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Pentax *ist-D

Pentax's first d-SLR is a winner, with good color, low noise, and excellent "hand feel," all in a compact body.

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Page 1:Intro and Highlights

Review First Posted: 03/30/2004

First d-SLR designed for compatibility with Pentax system components.
6.3-megapixel CCD, 3,008 x 2,008 pixel images.
ISO range from 200 to 3200
Shooting-priority design, touch shutter button in Play mode, and camera will snap a picture.
Compatible with all Pentax K-mount lenses
Excellent user interface, many clever (and useful) features.


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Manufacturer Overview
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The *ist D (also known simply as the Pentax ISTD or IST-D) is currently the most advanced digital camera available from Pentax. Pentax is a camera maker with a long tradition in the film-based world, but a relative newcomer to the digital arena. They initially co-developed several cameras with Hewlett Packard, but now have stepped out on their own, with digicams entirely of their own design. Their "Optio" line of compact digicams are widely known for their compact designs and rich feature sets, featuring point-and-shoot control with a few additional exposure features, great for average shooting situations.

With the *ist D, Pentax introduces a true digital SLR with a traditional 35mm body style. The Pentax K lens mount accepts most Pentax K lenses, and will be a big draw for enthusiasts already shooting with Pentax film cameras. The *ist D has a 6.31-megapixel CCD for high quality images, a full range of exposure control modes, and enough custom settings to tailor the camera to specific needs. In a field that's rapidly becoming crowded with d-SLR models, the *ist D holds its own very well, in terms of image quality, capabilities, features, and shooting experience. Read on for all of the details!


  • 6.31-megapixel interline/interlace scan CCD with primary color filter, delivering resolutions as high as 3,008 x 2,008 pixels.
  • Single-lens reflex digital camera with interchangeable lenses (supports most Pentax K mount lenses).
  • Variable ISO (200 to 3,200 equivalents).
  • TTL optical viewfinder with detailed information display.
  • 1.8-inch TFT color LCD with 118,000 pixels and backlight.
  • Auto, Program, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, and Bulb exposure modes.
  • Consecutive Shooting, Auto Exposure Bracketing, and Multiple Exposure modes.
  • Variable White Balance with ten modes, including a manual setting.
  • TTL phase-matching autofocus system with 11 AF points and Single and Continuous modes, as well as a manual setting.
  • Topside hot shoe for external flash connection of Pentax dedicated flash unit accessories.
  • External flash PC sync socket for connecting a secondary flash unit.
  • Built-in, pop-up flash with Auto, Auto with Red-Eye Reduction, On, Off, and Red-Eye Reduction modes.
  • 16-segment Multi, Center-Weighted, and Spot metering modes.
  • Adjustable exposure compensation from -3 to +3 exposure equivalents (EV) in one-third or one-half step increments.
  • Shutter speeds from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds in one-third or one-half step increments, and a Bulb setting for unlimited exposure times.
  • Cable release socket for long exposures.
  • Two- or 12-second Self-timer mode, plus a remote control mode for the optional remote.
  • Image storage on CompactFlash Type I or II memory cards, or Microdrive.
  • JPEG, uncompressed TIFF, and RAW data file formats.
  • sRGB and Adobe RGB options.
  • DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) compliant.
  • Powered by four AA-type batteries or two CR-V3 battery packs.
  • Optional IR remote control.

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