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Old Mar 10, 2005, 6:51 AM   #1
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I'm interested in the Pentax *istDS (mostly due to its size and weight) but on several reviews it is mentioned that the menu system on the *istDS is "cryptic" and that lots of settings must be accessed through the menu system. One reviewer made the following claim "you can't set the metering, drive and focus modes unless you go to through a menu, which is a huge flaw compared to the D70 and 20D, and even compared to the *istD".

For *istDS users, how do you feel about this comment? Is the menu system really "cryptic" or easy to use (especially for a new comer to digital SLRs)? Also, how good are the JPEGs is Full Auto mode (e.g. auto white balance, exposure, details, skin tones)?

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Old Mar 10, 2005, 11:39 AM   #2
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The DS is like all cameras and the controls become second nature after you use it for a while and I find the ones I use all the time to be easily accessible. I have a friend with a D70 and I find his controls cumbersome, but that is because I don't use it on a regular basis.

The jpgs are sharp, the color is great along with the WB and I never find the need for burst mode, so I have no idea about that.

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Old Mar 10, 2005, 12:21 PM   #3
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I concur with ennacac "the controls become second nature after you use it for a while " and I disagree with the recent criticisms of the Pentax Menu system and lack of fast access to common functions.

Pentax has created 2 menu systems. The Main Menu and an Fn Menu. The main Menu will allow access to all soft camera functions and is exteremly easy to navigate through. It is straightforward and very logical.

The Fn Menu allows fast access to 4 common mode functions of the camera: Drive Mode/Continuous Shooting, ISO/Sensitivity, Flash Mode, White Balance. As I mentioned these modes are there at the press of the Fn button

The Main Menu, as I mentioned,provides access to all the soft camera functions whichPentax engineersincluded for soft control

All in all, the camera turns out to be a functional, non cluttered device with needed hard controls available immediately and all soft controls available through the menu.As a software engineer, I am extremely impressed with its well thought out design.
(Sorry for the out of focus shots but my Canon S100 can't focus in that close!)

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Old Mar 15, 2005, 7:02 AM   #4
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i've had my DS for less than a week and it's fine. still haven't learned how to do some things but in time i will. menu is ok.
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Old Mar 15, 2005, 5:59 PM   #5
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In D70 or 20D to changeISO etcyou have to press particular button and then rotate particular dial. In *istDS you have to press FN button and change setting by navigation pad. Probably Canon/Nikon approach will allow you to change those setting in fraction of second faster - but you have to master your skills. Pentax approach IMHO much easer for starter and very quick as well - as least I have no trouble with it. But if I would design a camera, I would put ISO control on dedicated dial :idea:
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