PW

Canon 1Ds vs Pentax 645Z

The Canon EOS-1Ds and the Pentax 645Z are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in September 2002 and April 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on a full frame (1Ds) and a medium format (645Z) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 11 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 51.1 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.

Headline Specifications
Canon 1Ds   Pentax 645Z
Canon 1Ds Pentax 645Z
Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
Canon EF mount lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
11 MP, Full Frame Sensor 51.1 MP, Medium Format Sensor
no Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 100-1250 ISO 100-204800
Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
2.0" LCD, 120k dots 3.2" LCD, 1037k dots
Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive) Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
3 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
600 shots per battery charge650 shots per battery charge
156 x 158 x 80 mm, 1265 g 156 x 117 x 123 mm, 1550 g

Body comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Pentax 645Z

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 1Ds and the Pentax 645Z. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Compare Canon 1Ds and Pentax 645Z
Compare 1Ds versus 645Z top
Compare 1Ds or 645Z rear

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 1Ds. However, the 645Z is markedly heavier (23 percent) than the 1Ds. 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 and compare the specifications of available lenses in order to get the full picture of the size and weight of the two camera systems.

Concerning battery life, the 1Ds gets 600 shots out of its NP-E3 battery, while the 645Z can take 650 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack. As can be seen in the images above, the 1Ds has a battery grip built in. This facilitates image-taking in portrait orientation and gives it additional battery power.

The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the two cameras alongside a broader set of comparators. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, just use the right or left arrows in the table to switch to the respective camera. Alternatively, you can also navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from the full list of cameras there.

Camera Body Specifications
  Camera
Model
Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(yes/no)
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1Ds» 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1265 g 600 Y Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
Pentax 645Z« 156 mm 117 mm 123 mm 1550 g 650 Y Apr 2014 8,499 i i Pentax 645Z
Canon 1D X Mark II« » 158 mm 168 mm 83 mm 1530 g 1210 Y Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D C« » 158 mm 164 mm 83 mm 1545 g 1120 Y Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« » 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1230 g 1500 Y Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« » 156 mm 157 mm 80 mm 1155 g 2200 Y Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » 150 mm 160 mm 80 mm 1385 g 1800 Y Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« » 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1565 g 1200 Y Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« » 152 mm 113 mm 75 mm 895 g 400 Y Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« » 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1535 g 1200 Y Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » 156 mm 158 mm 80 mm 1215 g 1200 Y Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
Hasselblad X1D« » 150 mm 98 mm 71 mm 725 g .. Y Jun 2016 8,995 i i Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« » 147 mm 104 mm 39 mm 847 g 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Nikon D2Xs« » 158 mm 150 mm 86 mm 1252 g 3800 Y Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
Pentax 645D« » 156 mm 117 mm 119 mm 1480 g 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D

Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 645Z was somewhat cheaper (by 6 percent) than the 1Ds at launch, but both cameras fall into the same price category. 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.

 

Sensor comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Pentax 645Z

The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 1Ds features a full frame sensor and the Pentax 645Z a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645Z is 68 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.0 and 0.79. The sensor in the 1Ds has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the 645Z offers a 4:3 aspect.

In terms of underlying technology, both cameras are build around CMOS sensors.

Canon 1Ds and Pentax 645Z sensor measures

With 51.1MP, the 645Z offers a higher resolution than the 1Ds (11MP), but the 645Z has smaller individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 8.83μm for the 1Ds). Yet, the 645Z is a much more recent model (by 11 years and 6 months) than the 1Ds, 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.

The Canon EOS-1Ds has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1250, which can be extended to ISO 50-1250. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax 645Z are ISO 100 to ISO 204800 (no boost).

