Steve's Digicams - Breaking News - Pentax 09/13/04 Press Release


Press Release - September 13, 2004

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*ist DS Specifications
PENTAX-DA Zoom 18-55mm

PENTAX Downsizes Digital SLR In Second Compact Camera: *ist DS Delivers Outstanding Image Quality

Pentax *ist DS SLR

See the LetsGoDigital *ist DS First Look

GOLDEN, Colorado (September 13, 2004)…PENTAX has downsized digital SLR photography once again with the introduction of the *ist DS digital SLR. Developed as a second, even smaller, PENTAX compact digital SLR, the *ist DS camera advances the PENTAX commitment to easy-to-use and portable digital.

The *ist DS is one of the smallest and lightest digital SLR cameras available. Measuring just 4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches and weighing under 18 ounces, the *ist DS also delivers superior image quality in compact design. Despite the size, the *ist DS offers 6.1 effective megapixels and PENTAX original image processing technology. The camera is designed to be compatible with most PENTAX interchangeable lenses to meet a wide range of applications and visual creativity.

The *ist DS hosts an array of advanced, user-friendly features including a high- magnification viewfinder, a 2.0 inch color LCD monitor, a generous LCD data panel, and an innovative Auto picture mode for automatic selection of the proper exposure program. Offering quick, effortless operation and easy portability, the *ist DS is the ideal digital SLR for all levels of photographers, including first-timer digital SLR users and families.

PENTAX will unveil the *ist DS and other new and exciting digital products on September 20 at the PEPCOM Holiday Spectacular in New York City.

The PENTAX *ist DS will ship to major camera retailers in November 2004.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of digital and film cameras, binoculars, spotting scopes, eyepieces, 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.

Major features of *ist DS include:

Compact, Portable Design

Featuring a super-compact, ultra-lightweight body, the *ist DS offers outstanding portability. PENTAX downsized digital SLR technology by including a high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis, multi-layered electronic circuit boards and high-density packaging. The result is an extremely portable body, measuring just 4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches and weighing under 18 ounces without batteries and SD memory card. The *ist DS is smaller and lighter than the acclaimed *istD.

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

Thanks to its large, high-performance CCD image sensor, the *ist DS offers 6.1 effective megapixels. Coupled with original image processing technology from PENTAX, the camera produces high-definition images rich in gradation and saturation.

Compatibility with PENTAX interchangeable lenses

The *ist DS offers the outstanding benefit of lens interchangeability that allows users to take advantage of a wide selection of existing PENTAX interchangeable lenses.**

**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.

Bright, high-magnification pentaprism viewfinder

The *ist DS comes equipped with a glass pentaprism viewfinder offering a 95% field of view and a 0.95X magnification. The camera features a large, bright viewfinder image equal in size, clarity and brightness to viewfinders incorporated in conventional 35mm-format SLRs. This confirmation of the subject’s focus much easier, even in manual-focus mode.

Large color LCD monitor

With a high-precision 2.0 inch color LCD monitor offering approximately 210,000 pixels, the *ist DS makes it quick and effortless to review recorded images and read menus.

Large LCD data panel

The *ist DS features a large, easy-to-read LCD data panel on the top panel to allow easy, at-a-glance confirmation of the camera’s operational status and various settings.

User-friendly automatic operations

The *ist DS 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 select dial and the large, easy-to-use mode dial, all switches and dials are efficiently and functionally laid out around the *ist DS ’s compact body to assure smooth, fingertip control.

High-precision 16-segment multi-pattern metering

The *ist DS 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 DS features the sophisticated SAFOX VIII AF system incorporating 11 AF sensors (nine of them constituting a cross-type wide-area sensor grid in the middle). It not only offers accurate, pinpoint autofocusing, but also allows the user to select one of the sensors to accommodate a specific image composition.

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 DS 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 DS records up to 8 images 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 DS 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.

