Photokina 2012: Hands on with the New Phase One/Mamiya 645DF+ Medium-Format Camera and Lenses

Though new digital SLRs seemed to “steal the show” at photokina, with early announcements of full-frame models from Canon, Nikon, and Sony, there was plenty going on in the world of medium format. We stopped by the Mamiya booth and got try out the new 645DF+, a medium-format camera platform being sold under both the Mamiya and Phase One brands.

While it looks nearly identical to the previous 645DF model — aside from the added “+” designation — the new 645DF+ camera body has some several key upgrades.

For one, while the 645DF+ has the same phase detection-based three-point autofocus system with dual focal plane and leaf shutter switching as the previous model, the AF’s electronic algorithm has been completely rewritten and feels a notch faster and more precise.

While it can’t keep pace with, say, the blazing speed of Canon or Nikon DSLR’s AF, the 645DF+’s autofocus was brisk and had no trouble locking in on an array of subjects at the booth. (And, as is usual in these booth settings, lighting conditions were a mix of shadows, black backgrounds and dim convention hall and studio lighting, i.e. not ideal.)

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