First Pentax 645D is out

Akihabaranews (more pictures available) got one of the first first Pentax 645D units for testing. Expect detailed report from them in the next two weeks. Amazon Japan list the 645D to be available on May 30th, 2010.

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  • GlobalGuy

    Am I right that this needs to perform at least on par with the Nikon D3x? Is there any advantage to this format that the D3x doesn’t offer? Also, I heard that the 645 is not a true medium format but a “cropped medium”(?) — is this true?

  • xatnep

    Yeah, that’s true – Pentax 645D is a cropped medium format, like the PhaseOne, like the Leica S2 and like the Mamiya 😉

    • GlobalGuy

      As a full-framer, not a medium-formatist, I have no idea about the standards involved. But you’ll notice Mark mentions, “(wish it was a) 37×49 instead of (what it currently is) a 33×44”.

      Meanwhile he also mentions that the sensor area is 70% larger than full-frame. Clearly this can be important when using any one type of sensor (however, sensors vary widely, as well as the processing of the data they produce).

      My question was meant to be more narrow — to wit, does anyone know if this camera is better than the D3x? Or does it have approximately the same output? Or even (not-likely?) worse?

      In other words, can someone make the case as to why someone would want this camera (considering the costs of medium-format lenses)? Is it really going to be THAT good, or would the D3x be on par? This has relevance for next-gen Canon users as well who might be thinking about entry-level range medium-format.

      • Eric Pepin

        If this camera follows the trends of cheap (considering the alternatives) MF digital then it will have sligtly better performance but not considerable as this is still a crop sensor. True MF 645 or 6×6 would probably really start to outrun the D3x but those are well out of the D3x price point. Also to note is the greater depth of field control with the larger sensor.

        • Eric Pepin

          also MF pentax lenses really arent that expensive, take a look on ebay, lots of the pro lenses can be got for cheap.

  • can’t wait. Time to start cleaning my old pentax MF lenses!

  • Mark

    The sensor area is 70% larger than FF 135, like D3x, 5D, 1Ds etc. It’s still one of the smaller MF sensors. I wish they’d gone for atleast the 37×49 instead of the 33×44.

    • Joe

      I can’t wait to see what the IQ of the pictures looks like.

  • what is the max that the lenses in 645 would cover? what is the size in mm of the 120 film that it replaces?

    • Mistral75

      Image area of 645 film is 41.5 x 56 mm. The 645D sensor is a 1.26 crop compared to 645 film.

  • David

    It looks like a comfortable camera to hold.. I thought it is much bigger…

    • GlobalGuy

      You can’t really see it in the above image, but on another image, it looks like the hand-grip is VERY deep compared to other cameras (FF). I’m thinking it might be pretty nice to hold, actually. I always found it odd that those super-zoom P&S had deeply recessed handgrips that were utterly too small to be useful, but then some DLSRs didnt have the same feature, which is entirely necessary.

      I like the grip on the D700 (Nikon), but can sincerely say I wish it were a bit deeper. The comfort of getting to hold something more like a hammer (curling tight grip) rather than a book (flat grip) is extremely comfortable even if it exerts more energy. The weight of a D700 with battery grip demands more room for a hammer like grip, and I suspect these medium format cameras would be even worse. Sometimes I feel the D700, like every other DSLR is just barely holding on by my finger tips and thumb when I carry it. Therefore, its nice to see how deep the handgrip is in this 645. It even appears to have extra room behind the grip for a bit of curling space. Not bad!

      The MORE of a circular-grip type handle they can provide, the BETTER. The thinner the body thickness is between a curling grip (fingers) and the thumb (on the other side), the BETTER. Consider a left-hand (off-camera) grip that connects to the bottom screw. Often its just a handle bar. This isn’t just to be frugal — this is the strongest possible grip you can achieve (hammer-hold type grip – such as: perhaps only matched by a glove-strap grip that can help leverage the strength of your palm, depending on your needs/use (

      I wish more DSLRs provided a better curl grip. Most DSLRs have a nice curve, but on the inside (near the lens), it just goes straight to the body. Rather, it should curl in (s-curving to the body) to let the fingertips really claw in there.

      • Mr. long finger

        agree the D700 grip is not “deep” enough for my right hand, the finger tips hit the front panel…

      • Jivee

        Totaly agree with you. D90 range and up have nice grips. D60 type are really small. Even Panasonic Fz50 and Fuji S9000s had better grip than these. And i really dont know why canon botherd with a grip on the rebels at all! They are utterly useless. I hear the t2i/550d is better though. Still, its mindboggling y there is much emphasis on super thin slr/evil bodies. Stick any lens on it and it WONT fit in any normal pocket. So id rather have a decent grip on them too.

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