Utmost congratulations to the person who led the GA645 project as it was built with decades of forward thinking in mind. It was made for Instagram because the Fuji 645 shoots portrait by default thus making things counter intuitive. Fortunately, my 2019 resolution is to cut down on horizontal photographs.
Anyway, a roll of 120 will land you 16 shots while to load and unload is possibly the easiest for this type of camera. This one is paired to a 60mm prime lens, should you wish for something wider, there’s the GA645w which is coupled to a 45mm also at f/4. There are also face-lifted versions that add an i to the end of their names and zi models that have the capability to zoom.
Size & weight
Ease of use
Loading and unloading film
Only 1/400 at larger apertures
No multiple exposure
6 x 4.5 120 Rangefinder
From RM 3000
At a hint over 800 grams, Fujifilm’s 645 is a lightweight even compared to 35mm SLRs. Even only at f/4, parts of a person’s face is out of focus when shooting close-up. In regards to bokeh, it's of quality, smooth and creamily rendered. This alone is sufficiently persuasive to at least consider something from the 645 family.
The metering system in this 645 has yet to get exposures wrong making it an excellent machine for slide film. Autofocus too has been reliable except the times when shooting against the sun and glass windows. This is also the very few medium format cameras with a built-in flash. Lastly, shooting 6 x 4.5 film is quite the bargain as they are nearly three times the size of a 35mm negative while digital medium format still is astronomically priced.
The most annoying part about the Fuji 645 is that there’s no shutter priority mode which is the second most used function in any camera while manual mode is largely confusing with the minimal button approach. Minimum focus distance is at 70 cm which isn’t too bad but a maximum shutter speed of 1/700 is only available from f/11 to f/22 which is good, if we live on Mars. That aside, I wish the buttons were a bit more tightly screwed together especially the knob because it does look like it’ll come off with one accidental knock.
Fuji’s GA645 series was probably made to be as simple as possible to achieve superior pictures on a larger negative. Call it a point and shoot if you want but impressive results from this thing simply cannot be ignored. Only caveat is, if you look forward to soak into the whole manual experience, this is not something for you. All in all, it is one under appreciated camera.