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Forum: Pentax Medium Format 03-31-2011, 07:56 PM  
Pentax 645D
Posted By hkphotogroup
Replies: 1
Views: 27,107
Pros Fast Focus, Price Point for Medium Format, lots of glass available Cons 14bit RAW, Small Grip, Small eye piece, Rating 8 Price (U.S. Dollars) 10,499 Years Owned Demo Unit

I can recommend this camera: Yes

Value, Features, Performance & Size
Feels like a DSLR in the menus and operations. Lets a user get into the Medium Format market for almost half the price of your standard Hasselblad/Phase One.

Camera Review
This week I was booked to shoot some marketing material for Canada Olympic Park. On Tuesday The Camera Store gave me the Pentax 645D to try out. They wanted to shoot a behind the scenes video of sports and “Medium Format” cameras.

The Pentax performed great all day. I was used to the focusing speed on the H series from Hasselblad and this new Pentax was a real treat as far as focusing speed goes.

Unlike the Hasselblad digitals and Phase One backs that both shoot in 16bit RAW, the Pentax shoots 14bit, similar to a Nikon Raw format. I was initially a little concerned about this, for large prints. After working a couple of the files in PS, these 14bit files are still pretty stellar.

There is a large selection of both focal plane and leaf shutter glass available for the 645D. This is a nice little bonus, as my Hasselblad system has a very limited number of lenses available. The Hassy is also only “leaf” shutter, so you are limited up to 1/800th of a sec for shutter speeds. The Pentax 645D’s ability to accept both leaf and focal plane means you are able to jump up to 1/4000th if the job requires it.

For about half the price of an entry level Hasselblad or Phase system, the Pentax is a killer choice. I can definitely see this camera making a larger presence on the lifestyle and wedding circuit. The 645D has the ability to give you that unparalleled fall off and D.O.F. in a medium format (not to mention it shoots a native 18×24 @ 300dpi).

We shot for about 4hrs on Tuesday and the Pentax battery barely dropped a bar. Usually when you’re shooting winter sports the batteries in the bigger cameras take a pretty big hit. This camera held up throughout the shoot.

For those of you only running laptops to do your editing and worry that a digital medium format file will bog down your system to no end… Don’t. The files are a modest 50-70mb each, and being 14bit, they won’t murder your machine’s RAM, whether you use PS, Lightroom or Capture One.

Overall, we had a great day of shooting at C.O.P. and I really enjoyed shooting with the Pentax 645D.

You can check out the behind the scenes video:

You Tube

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