Nikon D3400 vs Pentax 645D
The Nikon D3400 and the Pentax 645D are two digital cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in August 2016 and March 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are based on an APS-C (D3400) and a medium format (645D) sensor. The Nikon has a resolution of 24 megapixels, whereas the Pentax provides 39.5 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 D3400 and the Pentax 645D? 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 physical size and weight of the Nikon D3400 and the Pentax 645D are illustrated in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The D3400 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the 645D 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 645D is considerably larger (50 percent) than the Nikon D3400. Moreover, the 645D is substantially heavier (233 percent) than the D3400. It is noteworthy in this context that the 645D is splash and dust-proof, while the D3400 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 and compare 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, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Nikon D3400||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||445 g||1200||n||Aug 2016||499|
|2.||Pentax 645D||156 mm||117 mm||119 mm||1480 g||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995|
|3.||Canon SL2||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||453 g||650||n||Jun 2017||549|
|4.||Canon 1D X||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1551 g||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|5.||Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|6.||Leica S Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950|
|7.||Nikon D3500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||415 g||1550||n||Aug 2018||429|
|8.||Nikon D5600||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||465 g||970||n||Nov 2016||699|
|9.||Nikon D500||147 mm||115 mm||81 mm||860 g||1240||Y||Jan 2016||1,999|
|10.||Nikon D5500||124 mm||97 mm||70 mm||470 g||820||n||Jan 2015||899|
|11.||Nikon D7200||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199|
|12.||Nikon D3300||124 mm||98 mm||76 mm||430 g||700||n||Jan 2014||499|
|13.||Nikon D5300||125 mm||98 mm||76 mm||480 g||600||n||Oct 2013||799|
|14.||Nikon D3200||125 mm||96 mm||77 mm||505 g||540||n||Apr 2012||599|
|15.||Nikon D5200||129 mm||98 mm||78 mm||555 g||500||n||Nov 2012||749|
|16.||Nikon D3S||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|17.||Pentax 645Z||156 mm||117 mm||123 mm||1550 g||650||Y||Apr 2014||8,499|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
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 D3400 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 95 percent) than the 645D, 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.
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. 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 tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Nikon D3400 features an APS-C sensor and the Pentax 645D a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645D is 296 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 1.5 and 0.79. The sensor in the D3400 has a native 3:2 aspect ratio, while the one in the 645D offers a 4:3 aspect.
With 39.5MP, the 645D offers a higher resolution than the D3400 (24MP), but the 645D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.06μm versus 3.91μm for the D3400) due to its larger sensor. However, the D3400 is a much more recent model (by 6 years and 5 months) than the 645D, 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 645D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 645D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 36.3 x 27.2 inches or 92.3 x 69.1 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 29.1 x 21.8 inches or 73.8 x 55.3 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 24.2 x 18.1 inches or 61.5 x 46.1 cm. The corresponding values for the Nikon D3400 are 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm for good quality, 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm for very good quality, and 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Nikon D3400 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax 645D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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. Of the two cameras under review, the D3400 has a notably higher overall DXO score than the 645D (overall score 4 points higher), which gives it an advantage in terms of imaging quality. This advantage is based on 0.2 bits higher color depth, 1.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.1 stops of reduced low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|2.||Pentax 645D||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||none||24.6||12.6||1262||82|
|4.||Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|5.||Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|6.||Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|16.||Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|17.||Pentax 645Z||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/60i||26.0||14.7||4505||101|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but also of capturing video footage. The D3400 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 645D does not. The highest resolution format that the D3400 can use is 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The D3400 and the 645D 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 viewfinder in the 645D offers a wider field of view (98%) than the one in the D3400 (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 645D has a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.57x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Nikon D3400 and Pentax 645D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|1.||Nikon D3400||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|2.||Pentax 645D||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.1||n||n|
|3.||Canon SL2||optical||n||3.0 / 1040||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|4.||Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2 / 1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|5.||Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0 / 920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|6.||Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0 / 922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
|7.||Nikon D3500||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|8.||Nikon D5600||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|9.||Nikon D500||optical||Y||3.2 / 2359||tilting||Y||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|10.||Nikon D5500||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||Y||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|11.||Nikon D7200||optical||Y||3.2 / 1229||fixed||n||1/8000s||6.0||Y||n|
|12.||Nikon D3300||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|13.||Nikon D5300||optical||n||3.2 / 1037||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|14.||Nikon D3200||optical||n||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
|15.||Nikon D5200||optical||n||3.0 / 921||swivel||n||1/4000s||5.0||Y||n|
|16.||Nikon D3S||optical||Y||3.0 / 921||fixed||n||1/8000s||11.0||n||n|
|17.||Pentax 645Z||optical||Y||3.2 / 1037||tilting||n||1/4000s||3.0||n||n|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The D3400 has one, while the 645D does not. While the built-in flash of the D3400 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.
