The Pentax 645D is easily the best shooting medium format camera I’ve yet used (I’ve shot PhaseOne, Mamiya DL28, Leica S2, Hasselblad H3 and H4). By “best”, I mean the ease of making pictures, which is what a camera is for!
None of those other cameras even approach the usability of the 645D. All of them have screens grossly inferior to even consumer point and shoot cameras (Leica S2 is somewhat better), and clunky user interfaces. The 645D eclipses them in the easy-and-fun-to-shoot department, which translates to fewer mistakes, more efficient operation, minimal need to read the manual, and more enjoyment.
It’s clear that the Pentax 645D designers really understand how photographers use a camera, and it’s an incredibly refreshing change of pace from the usability dreck out there. Even Nikon and Canon could take a few notes from the 645D. Camera of the year? Perhaps yes.
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