Glass half full?
Although the 645D is compatible with most old Pentax lenses, which are notoriously good and cheap, these simply do not compare to the glass available on the new Hasselblad, Phase One or Leica models. At present Pentax has released only one digitally-optimised lens, the SMC Pentax-DFA 645 1:2.8 55mm AL (IF) SDM AW, which I used in this test shoot. While Pentax offers 15 lenses compatible with this model, however, later this month more news on optimised lenses is anticipated.
Great value, but needs more quality glass to show of the extent of its capabilities
This 645D’s 55mm prime lens is dust-proof and weather resistant, has a completely rounded diaphragm to produce a natural, smooth transition between focal plane and out of focus areas. Its also features a new supersonic direct-drive motor for effortless autofocus and a special lens coating to minimise flare. The lens is bright and fast and does justice to the calibre of the sensor, delivering a level of detail far beyond the reach of a DSLR.
I was pleasantly surprised by the clever design and stunning picture quality of the 645D. It is almost the perfect blend of medium format image detail with DSLR ease of use and ergonomics. At a fraction of the price of a Hasselblad, the 645D is certainly appears great value, and there are plenty of compatible lenses out there for it. That said, if Pentax wants to be a serious contender in the digital medium format market it needs to invest in delivering a range of calibrated lenses to complement the capabilities of the 645D camera body. Hopefully, the company won’t take as long as it took to bring the 645D to market or the allure of this camera's excellent bang for buck will be very short lived. ®
Catherine Monfils is a professional photographer specialising in portraiture, lifestyle and fashion.
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Pentax 645D medium format digital camera
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!).