Its a blessing: A point and shoot, fully automatic, medium format camera!
For a while now I’ve been longing for a medium format camera that had an automatic focus and metering system so that i could take it everywhere with me and make quick, high quality snapshots of people around me. A kind of alternative for my LC-A, which is more of a “don’t think, just shoot” camera to me, than a camera that makes images so sharp and crispy you can blow them up to massive proportions.
The FUJIFILM GA645 is a medium format camera with a fixed lens. There are different models with different lenses available, such as the FUJIFILM GA645zi that has a zoom lens, or the FUJIFILM GA645w that has a semi-wide angle of about 28mm. The one i have is the standard, with a 60mm f/4 lens (about the equivalent of a 35mm). Depending on what you like to shoot, you should make your choice. The standard one is better for portraits because there is less distortion for example.
the ‘645’ stands for the beautiful format of the frame – 6 × 4.5 cm (about 16 shots on a 120 roll of film).
The settings are very basic and easy to use.
M – manual exposure
A – aperture priority
P – fully automatic
Shutter speed: B, 2s – 1/700s
Aperture: f/4 – f/9.5
Iso settings: 25 – 1600 (1/3 steps)
The most interesting aspect is the format. When you look through the viewfinder, the field of view is vertical instead of horizontal! This makes it a perfect camera for portrait photography. This doesn’t mean that landscape shots are out of the question, just hold it the other way (it takes a while to get used to the upside-down logic).
The built-in flash is also very handy. It just pops up whenever you need it and gives an almost ringflash-like effect. However there is also a hotshoe (and exposure compensation) to connect more sophisticated flash systems.
Working with this camera is a breeze. You can be assured that the light metering system does an outstanding job and that the focus is always on the spot. I rarely have images that i’m not happy with. Like every camera it takes a while until you get acquainted, but once you’ve fully mastered the FUJIFILM GA645, there are few camera’s that can live up to the quality, speed and friendliness of this machine.