Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
Log in or register to remove ads.

Pentax Camera Reviews » Pentax Digital Cameras » Pentax Medium Format DSLRs
Pentax 645Z Review RSS Feed

Pentax 645Z

Reviews Views Date of last review
4 63,011 Sat October 6, 2018
Recommended By Average Price Average User Rating
100% of reviewers $6,817.13 9.25
Pentax 645Z

Pentax 645Z
Pentax 645Z
Pentax 645Z
Pentax 645Z
Pentax 645Z
Pentax 645Z

The successor to the 645D medium format DSLR was unveiled at the CP+ in February 2014. It was officially announced on April 15th, 2014 with a launch price of US $8499. It started shipping in June, 2014.

The 645z is targeted at professional landscape and studio photographers.

This camera takes image quality to another level by offering increased resolution and sensitivity compared to its predecessor. It features a low-noise 51.4-megapixel CMOS sensor and various hardware improvements, modernizing its capabilities and performance over the 645D. The physical dimensions of the sensor is approximately 33 x 44 mm like for the 645D.

The key changes in the 645Z compared to the 645D include the improved sensor, a faster burst framerate of 3FPS (up from 1.1), and the very presence of a video mode/live view, which the 645D lacked. All things aside, the main thing this camera is designed to deliver is superior image quality. The 645D struggled at higher ISOs, but with a CMOS sensor with sensitivity going all the way up to ISO 204,800 (a new high for Pentax), those problems are history.

Pentax 645Z
©, sharable with attribution
Year Introduced
In Production
Current US Price
In-Depth Review
Click to Read
Sensor Format
645 Digital
Sensor Type
6192 x 8265 pixels
AA Filter
Super Resolution
Bit Depth
Minimum ISO
Maximum ISO
ISO Range
100 - 204,800
Exposure Modes
HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, HyM, X, B
Program Modes
Auto, Normal, Action, Depth of field (deep/shallow), MTF
Maximum FPS
Continuous Shooting
Hi: 3 fps up to 30 JPG or 10 RAW frames Lo: 1 fps up to 300 JPG or 25 RAW frames
Shutter Speeds (Auto)
30s - 1/4000s (stepless)
Shutter Speeds (Manual)
B, 30s - 1/4000s
Shutter Life
Exposure compensation
+/-5 EV (+/- 2 EV in movie mode)
Auto bracketing
Exposure (2, 3 or 5 frames), one-push EV bracketing
Expanded dynamic range
Highlight (auto, on, off), Shadow (auto, high, medium, low, off)
Exposure lock
Self timer
2 s and 12 s
Metering Sensor
86K Pixel
Meter range
-1 to 21 EV
Meter pattern
Multi-Segment,Center Weighted,Spot
Mirror lock-up
Interval shooting
Up to 2000 frames, 2 sec to 24 hours interval
HDR mode
Multiple exposures
Yes, average, additive and bright, 2 to 2000 shots
Pixel mapping
Scene Modes
Lens Mount
645 AF2
Composition Adjustment
No (select lenses stabilized)
Power zoom
Not supported
Supported Lenses
All Pentax 645 lenses. Pentax 6x7 lenses with adapter (retains open aperture metering)
Lens correction
Distortion,Lateral Chromatic Aberration,Vignetting,Diffraction
Autofocus (viewfinder)
Yes (SAFOX 11, 27 focus points (25 cross type))
AF Points
Autofocus sensitivity
-3 EV
Front/back focus correction
Yes (adjustment for up ro 20 lenses)
Autofocus with SDM
Autofocus assist
0.62x (with 55mm lens), 0.85 (with 75mm lens), 98%
Viewfinder type
Trapezoid prism
Diopter adjustment
-3.5 to +2.0
AF Points in viewfinder
Exchangeable screen
Depth of field preview
Digital preview
Yes (with image magnification)
Live View
Focus Peaking
Back LCD
3.2 in., 1,037,000 dots, tilting
Weather resistant
Control wheels
Battery grip
Card slots
Dust removal
Yes, Ultrasonic DR II
Dust alert
Memory card type
SD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I Compatible), Eye-Fi, Flucard
Size (W x H x D)
156mm x 117mm x 123mm
1550 g
File format
Battery life
650 images
D-LI90 lithium-ion rechargeable
Built-in flash
Sync speed
P-TTL flash
Flash functions
On (leading curtain sync)*, Redeye reduction*, Slow-speed sync*, Trailing curtain sync*, High-speed sync*, Manual*, Wireless**, Contrast control**
* Requires an external flash
** Requires two (or more) external flashes
TTL flash
Flash exposure comp
-2 to 1 EV
Resolution / Framerates
1920x1080 (16:9 Full HD) at 60, 30, 25 and 24 fps,
1280x720 (16:9 HD) at 60, 30, 25 and 24 fps,
MPEG4 AVC/H.264,
Interval Movie (4K, Full HD, HD)
Exposure Modes
P, Av, TAv, M
Movie mode restrictions
AF During Recording
Sound in Movie mode
Stereo (external mic), Stereo (built-in mic), Adjustable sound level
Via Accessory
Wired (native),Via O-FC1 FLUcard
USB3, HDMI out, X-Sync, head phones, microphone, cable release, DC in
Latest Firmware
Link to Download Page
User reviews
In-depth review
Electronic level, Embed copyright information in EXIF, High ISO NR can be customized for each major ISO value, Image plane indicator, In-camera RAW development, Save last JPG as RAW, Save JPG from movie, The RAW button is customizable
Special Editions

