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645Z

Quite simply the ultimate in quality, the Pentax 645Z’s large medium-format sensor offers amazing detail, dynamic range, and ISO performance, all wrapped up in a portable, easy to handle package. Explore the finer details of the 645Z through the sections below and see what it can do for you...

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  • higher dynamic range captured
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introduction

SENSOR Size

SENSOR Size

SENSOR Size

SENSOR Size

resolution and detail

iso performance

dynamic range

The Pentax 645Z’s medium format sensor offers a resolution of 51.4MP, but there are several ‘full frame’ digital SLRs which offer similar pixel counts; so what does this physically larger sensor bring? The greater the sensor size, the larger its individual photosites can be and therefore performance is improved. At 44x33mm compared to a full-frame chip’s typical 36x24mm, ISO performance is improved, there are sharper results when shooting handheld and dynamic range is greater, so more highlight and shadow detail is captured in a singe exposure. Click the options below for more details...

The Pentax 645Z’s large CMOS imaging sensor has a resolution of 51.4 effective megapixels, giving it enormous potential whatever you’re shooting. Combined with the optical performance of Pentax 645 lenses, and the removal of a traditional optical low-pass filter in front of the image sensor, the finest details are recorded, so pictures have a truly realistic, three-dimensional appeal. The physical size of the sensor (1.7x larger than a full-frame DSLR unit) also means that expressive shallow depth-of-field effects are easier to control.

Despite its high resolution, the 645Z’s sensor produces excellent results even at very high ISO sensitivity settings. This benefit comes from both its large physical size, which leads to a high signal to noise ratio, and by means of delicate but thorough noise processing from the PRIME III image processor. Together, this allows an ultra high-sensitivity maximum ISO setting of 204,800. The extensive ISO range and low noise performance allows more creative freedom in shutter speed and aperture choices, regardless of the available light, and also grants the flexibility of handheld shooting, which is uncommon in medium-format digital cameras.

The larger physical size of the Pentax 645Z’s imaging sensor, in comparison with smaller DSLR units, means that it can offer improved dynamic range performance over many other camera types. This expanded dynamic range is illustrated in its ability to record a wider range of tones in a single exposure; practically this means that while some cameras will show a loss of detail in the highlight or shadow areas, the 645Z produces smooth, natural and lifelike tones, even after processing.

  • resolution
  • ISO Performance
  • Dynamic range

introduction

quick response

quick response

quick response

quick response

quick response

shooting speed

precision focusing

metering and white balance

perfect video

Although the Pentax 645Z provides all the advantages of a medium format camera in terms of image quallty, it’s as speedy and easy to handle as a traditional DSLR. This comes from using an integrated viewfinder, image sensor unit and grip design, which improves handling and reliability in all areas. Thanks to its powerful Prime III processor, functions like metering and focus are also much faster and more accurate than on typical medium format cameras. See the Handling section for further details on its refined design.

The 645Z breaks the medium-format mould with fast, responsive operation and image processing. A large-capacity buffer allows continuous shooting at up to 4.5fps for 300 JPEG or 25 Raw files, a level of performance not previously seen. Image processing is up to 5x faster than on the 645D, and review of images stands at just 0.9sec (from 2.3sec on the 645D). This extra speed makes the 645Z is a truly flexible and responsive imaging tool.

The accuracy of the 645Z’s AF system makes the most of the shallow depth-of-field created by its large sensor and fast lenses. Its SAFOX 11 system uses diffraction lenses to create the sharpest possible image on the AF sensor and 27 AF points are available, of which 25 points are cross-type with line sensors in both the horizontal and vertical directions. The centre three points support f/2.8 beam AF, which increases accuracy further when using lenses with a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or wider.

The 645Z uses a new 86,000 pixel RGB metering sensor to capture natural colours and lifelike tones. In comparison, traditional systems use only a 77-zone metering sensor, which can’t provide the same level of accuracy. For colour, the camera’s Multi-Pattern Auto White Balance function divides the scene into small areas, applying optimal white-balance to each, so scenes with mixed lighting can be replicated true-to-life.

Unlike most medium format cameras, you can also take advantage of the 645Z’s tremendous image quality through its movie recoding functions. Offering Full HD (1920x1080) shooting at a framerate of up to 60i, these can be combined with the camera’s Custom Image modes, like Bleach Bypass or Reversal Film. What’s more, you can create 4K video using the Interval Shooting mode, for amazingly detailed timelapse sequences.

