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Pentax *ist DL

alaTest has collected and analyzed 407 reviews from magazines and websites. People really like the lens and screen. The portability and value for money are also appreciated. The video and exposure get critical comments, and there are some mixed views about the sensor and focus.

usability, value for money, portability, screen, lens

flash, exposure, video

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital SLR Cameras the Pentax *ist DL is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 89/100 = Very good quality.

See all Pentax Digital SLR Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 407 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 181 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 181 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (105)

Expert review by:

Pentax ist DL Digital SLR


Compact size ; Simple controls ; Good feature set

Images looked soft ; Artifacts show up when shooting JPEGs

Expert review by:

Pentax *ist DL 6.1 megapixel DSLR reviewed


If you're looking for a relatively cheap way to enter the world of digital SLR photography, the UK's DigiCam Review thinks you could do a lot worse than the Pentax *ist DL, which despite its unpronouncable name, came out a clear winner in their...

Expert review by:

Pentax [star]ist DL Camera


With a street price of $600 (as of March 21, 2006) and a basic feature set, the Pentax *ist DL represents a good entry-level option for aspiring digital SLR shooters on a budget. Though it isn't long on features, the *ist DL provides the automatic and...

Excellent overall construction Controls are easy to use one-handed

No external controls for ISO and flash Images didn't look very sharp

The *ist DL falls down in image quality. In JPEG mode, the camera's shots are soft and occasionally look underexposed. Increasing the default sharpening setting helps make images look crisper; and once you're used to the underexposure, you can...


Expert review by:

Pentax *ist DL, Megapixel, SLR, Digital Camera (6.1MP, 2008x3008, SD)


Artwork: Rick Rizner, Chris Manners

Excellent overall construction ; Controls are easy to use one-handed

No external controls for ISO and flash ; Images didn't look very sharp

Compact camera offers simple controls and a good feature set, but some of our images looked a bit soft.

Expert review by:

Pentax *ist DL (with 18mm-to-55mm lens)


Svelte and affordable; logical interface; solid image quality.

Autofocus sometimes flustered by difficult scenes; auto white-balance setting mediocre for outdoor shadows or artificial light.

A great value per ounce, the Pentax *ist DL is a logical choice for budget-minded enthusiasts looking to upgrade to a digital SLR, but it's not ideal for shooting action or running on full auto.

Expert review by:

Pentax *ist DL SLR


The Pentax *ist DL is one of the smallest and lightest digital SLR cameras available. And Pentax has just made it the most affordable digital SLR in the world (as of Feb 2006) by lowering its price to just $599 USD including the 18-55mm zoom lens. Despite

Expert review by:

Pentax *ist DL


Incredibly portable and lightweight for a D-SLR. Provides lots of options and features. Inexpensive.

1.5X magnification factor. Burst rate could be quicker. Menu structure could be better.

The Pentax *ist DL is a worthy follow-up to the capable *ist DS, but doesn't quite measure up to other low-cost consumer D-SLR offerings.

Expert review by:

Pentax *istDL Digital Camera Review


Pentax *istDL Digital Camera Review Pentax's *istDL is the company's second entry into the consumer DSLR market. With a 6.1 megapixel APS-format sensor, a maximum ISO of 3200, a 2.5-inch, 210,000-pixel display, RAW file capability, and a street price...

2.5-inch, 210,000 pixel LCD-has great color and contrast., ISO 3200-offers usable high-end sensitivity., Styling-the subtle patches of color and refined lines are clean and attractive., Sturdy construction-feels durable, doesn't creak.

Autofocus - only three sensors placed close together are inferior to the competition., Grip - ridges and edges limit the choices for holding the camera., Kit Lens - dark maximum aperture limits the body's low light potential., Port Door - the door...

The *ist DL is a reasonable entry in the entry level DSLR market. The camera's most unique features in that market, the 2.5-inch LCD and the ISO 3200 setting, are real strengths.

Expert review by:

Pentax *ist DL now $549.95


As of February 1, 2006, Pentax has reduced the price of its entry level DSLR kit by $200. The 6.1MP *ist DL with an 18-55mm DA lens will now cost $599.95 instead of $799.95. The body-only price for the *ist DL has dropped to $549.95. Prices of all...

Expert review by:

Pentax ist DL Digital SLR


If you already have lenses with a Pentax K, KA, KAF, or KAF2 mount and are looking to go digital, then the Pentax ist DL is an obvious choice.

Compact size; simple controls; good feature set

Images looked soft; artifacts show up when shooting JPEGs

The ist DL is a very well designed camera. Offering a compact, yet comfortable body, the camera is small without feeling cramped. The build quality is excellent, with no creaking or flexing parts. A simple top-mounted LCD status display provides basic...

Product Specifications

Bigger only where it matters most, Pentax delivers better for a third time in the Pentax ist DL digital SLR. Hosting an array of advanced, user-friendly features including an Auto Picture mode for automatic exposure selection, the ist DL features a generous 2.5 inch color high definition LCD monitor that offers an entirely new playback dimension. Add to this, a 6.1-megapixel CCD, convenient SD media card storage, high-speed USB 2.0 data transfer, and a compact high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis design offering simple, accessible operation to delight new and advanced users alike.

Audio Input

Type: None


Battery Form Factor:Standard form factor
Supported Battery Form Factor:AA / CR-V3

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Pop-up flash

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:SLR
Supported Flash Memory:SD Memory Card

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:2.5in
Diagonal Size (metric):6.4cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Action / Landscape / Macro / Night scene with portrait / Portrait mode


Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Pentax *ist

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/3.5-5.6
Lens for SD:Body only/PENTAX-DA 18-55mm lens
Max Focal Length:55mm
Min Focal Length:18mm
Optical Zoom:3
Type:Zoom lens



Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:15.7 x 23.5mm
Optical Sensor Size (metric):15.7 x 23.5 mm
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:6.1Megapixel

Optical Viewfinder

Type:Eye-level mirror pentaprism

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

ISO (Max):3200
Light Sensitivity:ISO 1600 / ISO 200 / ISO 3200 / ISO 400 / ISO 800 / ISO auto
Special Effects:Black & White / Sepia / Slim / Soft
Still Image Format:JPEG / RAW
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type:Optical