pentax 645z review

In other words there’s a full intervalometer function built in, and you can stack images on a single frame using several different algorithms. In July Ricoh / Pentax Canada provided Nick Devlin and me with a pre-production 645z for a few days so that we could run some tests and write a preliminary review. Cameras are a prime example, so why pretend otherwise? There are many used lenses available from retailers in Japan. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel … Large format considerably less convenient and more expensive. When using Live View in bright light the camera locks and fires in 0.9-second, but it can slow to 4.4 seconds in dim conditions. Ninety percent of the time I shoot almost every camera with the AF function on a rear button. In A the lens works just like any auto-diaphragm lenses and the camera’s control wheels can be used to set it. Designed for a wide range of pro shooters, it delivers class-leading response with 3 fps continuous shooting and fast image review and transfer. Much more. Updates: 08/20/14: First Shots posted! Neither are the ultimate, and may leave a bit on the table when it comes to bench testing and MTF charts. The first is a histogram and the second is highlight blinking. But I was left dissatisfied with what we had done, mainly because the 645z is such a rich instrument in terms of features and capability. It only takes a few minutes holding a 645z to realize that this is a serious picture taking machine. Some cameras are all-in-one, like the Leica S and Pentax 645z, while others like Hasselblad and Phase One are modular with interchangeable backs. Just can’t get that from a digital platform! As you can see from this review, the Pentax 645Z served me very well during my month-long time with it. The Pentax 645Z offers the incredible resolution and large sensor of a medium format system at a price that's a third that of the competition. Pentax 645Z Review Sample Photos. Forest Ravine. Captures images at 51-megapixel resolution. It's a big, boxy SLR with a deep handgrip, measuring in at 4.6 by 6.1 by 4.8 inches (HWD) with a hefty 3.4-pound weight. High ISO performance is another area in which the 645Z runs circles around comparable cameras. Because Pentax 645 systems have been very popular in Japan for years there is a healthy stock of used lenses, many in “Mint” and “EX++” condition. Pentax later replaced 645D with 645Z. A note on testing methodology and lens choices: All cameras were shot raw and processed through ACR CS5.5, because this is what I normally use in my workflow. Even though the 645Z uses the same Sony-made CMOS image sensor as the Mamiya Leaf Credo 50 and Phase One IQ250, Pentax has implemented in a way to squeeze just a little bit more resolution out of it—51 megapixels instead of 50. This mode allows one to shoot with both a manually set shutter speed and aperture, with the camera setting the ISO as needed between user-set limits. Pentax has been making 645 lenses for many years. Dust happens. Medium format system cameras were priced at a considerable premium to 35mm, but their purchasers, who tended to be pros and wealthy amateurs, embraced the higher image quality that was offered, reserving large format and its astonishing image quality potential for those with specific shooting needs. It deserved more. He studied at RPI and worked on the retail side of the industry at B&H before landing at PCMag. The funny tripod hole is a second tripod hole for dedicated vertical shooting. Pentax 645Z Review. The resulting images feature a uniquely distinct look and an unmistakable brilliance that clearly differentiate professional … Pentax 645Z Sept 4, 2014 – New In-Depth Review Now Online. But there are two annoyances. I should mention that currently there is no tethering, though Pentax has promised this by the end of the year via the camera’s USB3 port. If you need that functionality, you'll need to spend another $200 on the Pentax Image Transmitter 2 application. Great photographer-centric thinking. After a bit of – drought, it’s review bonanza week: at the opposite ends of the spectrum. Nothing earth shattering, but the kind of photographer-centric design thinking that has earned Pentax a lot of loyal customers over the years. There's still a lot more control available over the focus point as you'll find in other medium format systems that feature less advanced autofocus systems—the Mamiya 645DF+ that is often paired with Mamiya and Phase One backs has left, center, and right points, but there's no indication in the viewfinder as to their precise location. Score. Review images firsthand with the high-resolution, tiltable 3.2 inch, LCD monitor. However, that doesn't address tethered shooting. Once it's on it can fire off shots continuously at 2.9 frames per second. Pentax 645D was introduced to market in March 2010 and Pentax 645Z was launched in April 2014. The Pentax 645Z system is roughly 3 times cheaper than the nearest competitor, such as the Hasselblad H5D-50c available for around £20,000 body only, with the Pentax 645Z priced at £6799 body only. It's backlit; there's a button that activates the light to its right. While waiting for my 645z to arrive at my dealer, I spent several days reading reviews, speaking with other Pentax 645 users, shopping online, and comparing prices. 8. Satisfied? The Pentax 645Z was revolutionary upon its release. 