June 2, 2005 - Pentax Imaging jumped into the competitive digital SLR fray today with the release of the user-friendly 6.1 megapixel *istDL camera. It is expected to retail for under $800 and will undoubtedly challenge the market niches held by the Canon Rebel XT and Nikon D50 and D70s.
The 6.1 megapixel **istDL features a 2.5-inch LCD on a body that measures 4.5 x 3.6 x 2.6 inches with a loaded weight of 19.4 ounces. The Pentax **istDL is SD card compatible, but does not offer any internal memory. The *istDL will ship in July 2005 with the smc Pentax DA 18-55mm digital lens for under $800 US.
"The *istDL is the smallest digital SLR with the largest LCD in its class offered at a very affordable price," said Ned Bunnell, Director of Marketing at Pentax Imaging Company.
The 2.5-inch LCD features 210,000 pixels of resolution and allows novice users the ability to instantly review images taken with camera or following capture with the *istDL’s Auto Picture mode which automatically chooses standard portrait, landscape, macro, or action modes.
The Pentax *istDL can use Pentax K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount 35mm-format lenses without an adapter or modification, though an adaptor is needed for Pentax screw-mount 35mm-format lenses and PENTAX 645- and 67-system lenses.
Selectable photo modes on the *istDL include Auto Picture, Standard, Portrait, Night-scene Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Flash Off, Program AE, Shutter Priority AE, Aperture Priority AE, Metered Manual, and Bulb.
The Pentax **istDL’s high-speed shutter unit has a top shutter speed of 1/4000 second and a top synchronization speed of 1/180 second. Additionally, the **istDL records up to five images consecutively at a speed of approximately 2.8 frames per second, according to Pentax.
ISO on the Pentax *istDL includes sensitivity ratings of ISO 200, 400, 800, 1600 and 3200 and can be selected both manually or automatically.
"Anyone seeking simplicity of operation and a large LCD monitor will appreciate the **istDL," said Bunnell. "Responding to consumer demand, our goal at PENTAX with the **istDL is to further reduce the cost for an entry-level user."
It is this blend of easy of use in a higher-end SLR, as well as the reduced pricing, that Pentax hopes will make it an instant and viable competitor in the digital SLR market.
Users of the Pentax *istDL have a choice of either two CR-V3 lithium batteries or four AA-size batteries.