Nikon B600 vs Pentax 645Z
The Nikon Coolpix B600 and the Pentax 645Z are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in January 2019 and April 2014. The B600 is a fixed lens compact, while the 645Z is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (B600) and a medium format (645Z) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 51.1 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Nikon Coolpix B600 and the Pentax 645Z? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Nikon B600 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.
The B600 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the 645Z is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax 645Z is considerably larger (82 percent) than the Nikon B600. It is noteworthy in this context that the 645Z is splash and dust-proof, while the B600 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the B600 has a lens built in, whereas the 645Z is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
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, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Nikon B600||122 mm||82 mm||99 mm||500 g||280||n||Jan 2019||349|
|2.||Pentax 645Z||156 mm||117 mm||123 mm||1550 g||650||Y||Apr 2014||8,499|
|3.||Canon 5DS||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||152 mm||116 mm||76 mm||930 g||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|6.||Hasselblad X1D||150 mm||98 mm||71 mm||725 g||..||Y||Jun 2016||8,995|
|7.||Leica SL||147 mm||104 mm||39 mm||847 g||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450|
|8.||Nikon P950||140 mm||110 mm||150 mm||1005 g||290||n||Jan 2020||799|
|9.||Nikon A1000||114 mm||72 mm||41 mm||330 g||250||n||Jan 2019||429|
|10.||Nikon P1000||146 mm||119 mm||181 mm||1415 g||250||n||Jul 2018||999|
|11.||Nikon W300||112 mm||66 mm||29 mm||231 g||280||Y||May 2017||389|
|12.||Nikon B500||114 mm||78 mm||95 mm||541 g||600||n||Jan 2016||299|
|13.||Nikon P900||140 mm||103 mm||137 mm||899 g||360||n||Mar 2015||599|
|14.||Nikon L840||113 mm||78 mm||96 mm||538 g||590||n||Feb 2015||299|
|15.||Panasonic FZ100||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||540 g||410||n||Jul 2010||499|
|16.||Pentax 645D||156 mm||117 mm||119 mm||1480 g||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995|
|17.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The retail prices at the time of the camera’s release place the model in the market relative to other models in the producer’s line-up and the competition. The B600 was launched at a lower price than the 645Z, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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 Nikon B600 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Pentax 645Z a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645Z is 5032 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 0.79. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with CMOS (Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
With 51.1MP, the 645Z offers a higher resolution than the B600 (15.9MP), but the 645Z nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 1.33μm for the B600) due to its larger sensor. However, the B600 is a much more recent model (by 4 years and 9 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 neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Pentax 645Z implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 645Z for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 41.3 x 31 inches or 104.9 x 78.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 24.8 inches or 83.9 x 62.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 20.6 inches or 69.9 x 52.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon B600 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon Coolpix B600 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 125 to ISO 6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax 645Z are ISO 100 to ISO 204800 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service determines an overall sensor rating, as well as sub-scores for low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and color depth ("DXO Portrait"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|2.||Pentax 645Z||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/60i||26.0||14.7||4505||101|
|3.||Canon 5DS||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.7||12.4||2381||87|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/30p||24.6||12.4||2308||86|
|6.||Hasselblad X1D||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||1080/25p||26.2||14.8||4489||102|
|7.||Leica SL||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88|
|16.||Pentax 645D||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||none||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 645Z provides a faster frame rate than the B600. It can shoot movie footage at 1080/60i, while the Nikon is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 645Z has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the B600 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon B600 and Pentax 645Z along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|4.||Canon 5DS R||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||5.0||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The B600 has one, while the 645Z does not. While the built-in flash of the B600 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Pentax 645Z has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the B600 and the 645Z write their files to SDXC cards. The 645Z features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the B600 only has one slot. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 Nikon Coolpix B600 and Pentax 645Z and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|4.||Canon 5DS R||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
It is notable that the B600 offers wifi support, while the 645Z does not. Wifi can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax 645Z (unlike the B600) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the B600 and the 645Z are recent models that are part of the current product line-up. The 645Z replaced the earlier Pentax 645D, while the B600 followed on from the Nikon B500. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Nikon and Pentax websites.
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Nikon B600 and the Pentax 645Z? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Nikon Coolpix B600:
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7.4 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the 645Z requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (122x82mm vs 156x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter even though it comes with a built-in lens (unlike the 645Z).
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 9 months of technical progress since the 645Z launch.
Arguments in favor of the Pentax 645Z:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 79%.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- Better video: Provides higher movie framerates (1080/60i versus 1080/30p).
- Better sound: Can connect to an external microphone for higher quality sound recording.
- Easier framing: Has an optical viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.2" vs 3.0") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1037k vs 921k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- More flexible: Makes it possible to change lenses and thus to use specialty optics.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 280) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Better lighting: Features a hotshoe and can thus hold and trigger an external flash gun.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in April 2014).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 645Z is the clear winner of the contest (21 : 10 points). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Nikon B600 and the Pentax 645Z place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it remains partial and cannot reveal, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance when actually working with the B600 or the 645Z. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Nikon B600||..||+||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||349|
|2.||Pentax 645Z||5/5||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||8,499|
|3.||Canon 5DS||..||+||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|4.||Canon 5DS R||5/5||+||83/100||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699|
|5.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|6.||Hasselblad X1D||..||o||81/100||..||4/5||Jun 2016||8,995|
|7.||Leica SL||4/5||..||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450|
|8.||Nikon P950||..||..||..||4/5||4/5||Jan 2020||799|
|9.||Nikon A1000||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3/5||Jan 2019||429|
|10.||Nikon P1000||..||+||73/100||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2018||999|
|11.||Nikon W300||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||May 2017||389|
|12.||Nikon B500||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2016||299|
|13.||Nikon P900||..||..||77/100||4/5||4/5||Mar 2015||599|
|14.||Nikon L840||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||4/5||Feb 2015||299|
|15.||Panasonic FZ100||..||+||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|16.||Pentax 645D||5/5||..||..||..||..||Mar 2010||9,995|
|17.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
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. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, please note that some of the review sites have changed their methodology and reporting over time.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Nikon B600 vs Pentax 645Z
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Nikon B600||Pentax 645Z|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-1440mm f/3.3-6.5||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2019||April 2014|
|Launch Price||USD 349||USD 8,499|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax 645Z|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||43.8 x 32.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||1436.64 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||54.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||51.1 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||8256 x 6192 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||5.30 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||3.56 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||1080/60i Video|
|ISO Setting||125 - 6,400 ISO||100 - 204,800 ISO|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||101|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||26.0|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||14.7|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||4505|
|Screen Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax 645Z|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.2inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||1037k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax 645Z|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||7.4 shutter flaps/s||3 shutter flaps/s|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax 645Z|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||Hotshoe|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 3.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Nikon B600||Pentax 645Z|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||280 shots per charge||650 shots per charge|
122 x 82 x 99 mm
(4.8 x 3.2 x 3.9 in)
156 x 117 x 123 mm
(6.1 x 4.6 x 4.8 in)
|Camera Weight||500 g (17.6 oz)||1550 g (54.7 oz)|
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