Pentax *ist DL2 Memory Card Compatibility

By Nathaniel Stephan
Last Updated: October 25, 2019
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Olympus SD Memory Card Compatibility

The Pentax *ist DL2 has only one memory card slot that supports SD memory cards. SD memory cards with a max storage size of 32GB will work in the *ist DL2.

An error code will be displayed if you try to use an SD card that is 64GB or larger. You will have to buy more SD cards if you require additional storage. The read and write speeds of cards are the most important specs to look at.

If your camera is going to be getting lots of use. A feature that is very good to have is UHS-I as it enables faster transfer speeds with a UHS-I card reader.

Getting a top-level SD card also will help to future proof the SD memory card for use in another camera or device. You do not want to end up with a camera upgrade causing you to need to purchase a replacement SD memory card that has fast enough write speeds for shooting 4k video.

Here's my recommendation for the best SD card for the Pentax *ist DL2:

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB

  • Best SD card available
  • Largest compatible storage capacity.
  • Read speeds of up to 95MB/s.
  • Write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
  • Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.

Best SD Cards

Since the introduction of the Pentax *ist DL2, SD card prices have decreased and capacities have become massive. The price difference between the the SD card that is the fastest and a cheap one is astonishingly little. Cost is related to storage, with the bigger cards costing more.

Purchasing the cards with the largest capacity is worth it if you are going to capture a large quantity of RAW files for sports, action, event, or wildlife photography. Another consideration could be if you are planning to upgrade your camera or use the SD memory card in other devices.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro line of SD memory cards are frequently the best option for most circumstances. They are very fast cards which means they have the best prospect of working with future digital cameras or devices that use SD memory cards.

Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance are other cards that I have also had good experiences with. I have not had files or data become inaccessible or unrecoverable on these brands. If that did occur, all of them have image recovery software.

When I have experienced troubles it has been with generic SD memory cards. Being a bundled accessory or a low price are the main attractions of these cards. However, this is also the most popular version of card to be advertised incorrectly.

A label that promises Class 10 speed is really easy to put on a Class 4 SD card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is destined to be an error message or unreadable photos if the card's write speed doesn't satisfy the camera's requirements.

Storage size controls a big portion of the cost. You'll be better off by going one step down in capacity to lower cost rather than picking a relabeled brand. Read and write speeds are important as they will affect your experience with the Pentax *ist DL2.

Recommended SD Cards

Lexar 633x 23GB UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

Lexar Professional 633X 32GB

  • High-speed, Class 10 performance.
  • UHS-I technology for a read transfer speeds up to 633x (95MB/s).
  • High-speed file transfer from card to computer to dramatically accelerate workflow.

The Lexar Professional is close in performance to the SanDisk Extreme Pro card when used in the Pentax *ist DL2. The most important difference is that the Lexar SD memory card features a slower write speed.

There can be a difference in cost between the Lexar and SanDisk SD memory cards. I would not spend more for the Lexar, but also would not have a problem choosing it if it was cheaper.

SanDisk Ultra UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Ultra 32GB

  • Good value to save some money.
  • Quick transfer read up to 80MB/s.
  • Class 10 rating for Full HD video (1080p).
  • Waterproof, temperature proof, X-ray Proof, magnet-Proof, and shockproof.

The SanDisk Ultra is a step down from the Extreme Pro in terms of specs. The benefit being that it is less expensive.

You won't detect a impact in performance except if you need to write large amounts of data onto the memory card. It's not the ideal choice if you plan to use the memory card to shoot 4k video with another camera.

SanDisk Extreme Pro UHS-I SDHC Memory Card

SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB

  • Read speeds of up to 95MB/s; write speeds of up to 90MB/s.
  • Shock-proof, temperature-proof, waterproof, and x-ray proof.

Memory Card Reader

UGreen 4-in-1 Card Reader
There's a bright blue LED that bothered me. It is now covered in gaff tape.

The UGreen 4-in-1 memory card reader can read four different memory card formats. These cover all card types camera manufacturers use in all but their latest professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN reader has a USB 3.0 connection. The USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer speeds than what the Pentax *ist DL2 can achieve transferring files with the USB mode.

There are plenty of favorable customer reviews for the reader, which I agree with. I think it is a good product because the card reader has been compatible with all the computers (Windows, Mac, and Linux) I have tried it with.

