Awesome!!! I really didn't expect the price to be <10K. A real winner.
They reused so many stuff from the K-7, one can say the 645D is like a full armoured, heavy armarment version of the K7.
2010-03-10 - 11:09:53
Nice move from Pentax to make his MF DSLR dustproof and weather resistant. With the new DFA645 55mm F/2.8 lens being all weather and dustproof as well, the Pentax digital MF system could become a favorite among outdoors photographers.
And while most other MF digital backs and MF cameras aren't this rugged, this doesn't mean they can't take extreme conditions. Phase One has made four promotional videos showing their digital backs suffering (and surviving) the worst abuse — one was litteraly baked into an oven —, so it's not like only the Pentax 645D can take on tough weather, but the weather and dust resistant seals certainly gives the Pentax MF DSLR an advantage.
However, I doubt pros will abandon Phase One, Hasselblad, Leaf or Mamiya for Pentax.
Sure, the Pentax 645D is less expensive, but the professional service provided by POne, Blad, Leaf and Mamiya is exceptional and way beyond what Pentax has to offer, because it's aimed at the working pros.
And for pros paying a 20,000$ extra on a MF DSLR is not a problem when a studio with employees can cost up to 10,000$ per month. If the service provided is up to their standards, they'll pay the extra 20,000$, especially since they often own their cameras through long term loans (which makes more sense on both the accounting and the fiscal levels).
Anyways, Pentax never claimed they had a desire to get into the pro photography MF market with their 645D. They're aiming at the passionate and wealthy amateur, especially the outdoors landscape photographers.
I'm sure this camera will be very successful on the amateur market, but don't be fooled: it probably ain't direct competition for the Phase One, Hasselblad and the others, and as little chance of being a huge success among pros, unless Pentax introduces worldwide pro service in the next months.
All-in-all, kudos Pentax!
2010-03-10 - 11:12:24
This looks like a great camera. I especially like that they've released a 55mm as the standard lens (55mm is the exact diagonal of the 44x33mm sensor) instead of sticking with the old 80mm standard (which is okay if you were shooting 6x4.5 or 6x6 but is a weird short tele on this sensor size). And no AA filter - awesome (but does it have microlenses?)
I would not be surprised if it's a lot more practical as an all-round camera than some (all?) of the other, much more expensive MF options except possibly the Leica S2 (i.e. not just for studio use, or worse, tethered). I do not say this to knock those products, I just think it's great to have a MF alternative to 135 digital that can be used just like a conventional camera (sports excepted). Weather-sealing and 11-point AF, just like a modern DSLR, too
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