Pentax has launched an entry-level version of its *ist DSLR camera called the *ist DL.

Like other models from other manufacturers, Pentax has simplified operations and reduced the cost to entice a digital camera users wanting more than a fixed lens unit.

The new *istDL, available in both black and silver and features 6.1 megapixels, a 2.5-inch color LCD monitor and compatibility with most interchangeable Pentax lenses.

PRESS RELEASE:

Major Features
User-friendly automatic operations
The *istDL is equipped with Auto Picture Mode, which automatically and instantly selects the most appropriate Picture mode from Standard, Portrait, Landscape, Macro or Action, for a given subject or situation to assure the optimum combination of aperture, shutter speed, white balance, saturation, contrast and intensity of edges. In addition, the built-in auto flash automatically pops up in dimly lit or backlit situations. As a result, even first-time digital SLR users can immediately produce high-quality digital images with minimal effort.

Simple, accessible operation system
From the multi-function four-way controller to the responsive electronic Av/Tv dials and the large, easy-to-use mode dial, all switches and dials are efficiently and functionally laid out on the *istDL's compact body for comfortable fingertip control. The ergonomically designed grip also assures firm, comfortable hold of the camera.

Extra-large 2.5-inch color LCD monitor
The *istDL's high-precision 2.5-inch color LCD monitor, with approximately 210,000 pixels, displays recorded images with sharp precision, even when the original image is magnified by 12 times using the digital zoom capability. It also facilitates image confirmation after shooting and menu selection during shooting and editing operations. The menu screen also provides an optimum color scheme between menu descriptions and background to assure easy reading under all types of lighting conditions.

Compact, go-anywhere design
The *istDL features a compact, high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis and a compact, bright viewfinder combining the Pentax-original penta-mirror and a newly developed focusing screen. Combining other advanced downsizing technologies, such as 10-layer electronic circuit boards and high-density packaging technology. As one of the world's smallest lens-interchangeable digital SLR cameras, the *istDL offers the outstanding portability.

High-definition, maximum-gradation images with 6.1 effective megapixels
Thanks to its large, high-performance CCD image sensor (23.5mm by 15.7mm), the *istDL offers 6.1 effective megapixels. Coupled with Pentax's original image processing technology using a high-performance engine, it produces high-definition images rich in gradation and saturation. It also offers a choice of finishing touches between ‘bright' and ‘natural' to satisfy user preferences.

User-friendly guide screen
The *istDL features a user-friendly, multi-data guide screen, which offers detailed description of shooting modes, displays drive, flash and white balance settings using text and sample photos, and presents a comprehensive list of all camera settings on the large 2.5-inch monitor.

High-precision 16-segment multi-pattern metering
The *istDL incorporates a sophisticated 16-segment metering system to assure high-precision light measurement, even under complicated lighting conditions. It also offers centre-weighted metering and spot metering for specialised applications.

High-accuracy AF sensors
Featuring the advanced SAFOX VIII AF system incorporating three cross-type wide-area AF sensors, the *istDL automatically selects the most appropriate sensor for a given subject. It also lets the user fix the sensor point on the middle sensor for specific applications. Using the menu screen, the user can select the preferred focus mode between Single AF, which locks the focus when the shutter release button is half-depressed, and Continuous AF*, which adjusts the focus to the subject's movement.
* This focus mode is available in the Auto Picture and Picture modes, only when the Action mode is selected.

1/4000-second high-speed shutter
The *istDL incorporates a high-speed shutter unit, with a top speed of 1/4000 second and a top synchronisation speed of 1/180 second, to assure greater visual creativity. The bulb setting is also available to accommodate extended exposures at night.

High-speed 2.8-frame consecutive shooting
The *istDL records up to five images (at ‘best' image quality in JPEG format) consecutively at a speed of approximately 2.8 frames per second, allowing the user to capture a series of photos of the subject's motion.

Compatibility with PENTAX interchangeable lenses
The *istDL offers the outstanding benefit of lens interchangeability, letting the user take advantage of the wide selection of Pentax interchangeable lenses for use with diversified subjects and applications.

SD memory card compatibility
The *istDL uses the widely available SD memory card as its storage media, not only assuring high-speed recording and readout of image data, but also helping to reduce the camera body size.

Other features
- 18 user-programmable custom functions to personalise camera operations to user preferences
- Noise-reduction system to minimise annoying digital noise during extended exposures
- Dual power source, with a choice of two CR-V3 lithium batteries or four AA-size batteries
- Effortless PC data upload via USB 2.0 (high-speed) connection
- Functional playback functions, including 12x zoom display and nine-image thumbnail display
- A choice of image format between JPEG (good, better or best) or RAW
- Four digital filters (black-and-white, sepia, slim, and soft-focus in three patterns) for easy post-shooting image processing
- Pentax Photo Laboratory 2.1 RAW-data processing software and Pentax Photo Browser 2.1 browser software included
- PictBridge compatibility