Pentax *ist D SLR Review

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Pentax *ist D

Camera Features:
Flash and Viewfinder

The camera's built-in retractable flash unit makes taking pictures with well-balanced foreground and background exposures simple. It has a Guide number of 15.6 (at ISO 200/m) with an 18mm angle of view coverage. Flash synch speed is 1/150 second. Flash- On, Red-Eye Reduction and Flash-Off modes.

The *ist D has an ISO hot shoe and a standard PC flash sync port for connection to external flash equipment.

Pentax *ist D with Canon 550EX speedlight, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

The *ist D functions in full TTL with the Pentax AF-360 FGZ Power Zoom Flash. When used in the advanced P-TTL mode a preflash allows for multi-segment flash metering for more accurate strobe photography. High speed on camera and wireless flash capabilities with the *ist D. Includes an AF-assist beam for focusing in low light or low contrast situations, its working range is 3.3 to 23 feet.

Effective flash range is from 2.3 to 17.8 feet. Power zoom head covers from 20mm (with wide angle panel) to 85mm. Vertical bounce possible, click stops provided (-10°, 0°, 45°, 60°, 75°, 90°), lock provided at 0°. Compatible film speeds are from ISO 25 to ISO 1600. Recycle time with NiMH batteries is approx. 6 seconds. Auto power-off after approx. 3 minutes of non-operation.

Pentax *ist D with Canon 550EX speedlight, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

Flash exposure compensation (-3.0 to + 1.0 in 0.5 steps) is controlled through a simple control dial. LCD display shows the effective range of the flash in P-TTL, TTL and AUTO modes. Modeling light features strobes the flash so you can check for unwanted shadows or highlights. Manual mode power selections in six steps from 1/1 to 1/32. Leading shutter curtain sync, trailing shutter curtain sync, contrast control sync and high speed sync. Four channel wireless control with a range of approx. 13 feet.

Pentax *ist D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

The eyelevel viewfinder employs an optical pentaprism viewfinder developed especially for the *ist D and shows approx 95% of the captured image with 0.95X magnification (with 50mm F1.4 at infinity). The focusing screen is a fixed Natural Bright-Matte type. There is a -2.5 - +1.5 diopter adjustment. Around the viewfinder is a soft rubber eyepiece that fits comfortably against your face or eyeglasses.

Pentax *ist D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

The 11 focusing points are superimposed in the viewfinder, the active focus points are illuminated so you know exactly which AF area(s) have been selected. They are all shown illuminated here for the purpose of illustration.

Viewfinder indicators includes: Built-in flash status, AF sensor pattern, in-focus, shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation factor, bar graph. AF frame with superimposed AF sensor point, spot AF frame.

Pentax *ist D, image (c) 2003 Steve's Digicams

Here is the layout of the 16-segment multi-pattern metering system.

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