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03-16-2010, 02:09 PM   #1
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645D first impression and interview

at Luminous-Landscape
Pentax 645D – Fiest Impressions & Interview

More MF bodies to come!
"Besides, we see the 645D as just a first step. We firmly intend to follow up with more MF bodies in the coming years to stay close to the forefront of image quality"

03-16-2010, 02:22 PM   #2
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that picture of that guy with his big Canon looking at the huge 645 photo is quite cool...
03-16-2010, 02:27 PM   #3
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This quote seems promising for those clamouring for a "Pro" Service Network from Pentax:

QuoteQuote:
We intend to sell the 645D outside Japan at a certain point in time but I cannot give you a firm date today. We believe that such a high end body has to be sold on top of a suitable support infrastructure. Japan as our historical base was the market with the best readiness for such a launch, which is why we decided to control the availability in this first step.
It seems like if/when the 645D is released here it would coincide with the support infrastructure that is mentioned above. Then again that is just pure speculation on my part.
03-16-2010, 02:59 PM   #4
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It wouldn't do Pentax any harm to put a couple in the hands of pro's and generate a demand for it.

03-16-2010, 03:03 PM   #5
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Nice interview. Really informative.
03-16-2010, 04:30 PM   #6
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Quotes I'd like to highlight:
QuoteOriginally posted by Yasuyuki Maekawa, Pentax Product Planning executive:
Very large prints made from 645D files were also on display (they must have been 2 meters wide) and I have to say that coming from a stitching background, I was impressed by the quality achieved with a single image (by Bernard LANGUILLIER, not Yasuyuki Maekawa).

We are confident in our ability to sell several thousand bodies in Japan this year.

Kodak might in fact be a bit conservative when they quote 11.5 stops as being the sensor DR.

Cannot be immerged, but will resist whatever amount of pouring rain for whatever amount of time.

As far as the ability to control the camera remotely, we are currently investigating this possibility but it is too early to commit on an availability date or to provide visibility on aspects like performance.
This all sounds very promising.

BTW, Leica specifies 30 minutes of 18 m/s heavy rain for their S2's weather sealing.
03-16-2010, 06:35 PM   #7
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Goodness, did everyone catch this?

QuoteQuote:
Therefore we plan to release soon a new wide high-end lens that will complement our existing wide lineup and be able to fully realize the image quality potential of the sensor for wide applications. It is also going to restore some of the wide capability that we have lost because of the smaller size of the sensor used in the 645D compared to 645 film.
So, the existing SMC Pentax-FA 645 35mm F3.5 is not good enough, despite the fact it is superior to the Hassy and Mamiya counterparts and largely regarded as the best ever MF wide angle lens. Instead, Pentax is going to give us something wider (so the crop factor does not impact) and something better yet.

Woot!
03-16-2010, 06:52 PM   #8
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I think we've all seen the mock-up wideangle plenty of times by now...

The 35mm is great on a full 645 frame but it's just not that excpetional an angle on 44x33.

03-16-2010, 08:09 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
Goodness, did everyone catch this?



So, the existing SMC Pentax-FA 645 35mm F3.5 is not good enough, despite the fact it is superior to the Hassy and Mamiya counterparts and largely regarded as the best ever MF wide angle lens. Instead, Pentax is going to give us something wider (so the crop factor does not impact) and something better yet.

Woot!
QuoteOriginally posted by er1kksen Quote
I think we've all seen the mock-up wideangle plenty of times by now...

The 35mm is great on a full 645 frame but it's just not that excpetional an angle on 44x33.

I'm not sure that you are taking that quote in the manner/context that it was intended. My take is that the smaller sensor will dictate the need for wider angle lenses to cover the FOV of what a 35mm would have covered on film.

It may well be that the currently available lenses for the 645, 645N, 645NII may not function perfectly on the digital sensor. That said, it is the widest lenses that would have the greater difficulty making the transition as did some of the really wide 35mm lenses on the smaller DSLR sensors.

Again, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I think that the quality will be fine enough to eventually just slowly evolve into the newer SDM (II?) lenses as needed.

Stephen
03-16-2010, 11:09 PM   #10
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"The price point is key here. We have seen high end DSLR selling for 7000-8000 US$ capture a significant part of the traditional MF market and this tells us that people would be willing to spend that much for a suitable solution."

Yup. Plenty of guys out there who, for the type of shooting they do, still find a D3X or 1D Mk III limiting in terms of resolution, especially for the size.

"...we already recorded 15 firm orders in one single retail store in Tokyo the very day of the announcement, that is before any of these photographers had the opportunity to lay their hands on a body."

A very, very nice sign, but not surprising .

"Another aspect is that we managed to commonalize some components with DSLRs already in production and could also re-use many of the IP and technologies we developed for them. The weather sealing I mentioned already is a very good example coming from the Pentax K-7. The new 11 points AF system also comes from existing DSLR technologies. "

Yup, as expected. Maybe that's why Mamiya and Hassy are so expensive, as they have limited products on which to make back the costs of R&D. It also means consistency across the range, in terms of features and ease-of-use. And it will make repairing easier.

"Many of our existing 645 film users use them to shoot landscape in various harsh outdoor conditions. "

Exactly. That's been my take on current MF DSLRs: they're delicated, with interchangeable backs, and combined with their price, make people wary of using them as field cameras.

"It is possible for instance to shoot raw and convert the raw file to a jpg within the camera without having to use a PC or a Mac."

Oh, dear. The Bullshit Internet Pros are going to have seizures over that.

"We intend to sell the 645D outside Japan at a certain point in time but I cannot give you a firm date today. We believe that such a high end body has to be sold on top of a suitable support infrastructure."

Good. Strongly implies Pentax will overhaul their service all around the world, which will benefit all. (Anyone here still willing to bet Hoya still wants to kill of the imaging division? Anyone?)

"Most of them are already at the right level quality wise but we are frankly speaking not totally happy about the wide end.

"Therefore we plan to release soon a new wide high-end lens that will complement our existing wide lineup and be able to fully realize the image quality potential of the sensor for wide applications. It is also going to restore some of the wide capability that we have lost because of the smaller size of the sensor used in the 645D compared to 645 film."

Aye. That's what I've been hearing from a lot of 645 users - there wasn't a lot on the wide end, even for the film 645 frame. If Pentax can pull off a rectilinear ~24mm, boy, will this thing sell.

And Ken Rockwell will shit himself.
03-17-2010, 12:02 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote

"We intend to sell the 645D outside Japan at a certain point in time but I cannot give you a firm date today. We believe that such a high end body has to be sold on top of a suitable support infrastructure."
forecast for Europe (645D's date of sale) - September, 2010.
03-17-2010, 12:05 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by lithos Quote

And Ken Rockwell will shit himself.
What's new?.....as he states on his post....send him money for his family....they need it.
03-17-2010, 12:07 AM   #13
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I find it amazing that for the first time since 2007, that Pentax has 3 current cameras that each have innovative remarkable features to them, from the high ISO Kx, K7's various new features, and now the innovative 645D. It appears that Hoya has been good for Pentax's future. Cool interview, thanks to the OP for posting!
03-17-2010, 12:09 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by ogl Quote
forecast for Europe (645D's date of sale) - September, 2010.
Pacific Canada....??
03-17-2010, 12:21 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
Pacific Canada....??
I don't know. 645D will be shown in France on June, 2010 and on Photokina, 2010.
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