The biggest Japanese online DC/DSLR resource, the Impress DC Watch has done it again! Well Done!
(Report in Japanese)
From these photos, the 645D Prototype just looks like workable, I guess.
It is also interesting to note from the fourth photo above that Pentax have developed a new type of optical coating - The "Aero Bright Coating", of which the first lens which has adopted this new technology and coating type is the DA*55/1.4. Is this coating even better than former Ghostless SMC which was developed by Pentax in the late 90s, I think I shall know later if I have the chance to use the DA*55.
Whilst I am almost certain that the new coating will have superb flare resistance which should surpass almost all other manufacturers' in the market (as Pentax always do! And, IMHO, Canon's coatings are Junk, even for those L lenses'), I have big doubts about the colour rendition of the new Pentax glass, some of which often produce strange colour rendition.
Once again, the colour rendition of the latest and newest DA*55/1.4 does not look right. It looks rather strange and unnatural to me, just see the new DA*55 sample photos as posted by Ned Bunnell here. Anyway, whilst I found that the strange colour rendition is a result of the combination of any Pentax DSLR bodies with many contemporary Pentax digital glass, when they are used in conjunction, but however I have recently found that when I used my "colour incorrect" DFA 100 Macro on my Canon 5D, surprising the problem went away! So, I guess there are two clear conclusions can be drawn from that: 1. Some of those latest Pentax glass is not so colour correct, but the old FA film glass are/were; 2. But, a more advanced and more intelligent digital DSLR body can rectify the "colour incorrectness" problem! (and thus the resulted pictures come out to be good again!)
So, when will there be such a better Pentax DSLR body that will cure the problem? K20D? No, it failed. Honestly speaking, I found that the K-m is far better in colour rendition and correctness than the K20D so far! Just see this series of sample for the high image quality and superb colour rendition and skin tone reproduction and you will know what I am talking about.
To make a huge difference, just look at Ned Bunnell photos made with a DA*55 on his K20D again. I think you can always judge yourself! Even some of photos are underexposured. The skin tone and texture are strange..
Ned used to apply +0.5 to 1 EV exposure compensation quite frequently for new DA lenses "tested" on his K bodies and the pictures come out to be almost exposure correct. I just wonder why this time even he had done it, some pictures are still looking dark - see this one, for example:-
(From the EXIF, an positive +0.5EV had already applied. And, do note that the scene is not of more high keytones and high reflectance. In contrast, the central part of the scene is dark and has low reflectance.)
And, I wish to repeat again that I found the colours of most shots terrible, in addition to the underexposure issues found in quite some photos. As for the unnatural skin tone (which maybe just an issue of the overall colour incorrectness), see his this sample:-
Last but not least, I have an humble suggestion to Ned. Ned, if you read this, please does not feel offended. I would suggest you to use K-m with new lenses to post new samples next time, the results might be or should be better! I dare to bet! And, if you have the time, you should "re-do" your samples and post them with the K-m body - we bet many of my readers here will be very interested to see the results! With better samples shown to the world, it will help Pentax, instead of doing harms. Once again, I have to say there is no offence intended. I always found that and believe that you're just an honest and nice guy but as for the colour incorrectness issue, I think I just can't help to not to air it out, maybe once again, as this issue is just so critical..