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Panasonic GH3 vs Pentax 645Z

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 and the Pentax 645Z are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in September 2012 and April 2014. The GH3 is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, while the 645Z is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a Four Thirds (GH3) and a medium format (645Z) sensor. The Panasonic 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.

Headline Specifications
Panasonic GH3 VS Pentax 645Z
Panasonic GH3 Pentax 645Z
Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
Micro Four Thirds lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
15.9 MP, Four Thirds Sensor 51.1 MP, Medium Format Sensor
1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
ISO 200-12800 (125-25600) ISO 100-204800
Electronic viewfinder (1746k dots) Optical viewfinder
3.0" LCD, 614k dots 3.2" LCD, 1037k dots
Swivel touchscreen Tilting screen (not touch-sensitive)
6 shutter flaps per second 3 shutter flaps per second
Weathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
540 shots per battery charge650 shots per battery charge
133 x 93 x 82 mm, 550 g 156 x 117 x 123 mm, 1550 g

Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 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.

Body comparison

The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Panasonic GH3 and the Pentax 645Z. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive views from the front, the top, and the rear side are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.

Size Panasonic GH3 vs Pentax 645Z
Compare GH3 versus 645Z top
Comparison GH3 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 considerably larger (48 percent) than the Panasonic GH3. Moreover, the 645Z is substantially heavier (182 percent) than the GH3. 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 GH3 gets 540 shots out of its DMW-BLF19 battery, while the 645Z can take 650 images on a single charge of its D-LI90 power pack.

The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. 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)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH3» 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.2 in 19.4 oz 540 Y Sep 2012 1,299iPanasonic GH3
 
Pentax 645Z« 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.8 in 54.7 oz 650 Y Apr 2014 8,499 iPentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DS« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 iCanon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R« » 6.0 in 4.6 in 3.0 in 32.8 oz 700 Y Feb 2015 3,699 iCanon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1D« » 5.9 in 3.9 in 2.8 in 25.6 oz .. Y Jun 2016 8,995iHasselblad X1D
 
Leica SL« » 5.8 in 4.1 in 1.5 in 29.9 oz 400 Y Oct 2015 7,450iLeica SL
 
Olympus E-M5 II« » 4.9 in 3.3 in 1.8 in 16.5 oz 310 Y Feb 2015 1,099iOlympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1« » 5.1 in 3.7 in 2.5 in 17.5 oz 350 Y Sep 2013 1,399iOlympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M5« » 4.8 in 3.5 in 1.7 in 15.0 oz 360 Y Feb 2012 1,299iOlympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s« » 5.5 in 3.9 in 3.4 in 23.3 oz 440 Y Jan 2018 2,499 iPanasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G85« » 5.0 in 3.5 in 2.9 in 17.8 oz 330 Y Sep 2016 899iPanasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX8« » 5.2 in 3.1 in 2.5 in 17.2 oz 330 Y Jul 2015 1,199iPanasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH4« » 5.2 in 3.7 in 3.3 in 19.8 oz 500 Y Feb 2014 1,499iPanasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6« » 4.8 in 3.3 in 2.8 in 13.8 oz 340 n Apr 2013 599iPanasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1« » 3.9 in 2.2 in 1.2 in 7.2 oz 230 n Oct 2013 749iPanasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH2« » 4.9 in 3.5 in 3.0 in 15.6 oz 330 n Sep 2010 899iPanasonic GH2
 
Pentax 645D« » 6.1 in 4.6 in 4.7 in 52.2 oz 800 Y Mar 2010 9,995iPentax 645D
Note: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.

The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. 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 GH3 was launched at a markedly lower price (by 85 percent) than the 645Z, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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

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. 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 are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.

Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic GH3 features a Four Thirds sensor and the Pentax 645Z a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645Z is 539 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 2.0 and 0.79. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.

Panasonic GH3 and Pentax 645Z sensor measures

With 51.1MP, the 645Z offers a higher resolution than the GH3 (15.9MP), but the 645Z nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 3.76μm for the GH3) due to its larger sensor. Moreover, the 645Z is a somewhat more recent model (by 1 year and 6 months) than the GH3, and its sensor might have benefitted from technological advances during this time that further 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 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 inch or 104.9 x 78.6 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 33 x 24.8 inch or 83.9 x 62.9 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 27.5 x 20.6 inch or 69.9 x 52.4 cm. The corresponding values for the Panasonic GH3 are 23 x 17.3 inch or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inch or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inch or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 200 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 125-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax 645Z are ISO 100 to ISO 204800 (no boost).

