Artistico: Nice IQ. Digital medium format is getting better and better value for money.
It would have been nice if Mamiya and Fuji also competed with Pentax for this market segment of high-quality affordable MF cameras - just like in the film days. It would accelerate the development of a digital MF camera within the economical reach of more enthusiasts.
Even with the introduction price, though, Pentax is getting really close to being just that.
BarnET, that isn't exactly true. Pentax has two Leaf Shutter lenses - the 75mm and 135mm LS. Both are manual focus, however, but they do allow at least 1/500s flash sync speed. But this still isn't as good as MF cameras which are largely designed around LS capabilities and allow 1/800s or 1/1600s flash sync.
So as you suggest, the 645Z is more oriented towards other types of photography - landscapes being only one of them. In fact, since it's actually a DSLR, it's suitable to many (most?) of the tasks other DSLRs are well-suited for.
Felix E Klee: In a professional context, for example for fashion photography in a studio, what is the advantage of a medium format camera today?
Today's full frame sensors and optics provide more than enough resolution for even very large printed ads, and dynamic range there is plenty as well. Furthermore, in a studio environment, I expect lighting to be perfect and the pro photographer to frame close to the final result.
For landscape photography medium format is interesting, but that's not my question.
Felix, it's not all about math. An IQ180 or IQ280 is simply going to produce more beautiful photos, with stunning colors and so forth.
A Pentax 645Z will get you much of the way there, for a much lower price.
A Canon or Nikon just won't give you the same results.
There are good reasons fashion photographers still like to use Phase One. One of the main problems with fashion photographers adopting Pentax MF is it hasn't had tethering support until recently, plus I believe it still has slower flash sync speeds than Phase One. In fact some photographers believe a Hasselblad body and lens with a Phase One back is the ultimate digital setup. There's nothing about a studio setup that changes this.
Please show me a Canon or Nikon that can do flash sync at 1/800 or 1/1600s!
Andy Dan: Stupid launch imo. The Sigma 17-70 f2.8-4 Contemporary Macro sells for 500$ and it's faster and has macro capabilities. It lacks weather sealing indeed but who needs weather sealing in a slow variable aperture zoom like this new Pentax? Pro's won't use it, enthusiasts won't use it...A new version of the DA 17-70mm F4 AL would have been much better...
I hope you were trying to be ironic, though I rather doubt it. Concern over edge performance is quite literally the exact opposite of omphaloskepsis.
In any case, the nature of wide angle shots means that edge performance is often MORE important than at longer focal lengths. In a portrait the edges are often irrelevant, whereas with a landscape - or when you're exaggerating an extremely close foreground subject - edge performance can be vital. And wide apertures matter here too - especially with the latter example.
He may have a good point. Though photozone isn't the be-all end-all authority, their MTF charts show the Pentax DA17-70/4 beating the previous Sigma 17-70/2.8-4 at the edges.
The updated Sigma 'C' version does better at the edges, but appears to still fall a little short of the Pentax 17-70 at most focal lengths.
KrisAK: Here we go again: Amazon Prime giving me (a Prime subscriber) another service I didn't ask for, while diluting and ignoring the two services for which I did subscribe.
Where's the ramp-up in the number of titles available for Prime Instant Video?
And is it my imagination, or are the prices for "Prime Eligible" products quietly increasing versus the competition?
Amazon Prime: Jack of all trades, master of none.
It's probably not your imagination.
citrontokyo: Love all the complainers here.
This is the perfect landscape lens. It's DC, not SDM. It's WR where the 17-70 is not. It's 16mm where the kit is 18. It's 85mm where the 16-45 is, well...
Anybody who claims it doesn't do this or that clearly isn't thinking.
I fail to see how one would get desirable wedding photos from this lens.
Hopefully it will have nice image quality - and it may - but its aperture is too slow to be that flexible (in providing enough subject isolation), and it appears too expensive for what you get.
Of course Sigma uses different glass. In fact, every generation of Pentax lenses uses glass that renders a little differently than the previous one. By observation, the only generations which are nearly identical are the A and F series lenses.
If you can't discern the difference - or you don't care - that's fine. But don't write it off as "brand snobbery."
The fact that a lens is responsible for the subtleties of an image's quality is self-evident. You can change the film, the sensor, or manipulate the digital image, but it's still the lens which dictates what can be captured.
This way only 77 idiots can buy it.
If you can afford it, you sure didn't get there by making poor financial decisions. Its intrinsic value is barely higher than the Nikon it's based on, so unless you can find some gimmicky way to make money off it ...
Piggy the bad: $750 = £470 give or take a couple of quid. BUT Pentax uk are selling this in the uk for £600 ?? Once again another example of how Pentax are screwing the uk consumer.
Sounds like the truth smarts a bit too much. A little slip of the keyboard on an irrelevant detail and and all-out assault is launched on a fellow member.
Looks like it struck a nerve with a few other members as well.
Don't forget, the majority of Americans live in a state where approximately 8% sales tax is added on top of the purchase price. Even internet sales are increasingly having this tax added.
So the gap isn't as large as it may look. This is the price we're paying for creeping socialism as well.
It's still a Sigma. It doesn't matter what body it's on - if you don't like those characteristics you should look elsewhere.