90 % Olympus OM-D E-M10 IV initial review . Unfortunately, the standard desktop app for tethered capture, Phase One Capture One Pro, doesn't support the 645Z. Home > Pentax 645Z Hands-On Review. Michael Reichmann is the founder of the Luminous Landscape. The second attraction for me is the features and handling offered by the 645z. I am not a respecter of inherent camera formats. That means that, when you switch over to Manual, you won't have the option of automatic ISO control. But as it is, it’s just a nice to have feature that means if the alien mother ship lands across the field, and all you have with you is the 645z, you’ll be able to capture footage for the 11 o’clock news. Horseshoe Valley, Ontario. We’re going to be discussing the general build and button layout in this portion of our Pentax 645Z review. But many cameras link AF and AE-L on a single button and force you to choose between the two. These six lenses came to about $6,500 combined. All-in-one designs have the advantage of working like 35mm cameras on steroids, while modular cameras with interchangeable backs offer the advantage of their removable backs being able to be used on technical view cameras such as those from Alpa, Cambo et al. It is worth noting that the 645z body is weather sealed, and there are some videos around the net that show all kinds of abuse being heaped on the body. PCMag Digital Group. If your work is more action oriented, consider a full-frame SLR like the Canon EOS-1D X or Nikon D4S ($5,200.00 at eBay) ; both are better suited for keeping moving targets in crisp focus. If you want to see what an image will look like on screen, without necessarily writing a file to disk and then having to delete it (because after all, it’s just a test shot), simply press the reprogrammed button marked RAW. Nikon Z5 initial review. Finally there's the Lock button, which allows you to lock down settings so that you don't accidentally adjust the shutter speed or aperture when in the middle of a shoot. Therefore my picture-selection process was easy. Camera review: My journey with the Pentax 645 If you are just an old timer still shooting film, or new to the craft, photographing with film encourages one to explore and play with tactile gear and tangible materials. This camera produces incredibly high quality images with through-the-lens autofocus, and a tilt-able rear screen, all in a reasonably portable package available from us. Alex Munoz, a photographer using the 645Z for professional work, has written a tool that strips EXIF data from 645Z files so that they can be edited in Capture One Pro. I wish though that instead of red blinkies the 645z had adjustable level zebras. If the ISO hits 12,800 a bit of noise reduction is needed, but otherwise there’s hardly any concern about noise, and dynamic range holds quite well up to about ISO 6,400. Yes, I know – some people think that they sound better than anything digital. I am therefore confident that when measured by a proper lab the 645z will be shown to have a dynamic range of 13–14 stops, of which 10 or 11 stops are usable without noise reduction. A large number of companies, Hasselblad, Mamiya, Rollei, Fuji, Bronica, Contax, Pentax, and a slew of speciality brands provided solutions at a range of price points. Abandoned Tractor December 8, 2016 By Heather Clifford Leave a Comment. Not one of Pentax’s user interface high points, I must say. The controls are highly modal – something I dislike, and the “feel” of the body is just not very appealing. Excellent high ISO performance. The next couple of years will tell the tale as to whether my purchase was a good long-term buying decision. Yes, it’s big, it’s heavy and it’s quite complicated beneath its basic interface. It's a 3.2-inch LCD with a 1,037k-dot resolution. Be aware though then if you do have to clean the 645z’s sensor it is located very deep in the camera because of the huge mirror box. But, as I wrote in my initial impressions review, for me it presses all the right buttons, and in return I press its. Knowing exactly where the sun or moon will rise or set and then being able to simply swing the camera to that exact point is a sweet capability. Yet, for gallery sized prints, and the type of tight cropping that my style of shooting requires, bigger simply is better. Some controls, such as Peaking On and Off can be accessed via a menu shortcut screen when INFO is pressed in shooting mode, and I wish Pentax would add this switch to that screen. Your subscription has been confirmed. Adobe RGB is a larger colour space than sRGB, but still vastly smaller than the camera’s colour gamut. I used the Pentax 645z LCD screen to review my images, I copied the pictures I liked from SD CARD 1 to SD CARD 2, then I stuck the SD card 2 to my iPad SD card reader to my iPad, then I imported the pictures to my iPad (using the default Apple “Photos” app). Like a musician playing their instrument – critical factors are –  what to press, what to turn, and what these movements will accomplish to help capture an image as the light is fading or the scene is quickly evolving. Since its inception in 1999 LuLa has become the world's largest site devoted to the art, craft, and technology of pho... [ Author’s Page and Articles ], run some tests and write a preliminary review, Turning Photographs into Art Part 1: Letting Go, Introduction to Landscape Astrophotography. But for many of us they are