Press Release: Pentax Expands Digital SLR Offerings with New Model, Lens and Flash

Pentax Imaging Company announced it will continue to expand its digital SLR line with another new model and accessories. The latest model, the PENTAX *ist DS2 digital SLR camera, comes equipped with a large, high-resolution 2.5 inch color LCD monitor and a high-magnification glass pentaprism viewfinder for a large, clear view at every stage of digital photography from shooting to playback to editing. With its enhanced operability and maneuverability, the new *ist DS2 assures high-quality digital SLR photography to photographers of all levels.

Following in the footsteps of the *ist DS, our most popular digital SLR to date, the *ist DS2 is a user-friendly camera that is an ideal digital SLR choice for use by families that include beginning and more advanced photographers, said Ned Bunnell, director of marketing, PENTAX Imaging Company.
Pentax DA 12mm-24mm F4 ED AL (IF) Lens 
Pentax also announced another DA lens and an auto flash unit for use with the latest digital SLR and the entire line of PENTAX digital SLR cameras. Pentax will ship the smc PENTAX DA 12mm-24mm F4 ED AL [IF] lens in October 2005. First announced earlier in the year, the latest digital SLR lens offers ultra wide-angle coverage and exceptional optical performance for digital SLR users. The smc 12mm-24mm marks the eighth lens product offering developed by PENTAX that is optimized for digital SLR sensors.
Pentax AF540FGZ Auto Flash Unit 
Pentax also unveiled an AF540FGZ auto flash unit featuring a large guide number of 54 (at ISO100/m). This clip-on, twist/tilt, auto-zoom flash provides a variety of advanced flash applications, including P-TTL auto flash, high-speed synchronization and wireless P-TTL auto flash, when mounted on a PENTAX SLR camera.
Price and Availability 
Availability of the Pentax *ist DS2 digital SLR is September 2005 for under $800 US for body alone. The 12-24 lens will ship for under $900. The AF540FGZ auto flash will ship in October 2005 for under $400 US.
Large, high-resolution color LCD monitor 
The *ist DS2 incorporates a high-precision 2.5-inch color LCD monitor with approximately 210,000 pixels for easier post-shooting image confirmation. Recorded images can be magnified up to 12 times during playback for closer examination of subject focus and image details. In addition, on-screen menus are displayed with large, easy-to-read letters and digits to facilitate user operations.
Compact, go-anywhere design 
Featuring a host of advanced downsizing developments, including a high-rigidity stainless-steel chassis, multi-layered electronic circuit boards and high-density packaging technology, the *ist DS2 is designed extremely compact and lightweight - measuring 4.9 inches (125mm) wide, 3.6 inches (92.5mm) high and 2.6 inches (67mm) thick, the *ist DS2 weighs 17.8 ounces (505 grams) without batteries and an SD memory card.
Bright, high-magnification pentaprism viewfinder 
The *ist DS2 comes equipped with a glass pentaprism viewfinder offering a 95% field of view and 0.95times magnification. The camera offers a large, bright viewfinder image equal in size, clarity and brightness to those incorporated in conventional 35mm format SLRs to make confirmation of the subjects focus easier even in manual focus mode.
High-definition, maximum-gradation images with 6.1 effective megapixels 
With a large, high performance CCD image sensor measuring 23.5mm by 15.7mm, the *ist DS2 offers 6.1 effective megapixels. Coupled with original image processing technology from PENTAX, it produces high-definition images rich in gradation and saturation. It also offers a choice of finishing touch between Bright and Natural to reflect the photographers creative intention.
Auto sensitivity setting 
Like many digital compact cameras, the *ist DS2 features an AUTO position for sensitivity setting. In this position, the cameras sensitivity is automatically set by the camera, based on such factors as subject brightness and lens focal length, while the user can randomly select the upper limit of sensitivity between the standard output of 400 and 3200. This position is extremely useful to avoid camera shake in poorly lit locations and to prevent sensitivity resetting failures by the photographer.
Compatibility with PENTAX interchangeable lenses 
The *ist DS2 offers the outstanding benefit of lens interchangeability, allowing the user to take advantage of a wide selection of existing PENTAX interchangeable lenses to deal with diversified subjects and applications.*
*PENTAX K-, KA-, KAF- and KAF2-mount 35mm-format lenses can be used without an adapter or modification. PENTAX screw-mount 35mm-format lenses and PENTAX 645- and 67-system lenses can be used with an adapter. Some functions may not be available with certain lenses.
User-friendly function guidance 
Taking full advantage of its large LCD monitor, the *ist DS2 offers convenient and informative function guidance, which not only provides a detailed explanation of shooting, drive and flash modes and white-balance settings using text and pictures, but also displays a comprehensive list of current camera settings for at-a-glance confirmation.
User-friendly automatic Operations 
The *ist DS2 is equipped to make camera operations simple and effortless for the user. Its innovative Auto Picture Mode automatically and instantly selects the optimum combination of exposure settings for a given subject or situation, including shutter speed, aperture, white balance, saturation, contrast, and intensity of edges. The built-in auto flash automatically pops up in dimly lit or backlit situations.
Simple, accessible operation system 
From the multi-function four-way controller to the responsive electronic AV/TV dials and the large, easy-to-use mode dial, all switches and dials are efficiently and functionally laid out around the *ist DS2s compact body to assure smooth, fingertip control.
High-precision 16-segment multi-pattern metering 
The *ist DS2 incorporates an advanced 16-segment metering system to assure high-precision light measurement, even under complicated lighting conditions. Center-weighted metering and spot metering are also available to meet specialized applications.
High-accuracy 11-point AF sensor 
The *ist DS2 features the sophisticated SAFOX VIII AF system incorporating 11 AF sensors (nine of them in a cross-type wide-area sensor grid in the middle). This not only provides accurate, pinpoint autofocusing on a wide variety of subjects, but also lets the user select one of the sensors to accommodate a specific image composition. It also offers a choice of AF-single or AF-continuous** AF mode to accommodate different types of requirements.
** In the Auto Picture and Picture modes, AF-continuous is activated only when the Action mode is selected.
Superimposed AF sensor point indication 
The selected AF sensor point is highlighted in red in the viewfinder for easy visual confirmation.
1/4000-second high-speed shutter 
The *ist DS2 features a high-speed shutter unit with a top speed of 1/4000 second and a top synchronization speed of 1/180 second to assure greater visual creativity.
High-speed consecutive shooting 
The *ist DS2 records up to eight images (in JPEG format, at Best image format and with noise reduction off) consecutively at a speed of approximately 2.8 frames per second, allowing the user to capture a series of the subjects action or movement.
SD memory card compatibility 
The *ist DS2 uses the widely available SD memory card as its storage media, not only assuring high-speed recording and readout of image data, but also contributing to the downsizing of the camera body.
1. 19 user-programmable custom functions to personalize camera operations to the users preferences 
2. Noise-reduction system to minimize annoying digital noise during extended exposures 
3. Dual power source, with a choice of two CR-V3 lithium batteries or four AA-size batteries 
4. USB2.0 HIGH-SPEED compatibility for speedy data uploading to a PC 
5. Functional playback functions, including 12X zoom display and nine-image thumbnail display 
6. A choice of image format between JPEG (best, better or good) and RAW 
7. Four built-in digital filters (black-and-white, sepia, slim, and three-level soft) for easy editing of recorded images 
8. PENTAX PHOTO Laboratory 2.1 RAW-data processing software and PENTAX Photo Browser 2.1 browser software included 
9. PictBridge compatibility

Posted: Mon - August 22, 2005 at 07:05 PM