By >Daimaou - G.G-B
[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos
As a photograph amateur, or as I love to call myself, “a Tourist in the Photograph world”, I have tried pretty much every kind of camera, ranging from the crappy point & shoot to the high-end DLSR, but there was one kind of camera that I’ve never tried before, the MF or Medium Format.
Heavy, Bulky, Expensive and made for real professionals or at least for people who know what they are talking about, Medium Format are impressive cameras, and when Pentax decided to jump into the Digital MF world with their 40Mpix 645D, I could not resist to give it a try and ask for a sample for review.
I have never had the chance to play with an MF before hence I will not be able to give you any hint as to how this camera performs against other MFs, or how handling this MF is different from them, however, from what I am used to play with stuff from other manufacturers, I can say that the 645D is a really bulky and heavy beast so don’t expect to handle the camera with one hand only or if you are planning to do so, just make sure to spend hours at the gym before just to make sure you will be capable of handling this baby like a real pro.
This said, once you get used to the camera’s weight, you will realize that in spite of its bulkiness, the camera is in fact pretty easy to handle and Pentax worked hard to make the 645D as comfortable as possible with a well-placed button easy to access and clear enough to understand that even an idiot like me knows what the button is made for.
Let’s Shoot Baby
“Ergonomic” and “user-friendly” are The keywords for the 645D here, and once in your hands you will feel as comfortable as you do while using your good old DSLR, and added on top of that a 40Mpix camera that allows you way more flexibility in terms of quality and details. Sure, the more pixels your camera has does not necessarily mean the better the pictures will be, but since here we are talking about a camera having a larger sensor than a Full Frame one for example, the 645D gives you more freedom to either shoot impressive photos in low-light at low-ISO (The 645D only offer ISO 400 at maximum), or in perfect conditions, photos with impressive details even at 100x zoom and better DR (Dynamic Range).
Now it is clear that the 645D is my first MF, and I will have hard time to tell you if this camera beats other MF, but what I can tell you is that even at ISO400 I had impressive night shots and had better pictures than with my 5D MK II… Now the only problem that I can think of is that the huge size of each file. One JPEG in its maximum quality will give you a 20 to 25MB file size and a 7264 x 5440 resolution, Thanks God the 645D comes with a dual SDHC Card slot.
Playing with the 645D’s HDR Mode, and with 3 files only, I can tell you that Photoshop CS5 on my Core i7 MacBook Pro struggled a lot before being capable of giving me full control over my “creation”.
I personally see a lot of advantages to the 645D over my 5D MK II, to name but one regarding the shots that I made with both cameras, it was only with the 645D that I had much room to improve bad shots or to work on them to let my creative mind take over the photos all together.
I am truly sorry if you were expecting a “Professional” review on the 645D. I have to admit that the camera’s capabilities are really exceeding my skills and knowledge here, but what I can tell you is that the 645D is an impressive piece of technology and incredible camera.
Sure the 645D is not a “Cheap” Camera and you will be able to get two 5D MK II with their 24-105mm Lens and even be able to afford 24-70mm from Canon before even being able to get a 645D body.
This said, and compared to what the competition is offering on this segment, the 645D is still sold at a very reasonable price.