Pentax 645Z vs 645D
The Pentax 645Z and the Pentax 645D are two professional cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in April 2014 and March 2010. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with a medium format sensor. The 645Z has a resolution of 51.1 megapixels, whereas the 645D provides 39.5 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Pentax 645Z||Pentax 645D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Pentax 645 mount lenses||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|51.1 MP, Medium Format Sensor||39.5 MP, Medium Format Sensor|
|1080/60i Video||no Video|
|ISO 100-204800||ISO 100-1600|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|3.2" LCD, 1037k dots||3.0" LCD, 921k dots|
|Tilting screen (no touchscreen)||Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)|
|3 shutter flaps per second||1.1 shutter flaps per second|
|Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|650 shots per battery charge||800 shots per battery charge|
|156 x 117 x 123 mm, 1550 g||156 x 117 x 119 mm, 1480 g|
Body comparison: Pentax 645Z vs 645D
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Pentax 645Z and the Pentax 645D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three consecutive perspectives from the front, the top, and the back are available. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter. You can also toggle the display to switch to a percentage comparison if you prefer that the measures are being expressed in relative terms (in this case, the camera on the left side – the 645Z – represents the basis for the calculations across all the size and weight measures).
In this particular case, the Pentax 645Z and the Pentax 645D have exactly the same width and height, and, thus, have identically-sized bodies. However, the 645D is markedly lighter (5 percent) than the 645Z. 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.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. 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.
|Pentax 645Z»||6.1 in||4.6 in||4.8 in||54.7 oz||650||Y||Apr 2014||8,499||Pentax 645Z|
|Pentax 645D«||6.1 in||4.6 in||4.7 in||52.2 oz||800||Y||Mar 2010||9,995||-||Pentax 645D|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.0 oz||1210||Y||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||6.0 in||4.6 in||3.0 in||32.8 oz||700||Y||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 1D X« »||6.2 in||6.6 in||3.3 in||54.7 oz||1120||Y||Oct 2011||6,799||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||6.1 in||6.2 in||3.1 in||43.4 oz||1500||Y||Oct 2009||4,999||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Hasselblad X1D« »||5.9 in||3.9 in||2.8 in||25.6 oz||..||Y||Jun 2016||8,995||Hasselblad X1D|
|Leica SL« »||5.8 in||4.1 in||1.5 in||29.9 oz||400||Y||Oct 2015||7,450||Leica SL|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||6.3 in||4.7 in||3.1 in||44.4 oz||..||Y||Sep 2012||21,950||-||Leica S Typ 006|
|Nikon D850« »||5.7 in||4.9 in||3.1 in||35.5 oz||1840||Y||Jul 2017||3,299||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D5« »||6.3 in||6.3 in||3.6 in||49.9 oz||3780||Y||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D7200« »||5.4 in||4.2 in||3.0 in||27.0 oz||1110||Y||Mar 2015||1,199||-||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D4S« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.6 in||47.6 oz||3020||Y||Feb 2014||6,499||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D3S« »||6.3 in||6.2 in||3.5 in||43.7 oz||4200||Y||Oct 2009||5,199||-||Nikon D3S|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The 645Z was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 15 percent) than the 645D, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. 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. Then, after the new model is out, very good deals can frequently be found on the pre-owned market.
Sensor comparison: Pentax 645Z vs 645D
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants 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. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to 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.
Both cameras under consideration feature a medium format sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 645D is 1 percent bigger. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 0.79. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
In terms of chip-set technology, the 645Z uses a more advanced image processing engine (PRIME III) than the 645D (PRIME II), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the Pentax 645Z offers a higher resolution of 51.1 megapixels, compared with 39.5 MP of the Pentax 645D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 5.30μm versus 6.06μm for the 645D). However, it should be noted that the 645Z is much more recent (by 4 years and 1 month) than the 645D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. 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 Pentax 645Z has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 204800 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 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 review, the 645Z provides substantially higher image quality than the 645D, with an overall score that is 19 points higher. This advantage is based on 1.4 bits higher color depth, 2.1 EV in additional dynamic range, and 1.8 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The adjacent table reports on the physical sensor characteristics and the outcomes of the DXO sensor quality tests for a sample of comparator-cameras.