the tools that define our art and our craft and so go far beyond just being utilitarian devices. Lose too many shots, and I’ll lose the system, quickly. The large image sensor is one of the reasons that landscape photographers move toward medium format; it's possible to capture wide vistas with a lens that would only be a moderate wide-angle on full-frame systems. There are simply so many controls and modes it would take a huge amount of work to document them all, in which case I might as well write an e-book – which I am not about to do. Mamiya is still an available brand, but it is now controlled by Phase One, and its cameras also appear under that brand. When he’s not out with his camera, Jim enjoys watching bad and good television, playing video games (poorly), and reading. A camera such as the Pentax 645Z is unique in that you have to adjust your workflow to get the most out of the camera. What you see in the crop above is my final result. Pentax 645D review, find out how the 645D stacks up against the competition in our real-world review with in-depth image quality comparisons. It is possible to magnify the area outlined by the focus box to confirm that the autofocus has nailed the shot or as a manual focus aid. But nothing that I’ve seen yet, either skin tones or so-called memory colours seems problematic, so why mess with success? It's not a touch screen like you'll find on Phase One and Mamiya backs, and it's not quite as quick to zoom images to 100 percent to confirm critical focus. La Boutique Pentax, découvrez les nouveautés d’appareils photo compacts, bridges et reflex, d’objectifs zoom, macro et d’accessoires. Now, if you figure that the camera still has some 4 stops of available exposure range, (up to ISO 204,800) though this would make for very noisy deep blacks, there would be detail there. Weather-sealed design. When you factor in its price, it's an easy pick as our Editors' Choice for medium format systems. If your workflow does require a modular back or high-speed sync with studio strobes, the Mamiya Leaf Credo 50 is a fine alternative, but it's one that costs more than three times as much. You are much better off with the embedded profile rather than theAdobe Standard. TAv allows you to set the shutter speed and aperture manually, letting the camera select an ISO speed for a proper exposure. And, certainly the new Pentax 645z seems to have created quite a buzz and strong demand in its niche. (Hint – FA means autofocus). It won’t be a first look, and it won’t be a field report.Rather, this is a report about my daily use of the 645z, which I purchased in early August, 2014 and the things that I have discovered while working with it. Frankly, I believe that the best medium format lenses are Leica’s, for the S series cameras. Other aspects of sensor performance are best left to lab experts. See all reviews » Finished challenges. Captures images at 51-megapixel resolution. Pentax 645Z is a 51.0MP Pro DSLR camera with a Medium format sized CMOS sensor and Pentax 645AF2 mount. Today things have changed, but in some ways not as much as one would think. I have shot with all three, and have also owned and worked with virtually every Phase One back from the P25 through the IQ180, and I can tell you that the myth of CCD superiority is just that, a myth. Pentax 645Z Features and Performance Build and Buttons. There is one not-so-obvious downside to the relatively small focus area—if you set the exposure point to be weighted to the focus point in the camera menu, your exposures will always be somewhat center-weighted when using the optical viewfinder. I could have still opened the shadows a bit more, but I wanted a few 0-0-0 areas so as to anchor the image’s black level. Pentax 645N. I used Imatest to check the sharpness of images that the 645Z captures when paired with the SMC D FA 645 55mm F2.8 AL (IF) ($999.98 at Amazon) . Not much more than a single lens from some bigger brands, or even some of the new lenses from Pentax themselves. In the end I bought six lenses online, all from Japan-based dealers on eBay. The 645Z has a Camera Elo of 2410. But it is attributable to so many factors, including the A to D converters used, the sensor’s particular Bayer filter colour response, delinearization, the maker’s special sauce, and also the raw decoder’s characteristics and the profile used. Is there a difference between backs in terms of colour reproduction? If you see someone using a Pentax 645z in the field chances will be that this is a knowledgable, serious photographer who doesn’t care what the cool kids are using these days, but rather is one who knows what they need for their type of photography. A lens that would act as a medium telephoto on a full-frame sensor, like the HD D FA 645 Macro 90mm F2.8 ED AW SR ($1,999.00 at Adorama) captures a wider field of view on the 645Z, equivalent to a 70mm lens on a full-frame system. This can make a difference in potential image maliability in post processing. 