Some weeks ago I bought a broken Pentax *ist Ds on ebay. Actually it’s supposed to be broken but as a matter of fact, it was just the flash unit which was not popping up. After some easy disassembly, I got the metal pieces of the mechanism clean and clear and now is perfectly fixed. I could use it but I don’t ever shoot with flash.
The main reason why I got this camera body was the fact that I could use all those pieces of glass I got with my previous Pentax MG and Chinon CM4s cameras. And it was really cheap (around €90).
The camera is pretty elemental, straight use and very very simple. Nobody with experience with film cameras should have any problem using this body. Although now it’s been some years since it’s been released, it’s still a very usable camera, it has 6 megapixels which in my opinion is enough for starters, and an above average build and photo quality. The CCD is just a little bigger than the CMOS canon mounts, so the focal length multiplicator is just of 1.5 instead of the canon’s 1.6. This is a problem that most digital bodys have, yet companies are releasing full frame bodies which eventually will be most of the market, using the 35mm standard again.
Some good readings: