Published on June 7th,2010 at 3:00 PM
By >Daimaou - G.G-B

[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos

[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.

First impression
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.

Pentax 645D Photo SamplePentax 645D Photo SamplePentax 645D Photo Sample

You can access to more Hi-res sample photo of the Pentax 645D here on our Flickr Account

Conclusion
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.

Via Pentax
Category Review Cameras
              
[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos
[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos
[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos
[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos
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Comments
 

  • just another observer

    rather than apologizing for the review (this really shouldn’t be called a review!), why don’t you just take it out on a good day, for a hike in the mountains or even going to a theme park and try to use it as a regular camera?

    Just share the results and experience, I think I personally would appreciate that than a bunch of shots (most are PP-ed?) that don’t really represent the camera or any experience from the camera.

    • Daimaou – G-A.G

      Sure, no problems, has soon as I have free time to wonder around and leave my desk… And all photo on flick as well as as 2 samples on this page (with the exception of the HDR one)… are coming straight from the camera, no Photoshop.

  • Mistral75

    Thanks for this preview. One remark though: the 645D shoudn’t “offer ISO 400 at maximum” since:

    - Auto ISO is [200 - 1,000]
    - Boosted sensitivity (ISO 100 and ISO 1,600) is available
    - On the Web, there are actually pictures taken at ISO 1,600.

    Did you try the Sv (Sensitivity-Priority) and TAv (Shutter + Aperture-Priority) modes?

  • Ron Hendriks

    Well not the very best review but I still would love to fill your shoes on the day you took the 645D for a walk.

    Great for you to share this experience with us.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/bdwbjarvis/ DavidJ

    Thanks for the nice early user’s review. Kind of a first impressions piece.

    It will take some time to figure out the Pentax menus and dials, but when you do, they become surprisingly easy to change options on the fly. (Also easy to forget what setting you left it on!)

    I will look forward to seeing more pictures. The nighttime pics show phenomenal quality I think, for just out of the camera. My Pentax K10D would not show nearly that quality (a lot more noise would be present).

  • Christopher

    This article is not really a review…I didn’t learn much here….you need to post more real world photos of landscape, people, etc. for us to get a solid grasp of the image quality of this camera….the flickr samples doesn’t tell me much

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/21057976@N06/ Darelo Xavier

    As a Pentax shooter from film up to K-7, I can only say that 645D is intended mainly for commercial-pro photographer were most of the job is done in good lighting or controlled lighting situation. So don’t ever expect expect that it can show you what the pentax K-x is capable of specially in low lighting condition where it topples the competition under the sink (price, performance) Printing a HUGE size of picture without interpolation is the main purpose of this beast where your meager dSLR-Cant-Do. Commercial-pro uses medium format or a pentax-6×7 even before till at present. IF you call yourself pro becoz you earn your living shooting weddings then go ahead and make your day, unless you always shoot with flash then all brands are capable of a good skin tone specially if the dslr body is match with a good lens.
    And YES a pentax 645D is too much a budget for a wedding-pro photogs so mostly commercial-pro photogs and enthusiast are the main target of 645D pentax.

    Darelo

  • brian alworth

    I’ve been shooting medium format film cameras (mostly Pentax 67′s) for years. The Pentax 645d is the first digital that I’ve even considered buying…when and if it gets to the U.S. Hopefully the P67 lenses will work on it, with the help of a 67 to 645 adapter. Can’t wait to see one myself!

 

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