|PENTAX UNVEILS LONG ANTICIPATED DIGITAL SLR AND TWO LENSES TO U.S. MARKET|
ENGLEWOOD, Colorado (August 8, 2003)…PENTAX U.S.A., Inc. announced that the long anticipated digital SLR *ist D camera (pronounced ist-dee) will begin shipping in September 2003* to the United States.
* Date subject to change.
Housed in one of the world’s smallest, lightest SLR camera bodies, the *ist D comes equipped with an array of advanced functions and user-friendly features, including an APS-sized CCD with impressive 6.1 effective megapixels, a responsive SAFOX VIII autofocus system with 11-point AF sensor, a sophisticated 16-segment multi-pattern metering system, a bright viewfinder with a newly developed compact glass pentaprism, an innovative “Hyper” operating system and 22 user-adjustable custom functions. The *ist D is compatible with existing PENTAX 35mm-format interchangeable lenses and accessories.*
* Some restrictions and conditions may apply to certain lenses and accessories.
To further delight advanced users, PENTAX will expand its interchangeable lens lineup for *ist D users with two new lenses in the coming months. The smc PENTAX-FA J Zoom 18mm-35mm FA-F5.6 AL (equivalent to 27.5mm-53.5mm in 35mm) and the first model of a new DA series designed to match the *ist D CCD size—the PENTAX-DA Zoom 26mm-45mm F4 ED AL. [Editor's note: The US press release says 26mm - 45mm, disagreeing with the Japanese press release. We believe the Japanese figure of 16mm - 45mm is correct.]
Initially previewed in March 2003 at the Photo Marketing Association Trade Show in Las Vegas, the new *ist D features a user-friendly direct-access operation system so users may adjust many digital camera functions, such as white balance control, with pushbutton ease to eliminate the trouble of recalling the menu settings each time the camera is used.
Offering a combination of high-resolution digital images with SLR photography, PENTAX suggests the new *ist D will outperform competitive digital SLR camera models currently on the market. This high-performance PENTAX digital SLR camera will have tremendous appeal for a wide range of photographers, both compact digital and conventional 35mm SLR users, looking for superior image quality and SLR versatility and the convenience and benefits of the advanced digital format.
PENTAX U.S.A., Inc. is an innovative leader in the production of digital and film cameras, binoculars, 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 U.S.A., INC. is a wholly owned subsidiary of PENTAX CORPORATION.
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6.1 effective megapixels for outstanding image reproduction
Incorporating an APS-sized CCD (23.5mm by 15.7mm) and driven by high-performance data processing circuitry, the *ist D offers impressive 6.1 effective megapixels to capture super-clear, high-resolution digital images and accurately reproduce subtle hues and fine details.
One of the world’s smallest, lightest bodies
Dimensions: 5.1” wide (129mm) x 3.7” high (94.7mm) and 2.4” thick (60.1mm)
Weight: 19.4 ounces (550 grams) without batteries
With the PENTAX industry-leading 3D CAD design technology and a newly developed super-compact glass pentaprism, the *ist D offers outstanding portability and maneuverability in a wide variety of photographic applications. A stainless-steel chassis offers exceptional rigidity, especially against torsion, to protect the interior mechanisms from shock.
Compatibility with 35mm-format lenses and accessories
Featuring the acclaimed PENTAX K lens mount used in conventional 35mm-format SLR cameras, the
*ist D accepts a large number of existing 35mm-format interchangeable zoom and special-application lenses and accessories to help accommodate diversified photographic requirements and maximize creativity and image quality.**
** Some restrictions and conditions may apply to certain lenses and accessories.
Bright, high-precision viewfinder with superimposed AF-point display
Exclusively designed to complement the high-performance CCD, the *ist D viewfinder offers a super-clear, high-precision view of the subject at a magnification of 0.95 times (with a 50mm F1.4 lens at infinity, diopter at -1m-1), improving focusing accuracy in manual focus operations and assuring precise framing. The display system offers a wide range of information to inform the photographers of the camera’s operational status at the shooting position. The *ist D is equipped with a built-in diopter adjuster with an adjustable range of -2.5-1 ~ +1.5m-1.
