Conclusion: Definitely a winner! Perfect for serious photographers and beginners alike thanks to a full set of manual settings and program modes for the experienced photographer and Auto Pict mode for the newbies. In fact, Auto Pict works so well, experienced photographers will find themselves replying on it too.
Conclusion: The *ist DS is one of those cameras which grows on you, it's certainly compact and well put together but when you first pick it up you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a bit basic. In actual fact it packs more features and controls than most other budget SLR's and has some impressive performance to back that up.
Pros: Responsive in use, good buffering feels faster than other 'budget D-SLR' models, Compact and lightweight, yet still has good ergonomics, Good auto focus, relatively quick, accurate, Large viewfinder view provides an 'eye full' of the scene (x0.95 magnification), Excellent resolution as long as you shoot RAW, average otherwise, Relatively low noise levels throughout the sensitivity range (similar to Nikon D70), Wide range of image parameter adjustment (color, tone, sha...
Cons: Average resolution in JPEG mode, images can look over-processed, better to use RAW, Over-saturated default color setting, can lead to channel clipping, Natural Image tone setting should have had at least some sharpening included, Edge demosaic artifacts on RAW images converted through Photo Laboratory, Large RAW files (not losslessly compressed), No display of white balance or ISO setting on Control Panel LCD or viewfinder LCD, Noise tends have the appearance of color...
Excerpt: Pentax claims that the *ist DS is the smallest and lightest digital SLR on the market at moment. This isn't just some hollow boast based on a few millimetres shaved here and there, but a difference that's obvious the moment you see it and pick it up. It makes the Canon EOS 300D seem bulbous, and the Nikon D70 look like a great battleship of a thing.
Excerpt: Physical Views Compare *ist DS and Nikon D70 Compare *ist DS and Canon Digital Rebel Continue on to Page Two *ist DS Specifications Lens Mount PENTAX KAF bayonet mount (by using AF adapter) Usable Lens PENTAX KAF2-, KAF-, and KA-mount lenses. * Power zoom function not available. K-mount lenses usable with restrictions. S-mount lenses usable with adapter.
The Pentax *ist Ds; Compact 6-Megapixel Digital SLR With Intelligent Automation
1 September 2001
Excerpt: The smallest digital SLR on the market when it was first released, the Pentax *ist D received accolades for its diminutive size. Surprisingly, the newer *ist Ds is even smaller and lighter yet it boasts a larger 2" (vs. 1.8") LCD monitor. It's also priced at $300 less but, as we'll see, it's not just a stripped-down version of the earlier model.
Excerpt: : Camera $1330 Lens $640 : 4.5 stars : The Pentax *istDS is, in theory, a cut down version of the *istD. In fact it is hard to see any omissions from the specifications of the new camera compared with the more expensive D. Pentax has stuck with a small form and volume camera that sits well in the hand and is less cumbersome than its overweight competitors. The ergonomics of the camera are excellent and the viewfinder is large and bright. This is a pleasant camera to use.
Pros: One difference between the *istDS and its more expensive sibling is in image quality. Images are sharper from the new camera. Perhaps the softness inherent in the *istD images was a focussing problem that has been overcome. Whatever the reason the new camera produces pin-sharp photos straight from the camera. Auto focus is quick and accurate. Exposure, white balance and dynamic range are all acceptable, although we encountered some exposure problems with high contrast...
Cons: One difference between the *istDS and its more expensive sibling is in image quality. Images are sharper from the new camera. Perhaps the softness inherent in the *istD images was a focussing problem that has been overcome. Whatever the reason the new camera produces pin-sharp photos straight from the camera. Auto focus is quick and accurate. Exposure, white balance and dynamic range are all acceptable, although we encountered some exposure problems with high contrast...
Summary: The Pentax *ist DS is a very good entry-level digital SLR that manages to achieve the difficult task of being easy to use without sacrificing functionality. The *ist DS will more than satisfy all those people who are keen to upgrade from a film-based Pentax system. You should also seriously consider this camera if you don't have any vested interest in the likes of Canon or Nikon.