Pentax *ist DS
- Compact, fast startup times
- Image quality is slightly lower than competitors
The *ist DS is certainly a great camera, combining 6.1 megapixel resolution, decent build quality and great controls for beginners.
Price$ 1,349.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 2 stores)
Pentax's oddly named *ist DS has a 6.1 megapixel CCD sensor that delivers images with 3008 x 2008 pixel resolution and sufficient detail to make good-looking A3 colour inkjet prints. Like most other digital SLRs, the CCD sensor is physically larger than those in consumer digital cameras, allowing lower noise levels even at high sensitivities.
Also like most digital SLRs, the *ist DS's sensor is smaller than a frame of 35mm film. As a consequence, all lenses have their focal length effectively multiplied 1.5 times. So, for example, the Sigma 18 to 125mm lens optionally sold with the *ist DS has an effective range of roughly 27 to 190mm.
The *ist DS's K-mount can use any Pentax lens, directly handling K, KA, KAF and KAF2 models and even screwmount or medium-format optics with an adapter, which is great news for anyone who already has Pentax gear, or for those who like browsing the second-hand market.
To save space, Pentax has only equipped the *ist DS with a slot for Secure Digital (SD) memory cards. A while back, the prospect of a digital SLR that couldn't use CompactFlash cards was unthinkable, but these days SD cards offer decent capacities at affordable prices. Images can be stored with three different levels of JPEG compression or in RAW mode. Best-quality JPEGs measure around 2.7MB each.
Next to many of its rivals, the *ist DS looks truly compact. It's comfortable to hold, well built and good looking. There's also a 2" LCD on the back and decent-sized LCD status screen on the top.
The main control dial allows photographers to select the traditional program, manual, shutter and aperture priority modes. Users can also choose from one of seven scene presets or allow the Auto Pict mode to do it for them. Sensitivity runs from 200 to 3200 ISO, and the burst mode can capture up to eight JPEGs at 2.8fps.
Power comes from four AAs or a pair of CR-V3 lithium packs, and Pentax supplies a mains adapter and a disposable pair of lithium CR-V3s.
The *ist DS was quick to start and take its first shot. In our tests, it resolved slightly less detail than some of its key competitors, while noise levels were fractionally higher.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z5 Premium review: Is the world ready for a 4K phone?
- 2 Mazda MX-5 (2016) review: Absolute driving purity
- 3 Sony 75-inch UHD TV (X9400C) review: Sony and Android are a winning duo
- 4 LG 55EG960T OLED UHD TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera UHD TV review: good hardware, fragmented software
Best Deals on Good Gear Guide
Latest News Articles
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
- Canon goes big on resolution with 250-megapixel sensor
- Hey, Saturn, take a selfie! World's biggest digital camera will photograph the universe
- GoPro Hero4 Session: half the size, waterproof to 10 metres
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTProject Coordinator - My Learning Space (Oracle iLearning)NSW
- CCSenior Wintel EngineerNSW
- CCInformation Security ManagerNSW
- FTSystems Administrator/Engineer | Projects & BAU | Coastal Newcastle NSWWA
- CCInfrastructure ConsultantNSW
- CCContract System Analyst (JAVA/J2EE/SQL) 160205/SA/881Asia
- CCAEM DeveloperNSW
- CCMultiple Java rolesACT
- CCProject ManagerACT
- FTUI DeveloperNSW
- CCProject Manager - Customer Engagement / NPSVIC
- FTProject Manager | SharePoint, Office 365 SkillsVIC
- CCSAP Test ManagerSA
- CCContract System Analyst (SQL/.net) 160205/SA/561Asia
- FTProgram Test DirectorNSW
- CCTest ManagerQLD
- CCSenior Agile Business AnalystVIC
- FTSecurity ArchitectWA
- CCWintel Support EngineerNSW
- CCContract Analyst Programmer (Java, Oracle ADF) 160115/AP/vhsAsia
- FTSystems Administrator/Engineer | $60-90K package | Northern BeachesNSW
- FTSenior Unified Communications Consultant - National IT ServicesNSW
- CCProject Manager - Managed Print ServicesNSW
- FTOracle System Integration Engineer - CANBERRASA
- FTApplication Support AnalystVIC