Pentax 645D review

Pentax's 40Mp medium format camera put to the test

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Pentax 645d review

£10k is a lot of money for a camera in anyone's book, but when you take into account that the Hasselblad H4D-40 carries an RRP of £14,634 for the body alone, it puts the relatively keen pricing of the Pentax 645D into perspective.

If you look at things from the other end of the market, the Pentax is roughly £2-3k more than the closest-resolution 35mm full-frame DSLRs - the Nikon D3x and Canon EOS 1DS MKIII - but offers a significant increase in sensor size and resolution.

Obviously, there's a difference between the way a full-frame DSLR and a medium format digital camera handles: don't expect the Pentax 645D to keep up with the Canon EOS 1D X in the speed stakes, or to match the Nikon D3S for its superb low-light performance, for instance. What you do get, however, is superior image quality - in terms of resolution - and great handling in a sophisticated yet user-friendly package.

We liked

The Pentax 645D's DSLR-inspired controls make it refreshingly quick and simple to operate, so you can concentrate on getting the very best out of that 40MP sensor.

We disliked

Processing between shots can be a little slow and noise isn't quite as well controlled as it is with its cheaper full-frame DSLR peers.

Final verdict

If your top priority is detail in your images, you love the distinctive shallow depth of field look that a medium format sensor characteristically produces and you don't need the speedier performance or bells and whistles offered by the comparably more compact - and more affordable - full frame DSLR alternatives, then the Pentax 645D is an option that we'd certainly recommend investigating.

It is cheaper than the medium format competition, but perhaps still not quite within easy grasp of the average pro photographer. On the other hand, if only medium format will do and you can stretch your budget, it's the best value package around.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera with Lens
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Effective Camera Resolution40 Megapixel
USBYes
HDMIYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
ColourBlack
Digital ZoomNo
Brand NamePentax
DurabilityDust Proof, Weather Proof, Shock Resistant
FeaturesSelf-timer, Continuous Shooting Mode, External Flash Shoe
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)1.40 kg
Image Sensor Size44 mm x 33 mm
Maximum Image Resolution7264 x 5440
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height117 mm
Width156 mm
Depth119 mm
Focal Length55 mm
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerRicoh Imaging Company, Ltd.
Product Model645D
Product Name645D Digital SLR Camera
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Aperture Priority AE
  • Shutter Priority AE
  • Manual
Manufacturer Part Number1797200
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.ricoh.co.uk
Marketing Information

You will be amazed when you first see images shot by the Pentax 645D: they embody a completely new world of visual expression, a world made possible only by medium format digital cameras. Featuring 40 effective megapixels and a large, 44 x 33mm CCD image sensor, the Pentax 645D faithfully reproduces even the slightest differences in ambiance. This is the ultimate imaging tool, created by Pentax for those particularly discerning photographers who demand nothing but the highest image quality.You will be amazed when you first see images shot by the Pentax 645D: they ebody a completely new world of visual expression, a world made possible only by medium format digital cameras. Fearturing 40 effective megapixels and a large, 44x33mm CCD image sensor, the Pentax 645D faithfully reproduces even the slightest differences in ambiance. This is the ultimate imaging tool, created by Pentax for those particularly discerning photographers who demand nothing but the highest image quality.

Package Contents
  • 645D Digital SLR Camera
  • Software Media