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08-31-2007, 03:37 PM   #1
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istDS vs isD: how big a mistake have I made?

Decided to buy an *istD as my backup/second camera. Found one for sale on Amazon.com through a private seller -- used, but like new, with box, cards, etc. $299, body only. Bought it, and it arrived today. Looks great.

Took it out of the box, popped in some batteries, and went to feel for the front e-dial. Wasn't there. Looked. Nope, not there. Looked again.

Ack! I bought an *istDS.

Immediately double-checked my order, etc. Entirely my mistake. If I weren't so annoyed at myself I'd be embarrassed. I know that there are two models. I knew that the *istD is more like my K10D, and the *istDS more like my old K100D (which I wish I'd never sold now!). I really really need to slow down.

Anyway, so I have to decide now whether to send this back with an apology or keep it.

Dpreview.com gives the *istDS merely a "Recommended" rating, but I think that's largely because they felt that the jpeg processing was a sub-par. I don't care about that, as I'll shoot only raw. On the other hand, I do care, at least a little, about the fact that the *istDS doesn't compress the PEF files, so apparently they're fairly large. On the third hand, the *istDS has one fairly significant advantage over the *istD, in my view: the DS uses SD cards, where the D uses CF cards. It would be advantageous for the two cameras (the K10D and its understudy) to be able to use the same cards.

If the *istDS will take decent shots in raw format, well, I can get over the loss of the front e-dial, I guess. $299 is less than I can find a new K100D for anywhere.

What differences between the *istD and the *istDS should or would matter to me? Remember, the bumper sticker on my truck says, "My other camera is a K10D."

Will

08-31-2007, 03:54 PM   #2
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The mistake is all in whether the functions you want are on the body.

In another thread I listed why I like my *istD as a back up, the points were

- similarity of controls to K10D, it is a big issue to a lot of people, and I like the two finger wheels, (just like my PZ-1 also).
- ISO 3200 DS also supports this
- TTL flash because I do have both new and old glass, I think the DS also supports this moce

You will have to make the choice as to whether the above benefits out weigh needing different memory cards.

For me only difference is I bought my *istD as my first DSLR, and hung on to it when I got the K10D. I stressed as a back up that it is sometimes useful to have bodies that do different things. I think your new DS will still achieve that,
08-31-2007, 04:23 PM   #3
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Will,
I shot with 2 DS's for 2 years. It is still my back up to my K10. The jpeg issue, like the K10D is overblown.

The biggest issue is the lack of the front e dial, but you get used to that pretty quickly. On the other hand, with the DS you have commonality with SD cards, faster write times. It is slightly smaller and lighter. Great ergonomics. The D has a larger buffer and the 2 e dials. Both have a 95% glass penta prism.

I don't think you made a mistake, but only you can answer that. Play with the DS for a while and if you can get used to it.
08-31-2007, 06:06 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by WMBP Quote
Decided to buy an *istD as my backup/second camera. Found one for sale on Amazon.com through a private seller -- used, but like new, with box, cards, etc. $299, body only. Bought it, and it arrived today. Looks great.

Took it out of the box, popped in some batteries, and went to feel for the front e-dial. Wasn't there. Looked. Nope, not there. Looked again.

Ack! I bought an *istDS.

Immediately double-checked my order, etc. Entirely my mistake. If I weren't so annoyed at myself I'd be embarrassed. I know that there are two models. I knew that the *istD is more like my K10D, and the *istDS more like my old K100D (which I wish I'd never sold now!). I really really need to slow down.

Anyway, so I have to decide now whether to send this back with an apology or keep it.

Dpreview.com gives the *istDS merely a "Recommended" rating, but I think that's largely because they felt that the jpeg processing was a sub-par. I don't care about that, as I'll shoot only raw. On the other hand, I do care, at least a little, about the fact that the *istDS doesn't compress the PEF files, so apparently they're fairly large. On the third hand, the *istDS has one fairly significant advantage over the *istD, in my view: the DS uses SD cards, where the D uses CF cards. It would be advantageous for the two cameras (the K10D and its understudy) to be able to use the same cards.

If the *istDS will take decent shots in raw format, well, I can get over the loss of the front e-dial, I guess. $299 is less than I can find a new K100D for anywhere.

What differences between the *istD and the *istDS should or would matter to me? Remember, the bumper sticker on my truck says, "My other camera is a K10D."

Will
I see the 'big deals' as
a) working with TTL flashes if you own any.
b) Working with the SD cards
c) working with SDM.

You have a) and b) and no out dated camera has c) so its a keeper.

08-31-2007, 06:48 PM   #5
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I have all three. The DS has almost 60,000 shots on it. The D is new and has about 1,000. The K10D is about to turn 20,000.

The K10D, while clearly based on the *ist D, is a much better implemented and thought-out camera. You can't program the e-dials of the *ist D, so unless you are shooting in full Manual mode there is no benefit to having two dials. (I shoot in Av mode, and have Ev compensation on the front wheel with aperture on the back.)
The menu on the K10 and *ist DS are much improved over the *ist D.