2.9fps continuous shooting. Like most medium format cameras, the Pentax 645Z isn't one that you'll reach for when shooting fast action. Focus points grouped tightly in center of frame. If I felt that I needed something “more” I would make a DNG profile. Brilliant. Luminous Landscape will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing. Our expert industry analysis and practical solutions help you make better buying decisions and get more from technology. I therefore need a range of lenses. Manufacturer description: Featuring an amazing 51.4 megapixels on a high-performance CMOS image sensor, the PENTAX 645Z assures super-high-resolution images with a stunningly realistic sense of depth combined with vivid colors and rich shadow detail. enlarge. If you look on B&H you’ll see that there’s a good selection, but the new lenses and some of the re-releases are quite expensive. A wired remote control port is located on the right side, just below the strap lug. It’s simply time to move on and leave the myths behind. 4:3 vs. 3:2. When using the FluCard to control the 656Z remotely you'll have access to a basic control mode that lets you tap to select a focus point and fire the shutter. So, in a word or two, the playback histogram is fairly useless at indicating overexposure, and if you follow it you will be wasting headroom, and thus have shadow areas that are much noisier than they might be otherwise. Pentax 645Z review: our testing team took the medium format Pentax 645Z for a spin. It's also … It broadcasts its own network SSID; you can set the network name and password via your browser. In other words, if something blinks red in Live View it’s blown. There is a multiple exposure button on the side, next to the strap attachment seen on the right above. But if you're syncing with an external strobe, like studio lights that are often utilized by medium format shooters, the minimum shutter speed is limited to 1/125-second. Amazon. Using Lightroom 5.6 I am very pleased with colour and tonal rendering. 35mm was convenient and inexpensive. If the camera is set to Adobe RBG then you’re somewhat better off. That’s OK. Like monkey’s with shiny beads we derive pleasure from our possessions, and that’s nothing to disparage. There’s even some screen available space for it! If you have an image shot in Raw format that you wish to transfer you can always convert it to JPG in-camera via its integrated Raw development toolset. A row of buttons adorns the top plate, to the left of the hot shoe. The new generation of Schneiders for the Phase One system are close to the Leicas, or equal. Pentax's experience with consumer DSLRs has allowed them to give the 645Z a larger ISO range, more sophisticated AF system, faster burst rates, and video recording - all of which the other cameras lack (though they have their own advantages, too). If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Pentax 645Z is notably larger (27 percent) than the Hasselblad X1D II. If you enable the digital image stabilization it appears to shimmer a bit, and rolling shutter is evident even during modest camera movements, giving footage a jelly-like look. The Pentax system will certainly get a workout in the coming months and I’ll let you know eventually how its performed for me. (intentionally desaturated and tinted). The Pentax 645Z is a 51.4-megapixel medium-format camera that's styled very much like a DSLR. Quite cool, though not something I’m likely to use every day for my work. The dial is locking, so you'll have to depress the center button while turning it, but that means it's almost impossible to accidentally change the shooting mode. The viewfinder has a diopter adjustment, so you can adjust it to match your eyesight. This isn't due to a technical limitation—the DNG file format in which the 645Z shoots is supported when using other cameras with Capture One Pro. You can set both the low and high range settings for Auto ISO in the menu system. This is something that has been in Pentax cameras for years, and other manufacturers have copied it by allowing you to use Manual mode with automatic ISO control, but Pentax opts to give it its own dial position. The 645z has two SD card slots which can be set independently, or to record in sequence, or with raws to one and JPGs to another. The shot was taken at ISO 100, which means that if my on-the-scene estimate of a 10 stop range is accurate then the deep shadows would need an exposure at about ISO 3200 – 6400 equivalent to be placed in Zone 5 (18% gray). Pentax 645Z Review September 29, 2014. There's a standard mode dial, which will be familiar to SLR shooters, angled on the top plate, to the left of the eyepiece. When you've got a camera that's capable of recording images with that amount of detail, it's not a huge difference. I found that the design handles well, even when working handheld, although it's noticeably deeper than the Leica S-E (Typ 006) ( at Amazon) (4.7 by 6.3 by 3.3 inches, 2.8 pounds), a medium format camera that's styled more like a traditional 35mm SLR. There is the ability to zoom in and navigate this screen to see what and where the bugger is. Even pros at a media or sport event find themselves grouping into Canon and Nikon camps. The answer is mixed; yes and no. Autofocus can struggle with fast moving subjects. Pentax 645 Camera Review – The Best Entry Level Medium Format Film Camera ... Bronica ETRSi and Mamiya M645 1000s. All FA Pentax lenses have real honest-to-goodness aperture rings as well as a locking green-coloured ” A ” position. The only time I felt let down by the autofocus system was when trying to keep up with a fast-moving toddler; it's more than adequate for landscape and studio work. The 645Z is a still camera that happens to have a video mode; don't expect to use it for serious video work. This is something that