Read our full review of the Pentax 645Z - the most affordable 51.4 megapixel medium format camera released to date. September 5, 2014 by Michael Reichmann. At football games one sees the white lenses and the black lenses, and rarely will the twain meet. Doing a bit of research on the Net, and browsing the forums and review sites will tell you what’s what. A note on testing methodology and lens choices: All cameras were shot raw and processed through ACR CS5.5, because this is what I normally use in my workflow. The body is a bit bulky due to the big mirror and eye-level viewfinder that go hand-in-hand with a medium format image sensor, so Pentax has opted to incorporate dual tripod mounts; one on the bottom of the camera for landscape shooting and another on the left side for portrait orientation. 1.3 sec @ f/16 @ ISO 100. Please note that I will not be repeating technical tests done during that first review, so please have a look at it for the complete picture. TAv allows you to set the shutter speed and aperture manually, letting the camera select an ISO speed for a proper exposure. Batteries are ubiquitous and relatively inexpensive. This is something that has been in Pentax cameras for years, and other manufacturers have copied it by allowing you to use Manual mode with automatic ISO control, but Pentax opts to give it its own dial position. Not the 645z. I therefore need a range of lenses. This can be used to switch between writing raws and JPGs, but it can also be programmed as a “test exposure” button. Medium format used to mean 120 or 220 roll film and a range of image sizes from 645, to 6X6, to 6X9, to 6X7, 617 and more. Dust happens. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. A digital medium format camera that at the time of its release, back in 2014, managed to bring a level of image quality that had previously only been available in the price range starting at 30 000+ USD, to the sub- 10 000 USD price range. Especially now since the price has dropped from 8500 to 6999. Given that in my initial review I wrote that ISO 12,800  shows “visible noise, but no NR needed for printing“, I think that both this and my earlier assessment are spot on. As with almost all cameras the playback histogram and blinkies are based on an in-camera JPG representation of the image, and the colour space that that camera is set to. Additional ports are located on the left and include a DC power input, a micro HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, a microphone input, and dual SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slots. UPDATE: The instant review time can be cut to less than a second. If you use Lightroom to process 645z raw files you should be aware that there seems to be an issue regarding reproduction of reds with the default Adobe “Standard” Profile. This mode allows one to shoot with both a manually set shutter speed and aperture, with the camera setting the ISO as needed between user-set limits. But as it is, it’s just a nice to have feature that means if the alien mother ship lands across the field, and all you have with you is the 645z, you’ll be able to capture footage for the 11 o’clock news. Next year…who knows? The Pentax 645Z Can Be Purchased at BH Photo, Filed Under: Cameras, Reviews Tagged With: member-only. The dial is locking, so you'll have to depress the center button while turning it, but that means it's almost impossible to accidentally change the shooting mode. The viewfinder is a solid glass trapezoid prism. This is where the Pentax 645Z breaks the mold, and attempts to generate a significantly broader range of appeal through its streamlined design, incorporation of more modern, wide-ranging features, and its availability to the general photographer. As you can see, 645D is 4 years older than 645Z. Fantastic image quality; ISO levels; The new system; Cons. This size sensor is about 1.7X larger than full frame, which is an even greater ratio increase over APS-C’s 1.5X or 1.6X difference from full frame 35mm. The amount of detail that the 51-megapixel image sensor is able to capture is incredible. (Rollei is still a player with the Hy6, though almost non-existent in most markets). © 1996-2020 Ziff Davis, LLC. Pentax 645Z Review. It's noticeably larger than the viewfinders you'll find in even the best full-frame D-SLRs, but it doesn't precisely cover the frame. Score. You press and rotate the rear control wheel to set the ISO. Cameras have much more dynamic range and cleaner shadows. I believe that so-called medium format is at a crossroads. Playback and delete controls are located on the rear, as is a Record button, which toggles Live View mode when the 645Z is set to capture still images. This is, of course, a matter of personal taste, but I find myself cropping most 35mm images to something closer to 4:3, or even square. I have always been loath to work hand-held with MF. 1080p video and 4K time-lapse. This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. A wired remote control port is located on the right side, just below the strap lug. Great photographer-centric thinking. As a tripod mounted camera (probably 90% of the time) and formyshooting purposes – landscape and nature – and the fact that I regularly make large exhibition quality sized prints, it makes both practical and economic sense. Pentax Medium Format Cameras . If your work is more action oriented, consider a full-frame SLR like the Canon EOS-1D X or Nikon D4S ($5,200.00 at eBay) ; both are better suited for keeping moving targets in crisp focus. PCMag Digital Group. The Pentax 645z has its AF system based on that of their K3 camera, and it’s a 27 point phase detection system. Pentax 645Z product shot 2. In the end I bought six lenses online, all from Japan-based dealers on eBay. There are no fixed-lens medium format digital camera yet , but as this is being written Photokina 2014 is just around the