The *ist D is woefully slow. It literally takes several seconds to write each RAW image. It is slower than the DS and much slower than the K10.

The vertical grip on the *ist D lacks some important buttons (like exposure compensation) but then again the *ist DS does not even have a dedicated Pentax vertical grip.

As for ergonomics, the *ist D is too small. Without the vertical grip it is IMO too small to comfortably hold in my hand. The 4-way controller is hard to press accurately. The shutter seems to have a hair trigger.


The only biggie IMO that you are giving up between the two is support for wireless flash from the built-in. Both the *ist D and the K10D support this but the *ist DS does not. (The DS supports 'real' TTL flash, FYI.)

Besides the wireless flash and having a Pentax vertical grip the edge goes to the DS in my opinion.
08-31-2007, 07:36 PM   #6
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I have all 3, Ds, D, K10D, purchased in that order. Being a long time film shooter I purchased the Ds as a trial into digi. The Ds is a very nice camera, I found it lacking at higher ISO. I use a long lens and high ISO most of the time.Too much noise for my taste. After examining images from a D, I purchased the camera and was very pleased with the image quality over the Ds. Less processing time and a noise level I preferred. I do like the menu layout and Fn button of the Ds over the D. The K10D is a good blend of both of the cameras.
08-31-2007, 07:37 PM   #7
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Since i bought my K10D missus asked why shouldnt i sell the istDs, Noway !!! is my reply..Still think a lot of the istDs and dont think you made a mistake in the purchase..Cant give you as good a detailed responce why as others have i still feel the istDs shines over the K10D in some areas..Straight out point n shoot would be one area...
Mindyou i'm only a novice and dont use my Camera to make a living out of..Just for pure pleasure of Photography..
Cheers
08-31-2007, 08:47 PM   #8
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Ill sell you my K100D for 300 bucks.


:P

08-31-2007, 11:29 PM   #9
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Why the impression that you made a mistake? The *ist Ds is a fine little camera - in fact most of the images in my small part of the Pentax Photo Gallery were taken with a Ds. It was the camera that re-ignited my passion for photography - should I take your thread title as a slight?
nope
Actually, the DS processing engine is the second generation of Pentax DSLR's. I have gone through firmware v1.0 up to 2.02 without an issue. I am using SDHC 4GB cards in it and I can look at the images by putting the SD card into my K10D (and visa versa). It does not have the finger wheel under the shutter button, but you can do what you need to do with it. I will not give it up - my Ds is my backup to the K10D.
The cards are compatable with the K10D.
It has high ISO - if you are dependent on it - works pretty well too.
It has a glass pentaprism (like the K10D - great viewfinder).
It is smaller and lighter than the K10D (an advantage to some)
It uses SD card - no reason to go out and spend money on new cards/readers. I am not sure about > 2GB CF card capability on the D.
It has USB 2.0 capabilities.
Higher guide number flash with P-TTL
It has a faster flash sync (1/180 vs 1/150 on the D)
A bigger LCD

All in all a nice little machine. Takes great images too. Don't be discouraged - just go out and shoot with it, when you get down to it, the limitations (if that is what you want to call them) are pretty easy to work around.

PDL
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09-01-2007, 04:40 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by PDL Quote
I am not sure about > 2GB CF card capability on the D.
It works just fine with hogh capacity cards, that ws the last firmware update for the D.

I noticed someone commented on the processing speed .

I was going to mention that but didn't because I was happy with it at the time, and only noticed it seemed slow, after shooting with the K10D.

As an aside, I think the metering in the *istD is more accurate with non automatic lenses than the K10D
09-01-2007, 07:39 AM   #11
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Will,

Only you can make the call mistake or no mistake. However, it is human nature to not use something you are not happy about. I think that if you are not pleased with the purchase, you will find a reason later down the road to sell or trade it in on something you really want. I can only speak for myself, but I know I would send it back and get what I thought I had ordered even if the cost was more. You are using this as a backup for weddings and so forth I believe - so having bodies that are similar as far as functions and memory cards would be a consern for me.
09-01-2007, 09:10 AM   #12
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mistakes vs problems

Re my "mistake." Please, DS owners, don't take offense at my title.

I did make a mistake. I bought a DS thinking I was buying a D. That's a "mistake." I did initially assume that this was also a problem, but I see better now.

Very grateful to everybody here for your responses. I've read them all with interest and been much enlightened. It now seems that, for my own purposes, the main advantages of the *istD would have been that it's bigger and that it has controls that are a little more like the controls on the K10D (mainly, the front e-dial). But it looks like, in most other respects, I've actually bumbled my way into something newer and better. I have not yet taken any pictures with the *istDS but will probably have time to do so today, and if the raw output is okay -- and I expect it will be -- then I will be delighted to conclude that this is another case of dumb luck.

Again, thanks to everybody for helping clarify the differences.

Will
09-01-2007, 09:26 AM   #13
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Even Mr. K. Torigoe thinks highly of this little wonder, which warms a Ds-owner's heart
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