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07-15-2014, 02:08 PM - 4 Likes   #1
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TCSTV 645Z Field Test Video

Hey everyone,

Here's the 645Z field test video I shot:


A lot of video talk, but since this is the first medium format camera that can shoot video, we felt it was worth going in depth with. You can also read my blog about the shoot here:
Pentax 645Z Hands-On Field Test With Deluxe Design Group

I'd love to hear some feedback from you hardcore Pentax fans!

07-15-2014, 04:03 PM   #2
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Excellent review!!
No surprises regarding the movie mode.. Another Pentax fail.
07-15-2014, 07:09 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Thanks Chris and Jorden, a very entertaining and informative review as we have grown to expect from you guys. I would have liked a comparison to the color output from the 645D and overall comparison, in more detail, to the 810 and more significantly an A7r. Carrying a 645Z or 810 and lenses is not much different, but the Sony offers a significant reduction in size and weight (OK, lenses are an issue). The video coverage, if it came at the expense of comparisons to other still cameras, was a bit excessive. I have no idea who would get a 645Z to shoot video, but I feel safe in saying that not many still photographers give a hoot about video.

Tom
07-15-2014, 07:20 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
.. I feel safe in saying that not many still photographers give a hoot about video.
A rapidly increasing demographic certainly do..

07-15-2014, 07:20 PM   #5
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Would have been cool to see the video files as recorded directly by the camera on the SD card rather than what was pulled out through the HDMI port.

Perhaps the detail that was apparent during the shooting was actually retained on the SD card. Who knows what the 645Z does to the signal on the HDMI port.
07-15-2014, 08:48 PM - 2 Likes   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ole Quote
Would have been cool to see the video files as recorded directly by the camera on the SD card rather than what was pulled out through the HDMI port.

Perhaps the detail that was apparent during the shooting was actually retained on the SD card. Who knows what the 645Z does to the signal on the HDMI port.
The image you saw was what was recorded to the SD card. The external recording was so bad that Chris and Nick just threw the footage away. The issue is that the external signal shows information in the shadows that seem to be crushed in the internal compression. Why offer an HDMI monitoring option if it doesn't represent what you're recording? If it was possible to get a usable signal from the HDMI port, we should have access to the extra dynamic range we saw on set.
07-15-2014, 09:15 PM   #7
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Meh, it gets worse then.
I'll never be able to afford or even need/want a 645Z, but what's important to me is seeing if PR are doing better in the video dept to appeal to the videographer enthusiasts and pros by building a competitive system. Enhanced and competitive video improvements would trickle down into their APS-C bodies in the future and keep many [of us] interested in Pentax gear. Evidently they aren't doing anything exciting after all. Such a low bitrate too. Seems hope is lost.
07-15-2014, 10:28 PM   #8
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Really cool review! Glad they took the time to really put this camera through its paces.

07-15-2014, 11:04 PM   #9
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nice review, I'm guessing the processor is going to need to be better for proper videos. perhaps they will have a chance to finally do something about it with K3 successor. but improving flash system maybe a higher priority? idk.
07-15-2014, 11:06 PM   #10
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Awesome review.
Sadly, I was looking to buy 4 or 5 of these cameras for work and this review kinda killed that.
I was *really* hoping the video on the 645z would be better so I could justify the purchases.
I saw in the video they were using Final Cut Pro.
Any idea how the Adobe creative suite might handle the files?
As in Premier CC 2014?
I wish there was someway to salvage this so I could go Pentax.
Any ideas?
07-15-2014, 11:40 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
Awesome review.
Sadly, I was looking to buy 4 or 5 of these cameras for work and this review kinda killed that.
I was *really* hoping the video on the 645z would be better so I could justify the purchases.
I saw in the video they were using Final Cut Pro.
Any idea how the Adobe creative suite might handle the files?
As in Premier CC 2014?
I wish there was someway to salvage this so I could go Pentax.
Any ideas?
The files will be the same in terms of image quality and grade-ability on Premiere and Final Cut. It seems the processor is the weak link here, so it would be great if Pentax added a firmware upgrade for uncompressed HDMI out, like Canon did with the 5D MK III. We'll have to see how committed Pentax is to making the 645 system a viable video platform.