GH3 versus 645Z MP

Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many 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"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 645Z offers substantially better image quality than the GH3 (overall score 30 points higher). The advantage is based on 3.3 bits higher color depth, 2.3 EV in additional dynamic range, and 2.5 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.

Sensor Characteristics
  Camera
Model
Sensor
Class
Resolution
(MP)
Horiz.
Pixels
Vert.
Pixels
Video
Format
DXO
Portrait
DXO
Landscape
DXO
Sports
DXO
Overall
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH3 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p22.712.481271Panasonic GH3
 
Pentax 645Z Medium Format 51.1 8256 61921080/60i26.014.74505101Pentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DS Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.712.4238187Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R Full Frame 50.3 8688 57921080/30p24.612.4230886Canon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1D Medium Format 51.3 8272 62001080/25p26.214.84489102Hasselblad X1D
 
Leica SL Full Frame 24.0 6000 40004K/30p25.013.4182188Leica SL
 
Olympus E-M5 II Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p23.012.584273Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/30p23.012.775773Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M5 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i22.812.382671Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s Four Thirds 9.9 3680 27004K/60p........Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G85 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34484K/30p22.812.565671Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX8 Four Thirds 20.2 5184 38884K/30p23.512.680675Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH4 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34564K/30p23.212.879174Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60p21.311.563961Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1 Four Thirds 15.8 4592 34481080/60i22.311.766066Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH2 Four Thirds 15.9 4608 34561080/60i21.211.365560Panasonic GH2
 
Pentax 645D Medium Format 39.5 7264 5440none24.612.6126282Pentax 645D

Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the GH3 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

Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the GH3 has an electronic viewfinder (1746k dots), while the 645Z has an optical one. Both systems have their advantages, with the electronic viewfinder making it possible to project supplementary shooting information into the framing view, whereas the optical viewfinder offers lag-free viewing and a very clear framing image. The viewfinder in the GH3 offers a wider field of view (100%) than the one in the 645Z (98%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. On the other hand, the viewfinder of the 645Z has a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.67x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Panasonic GH3, the Pentax 645Z, and comparable cameras.

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)
Mech
Shutter
Speed
Shutter
Flaps
(1/sec)
Built-in
Flash
(yes/no)
Built-in
Image
Stab
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH31746 n 3.0 614 swivel Y 1/4000s 6.0 Y n Panasonic GH3
 
Pentax 645Zoptical Y 3.2 1037 tilting n 1/4000s 3.0 n n Pentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DSoptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS Roptical Y 3.2 1040 fixed n 1/8000s 5.0 n n Canon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1D2360 n 3.0 920 fixed Y 1/2000s 2.3 n n Hasselblad X1D
 
Leica SL4400 Y 3.0 1040 fixed Y 1/8000s 11.0 n n Leica SL
 
Olympus E-M5 II2360 n 3.0 1037 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M12360 n 3.0 1037 tilting Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M51440 n 3.0 610 tilting Y 1/4000s 9.0 n Y Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s3680 n 3.2 1620 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 n n Panasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G852360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/4000s 9.0 Y Y Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX82360 n 3.0 1040 swivel Y 1/8000s 10.0 n Y Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH42359 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/8000s 12.0 Y n Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G61440 n 3.0 1036 swivel Y 1/4000s 7.0 Y n Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1none n 3.0 1036 fixed Y 1/500s 5.0 Y n Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH21534 n 3.0 460 swivel n 1/4000s 3.0 Y n Panasonic GH2
 
Pentax 645Doptical Y 3.0 921 fixed n 1/4000s 1.1 n n Pentax 645D

One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The GH3 has one, while the 645Z does not. While the built-in flash of the GH3 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.

The GH3 has an articulated LCD that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in snapping selfies. In contrast, the 645Z does not have a selfie-screen.

The Panasonic GH3 and the Pentax 645Z both have 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 GH3 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 GH3 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.

