantage of its large LCD monitor, the *ist DS2 offers convenient and informative function guidance, which not only provides a detailed explanation of shooting, drive and flash modes and white-balance settings using text and pictures, but also displays a comprehensive list of current camera settings for at-a-glance confirmation.

User-friendly automatic operations

The *ist DS2 is equipped to make camera operations simple and effortless for the user. Its innovative Auto Picture Mode automatically and instantly selects the optimum combination of exposure settings for a given subject or situation, including shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast, and intensity of edges. The built-in auto flash automatically pops up in dimly lit or backlit situations.

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 around the *ist DS2’s compact body to assure smooth, fingertip control.

High-precision 16-segment multi-pattern metering

The *ist DS2 incorporates an advanced 16-segment metering system to assure high- precision light measurement, even under complicated lighting conditions. Center- weighted metering and spot metering are also available to meet specialized applications.

High-accuracy 11-point AF sensor

The *ist DS2 features the sophisticated SAFOX VIII AF system incorporating 11 AF sensors (nine of them in a cross-type wide-area sensor grid in the middle). This not only provides accurate, pinpoint autofocusing on a wide variety of subjects, but also lets the user select one of the sensors to accommodate a specific image composition. It also offers a choice of AF-single or AF-continuous** AF mode to accommodate different types of requirements.

** In the Auto Picture and Picture modes, AF-continuous is activated only when the Action mode is selected.

Superimposed AF sensor point indication

The selected AF sensor point is highlighted in red in the viewfinder for easy visual confirmation.

1/4000-second high-speed shutter

The *ist DS2 features 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.

High-speed consecutive shooting

The *ist DS2 records up to eight images (in JPEG format, at Best image format and with noise reduction off) consecutively at a speed of approximately 2.8 frames per second, allowing the user to capture a series of the subject’s action or movement.

SD memory card compatibility

The *ist DS2 uses the widely available SD memory card as its storage media, not only assuring high-speed recording and readout of image data, but also contributing to the downsizing of the camera body.


  1. 19 user-programmable custom functions to personalize camera operations to the user’s preferences
  2. Noise-reduction system to minimize annoying digital noise during extended exposures
  3. Dual power source, with a choice of two CR-V3 lithium batteries or four AA-size batteries
  4. USB2.0 HIGH-SPEED compatibility for speedy data uploading to a PC
  5. Functional playback functions, including 12X zoom display and nine-image thumbnail display
  6. A choice of image format between JPEG (best, better or good) and RAW
  7. Four built-in digital filters (black-and-white, sepia, slim, and three-level soft) for easy editing of recorded images
  8. PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 2.1 RAW-data processing software and PENTAX Photo Browser 2.1 browser software included
  9. PictBridge compatibility

PENTAX, smc PENTAX, Optio are trademarks of PENTAX Corporation.

All other brands or product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies.

This product supports PRINT Image Matching III. PRINT Image Matching enabled digital still cameras, printers and software help photographers to produce images more faithful to their intentions. Some functions are not available on printers that are not PRINT Image Matching III compliant. Copyright 2001 Seiko Epson Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Print Image Matching is a trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation. The PRINT Image Matching logo is a trademark of Seiko Epson Corporation.

Design and Specifications are subject to change without notice.

*ist DS2 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 ModesAuto Picture, Standard, Portrait, Night-scene Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Flash Off, Program AE, Shutter Priority AE, Aperture Priority AE, Metered Manual, Bulb
Digital FilterPlayback: Black & White, Sepia, Soft Slim, Wide (3 levels)
Drive ModesSingle-shot, Continuous (2.8fps), Self-timer (12sec, 2sec), Auto bracketing, Remote Control (0sec, 3sec)
ShutterElectronically controlled vertical-run focal-plane shutter with electronic release.
Speeds: 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec. and Bulb
ViewfinderPentaprism with Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen
Viewfinder Coverage - 95%
Viewfinder Magnification - 0.95x (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.)
AutofocusAF-Single, AF-Continuous, Manual
TTL phase-matching 11-point autofocus system (SAFOX VIII) with selectable Wide/Spot AF
Applicable illumination range: EV0 to EV19 (at ISO200 w/50mm f1.4 lens)
Built-in Flash (P-TTL)Guide number: 15.6 (at ISO200/m)
Angle of view coverage: 28mm
Synchronization speed: 1/180 sec.
Flash Exposure Compensation: +1 to -2 (1/2 steps)
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 2.6 inches)
Weight470g (17.8 oz.) (w/out batteries and memory card)
600g (21.3 oz.) loaded and ready
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer, subject to change)

Return to
Breaking News page