Pentax Downsizes Compact Digital SLR Camera

Pentax Downsizes Compact Digital SLR Camera


Pentax has announced the new *ist DS digital SLR camera with a few cut-backs. The DS is identical looking to the *ist D, both use the same six megapixel CCD sensors. It measures 4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches and weighs under 18 ounces, making it one of the smallest and DSLR designs on the market. The *ist DS will be available in November and will retail for around the same price as the Canon Digital Rebel.

See press release below.

PENTAX Downsizes Digital Again In Second Compact Digital SLR

PENTAX has downsized digital SLR photography once again with the introduction of the *ist DS digital SLR. Developed as a second, even smaller, PENTAX compact digital SLR, the *ist DS camera advances the PENTAX commitment to easy-to-use and portable digital.

The *ist DS is one of the smallest and lightest digital SLR cameras available. Measuring just 4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches and weighing under 18 ounces, the *ist DS also delivers superior image quality in compact design. Despite the size, the *ist DS offers 6.1 effective megapixels and PENTAX original image processing technology. The camera is designed to be compatible with most PENTAX interchangeable lenses to meet a wide range of applications and visual creativity.

The *ist DS hosts an array of advanced, user-friendly features including a high-magnification viewfinder, a 2.0 inch color LCD monitor, a generous LCD data panel, and an innovative Auto picture mode for automatic selection of the proper exposure program. Offering quick, effortless operation and easy portability, the *ist DS is the ideal digital SLR for all levels of photographers, including first-timer digital SLR users and families.

PENTAX will unveil the *ist DS and other new and exciting digital products on September 20 at the PEPCOM Holiday Spectacular in New York City. The PENTAX *ist DS will ship to major camera retailers in November 2004.

Major features of *ist DS include:

Compact, Portable Design

Featuring a super-compact, ultra-lightweight body, the *ist DS offers outstanding portability. PENTAX downsized digital SLR technology by including a high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis, multi-layered electronic circuit boards and high-density packaging. The result is an extremely portable body, measuring just 4.9 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches and weighing under 18 ounces without batteries and SD memory card. The *ist DS is smaller and lighter than the acclaimed *ist D.

High-definition, maximum-gradation images with 6.1 effective megapixels

Thanks to its large, high-performance CCD image sensor, the *ist DS offers 6.1 effective megapixels. Coupled with original image processing technology from PENTAX, the camera produces high-definition images rich in gradation and saturation.

Compatibility with PENTAX interchangeable lenses

The *ist DS offers the outstanding benefit of lens interchangeability that allows users to take advantage of a wide selection of existing PENTAX interchangeable lenses.**

**PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount 35mm-format lenses can be used without an adapter or modification. PENTAX screw-mount 35mm-format lenses and PENTAX 645- and 67-system lenses can be used with an adapter. Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.

Bright, high-magnification pentaprism viewfinder

The *ist DS comes equipped with a glass pentaprism viewfinder offering a 95% field of view and a 0.95X magnification. The camera features a large, bright viewfinder image equal in size, clarity and brightness to viewfinders incorporated in conventional 35mm-format SLRs. This confirmation of the subject’s focus much easier, even in manual-focus mode.

Large color LCD monitor

With a high-precision 2.0 inch color LCD monitor offering approximately 210,000 pixels, the *ist DS makes it quick and effortless to review recorded images and read menus.

Large LCD data panel

The *ist DS features a large, easy-to-read LCD data panel on the top panel to allow easy, at-a-glance confirmation of the camera’s operational status and various settings.

User-friendly automatic operations

The *ist DS is equipped to make camera operations simple and effortless for the user. Its innovative Auto picture mode automatically and instantly selects the optimum combination of exposure settings for a given subject or situation, including shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast, and intensity of edges. The built-in auto flash automatically pops up in dimly lit or backlit situations.

Simple, accessible operation system

From the multi-function four-way controller to the responsive electronic select dial and the large, easy-to-use mode dial, all switches and dials are efficiently and functionally laid out around the camera’s compact body to assure smooth, fingertip control.

High-precision 16-segment multi-pattern metering

The *ist DS incorporates an advanced 16-segment metering system to assure high-precision light measurement, even under complicated lighting conditions. Center-weighted metering and spot metering are also available to meet specialized applications.

High-accuracy 11-point AF sensor

The *ist DS features the sophisticated SAFOX VIII AF system incorporating 11 AF sensors (nine of them constituting a cross-type wide-area sensor grid in the middle). It not only offers accurate, pinpoint autofocusing, but also allows the user to select one of the sensors to accommodate a specific image composition.

Superimposed AF sensor point indication

The selected AF sensor point is highlighted in red in the viewfinder for easy visual confirmation.

1/4000-second high-speed shutter

The *ist DS features a high-speed shutter unit with a top speed of 1/4000 second and a top synchronization speed of 1/180 second to assure greater visual creativity.

High-speed consecutive shooting

The *ist DS records up to 8 images consecutively at a speed of approximately 2.8 frames per second, allowing the user to capture a series of the subject’s action or movement.

SD memory card compatibility

The *ist DS uses the widely available SD memory card as its storage media, not only assuring high-speed recording and readout of image data, but also contributing to the downsizing of the camera body.

Additional features include:

18 user-programmable custom functions to personalize camera operations to the user’s preferences
Noise-reduction system to minimize annoying digital noise during extended exposures
Dual power source, with a choice of two CR-V3 lithium batteries or four AA-size batteries
Effortless data uploading to a PC using the included USB cable (USB 2.0 compatible)
Functional playback functions, including 12X zoom display and nine-image thumbnail display
A choice of image format between JPEG (Best, Better or Good) or RAW
Interchangeable Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen (AF Frame Matte screen included as standard; AF Split-Image Matte and AF Divided Matte screens available as optional accessories)
PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 2.0 RAW-data processing software and PENTAX PHOTO Browser 2.0 browser software included
PictBridge compatibility