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1. Clean the contacts on the camera body and lens where they meet with a cotton swab lightly dampened with rubbing alcohol.
2. Go into the menu and find "reset" to go back to the original factory default settings.
3. If you have a second lens, does the same problem occur?
It looks like your question was cut short... all I see is "Battery indicator reads empty when batteries are..."
With my experience with the Pentax *ist DL, I think the problem is probably that brand new batteries still show "empty" on the indicator.
Chances are that you are not using the CR-V3 camera batteries in your *ist DL. I have tried 2400mAh NiMH rechargable batteries and brand new alkaline batteries in an attempt to save money.
Neither lasted anywhere near as long as the CR-V3 batteries! While you may be paying $15-$20 for two CR-V3 batteries, they last a LONG time!
One of the advantages of DSLRs (and digital cameras in general) is that you save money by no longer buying film and paying for developing/prints. But, even at $20 for two CR-V3 batteries, I save money! I am able to take several hundred photos on a pair of batteries (I think the manual says 500+) instead of $10-$15 ($2-$7 for film + $8 dev/print) for every 24-36 photos!
I've got the same problem. The problem is that the lense is loosely attached to the body. What you need to do is that when you see the Av flashing, press the lense of the camera to the body and twist the lense to the left a bit. This tightens the connection. You can then take the photo.
It could be that your lighting situation inside is darker than in the store. Since the Pentax *st DL does not have an anti-shake sensor like other new cameras, it could be telling you that the low level light will not support the aperture setting you have to acuratley stay focused. Try using a tripod and a lower aperture setting.
Looks like its true... Another major disadvantage. Removing TTL means removing one more hardware piece - TTL sensor. Pentax removed almost every nice feature, which needs some aditional or more expensive hardware: no TTL flash, less AF points, pentamirror... Seems like I bought Ds right in time.