 

Connectivity comparison

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 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 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
Port
WiFi
Support
NFC
Support
Bluetooth
Support
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH3YstereomonoYYmini2.0Y--Panasonic GH3
 
Pentax 645ZYstereomonoY-mini3.0---Pentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DSYmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS RYmonomonoY-mini3.0---Canon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1DYstereomonoYYmini3.0Y--Hasselblad X1D
 
Leica SLYstereomonoYYfull3.0Y--Leica SL
 
Olympus E-M5 IIYstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Olympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M5Ystereomono--mini2.0---Olympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5sYstereomonoYYfull3.1Y-YPanasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G85YstereomonoY-micro2.0Y--Panasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX8YstereomonoY-micro2.0YY-Panasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH4YstereomonoYYmicro2.0YY-Panasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6YstereomonoY-mini2.0YY-Panasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1-stereomono--micro2.0Y--Panasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH2YstereomonoY-mini2.0---Panasonic GH2
 
Pentax 645DYstereonone--none2.0---Pentax 645D

It is notable that the GH3 has a headphone jack, which is not present on the 645Z This port makes it possible to attach external headphones and monitor the quality of sound during the recording process.

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 GH3 has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the GH3 was succeeded by the Panasonic GH4. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Pentax websites.

Review summary

So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic GH3 better than the Pentax 645Z or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.

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Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3:

  • 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).
  • Better sound control: Has a headphone port that enables audio monitoring while recording.
  • More framing info: Has an electronic viewfinder that displays shooting data.
  • More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (100% vs 98%).
  • More flexible LCD: Has a 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.
  • More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
  • Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (6 vs 3 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
  • More compact: Is smaller (133x93mm vs 156x117mm) and thus needs less room in the bag.
  • Less heavy: Is lighter (by 1000g or 65 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
  • More legacy lens friendly: Can take a broad range of non-native lenses via adapters.
  • 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.
  • More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (85 percent cheaper at launch).
  • More heavily discounted: Has been on the market for longer (launched in September 2012).

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Reasons to prefer the Pentax 645Z:

  • More detail: Has more megapixels (51.1 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 79%.
  • Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
  • Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (30 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
  • Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (3.3 bits more color depth).
  • More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (2.3 EV of extra DR).
  • Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (2.5 stops ISO advantage).
  • Brighter framing: Features an optical viewfinder for clear, lag-free composition.
  • Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.78x vs 0.67x).
  • 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 614k dots).
  • Longer lasting: Gets more shots (650 versus 540) out of a single battery charge.
  • Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
  • Greater peace of mind: Features a second card slot as a backup in case of memory card failure.
  • More modern: Was introduced somewhat (1 year and 6 months) more recently.

If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the GH3 comes out slightly ahead of the 645Z (16 : 15 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. 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.

GH3 16:15 645Z

How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic GH3 and the Pentax 645Z place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings 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 remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the GH3 or the 645Z 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

This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, and photographyblog). 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.

Review Scores
  Camera
Model
cam
era
  labs  
dp
re
  view  
e
photo
  zine  
ima
ging
resource
photo
graphy
  blog  
Camera
Launch
(announced)
Launch
Price
(USD)
Street
Price
(USD)
Camera
Model
 
Panasonic GH3+ +79/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Sep 2012 1,299iPanasonic GH3
 
Pentax 645Z....4.5/55/55/5 Apr 2014 8,499 iPentax 645Z
 
Canon 5DS+83/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 iCanon 5DS
 
Canon 5DS R+83/1005/55/54.5/5 Feb 2015 3,699 iCanon 5DS R
 
Hasselblad X1Do81/100....4/5 Jun 2016 8,995iHasselblad X1D
 
Leica SL..84/1004.5/54/54/5 Oct 2015 7,450iLeica SL
 
Olympus E-M5 II+ +81/1005/54.5/55/5 Feb 2015 1,099iOlympus E-M5 II
 
Olympus E-M1+ +84/1004.5/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2013 1,399iOlympus E-M1
 
Olympus E-M5+ +80/1004.5/55/55/5 Feb 2012 1,299iOlympus E-M5
 
Panasonic GH5s..84/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jan 2018 2,499 iPanasonic GH5s
 
Panasonic G85+ +84/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Sep 2016 899iPanasonic G85
 
