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07-18-2008, 08:48 AM   #1
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*ist D

So I'm looking at getting one of these used. I've got a couple of questions. With this being an older camera, are there any limitations on what memory size this camera can use? Also I noticed that this only goes down to ISO 200. Is this correct, or will they go down to 100? Will 200 still be good without being to grainy? Any other tips / suggestions with this camera I should know about?

07-18-2008, 08:54 AM   #2
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I too have the ist-D. Fine camera in my opinion. 200 ISO is the lowest it will go.....and no it won't be too grainy. Not sure of the largest memory card it will handle, as I normally shoot 1GB as I have several of these cards. Currently I have 16K+ images, and its just fine....

I'm sure others will offer their opinions on the camera too.

good luck,
mark
07-18-2008, 09:00 AM   #3
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Great little camera...

QuoteOriginally posted by eccs19 Quote
So I'm looking at getting one of these used. I've got a couple of questions. With this being an older camera, are there any limitations on what memory size this camera can use? Also I noticed that this only goes down to ISO 200. Is this correct, or will they go down to 100? Will 200 still be good without being to grainy? Any other tips / suggestions with this camera I should know about?
definitely NOT grainy till 800. Teeny little thing, with a teeny little screen; great interface, fabulous Pentax ergonomic control layout, brilliant viewfinder, a really well-thought-out little machine. AA batteries! The only drawback is it's SSSSSLLLLLLOOOOOOWWWWWWWW with not only a capitol S, but with an L and an O and a W as well! Even with the fastest memory card. Definitely NOT a sports shooter. Great IQ, for slow, thoughtful stuff, I would highly recommend it.

If you're concerned about its performance, check my gallery here, and make sure you click on the pictures to see larger versions. I have made many many thousands of dollars with my little *ist, it's paid for itself at least 30x over. And it has been 99.9% reliable, the only caveat being make sure you have good AA batteries, as it needs the right voltage. Get the grip with it - the batteries will last longer than your index finger or eyeballs will.

Cheers,
Cameron
07-18-2008, 09:05 AM   #4
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the *istD normally operates in ISO 200-1600, and has a function to use extended range to 3200 ISO.

I am not sure what the maximum memory size is but I use 4GB card.

with respect to grain, and ISO, 200 and 400 ISO are impossible to distinguish between, and although there is some grain at 800 ISO the sharpness of image with respect to smaller apatures and faster shutter seems to offset most of this.

While this is a first generation camera, I find image quality excellent even at 3200 ISO.

Note I have 25 years of film experience where high ISO meant pushing ektachrome from 400ISO to either 800 or 1600, or in B&W Tri-x from 400 all the way to 3200.

WHile some complain about image quality relative to 200 ISO, and I admit 3200 ISO image quality is not as good as 200 ISO, it is far superior to anything that could be achieved with film!

it is a fine camera, and I kept mine, even after getting a K10D because of similar controls, 3200 ISO, and the fact it has TTL flash, so you can use non A lenses with in body flash metering, something the K10D can't do.

ALso note that the *istD meters much better than the K10D with non A lenses.

07-18-2008, 09:33 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
If you're concerned about its performance, check my gallery here, and make sure you click on the pictures to see larger versions.
It does take good pictures. That's nice and reassuring. I'll have to work hard to get to that level.
07-18-2008, 09:40 AM   #6
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I bought mine due to it's resembling a professional type DSLR, yet it is old enough to be more affordable than the K10D.

I have purchased two, one from a supplier that described them as "demo" units, the demo unit had 2000 clicks and hot pixels issues, the other, from a different supplier, was listed as a "new, open box return", it was more complete and had only 285 clicks on it. I can give you the supplier's name if needed.

Here is a pic I took indoors, natural light at 3200 ISO:
07-18-2008, 09:43 AM   #7
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Skid, that is a cute picture. Looks good for 3200.
07-18-2008, 10:24 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by eccs19 Quote
So I'm looking at getting one of these used. I've got a couple of questions. With this being an older camera, are there any limitations on what memory size this camera can use? Also I noticed that this only goes down to ISO 200. Is this correct, or will they go down to 100? Will 200 still be good without being to grainy? Any other tips / suggestions with this camera I should know about?
I think with the latest firmware, the istD would take a 4gb card, but I stand to be corrected on that. 1gb cards are a safe bet. The camera isn't fast enough to take advantage of fast cards, so you can buy very inexpensive low performance memory for it. It won't mind.