|Pentax 645Z»||Medium Format||51.1||8256||6192||1080/60i||26.0||14.7||4505||101||Pentax 645Z|
|Pentax 645D«||Medium Format||39.5||7264||5440||-||24.6||12.6||1262||82||Pentax 645D|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||4K/60p||24.1||13.5||3207||88||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.7||12.4||2381||87||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Full Frame||50.3||8688||5792||1080/60p||24.6||12.4||2308||86||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 1D X« »||Full Frame||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||23.8||11.8||2786||82||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||APS-H||16.0||4896||3264||1080/30p||22.8||12.0||1320||74||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Hasselblad X1D« »||Medium Format||51.3||8272||6200||1080/25p||26.2||14.8||4489||102||Hasselblad X1D|
|Leica SL« »||Full Frame||24.0||6000||4000||4K/30p||25.0||13.4||1821||88||Leica SL|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||Medium Format||37.5||7500||5000||-||23.9||12.2||824||76||Leica S Typ 006|
|Nikon D850« »||Full Frame||45.4||8256||5504||4K/30p||26.4||14.8||2660||100||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D5« »||Full Frame||20.7||5588||3712||4K/30p||25.1||12.3||2343||88||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D7200« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.5||14.6||1333||87||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D4S« »||Full Frame||16.2||4928||3280||1080/60p||24.4||13.3||3074||89||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D3S« »||Full Frame||12.1||4256||2832||720/24p||23.5||12.0||3253||82||Nikon D3S|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 645Z indeed provides movie recording capabilities, while the 645D does not. The highest resolution format that the 645Z can use is 1080/60i.
Feature comparison: Pentax 645Z vs 645D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 645Z 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 following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Pentax 645Z, the Pentax 645D, and comparable cameras.
|Pentax 645Z»||optical||Y||3.2||1037||tilting||n||4000||3.0||n||n||Pentax 645Z|
|Pentax 645D«||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||4000||1.1||n||n||Pentax 645D|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||optical||Y||3.2||1620||fixed||Y||8000||16.0||n||n||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||5.0||n||n||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 1D X« »||optical||Y||3.2||1040||fixed||n||8000||14.0||n||n||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||10.0||n||n||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Hasselblad X1D« »||2360||n||3.0||920||fixed||Y||2000||2.3||n||n||Hasselblad X1D|
|Leica SL« »||4400||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||Y||8000||11.0||n||n||Leica SL|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||optical||Y||3.0||922||fixed||n||4000||1.5||n||n||Leica S Typ 006|
|Nikon D850« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||tilting||Y||8000||9.0||n||n||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D5« »||optical||Y||3.2||2359||fixed||Y||8000||14.0||n||n||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D7200« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D4S« »||optical||Y||3.2||921||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D3S« »||optical||Y||3.0||921||fixed||n||8000||11.0||n||n||Nikon D3S|
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 645Z and the 645D write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras feature dual card slots, which can be very useful in case a memory card fails.
Connectivity comparison: Pentax 645Z vs 645D
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 645Z and Pentax 645D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Pentax 645Z»||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Pentax 645Z|
|Pentax 645D«||Y||stereo||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Pentax 645D|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 1D X« »||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||Y||stereo||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Hasselblad X1D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||-||-||Hasselblad X1D|
|Leica SL« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||full||3.0||Y||-||-||Leica SL|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Leica S Typ 006|
|Nikon D850« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||Y||Y||Y||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D5« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D7200« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D4S« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D3S« »||Y||stereo||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D3S|
The 645Z is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Pentax. In contrast, the 645D has been discontinued (but it can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 645D was succeeded by the Pentax 645Z.
Review summary: Pentax 645Z vs 645D
So what conclusions can be drawn? Is there a clear favorite between the Pentax 645Z and the Pentax 645D? The listing below highlights the relative strengths of the two models.
Arguments in favor of the Pentax 645Z:
- More detail: Offers more megapixels (51.1 vs 39.5MP) with a 14% higher linear resolution.
- Better image quality: Scores substantially higher (19 points) in the DXO overall assessment.
- Richer colors: Generates images with noticeably better colors (1.4 bits more color depth).
- More dynamic range: Captures a larger spectrum of light and dark details (2.1 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Requires less light for good images (1.8 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (PRIME III vs PRIME II).
