I recently completed editing of a portfolio shot in Iceland this May (my second trip), using the Pentax 645Z exclusively. I thought presenting sharing these images might be useful to any prospective or undecided 645Z buyer, because my work is B&W and I come from a darkroom/film background. I am therefore incredibly fussy about B&W!
You can read about the trip, see example images and find links to the rest of the portfolio here, but before I write about the camera more extensively, here are some initial impressions (size and bulk aside):
1. Handling is excellent and intuitiveness superb. This camera was designed by people who know what they are doing.
2. Image quality is a clear jump up from what you will get from the Sony A7R, for example.
3. Dynamic range seems to be greater than the A7R. You can see this in just how flat the RAW files are and the boldness with which you have to process them.
4. The files are very robust indeed and the best I have ever worked with. The lower noise compared to the A7R (and more pixels) means you have more headroom when it comes to bending files around.
5. Newer lenses have the edge over most legacy lenses, but the legacy lenses are still very good if you have a good copy. This means you can can get some superb glass for as little as $150 or so.
With this camera, I really feel I am in the same realm as working in 5x4 film again. I can produce beautiful files with an extra something that I cannot quite put my finger on. I will be able to make huge prints, but can do all of this hand-held, with Image stabilisation, if I wish.
On the above note, many have complained that the 28-45 SR (21-35mm equivalent in FF terms) could have been smaller and lighter without SR and this is true; however, I like to shoot freehand a lot of the time (33 out of 48 in the portfolio were shot without tripod) and I found it enormously useful (along with the amazingly low noise throughout the ISO range).
I also enjoy the fact that my Ricoh GR, Sony A7/A7R and now Pentax 645Z files all have their Sony sensors in common and this helps me when it comes to post processing. You can feel the family connection, despite the variations in how the various cameras cook them.
I will write up more in due course and post here when I do. In the meantime, if anyone has questions about this first major use of the camera and lenses, I'd be happy to help. After buying this camera and adding the 28-45 SR I was (to be frank) a wee bit concerned that I had taken on a financial liability that would prove not to have been worthwhile. Now, however, I am absolutely thrilled with the camera and will be investing in it extensively. It has exceeded by expectations by some margin....