Pentax 645D Comparison Review
The Pentax 645D is a DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera that was announced in March 2010 and is equipped with a medium format sensor. It offers a resolution of 39.5 megapixel.
Is the Pentax 645D a good camera? The 645D has a Camera Elo of 1586. This rating puts the 645D below average of all digital single lens reflex cameras. In terms of its sensor size category (medium format cameras), the 645D also ranks below average. – Well, the Pentax 645D is more than 10 years old, and there have been many other good digital cameras released since 2010.
|Digital single lens reflex|
|Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|39.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor|
|ISO 100 - 1 600|
|3.0 LCD, 921k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|1.1 shutter flaps per second|
|800 shots per battery charge|
|156 x 117 x 119 mm, 1 480 g|
Read on to find out more about the camera's size, sensor, features, reception by expert reviewers, and how it compares to other digital cameras.
Body comparison with a credit card
An illustration of the physical dimensions of the Pentax 645D vis-à-vis a credit card is provided in the side-by-side display below. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are presented. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The table below summarizes the key physical specs of the Pentax 645D alongside a set of comparators. If you want to review a camera pair side-by-side, just select a right-side 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 comparisons there.
|Pentax 645D||156 mm||117 mm||119 mm||1480 g||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1530 g||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 1D X||158 mm||168 mm||83 mm||1551 g||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||156 mm||157 mm||80 mm||1230 g||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999|
|Leica S Typ 006||160 mm||120 mm||80 mm||1260 g||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950|
|Nikon D850||146 mm||124 mm||79 mm||1005 g||1840||Y||Jul 2017||3,299|
|Nikon D5||160 mm||159 mm||92 mm||1415 g||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499|
|Nikon D810||146 mm||123 mm||82 mm||980 g||1200||Y||Jun 2014||3,299|
|Nikon D3S||160 mm||157 mm||88 mm||1240 g||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Pentax 645Z||156 mm||117 mm||123 mm||1550 g||650||Y||Apr 2014||8,499|
|Sony A7R||127 mm||94 mm||48 mm||465 g||340||Y||Oct 2013||2,299|
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.
The listed prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The Pentax 645D was launched in the US market at a price of $9,995. 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 with a 35mm slide
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant 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. 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 associated with larger, more expensive camera bodies and lenses.
The Pentax 645D features a medium format sensor and has a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 0.79. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the Pentax 645D among the large-sensor cameras that aim for top notch image quality.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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 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 Mark II||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88|
|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|
|Nikon D850||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.4||14.8||2660||100|
|Nikon D5||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88|
|Nikon D810||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.7||14.8||2853||97|
|Nikon D3S||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82|
|Pentax 645Z||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/60i||26.0||14.7||4505||101|
|Sony A7R||Full Frame||36.2||7360||4912||1080/60p||25.6||14.1||2746||95|
It should be noted that unlike many modern cameras, the 645D does not provide the possibility to capture videos.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a variety of features. For example, the 645D has an optical viewfinder that provides a field of view of 98% and a magnification of 0.78x. The following tables report on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Pentax 645D and comparable cameras.
|Canon 1D X Mark II||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||1/8000s||16.0||n||n|
|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|
One useful feature of the 645D is a presence of a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.
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 Pentax 645D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
|Canon 1D X Mark II||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|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||-||-||-|
While the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of 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 expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog).
|Pentax 645D||..||..||..||4.5/5||..||Mar 2010||9,995|
|Canon 1D X Mark II||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999|
|Canon 1D X||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799|
|Canon 1D Mark IV||..||89/100||..||5/5||..||Oct 2009||4,999|
|Leica S Typ 006||..||..||..||..||..||Sep 2012||21,950|
|Nikon D850||+ +||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2017||3,299|
|Nikon D5||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499|
|Nikon D810||..||86/100||5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2014||3,299|
|Nikon D3S||..||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199|
|Pentax 645Z||..||..||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||8,499|
|Sony A7R||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2013||2,299|
|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.
Pentax 645D FAQ
Below are some additional questions and answers concerning some particular features of the 645D.
What is the technology behind the imaging sensor in the 645D?
The camera has a CCD (Charged Coupled Device) sensor at its core.
Which image processing chip is used to convert the raw signal into an image file and perform noise reduction and image sharpening?
Pentax equipped the 645D with the PRIME II image processor.
What is the ISO sensitivity range of the 645D?
The camera has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600.
What is the life expectancy of the shutter in the Pentax 645D?
Pentax mentions a shutter rating of 50 000 actuations for the 645D. This number represents a Mean Time before Failure, that is an average value. The shutter might fail earlier, or it might last longer. Anyway, in order to exhaust the expected shutter life of the 645D over, say, three years, one would have to take about 50 pictures each and every day.
How do I find the shutter count on my Pentax 645D?
Pentax embeds the number of shutter actuations in image metadata. You can check the number of shots that your 645D has taken up to now by uploading a recent image to the online shutter count app.
Do I need to purchase an external camera trigger to shoot time-lapse sequences?
No, the Pentax 645D has an intervalometer built-in, so that low frequency shooting (for example, flower blooming, sunset, moon rise) can be undertaken without the need to purchase a separate external intervalometer and related software.
What is the fastest shutter speed that can be used with flash?
The 645D's flash sync speed is 1/125 sec.
Which battery does the 645D use?
The camera gets its power from the D-LI90 (here at amazon), which is a rechargeable Lithium-Ion power pack.
Camera to camera comparisons
If you would like to see a side-by-side review of this and another camera, just make your choice using the following search menu. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
- Canon 1D X vs Pentax 645D
- Canon SX710 vs Pentax 645D
- Canon T1i vs Pentax 645D
- Fujifilm X-E2 vs Pentax 645D
- Fujifilm X30 vs Pentax 645D
- Olympus E-30 vs Pentax 645D
- Olympus E-420 vs Pentax 645D
- Panasonic G6 vs Pentax 645D
- Panasonic GX80 vs Pentax 645D
- Pentax 645D vs Sony A7R II
- Pentax 645D vs Sony A7R III
- Pentax 645D vs Sony RX0 II
|Camera Model||Pentax 645D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||March 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 9 995|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||44.0 x 33.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||1 452 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||55 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||39.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||7 264 x 5 440 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.06 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.72 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 1 600 ISO|
|Image Processor||PRIME II|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||82|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||24.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||12.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||1262|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel|
|LCD Size||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||1.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||50 000 actuations|
|Silent Shooting||no E-Shutter|
|Time Lapse Photography||Intervalometer Built-in|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Dual card slots|
|UHS card support||no|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||D-LI90 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||800 shots per charge|
156 x 117 x 119 mm
(6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 in)
|Camera Weight||1 480 g (52.2 oz)|
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