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Pentax's *ist DL digital SLR. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Pentax announces *ist DL SLR (UPDATED)
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(Wednesday, June 1, 2005 - 18:00 EDT)

Pentax USA has today announced its new *ist DL digital SLR (pronounced ist-dee-ell), closely based on the existing consumer-oriented *ist DS model.

The *ist DL shares the same lens mount and what looks to be the same sensor as the *ist DS, but with a few changes that look designed to keep costs down. Specifically, the viewfinder has been changed from a 0.95x magnification pentaprism to a 0.85x molded penta-mirror, and the AF system has been reduced from an 11-point type to 3-point AF (although this is still from a SAFOX VIII sensor). There are some upgrades from the *ist DS though - the LCD has been changed to a larger type that should make for easier image review - 2.5 inches versus 2.0 inches in that camera. Other changes in the *ist DL include a new Auto ISO setting, ability to select the active AF point (spot AF mode), three steps of adjustment for the Soft mode, four more cities in the camera's world time clock, two new menu languages (Swedish and Dutch), a 1mm increase in camera depth, and a 35g decrease in camera weight.

We don't currently have pricing or availability information on the camera, but it looks designed to compete with Canon's entry-level EOS Digital Rebel, and Nikon's D50 - both models that currently retail in the region of $799-899 with a bundled kit lens. By way of comparison, the existing *ist DS model has a retail price of $800 body-only.

Following are specifications and product photos for the Pentax *ist DL, as well as a comparison of the *ist DL to its likely main competitors, the Canon EOS Digital Rebel and Nikon D50.

Pentax *ist DL
Pentax's *ist DL digital SLR. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
General
Camera Type SLR
Manufacturer Pentax
Model Number *ist DL
Dimensions 125.0 x 92.5 x 67.0mm
4.9 x 3.6 x 2.7"
Weight 470.0 g
16.4 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type 1.12" CCD
6.31 megapixels (total)
6.10 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Focal Length Multiplier 1.50
Aspect Ratio 3:2
Image Dimensions 3008 x 2008 (6.0 megapixels)
2400 x 1600 (3.8 megapixels)
1536 x 1024 (1.6 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 2.8 frames per second for 5 JPEG or 3 RAW frames (size / quality unknown)
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, Fixed molded penta-mirror type
95% field of view
LCD 2.5", 210,000 pixels
Playback Zoom 12.0x max
Lens
Lens Type Interchangeable Lens
Lens Mount Pentax K-mount
Focusing System 3-point phase detection (SAFOX VIII) w/ selectable spot AF
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/4000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes 16-segment coupled with lens / AF info: Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy,Tungsten Light, Fluorescent Light (W, D, N), Manual, Manual
Internal Flash Modes: Auto, Flash-On, Flash-Off, Red-eye reduction
Range: 15.6m (ISO 200)
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait , Landscape, Macro, Action, Night scene portrait, Standard flash off
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 12 seconds
Time Lapse No
Storage
Recording Medium SD/MMC
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format CCD-RAW, CCD RAW, JPEG
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Other DC In
Power
Battery Type Alkaline or Lithium disposable, NiMH rechargeable
Battery Form Factor 4 x AA or 2 x CR-V3
Product Bundle
Battery / Charger 2 x CR-V3 Lithium disposable battery
Flash Memory 0.0MB
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes
PictBridge Compliant Yes
Internal Microphone No
Internal Speaker Yes
Tripod Mount Yes
Remote Control Yes
Operating System Compatibility Windows, Mac OS
More Photos
Pentax's *ist DL digital SLR. Courtesy of Pentax, with modifications by Michael R. Tomkins. Click for a bigger picture!
 