  • shooting speed
  • precision shooting
  • metering and white-balance
  • high quality video
  • hide af points
  • show af points
  • 77 segment metering (645d)
  • 86,000 pixel rgb metering (645z)

Handling

Easy Shooting

Medium-format cameras used be cumbersome and slow to use; but not anymore. Click on the yellow plus buttons to find out how the Pentax 645Z combines the best of DSLR handling with the quality of medium-format…

Mobile, handheld shooting While most medium-format cameras are a combination of separate units, the Pentax 645Z uses a traditional DSLR style design, featuring an integrated viewfinder, image sensor unit and grip. This improves reliability and focusing accuracy with no worries about poor connection with the digital back or poor mounting. The 645Z also has an ergonomically designed grip and balanced weight, so it offers truly comfortable handheld shooting.
Dust and weather sealing Pros need to keep shooting whatever the conditions and the 645Z is able to do that with weather sealing in 76 different locations; buttons, dials and covers are all protected from raindrops, humidity and dust. That level of protection also applies to the 645Z’s AW lenses, so in combination with the body, severe conditions such as rain and dust can be defeated. The camera also shoots in climates down to -10°C.
light and strong Professional camera bodies need to be tough but light. That’s why the 645Z’s exterior is made of a lightweight, high-strength magnesium alloy providing shock absorption, heat dissipation and durability. Inside, the die-cast aluminium chassis offers high strength and high precision, also operating as a heat sink for the sensor, reducing image noise. The LCD screen uses toughened scratch and crush-resistant glass.
Optical viewfinder The 645Z’s optical viewfinder offers an expansive field-of-view covering 98% of the frame and providing a wonderful connection to the subject. To keep the camera’s footprint compact, the viewfinder employs a trapezoidal prism and the mount is tilted forward at 9° from the body, optimising the optical route and shortening the overall height of the camera at the same time.
Tiltable LCD monitor The 645Z’s large 3.2in screen has a crystal clear 1.037 million dot resolution, and features an air gapless construction that suppresses internal reflections. This allows a perfect view whether you’re reviewing images or composing in Live View mode. The screen tilts 35º downwards and 125º up, providing easier and more comfortable composition from high or low angles. Reinforced, crush-resistant glass completes the picture, giving first-rate protection from scratches, too.
connectivity The 645Z makes image transfer and remote shooting easy, thanks to a wide variety of inputs. There’s USB 3.0 transfer for the fastest possible downloading of shots, and the camera is also compatible with Flu cards for wireless access. There’s also an HDMI connection for composition or image review via an additional screen and using Pentax’s Image Transmitter 2 tethering software allows complete wireless control, perfect for product photography and still-life.

“why I love the 645Z”

pro interviews

Find out what professional 645Z users think of the camera, and how it helps them get the shots that they rely on.

landscapes

john taggart

weddings

brett harkness

commercial

nicolas claris

portraits

remo neuhaus

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Nicolas Claris claris-photo.com
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Remo Neuhaus remoneuhaus.com

get a new view

lenses

As part of the Pentax 645 system, the 645Z can rely on a well-stocked range of lenses. There are options for any job, from telephoto action shots to wide-angle landscapes and perfect portrait optics…

smc pentax-FA 645 120mm F4 macro Focusing as close as 39cm, this macro lens’s 1:1 reproduction ratio allows you to record subjects at life-size on the sensor for masses of detail, allowing you to explore tiny subjects like flowers and insects. But thanks to its f/4 aperture and short telephoto focal length, this lens is also a good option for portraits. Pentax’s super multi coating (smc) is onboard to increase light transmittance and improve image quality.

smc pentax-FA 645 80-160mm F4.5 This lens provides focal lengths all the way from standard to medium telephoto, allowing a superb range of shots from more loosely framed portraits to close-ups. The lens also benefits from Pentax’s super multi coatings (smc), which are applied to the lens elements to increase the amount of light transmitted as well as reducing ghosting for clearer pictures.

smc pentax-FA 645 150-300mm F5.6 This telephoto zoom lens offers medium to long telephoto focal lengths, so it’s suitable for anything from portraits to wildlife and sporting subjects. The lens uses a special extra-low dispersion (ED) glass element for improved colours, and the removal of fringeing. Inner focusing is also used to improve handling and increase autofocus speed.

smc pentax-FA 645 300mm F5.6 ED (IF) As a long telephoto lens, this model is great for filling the frame with distant subjects like wildlife or vehicles at sporting events. Alongside its super multi coatings (smc), the lens uses extra low dispersion (ED) glass to ensure top image quality and with its Inner Focusing and simple switching from auto to manual focus, you can lock onto the action quickly and easily.

smc pentax-FA 645 400mm F5.6 ED (IF) Giving the most magnified view of any lens in the range, this long telephoto lets you capture all the detail in distant subjects, making it the go-to lens for wildlife and action photography. The Inner Focusing technology speeds up AF performance and improves handling, while an extra-low dispersion (ED) glass element is used for outstanding image quality.

smc pentax-FA 645 300mm F4 ED (IF) Boasting a long telephoto focal length and a fast f/4 aperture, this prime lens is a superb option for sports, wildlife and closely cropped portrait shots in low-light conditions. Alongside its super multi coatings (smc), the lens uses extra low dispersion (ED) glass to correct defects and its Inner Focusing technology improves handling and focusing speed.

smc pentax-FA 645 200mm F4 (IF) Providing a medium telephoto focal length and a maximum aperture of f/4, this lens is a great partner for portraits, sports and larger wildlife subjects. Its Inner Focusing design allows easier use of filters, while also keeping the lens’s centre of gravity consistent ,which in turn helps you keep images shake free and full of detail.