I feel they made a huge oversight by underserving the video crowd, as filmmakers will pay a lot for a unique aesthetic, which the 645Z certainly could provide.

---------- Post added 07-15-14 at 11:46 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
The video coverage, if it came at the expense of comparisons to other still cameras, was a bit excessive. I have no idea who would get a 645Z to shoot video, but I feel safe in saying that not many still photographers give a hoot about video.

Tom
The Pentax 645Z is very unique for filmmakers as it gave the opportunity for a larger format look not yet seen digitally, with the closest comparison being 70mm film. As a videographer, I was hugely excited when the camera was announced. I figured if Pentax did it right, they could have the 5D MK II of the medium format world on their hands. The MK II was a bitch to work with, but people put up with it for the unique aesthetic, and it led to the current large sensor video revolution we currently enjoy. Pentax had an opportunity for a similar kind of notoriety. That's why we produced such an extensive video test.

It's a shame the software issues make the camera nearly unusable, even for experts like Nick and Chris from DDG.
07-16-2014, 12:44 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TCSJordan Quote
The files will be the same in terms of image quality and grade-ability on Premiere and Final Cut. It seems the processor is the weak link here, so it would be great if Pentax added a firmware upgrade for uncompressed HDMI out, like Canon did with the 5D MK III. We'll have to see how committed Pentax is to making the 645 system a viable video platform.

I feel they made a huge oversight by underserving the video crowd, as filmmakers will pay a lot for a unique aesthetic, which the 645Z certainly could provide.

---------- Post added 07-15-14 at 11:46 PM ----------



The Pentax 645Z is very unique for filmmakers as it gave the opportunity for a larger format look not yet seen digitally, with the closest comparison being 70mm film. As a videographer, I was hugely excited when the camera was announced. I figured if Pentax did it right, they could have the 5D MK II of the medium format world on their hands. The MK II was a bitch to work with, but people put up with it for the unique aesthetic, and it led to the current large sensor video revolution we currently enjoy. Pentax had an opportunity for a similar kind of notoriety. That's why we produced such an extensive video test.

It's a shame the software issues make the camera nearly unusable, even for experts like Nick and Chris from DDG.
I thought the 645Z only used a 35mm frame sized portion of the sensor for video so I am not sure it provides any unique rendering over full frame models.
07-16-2014, 02:18 AM   #13
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Excellent review as always.

After seeing the stills review I have to say my purchase of this camera is no longer "if" but "when"
Good to see the three newer lenses being used as well.

Have to say I am disappointed the video portion of the review was not from Jordan (still very good, and I certainly appreciate the effort that went into this part of the review), your videography is awesome and is a major part of why the camera stores youtube clips are so good and I was really looking forward to what you where going to come up with and your thoughts on the Z.

Keep the great reviews coming.

Cheers
07-16-2014, 07:12 AM   #14
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I didnt think this would be the 5d mkII of mf, its definitely the d90. The supporting hardware/software to get the video down was never going to be there in an $8.5k camera. The door is open for a more video oriented mf camera, but I doubt there will be a remotely workable solution for under $15k. I just don't think it was high enough on the priority list for pentax, and very much a 'well it can do this, we'll include ti'. I'm sure a lot of the design and silicon was being based on the k3, like the d had from the k7, so they worked within that limited technology. A ground up camera design could probably do it, but they wont have the lenses and legacy that pentax has in the format, making it a much bigger risk in investment.

The video itself goes above and beyond so thank you very much, I certainly think this camera deserves it. TCS is on the pulse and it is greatly appreciated. We'll see how you guys look back on it in the drunken xmas vid.

Also, the fact it has the best stills image quality going gets belittled by freakin' video....Welcome to 2014!
07-16-2014, 07:44 AM   #15
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Hahahahahaha it took less than a year to get from "End-Year Best/Worst Roundup" to "drunken xmas vid"
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