Panasonic LX5 vs Pentax 645D
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 and the Pentax 645D are two digital cameras that were revealed to the public, respectively, in July 2010 and March 2010. The LX5 is a fixed lens compact, while the 645D is a DSLR. The cameras are based on a 1/1.7-inch (LX5) and a medium format (645D) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 10 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.
|Panasonic LX5||Pentax 645D|
|Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|24-90mm f/2.0-3.3||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|10 MP, 1/1.7" Sensor||39.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor|
|720/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO 80-3,200 (80 - 12,800)||ISO 100-1,600|
|Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|3.0 LCD, 460k dots||3.0 LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|2.5 shutter flaps per second||1.1 shutter flaps per second|
|not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|400 shots per battery charge||800 shots per battery charge|
|110 x 65 x 43 mm, 271 g||156 x 117 x 119 mm, 1480 g|
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 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.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic LX5 and the Pentax 645D is provided 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 size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The LX5 can be obtained in two different colors (black, white), 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 (155 percent) than the Panasonic LX5. It is noteworthy in this context that the 645D is splash and dust-proof, while the LX5 does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the LX5 has a lens built in, whereas the 645D is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, just click on the right or left arrow next to the camera that you would like to inspect. Alternatively, you can also use the CAM-parator to select your camera combination among a larger number of options.
|Panasonic LX5||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Jul 2010||499|
|Pentax 645D||6.1 in||4.6 in||4.7 in||52.2 oz||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995|
|Canon 1D X||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.7 oz||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Canon G12||4.4 in||3.0 in||1.9 in||14.1 oz||370||n||Sep 2010||499|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||43.4 oz||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|Fujifilm X10||4.6 in||2.8 in||2.2 in||12.3 oz||270||n||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica S Typ 006||6.3 in||4.7 in||3.1 in||44.4 oz||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950|
|Leica D-LUX 5||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.6 oz||400||n||Sep 2010||699|
|Nikon D3S||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||43.7 oz||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Olympus XZ-1||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.7 in||9.7 oz||320||n||Jan 2011||499|
|Panasonic ZS70||4.4 in||2.6 in||1.6 in||11.4 oz||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic FZ200||4.9 in||3.4 in||4.3 in||20.7 oz||540||n||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.8 in||10.5 oz||330||n||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||4.9 in||3.2 in||3.6 in||18.6 oz||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic GF3||4.3 in||2.6 in||1.3 in||9.3 oz||300||n||Jun 2011||549|
|Panasonic GF2||4.4 in||2.7 in||1.3 in||10.9 oz||300||n||Nov 2010||549|
|Pentax 645Z||6.1 in||4.6 in||4.8 in||54.7 oz||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.
(1) Number of images that can be taken on a full battery charge according to the CIPA-standard; (2) Official announcement.
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The LX5 was launched at a lower price than the 645D, despite having a lens built in. 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.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and 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 tend to be associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic LX5 features a 1/1.7-inch sensor and the Pentax 645D a medium format sensor. The sensor area in the 645D is 3057 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 4.4 and 0.79. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3. The LX5 has the particularity of featuring a switch that allows to toggle between multiple aspect ratios, while maintaining the same field of view and full image resolution.
With 39.5MP, the 645D offers a higher resolution than the LX5 (10MP), but the 645D nevertheless has larger individual pixels (pixel pitch of 6.06μm versus 2.14μm for the LX5) due to its larger sensor. However, the LX5 is a somewhat more recent model (by 4 months) than the 645D, and its sensor might 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 645D has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its 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 Panasonic LX5 are 18.2 x 13.7 inches or 46.3 x 34.7 cm for good quality, 14.6 x 10.9 inches or 37.1 x 27.8 cm for very good quality, and 12.2 x 9.1 inches or 30.9 x 23.2 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-12800. The corresponding ISO settings for the Pentax 645D are ISO 100 to ISO 1600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. 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 consideration, the 645D offers substantially better image quality than the LX5 (overall score 41 points higher). The advantage is based on 5 bits higher color depth, 1.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 3.3 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.
|Pentax 645D||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||none||24.6||12.6||1262||82|
|Canon 1D X||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74|
|Leica S Typ 006||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||none||23.9||12.2||824||76|
|Leica D-LUX 5||1/1.7||10.0||3648||2736||720/60p||..||..||..||..|
|Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|Panasonic GF3||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||20.6||10.0||458||49|
|Panasonic GF2||Four Thirds||12.0||4000||3000||1080/60i||21.2||10.3||506||54|
|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 LX5 indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 645D does not. The highest resolution format that the LX5 can use is 720/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the 645D has an optical viewfinder, which can be very useful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the LX5 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the LX5 can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the DMW-LVF1. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic LX5 and Pentax 645D along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
|Canon 1D X||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||14.0||n||n|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||n||n|
|Leica S Typ 006||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||1/4000s||1.5||n||n|
|Leica D-LUX 5||optional||n||3.0||460||fixed||n||1/4000s||2.5||Y||Y|
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The LX5 has one, while the 645D does not. While the built-in flash of the LX5 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 LX5 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 LX5 only has one slot.