needn’t happen when a camera has such a fast processor, and I believe it could be sorted out in a firmware upgrade if the engineers were mandated to do so. My studio is not equipped to measure dynamic range. ... smc PENTAX D-FA 645 55mm F2.8 AL (IF) SDM AW. Controls that get in your way, or important function selections that are buried deep in a menu system, can kill a camera’s usability, and that means losing the shot. The converse is true when you push the ISO higher; images are a bit blurry at ISO 51200 and continue to degrade through the top ISO 204800 sensitivity. This is available both while shooting (if in Live View) and also in exposure review. For me then, 645 is a much more pleasing format to be begin with and requires throwing away a lot less data to get an image shape that I usually prefer. Having tested and used Hasselblad and Phase One’s offerings with this same chip I feel that Pentax’s pricing really puts the cat among the pigeons. You can switch this to advanced mode, which gives you more control, including the shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, and ISO. Verdict. Touch the shutter release and the image disappears without being written to a card. And that then lies at the core on my decision to spend the next couple of years working with the Pentax 645z. The sRGB colour space is so much smaller than the colour gamut of the camera that you’ll see highlights shown as blown when you still have two stops of headroom. While I share a strong desire for utmost image quality it is never at the expensive of handling and features. I have a range of needs, from street shooting and documentary work, to landscape and nature, to portraits. Yes, some other cameras can do this, but on the Pentax this is a separate mode that can be engaged with the turn of a dial, while the camera remains in manual ISO in other exposure modes. The Pula Arena by BonsaiZG1 from Alphabet soup II. Cameras that are designed with a photographer’s sensibility are immediately obvious, and Pentax as well as its new corporate owner Ricoh have always both been highly regarded as designers of some of the most photographer-centric cameras on the market. This is, of course, a matter of personal taste, but I find myself cropping most 35mm images to something closer to 4:3, or even square. Additional ports are located on the left and include a DC power input, a micro HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, a microphone input, and dual SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card slots. Moreover, the 645Z is substantially heavier (102 percent) than the X1D II. At 3 FPS the new Pentax 645z has the fastest frame rate of any medium format camera on the market. Review. Amazing. First introduced in March 2010, Pentax 645D is a 40.0MP Pro DSLR camera with a Medium format (44 x 33 mm ) sized CCD sensor and Pentax 645AF2 lens mount. Pentax 645z with 45-84mm f/4.5 @ ISO 800. If you’re set to sRGB you may as well go home and watch TV, because the histrogram will bear little useful relationship to the raw image. Just as there is no built-in WiFi, but rather the superior FLU Card, there is no built-in GPS, but a very competent accessory unit called the O-GPS1 is available. I have always found 3:2 to be either too wide, or not wide enough. Ricoh has used the ample body space to its fullest, placing physical controls to adjust settings at your fingertiips. No one will buy this camera for bragging rights. 01/08/2014 - 09:15. You can select which file formats to transfer, and you can also save to an internal memory card if desired. It was 2005 when Pentax first announced that they would be building a medium format digital camera. Prior to roughly the year 2000 and the emergence of “affordable” DSLRs, medium format was just that – a film format that fit between 35mm and 4X5 sheet film; large format as it was then called. It should also be noted that in Live View mode contrast detection is used, and also, with the exception of a couple of newer lenses most Pentax 645 optics use older style mechanically driven AF motors, and so tend to be slower than contemporary 35mm systems, including Pentax’s own. Setting the ISO via the control button and rear command dial locks it into a set value, but it's a simple matter to switch to automatic ISO control if that suits your shooting style: just hold down the ISO button and the green button (located on the rear, below the command dial) at the same time. Time-lapse videos can be saved at 1080p or 4K resolution, but there's no in-camera flicker reduction like you'll find in Nikon cameras with similar functionality. The real point here is not that the deep shadows are visible and show detail, but how clean they are. Firstly, there’s the TAV mode on the main dial. But, I have a shoot scheduled in Algonquin Park at the end of September, one in Hawaii on The Big Island in December, and two Antarctic workshops, one in January and another in February, 2015. You won’t have AF, and aperture will be manual on the V lenses, but there are some screaming bargains to be had. It can keep up that pace for 11 Raw or Raw+JPG captures, or 37 JPG shots. As you would expect with such a high overall score, the 645Z’s sub-scores are extremely good, indicating that it’s capable of capturing a huge range of colors and tones in a single file, while noise is controlled well.

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