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Luminous Landscape 645D review (first look)

Here is a first look article on the Pentax 645D (review link opens in a new window).

If you haven’t visited before, I highly recommend it. Their articles are unique in that they have a strong photographer’s feel to them, and the topics in are focused on photography for what it is at the heart instead of what many other sites have.

Without getting into the 645D specific content of the article, I must say I found it very fitting with my ideas about photography, and why I feel that Pentax cameras have a certain “photographer’s camera” feel to them. This feel is the major reason why I choose to use them as my primary tools.

It’s fun to read the reviewer experiencing Pentax features from a point of view that hasn’t spent much time with their tools.

Here are a few quotes from the article I want to comment on:

The ergonomics are, to me, stellar. This is the most usable SLR (of any format) I have had in my hand for years.

Quality ergonomics in a photography tool. Always a good aspect to keep in mind.

The body melds perfectly into my grip, and feels just like a high-end 35mm dslr.

While the reviewer isn’t fond of 35mm DSLR cameras, I feel that the K-7 and K-5 are very well designed tools compared to everything else out there in the 35mm realm.

If you’re getting the picture that I like how the camera is laid out, you’re right.

Yeah, I am getting the picture. It’s a similar picture to what I’ve experienced through my own path.

The pleasure continues at eye level. The finder is terrific.

Pentax has had comparable better viewfinders for years. Seeing as it’s a very important aspect of a SLR camera, it should be a given. Although, I’ll agree in that other companies have improved their viewfinder quality and are comparable these days. Looking back in to the past a bit, I had a chance to compare an original Rebel camera to my *ist DS and there was no comparison in viewfinder quality. The Rebel was atrocious. Thankfully, companies have taken the hint.

because it sits so well in the hand, that the weight largely disappears during use.

He seriously needs to hold a K-7 / K-5 with the battery grip. It’s the best feel in the hand than any camera I’ve held yet with pretty much any lens large or small.

I have found the control layout almost perfect because (a) most controls do just one thing; and (b) those things are all useful.

Control layout is key in a tool. The K10D / K20D are excellent studio cameras and the K-7 / K-5 are excellent field cameras due to how each body style is laid out.

To my mind, it is the quality of physical handling when performing core photographic functions — things real photographers need to do on their cameras while taking real pictures – which separates good cameras from the rest.

I completely agree there.

LCD is that it can be turned into an electronic level at the touch of a button.

This is on the K-7 and K-5, check!

2-second self-timer mode to automatically lock-up the mirror at the start of the count-down.

This has been in Pentax cameras since… who knows how long! My first DSLR the *ist DS had it that I’m at least certain of.

The focus points can be controlled using the four-way controller on the back of the camera. This is one of the first cameras I have used where the focus point can practically be changed with the camera at eye level.

The 11-point system of Pentax is great for “rule of 3rds” style shooting that I do frequently. I often change points on the fly with the camera still near my face.

Now that you’ve read my comments, get on to the article to see what the reviewer says in detail about the 645D!