The 645Z Digital Camera Body is Pentax's next generation high resolution medium format camera. The 645Z has a 51.4 Megapixel 43.8 x 32.8mm CMOS sensor which is almost 1.7 times larger than a 35mm format. Other factors being equal, larger sensors are inherently less prone to image noise; the 645Z is able to produce clean high resolution images with great tonal range, shadow detail and color. The 645Z's low noise sensor also allows shooting at very high ISOs up to 204800 with impressive results.
The 645Z offers a full compliment of Autofocus, metering, exposure, & image controls all geared towards the needs of professionals. Paired up with high quality Pentax professional lenses the 645Z offers the clarity and pop that draws the most discerning photographers to medium format. The built-in lens compensation feature maximizes lens performance by using lens specific data to correct images for inevitable optical abberations such as distortion, chromatic aberration, peripheral illumination, & diffraction.
The 645Z is nicely balanced and handles well. Controls are well placed and it's obvious the camera was designed by photographers for photographers. It's a rugged camera designed to take heavy use by pros and hard driving shooters who want to produce superior work.
- Medium format 43.8 x 32.8mm 51.4 Megapixel CMOS sensor
- Low noise, excellent tonal range, ISOs up to 204800
- Large prism viewfinder with interchangeable focus screens
- 27 phase detection autofocus points (25 cross type)
- Live view with contrast detection, focus peaking & face detection mode
- Uses Pentax 645AF2, 645AF and 645A mount lenses
- Lens correction function optimizes images based on lens used
- 3 fps shooting in continous drive mode
- Shutter speeds up to 1/4000s, 1/125 flash sync
- 1080i60/50, 1080p30/25/24 video recording, built-in stereo mics
- Long-life shutter and mirror drive unit designed for pro use
- Large tilting LCD display screen (3.2" 1,037,000 dots)
- Weather sealed magnesium alloy housing, aluminum chassis with horizontal & vertical tripod sockets both centered on lens mount
- Hotshoe, P-TTL flash metering, PC Sync socket
- Dual SDXC card slots (UHS-I, Pentax FluCard & Eye-Fi compatible)
- USB 3, mini-HDMI, microphone, AC Adapter, & remote connectivity
Available accessories include P-TTL flashes, Pentax 645 lenses, O-GPS1 GPS receiver, D-LI90 Battery, D-BC90 Battery Charger, O-ST150 Strap, and O-EC107 Large eyecup.
The first thing I noticed when picking up the Pentax 645Z is the build quality. It has the feel of a precision tool. The grip was comfortable in my hand and the layout of the controls was very intuitive. It brought back memories of the original Pentax 645 film camera in the way if fit my hand, only heavier. It offers a 51.4 megapixel CMOS sensor which is ideal for large images and professional applications. It has an anti-aliasing filter-less design to facilitate details and sharpness. It shoots in raw, jpeg and 1080 HD video. It also has an incredible ISO range of 100-204,800.
A couple of features that I really enjoyed were the dual SD memory card slots and the tilting viewing screen. I would rather have a full swivel viewing screen but the tilt did help out a lot. I don't have an Eye-Fi or Flucard but the camera is set up to handle them both. So I see stocking stuffers in the future with either of those as my wife is always asking what she can get me for birthday or holiday gifts. I also like that you can use older Pentax 645 lenses or 6x7 lenses with an adapter. Many of the older lenses can be found in a very affordable price range and there are a lot of them out there on the market. Backward lens compatibility is something Pentax has done for years. You will lose some functions but I know how to shoot manual so that is not a problem.
It really has too many features to talk about in a short review. Let's just say that the camera was a pleasure to shoot with and the images were outstanding. Of course the file size is more than twice the size of my Sony camera and it does use a Sony sensor. Also the price is easier to justify than that of a similarly equipped Hasselblad outfit as I only supplement my income with photography and am not a full time professional even though the camera is well up to the standards required for full time use. - Larry Hicks