The *istDL is a new member of the *ist family, here in silver and black.
THE DL was launched in the summer of 2005 for $799/800 EUR – including lens. It is a Light version of the *istDS with a lower price due to a simplified design. The pentaprism viewfinder is replaced by a pentamirror with a lower image magnification (0.85x that was 0.95x in the *istDS), the 11-point autofocus has become three sensors, and the brighter focusing screen is non-interchangable. The Large LCD monitor, on the other hand, is now a respectable 2,5 inches. Other news are an Auto ISO setting, a spot AF mode, continous AF possible in all non-preset modes, and Swedish/Dutch menus.
Steve’s conclusions: We liked the *ist DS2 when we reviewed it in 2005, but thought it was a bit pricey at an MSRP of $799 without a lens. While the *ist DL offers nearly the same feature set with reduced performance, its $599 MSRP with the 18-55mm kit lens makes it a very good value. ––– Providing only 6-megapixels of resolution, the *ist DL may suffer in a direct comparison of specifications, but its low price, very good image quality, small size and light weight make it very worthy of consideration.
The UK MacUser review gives 4/5 mice to the *istDL. It is nice to see that the reviewer gives ample space to the good lens compatibility. The set lens has two small advantages: the front element does not rotate, and a lens hood is included. Despite being a seriously compact camera, the *istDL feature a huge 2.5 inch screen. On the negative side is the lack of a rechargable battery.
The German foto MAGAZINE September 2005 issue features a comparison of several DSLRs. Among the six budget models, the *istDL is ranked last, but all get verdict SEHR GUT – Very Good, so the differences are small. Lens compatibility is not included in the judgements, however.
WHAT DIGITAL CAMERA magazine (Issue No. 100 September) is quite pleased with the *istDL: It is a very good camera indeed that takes good pictures with a mininimum of fuss. The focusing performance of the *istDL is absolutely brilliant. This is, in short, a camera with no noticeable weekness. The main complaint is the limited RAW processing software.
The pentamirror view finder has a lower magnification factor that makes it brighter. That combined with an improved focusing screen makes the *istDL just as good for manual focusing as the *istDS, or perhaps even better.
Macworld appreciates the design a build of the DL, the easy to use Depth of Field Preview, and the long battery life. However, in JPEG mode, the images are soft and occasionally, they are underexposed.
Lens Choice & Use
Please see the *istDS page.
Pros & Cons
Large – 2.5 inch – LCD screen.
Very good dynamics and low noice level.
Higher [final] resolution than the *istDS.
Automatic ISO-selection with selectable upper limit.
Continous autofocus can be selected in program- and halfautomatic modes.
Can use ordinary AA batteries. One tester took 177 photos on a set of alkaline cells (Toshiba) with energy to spare. Alkaline cells may work poorly at low temperatures though.
The handle extends well forward and backward to allow for a firm grip of the camera.
Lowest sensitivity ISO 200.
Does not record JPEG and RAW simultaneously.
Macworld review Pentax ist DL Digital SLR
Partially disassembled (Chinese) *ist DL
Steve’s Digicams review Pentax *istDL
Smartson summary of reviews (Swedish) Pentax *istDL
ZDNet Japan *istDL Editor's Review
Various reviews DIWA Awards
First review from LetsGoDigital Pentax *ist DL Digital Camera Review
Press Release, specs Digital Photography Review
Japanese presentation DCWatch news flash
Photos of camera, example photos DCWatch Presentation
Japanese review of black *istDL DCWatch review 1
Japanese review (DA 18-55mm, Voigtländer) DCWatch review 2
Japanese photos (set lens) PCWatch Longterm Test 1
Japanese photos (fireworks) PCWatch Longterm Test 2
Japanese photos (43mm LE f/1.9) PCWatch Longterm Test 3
Japanese photos (night photo) PCWatch Longterm Test 4
Japanese photos (sunflowers, dog) PCWatch Longterm Test 5
Japanese photos (D FA Makro 100mm F2.8) PCWatch Longterm Test 6
Japanese photos (FA Soft 85mm F2.8) PCWatch Longterm Test 7
Japanese photos (*istDS, *istDS2, *istDL) PCWatch Longterm Test 8
Girl photos Photogenic Weekend #1
Girl photos Photogenic Weekend #2
Girl photos Photogenic Weekend #3
Girl photos Photogenic Weekend #4
Fact Sheet, specs http://www.photoxels.com/pentax-ist-dl.html
User reviews Digital Camera HQ
Pentax *ist DL is a Perfect Fit for Old Lenses.