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Pentax *istDL review with 18-55mm f3.5~5.6 DA lens


The *istDL is Pentax’s latest budget digital SLR. Launched in June 2005, it comes less than a year after the earlier *istDS and while both models have much in common, including 6 megapixel resolution, seriously compact dimensions, the ability to use almost any Pentax lens and, it must be said, an equally unpronounceable name, the new DL simplifies some features to meet a lower price point.

The main differences are as follows: the AF has been simplified from an 11-point system to 3-points, the continuous JPEG shooting buffer reduced from eight to five frames, and the Penta-prism swapped for a cheaper, but lighter Penta-mirror.

The Pentax *istDL isn’t all about reducing features though. Its 2.5in screen is not only bigger than its predecessor, but is one of the largest, most detailed screens of any digital SLR, budget or otherwise.

In this review we’ll take an in-depth look at the Pentax *istDL, comparing it with its rivals along with pointing out the differences with its predecessor. The unit we tested was running a final production firmware version 1.0.

Please visit our Budget DSLR Buyer’s Guide for an update of the best buys around right now.

UPDATE: Also see our Pentax K10D review / video tour and our Pentax DA 40mm and 70mm lens review / video tour.

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