The Pentax 645 Z is an unusual body for the Falklands and is as different to the 7D II as you can imagine and therefore can hardly be compared. In a way they make a superb team! There where no surprises, as I use the body for about 5 months now. It worked really well, showed no sign to succumb to the weather and produced lovely images. Most of the times I used the body in AF single mode, the AF was fast (of course many times slower than the Canon body) and precise. It was perfect for slow moving or static obejcts. The image quality and resolved detail is still amazing. Sometimes I tried AF continous, but this setting is more or less useless for animals as the AF points are all centered in the middle of the sensor. When usable, it worked ok, not great, but ok. Thats the downside of using components designed for APS-C bodies in medium format (but it is the only way to produce such a body at such a competitive prize point)
Usability of the body is by far better than the 7D II, sometimes bigger is better. I really like the TAv mode in wildlife or street photography and I do not understand why Canon has nothing comparable (Nikon has...). All the same I consider the older 645D much better than the 645Z regarding handling. The video mode resulted in very strange design decisions, which make the handling sometimes a pain.
Examples are the strange switching of modes of the 4-way controller or the different way to zoom in/out in live view or "normal display mode". Sometimes I do not understand engineers.....
The lens I used most was the FA 200, why not the FA 400 or FA 150? Due to the constant stormy conditions I simply prefered the stabilized 100-400 on a 7D II for the longer focal lengths. The better "theoretical" image quality of the Pentax combo would have been lost very often due to camera shake. Using a tripod in such conditions is, strange but true, is also not advisable. It is just to difficult to handle and the gales will result always in camera or tripod movements. It is a real pity that I could not use this lens. Next time.... The FA 150 was left in the bag, as changing lenses was often hardly possible without risking sand and dust entering the mirror box, therefore I decided to follow the save path. Mount the lens indoors and leave it there. And the FA 200 was just more flexible and very close in terms of image quality to the FA 150. The FA 200 performed very well, no complaints. The results are outstanding, I have never seen details of feathers better than with this combo!
I used both the old FA 45-85 and the new DA 28-45. No surprises there, the stabilized DA 28-45 is a bit wide for the Falklands, but the stabilizer was a real plus. The size and weight of this lens is again a strange decision. I have no idea about designing lenses, but this wideanlge zoom lens has a weight and size comparable to the 100-400 telephoto zoom by Canon. The 645Z is marketed as outdoor medium format system. Now designing a new lens with such a size/weight is a strange step!
One more very strange design decision by the Pentax engineers is the new design of the rubber coating of the zoom ring. Its pattern is so "narrow", that it hardly can be cleaned. I still try to get the sand grains out of the rubber coating. Nice idea to have two different rubber coatings for the zoom and "distance" ring, but it is poorly implemented. Why didn't they stick with the proven pattern of the FA zoom lenses? They have different rubber coatings for the rings as well, but much better for cleaning without any compromise in handling.
All wideangle King Penguins shots on Volunteer beach and the wideangle Rockhopper pics have been done with this lens, check it out. How good it really is, I will see during my next trip to Iceland in February.