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Pentax *ist DL | Digital Camera Review | Control
As clear as the Pentax *ist DL is constructed, as clear is its operation. Even without reading the manual it won't be difficult to start photographing with the Pentax *ist DL. The only button that might not be clear straight away is the Fn button. But after pressing it once, everything is crystal clear. The Pentax *istDL has a swift startup time, within one second you can take a picture. After starting up extensive information will appear on the screen on the back of the camera concerning the exposure mode at that particular moment. This information also appears when changing modes. Very useful especially for the less enhanced photographer. And if you don't want the information on your screen you can deactivate this mode through the menu. Pentax wants to make photographing as easy as can be and the manufacturer succeeded in doing so to a great extend.
Pentax *ist DL | Digital Camera Pentax *ist DL | Digital Camera
Pentax SLR - Multilingual menu
The main functions are directly accessible through the camera. Where possible additional information will appear on the screen. The Pentax *ist DL speaks many languages. The Pentax *ist DL offers a good description of every feature. A manual is not always carried around, so the information on the camera itself is a great help.

Pentax *istDL - Ergonomics and Response time
The buttons on the Pentax *istDL have a clear pressing point, accidentally setting them to another mode won't happen easily. They are efficiently positioned; you don't have to move your right hand to be able to operate most functions. Also the release button's response is great. An excellent pressing point and a short interval of release, which we love to find on a camera. When photographing with the right eye, the nose falls perfectly alongside the camera. Leaving no dirty spots on the screen. Moreover the monitor doesn't carry a cover or anything like that. This is not of great importance while these covers are bound to get lost. The somewhat tiny viewfinder offers sufficient information. It not only tells you when the focus is correct and the aperture and shutter speed used (the possible user's choice of values will be underlined) but it also shows when a continuous focus is chosen or when the ISO value rises higher than the value adjusted in advance. Handy to prevent you from working with high ISO too long. Because the higher the ISO value, the higher the chances of annoying noise.
Focus - SAFOX VIII auto focus engine
In contrast to other digital reflex cameras of Pentax, the *ist DL doesn't use 11 but only 3-point auto focus. It might seem rather poor. In fact you just have the choice of a wide or narrow focus area. The auto focus engine, the SAFOX VIII is the same as those on the other cameras. It isn't the fastest engine. Stationary objects are not a problem for this engine, but objects like an approaching car or cyclist are already harder to focus correctly and to maintain that focus. The Pentax *ist DL is not meant for the action photographer, still this issue is, as far as I'm concerned, a weak spot of the camera. On the other hand in low light conditions the Pentax *istDL performs excellently. The camera managed to focus correctly quite fast in a nearly dark room.

Rendition - Monitor showing an abundance of information
After photographing, the images can be reviewed rather quickly, certainly when photographing in JPEG format. And a lot of information is available again here. Pressing Info once shows a histogram. The histogram is rendered over the image. If you want to review the part that lies right below, you can just place the histogram slightly upwards. Very thoughtful of Pentax! Pressing Info once more, you'll receive every thinkable information you like. No less than 21 data are shown next to the picture. To check the sharpness the camera enables you to zoom in even 12x. A unique feature! This is some possibility that you won't find on a randomly chosen digital reflex. The monitor is of great quality, although some alterations could be made concerning the colour rendition, it slightly deviates.
Pentax *ist DL Pentax *ist DL
   
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