Having recently tested the Leica S2, I was initially taken back by the bulk of the 645D but it took me less than a day to totally fall in love with the design and controls layout of this camera. The body is so well designed that I’d say it is the most comfortable and easy to handle professional camera that I have ever used, and that includes DSLRs.
It fits snugly and firmly in the hand and with its large, ergonomic and very recessed handgrip it is a pleasure to hold. Compared to the linear elegance of the Leica S2 or the neat looks of the Hasselblad H system, the 645D might look clattered with its abundance of buttons and dials taking up virtually all available body surface, but whilst it might not be a looker it is by far the most user-friendly control layout I’ve experienced.
The 645D is also easy to customise. Not only do you have programmable options in the user settings and customisable buttons – like the AF and the RAW – but you can also assign functions to the dials for each of the different shooting modes.
Another nice touch is that once you select a control button, you can then choose among the options available in that function – without having to use navigation arrows, scroll dials or OK commands – just by continually pressing the button. Once you’re familiar with the layout of the controls, this facility allows you to change virtually every setting without taking your eye off the subject you’re photographing. Great stuff.
The menus are also intelligently and logically organised, with the bonus of a basic description appearing when a menu option is highlighted that briefly describes what that function does. The back of the 645D features a 3in LCD screen with 921,000 dot resolution, wide angle viewing and up to 32X magnification – a welcome step up from the inadequate monitors normally found by digital medium format models. The screen is fixed but the orientation of the display changes accordingly with portrait or landscape mode.
The sizeable top LCD keeps you in the picture regarding settings
All the shooting and set-up information is clearly displayed on the screen and if you need to you can turn the LCD into an electronic spirit level by just pressing a button – the level can also be displayed into the viewfinder. There is also a top data LCD of generous size and slanted for easy viewing when holding the camera. The viewfinder is bright and accurate making manual focusing easy and precise.
Next page: Sample Shots
Then kodakspeak is marketing bollocks
and you should be using the commonly understood meaning of the term.
Nice camera, poor terminology
Looks an excelent piece of kit, but it's not a "full frame" sensor as you suggest. Full frame for a 645 medium format camera would be 60x45mm so that's barely over half frame for this format. That would be similar to calling an APS-C sensor full frame for for a 35mm equivalent DSLR. OK so 60x45mm sensors aren't exactly common, but that's still no reason to call this one full frame.
RE it's a crop sensor
Huh, what issues are those? OK you have an larger lens than is necessary for the sensor size but what else is there? If anything it is often an advantage to use a full image circle lens on a crop sensor, that way you are always getting the sweet spot of the image with much reduced vignetting and a possibly a more even resolution characteristic. Normally it is the non cropped sensors that show the limitations of older lenses.
That's a very nice sensor for a home astronomy setup. :)
Nice camera, nicer review...
So often tech site camera reviews are written by people that are gadget freaks first, and photographers second if at all. This writer is obviously a photographer, and her phrasing and points of inspection on this camera make this a highly worthwhile review. Kudos!
As for the camera, at that price point it is simply stunning. The sample image of the wooden fence disappearing in to the snow fields shows the DOF and detail possible with such an impressive specification and good glass.
This would seem to be a great camera for an aspiring amateur with bit of money, or a pro with little. For them the lack of a large lens selection is not a deterrent - they are not the people that buy a huge number of lenses. Those that can, will buy Leaf and Hasselblad. But for those who lack the money but are willing to spend the time and effort to work within a limited lens choice, this will be a perfect alternative...at least until Pentax can fill out the range. PLEASE Pentax would you do a great ultra wide, preferably rectalinear? (Hint: model it on the Oly 7-14mm!).