Pentax 645D First Impressions

Earlier today I had the chance to have a play with the new Pentax 645D out at Team Digital with Ben … While we never did anything technical with the camera we did get to shoot a few images both indoors and out. Here are my first impressions of the camera.

  • Lighter than I had thought it would be and a little smaller that I had thought. I really do not want a camera that screams look at me, if I could do it with a point and shoot that would be ideal. I don’t think the size or look of the camera is going to draw too much attention and thats a good thing for me.
  • Controls … Now I gotta say I love the flow of the controls. The mirror lock up button is simple and something we have been asking Canon for, for years … A quick flick of the switch and your in mirror lock up and flick back and you have turned it off. No indepth menu options a big plus again … All the other controls are easy to use and seem to be in the right places. While I shot in manual mode the f/stop and shutter dials were in perfect locations to use with 2 fingers while holding the camera eye piece to your eye …
  • Bracketing images, easy as pie, choose 3 or 5 and what bracket you want with just a couple of turns of the dial … very nice and very convenient, loved it …
  • LCD screen, while the camera has no live view the LCD is big, clear and crisp. What more do you need … No real sun today so could not tell how it would fair under those conditions.
  • File sizes are large thus writing to the SD card seemed to take a little longer than I would of thought, but again there is a lot of info getting recorded and we only used a SD ultra II card … Maybe the extreme SD card would be faster. Not a game changer either way for me …
  • Shutter sound … After using the 5DII, the sound of mach truck would be a good thing … The Pentax 645D was smooth with the sound of a Nikon … Loved it …
  • Eye Piece and shutter button, eye pice nice and comfortable and a little distance out from the LCD screen, which is nice no more smudge marks from ones face on the LCD screen … Shutter button, too small and a pain … Did not like the feel of it … Superficial really, I only every use a remote switch …
  • Files. Nice clear and clean. Have a few here at home and stitching a couple of images together producing a nice fat file size. At f/16 seems to be sharp all the way through to a distance of 10 feet through to 300 -350 feet, after that we had dark flat clouds and were had to find a good focus point to compare … Writing the files in the DNG format is a huge plus as industry standard they can be imported into any raw file converter …
  • Dynamical range was very nice with a fair bit more than my 5D Mrk II. Nothing technical was done to compare this but I know from experience what I was shooting today with the 5D Mrk II would of needed a nd grad, the Pentax 645D did not need one.

In the end I was very impressed with my time with the new Pentax 645D Medium Format Digital Camera. It is definitely a step up from the Canon 5D Mrk II ….

Is it the step I want to take … I do not know, there are a number of other factors to consider. Driving around in a Enzo does not make you Enzo Ferrari …

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About Neal Pritchard

TImeless landscape photography prints by Neal Pritchard
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8 Responses to Pentax 645D First Impressions

  1. Very interesting post, thanks Neal. A lot of your impressions of the Pentax mirrors my impressions of the Hasselblad 39D which I once had for 4 days.

    I am sure the detail is great and dynamic range awesome (due to much larger pixels) but there are drawbacks as you say. Cost of course! And the shallow DOF, size etc.

  2. Dylan Fox says:

    interesting post mate….. effectively no use to me cause i am not in the market but interesting none the less!

  3. Fletch says:

    if you were going to buy a 1ds mark 4 or a d3x, this might be a camera that is worth looking at. Thanks for the post Neal.

  4. What’s one of these suckers go for? I might have to stick with my 12.1mp for some time to come! 🙂 Adrian

  5. Scott Bulger says:

    Great post. Real world experiences are always a huge plus.

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