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05-07-2007, 06:52 PM   #1
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*ist DS known problems

I just purchased an *ist DS camera from Wolf camera and was wondering if there are any problems common to this model. Everything is great so far except it tends to underexpose shots in auto mode.

05-07-2007, 09:30 PM   #2
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Personally I think the *istDS is very underrated as a DSLR and it certainly deserved a lot more market prominence and in my humble opinion it absolutely blows the canon 350d out of the water.

Make sure your camera has the latest firmware to ensure that it has continuous focus in all modes - in the early days it only did it in sports mode.

The underexposure issue depends on your point of view - some say that it generally underexposes to preserve highlights (this freaked out a lot of the P&S converts who expected to put the camera in Auto and everything would be perfect). Others said that it was a camera fault that was unacceptable and moved on.

I personally usually use my DS in centre weighted metering and have no problems other than operator ones. And use the matrix metering if there are bits of white etc like in a beach seen with the white foam caps on the waves - and yes it underexposes the scene to preserve the highlights and that is exactly the way I like it.

I am sure you will have a ton of fun with your new camera.
05-07-2007, 09:58 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Falcons Quote
Personally I think the *istDS is very underrated as a DSLR and it certainly deserved a lot more market prominence and in my humble opinion it absolutely blows the canon 350d out of the water.
well said. Too bad nobody pitched them at the camera stores and the customers all turned into rebelers.
05-08-2007, 12:50 AM   #4
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I have the DS, and I'm very happy with it.
I started using the Auto mode just to get use to the camera.
For the past 12 months I either use Av or Tv or P when I get lazy, lately I only shot in RAW format.

05-08-2007, 01:13 AM   #5
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I as well have the DS and I have no intention to part with it even if I get my self a K10D. Like it was pointed in the previous posts it takes some time to get used to highlight preserving exposure metering and compensate when needed. I also believe that it's better built than K100D and K110D. If it only had shake reduction...
05-08-2007, 04:57 AM   #6
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I have a DS and have been pleased with it's performance. I print my pictures and have been able to print full frame JPEGs up to 10 X 15 with excellent results. The only thing missing is SR, which by the way, wasn't on any of the film cameras that we all used. You should be able to work at whatever your skill level is, with no problems.
05-08-2007, 05:53 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jdmidwest Quote
I just purchased an *ist DS camera from Wolf camera and was wondering if there are any problems common to this model. Everything is great so far except it tends to underexpose shots in auto mode.
*ist DS is a good and bad camera all-in-one. There are various numerous pros and cons, in more or less equal weight. For details, see:-

Compare Prices and Read Reviews on Pentax *ist DS Digital Camera at Epinions.com

However, I would recommend that you should buy a K100D instead of the DS now. I miss nothing of my sold DS except two things: larger viewfinder view (but not brighter) and conventional Pentax TTL auto flash support.

I replaced my DS with a K100D, with the better colours, resolution and AF accuracy and slightly better metering accuracy, actually the DS can be forgot about. For some more detailed comparison between the DS and the K100D, see:-

RiceHigh's Pentax K100D Full Review
05-08-2007, 06:37 AM   #8
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Ricehigh..........!!!!????

No I will say nothing - lot less trouble that way.

But I will say please look at the photos taken by "pschlute" in the post your photo section under the title "In the garden with 31mm Ltd".

I'll let those images answer for me ricehigh.

These two shots taken with a DS just blew me away.

05-08-2007, 06:53 AM   #9
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Sorry i do have to sa this ricehigh and I don't care if I cop it off the moderators for butting heads with you again.

Not all of us have piles of money and can afford the newest and latest bodies and lenses etc. If you can afford all of these cameras and lenses just to pi$$ f art around with weird tests and experiments then good luck to you, I wish I had that kind of money.

But I get very angry when you try to take away others enjoyment of their hobby with what their budget allows them. (I appreciate I am also making an assumption about the OT) but I will say it applies to me and I find you most insulting ricehigh.
05-08-2007, 07:34 AM   #10
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Hey Falcon, don't rise to the bait here. If I remember correctly, this guy was banned from DPR, which, given the nature of what's posted there really says something.
Remember the guys that used to listen to test records on their "hi fi" equipment (never music) and carp about the nuances that no one ever heard when using the equipment for it's real purpose? Well, nowdays they're playing with computers and cameras, while the rest of us are happy using them as the tools that they are intended to be.
Most of us started coming to this forum to get away from this stuff. Ultimately, these guys go over the top (I doubt that they can control themselves) and are told to go elsewhere. I don't like/agree with ths type of mindset either, but keep telling myself not to play their game. I'd much rather look at someone's pictures and/or share their experiences.
05-08-2007, 07:52 AM   #11
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I have had my DS since May 2005, it was a great camera, found i left it on spot all the time, and i never actually shot JPEG with it but the thing that gets me is the speed, it is a really slow camera, depending on your budget i would recommend the K100D over the DS, or at the very least the Gx-1S from Samsung, it is based on the DS2 instead of the DS
05-08-2007, 08:05 AM   #12
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There are a few but insignificant IMHO

QuoteOriginally posted by jdmidwest Quote
I just purchased an *ist DS camera from Wolf camera and was wondering if there are any problems common to this model. Everything is great so far except it tends to underexpose shots in auto mode.
Like others have said, if you are coming to DSLR photography from a "point and shoot" camera, you might find the pictures a bit darker than you are used to. I find center weighted metering gives me the exposure I like. (note that there is a range of "correct exposure" what I like you may think too dark or light) I also find the colors in "bright" mode a bit too much, I use natural mode, but I think that may be a personal decision, play a bit with the settings till you get the ones you like. When I am shooting JPEG I use: Natural;+1 sharpness and -1 contrast and neutral brightness. But that is my own personal preferences. In low light you will find it somewhat slow with AF, I tend to use manual focus in low light situations, both for speed and it's a bit more accurate. One other minor niggle, I wish I could switch from center weighted metering to spot metering w/o have to go thru the menu, but other than these minor preferences it is a GREAT camera.
Plusses: Excellent low light capability; small, light and easily handled; takes AA batteries (I personally use CRV-3's but there are many who use rechargeables...ask for a recommendation); takes ALL pentax lenses (as do all pentax dslr's) good "street" camera, with a 40mm pancake it will fit in a fairly large coat pocket; excellent "spot" metering; and most importantly IMHO, its FUN! to use, being ergonomically "friendly".
If you want some (well, lots ) of samples check out my smug mug gallery here:
SmugMug - saltwater's photo galleries

NaCl(hope to see some photos from you soon and if you run into problems ask, this is usually a friendly place)H2O
05-08-2007, 08:21 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by jdmidwest:
I just purchased an *ist DS camera from Wolf camera and was wondering if there are any problems common to this model. Everything is great so far except it tends to underexpose shots in auto mode.
The *ist DS is a fantastic little camera. I have two of them, first one purchased when they first came out, the second as a backup about six months later. My first body has over 15,000 exposures on it, the second only about 500. It was my main "battle tank" until the K10D was released.

Haven't done an exact count, but I strongly suspect that I took more exposures in the first year of owning the DS than the previous 28 years of owning my Pentax film SLR. Owning, and using the DS has renewed my love for the art of photography. I'm a real junky now and carry my dSLR "everywhere".

Exposure problems rarely were bad enough to ruin a shot. If you have concern, just do a quick search over at DPR or on pbase and you will see thousands of images acquired by a DS. I've been extremely satisfied with my purchase, and would do so again if in the same situation in the future. Those who dis the DS have a different agenda than just going out and taking pictures, and enjoying the pictures they take.

p.s. On the DS, I never used the auto mode. Probably Av about 60% of the time, Tv about 20% of the time, and M the rest.
05-08-2007, 09:51 AM   #14
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You guys need to reread the OPs post. He/she has already bought the DS.

To the OP:
You have already noted one of the DS quirks. It tends to under expose in bright contrasty conditions, to preserve highlights. You may find you need to dial in + exposure compensation. I find .3 to .7 works well. Watch the histogram on instant review, and add or subtract EV comp as needed.

For Jpeg shooting, most people recommend you set the camera from the default Bright mode to Natural mode.

The DS is equipted with a rather strong Antilasing filter. As a result jpegs out of the camera at default settings can seem a bit soft. If you feel this way, try adding +1 sharpness in the record menu.

Raw images are very good out of this camera.

Hope this helps.
05-08-2007, 11:19 AM   #15
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One little piece of advice..

If and when you start shooting more in RAW, I recommend you find a copy of the now defunct RawShooter Essentials (or even a copy of RawShooter Pro if you can). I find it to be one of the best RAW converters for the *ist Ds there is. The feature set is perfect, and it tends to handle the Ds RAW files better than anything else I've tried.

The Ds was almost the perfect little camera. You're going to enjoy yours immensely, and I would pick up another one in an *instant*.

Enjoy your new purchase.
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