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Old Jan 2, 2005, 3:14 AM   #1
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Well, I've been considering the Pentax *ist DS and the Canon 20D for some time. I picked up an *ist DS and have been using it for the past few days. Here are my first impressions:

Pros:

Definitely love the size of this camera (the D70 wasn't even on my short list because it is so BIG). The camera fits well in my hand, and I'm not afraid that it would sit in the closet because it is too large.

Menu system/controls are great. I like how the menu system is laid out, it's very intuitive and easy to use. The most common changes (ISO setting, drive mode, flash mode, etc.) are easily accessed via a "Function" button and a 4-way joybutton arrangement. Very easy and well thought outin my opinion.

Real accessory door, vs stupid rubber cover. I like the fact the the Pentax has a real hinged door as opposed to one of those stupid rubber covers (like the Canon 20D), that I never seem to be able to get back on quite right. It's a minor point, but I think Pentax did this right.

Batteries. I know this will be a con for some, but I've grown to like the fact that this camera doesn't use a proprietary battery. I'm using 2050mh Ni-Mh AA rechargeable batteries (4 of them), and I really like the convenience of this. I like that fact that I can afford to buy several sets if I want (as opposed to an $80 proprietary battery). So far, battery life has been great. I used the camera to take about 150 shots mostly with flash at a New Year's eve party, and lots of reviews/zoom/showing around on the LCD and the battery indicator didn't budge.

LCD. Very nice, bright, and detailed. Much better than the Canon 20D.

Viewfinder: excellent, bright, large.

AF. Pretty good, seems accurate, if sometimes slow.

Cons:

Flash picture quality. Most of my flash shots were overexposed, and I couldn't seem to find a way to fix this. Note another user reported the same thing. I hope this is just a setting or a firmware issue.

Quality of pics. I'm sure this camera is capable of high quality pictures. However, I was generally disappointed. Maybe I'm expecting too much I don't know? I'm coming from a 3.1MP Sony (DSC-S70 with 3x Vario Sonnar Carl Ziess lens). I didn't see a great deal of difference in the quality (resolution) of the pictures coming from this camera and my Sony. This is the first dSLR I've tried so maybe I was just expecting more than I should.

USB connection. Minor issue. As another user reported, the USB connection on the camera is VERY tight. This will probably get better with age.

Overall:

I'm not sure I'm keeping this camera. I definitely*want* to love it. I wish I had a 20D to compare with side by side. I know I like the size of the *ist DS better, but I'm hoping the 20D has better picture quality.

A favorite pic with the Pentax so far:


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Old Jan 3, 2005, 7:14 PM   #2
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I've had it for a week and love it.
Also my 1st digital SLR.
Focus seems a bit slow in dark situation. But that's all.
A friend of mine just got a 20zd and I wasn't impressed with the pictures after playing with it for an hour.
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 9:16 AM   #3
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Lisa: I like the picture of the Hound. Looks very innocent ...
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Old Jan 4, 2005, 8:15 PM   #4
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Panzer,

Thanks... He's only 10 weeks old! His name is "Woody" and he's a miniature dachshund.


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Old Jan 6, 2005, 9:45 PM   #5
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Lisa:

I hope you don't mind, but my friend and I were talking about dogs at the local watering hole. After going over all kinds of pups we had owned, I showed him yours on the bar machine. The image stayed up for several minutes and out of the corner of my eye I saw all kinds of people looking at it and then referring their friends to the image of Woody. There certainly MUSt be something to him!
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