High-precision 11-point autofocus with SAFOX VIII
With a newly developed SAFOX VIII phase-matching autofocus system, the camera’s 11-point AF sensor covers a wide area of both horizontal and vertical image fields with exceptional speed and precision even under poor lighting conditions. Nine of the 11 AF sensors are a horizontally extended, cross-shaped type, improving focusing accuracy and aligned to effectively cover the middle section, while two additional sensors are positioned at each side of this section. In addition to the versatile “Auto” mode and the pinpoint “SPOT” mode, the *ist D offers the innovative “SELECT” mode, which allows the photographer to select one of the 11 AF sensor points using the four-way controller on the back panel. The user-selected sensor point is superimposed in the viewfinder with a red LED indicator.
Sophisticated 16-segment multi-pattern metering
The *ist D’s sophisticated 16-segment multi-pattern metering system solves even the most complicated lighting conditions efficiently and instantly to produce beautifully exposed images frame after frame. Spot and center-weighted metering modes are also available to accommodate specialized applications.
Multi-mode exposure system with flexible “Hyper” operations
The *ist D features a sophisticated exposure system with six distinctive exposure modes. In addition to the all-purpose Green Program mode and the conventional Aperture-Priority AE, Shutter-Priority AE and Bulb modes, it also comes equipped with the innovative “Hyper” exposure modes, which were originally developed by PENTAX to simplify camera operations and maximize creativity. The Hyper Program mode allows the photographer to instantly shift the exposure program using the Tv and/or Av dials without the trouble of resetting the exposure modes. The Hyper Manual mode allows fingertip adjustment of shutter and/or aperture settings in Metered Manual operation. In both Hyper modes, the photographer can instantly jump back to the original program or settings using the IF button. In the Hyper Program mode, the user can choose from the High-Shutter-Speed-Priority, Depth-Priority or MTF-Priority programs as the default program, rather than Normal program, using one of the custom functions.
User-adjustable custom functions
The *ist D features 22 user-adjustable custom functions, allowing the user to preprogram important camera functions to suit individual preferences. The user-selected function is clearly displayed on the LCD image monitor for at-a-glance confirmation.
Continuous shooting at 2.6 frames per second
In the continuous AF mode, the *ist D is capable of successively recording up to nine images at the speed of 2.6 frames per second, making it possible to capture the flow of the subject’s motion.
1/4000-second high-speed shutter with 1/150-second flash sync
The *ist D offers a top shutter speed of 1/4000 second to freeze the decisive moment of the subject’s action or motion. It also offers a high flash synchronization speed of 1/150 second to create dramatic flash images using large apertures.
Versatile multi-source power supply (AA-sized batteries, lithium batteries and AC adapter)
The *ist D can operate from three different power sources to maximize user convenience. In addition to the two accompanying CR-V3 batteries and the optional AC adapter, the *ist D can be powered by four AA-sized batteries (lithium, alkaline, and NiMH), which are commonly available around the world. The optional battery grip can also be combined with the batteries to accommodate extended photo sessions.
Storage media compatibility (MicroDrive™ and CompactFlash™ Type I and II)
The *ist D accepts the widely available CompactFlash™ Type I and II memory cards and the large-capacity MicroDrive™ for high storage volume and fast access speed.
High-precision 1.8-inch LCD image monitor and multi-data status LCD monitor
Located on the back panel, the 1.8-inch 118,000-pixel LCD monitor allows the instant viewing of a just captured image and the playback of recorded images with exceptional clarity and high precision. Positioned at the upper right corner of the top panel, the status LCD monitor provides a host of information on the camera’s operational status at a glance.
Convenient playback functions
Using the large image LCD monitor, the *ist D features four convenient playback modes: (1) The single-frame mode displays capture images one by one and allows the photographer to magnify a selected image up to 12 times; (2) The multi-frame mode lets the photographer view nine recorded images simultaneously; (3) The quick view mode shows a just captured image for one, three or five seconds; (4) The slide show mode automatically displays captured images one after another at an interval of three, five, 10, 15, 20 or 30 seconds.
Choice of recording formats (JPEG, TIFF and RAW) and image file sizes
The *ist D offers a choice of three recording formats: compressed JPEG, and uncompressed TIFF and RAW. The user can select one of three file sizes (“L” at 3008 x 2008 pixels, “M” at 2400 x 1600 pixels, and “S” at 1536 x 1024, 1152 x 768 or 960 x 640 pixels) and one of five image quality levels (good, better, best, TIFF and RAW) to meet specific requirements.
Versatile white balance control
The *ist D offers a choice of three white balance modes: “Auto,” “Preset” and “Manual.” The preset mode allows the instant selection of one of eight different white balance settings, while the manual mode recalls one of three settings preset by the user with pushbutton ease.
