I’ve photographed with a vast range of cameras. Some are my own, some belong to students and some are to review. There’s certainly no ‘best’ camera in the same way there’s no best car. However, few cameras can compete with the Pentax 645D for the pleasure of creating photographs.
Forget about the 40 megapixels, if you can; the viewfinder alone sets the camera apart. It’s incredibly bright, and the dioptre adjustment is so good I can actually see the world better through the camera. The viewfinder is also huge. This makes a tremendous difference to the feel of the photography.
I expected a medium format camera to be slow and clunky, but while the 645D takes a few seconds to write the massive DNG files to card and manages ~1fps, it handles just like a pro dSLR. At 0.16s, shutter lag is essentially unnoticeable.
Except in many ways, it handles better than a Nikon or Canon dSLR. It’s expected that the photographer is a professional, so all of the marketing gimmicks are replaced by precise, logical controls. The mirror-lock-up isn’t buried in a menu; it’s a switch on the body (and is automatic with the 2s self-timer!). Everything you need is quickly and easily adjusted.
The Pentax 645D is also very usable one-handed. The grip is deep and fits very well in the hand. I was able to hand-hold shutter speeds of 1/13s with critically sharp results. You can also mount it on a tripod either horizontally or vertically.
It’s also a tough beast. It doesn’t weigh more than the dSLRs I’m used to, but looks like it could take more abuse. It rained on it; and I could trust that the weather-sealing would shrug it off. It’s a real professional tool, built for years of hard use.
As well as being able to use lenses for the 645 film camera and Pentax 67 lenses with an adaptor (which are bargains!), Pentax also makes a trio of weather-sealed lenses. One of which is the 55mm I used. When they say weather-sealed, they literally mean you can put the camera under a shower and it will be fine. When there are no excuses to getting the shot, this is just incredible.
The 55mm lens also has silent ultrasonic auto-focus. It’s very quick to lock on and there are a range of options to control the focussing right on the body. I did some street photography and never missed a shot.
The white balance was also very precise. There are a lot of presets and customisation, but the auto white balance was accurate in a wide range of lighting situations. The colours are pleasingly neutral and there are even some usable presets.
There are two SD card slots (each with dedicated buttons to choose what they’ll store). Raw images can be in the open .DNG format which works with all converters. They can also be converted in-camera with lots of options including output as .jpegs of various sizes. This was very useful.
Battery life was brilliant. I’d thought that this might be a weak point because the batteries seem quite small, I used the screen a lot and the files are huge, but obviously some magic is going on as they last for ages. They’re also very cheap!
The 3″ LCD screen is bright and colour-balanced and makes reviewing photos a pleasure. It’s easy to use the RGB histograms to check exposure and the menus are well designed. One button displays a 3d level which is fantastic for getting everything lined up.
While the Pentax 645d is expensive; almost £7,000 with the great 55mm f2.8 prime lens, it’s a real bargain compared to other medium format cameras and even some dSLRs.
One of the main reasons to step up to medium format is the quality of the shallow depth of field and that amazing viewfinder. The bigger sensor allows this even with a f2.8 lens; and betters a smaller format camera with a f1.2 lens. This is amazing in practice.
This is all enough; but oh the image quality! It’s incredible to take a photograph and have 40 megapixels or resolution to look at. The colours are very natural and the graduations between the tones are smooth and look very ‘real’.
The camera has a CCD sensor so there’s no live view, video nor incredible high ISO sensitivities as possible with CMOS sensor cameras. However, the photos are very usable right up to ISO1600 and the noise looks more ‘film-like’. Skin tones in particular looked better to me with this camera.
So the image quality of the Pentax 645D is the best I’ve experienced outside Hasselblad and Phase One. But this will change and when it comes down to it, the Pentax 645D is just such a pleasure to use. No camera comes close; most feel crippled in some way, sullied with marketing gimmicks or beset by compromises. Not this beast. It’s a true photographers camera; fun to play with then instantly forgettable when the magic moment appears.
El revision de la camera, Pentax 645D
He fotografiado con un vasto numero de camaras. Algunas son las mias propias, otras pertenecen a mis estudiantes y tambien estan las que he tenido para hacer estudios y articulos. La verdad es que no hay una ‘mejor’ camara en el sentido de que no hay un ‘mejor’ coche. Sin embargo no hay camara que compita con la Pentax 645D en el placer de crear fotografia.
Yo esperaba de una camara de formato medio que fuese lenta y ((clunky)), pero a la 645D le lleva solo unos segundos grabar el masivo archivo DNG a la targeta de memoria y ((manages)) 1fps, lo controla como una pro dSLR. a 0.16segundos, ((shutter lag)) es esencialmente al momento de apretar el boton de disparo.
Incluso mejor, se espera que el fotografo que tenga esta camara sea profesional, por lo que todos esos botones de marketing han sdo reemplazados por logicos y precisos controles.
El bloqueador de movimiento del espejo no esta perdido en el menu, lo encuentras en un switch en el cuerpo de la camara( y es automatico con el self-timer de 2s!) Todo lo que necesitas es facil y rapido de ajustar.
Olvidate de los 40 megapixels, si puedes; solo por el visor esta camara entra en una calificacion aparte. Es increiblemente brillante, y el ajuste para diopter es tan bueno! Literalmente puedo ver el mundo mejor atraves de la camara. Tambien hay que decir que el visor es enorme. Marca una diferencia tremenda en como te sientes al capturar imagenes.
La pentax 645D es tambien muy buena para usarla con una mano. El ((grip) es grande y encaja perfectamente en la mano. He sido capaz de tomar fotos (con una mano) con velocidad de oturacion de 1/13s con resultados increiblemente nitidos. Tambien puedes colocarlo en tripodes de manera horizontal y vertical.
