Conclusion: Given that the Pentax 645D is out of the realm of cameras we normally test, we went back and forth on whether to do a full image analysis, but we've decided to go forward. We wanted to flesh out what we posted late last year with a little more experiential writeup and final thoughts before sending the 40-megapixel 645D back to Pentax. It's really an amazing camera, with plenty of pixels to spare, and very high-quality optics.
Pros: Exquisite detail in JPEGs, even more from RAW files, Superb per-pixel sharpness (but see Con regarding aliasing artifacts), Surprisingly good ergonomics, Very good high ISO performance, though limited to only ISO 1,600, Good dynamic range from RAW files, Accurate default saturation, Useful D-Range options, In-camera HDR support, Optional CA and Distortion correction, Fast autofocus, Supports two RAW formats, including industry standard DNG, Big, bright viewfinder with...
Cons: Exquisite detail in JPEGs, even more from RAW files, Superb per-pixel sharpness (but see Con regarding aliasing artifacts), Surprisingly good ergonomics, Very good high ISO performance, though limited to only ISO 1,600, Good dynamic range from RAW files, Accurate default saturation, Useful D-Range options, In-camera HDR support, Optional CA and Distortion correction, Fast autofocus, Supports two RAW formats, including industry standard DNG, Big, bright viewfinder with...
Summary: We could define the Pentax 645D (almost) perfect here and close this section. In fact, the quality in the image that can produce leaves open mouth for precision and sharpness. The colors are realistic, but they can also be adjusted as a favorite to have exactly the picture you are looking for. But what surprises most (at the bottom of 40 megapixel photographers good is almost obvious) is its high maneuverability.
[Review] Pentax 645D, the other way of shooting photos
5 September 2011
Summary: I am truly sorry if you were expecting a “Professional” review on the 645D. I have to admit that the camera’s capabilities are really exceeding my skills and knowledge here, but what I can tell you is that the 645D is an impressive piece of technology and incredible camera.
Excerpt: Ringing in at a lofty 10 grand your first thought might be “for a Pentax?” but the 645D is nothing to scoff at. The 40-megapixel medium format camera will feature a massive 44x33mm CCD sensor, 3.0″ 931k dot LCD display, to capture ultra sharp high-resolution images. The traditionally shaped, weather-resistant, ruggedized steel-alloy body will be compatible with existing lenses and features in-camera HDR (a feat at this resolution), shutter/aperture/ISO exposure modes,...
Summary: Hasselblad’s latest H4D-31 offers the same sensor size and, with its modular design, is aimed more at studio work. The 645D’s weather-sealed body will be a big pull for those working in the field. The other real competition comes from high-end pro DSLRs, such as the Nikon D3x, that offer around half the resolution for about half the price. The 645D will no doubt attract a niche audience, though its almost-£10k price tag is firmly out of reach for the majority.
Pros: Stunning image quality, easy to use, nice large viewfinder
Cons: Processing speed, viewfinder coverage, too pricey for most
Summary: The 645D will no doubt attract a niche audience, as the almost £10,000 price tag is firmly out of reach of most amateur users. Interestingly, though, many of the features seem to be catering for a more consumer-level user, with its DSLR-styled additions and a host of auto modes. It’s not perfect, but it does have benefits and is bound to prove popular with landscape and wedding photographers alike.
Summary: We often discuss here the question of how best to be photographically well hung. DSLR the size of a kitchen appliance? Or a shrunk-down quality camera such as the Olympus PEN range, the Leica X1 and my latest shutter squeeze, the superlative Fuji X100 ? On the basis that the best camera is the one you happen to have with you when a great photo op appears, it is far easier to have with you a small but serious camera with limited features than a massive machine that does...
Excerpt: The total pixel count is 41.2 megapixels which is nearly double the best on offer from a 35mm D-SLR and gives a maximum image size of 7264 x 5440 pixels. Perhaps most importantly, these pixels are a healthy 6 x 6 microns in size (5.93 x 5.93 microns to be precise) which means you get ultrahigh resolution without sacrificing the signal-tonoise ratio or the dynamic range (which is quoted at a handy 11.5 stops).
Summary: Each of these two cameras are excellent at what they do best. For example, the 1Ds Mark III is a more flexible tool, capable of holding its own when high levels of detail are needed, but without sacrificing aspects for handling such as the compact 35mm form factor, impressive autofocus and high speed continuous shooting.
Pros: Superb sharpness and resolution, Excellent dynamic range, Good handling, Weather Sealing, Good white balance performance, Lowest price medium format digital currently available, Compatible with Pentax 645 lenses, Excellent build quality, Superb autofocus, High speed continuous shooting, Decent sharpness and resolution, Vibrant contrasty images, Good colours straight from the camera, 1/250sec flash sync speed
Cons: Meter often underexposes, Slow continuous autofocus, 1/125 flash sync speed, Softening at higher ISOs, Poor white balance performance, Viewfinder a little difficult to use when wearing glasses