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Old Dec 11, 2006, 3:23 AM   #1
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Hi there,
I see lot's of posts for the K10 and K100 series here - is this where the Pentax people are? Or are there any DS and DL users here?

I see the prices for the Pentax *ist DL2 dropping at christmas time, atm I could get a Pentax *ist DL2 with Kit Lens for 397,00 EUR plus shipping - which is VERY TEMPTING to say the least.

(I don't post that in the "what camera shall I buy section" on purpose - it's too specific for that general section I think.)

Are there any hints and tips you can give me regarding the DL series or more specific, the DL2?

Background
I need an all-around camera, am using a Oly770 UZ at the moment. Things I don't like: battery life time, focus is slow and not usable in low light, only ISO 400. Other than that I get great pictures from this camera. So am not a complete beginner - have used a Minolta Dynax 500si SLR before.

Beginner friendly
As I won't carry more than one camera with me I am looking after a good compromise between beginner/point&shoot and expert photography. I found this reviw here:

"The *istDL2 is equipped with the innovative 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 sharpness. The built-in auto flash automatically pops up in dimly lit or backlit situations. In addition to the conventional optical preview function, which allows the photographer to confirm the depth of field in the viewfinder, the *istDL2 also comes equipped with a new digital preview function, which allows confirmation of not only the depth of field, but also the exposure level, image composition and flash lighting effect, on the LCD monitor. As a result, even first-time digital SLR users can immediately produce high-quality digital images with minimal effort." (source: http://www.dcviews.com/_pentax/isdl2.htm)

I try to put that into even less words: even my wife and my daughter, which need a point&shoot capable camera for now (no flaming here, that's an important feature - to just aim at a subject and CLICK a nice picture!) could handle that dSLR with ease. Am I right here?

Also the press release sounds nice: http://www.dcviews.com/press/Pentax-istDL2.htm

I found that review here: http://www.trustedreviews.com/digita...Digital-SLR/p1 but none at Steves site or dcresource.

No continuous AF?
--> http://www.trustedreviews.com/digita...Digital-SLR/p3


I thought every SLR would have some kind of "press shutter half and it will follow subject and focus on it" feature at some setting? My old analog SLR did that in sports mode... there is none here? Is this an uncommon feature on dSLR?

No Image Stabilisation
Now this is the big thing with the K100d - I know. And I saw the reviews for the K100d - very nice camera. But I never had this and am used to lean on things or produce sharp pics till 1/20 or 1/15 with my Oly... sure, I get misses, but also good ones. So with a usable ISO range upto 1600 (I know there is 3200 but it adds quite some noise) I think this will dramatically improve my chances to get a good shot in.

Another review at letsgodigital
http://www.letsgodigital.org/en/came..._slr/show.html

Good grades from users here.

Owner reviews at dpreview
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/read...=pentax_istdl2


***************************

To sum it up... it looks like a nice affordable dSLR kit to me - that AF thingie is something I don't really understand - why not include it anyway? Lens compatibility is great, user reviews look promising...

So where is the catch? Do I miss something? What is your opinion? Is the DL-line really worth a buy or should one go for the IS-models like the K100d? Are the any issues with that camera line one should be aware when considering to buy?

Also can you say something about position of the *ist DL2 in the entry level dSLR market? I found the Nikon D50 Kit well-rated and ofc the mighty Canon 350/400, but the price difference is quite high. is the DL2 a "mature" camera despite being so low-priced?

So where is the best bang-for-the-buck point here? Is the DL2 that winner? Or a waste of money?

Thanks for reading and thanks in advance for your help and comments. Sales assistants didn't proved to be helpful at all - EVERY camera I laid my eyes on was "wonderful" and the like when I asked them... so no real advises I could get there

That's why I ask here - at the user community.

