Hands on with 40 MP medium format Pentax 645D camera

Pentax’s 645D medium format camera made an appearance in the What Digital Camera offices today, giving the team an early hands on of a pre-production model. The frame was bulky, but not without a few pleasant surprises.

First of all the weight of the body is impressively light, with the body in particular feeling a fraction of the bulk of a traditional medium format camera. The lens used was 55mm f2.8, so there’s little weight to be saved there, making the Pentax 645D a surprisingly portable unit.

Controls were very DSLR-like, with a standard Pentax mode dial offering all the priority and full manual modes. Along the top are shortcut buttons to one of the two SD card banks, and access to Raw image quality. There’s also dials for metering and auto focus access, as well as buttons for the likes of drive mode and white balance around the LCD.

The Pentax 645D is very simply laid out, with even those only familiar a DSLR able to use it. The helpful side-mounted tripod bush also insured portrait shooting would be simple enough.

I was taken aback by the quality of the screen, which was both hi-res and bright, making reviewing images especially easy. The speed of focus also impressed, as on continuous mode there was barely a pause between locating the correct depth. Unfortunately as the camera was a pre-production I was unable to gain any test shots, but those viewed on the rear of the camera looked excellent.

There’s still no word as to whether the Pentax 645D will make it to these shores, but after this appearance there’s clearly a chance at the very least. 

First-look video:

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