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Canon 77D versus Pentax 645Z

The Canon EOS 77D and the Pentax 645Z are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in February 2017 and April 2014. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (77D) and a medium format (645Z) sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 24 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 77D vs Pentax 645Z

The physical size and weight of the Canon 77D and the Pentax 645Z are illustrated 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 dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display 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 77D – represents the basis or 100 percent across all the size and weight measures).

Compare Canon 77D vs Pentax 645Z
77D versus 645Z top view
77D and 645Z rear side
Body view (77D on the left)

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 larger (39 percent) than the Canon 77D. Moreover, the 645Z is substantially heavier (187 percent) than the 77D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 645Z is splash and dust-proof, while the 77D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.

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.

Concerning battery life, the 77D gets 600 shots out of its LP-E17 battery, while the 645Z can take 650 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack.

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
Camera Camera
Width
Camera
Height
Camera
Depth
Camera
Weight
Battery
Life
(CIPA)
Weather
Sealing
(y/n)
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 77D (⇒ rgt) 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 540 g 600 no 2017 899 latest check
Pentax 645Z (⇒ lft) 156 mm 117 mm 123 mm 1550 g 650 YES 2014 8,499 latest check
Canon 2000D (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 475 g 500 no 2018 449 latest check
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) 122 mm 93 mm 70 mm 453 g 650 no 2017 549 latest check
Canon 800D (⇒ lft | rgt) 131 mm 100 mm 76 mm 532 g 600 no 2017 749 latest check
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) 112 mm 68 mm 45 mm 390 g 295 no 2017 779 latest check
Canon 1300D (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 101 mm 78 mm 485 g 500 no 2016 449discont. check
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 116 mm 89 mm 61 mm 427 g 295 no 2016 979 latest check
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 555 g 440 no 2015 749discont. check
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) 132 mm 101 mm 78 mm 565 g 440 no 2015 849discont. check
Canon 5DS R (⇒ lft | rgt) 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 YES 2015 3,699 latest check
Canon 5DS (⇒ lft | rgt) 152 mm 116 mm 76 mm 930 g 700 YES 2015 3,699 latest check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) 133 mm 100 mm 79 mm 575 g 440 no 2012 849discont. check
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) 129 mm 98 mm 62 mm 520 g 400 no 2009 799discont. check
Hasselblad X1D (⇒ lft | rgt) 150 mm 98 mm 71 mm 725 g .. YES 2016 8,995 latest check
Nikon D4S (⇒ lft | rgt) 160 mm 157 mm 91 mm 1350 g 3020 YES 2014 6,499discont. check
Pentax 645D (⇒ lft | rgt) 156 mm 117 mm 119 mm 1480 g 800 YES 2010 9,995discont. check

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 77D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 89 percent) than the 645Z, which puts it into a different market segment. 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 77D vs Pentax 645Z

The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will tend to have larger individual pixels that provide better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color depth than smaller pixel-units in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Canon 77D features an APS-C sensor and the Pentax 645Z a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645Z is 333 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.6 and 0.79. The sensor in the 77D has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the 645Z offers a 4:3 aspect.

Canon 77D and Pentax 645Z sensor measures
Sensor size

With 51.1MP, the 645Z offers a higher resolution than the 77D (24MP), but the 645Z nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 3.72μm for the 77D) due to its larger sensor. However, the 77D is a much more recent model (by 2 years and 10 months) than the 645Z, 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.

77D versus 645Z MP
Sensor resolution

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for most cameras. 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"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.

Sensor Characteristics
Camera Sensor
Class
Resolution
(Megapixel)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Canon 77D (⇒ rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p .. .. .. ..
Pentax 645Z (⇒ lft) Medium Format 51.1 8256 6192 1080/60i 26.0 14.7 4505 101
Canon 2000D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p .. .. .. ..
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 23.6 13.4 1041 79
Canon 800D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p .. .. .. ..
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p .. .. .. ..
Canon 1300D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p - - - -
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 23.4 12.4 1262 77
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/60p 22.7 12.0 919 71
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 24.0 6000 4000 1080/30p 22.6 12.0 915 70
Canon 5DS R (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 50.3 8688 5792 1080/60p 24.6 12.4 2308 86
Canon 5DS (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 50.3 8688 5792 1080/60p 24.7 12.4 2381 87
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 17.9 5184 3456 1080/30p 21.7 11.2 722 62
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) APS-C 15.1 4752 3168 1080/20p 21.7 11.5 663 63
Hasselblad X1D (⇒ lft | rgt) Medium Format 51.3 8272 6200 1080/25p 26.2 14.8 4489 102
Nikon D4S (⇒ lft | rgt) Full Frame 16.2 4928 3280 1080/60p 24.4 13.3 3074 89
Pentax 645D (⇒ lft | rgt) Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440 no 24.6 12.6 1262 82

Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 77D provides a higher frame rate than the 645Z. It can shoot video footage at 1080/60p, while the Pentax is limited to 1080/60i.