645Z IR

Megapixels: 51.4
ISO Range: 100-204,800
Weight: 1550g
FPS: 3
LCD: 3.2" (1,037,000 dots, 3:2 aspect ratio)
In Production: Buy the Pentax 645Z
Type: Professional Medium-Format DSLR
Weather-Sealed: Yes
In-Depth Review: Read our Pentax 645Z in-depth review!
Price History:

Add Review of Pentax 645Z Buy the Pentax 645Z
Sort Reviews by: Date | Author | Rating | Recommendation | Likes (Descending) Showing Reviews 1-4 of 4
Site Supporter

Registered: February, 2012
Location: Adelaide Hills, South Australia
Posts: 10,792

5 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 6, 2018 Recommended | Price: $4,000.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: The files! Ergonomics. High ISO performance
Cons: Limited lens selection

Some guy gives this camera 5/10 because it doesn't have tethering? Who blows this sort of cash without knowing that first?

Even with the new mirrorless MF offerings, this old fella still deserves a 9/10.
Forum Member

Registered: July, 2017
Posts: 51

3 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 3, 2017 Recommended | Price: $4,800.00 | Rating: 9 

Pros: intuitive DSLR like interface, excellent sensor performance
Cons: WAY too many amateur features, lack of proper lenses

Bottom line, I really, really like the camera. And with the Oct 2017 price reduction it looks even better.

It does, however, have a number of negatives. The worst of which appears to be the total absence of service/support in the USA. It's hard to imagine a professional photographer using equipment that has to be sent to another country for service.

Another issue is the lack of modern world class lenses. Fuji and Hasselblad have some modern world class lenses. Leica has some world class MF glass and great lenses for their MF bodies. Modern world class Otis and various Art lenses are available for FF bodies.

As of early 2017 Pentax has lots of pretty good legacy glass, a modern 90, a great WA zoom, and that's about it.

Some of the legacy glass is pretty darn good, but not up to 2017 standards for true excellence on MF. Which is a shame because the body is really nice.

Another negative is the user interface was lifted from a consumer camera. Crap like scene modes, in camera jpeg creative filters, and low end video have no place on a professional body.

Having all the focus sensors clustered in the middle of the frame, since they too are lifted from and APS-C consumer body, is also a serious negative.

The degree of button customization is just enough to say they have it, but not enough to be of any real use.

But the image results with the best available lenses are outstanding. Using the camera hand held is not just possible but easy. The body is well shaped to be used hand held. On my sample and with my 6 lenses, AF Fine Tuning was required only on my 45mm.

As an aside, I just returned from humping this thing and 3 zoom lenses around the State Fair for 6 hours. This was not fun. My back, neck, and shoulder all hurt, and I had pretty much decided not to carry all this stuff into the field again.