  Canon EOS 300D Digital Rebel Nikon D50 Pentax *ist DL
General
Camera Type SLR SLR SLR
Manufacturer Canon Nikon Pentax
Model Number 300D D50 *ist DL
Dimensions 5.6 x 3.9 x 2.9"
142.0 x 99.0 x 72.4mm
5.2 x 4.0 x 3.0"
133.0 x 102.0 x 76.0mm
4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6"
125.0 x 92.5 x 67.0mm
Weight 560.0 g
19.6 oz
540.0 g
18.9 oz
470.0 g
16.4 oz
Image Capture
Sensor Type APS-C Canon CMOS CMOS
6.50 megapixels (total)
6.30 megapixels (effective)
Nikon DX CCD
6.24 megapixels (total)
6.10 megapixels (effective)
1.12" CCD
6.31 megapixels (total)
6.10 megapixels (effective)
Focal Length Multiplier 1.60 1.50 1.50
Aspect Ratio 3:2 3:2 3:2
Image Dimensions 3072 x 2048 (6.3 megapixels)
2048 x 1360 (2.8 megapixels)
1536 x 1024 (1.6 megapixels)
3008 x 2000 (6.0 megapixels)
2256 x 1496 (3.4 megapixels)
1504 x 1000 (1.5 megapixels)
3008 x 2008 (6.0 megapixels)
2400 x 1600 (3.8 megapixels)
1536 x 1024 (1.6 megapixels)
Capture Speed Standard: 0.2 frames per second for 4 frames
Continuous: 2.5 frames per second
Continuous: 2.5 frames per second Continuous: 2.8 frames per second
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, SLR with pentamirror
98% field of view
Yes, Fixed-eyelevel penta-Dach-mirror type
95% field of view
Yes, Fixed molded penta-mirror type
95% field of view
LCD 1.8", 118,000 pixels
100% field of view
2.0", 130,000 pixels 2.5", 210,000 pixels
Lens
Lens Type Interchangeable Lens
Varies with lens used, thread size unknown
Interchangeable Lens Interchangeable Lens
Lens Mount Canon EF and EF-S Nikon F Pentax K-mount
Focusing System 7-point phase detection
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Nikon Multi-CAM900 5 area with AF assist lamp
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
3-point phase detection (SAFOX VIII) w/ selectable spot AF
Manual Focus possible (0) steps
Exposure
ISO Sensitivity Auto (100 - 400), 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 200 - 1600 Auto, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/4000 second 30 - 1/4000 second 30 - 1/4000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual Aperture, Shutter, Manual Program, Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes 35-point evaluative, 9% partial, center-weighted 3D color matrix metering II, color matrix metering II, center-weighted, spot 16-segment coupled with lens / AF info: Multi-segment, Center-weighted, Spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments +/- 5.0EV in 1/3EV increments +/- 2.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, Custom, Manual External - Auto, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Direct Sunlight, Flash, Cloudy, Shade, Preset, Manual Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy,Tungsten Light, Fluorescent Light (W, D, N), Manual, Manual
Creative
Scene Modes Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night portrait portrait, landscape, child, sports, close up, night portrait Portrait , Landscape, Macro, Action, Night scene portrait, Standard flash off
Self Timer Yes, 10 seconds Yes, 2 to 20 seconds Yes, 2 or 12 seconds
Time Lapse No No No
Storage
Recording Medium CompactFlash Type 1, CompactFlash Type 2, FAT16/32, Microdrive SD/MMC SD/MMC
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF) Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF) Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format CCD-RAW, CCD-RAW, JPEG (EXIF 2.2) CCD-RAW, RAW (.NEF), JPEG CCD-RAW, CCD RAW, JPEG
Connectivity
Video Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 1.1 USB 2.0 High Speed USB 2.0 High Speed
Other DC In DC In DC In
Power
Battery Type Lithium Ion rechargeable Lithium Ion rechargeable Alkaline or Lithium disposable, NiMH rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary BP-511 / BP-512 Proprietary EN-EL3 4 x AA or 2 x CR-V3
Product Bundle
Battery / Charger Proprietary BP-511 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger Proprietary EN-EL3 Lithium Ion rechargeable battery and charger 2 x CR-V3 Lithium disposable battery
Flash Memory 0.0MB 0.0MB 0.0MB
Other
Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) compliant Yes Yes Yes
Tripod Mount Yes, Metal Yes Yes
Remote Control Yes, Infra-red Yes, Optional ML-L3 wireless Yes
Operating System Compatibility Windows, MacOS Windows, MacOS Windows, Mac OS
 

UPDATED 2005-06-03 09:13ET: Added the official press release, which contains information on pricing and availability that we were previously lacking. The Pentax *ist DL will ship next month with a bundled PENTAX DA 18-55mm digital lens (equivalent to 27 - 82.5mm on a 35mm camera) for a price under US$800 - competitive with Canon's EOS Digital Rebel, as we'd expected. (The Nikon D50 is currently listed at about $100 above both cameras; the lenses bundled with all three cameras have a coverage of 18-55mm.)

Original Source Press Release:

PENTAX Announces New Digital SLR Model: Simple, Affordable, Small Body Features Large LCD Monitor

Golden, CO (June 1, 2005)…PENTAX Imaging Company has unveiled a third digital SLR camera − the PENTAX *ist DL digital SLR. Carrying on the PENTAX tradition of compact digital bodies with simple operation and outstanding performance, the *ist DL features a 2.5 inch LCD monitor and the lightest PENTAX digital SLR body at only 16.6 ounces.

"The *ist DL is the smallest digital SLR with the largest LCD in its class offered at a very affordable price," said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company.

Positioned as an addition to the popular PENTAX digital SLR family, the *ist DL is a perfect camera for beginning digital photographers including families and digital users who are ready to step-up from a point-and-shoot, compact digital camera.

"Anyone seeking simplicity of operation and a large LCD monitor will appreciate the *ist DL," said Bunnell. "Responding to consumer demand, our goal at PENTAX with the *ist DL is to further reduce the cost for an entry-level user."

Featuring 6.1 effective megapixels and compatibility with most interchangeable PENTAX lenses, the *ist DL will ship in July 2005 with the smc PENTAX DA 18-55mm digital lens for under $800 US.

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of cameras, sport optics, lenses, mobility products, 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. PENTAX is a trademark of PENTAX Corporation.

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