Shooting with the camera connected to the computer is called tethered shooting. It is especially handy when shooting still life photography. You can control the camera from your computer and the images are saved to said computer immediately. Saves you the trouble of moving a physical object (the memory card) back and forth. It usually is quicker than a wifi card which also of course lacks the control options.
Pentax doesn’t offer a software bundle with the 645D to use it tethered to a computer or at least I could not find it*. This Pentax medium format camera also doesn’t work tethered with Adobe Lightroom or Capture One Pro, like other camera brands. However, someone took the trouble to write software that makes it possible to shoot tethered to a pc with the 645D, and fortunately I’m one of those pc-dinosaurs. Still haven’t jumped on the fruit-craze all other creative people seem to be on since forever. Anyway. Download it directly from the source: [PK tether link no longer active] Possible alternative through here (link to dpreview forum discussing PK tether, I cannot confirm that link is actually the same software I had, as I don’t own a Pentax anymore).
I used it for a while and it was convenient being able to trigger the camera from behind my pc and have instant access to the photograph. I also adjusted exposure from the pc which is nice to have. A couple of flaws of this setup:
- It eats batteries while connected to the pc.
- When reconnecting the default setting is a shutter speed of 30 seconds and the camera always fires one shot. So when you connect / set up / start a shoot, you always have to wait half a minute and then you most likely get a severely overexposed photograph.
- Shutter does not trigger when there is something in the buffer, not a big problem with still life though…
Other than that, it absolutely works and it is delightful to trigger the camera from the computer and see the image appear and immediately check the exposure and focus. I had a couple of garments to shoot and this made it real easy. All in all, I am pleased.
* Pentax has tethered shooting software listed on their website for the 645Z, as a plugin for Lightroom, which might work with the 645D as well. Since I do not use Lightroom this is not for me though.