Pentax *ist DL | Digital Camera Review | Storage and Energy
In order to make things as easy as possible for the users of the Pentax *ist DL, Pentax decided for excellently available batteries and memory cards. Concerning power, the user may choose from Alkaline batteries, CR-V3 batteries, NiMH batteries or external power adapter. The latter one is optional. Pentax standard delivers four AA batteries, but they are not of great use to you. The Secure Digital memory card is used for data storage. A logical choice. Not only because the *ist DS is using this memory card, but also because these memory cards are available everywhere with different capacities and speeds.
Secure Digital memory card - JPEG and RAW format storage
The SD card is a compact memory card and is getting used more often lately. Not only in compact cameras but also in other equipment. Secure Digital memory cards are fast cards, especially when using the faster SanDisk version, the Extreme III Secure Digital. The images appeared extremely fast on my card. Specifically when shooting in JPEG you can just continuously take pictures with the Pentax * ist DL. In RAW format sometimes you have to wait and remember that patience is a virtue, when the buffer is emptying. A RAW file consists of about 10MB, a JPEG file in the highest quality around 1.5 to 2MB. A card with a storage capacity of 512MB might not be sheer luxury and when photographing in RAW I suggest a 1GB memory card. In the table below an estimate is given about how many images will fit on a 512MB Secure Digital memory card.
*ist DL digital camera - Fast interface
A fast USB 2.0 connection will get the images very speedy onto a computer. But usually it is easier to work with a card reader. It also saves energy of the camera. Concerning the image speed, the Pentax *ist DL is not the fastest among digital cameras, but the camera certainly doesn't perform badly. Some 2,8 frames per second can be taken. Sadly the auto focus can't always keep up with the speed. The buffer can contain approximately five JPEG images. Certainly the JPEG images are stored on the memory card very quickly. When the buffer is full, shooting is still possible with approximately 1 frame per second.
Energy management - Large choice from power sources
The user has a broad choice from batteries for the Pentax *ist DL. The standard AA batteries are nice but they don't keep up for long. Besides these batteries, two CR-V3 batteries can be used or four NiMH batteries. I used four 2300mAh batteries from the Duracell brand. Pentax claims that approximately 560 images with flash can be taken with a fresh set of 2500mAh batteries. If all images were taken with flash, still 440 photos can be made. My batteries took over 400 images, a large part of them with flash and intensive use of the monitor. Still the camera shows fully loaded. This means I don't have any reason to doubt Pentax's numbers. Moreover, the Pentax *ist DL is one of the most economical cameras I've ever come across.