Regards,
Th.
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Old Dec 11, 2006, 4:29 AM   #2
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I have DL2 and to answer your questions:

battery life is good with freshly charged NiMh around 400-500 pictures, alkaines can take about 50 photos.

high iso:
I was shooting in auto iso mode once and I didn't notice camera changed iso to 800, I found out only by looking at exif later on. iso 800 is very clean, can't see any noise on 5x7 print.


auto pictue mode: when you set camera to full auto it detects what kind of subject you aiming at and select suitable mode. when you aim at people it will choose portrait, when you close to subject it will chose macro and so on. it's like selecting picture modes on digital compact but camera does it itself.

cont AF:
I don't know about that, I just don't shoot moving subjects

besides, Pentax kit lens is considerably better than other kit lenses.

the only major differences between DL2 and K100D are:
no shake reduction
fewer AF points
worse JPG files

I'm happy with my DL2, the only thing I'm missing is SR, I got used to it with Panasonic FZ10, but whatever. I mostly take landsape and macro photos with tripod so no need for SR there. jpg quality doesn't bother me as I shoot RAW, less AF pionts is meaningless for me as I use manual focus lenses (except kit lens sometimes).

yher only problem I have was when using alkaine batteries, sometimes you have to take them out and put them in couple times before camera sees them, very strange but apart from that no problems at all.

to sum it up: I'd buy it again.

greg
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Old Dec 11, 2006, 4:43 AM   #3
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@gfurm
wow - thanks for the quick and detailed answer.

Battery life time looks promising - I usually take more photos than I really need (that's the beauty of digital photography) so end up normally with 400-800 shots a day when on photo-safari To be able to do so I got four(!) batteries for my Oly... I think I can get away with two high capacity sets for the DL2 then...

The AF points is something I also don't worry about, I am using spot in 90% of the time and am pleased with whatever magic AF I get in point&shoot mode.

Hm - JPEG file quality... I am used to very good JPEG's coming from my Oly C770 - but the option to shoot RAW when needed should solve that.

SR (share reduction) yes... that's a nice thing, I hope I can compensate with the higher ISO.

Question
I am interested in low light performance (theatre, concerts, dim light) - not with lightning fast action but with a good amount of moving subjects... do you have any experience with that? I can forget about that with my Oly - I fix-focus at a certain point and hope the majority of my subject is in the "sharp" DOF area...

@All
I found the continuous AF mentioned in Steves review of the DL (http://www.steves-digicams.com/2006_...istdl_pg5.html - "record menu options") is this still there on the DL2? Or gone?

I think it's no biggie, but sometimes it comes in handy.

Is the DL2 a downgrade from the DL when it comes to features or are the features decribed in Steves review the same?

Regards,
Th.
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Old Dec 11, 2006, 5:07 AM   #4
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about low light:

I don't think kit lens would be fast enough for that, but if you manage to get yourself a fast 50mm prime lens like Pentax-A f1.7 or f1.4 and increase iso to 800 or 1600 you won't have any problems.

DL2 has 5 AF points DL has 3
and there's a cont AF option in the record menu.

jpg quality is not that bad, especially when you don't wiev you photos at 100% or when you print them. it's just that RAW is just a bit sharper

greg
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Old Dec 11, 2006, 5:18 AM   #5
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@gfurm
Thanks for being so helpful with that!

With cont. AF following moving objects is out of way now since shutter release should be almost instantly on a dSLR - great!

5 AF points is plenty for me I'd say.

Last question (maybe )
Continuous shooting captures 5 images at 2,5fps... that's ok for burst. What happens when you keep the shutter pressed? Will it stop and write the buffer to card or just slow down? And if it slows down, how fast is the continuous shooting then?

Regards,
Th.
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Old Dec 11, 2006, 7:00 AM   #6
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Forgot about the needed "Addons", blegh

Set price (DL2 + kit lens + camera bag + 2GB Sandisk 2GB Extreme III) is now 479,00 EUR plus shipping (13,00 EUR).

Can't reuse my XD-Cards from my Oly C770 oh well.
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Old Dec 11, 2006, 4:34 PM   #7
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after 5 frames it slows down but I don't know what's the speed then

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Old Dec 12, 2006, 1:10 AM   #8
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Wee... I ordered for 479,00 EUR plus shipping for the camara bundle + 2GB Sandisk SD card.

Thanks for all the help.
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 7:57 AM   #9
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Way to go! Let us know how you do and don't hesitate to ask questions. The people around here are friendly and knowledgeable.
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Old Dec 12, 2006, 10:14 AM   #10
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mtngal wrote:
Quote:
Way to go! Let us know how you do and don't hesitate to ask questions. The people around here are friendly and knowledgeable.
Thanks, will do so - and I hope I don't get on your nerves too much here
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