The release is 19th April in Japan
The release is 19th April in Japan
regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
Digital & film, Bits of glass covering 10mm to 500mm, and other stuff
Wish list only... Need $12k by the time I get a couple of lenses
You've doubtless heard the idiom about a watched pot never boiling, but for photographers, a more apt metaphor might be that "a lustworthy camera never ships." Once you settle on preordering that just-announced camera, the wait for it to arrive on your doorstep can feel unbearable -- at least, until it finally shows up, and you're the only person in town with the camera in your hands. If you're a medium-format photographer, the last month has likely crawled by in slow motion, thanks to Ricoh's upcoming Pentax 645Z.
There are no two ways about it: The 645Z is a game-changer, bringing live view and movie shooting to a medium-format camera for the first time, and making available-light photography much more feasible thanks to a spectacularly wide ISO sensitivity range. It doesn't hurt that the 645Z also retains its predecessor's handling and weather-sealed, shoot-anywhere body, yet improves performance, autofocus, and exposure metering, and adds a tilting LCD monitor. It even allows for remote control via a Wi-Fi wireless network, thanks to an optional accessory.
Last edited by Kym; 28-05-2014 at 1:29pm.
Hands on review
There's no getting around it, the Pentax 645Z from Ricoh Imaging is a big camera. It's medium-format big. It has to be, as inside there's a monstrous 43.8 x 32.8 mm 51.4-megapixel AA-filter-free CMOS sensor. That's 1.7 times the size of those in full-frame 35-mm-format cameras. As such, when you first pick up the 645Z – which measures 156 x 117 x 123 mm (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.8 in) and weighs 1,550 g (3 lb 6.7 oz) without a lens – it initially feels positively massive.
But the strange thing is, unlike boxier medium-format cameras, it's easy to forget exactly how big the 645Z is, because it handles much like a DSLR. And this could be key to its success, because it's not intimidating in the way some medium-format cameras can be. Coupled with the price, which isn't that much more than top-of-the-range DSLRs, it's clear the 645Z isn't just for professionals. Pentax even thinks as many as half of 645Z sales could be to well-heeled amateurs.
I think this camera could be a game-changer and will certainly appeal to pros and well-off amateurs as well, just like the old medium format film cameras did back in the day.
From what I've heard, the dynamic range is just amazing, and considering it uses the same Sony sensor as the Hasselblad and Phase One 50mpx backs, with a lot more features at just a fraction of the cost, I think it's amazing and if I could afford it, I would certainly be wanting to take a good hard look at it.
Kym, are all those lenses on the list autofocus or just manual focus?
All my photos are taken with recycled pixels.
Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
Wisdom, is knowing not to serve it in a fruit salad.
Picked mine up on Saturday with a 55mm f/2.8 lens. Used it same day then a full days shooting at two motoring events. I've been shooting with a 645N II so already have a 40-85mm and 150mm. Since used both with the Z and it's staggering. My whole work flow has had to change.
Still carefully getting to know it even though the menu & controls are child's play.
Last edited by K10D; 04-11-2014 at 8:41pm.
So how are you finding the 645Z now that you've had it for over a month K10D?
The 150mm works very well but in both cases the focus has to me spot on and the screw drive lenses need a double AF check now & again. I'm shooting in JPEG & RAW.
For no make-up female face shots it shows every fault and you need to keep this in mind. I've shot a few mother child portraits and been informed that the camera shows far too much detail.
I'm in the UK at the moment and going to York later today. I'll be using the Z in and around the Xmas markets and minster area.
Is the camera worth the money? For me, yes. It will slow your approach to shooting.
It handles like a dream and is just so intuitively easy to shoot with. Where possible, a tripod is highly recommended.
The dynamic range blows everything else away (of mine that is). I shoot FF Nikon & Sony (A99) along with Pentax & Nikon APS-C.
The single battery at first had me worried. Its not an issue in practise as you work slower and shoot less with this camera. Its almost like using film. As I have several spare batteries it's not an issue.
For anyone on the brink and not yet decided, get it, your only regret will be that you had not done it sooner.
File sizes and storage/backup mean new larger drives!