Tuesday, March 16, 2010

645D Japanese First-Hand Looks

Edit: no Shake Reduction, just Dust Reduction, so I removed any mention to avoid any further erroneous misconceptions. Thanks to the commenters who pointed this out.

Okay, I'm excited about the Pentax 645D. AkhihabaraNews now has some photos of a transparent mock-up and DCWatchImpress in Japan has some first-hand looks. The latter has put together lots of photos of the industrial design, which illustrate the camera from more angles than the images at Pentax Japan. Seeing as this is as close I can get to the camera right now, these new pictures indicate to me that the long gestation period for the camera has resulted in a very straightforward design that should hold no surprises for Pentax DSLR users, particularly K-7 users. Maybe Canon and Nikon users will be surprised at its simplicity, and Mamiya users may be impressed.

Photo © 2010 DCWatchImpress.

By this time, it's clear that Pentax is targeting the release in Japan first - nothing is forthcoming in other countries, yet. Ned Bunnell recently told The Online Photographer that Pentax USA was still researching what it will take to bring the camera stateside. "The 645D will initially be available only in Japan. Right now, we have no firm plans to bring this camera to the U.S. However, we are evaluating the type of sales and support program that would be required to ensure the 645D’s success in our market." It's possible the firmware is Japanese only at this point, as the DCWatchImpress photos don't reveal any English UI, but hopefully that's almost ready.

As many people are pointing out, there's really going to be nothing like it on the market here in the US if it comes over at under $10k. However, there is nitpicking going on already. Some early armchair quarterback complaints include: Shake Reduction is missing, there isn't a particularly wide ISO range (no high ISOs), 1.3X crop factor affects legacy 645 Wide Angle lenses, it's not truly 6:4.5 aspect ratio anymore, 11 AF points is relatively modest, and there aren't many accessories planned yet, especially for studio users (will there be a wooden grip?). But none of that is particularly off-putting. Now I just want to see more samples images from the camera itself.


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