1Ds versus 645Z MP

Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 645Z offers substantially better image quality than the 1Ds (overall score 38 points higher). The advantage is based on 4.2 bits higher color depth, 3.7 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.2 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
Canon 1Ds» Full Frame 11.0 4064 2704-21.811.095463Canon 1Ds
Pentax 645Z« Medium Format 51.1 8256 61921080/60i26.014.74505101Pentax 645Z
Canon 1D X Mark II« » Full Frame 20.0 5472 36484K/60p24.113.5320788Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« » Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/60p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D C« » Full Frame 17.9 5184 34564K/24p----Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« » APS-H 16.0 4896 32641080/30p22.812.0132074Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« » APS-H 10.1 3888 2592-22.711.7107871Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« » Full Frame 21.0 5616 3744-24.012.0166380Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.297566Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« » Full Frame 12.7 4368 2912-22.911.1136871Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« » APS-H 8.2 3504 2336-22.311.1100366Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« » Full Frame 16.6 4992 3328-23.311.3148074Canon 1Ds Mark II
Hasselblad X1D« » Medium Format 51.3 8272 62001080/25p26.214.84489102Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« » Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
Nikon D2Xs« » APS-C 12.2 4288 2848-22.210.948959Nikon D2Xs
Pentax 645D« » Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440-24.612.6126282Pentax 645D

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 1Ds does not. The highest resolution format that the 645Z can use is 1080/60i.

 

Feature comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Pentax 645Z

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 1Ds 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 adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Canon 1Ds and Pentax 645Z along with similar information for a selection of comparators.

Core Features
  Camera
Model
Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(yes/no)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(yes/no)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
Canon 1Ds»optical Y 2.0 120 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n Canon 1Ds
Pentax 645Z«optical Y 3.2 1037 tilting n 4000 3.0 n n Pentax 645Z
Canon 1D X Mark II« »optical Y 3.2 1620 fixed Y 8000 16.0 n n Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D C« »optical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 8000 14.0 n n Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« »optical Y 3.0 920 fixed n 8000 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 10.0 n n Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »optical Y 3.0 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 8.5 n n Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 3.0 n n Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 8.3 n n Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »optical Y 2.0 230 fixed n 8000 4.0 n n Canon 1Ds Mark II
Hasselblad X1D« »2360 n 3.0 920 fixed Y 2000 2.3 n n Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« »4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 8000 11.0 n n Leica SL
Nikon D2Xs« »optical Y 2.5 230 fixed n 8000 5.0 n n Nikon D2Xs
Pentax 645D« »optical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 4000 1.1 n n Pentax 645D

The 1Ds writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the 645Z uses SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.

 

Connectivity comparison: Canon 1Ds vs Pentax 645Z

For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS-1Ds and Pentax 645Z and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.

Input-Output Connections
  Camera
Model
Hotshoe
Port
Internal
Microphone
Internal
Speaker
Microphone
Port
Headphone
Port
HDMI
Port
USB
Type
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
Canon 1Ds»Y-----FW---Canon 1Ds
Pentax 645Z«YstereomonoY-mini3.0---Pentax 645Z
Canon 1D X Mark II« »YmonomonoYYmini3.0---Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »YmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D C« »YmonomonoYYmini2.0---Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« »Ystereo-Y-mini2.0---Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« »Y-----2.0---Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« »Y-----1.1---Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »Y-----2.0---Canon 1Ds Mark II
Hasselblad X1D« »YstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« »YstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
Nikon D2Xs« »Y-----2.0---Nikon D2Xs
Pentax 645D« »Ystereo----2.0---Pentax 645D

Both cameras feature a PC Sync terminal to control professional strobe lights, which will be appreciated by studio photographers.

The 645Z is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the 1Ds has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 1Ds was succeeded by the Canon 1Ds Mark II.


Review summary: Canon 1Ds vs Pentax 645Z

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 1Ds and the Pentax 645Z? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.

ilogo

Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS-1Ds:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (8000/sec vs 4000/sec) to freeze action.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 285g or 18 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More portrait friendly: Features an integrated vertical grip for easier portrait shooting.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in September 2002).

ilogo

Advantages of the Pentax 645Z:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 11MP), which boosts linear resolution by 111%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (38 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (4.2 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (3.7 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.2 stops ISO advantage).
  • 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.
  • More modern: Reflects 11 years and 6 months of technical progress since the 1Ds launch.

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 645Z is the clear winner of the contest (12 : 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.

1Ds 05:12 645Z

In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 1Ds or the 645Z handle or perform in practice. At times, user reviews, such as those published at amazon, address these issues in a useful manner, but such feedback is on many occasions incomplete, inconsistent, and unreliable.

