|Pentax *ist DL digital camera review : Pentax showed us a new digital compact SLR camera at the beginning of June 2005. It's not intended as a successor of the current Pentax *ist DS, but it surely is a digital reflex that looks rather similar to the *ist DS. At first glance you'd even think they are identical except for the larger monitor on the Pentax *ist DL. But there is more to it than that. Pentax will continue its production of the *istDS (for now) and the Pentax *istDL will be available as a cheaper alternative for the *ist DS.
Pentax *istDL digital SLR - Light weight and Low price
The difference in price is interesting, some 150 euros. This low price makes the Pentax *ist DL the cheapest digital reflex camera for now (August 2005). And the smallest one, because Pentax still is an expert in manufacturing small cameras. The Pentax *istDL SLR also lost some weight compared to the *ist DS. This loss of weight is probably due to replacing the prism for mirrors. Normally the prism is situated inside the viewfinder of a reflex camera, but in the *ist DL digital SLR the light is being diverted to the ocular through mirrors. This technique is also used at the Canon EOS 350D and the Nikon D50. So it might not be a coincidence that these two cameras are the biggest competitors of the Pentax *ist DL digital reflex.
Pentax *ist DL SLR camera - Auto focus system
Something else that has changed compared to the Pentax *ist DS is the auto focus. The *ist DL uses a 3-point auto focus where as the *ist DS uses an 11-point auto focus. Also the sensor has become one step less sensitive, which won't get noticed much in practise. The internal buffer has decreased; it's capable of containing a maximum of five images. More items have been improved. The most important one is the monitor on the back of the camera. Pentax *ist DS users couldn't complain about the 2-inch sized one; let alone *ist DL users. The Pentax *istDL features a giant 2.5-inch sized monitor. And this on a camera as small as the *ist DL! Competitor Canon may want to take an example by this.
Pentax *istDL digital reflex camera - Digital camera review
Furthermore the Pentax *ist DL continues with the familiar concept, a compact camera particularly aiming at the beginning photographer. The digital reflex camera will be available in silver and in black. If you purchase the Pentax *ist DL you will have the disposal of an enormous amount of lenses. Not only auto focus lenses can be used, but also the older manual lenses will fit the Pentax *ist DL SLR camera. Just like Nikon; Pentax kept the same mount on its new camera. Ideal for those who still have some lenses lying around. Keep in mind the focal lengthening of 1.5x. On paper the Pentax *ist DL seems a very attractive camera. We were the first to get the opportunity to test the Pentax *istDL for a longer period of time. And this review contains our experiences with the Pentax *ist DL in practice.
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