Pentax 645D, Photography
Comments 8

Chimping / Image Processing Speed

Chris the Chimp by Trevor Williams

“Chimping” is the act of gazing at the back of your camera after taking a shot. It is easy to fall into the trap of concentrating on the screen and missing everything else that is going on around you, but instant feedback does have many advantages. Chimping allows you to immediately check the framing, focus, exposure and color balance so you can either confidently move on knowing that the shot is in the can or adjust and reshoot.

Thinking Time - Huge files give the 645D a lot to think about

Here’s an interesting bit of information about the 645D. On most modern cameras, there is not much of a delay between taking a photo and the image appearing on the LCD screen. Not sure what the technical name for this time is but let’s call it Image Processing Time. The 645D, due to it’s 40 megapixel sensor, is dealing with huge files. What this means is that the Image Processing Time on the 645D is around 11 to 13 seconds. If you take a shot and immediately glance at the screen, you will be greeted by an hourglass.

For me this wait of a few seconds is not an issue, the image processing time on my Pentax 67 film camera was measured in days or weeks rather than seconds. However, if you normally use another model of DSLR  and your technique involves a quick chimp after each shot then you’re going to find this a painfully slow wait.



    • As you should know Katharine, chimps are apes not monkeys. The librarian would be most unimpressed 🙂

  1. Tord S Eriksson says

    My wife is a chimper, most of the time, I do just ocassionally chimp :-)!

    Displays on cameras have indeed become an essential part of cameras and video cameras for quite a while, but there is one that normally come without display, or viewfinder, that even so is a huge success, and that’s the GoPro Hero. Takes decent stills, and very impressive HD video!

    The first time I paid a lot for a camera was when I bought my Olympus C-8080, a superbly designed camera, with an excellent zoom, and very good macro. And an amazing 8Mp CCD sensor – very few compacts had anything like it in those days. ALl wasn’t well as it came with a handful of weak points that made it less than a selling success:

    1. It took the camera about 30 sec to process a single RAW photo, so you couldn never take many photos per minute (JPEGs were better, but not great, even then).

    2. If you tried to take photos of backlit objects, the LCD (maybe 1.5″ size) washed out totally, the screen becoming purple, with vertical stripes. The electronic viewfinder was just as bad! The LCD wasn’t ver useful in sunlight from behind, either, as many screens were then.

    3. The nice zoom had one (fairly big) flaw, as it wasn’t a continious zoom, so zooming while filming was out! It just had four fixed settings, and that was it! So composing with the zoom was a bit tricky!

    4. Fastest useful ISO was 140 – over that and you’ll have lots of problem with noise, so the natural way of using the C-8080 was either to attach it to a tripod, or similar, or always use a flash (the built-in wasn’t that bad, but an external is better.

    Other than that it is a little gem, built like a tank (made of magnesium) and can easily be controlled by your right hand alone, which in many situations can be very helpful!

    Time has ran away from it, but they are one of very few old compacts that you still can find on the used market, at about 30% of the original price. Most old compacts just have nil used value!

    Hope last night’s quake didn’t do any more harm to the already damaged nuclear powerstations!

  2. Dennis Ng says

    I wait until Nikon D70 comes out to get my first dSLR because of Canon D30 delay in starting. Is 645D has issued during this hour glass. Can you ignore it and can still picture. (For example, compared to Pentax 67 as I guess it cannot with Nikon D300 or even D70 in the speed.)

    Another thing Micheal of Luminous Landscape mentioned that out of all the Medium Format Digital Camera/Back, only 645D has hot HDMI output. I wonder whether you can live view on this and if not, what is meant by 645D has hot HDMI output.

    I am thinking getting a 5″ HDMI screen for my little Sony Nex 3 as the Nex3 works much like my 4×5 and 8×10 camera in workflow down to even have tile (using Nikon mount on, say, Pentax 67 lens) and shift (my Pentax 67 75 shift is coming). Is that possible for 645D? Still not sure about which way to go for MFDB – Pentax or Hessey. That might be an important factor. But not sure P645D can do live view and hence might be not much used.

  3. Phil says

    I read this on one of the forums for the Pentax 645D to reduce preview times
    “First off there are a few things to cut the preview time to half of what you saw. My preview comes up in about 4 seconds. To do this I turned off things like Noise reduction, and lens calibration. Since I shoot raw these extras are really only useful for the jpeg preview. I also use class 10 SD cards which help with the speed. 4 seconds is still slow and annoying…..”

  4. Hi Phil,

    Just tried switching off Distortion Correction and Lat-Chromatic-Ab Adj and the preview appeared after about 4 seconds. What a difference. Like you I’m using class 10 SDHC cards. ( A pair of SanDisk Extreme 32GB cards.)

    Much better 🙂 Thanks so much.


  5. Same issue on my K-7, it’s a little slow to process with all the extras on. Switch them off and it speeds up – even faster if you use JPG rather than RAW. One note on external field monitors, don’t get the cheap and cheerful Marshall 5″. Doesn’t seem to work with either K-5 or K-7, there’s something wrong with the signal that Pentax doesn’t play nicely with. I ended up getting the SmallHD DP6, its larger HD screen should allow it to work. Can let you know if it works if you like, 645d uses same signal as K-5/K-7

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