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Pentax *ist DL2

Build Quality 
User Interface 
Image Quality 
Reviews Views Date of last review
5 31,206 Tue July 31, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $522.25 8.20
Pentax *ist DL2

Pentax *ist DL2
Pentax *ist DL2


The Pentax * ist DL2 resembles the *istDS2 but was offered at a lower price point made possible by replacing the pentaprism with a pentamirror and removing some features, hereunder TTL flash support and display of the active AF point in the viewfinder. The *istDL2 was only offered in select markets. Compared to the *istDL, the DL2 has electronic preview in addition to optical depth of field preview, and it has 5 autofocus points rather than 3.

Camera Manuals:

Pentax *ist DL2
©, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
In Production
No (Discontinued 2006)
Current US Price
In-Depth Review
Sensor Format
Sensor Type
2008 x 3008 pixels
AA Filter
Super Resolution
Bit Depth
Minimum ISO
Maximum ISO
ISO Range
200 - 3200
Exposure Modes
Auto Picture, P, Av, Tv, M, B
Program Modes
Normal, Portrait, Landscape, Macro, Action, Night-scene Portrait, Flash Off
Maximum FPS
Continuous Shooting
2.8 fps up to 5 frames
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/4000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/4000s
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-2 EV
Auto bracketing
3 frames
Expanded dynamic range
Exposure lock
Self timer
2 s with mirror lock-up, 12 s
Metering Sensor
Meter range
1 to 21.5 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Interval shooting
HDR mode
Multiple exposures
Pixel mapping
Scene Modes
Exposure modes with M and K lenses are restricted to Av (with aperture always wide open) and M (with stop-down metering)
Lens Mount
KAF (no aperture coupler)
Composition Adjustment
Power zoom
Not supported
Supported Lenses
All Pentax K-mount lenses except for lenses with the KAF4 mount variant and RE (retractable) lenses. Manual focus only with K-, M-, and A-series lenses and with KAF3 mount lenses. Stop down metering only with K- and M-series lenses. M42, Pentax 645 and Pentax 6x7 lenses with the appropriate adapters (stop down metering and manual focus only).
Lens correction
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX VIII, 5 focus points)
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
-1 EV
Front/back focus correction
Autofocus with SDM
Autofocus assist
0.85x, 95%
Viewfinder type
Diopter adjustment
-2.5 to +1.5
AF Points in viewfinder
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Digital preview
Live View
Focus Peaking
Back LCD
2.5 in. 210,000 pix
Weather resistant
Control wheels
Battery grip
Card slots
Dust removal
Dust alert
Memory card type
SD (SDHC with firmware upgrade)
Size (W x H x D)
125 x 92.5 x 67 mm
470 g
File format
Battery life
AA lithium: 750 images (650 images with 50% flash usage)
4 x AA
Built-in flash
Yes, GN 15.6 (ISO 200/m)
Sync speed
P-TTL flash
Flash functions
Auto discharge, On (leading curtain sync), Redeye reduction, Slow-speed sync, Trailing curtain sync*, High-speed sync*, Manual*, Wireless*, Contrast control* * Available when combined with external flash
TTL flash
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Resolution / Framerates
Exposure Modes
Movie mode restrictions
AF During Recording
Sound in Movie mode
Not Supported
USB 2.0/Video out, DC in, cable release
Latest Firmware
Version 1.02
User reviews
Price History:

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Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-5 of 5
Loyal Site Supporter

Registered: May, 2015
Location: Hampshire
Posts: 879
Review Date: July 31, 2018 I can recommend the Pentax *ist DL2: Yes | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Easy to use, good to hold, nice colours from sensor.
Cons: *1st generation DSLR features, no SR
Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 7    Features: 7    Value: 10    Image Quality: 9    Noise: 9    New or Used: Used   

I have given this camera body a 10 for an overall rating which seems pretty stupid of me but as a starter DSLR I much prefer it to the Canon EOS 350D, even with the smaller mp sensor. Ergonomics are great.
I bought this camera complete with a Pentax DA 50-200mm F:4-5.6 ED zoom for US $50, in spares and repairs. It looks immaculate (the body) and has had just over 2k actuations so barely used.

Starting up the body with fresh lithium batteries was a long job as it refused to see any power. Having had the same problem on the k100Ds after not using it for months I performed the same process as had worked for me before.
Remove the batteries, clean the contacts on both body and batteries, try again. Remove the batteries, re-fit and try again. Leave switched on for a few minutes, try again. Eventually there was an icon for the battery, turning off and on again a few more times and the camera powered up, asked me to set the date and time and was good to go.

Maybe there is a capacitor in camera that holds a charge to maintain the memory between uses that discharges itself and needs to be re-charged before the body recognises it is able to function.

If I were coming to a DSLR from film and this was my first purchase, I would have been happy. Indeed my first DSLR was a K100D Super which is a better body because of the SR, but much the same in most ways. I have it still.

