Canon 1D versus Pentax 645Z
The Canon EOS-1D and the Pentax 645Z are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2001 and April 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-H (1D) and a medium format (645Z) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 4.1 megapixel, whereas the Pentax provides 51.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their size, their sensors, their features, and their reception by expert reviewers.
Body comparison: Canon 1D vs Pentax 645Z
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon 1D and the Pentax 645Z is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also use the toggle button to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left – the 1D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax 645Z is notably smaller (26 percent) than the Canon 1D. Moreover, the 645Z is slightly lighter (2 percent) than the 1D. In this context, it is worth noting that both cameras are splash and dust-proof and can, hence, be used in inclement weather conditions or harsh environments.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. Hence, you might want to study the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Camera Body Specifications|
|Canon 1D»||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||55.9 oz||500||Y||Sep 2001||6,499||-|
|Pentax 645Z«||6.1 in||4.6 in||4.8 in||54.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2014||8,499|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||5.9 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||31.4 oz||900||Y||Aug 2016||3,499|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.0 oz||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 5DS R« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 5DS« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 1D C« »||6.2 in||6.5 in||3.3 in||54.5 oz||1120||Y||Apr 2012||14,999||-|
|Canon 1D X« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.7 oz||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||5.9 in||6.3 in||3.1 in||48.9 oz||1800||Y||Aug 2007||7,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||55.2 oz||1200||Y||Aug 2005||3,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||54.1 oz||1200||Y||Jan 2004||4,499||-|
|Canon 1Ds« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||44.6 oz||600||Y||Sep 2002||8,999||-|
|Leica SL« »||5.8 in||4.1 in||1.5 in||29.9 oz||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|Nikon D750« »||5.6 in||4.4 in||3.1 in||26.5 oz||1230||Y||Sep 2014||2,299|
|Pentax 645D« »||6.1 in||4.6 in||4.7 in||52.2 oz||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995||-|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 1D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 24 percent) than the 645Z, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Canon 1D vs Pentax 645Z
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Further, a large sensor camera will give the photographer additional creative options when using shallow depth-of-field to isolate a subject from its background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1D features an APS-H sensor and the Pentax 645Z a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645Z is 162 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.3 and 0.79. The sensor in the 1D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the 645Z offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 51.1MP, the 645Z offers a higher resolution than the 1D (4.1MP), but the 645Z has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 11.56μm for the 1D). Yet, the 645Z is a much more recent model (by 12 years and 6 months) than the 1D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that enhance the light gathering capacity of its pixel-units. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the 645Z has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Pentax 645Z«||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/60i||26.0||14.7||4505||101|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||Full Frame||30.1||6720||4480||4K/30p||24.8||13.6||2995||91|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|Canon 5DS« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|Canon 1D C« »||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||4K/24p||-||-||-||-|
|Canon 1D X« »||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||Full Frame||21.0||5616||3744||-||24.0||12.0||1663||80|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||-||22.3||11.2||975||66|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||APS-H||8.2||3504||2336||-||22.3||11.1||1003||66|
|Canon 1Ds« »||Full Frame||11.0||4064||2704||-||21.8||11.0||954||63|
|Leica SL« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|Nikon D750« »||Full Frame||24.2||6016||4016||1080/60p||24.8||14.5||2956||93|
|Pentax 645D« »||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||-||24.6||12.6||1262||82|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The 645Z indeed provides for movie recording, while the 1D does not. The highest resolution format that the 645Z can use is 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Canon 1D vs Pentax 645Z
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 1D and the 645Z are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon 1D, the Pentax 645Z, and comparable cameras. If you need more detail on the specs, you can find comprehensive listings, for example, in the dpreview camera hub.
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||7.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||16.0||n||n|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
|Canon 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D C« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||14.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D X« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||14.0||n||n|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||8.5||n||n|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||optical||Y||2.0||230||fixed||n||8000||8.3||n||n|
|Canon 1Ds« »||optical||Y||2.0||120||fixed||n||8000||3.0||n||n|
|Leica SL« »||4400||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||8000||11.0||n||n|
|Nikon D750« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||tilting||n||4000||6.0||Y||n|
|Pentax 645D« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||1.1||n||n|
The 645Z is a current model that online retailers, such as amazon, will have in stock. In contrast, the 1D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 1D was succeeded by the Canon 1D Mark II.
Review summary: Canon 1D vs Pentax 645Z
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1D and the Pentax 645Z? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS-1D:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (16000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (8 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (24 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2001).
Arguments in favor of the Pentax 645Z:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 4.1MP), which boosts linear resolution by 244%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Is equipped with a larger and more technologically advanced sensor.
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/60i video.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 2.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 120k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More compact: Is smaller (156x117mm vs 156x158mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 500) out of a single battery charge.
- More modern: Reflects 12 years and 6 months of technical progress since the 1D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 645Z is the clear winner of the contest (10 : 5 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1D or the 645Z handle or perform in practice. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate. This is where reviews by experts come in. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 1D»||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2001||6,499||-|
|Pentax 645Z«||-||-||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||8,499|
|Canon 5D Mark IV« »||HiRec||87/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||3,499|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Rec||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 5DS« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|Canon 1D C« »||-||-||-||-||-||Apr 2012||14,999||-|
|Canon 1D X« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799||-|
|Canon 1Ds Mark III« »||-||HiRec||4.5/5||-||-||Aug 2007||7,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II N« »||-||-||-||-||-||Aug 2005||3,999||-|
|Canon 1D Mark II« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Jan 2004||4,499||-|
|Canon 1Ds« »||-||HiRec||-||-||-||Sep 2002||8,999||-|
|Leica SL« »||-||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|Nikon D750« »||HiRec||90/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||2,299|
|Pentax 645D« »||-||-||-||4.5/5||-||Mar 2010||9,995||-|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when refering to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, and comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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