And then I got back and looked at the resulting raw files. I'm now looking forward to my next all day field excursion . Actually, I'm seriously considering taking the body and one lens to Mexico in a couple of months. My back can get better while I edit the exceptional raw files

Rating the camera a 5 for lack of tethering strikes me as ill considered, although I believe the complaint about tethering may have been addressed, although since I seldom use a tripod for me it doesn't really make a ratsazz
New Member

Registered: September, 2014
Location: Sydney
Posts: 4

6 users found this helpful
Review Date: October 25, 2014 Recommended | Price: None indicated | Rating: 10 

Pros: Ease of use, cmos sensor, file size, quality of build, excellent raw images
Cons: None

A user's review, not a comparison against benchmarks or other makes.
I wan't to begin by saying I'm a professional photographer but as an engineer I believe I understand what a great machine is, the Pentax 645Z fits very well in this category.
As a none pro the purchase of a camera of this value is a big decision. Then you have to consider lenses to go with it. Thankfully I have a Pentax 645 film unit from another era and the lenses to go with it. I also have two 67 lenses with adaptors. Have no fear these lenses all work beautifully with this camera.
This camera is a technical achievement and to have the peace of mind that all your old equipment works seamlessly with it makes the purchase decision a lot easier. Keep in mind that the FA lenses are autofocus and many are not. I have been a Canon and Carl Zeiss user for years therefore using a camera in manual mode is second nature.
Within 5 minutes I was up and away with the 645Z. That was the first 5 minutes, be prepared to spend a week or two to really start getting some incredible shots from this medium format camera. Digital Medium Format has a lot to offer but unless you can borrow one then the difference in technique between it and a full frame 35mm camera is quite a bit.
Firstly it's a big camera and hand holding isn't difficult for a male but be prepared to use a tripod far more often as it will pay big dividends. Having a 51 megapixel file size means you can crop a lot more than smaller files and because of this you may choose to fit small lenses than you may have done before, ie a 100mm instead of 200mm. There's nothing wrong with this and it does save you quite some time as well as less equipment to carry. If you're taking shots for the web a no brainer. However you may at first be disappointed that you're not getting the sharpness you thought you should be getting with these cropped images. It's a 51 megapixel file and you can crop a long way but to get the best out of working this way you will get a dramatic improvement by tripod mounting.
The dynamic range of the 645Z sensor is equally incredible. For landscape work, use a spotmeter ( mine is 25 years old ), get your highs and lows set the camera accordingly and you'll find you won't be doing as much HDR work as you may have done before. You'll be taking less shots and when you upload your files the recovery potential you have along with the time saving will leave a smile on your face.
It's early days for me but I'm very pleased I've outlaid the money for the 645Z and my passion.

Registered: May, 2011
Location: All over the place
Posts: 3,438

11 users found this helpful
Review Date: July 15, 2014 Recommended | Price: $11,651.40 | Rating: 9 

Pros: Ergonomics, Dynamic Range, Sharpness, Amazing ISO
Cons: Fairly weighty.

I don't know how the previous reviewer can take 5 marks off for the lack of tethering. Either he has the camera and should have researched better or is reviewing something he hasn't owned.

For me the camera is a major step up from the 645D. The high ISO performance is amazing.

This is in a dimly lit pub at 12,800 ISO with no NR applied - look on Flickr for full size

Double Hop no NR by singingsnapper, on Flickr

The Dynamic range has taken major leap forward, and having used the D, the camera is a cinch to use. Any DSLR user will have no problems using this camera. Auto focussing is pretty snappy and the new addition of Live View with focus peaking will make manual focussing a doodle.

Tethering? Not something I use, but then the original 645D was pitched as a landscape camera - this one too when you look at the fact that it is weather sealed. Fashion isn't its primary use in my opinion, though it can be used for this of course.

For me, the 645Z is not simply a cheap version of other medium format digital cameras. It is a different form of camera that happens to be cheaper.

The camera is robust, easy to use and jumps to the top of the heap in my pack - I have D800E also, and in the last 2 weeks in trips to Scotland and Lake District, the Nikon has stayed in the bag.
Add Review of Pentax 645Z Buy the Pentax 645Z

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:59 PM. | See also:, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]