Expert reviews: Canon 1Ds vs Pentax 645Z

This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below summarizes the assessments of some of the best known camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cameralabs dpreview ephotozine imaging-resource photographyblog Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Used
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
Canon 1Ds»-HiRec--- Sep 2002 8,999- i Canon 1Ds
Pentax 645Z«--4.5/55/55/5 Apr 2014 8,499 i i Pentax 645Z
Canon 1D X Mark II« »-89/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2016 5,999 i i Canon 1D X Mark II
Canon 5DS« »Rec83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS
Canon 5DS R« »Rec83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 i i Canon 5DS R
Canon 1D C« »----- Apr 2012 14,999- i Canon 1D C
Canon 1D Mark IV« »-89/100-5/5- Oct 2009 4,999- i Canon 1D Mark IV
Canon 1D Mark III« »---rev- Feb 2007 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark III
Canon 1Ds Mark III« »-HiRec4.5/5-- Aug 2007 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark III
Canon 1D Mark II N« »----- Aug 2005 3,999- i Canon 1D Mark II N
Canon 5D« »88/100HiRecrevrev- Aug 2005 3,299- i Canon 5D
Canon 1D Mark II« »-HiRec-rev- Jan 2004 4,499- i Canon 1D Mark II
Canon 1Ds Mark II« »-HiRec--- Sep 2004 7,999- i Canon 1Ds Mark II
Hasselblad X1D« »rev81/100--4/5 Jun 2016 8,995 i i Hasselblad X1D
Leica SL« »-84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450 i i Leica SL
Nikon D2Xs« »---rev- Jun 2006 4,699- i Nikon D2Xs
Pentax 645D« »---4.5/5- Mar 2010 9,995- i Pentax 645D

The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.

Canon 1Ds:
Check Ebay offers
Pentax 645Z:
Check Amazon price

Other camera comparisons

Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just use the search menu below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.

~

    Specifications: Canon 1Ds vs Pentax 645Z

    Camera Specifications
    Camera Model Canon 1Ds Pentax 645Z
    Camera Type Digital single lens reflex Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Canon EF mount lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2002 April 2014
    Launch Price USD 8999 USD 8499
    Sensor Specs
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Full Frame Sensor Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 36.0 x 23.8 mm 43.8 x 23.8 mm
    Sensor Area 856.8 mm2 1436.64 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 43.2 mm 54.7 mm
    Crop Factor 1.0x 0.79x
    Sensor Resolution 11 Megapixels 51.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4064 x 2704 pixels 8256 x 6192 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 8.83 μm 5.30 μm
    Pixel Density 1.28 MP/cm2 3.56 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability no Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 100-1250 ISO 100-204800 ISO
    ISO Boost 50-1250 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor DIGIC PRIME III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 63 101
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 21.8 26.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 11.0 14.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 954 4505
    Screen Specs
    Viewfinder Type Optical viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.70x 0.78x
    Top-Level Screen Control Panel Control Panel
    LCD Framing n/a Live View
    Rear LCD Size 2.0 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 120k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Fixed screen Tilting screen
    Shooting Specs
    Autofocus System Phase-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Maximum Shutter Speed 1/8000s 1/4000s
    Continuous Shooting 3 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Fill Flash no On-Board Flash no On-Board Flash
    Storage Medium CF cards SDXC cards
    Second Storage Option Dual card slots Dual card slots
    Connectivity Specs
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector Firewire USB 3.0
    HDMI Port no HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port no MIC socket External MIC port
    Wifi Support no Wifi no Wifi
    Body Specs
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type NP-E3 power pack D-LI90 power pack
    Battery Life (CIPA)600 shots per charge650 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 156 x 158 x 80 mm
    (6.1 x 6.2 x 3.1 in)
    156 x 117 x 123 mm
    (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.8 in)
    Camera Weight 1265 g (44.6 oz) 1550 g (54.7 oz)

    Did you notice an error on this page? If so, please get in touch, so that we can correct the information.

    You are here  »   »