The Pentax 645D 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 D3400 and the 645D write their files to SDXC cards. The 645D features dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails. In contrast, the D3400 only has one slot. The D3400 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the 645D cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
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 D3400 and Pentax 645D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
Mic / Speaker
|1.||Nikon D3400||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y|
|2.||Pentax 645D||Y||stereo / -||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-|
|3.||Canon SL2||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|4.||Canon 1D X||Y||mono / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|5.||Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo / -||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|6.||Leica S Typ 006||Y||- / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|7.||Nikon D3500||Y||mono / mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||Y|
|8.||Nikon D5600||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||Y||Y|
|9.||Nikon D500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||Y|
|10.||Nikon D5500||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|11.||Nikon D7200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|12.||Nikon D3300||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|13.||Nikon D5300||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-|
|14.||Nikon D3200||Y||mono / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|15.||Nikon D5200||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Nikon D3S||Y||stereo / -||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|17.||Pentax 645Z||Y||stereo / mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax 645D (unlike the D3400) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the D3400 and the 645D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 645D was replaced by the Pentax 645Z, while the D3400 was followed by the Nikon D3500. 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 is the bottom line? Is the Nikon D3400 better than the Pentax 645D or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Nikon D3400:
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (4 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (1.3 EV of extra DR).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60p movies.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (5 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- More compact: Is smaller (124x98mm vs 156x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 1035g or 70 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (1200 versus 800) on a single battery charge.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (95 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 5 months of technical progress since the 645D launch.
Arguments in favor of the Pentax 645D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (39.5 vs 24MP), which boosts linear resolution by 26%.
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (98% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.57x).
- Easier setting verification: Features a control panel on top to check shooting parameters.
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- 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 March 2010).
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the D3400 emerges as the winner of the contest (12 : 9 points). However, the relative importance of the various individual camera aspects will vary according to personal preferences and needs, so that you might like to apply corresponding weights to the particular features before making a decision on a new camera. A professional wedding photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a travel photog, and a person interested in cityscapes has distinct needs from a macro 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 D3400 and the Pentax 645D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the D3400 and the 645D in practical situations. 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 adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], digitalcameraworld [DCW], 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 D3400||4/5||+||4/5||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2016||499|
|2.||Pentax 645D||5/5||..||..||..||..||..||Mar 2010||9,995|
|3.||Canon SL2||4/5||+ +||4/5||78/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2017||549|
|4.||Canon 1D X||5/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|5.||Canon 1D Mark IV||5/5||..||..||89/100||..||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|6.||Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950|
|7.||Nikon D3500||..||..||4/5||75/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||429|
|8.||Nikon D5600||4/5||..||4/5||79/100||4.5/5||4/5||Nov 2016||699|
|9.||Nikon D500||5/5||+ +||4.7/5||91/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||1,999|
|10.||Nikon D5500||5/5||+||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2015||899|
|11.||Nikon D7200||4/5||+ +||..||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199|
|12.||Nikon D3300||3/5||+||..||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2014||499|
|13.||Nikon D5300||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||799|
|14.||Nikon D3200||5/5||+ +||..||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Apr 2012||599|
|15.||Nikon D5200||4/5||+ +||..||79/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2012||749|
|16.||Nikon D3S||5/5||..||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|17.||Pentax 645Z||5/5||..||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||8,499|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. 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. 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? In case you would like to check on the differences and similarities of other camera models, just use the search menu below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1D Mark III vs Pentax 645D
- Canon 800D vs Nikon D3400
- Canon M3 vs Pentax 645D
- Canon T6 vs Pentax 645D
- Canon T6s vs Nikon D3400
- Leica M10-P vs Pentax 645D
- Nikon B700 vs Nikon D3400
- Nikon D3000 vs Nikon D3400
- Nikon D3400 vs Nikon Z7
- Nikon D3400 vs Panasonic TZ100
- Olympus E-600 vs Pentax 645D
- Pentax 645D vs Sony A7R
Specifications: Nikon D3400 vs Pentax 645D
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 D3400||Pentax 645D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Nikon F mount lenses||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||August 2016||March 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 9,995|
|Sensor Specs||Nikon D3400||Pentax 645D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||23.5 x 15.6 mm||44.0 x 33.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||366.6 mm2||1452 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||28.2 mm||55 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||24 Megapixels||39.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||6000 x 4000 pixels||7264 x 5440 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||3.91 μm||6.06 μm|
|Pixel Density||6.55 MP/cm2||2.72 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 4||PRIME II|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||86||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.8||24.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||13.9||12.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1192||1262|
|Screen Specs||Nikon D3400||Pentax 645D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||921k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Nikon D3400||Pentax 645D|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||1.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||50 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Built-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||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Nikon D3400||Pentax 645D|
|Studio Flash||no PC Sync||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Bluetooth Support||Bluetooth built-in||no Bluetooth|
|Body Specs||Nikon D3400||Pentax 645D|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||1200 shots per charge||800 shots per charge|
124 x 98 x 76 mm
(4.9 x 3.9 x 3.0 in)
156 x 117 x 119 mm
(6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 in)
|Camera Weight||445 g (15.7 oz)||1480 g (52.2 oz)|
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