HD pentax D-FA 645 macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR This short telephoto prime lens offers macro photography with a maximum magnification of 0.5x, and with its fast f/2.8 aperture it doubles up as a great portrait option. The lens’s built-in Shake Reduction (SR) technology allows blur-free results even at slow shutter speeds, so it’s ideal for handheld shooting, too. Optical quality is maximised with a newly developed High Definition (HD) coating for sharp, clear details even in backlit conditions.

smc pentax-FA 645 150mm F2.8 (IF) Providing a medium telephoto focal length and employing a fast aperture of f/2.8 this is an excellent lens for portraits or cropped landscapes and other detail shots. The (IF) designation in its name stands for Inner Focusing, which means the lens does not extend or rotated when focused. Pentax’s super multi coating (smc) completes the picture providing improved image quality.

smc pentax-FA 645 75mm F2.8 This small, light prime lens weighing only 215g offers a standard focal length and a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8, so it’s a nice option for widely framed portraits as well as low-light landscapes and night shots. Backing up the image quality is Pentax’s super multi coating technology which significantly increases the amount of light transmitted by the lens.

smc pentax D-FA 645 55mm F2.8 This fast standard prime lens gives a view similar to the human eye, so it’s excellent for portraits and documentary shots. Aero Bright and super multi coatings (smc) as well as one aspherical element provide exceptional quality and the fast f/2.8 aperture makes shallow depth-of-field effects easy. The lens also features weather sealing to protect it from water and dust.

smc pentax-FA 645 45mm F2.8 This wide-angle prime lens has a fast maximum aperture of f/2.8, making it easier to shoot in low light, as well as providing shallow depth-of-field effects for increased background blur. The super multi coatings used make sure that image quality is high, by increasing the transmittance of light and reducing reflections.

HD Pentax-DA 645 28-45mm F4.5 ED AW SR This versatile zoom offers a range of wide-angle focal lengths for landscapes and architectural shots. Pentax’s HD and Aero Bright coatings along with two high-performance aspherical elements and two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) elements, enhance image resolution and brightness. The included Shake Reduction improves sharpness and reduced camera shake.

smc pentax-FA 645 45-85mm F4.5 With a range of focal lengths at its disposal, this zoom lens can replace a range of prime versions, lightening the load when travelling. Taking you from wide-angle compositions to a view that’s close to that of the human eye, it takes a range of subjects in its stride, from portraits to landscapes and the super multi coatings (smc) keep image quality high.

smc pentax-FA 645 33-55mm F4.5 This lens’s 33-55mm focal range provides a range of options for wide-angle photography. The constant f/4.5 aperture allows faster shutter speeds in low light, and the lens also features super multi coatings (smc) to increase the light transmitting properties and reduce ghosting. Image sharpness is improved by the use of two aspherical lenses.

smc pentax-FA 645 55-110mm F5.6 This zoom lens offers a versatile 55-110mm focal range, providing a superb range of options, from landscapes and group shots at the wide end to portraits at the long end. It also used Pentax’s super multi coating (smc) technology, which is applied to the lens elements to increase the amount of light transmitted by the lens and improve optical quality.

HD PENTAX D-FA 645 35mm F3.5 AL [IF] As a wide-angle prime lens this model is useful any time you want a broad view, as in landscapes, cramped interiors or group shots. The High Definition (HD) coating and aspherical lens element optimise light transmittance and reduce reflections for crisp, clear details and the front optic is also treated to a Super Protection (SP) coating to repel water and oil, making cleaning easier.

Rear converter A645 2x This teleconverter lens fits between the camera and another lens to increase the focal length by two times – for instance turning a 100mm focal length into 200mm, so you can get a more magnified view of the subject. Like all teleconverters, there’s a loss of light to take into account (2 stops), so you can’t use the lens’s maximum aperture, and with the A645 2x fitted, the camera’s autofocus function is not available.

Rear converter A645 1.4x This teleconverter lens fits between the camera and another lens to increase the focal length by 1.4 times – for instance turning a 100mm focal length into 140mm, so you can get a more magnified view of the subject. Like all teleconverters, there’s a loss of light to take into account (1 stop), so you can’t use the lens’s maximum aperture, and with the A645 1.4x fitted, the camera’s autofocus function is not available.