Additional features include:

  • 18 user-programmable custom functions to personalize camera operations to the user’s 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 data uploading to a PC using the included USB cable (USB 2.0 compatible)

  • Functional playback functions, including 12X zoom display and nine-image thumbnail display

  • A choice of image format between JPEG (Best, Better or Good) or RAW

  • Interchangeable Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen (AF Frame Matte screen included as standard; AF Split-Image Matte and AF Scale Matte screens available as optional accessories)

  • PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 2.0 RAW-data processing software and PENTAX PHOTO Browser 2.0 browser software included

  • PictBridge compatibility

PENTAX, smc PENTAX, *ist, PENTAX PHOTO Browser and PENTAX PHOTO Labratory 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 is subject to change without notice

PENTAX Introduces a Third Digital Lens: PENTAX-DA Zoom 18-55 Perfect Fit For New Digital SLR

GOLDEN, CO (September 13, 2004)…PENTAX Imaging Company has introduced the smc PENTAX-DA Zoom 18mm-55mm F3.5-F5.6 AL lens. Exclusively designed for PENTAX digital SLR cameras including the newly announced *ist DS SLR, the PENTAX-DA Zoom 18-55 lens is portable and affordable to ensure comfortable, well-balanced operations. This compact, lightweight standard zoom lens features an image circle to match the camera’s large 23.5mm x 15.7mm image sensor.

PENTAX will unveil the lens and other new and exciting digital products on September 20 at the PEPCOM Holiday Spectacular in New York City.

The PENTAX-DA Zoom 18-55mm lens will ship to major camera retailers in November 2004.

Pentax DA 18-55mm

Major features of the PENTAX –DA Zoom 18-55 lens include:

Ideal zoom range for a standard lens

Mounted on the PENTAX *ist DS, this zoom lens provides an angle-of-view equivalent to a 27.5mm-84mm lens in the 35mm format that covers the most frequently used ranges from wide angle to moderate telephoto.

Compact dimensions with minimal aberrations

The aspherical optical elements in this new lens contribute to a reduction in size and weight of the lens and to more effective compensation of unwanted aberrations.

Functional and fashionable design

The aperture ring has been eliminated from this lens to simplify camera operations and improve appearance while aperture-setting operation is performed from the camera body.

Quick-Shift Focus System

Once subjects are captured by the camera’s autofocus system, this PENTAX-original system allows photographers to shift the focusing mode instantly to manual without any switching operations.


Lens mount:    PENTAX KAF mount
Lens construction:    12 elements in 9 groups
Angle of view:    76° - 29°
Aperture control:   Automatic
Number of diaphragm blades:   6
Minimum aperture:   F22 at 18mm; F38 at 55mm
Metering system:   TTL open-aperture metering
Minimum focusing distance:   0.25m (0.82 ft.)
Filter size:   52mm
Maximum magnification:   0.34X
Dimensions (diameter x length):   2.7" x 2.7" (68mm x 67.5mm)
Weight:    7.9 oz. (225 grams)

*ist DS 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 2.2, DCF, DPOF
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 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
ShutterElectronically controlled vertical-run focal-plane shutter with electronic release.
Speeds: 1/4000 sec. to 30 sec. and Bulb
ViewfinderEye-level-type fixed pentaprism viewfinder with Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen.
Field of view: 95%.
Magnification: 0.95X (with 50mm F1.4 lens at infinity, -1m -1).
Diopter adjustment: -2.5m -1 to +1.5m-1
Viewfinder IndicationOut of image area: Built-in flash status, AF sensor pattern, in-focus, shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation factor, bar graph. Within image area: AF frame with superimposed AF sensor point, spot AF frame.
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 autofocus system.
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.
PreviewElectronic preview.
Available in all modes.
Power Source2 CR-V3 batteries or 4 AA-sized batteries (lithium, Ni-MH, alkaline).
Optional AC adapter available.
Battery LifeCR-V3: Approx. 1000 frames no flash used.
Lithium batteries: Approx. 900 frames no flash used.
Ni-MH batteries: Approx. 450 frames no flash used.
Alkaline batteries: Approx. 110 no flash used.
Dimensions125mm x 92.5mm x 66mm (4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches)
Weight505g (17.8 oz.) (w/out batteries and memory card)
605g (21.3 oz.) loaded and ready

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