Feature comparison: Canon 77D vs Pentax 645Z

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. The 77D 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 77D and Pentax 645Z along with similar information for a selection of comparators. If needed, the dpreview camera hub, for example, contains further detail on the cameras' specs.

Core Features
Camera Viewfinder
(Type or
'000 dots)
Control
Panel
(Y/n)
LCD
Size
(inch)
LCD
Resolution
('000 dots)
LCD
Attach-
ment
Touch
Screen
(Y/n)
Shutter
speed
(1/sec)
Shutter
flaps
(1/sec))
Build-in
Flash
(GN)
Build-in
Image
Stab
Canon 77D (⇒ rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 6.0 12 no
Pentax 645Z (⇒ lft) optical YES 3.2 1037 tilting no 4000 3.0 no no
Canon 2000D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 9.8 no
Canon 800D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 6.0 12 no
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) no no 3.0 1040 tilting YES 4000 9.0 5 no
Canon 1300D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.0 9.2 no
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.2 1620 tilting YES 4000 9.0 5 no
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 12 no
Canon 5DS R (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.2 1040 fixed no 8000 5.0 no no
Canon 5DS (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.2 1040 fixed no 8000 5.0 no no
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 1040 swivel YES 4000 5.0 YES no
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical no 3.0 920 fixed no 4000 3.4 YES no
Hasselblad X1D (⇒ lft | rgt) 2360 no 3.0 920 fixed YES 2000 2.3 no no
Nikon D4S (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.2 921 fixed no 8000 11.0 no no
Pentax 645D (⇒ lft | rgt) optical YES 3.0 921 fixed no 4000 1.1 no no

Both the 77D and the 645Z are current models that good online retailers will have in stock. You can check the latest prices, for example, at amazon. The 645Z replaced the earlier Pentax 645D, while the 77D followed on from the Canon T6s.

Review summary: Canon 77D vs Pentax 645Z

So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 77D and the Pentax 645Z? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.


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Arguments in favor of the Canon EOS 77D:

  • Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
  • Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60p versus 1080/60i).
  • More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
  • Fewer buttons to press: Is equipped with a touch-sensitive rear screen to facilitate handling.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (131x100mm vs 156x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 1010g or 65 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (89 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More modern: Reflects 2 years and 10 months of technical progress since the 645Z launch.

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Advantages of the Pentax 645Z:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 24MP), which boosts linear resolution by 43%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better low-light imaging: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for better high-ISO images.
  • Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
  • Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
  • More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2014).

If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 77D is the clear winner of the match-up (10 : 6 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.

77D 10:06 645Z

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 77D 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 why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall rankings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites. The full reviews are available, respectively, at cameralabs.com, dpreview.com, ephotozine.com, imaging-resource.com, and photographyblog.com.

Review scores
Camera camera
labs
.com
dp
review
.com
ephoto
zine
.com
imaging
resource
.com
photography
blog
.com
Camera
Launch
(year)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(amazon)
Used
Price
(ebay)
Canon 77D (⇒ rgt) .. 82/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4/5 2017 899 latest check
Pentax 645Z (⇒ lft) - - 4.5/5 5/5 5/5 2014 8,499 latest check
Canon 2000D (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed .. 3.5/5 .. 3.5/5 2018 449 latest check
Canon 200D (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 78/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2017 549 latest check
Canon 800D (⇒ lft | rgt) .. 80/100 Gold 4.5/5 4/5 4/5 2017 749 latest check
Canon M6 (⇒ lft | rgt) - 80/100 Silver 4/5 4.5/5 4/5 2017 779 latest check
Canon 1300D (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed 73/100 4/5 3.5/5 4/5 2016 449discont. check
Canon M5 (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 82/100 Silver 4/5 4.5/5 4/5 2016 979 latest check
Canon 750D (⇒ lft | rgt) - 75/100 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 749discont. check
Canon 760D (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2015 849discont. check
Canon 5DS R (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 83/100 Silver 5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2015 3,699 latest check
Canon 5DS (⇒ lft | rgt) Rec 83/100 Silver 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2015 3,699 latest check
Canon 650D (⇒ lft | rgt) HiRec 77/100 Silver 4.5/5 4.5/5 4.5/5 2012 849discont. check
Canon 500D (⇒ lft | rgt) 88/100 HiRec 74/100 HiRec 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2009 799discont. check
Hasselblad X1D (⇒ lft | rgt) reviewed - - - 4/5 2016 8,995 latest check
Nikon D4S (⇒ lft | rgt) - - 4.5/5 5/5 4.5/5 2014 6,499discont. check
Pentax 645D (⇒ lft | rgt) - - - 4.5/5 - 2010 9,995discont. check

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when refering 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 comparisons of ratings among very different cameras or across long time periods have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.


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. If you do not see the camera that you are looking for, please send me an email, and I will try to update the database with the necessary infos.

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