Exposure levels can be displayed in graph form on the LCD image monitor during both shooting and playback, allowing the photographer to check the images with greater accuracy.
Standard software for RAW-format data and browser
Enclosed in the *ist D kit, the S-SW10 CD-ROM contains the RAW-format data processing software “PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory” and the browser software “PENTAX PHOTO Browser.”
Noise reduction during extended exposure
The noise reduction function can be activated at slow shutter speeds to eliminate digital noise that may spoil the quality of captured images.
Powered by four AA-sized batteries, the optional D-BG1 battery grip prolongs the *ist D’s operation time. It can be mounted onto the bottom of the *ist D without removing the battery stored inside the camera, so the battery life is extended considerably. It also comes equipped with a vertical-position shutter release button, a preview lever, Tv/Av dials and an AE lock button. The optional O-CC10 camera case stores an *ist D camera body set with a standard zoom lens and features an inside pocket to hold a lens cap and the optional remote controller.
Multi-function auto flash
When set in a pop-up position, the built-in auto flash automatically discharges in the dark and against backlight to provide supplemental illumination on the subject. Its red-eye reduction function helps the photographer avoid the annoying red-eye effect in the subject’s eyes in flash portraits.**** The flash can be activated or turned off manually to create specific visual effects or to comply with flash restrictions.
**** This feature does not eliminate red eyes in all instances.
Creative shooting modes: auto bracketing and multiple exposure
The auto bracketing function enables the capturing of three different exposures of the same subject — proper, under- and over-exposure — with a single shutter release. The photographer has a choice of three orders (proper/under/over, under/proper/over, and over/proper/under) and six exposure ranges (±0.3EV, ±0.7EV and ±1.0EV in 1/3EV increments; ±0.5EV, ±1.0EV and ±1.5EV in 1/2EV increments).
Remote shutter release
Using the optional remote controller, the photographer can release the shutter from a distance with a three-second delay or instantly.
Turning the main switch to “preview” position provides instant confirmation of the depth of field (in-focus area) for a selected aperture.
PENTAX Markets a Compact 18mm~35mm Zoom Lens for Its 35mm-Format Autofocus SLR Cameras
PENTAX Corporation is proud to announce the marketing in September of the
smc PENTAX-FA J Zoom 18mm~35mm F4~F5.6 AL for use with PENTAX 35mm-format autofocus SLR cameras. Featuring an ultra-wide 100-degree angle of view at the 18mm focal length, this compact interchangeable zoom lens produces high-quality images with minimal aberration, thanks to the incorporation of an aspherical lens element.
Featuring a simple, functional design without an aperture ring, this compact, high-performance zoom lens measures only 72 millimeters (2.8 inches) in diameter and 68.5 millimeters (2.7 inches) in length and weighs a mere 190 grams (6.7 ounces). It also features an angle-of-view coverage between 63 and 100 degrees and a minimum focusing distance of 0.28 meters (0.92 feet) for a maximum magnification of 0.18 times. It comes equipped with a lens hood to cut off excessive light and minimize flare and ghost images.
When mounted on the new PENTAX *ist D digital SLR camera, this zoom lens offers focal lengths equivalent to 27.5mm~53.5mm in the 35mm format to cover wide-angle to standard ranges.
PENTAX Develops the New DA Series of Interchangeable Lenses for Its Digital SLR Cameras
PENTAX Corporation is proud to announce that it is currently in the final stage of development of the compact, high-performance smc PENTAX-DA series of interchangeable lenses, exclusively designed for use with PENTAX digital SLR cameras.
The image circle in the DA-series lenses is designed to perfectly match the size of the CCD (23.5mm x 15.7mm) incorporated in PENTAX's digital SLRs, optimizing the performance of these cameras. The new design also contributes to a drastic reduction in size, weight and production cost, compared to 35mm-format counterparts with similar specifications.
As the first model of the new DA series, PENTAX plans to market the
smc PENTAX-DA Zoom 16mm~45mm F4 ED AL (tentative name, equivalent to 24.5mm~69mm in the 35mm format; marketing date to be announced), which features a three-times zoom ratio with focal lengths covering ultra-wide to moderate-telephoto ranges when mounted on the new PENTAX *ist D digital SLR camera. It also incorporates an Extra-low Dispersion (ED) glass lens element and two aspherical lens elements for true-to-life image reproduction and size reduction. Its simple, functional design, coupled with the elimination of an aperture ring, considerably improves the camera's operability.