- Broader imaging potential: Can record not only still images but also 1080/60i movies.
- 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.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (3 vs 1.1 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Faster data transfer: Supports a more advanced USB protocol (3.0 vs 2.0).
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (15 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 4 years and 1 month of technical progress since the 645D launch.
Reasons to prefer the Pentax 645D:
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (800 versus 650) out of a single battery charge.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in March 2010).
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 645Z is the clear winner of the match-up (14 : 2 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.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras is instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 645Z and the 645D in practical situations. 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: Pentax 645Z vs 645D
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). The detailed reviews can be accessed by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Pentax 645Z»||-||-||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Apr 2014||8,499||Pentax 645Z|
|Pentax 645D«||-||-||-||4.5/5||-||Mar 2010||9,995||-||Pentax 645D|
|Canon 1D X Mark II« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||5,999||Canon 1D X Mark II|
|Canon 5DS« »||Rec||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS|
|Canon 5DS R« »||Rec||83/100||5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||3,699||Canon 5DS R|
|Canon 1D X« »||-||-||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2011||6,799||-||Canon 1D X|
|Canon 1D Mark IV« »||-||89/100||-||5/5||-||Oct 2009||4,999||-||Canon 1D Mark IV|
|Hasselblad X1D« »||rev||81/100||-||-||4/5||Jun 2016||8,995||Hasselblad X1D|
|Leica SL« »||-||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4/5||Oct 2015||7,450||Leica SL|
|Leica S Typ 006« »||-||-||-||-||-||Sep 2012||21,950||-||Leica S Typ 006|
|Nikon D850« »||HiRec||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jul 2017||3,299||Nikon D850|
|Nikon D5« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Jan 2016||6,499||Nikon D5|
|Nikon D7200« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4/5||4.5/5||Mar 2015||1,199||-||Nikon D7200|
|Nikon D4S« »||-||-||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2014||6,499||-||Nikon D4S|
|Nikon D3S« »||-||89/100||4.5/5||5/5||5/5||Oct 2009||5,199||-||Nikon D3S|
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 rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
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. An an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
- Canon 1100D vs Canon 300D
- Canon 1Ds vs Olympus E-M1
- Canon 200D vs Leica Q Typ 116
- Canon M6 vs Nikon D5
- Fujifilm X-H1 vs Leica M9
- Fujifilm X-T3 vs Canon 1200D
- Nikon D1 vs Canon 5DS
- Nikon D5600 vs Nikon 1 J4
- Olympus E-1 vs Fujifilm X-E3
- Panasonic G7 vs Sony HX400V
- Panasonic G9 vs Fujifilm X-A10
- Panasonic LX10 vs Leica C-LUX
Specifications: Pentax 645Z vs Pentax 645D
|Camera Model||Pentax 645Z||Pentax 645D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Pentax 645 mount lenses||Pentax 645 mount lenses|
|Launch Date||April 2014||March 2010|
|Launch Price||USD 8499||USD 9995|
|Sensor Format||Medium Format Sensor||Medium Format Sensor|
|Sensor Size||43.8 x 32.8 mm||44.0 x 32.8 mm|
|Sensor Area||1436.64 mm2||1452 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||54.7 mm||55 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||51.1 Megapixels||39.5 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||8256 x 6192 pixels||7264 x 5440 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||5.30 μm||6.06 μm|
|Pixel Density||3.56 MP/cm2||2.72 MP/cm2|
|Movie Capability||1080/60i Video||no Video|
|ISO Setting||100-204800 ISO||100-1600 ISO|
|Image Processor||PRIME III||PRIME II|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|Rear LCD Size||3.2 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||1037k dots||921k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Tilting screen||Fixed screen|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/4000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||3 shutter flaps/s||1.1 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||no On-Board Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|USB Connector||USB 3.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||no HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||no MIC socket|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||no Wifi|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||D-LI90 power pack||D-LI90 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||650 shots per charge||800 shots per charge|
156 x 117 x 123 mm
(6.1 x 4.6 x 4.8 in)
156 x 117 x 119 mm
(6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 in)
|Camera Weight||1550 g (54.7 oz)||1480 g (52.2 oz)|
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