PMA Spring 2003 Show
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Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright © 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved. Hands on with the Pentax '*ist D' digital SLR
By Michael R. Tomkins, The Imaging Resource
(Sunday, March 2, 2003 - 18:21 EST)

This morning, we were fortunate to have the opportunity to view Pentax's new '*ist D' digital single-lens reflex camera in the company's booth at PMA.

The camera we saw was an early working prototype - not far enough into development for samples or to show the user interface, but capable of capturing and display photos. Our initial reaction on handling the camera was that it is quite remarkably light, and noticeably smaller than other current digital SLRs.

We had to be extremely tender in holding the camera - not because the body itself might be delicate, but because many of the icons and captions all over the body were fragile decals designed to give an impression of what the camera would look like, and not to stand up to being handled. Because of that, we can't really comment on what the *ist D feels like in-hand, but its sculpted shape certainly seems like it would prove comfortable to hold.

To recap our earlier news item , the *ist D will feature a 6.1 megapixel, 23.5 x 15.7mm CCD image sensor, an 11-point autofocus sensor, shutter speeds to 1/4000 second, flash-sync at 1/150 second, a 2.7 frames per second burst capability, CompactFlash Type-I / II storage compatible with Microdrives, a 1.8" LCD display, power from 4 AA batteries or 2 CR-V3 Lithium Ion batteries, a choice of RAW, JPEG and TIFF file formats, and USB 1.1 connectivity.

In discussion with booth staff, we confirmed something we'd already suspected - we were told that the suggestion that the *ist D shares the same base as the *ist film camera is apparently incorrect. We were told that whilst the cameras are related in name, their bodies are not so closely related by design. This is corroborated by the fact that the cameras have different dimensions, along with the numerous differences in both styling and control placement.

At this time, Pentax is unable to offer any further specifications for the *ist D beyond those already given in our earlier news item . Our exclusive photos of the *ist D (including a photo alongside its film sibling, which booth staff told us was the first such photo taken at the show) follow below. You can also find a number of excellent photos from our good friends Dennis and Mark at LetsGoDigital.

Pentax *ist D PMA Hands-on
Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
The *ist D and *ist film camera side by side
Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
Front view with lens removed
Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
Rear view showing control layout
Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
Top view showing further camera controls
Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
The underside of the camera and battery compartment
Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
Right-hand side with lens attached
Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
Left-hand side with lens attached
Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
Top view with lens attached
Pentax's *ist D digital SLR. Copyright (c) 2003, The Imaging Resource. All rights reserved.
Rear view with lens attached
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