Great for the novice to learn digital with or the average 35mm film user to move to. Not great once the realisation that the newer bodies have so much more to offer, but a good starter.

Registered: August, 2012
Posts: 588
Review Date: October 30, 2012 I can recommend the Pentax *ist DL2: Yes | Price: $169.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Easy to figure out, great ergonomics
Cons: only 6.1 megapixels, takes older FAT16 SD cards
Years Owned: <1    Ergonomics: 10    Build Quality: 10    User Interface: 10    Autofocus: 8    Features: 9    Value: 9    Image Quality: 10    Noise: 10    New or Used: Used   

Just to be clear, the camera I have is a Samsung GX-1L, which is an exact clone of the *ist DL2 except for a few very minor cosmetic differences. Compared with my dad's Nikon D50, this camera is a breeze to figure out and use effectively. I just continue to be amazed with the quality of the images I get with it. Colors are vibrant but natural looking with minimal noise. My only real complaint is that sometimes the auto-focus seems to hunt a bit longer than it should before settling in, but not enough to be disconcerting. Once focused though, the shutter is nice and fast. By comparison, my Pentax K2000 locks in the focus almost instantly.

The only other shortcoming of this camera is that it only accepts SD cards up to 2GB capacity. While that is a very generous amount in that it holds almost 700 photos at full resolution, it is becoming problematic now that SDHC cards with capacities of 4GB and up are becoming the norm and the lower capacity SD cards are becoming increasingly harder to find. There's a firmware update to remedy this problem but I killed a perfectly good *ist DL trying to apply it. I've learned my lesson on that one and won't be trying it again.

I was an avid photographer for many years, but my interest waned with the death of film, but since I acquired this camera a few months ago, my love of photography has been re-awakened and I am once again seeing the world through a viewfinder.

UPDATE: I only ended up keeping this camera for about three months before gifting it to my girlfriend. I've since moved on, both from this camera and from her, but as far as I know, she still has and enjoys the camera.
Senior Member

Registered: December, 2010
Location: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 113
Review Date: December 9, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax *ist DL2: Yes | Price: $900.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: Simple but effective
Cons: No shake reduction , 6.1 Mpix

Pros Simple but effective
Cons No shake reduction , 6.1 Mpix
Rating 7
Price (U.S. Dollars) Unsure AU$900-AU$1000-???
Years Owned about 4 years

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
One of the original style Pentax DSLR's. Very good performer with the DA 18-55AL lens. Only 6.1 Mpixels. No shake reduction. Great with the older style manual lenses. Strange Japanese product name.

Camera Review
This was my first DSLR. Seems like I had it a lifetime! (only 4 years). Rugged and very usable. Still use it today as a backup and in places I want to protect my K-7 from.

Most functions accessable through assorted menu screens. Takes a bit to find sometimes. But it does keep the number of buttons on the back to a minimum. The Manual/Auto Focus button is located in a rather difficult way. Also the PC in connection is very small and hard to orientate the correct way (come on Pentax, just a little larger please!)

I find the AA batteries a bonus for this camera, not a negative like a previous reviewer. The 'Ist DL2' can be bought very cheaply now on Ebay. Eye relief of the eyepiece is good, as I can see the whole field with my spectacles on. Highly recommended for beginners on a budget.

Registered: January, 2009
Posts: 9,674
Review Date: August 3, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax *ist DL2: Yes | Price: $70.00 | Rating: 7 

Pros: small and handy camera
Cons: not yet detected

Pros small and handy camera
Cons not yet detected
Rating 7
Price 70 euro including 2 lenses
Years Owned 2010

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
For me a good deal, so never to be dissapointed.

Camera Review
I just this week bought the Samsung GX-1L wich is the clone of the Ist DL2. Great little camera. Just for snapshots for the moment. Never hada digital from those days, and it's very nice.

Registered: September, 2006
Location: Bamaga, QLD
Posts: 3,742
Review Date: May 6, 2010 I can recommend the Pentax *ist DL2: Yes | Price: $950.00 | Rating: 8 

Pros: size weight rendering of images
Cons: entry level functionality

This camera was my first foray into DSLR and is now in use by my son. While it has Program mode and all the scene modes it also allows manual, TV and Av modes which is great for learning on. I used it hard for two years for all manner of image making situations before moving to the K20D. The 6mp Sony sensor was great but with the usual Pentax bias for underexposure to avoid burnt out highlights.

The DL2 has the larger rear screen and is alleged to have a modified algorithm making better pictures from the sensor data than the DL or indeed the DS bodies. Small in size and light in weight the camera is almost pocketable with a small prime lens on. Use of AA batteries is convenient in some respects esp. with eneloops or similar but still don''t get the mileage of Lithiums.

Reasons I moved on - no shake reduction, small image size, no weather/dust sealing reduced customisation
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