The cable stops memory card slots from getting in the way of other devices or accessories that are being used in an adjacent port.

When I looked for a smaller card reader that would be better for travel, I needed to send a couple of orders back. I came across the most frequently found problem mentioned in customer reviews, the readers were not recognized by my computer.

The UGREEN card reader can be used with the cards below:

  • CompactFlash Cards
  • SD, SDHC, & SDXC Cards (UHS-I supported)
  • Memory Stick (MS), MS Pro, MS PRO-HG, & MS XC DUO
  • MicroSD, Micro SDHC, & Micro SDXC Cards

Pentax *ist DL2 SD Card Compatibility

Only use SDHC and SD memory cards with the Pentax *ist DL2. Check to ensure that your camera has the most up to date firmware installed.

SDUC or SDXC memory cards are unable to be used with the *ist DL2.

Four different types of Secure Digital (SD) cards exist that you need to be aware of. They are divided by capacity.

  • Secure Digital (SD) - 128MB to 2GB.
  • Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) - 4GB to 32GB.
  • Secure Digital eXtended Capacity (SDXC) - 64GB to 2TB.
  • Secure Digital Ultra Capacity (SDUC) - 4TB to 128TB.

Image Capacity

Olympus SD Memory Card Contacts

Image quality settings on the Pentax *ist DL2 will effect the number of images that can be stored. Higher image quality options will give you larger image sizes.

If you are going to shoot hundreds of RAW files, it can make sense to get a larger capacity card.

If you shoot JPEGs, you'd likely be much better off buying an extra camera battery in place of a larger card. 32GB would be more than enough space to save several days of pictures.

In reality, the controlling part to just how many photos you can take will likely be your camera batteries. Understand that, any time the Pentax *ist DL2 is powered on, even if you're just scrolling through menu options or using the live view, that will lower the battery life.

For low light settings, like at night or indoors, the built-in flash can be helpful. Without the flash, shutter speeds will not be fast enough to prevent motion blur. Working with the flash will rapidly drain the camera batteries.

The following is an estimation of how many high-quality JPG images you can expect to store on an SD memory card for the given capacity:

  • 4GB - 1,160 images
  • 8GB - 2,320 images
  • 16GB - 4,640 images
  • 32GB - 9,280 images

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

Speed ratings of an SD memory card is dependant on the sequential read and write speeds. The speed of an SD memory card is important for clearing the camera buffer for continuous shooting in addition to recording video.

Slows cards can cause a reduction in the number of continuous photos the Pentax *ist DL2 can take. This is because the camera's buffer is not able to write to the card fast enough.

With video, a slow SD card can cause an abrupt end to shooting. The video file may also end up being corrupted. If you are going to record video, it is important the SD card you use meets the minimum requirements of the camera.

Read speed is nice to have for transferring files to a computer or laptop. If you have cards that are full, a memory card with a fast read speed will cut down on the transfer time.

Speed Class Rating

Example of where to find SD Card Speed Class
The 10 inside of the C means the card is Class 10.

The Class rating of an SD card is related to the sustained write speed. SD cards that have a write speed of at least 10MB/s are rated as Class 10.

  • Class 2 - 2MB/s
  • Class 4 - 4MB/s
  • Class 6 - 6MB/s
  • Class 8 - 8MB/s
  • Class 10 - 10MB/s or faster

Every name brand memory card that you can purchase online will be rated Class 10. You can check the class rating of a card by looking for a number inside of a C on the label.

Ultra High Speed (UHS)

Example of an SD memory card with a UHS-I rating.
The UHS rating of a card can be determined by a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the label of the card.

The Ultra High Speed (UHS) bus is available in SDHC, SDXC, and SDUC cards. UHS makes it possible to offer a way to improve data transfer rates.

There are three separate specs. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

You can find out the UHS rating of an SD memory card by examining the front of the SD memory card. The presence of a Roman numeral I, II, or III on the front of the card, that is the rating of your SD card.

  • UHS-I - Maximum transfer rate of 104 MB/s
  • UHS-II - Maximum transfer rate of 312 MB/s
  • UHS-III - Maximum transfer rate of 624 MB/s

Related Cameras

If you could only choose one, SanDisk 32GB Extreme Pro is the best Pentax *ist DL2 memory card. It also has great compatibility with other cameras.

The following are more posts on digital cameras similar to the *ist DL2:

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