ISO 200 is the sensor's native resolution, and it does very well. I was able to run very nice 16x24 inch prints off my Epson from istD files.

I found the 4 way rocker switch to be fiddly, I don't think the CF card bay is deep enough, so be careful inserting cards so that you don't bend a pin.
The buffer is very slow. If you are shooting RAW, you can shoot either 5 or 6 shots, and then one shot every 12 seconds or so.
I've been told that the sensor is prone to developing hot pixels as it ages. I tested my istD when new, and again not long ago, and it certainly has more now than it did when new.

Of all the Pentax DSLRs I think the istD has the nicest feel to it. It really is a nice, solid little camera.

07-18-2008, 11:39 AM   #9
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I have TWINS. Like I stayed with the SP and the ME, I'll stick to the istD.

I think someone said not for sports - I disagree.

Not that I need it but I didn't know it could be pushed to ISO 3200 - on the other hand I could have forgotten.
07-18-2008, 12:19 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=JCSullivan;295258]I have TWINS. Like I stayed with the SP and the ME, I'll stick to the istD.

I think someone said not for sports - I disagree.[\quote] actually with TTL flash metering, it is more suited to sports than later models
QuoteQuote:

Not that I need it but I didn't know it could be pushed to ISO 3200 - on the other hand I could have forgotten.
I think it is because it is an extended range option, just like ISO6400 on the K20D you have to enable it through the menu's
07-18-2008, 04:37 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by JCSullivan Quote


I think someone said not for sports - I disagree.

Modern "sports photography" seems to demand that you come away from the event with about about 5000 images, most of which will be pictures taken either just before the peak of the action or else just after.
I used to shoot fencing (sword fighting) events with a SpotmaticII. Fencing is a very fast sport, all of the speed takes place in a few moments, but it is usually a very intense few moments.
If one learns the sport he is shooting, and learns to anticipate the flow and rhythm of the sport, a high speed camera actually becomes more of an impediment than an assistant.

I had more problems with the istD being too slow at weddings than anything else. A wedding processional takes about 2 minutes, and I like to get three shots of each girl on the procession.
Twelve shots in two minutes is barely doable with an istD at full res, but because of the nature of a procession, I always found the camera to be too slow to shoot the way I wanted to. If there were more than three bridesmaids, or a slew of flower people, the logistics of using an istD became a nightmare.
07-18-2008, 05:05 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by eccs19 Quote
are there any limitations on what memory size
With firmware release *istD 1.12 (the latest I could find) goes the release PDF saying that:
"memory cards larger than 4GB are now supported".

I think, one may be able to use 8GB cards but maybe not of the newer SDHC type.
07-18-2008, 05:28 PM   #13
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Perhaps SLOW is in the eye (or shutter finger?) of the beholder. My wife has one of the first istD cameras, back when they were over $1300. She does flowers, often with a bee or butterfly in the field. She can take 3, 4, even 5 JPEG shots before the insect takes off. She is very happy, her P&S could not shoot that fast. Newer Pentax models will take a few more shots before slowing down. All the Pentax cameras will bog down if you want to take a couple of dozen RAW images in rapid fire. So slow depends on what you want to do.
07-18-2008, 05:54 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by LeoTaylor Quote
Perhaps SLOW is in the eye (or shutter finger?) of the beholder. My wife has one of the first istD cameras, back when they were over $1300. She does flowers, often with a bee or butterfly in the field. She can take 3, 4, even 5 JPEG shots before the insect takes off. She is very happy, her P&S could not shoot that fast. Newer Pentax models will take a few more shots before slowing down. All the Pentax cameras will bog down if you want to take a couple of dozen RAW images in rapid fire. So slow depends on what you want to do.
Of course. I think the istD is very well suited to that kind of activity.

IMGP0910
IMGP0908

(istD, FA200/4 Macro)

It really does run out of steam quickly though.
07-18-2008, 05:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Of course. I think the istD is very well suited to that kind of activity.

IMGP0910
IMGP0908

(istD, FA200/4 Macro)

It really does run out of steam quickly though.
Are all those pictures taken with the ist D? Those are some nice shots.
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