Pentax *ist DS2 Memory Card Compatibility

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

The Pentax *ist DS2 has only one card slot that can use SD cards. SD cards with a max storage capacity of 32GB will be compatible with the *ist DS2.

Trying to use an SD card that is 64GB or larger will cause the Pentax *ist DS2 to display an error code. For more storage space, you'll need to purchase multiple memory cards. The key features to pay attention to should be the transfer speeds the card is capable of.

Faster transfer speeds will save you time if you will be copying tons of files, especially if your Pentax *ist DS2 gets lots of use. Currently, a UHS-I memory card and a compatible SD card reader are the fastest way to move files.

To make sure the SD memory card will be compatible with as many products in the future as possible, get a high-quality card. You do not want to end up with a camera upgrade causing you to need to buy a new SD memory card that can write data fast enough for shooting 4k video.

This is my recommendation for the best memory card for the Pentax *ist DS2:

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 Pentax *ist DS2 was introduced, SD card prices have dropped and capacities have become larger. The difference in price between the fastest card and a cheap one is remarkably little. The price is more tied to storage, with the largest SD memory cards having a higher price.

Purchasing the cards with the largest capacity makes sense if you are going to capture a large amount of RAW files for action, events, wildlife, or sports photography. Another consideration could be if you plan to replace your camera or use the memory card in a different device.

The SanDisk Extreme Pro line of SD memory cards are frequently the best choice for most situations. They are extremely fast cards which gives them the best chance of working with future digital cameras or devices that use SD memory cards.

I have had excellent experiences with Lexar Professional and PNY Elite Performance cards. I have not had pictures or data become corrupted or unrecoverable on any of these cards. If that scenario did happen, all of the manufacturers have image recovery software available.

Problems I have experienced have been with generic SD cards. Being a bundled accessory or a low price are the selling points. However, this is also the most common version of SD card to be wrongfully advertised.

A label that promises Class 10 speed is effortless to put on a Class 4 SD card. When the camera image processor starts writing data there is destined to be an error or corrupted photos if the card's write speed isn't good enough.

Storage size controls a large part of the cost. You'll be better off by purchasing a card with lower capacity to reduce cost as an alternative to choosing a generic brand. Read and write speeds are important factors that will impact your enjoyment of the Pentax *ist DS2.

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 SD card when used with the Pentax *ist DS2. The main difference is that the Lexar SD card features a slower write speed.

There can be a difference in price between the Lexar and SanDisk SD memory cards. I wouldn't pay more for the Lexar, but also would have no problem choosing it to save money.

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 lower tier than the Extreme Pro when comparing performance. The benefit from that is that it is less expensive.

You will not detect a impact in time savings except if you need to write data that will take up a large portion of the card's space. This isn't the ideal selection if you plan to use the card to record 4k video at some point.

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 use four memory card formats. These cover all card types camera manufacturers make use of in all but their latest professional-level cameras.

The UGREEN memory card reader has a USB 3.0 connection. The card reader's USB 3.0 transfer speeds will be faster transfer rates than what the Pentax *ist DS2 can reach in USB transfer mode.

There are overwhelmingly favorable customer reviews for the UGREEN 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 plugged it into.

The cable keeps memory card slots from being blocked by other devices or accessories that are being used in an neighboring port.

When I searched for a more compact card reader that would be lighter for travel, I needed to send a couple of orders back. I experienced the most common problem in customer reviews, the card readers were not recognized by my computer.

The UGREEN card reader supports the following cards:

  • 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 DS2 SD Card Compatibility

You can only use SDHC and SD cards with the Pentax *ist DS2. Check to check that your camera has the most up to date firmware.

SDUC or SDXC memory cards can not be used in the *ist DS2.

You need to know of the four kinds of Secure Digital (SD) cards that exist. SD cards can be told apart based on the card's storage size.

  • 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 options on the Pentax *ist DS2 will influence how many image files that can be stored at once. Higher image quality options will cause bigger image sizes.

If you're planning to shoot a bunch of RAW files, it can be smart to get a larger capacity card.

If you shoot JPEGs, you'd be much better off purchasing another camera battery rather than a larger card. 32GB would be plenty of space to store more than a couple of days of images.

The limiting factor to the number of pictures you can capture will likely be your camera batteries. Remember that, any time the Pentax *ist DS2 is turned on, even if you are just navigating through menu options or using the live view, that will reduce the battery life.

For low light environments, like indoors or at night, the flash built-in to the camera can be helpful. Shutter speeds will not be fast enough without the use of the flash to avoid motion blur. Utilizing the flash will fairly quickly deplete the camera batteries.

The following is an estimation of how many high-quality JPEG images you will be able to save on a memory card for the provided storage size:

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

Speed, Class, & UHS Ratings

Card Speed

The speed rating of an SD memory card is determined by the sequential write and read speeds. The transfer speed of a SD memory card is essential for clearing the buffer for continuous shooting in addition to recording video.

Slows memory cards can cause a reduction in the number of continuous images the Pentax *ist DS2 can capture. This is due to the camera's buffer not being able to write to the SD card fast enough.

When shooting video, a slow memory card can cause a sudden end to shooting. The video file may also end up being corrupted. If you are going to shoot video, it is essential the SD card you use meets the requirements of the camera.

Card read speed is nice to have for file transfers to a computer or laptop. If you are filling up cards with images or video, a memory card with a fast read speed will decrease 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 a memory card is related to the sustained write speed. Memory 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 SD card that you can find for sale online will have a Class 10 rating. 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 comes in SDUC, SDXC, and SDHC cards. UHS memory cards to have increased read and write speeds.

Three separate versions exist. They are UHS-I, UHS-II, and UHS-III.

To figure out the rating of a card, look on the label. If the card has UHS, a Roman numeral I, II, or III can be seen on the SD card label.

  • 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 DS2 memory card. Any future camera you own, you will know what sd memory card to buy.

Here are more pages on cameras related to the *ist DS2:

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