Pentax 645D

I’ve been on the fence about upgrading from my Nikon D200 for quite some time. Higher resolution (more REAL detail, not just more pixels) and lower noise were my objectives.

I’ve shot extensively with a Hasselblad H3D-II 50, however the pricepoint is definitely out of my reach. Also used the Nikon D3x and D3 a lot. Great cameras, but I knew a complete lens upgrade was necessary as well. Even tried a Canon 5D MKII, however try opening up the shadows on images from that camera. Noise, noise, noise… I don’t mind some noise in an image (I started out with Kodak Tri-X back in the 80’s), however the 5D MKII has a patterned noise that I find unattractive. So…what to do?

I read for years with interest that Pentax was working on a MFD body. Every major photo show seemed to bring another prototype. I find Pentax pursuing an intriguing strategy with digital. Offer something a little more feature rich than Nikon and Canon, but don’t go after the high end of the market. And, offer the cameras at a slightly more attractive pricepoint. Will they every have a large market share? Not likely, but if they carve out a decent market share, they might do quite nicely.

Back to the upgrade dilemma… I shot with a Pentax 645 back in the mid-80’s, but sold it when I switched to Hasselblad in 1988. A Polaroid back was a BIG draw and I felt a leaf shutter was desirable at the time. 22 years later, a Polaroid back isn’t needed so much. đŸ˜‰ I watched the 645D get released in Japan back in the Spring, but wouldn’t buy into a camera that had no support outside of Japan. Six more months pass by, still nothing compelling from Nikon or Canon.

I heard the 645D was coming to the USA and Canada around the end of November. My good friends at London Drugs had some bodies and I decided to take the plunge. Why not? New camera, limited track record, no ability to test ahead of time. What could go wrong?

Three weeks ago I started shooting with the camera. It’s capable of amazing things, however your lenses and your skills get pushed to the limit. More to come…