corner. While waiting for my 645z to arrive at my dealer, I spent several days reading reviews, speaking with other Pentax 645 users, shopping online, and comparing prices. I wanted to see how the best DSLR on the market the Nikon D850 performs against the Pentax 645z. Sorry you true believers. He studied at RPI and worked on the retail side of the industry at B&H before landing at PCMag. The range between highlight spots and shadow areas was at least 10 stops. The size was comfortable to handle, and the weight of the body plus a lens or two wasn't overbearing." The display of third-party trademarks and trade names on this site does not necessarily indicate any affiliation or the endorsement of PCMag. The sound of the mirror slap, “ka chunk”…or the smell of fresh fixer. The Live View feed is fairly smooth, with just a little bit of lag at times. Pentax 645D review, find out how the 645D stacks up against the competition in our real-world review with in-depth image quality comparisons. The Leica will record 1080p footage using the entirety of the sensor, and will also capture 4K footage using an APS-C crop mode. … One complaint that I have though is that switching between AF on a button or AF on the shutter release is found in the menu system at Camera / 4 / Button Customization, and there’s no short-cut access. My studio is not equipped to measure dynamic range. The Buying Decision and The Value Proposition. One of the things that got me thinking about this camera’s potential advantages were the results in terms of image quality and high ISO performance that the new Sony 51 MP sensor produced. There's some noise at ISO 25600, but it's not offensive and detail is still strong. This card turns the camera into a Wi-Fi device and adds the ability to use just about any web browser (though I found Safari to be preferred, since the latest version of Chrome is broken at the moment with the FLU card). Behind it is a bracketing button for control over automatic exposure bracketing, and behind that is a control that that toggles the active autofocus area—you can select a single point, a group of points, or have the 645Z automatically choose an autofocus point for you. The 645z can vibrate the sensor to remove dust, and can do so via menu settings on start-up, on shut-down, or on demand. It can start, focus, and fire in just under a second—the Mamiya Credo 50 requires 13.3 seconds to do the same. Images can be saved individually (up to 2,000 shots, with any time between 2 seconds and 24 hours between each capture), or automatically compiled into a movie. I used the Pentax 645z LCD screen to review my images, I copied the pictures I liked from SD CARD 1 to SD CARD 2, then I stuck the SD card 2 to my iPad SD card reader to my iPad, then I imported the pictures to my iPad (using the default Apple “Photos” app). “Like the Pentax 645D that it replaces, the 645Z has a sensor that measures 43.8×32.8mm (168% the size of a 35mm frame) however Sony has provided the sensor rather than […] I have a sneaking suspicion that Pentax may announce a new 645 model this year. The resulting images feature a uniquely distinct look and an unmistakable brilliance that clearly differentiate professional … There's some loss of detail at ISO 51200, but I wouldn't hesitate to push the camera that far if a shot required it. But even when the camera is set to focus manually, there's no way to magnify the an area of the frame that is outside of the supported autofocus area. Much more. What I see in the field matches the simple tests I did in my office months earlier. This gives an even greater IQ advantage to 645 over 35mm in my hands. Setting expand_more. Very convenient for low level shooting, as DSLR and CSC shooters whose cameras have one will attest. With an overall DxOMark sensor scoreof 101 points, the Pentax 645Z has the second-highest-scoring sensor we’ve ever tested, beaten only by the 51.4Mp Sony sensor in the Hasselblad X1D-50c. Yes, the 645z is bulkier, but the lenses available are inexpensive, very good, and the handling of the 645z is quite superior, for my needs. It is worth noting that the 645z body is weather sealed, and there are some videos around the net that show all kinds of abuse being heaped on the body. Sign up to receive an email when a new article is posted. The Mirror Up dial makes it easy to toggle this feature on and off, helping to avoid any unwanted vibrations particularly when shooting long exposures. But I was left dissatisfied with what we had done, mainly because the 645z is such a rich instrument in terms of features and capability. Simply put, the Pentax 645z raises that reputation to a new level. Some cameras are all-in-one, like the Leica S and Pentax 645z, while others like Hasselblad and Phase One are modular with interchangeable backs. Sunrise Road Here’s the problem. What I mean by this is that the 645z’s video is “OK”. Because Pentax 645 systems have been very popular in Japan for years there is a healthy stock of used lenses, many in “Mint” and “EX++” condition. The converse is true when you push the ISO higher; images are a bit blurry at ISO 51200 and continue to degrade through the top ISO 204800 sensitivity. The look that medium format delivers can't be easily matched by full-frame and other small format systems, and it's tough to argue with the 645Z's go-anywhere design and aggressive price point. Maybe your spouse or your accountant ) some screen available space for it general and. And I ’ ll lose the system, but I skipped doing so with the,! Levels ; the new lens is the founder of the Pentax 645Z 80-160mm. Right panel clean they are the viewfinder has a built in electronic compass which can off. From this chip with 300mm f/5.6 at ISO 25600 when using these settings major camera brand I... Non-Existent in most markets ) too many shots, and indeed it is never the. 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