Panasonic GX8+82/1004.5/55/54.5/5 Jul 2015 1,199iPanasonic GX8
 
Panasonic GH4+ +85/1005/55/55/5 Feb 2014 1,499iPanasonic GH4
 
Panasonic G6+ +..5/5..4.5/5 Apr 2013 599iPanasonic G6
 
Panasonic GM1+78/1005/54.5/54.5/5 Oct 2013 749iPanasonic GM1
 
Panasonic GH2+ +79/1004.5/54.5/55/5 Sep 2010 899iPanasonic GH2
 
Pentax 645D......4.5/5.. Mar 2010 9,995iPentax 645D
Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.

Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings are only valid when referring 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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.

Panasonic GH3:
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 make a corresponding selection in the search boxes 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.

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    Specifications: Panasonic GH3 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 Specifications
    Camera Model Panasonic GH3 Pentax 645Z
    Camera Type Mirrorless system camera Digital single lens reflex
    Camera Lens Micro Four Thirds lenses Pentax 645 mount lenses
    Launch Date September 2012 April 2014
    Launch Price USD 1299 USD 8499
    Sensor Specs Panasonic GH3 Pentax 645Z
    Sensor Technology CMOS CMOS
    Sensor Format Four Thirds Sensor Medium Format Sensor
    Sensor Size 17.3 x 13.0 mm 43.8 x 32.8 mm
    Sensor Area 224.9 mm2 1436.64 mm2
    Sensor Diagonal 21.6 mm 54.7 mm
    Crop Factor 2.0x 0.79x
    Sensor Resolution 15.9 Megapixels 51.1 Megapixels
    Image Resolution 4608 x 3456 pixels 8256 x 6192 pixels
    Pixel Pitch 3.76 μm 5.30 μm
    Pixel Density 7.08 MP/cm2 3.56 MP/cm2
    Moiré control Anti-Alias filter no AA filter
    Movie Capability 1080/60p Video 1080/60i Video
    ISO Setting 200-12800 ISO 100-204800 ISO
    ISO Boost 125-25600 ISO no Enhancement
    Image Processor Venus VII FHD PRIME III
    DXO Sensor Quality (score) 71 101
    DXO Color Depth (bits) 22.7 26.0
    DXO Dynamic Range (EV) 12.4 14.7
    DXO Low Light (ISO) 812 4505
    Screen Specs Panasonic GH3 Pentax 645Z
    Viewfinder Type Electronic viewfinder Optical viewfinder
    Viewfinder Field of View 100% 98%
    Viewfinder Magnification 0.67x 0.78x
    Viewfinder Resolution 1746k dots
    Top-Level Screen no Top Display Control Panel
    LCD Framing Live View Live View
    Rear LCD Size 3.0 inch 3.2 inch
    LCD Resolution 614k dots 1037k dots
    LCD Attachment Swivel screen Tilting screen
    Touch Input Touchscreen no Touchscreen
    Shooting Specs Panasonic GH3 Pentax 645Z
    Focus System Contrast-detect AF Phase-detect AF
    Manual Focusing AidNo Peaking FeatureFocus Peaking
    Max Shutter Speed (mechanical) 1/4000/s 1/4000/s
    Continuous Shooting 6 shutter flaps/s 3 shutter flaps/s
    Time-Lapse PhotographyIntervalometer built-inIntervalometer 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 Panasonic GH3 Pentax 645Z
    External Flash Hotshoe Hotshoe
    Studio Flash PC Sync socket PC Sync socket
    USB Connector USB 2.0 USB 3.0
    HDMI Port mini HDMI mini HDMI
    Microphone Port External MIC port External MIC port
    Headphone Socket Headphone port no Headphone port
    Wifi Support Wifi built-in no Wifi
    Body Specs Panasonic GH3 Pentax 645Z
    Environmental SealingWeathersealed bodyWeathersealed body
    Battery Type DMW-BLF19 D-LI90
    Battery Life (CIPA)540 shots per charge650 shots per charge
    Body Dimensions 133 x 93 x 82 mm
    (5.2 x 3.7 x 3.2 in)
    156 x 117 x 123 mm
    (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.8 in)
    Camera Weight 550 g (19.4 oz) 1550 g (54.7 oz)

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