First d-SLR designed for compatibility with Pentax system components
6.1-megapixel CCD, 3,008 x 2,008 pixel images
ISO range from 200 to 3200
Shooting-priority design, touch shutter button in Play mode, and camera will snap a picture
Compatible with all Pentax K-mount lenses
Excellent user interface, many clever (and useful) features
In a d-SLR field that's becoming increasingly crowded, the Pentax *ist D holds its own quite nicely. For anyone owning a complement of Pentax K-mount lenses, the *ist D is a camera that offers pretty much anything you might want from a d-SLR. I liked its color rendition, found its metering to generally be more accurate than most (albeit with a slight bias toward overexposure), and felt that a number of its user-interface and exposures were unusually well thought-out. It also has a very nice "feel" in the hand, with excellent build quality and a pleasant heft. - All in the most compact body of any d-SLR out there. Image noise up to about ISO 800 is also lower than average. On the down side, its images straight from the camera are rather soft, requiring sharpening in an image-editing program to extract the full amount of detail that's present there. As I noted in the body of this review though, a conservative approach to in-camera sharpening like this is actually desirable, as it avoids introducing sharpening-related artifacts that would be impossible to remove later. All in all, the *ist D is an excellent little d-SLR, easily earning "Dave's Pick" status.