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-LX5 and Pentax 645D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon 1D X||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica S Typ 006||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
|Leica D-LUX 5||Y||mono||mono||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-|
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Pentax 645D (unlike the LX5) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the LX5 and the 645D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 645D was replaced by the Pentax 645Z, while the LX5 was followed by the Panasonic LX7. 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.
So what is the bottom line? Is the Panasonic LX5 better than the Pentax 645D or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Flexible image proportions: Has a multi-aspect sensor that allows for alternative image shapes.
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 720/60p movies.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (2.5 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Ready to shoot: Comes with a built-in lens, while the 645D requires a separate lens.
- More compact: Is smaller (110x65mm 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 645D).
- 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.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Is somewhat more recent (announced 4 months after the 645D).
Advantages of the Pentax 645D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (39.5 vs 10MP), which boosts linear resolution by 99%.
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (41 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- Richer colors: Generates noticeably more natural colors (5 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (1.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (3.3 stops ISO advantage).
- 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.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (921k vs 460k dots).
- 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 (800 versus 400) out of a single battery charge.
- 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 on the market for longer (launched in March 2010).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 645D is the clear winner of the contest (16 : 11 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 Panasonic LX5 and the Pentax 645D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Travel-Zoom Camera and Best DSLR Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the LX5 or the 645D 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.
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 (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.
|Panasonic LX5||+||73/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2010||499|
|Pentax 645D||..||..||..||4.5/5||..||Mar 2010||9,995|
|Canon 1D X||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Canon G12||+||73/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2010||499|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||..||89/100||..||5/5||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|Fujifilm X10||..||76/100||4/5||3.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2011||599|
|Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950|
|Leica D-LUX 5||..||..||4.5/5||..||4/5||Sep 2010||699|
|Nikon D3S||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Olympus XZ-1||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2011||499|
|Panasonic ZS70||+ +||..||4/5||..||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|Panasonic FZ200||+ +||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||599|
|Panasonic LX7||+ +||75/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Jul 2012||499|
|Panasonic FZ150||+ +||76/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|Panasonic GF3||82/100||71/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2011||549|
|Panasonic GF2||82/100||70/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Nov 2010||549|
|Pentax 645Z||..||..||4.5/5||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. Hence, a score should always be seen in the context of the camera's market launch date and its price, 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 are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make your choice using the following search menu. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
- Canon 100D vs Pentax 645D
- Canon 20D vs Pentax 645D
- Canon G12 vs Panasonic LX5
- Canon SX70 vs Panasonic LX5
- Hasselblad X1D II vs Pentax 645D
- Leica M9 vs Panasonic LX5
- Leica Q Typ 116 vs Pentax 645D
- Nikon D4 vs Panasonic LX5
- Panasonic LX5 vs Sony RX1
- Panasonic S1H vs Pentax 645D
- Pentax 645D vs Ricoh GR
- Pentax 645D vs Sony A850
Specifications: Panasonic LX5 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||Panasonic LX5||Pentax 645D|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||24-90mm f/2.0-3.3||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2010||March 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 499||USD 9,995|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic LX5||Pentax 645D|
|Sensor Format||1/1.7" Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||7.85 x 5.89 mm||44.0 x 33.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||46.2365 mm2||1452 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||9.8 mm||55 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||10 Megapixels||39.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3648 x 2736 pixels||7264 x 5440 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||2.14 μm||6.06 μm|
|Pixel Density||21.59 MP/cm2||2.72 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||720/60p Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 1,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 12,800 ISO||no Enhancement|
|Image Processor||Venus FHD||PRIME II|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||41||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||19.6||24.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||12.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||132||1262|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic LX5||Pentax 645D|
|Viewfinder Type||Viewfinder optional||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||no Top Display||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||460k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Fixed screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic LX5||Pentax 645D|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Continuous Shooting||2.5 shutter flaps/s||1.1 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||no||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic LX5||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|
|Body Specs||Panasonic LX5||Pentax 645D|
|Environmental Sealing||not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||400 shots per charge||800 shots per charge|
110 x 65 x 43 mm
(4.3 x 2.6 x 1.7 in)
156 x 117 x 119 mm
(6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 in)
|Camera Weight||271 g (9.6 oz)||1480 g (52.2 oz)|
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