At a recent event in NYC, we got a chance to play with the new Pentax 645z for a couple of hours. Obviously, this isn’t long enough to test the final production version of the camera, but we were able to have enough time with it to come away with lots of feelings and thoughts. The situation that Ricoh gave us was in a studio environment; and we found two things to immediately be a bit weird.
For starters, the camera doesn’t have a second curtain flash option except for Pentax flashes. Absolutely no one in studios using medium format gear uses speedlights. Instead, they’re opting for high powered monolights. On top of that, the flash sync speed can only sync to 1/125: which in our personal opinion is unacceptable. The other weird problem that Jim Fisher from PCMag and I saw was that when you shoot with strobes using Live View mode, the exposures seem to come out around 1/2-3/4 overexposed. When we ran this by our Pentax reps, they too were a tad confused.
Otherwise, the camera is a simple joy to use; but it’s going to take some very thorough testing to make us want to drop nearly half a year’s rent on a camera and not even consider lenses into the cost yet.
Here are some image samples that we shot. As always, EXIF data is in tact and in the file name; so when you click on the image you’ll get that info in the link.