Pentax 645Z Three Years Later
I've been using the Pentax 645Z for the last three years, and am constantly impressed with the level of detail the senor captures, along with its dynamic range. The build quality has been exemplary, and it has withstood every weather condition it has had to face. Rain, snow, sleet, heat, and high humidity. This has been a camera I've taken on every shoot, and have been rewarded with output that has allowed me to provide my clients with high resolution images that they have been impressed with. With the advent of new mirroless offerings from Hasselblad and Fuji, I have been asked if I'm planning on switiching to a lighter body. My response has always been no. I just love the way the Pentax grip feels in my hands, and the sturdiness of its build. The only reason for me to give up the 645Z, is if Pentax comes out with a 100mb sensor body. I would love a 100mb affordable senor camera, with the emphasis on affordable. PhaseOne has their 100mb sensored backs, and as much as I would want one, I can't justify the $49,000 spend for one. Besides, it means a whole new crop of glass, and the Pentax glass has been supurb for me. I am currently using the 25mm (discontinued), 35mm, 55mm, and 90mm lenses that were created for Pentax's digital line of medium format cameras. Lenses are weather sealed, and the 90mm has built in stabilzation. As far as I'm concerned the range of lenses I have are more than enough for my type of photography. This camera and lenses have been very good to me financially speaking, and I continue to enjoy using this system, which personally speaks volues for me. If it ain't fun anymore, then why use it. One of the mor interesting features on the camera is its ISO range. It can go from 100 to 201,000. I predominately shoot within the 100 to 6400 ISO range, with 100-400 being my sweet spots. The output at these ISO's are extremely sharp, with very little noise at the higher end of the ISO range I use. The cameras two SD slots are most welocme, allowing me to shoot both raw and jpg. The only issue I've had with the camera have been when I've downloaded the files from the SD cards. You have to make sure you delete the cards off of your computer before taking them out of your card reader. Otherwise you lose all of your images, and that has happend to me a couple of times. All in all I've been very pleased with this system, and as mentioned before, I sincerely hope Pentax delivers a 100mb medium format camera. Ricoh who now owns Pentax hasn't really been forthcoming on their plans for the Pentax 645 system, and I hope they change that. The price for the camera has come down since I purchased it, and it makes for a very affordable entry into medium format. Pentax lenses are slightly more affordable than Hasselblad, PhasOne, and Fuji. It's a great system, and I highly recommend it, even after three years of heavy use.