Tambien es una bestia resistente, pero no pesa mas que las dSLR que he usado, pero al parecer puede soportar muchos ‘abusos’ de nuestra parte, digo esto porque le llovio encima y vi como la camara se deshacia de cada gota que caia sobre ella. Es una herramienta muy profesional construida para anos de trabajo duro!
Barcelona is a great city for destination weddings because it’s beautiful and romantic. As English-speaking photographers in Barcelona, it’s always a pleasure to photograph weddings here instead of rainy London!
Of course, you may be visiting Barcelona from abroad, and we are happy to help you sort out things ‘on the ground’, finding musicians, wedding planners, registrars/priests and wedding videographers for example. We know Barcelona very well and are always happy to suggest interesting locations and churches to get married in, as well as recommending lovely places for proposals, engagement vacations and honeymoons across Catalunya, Spain and even Europe. Barcelona is the center of it all though – in fact, the best restaurant in the world, Celler Can Roca, isn’t too far North of here!
Video by our friend Carolina de Santis
English photographer Ben enjoys photographing people all over the world. Barcelona, Spain is a particular favourite and this fairytale wedding in Venice was a dream assignment!
By The Bridge of Sighs, Venice
Are you thinking about getting married in Spain? Barcelona is an amazing city for your wedding – get in touch at info@BarcelonaPhotographyCourses.com to let us help you make the best possible memories while you’re here.
Barcelona is a world fashion centre. It has a beautiful mix of traditional Catalan elegance and avant garde individualism. Model Management, the world’s fastest growing modelling community in the world, hosted the world finals of their famous Fresh Faces 2013 modelling competition at the W Hotel. Many of the world’s greatest agencies and industry professionals were there for the event.
Fresh Faces 2013 – Barcelona Fashion Photography
Video created by our friends at Yunico
Our chief coach Ben photographed the event, the models, the personalities…
Find out more in Ben’s featured interview here; http://blog.modelmanagement.com/2013/11/20/a-talk-about-holistic-photography-and-being-invisible-meet-fresh-faces-photographer-Ben-Evans/
You can learn exactly how to make photographs like these on our courses; we share completely everything with you, and give you both the theory and practical techniques. Discover our most popular Holistic Photography Essentials Course now.
We’re going to Venice this month to photograph a fine-art wedding. Because Venice is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, we knew we had to host a special one-day photography course while we’re there. What a place to develop your skills in the Art of Photography!
1st July 2013 – Times to be confirmed – Sunrise and Sunset if you’re up for that!
We’ll cover the Holistic Photography Essentials Course in the morning to give you the best possible foundations, then move on to advanced off-camera flash techniques and the principles of aesthetics in the afternoon.
Who?‘Ben’s publications on photography are interesting, easy reads for newcomers to photography, but which make even experienced photographers step back and look at their work from a different and new perspective. … I cannot recommend Ben highly enough. His enthusiasm for photography is contagious and his photographic work is simply some of the best I have ever seen.’ – ML Leddy, Senior US Military Adviser
We’ll explore the most photogenic parts of Venice so you come away with the best possible pictures!
Since we’ll be in Venice anyway, the whole day’s tuition is only €600, and this includes a year’s access to photography advice and unbiased equipment recommendations via email/Skype, as well as a copy of ‘Photography: The Few Things You Need To Know’ as an ebook and audiobook (>1hr long!).
Each extra person you bring can enjoy a €100 discount so you can experience the course together.
We’ll limit it to 5 students so everyone can get the most out of the day.
We welcome everyone from complete beginners to pro photographers. The Holistic Photography syllabus encourages and promotes self-learning after the course and has consistently proved invaluable to photographers of all skill levels.
Send us a message with the form below, or email us at Info@BarcelonaPhotographyCourses.com and we’ll sign up up. Places are very limited; first come, first served.
See you in Venice!
You can learn exactly how to make photographs like these on our courses; we share completely everything with you, and give you both the theory and practical techniques. Find out about our most popular Holistic Photography Essentials Course now.
A love of photography and the arts seems to go hand in hand with an appreciation of fine food cooked magnificently by artisans. Barcelona with its Catalan culture of Mediterranean cuisine has a generous helping of world-class restaurants.
Catalunya’s star chef Ferran Adria has the best restaurant in the world, El Bulli several miles North of Barcelona. This restaurant booked up years in advance and closed for half the year for cutting edge research for new dishes and reinventing traditional ones.
Well we’re very pleased that Barcelona once again is well located next to the world’s new best restaurant, El Celler Can Roca which once again is North of Barcelona in the heart of Catalunya.
El Celler Can Roca is close to Girona, a beautiful city in its own right. In fact, Girona equals Catalunya for Fine Art architectural photography and is an amazing place to spend a wedding, honeymoon or just a weekend getaway. It’s one of our favourite places for travel photography in Spain!
Now it’s possible to pair up a visit taking pictures of Girona and enjoy a meal in the best restaurant in the world too. You’ll need to book up far far in advance as tables are highly desirable and sought after.
Congratulations to the three brothers Joan, Josep and Jordi who run El Celler Can Roca restaurant!
Can Sunyer 48,
+34 972 22 21 57
Sunday 14th saw the Holi Colour Festival in Rambla de Carmel, Barcelona. Indian-inspired and international, the idea was to cover others with brightly coloured powders. We went up there to teach, and make lots of pictures. It seemed like every photographer in Barcelona saw the event as a ‘must-see’ – so it was very busy, and there were lots of cameras!
All photos of the Holi Colour Festival in Barcelona taken with the Nikon D3 and Nikkor 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.4 and 180mm f2.8 prime lenses and polished with Color (sic!) Efex Pro 2 or Silver Efex Pro by Nik Software/Google.
Thanks to www.HoliBarcelona.com for organising the festival!