It hard to create something out of nothing. You can't just fix such things by simply setting the JPEG engine to 'vibrant' or doing a little post-processing. If the lens doesn't capture it in the first place, do you expect to just manufacture image character out of thin air? But put a good lens on any decent body and you can make a nice image.
audiobomber: You can't tell IQ or build quality from a photo. Ricoh says this lens is intended for people who want higher IQ than a kit lens. It's safe to say it will outperform the 18-55, 18-135 and the various superzooms.
The DA 18-135mm feels like a pro lens; it is tight, no creep, no rattles or looseness anywhere. It makes a Tamron superzoom feel like junk. I expect the 16-85mm will be the same build, and hopefully IQ will match my 16-45mm. If so, I'll sell the others and get this.
The problem is I'm not certain it will outperform the DA18-135, or the DA17-70 for that matter.
And the DA18-135 isn't that bad a lens, if you consider its purpose and price. Image Quality is often good or better, and f/3.5-5.6 is a lot more tolerable when your range goes from 18 to 135mm. More importantly, the DA18-135 costs only half what this lens does - potentially even less if you get it bundled with a camera. I could see myself using it as a travel lens.
But how could I choose a lens that's f/5.6 at 85mm (probably much sooner - perhaps at only 50mm?) for twice the price? The difference between 16 and 18mm is important, but it's not enough to tip the scales.
They would have been better off just re-releasing the DA17-70/4 with WR and an updated AF motor. That was a pretty good lens already.
But viking79, at this price a buyer should expect a little more. The pricing on the similar Nikon and Canon lenses is crazy too - that's probably why I've never paid any attention to them.
A constant f/4 lens is much more useful IMO - even if it costs a bit more.
I don't think those Canon and Nikon lenses are worth emulating in the first place - when you emulate the competition's mediocre products it makes you look like you don't know what you're doing.
I sure hope Pentax recovers soon and begins to design and build great lenses like they have in the past.
Nothing in this announcement suggests that's happened yet.
feilong: Where's the LCD =/
It doesn't need one. Everything's in the picture, including you!
"I like the look of full-frame sensors, and I like knowing that my lenses are true to their focal length."
Kind of a strange statement - MF lenses are true to their focal length, as are 8x10 lenses and Pentax Q lenses. This reveals a certain mentality - that Canon FF DSLRs are normal, and anything else is a deviation. Also, "the look of full-frame?" I understand what she means, more or less, but much of this "look" is simply her responsibility in properly adjusting the settings for a different sized sensor with the same lenses.
Otherwise this is a good opinion piece, although docking points because an APS-C camera has an APS-C sensor makes little sense.
What a shame. Apple just introduced two of the better products they've ever made, but they were largely overshadowed by being accompanied by two of the worst hardware "upgrades" they've ever released!
On the iPad Mini they added ONLY a touch ID sensor for the same price as the old model, and the new Mac Mini - on closer examination - is actually a DOWNGRADE in a major way (no more quad-core processors available at all!). This leaves such a bad taste in my mouth it's hard to see all the good they're doing. Combined with the lack of any sapphire screens, GT's bankruptcy, multiple products delayed until 2015, and recent iOS 8 troubles, it makes the CEO's statement that this year we'd see Apple's "best product pipeline in 25 years" sound rather foolhardy.
As good as the iPad Air 2 and Retina iMac may be, releasing only one new iPad model, a lone iMac, and two smartphones by mid-October hardly looks like a banner year!
Peter Gurdes: america... land of the free..... free to pay for permits and of course tax.
it´s a joke... and the biggest joke is that americans still believe in "land of the free". citizens in europe have much more freedom and rights.
land of the patriot act.... of the former bill of right.. that would fit.
Thanks for your helpful comment (sarc).
I understand Europeans lack many of the rights Americans still have. Maybe they've been denied these rights for so long they've forgotten how many freedoms they now lack.
Could you please provide a little more information in the article?
For example, how can one's future intent (to sell a print) be determined by the forest service at the time the photographer's on the grounds? Do they issue a fine after the print goes up for sale? And what about sales/licensing of digital files?
Also, could you please provide a little more background on what "harm" is currently being caused? I can understand the need to get a permit before a Hollywood film crew moves in, but it's not obvious to me what problems still photographers could be (or are) causing.
I'd say run - don't walk - away from that 18-135 if you want high IQ.
OTOH, that 16-35/4 looks like it may be pretty good - I'd like to see more.
DStudio: Oh my goodness - maybe I'll finally stop seeing so many action photos with lousy composition! At least one can hope!
Or will we suddenly need to use the "dual" cross-type AF point to get acceptable focus? After all, it now takes 5 in-line razor blades to properly shave my beard in the morning. I used to be such an ignorant simpleton - I actually had the nerve to believe I could shave with only 1 or 2 blades!
If the AF works properly and the high-ISO performance in acceptable, there's nothing to complain about with this camera - Canon has really hit the mark. That is, if people decide to use it properly!
Darko, the Canon 7D was NEVER a general purpose tool designed to satisfy everyone - it was designed to be the best tool for a certain demographic. Why should they change that now? There are plenty of other cameras you can buy to do what you describe, but NO other ~affordable camera satisfies the needs of pro and prosumer action shooters the way this one promises to do.
Contrary to your remark, this camera was designed for those who actually understand the need for the technology it contains. Remember, the problem with ignorance is it never recognizes itself. Perhaps the "old school" people who will buy this camera aren't actually the stupid souls you portray them as.