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Pentax 645D hands-on at Photokina


Pentax 645D hands-on at Photokina

We've just had a religious experience; we finally got my hands on the new Pentax 645D, and what an amazing bit of kit it is. At its core is a 44 x 33mm Kodak CCD sensor (1.7x the size of a full-frame 35mm SLR) with a resolution of 40 megapixels, feeding a high-performance Pentax PRIME II processing engine with 14-bit A/D conversion, producing Raw image files of around 50MB, and the kind of image quality that owners of full-frame DSLRs can only dream about.

Other features include SAFOX 9 AF system, 800 shot battery life, in-camera HDR, automatic distortion correction, and a magnesium alloy body with weather-resistant seals. Body-only dimensions are 156 x 117 x 119mm, and weight is 1480g including battery and dual SD cards.

Although the 645D is launching with only a 55mm prime standard lens it is compatible with most of the existing lenses for the highly-regarded Pentax 645 film camera system.

Our initial impression of the camera is overwhelmingly positive. It is lighter and more manoeuvrable than we were expecting, with a large and very comfortable handgrip. For such a big camera it is surprisingly easy to handle, and would be easy to use hand-held, rather than on a tripod as medium-format cameras usually are. The controls are large, well positioned and easy to use, and the massive LCD data screen is superb, as is the 3.0-inch 9211k monitor. The optical viewfinder is simply fantastic, like looking at an IMAX cinema screen. I’ve never seen a larger, clearer viewfinder.

It has finally been confirmed that the 645D will be coming to Europe in October, including the UK, although it will only be available through a select few high-end outlets. It will sell for around £9,000 including the standard 55mm lens; while this sounds like a lot (it is, ask for a pay rise now!) when you compare it to the £20k price tag of a Hasselblad digital system it’s actually remarkable value for money.

More news later from the Sony press conference.

Go to comments


September 21, 2010, 7:40 pm

<p>@Cliff - Wow!!! This camera is sick!! (as is the price) But I'm sure you ment that it has a 921k monitor, not a 9211k monitor...<br><br><br>Right...??</p>

Sean Groarke

September 21, 2010, 7:43 pm

<p>These and the Fuji pictures show that you're using a Pentax K-7? Look, I know that they're low-res JPGs and so on, but hells bells: could you switch to something that can actually focus properly...?! You've either got a focus problem or you sneezed on the lens earlier and forgot to clean it. :-)</p>


September 21, 2010, 8:01 pm

<p>@Sean Groarke: Not sure what photos you're seeing, the white balance is all wrong and they've a narrow depth of field, but focus wise they're fine.</p>

Sean Groarke

September 21, 2010, 10:10 pm

<p>What????!? They vary, but take that third one on the Fuji camera page. Good god! The depth of field may well be narrow, but none of it falls on the camera being photographed! You're right that some of the others have some small % in focus, but on most you can't even read the letters and numbers! BTW, you've given me a new excuse for next time I take a horridly out of focus picture: No, it's in focus but the subject was simply not in the correct position. :-) <br><br><br><br><br><br>Slap a flash on that there K-7 and don't worry about anything artistic: just stop it down and let us see the details!</p>


September 21, 2010, 10:14 pm

<p>Tell me this baby can record 4k video?</p>


September 22, 2010, 1:34 am

<p>The images are in focus - there are just some non-traditional focal points used...</p>

john g

September 23, 2010, 1:19 am

<p>I imagine that, when you review this, you'll be wanting to get a second opinion from a keen amateur photographer and Trusted Reviews fan? Far be it from me to blow on my own crumpets, but...</p>

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