Barely a week after releasing details of a new film SLR camera (the Pentax *ist), Pentax Corporation has unveiled its new digital SLR, the Pentax *ist D.
March 2003: Barely a week after releasing details of a new film SLR camera (the Pentax *ist), Pentax Corporation has unveiled its new digital SLR, the Pentax *ist D.
The new model features a high-performance 23.5 x 15.7mm CCD sensor with 6.1 million (effective) pixels. It is compatible with a wide range of Pentax lenses and offers full functionality with K, KA, KAF, and KAF2 mount optics.
One key feature of the new model is its compact size and comparatively light weight. The camera body measures 129 x 95 x 60 mm (width x height x depth) and weighs only 510g without batteries, making it the smallest and lightest DSLR on the market. Another notable attribute of the new camera is its pentaprism viewfinder, which was specially developed to provide easy viewing and covers 95% of the field of view with 0.95X magnification. A superimposed display function aids composition by illuminating the AF points in red.
The new model is fitted with a CompactFlash Type I/II slot and is Microdrive compatible. Users can capture and save images in JPEG, TIFF and RAW recording formats. The camera can be powered by four AA batteries or two CR-V3 lithium-ion cells. Top shutter speed is 1/4000 second, with flash sync at 1/150 sec. Burst speed is approximately 2.7 frames/second.
Other features include a new 16-segment metering system and new 11-point (SAFOX VIII) AF sensor. P/A/S/M facilities are provided and a dual-dial system separates aperture and shutter speed settings with Hyper program supporting easy switching between Shutter-Priority AE and Aperture-Priority AE. Custom functions are provided to satisfy user preferences and noise reduction is available for long exposures. A 1.8 inch, 118,000-pixel LCD monitor is provided for easy viewing of menus and image playbacks.
The Pentax *ist D connects to a computer via a USB 1.1 cable and comes with driver and RAW conversion software. A special battery grip is expected to go on sale at the same time as the *ist D.
Local distributor, C.R. Kennedy, hopes to have a sample of the new camera on show on the Pentax stand at the Photo & Imaging Show in Melbourne in May. (The show, which is held at the Melbourne Exhibition Centre, is open to members of the public on Sunday 4 May. Details at www.photoimaging.com.au.) Unfortunately, the camera is unlikely to be released in Australia until August or September.