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02-07-2012, 11:44 PM   #1
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Nikon D800E vs Pentax 645D

I don't want to start a flame war over this, but seeing the sample images nikon posted for the D800 launch made me put this non scientific comparison together:

Nikon D800 and Pentax 645D compared

02-07-2012, 11:51 PM   #2
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If you're paying for your own camera and photography doesn't earn you a living, then the choice is clear, IMO. With that said, the 645D's larger sensor area should deliver clearer images, though the amount of detail should be about the same! The two cameras have two entirely different purposes no matter how you look at it, though.

Edit: see this review
Nikon D800E vs. Pentax 645D - Introduction - PentaxForums.com

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02-08-2012, 12:10 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Adam Quote
If you're paying for your own camera and photography doesn't earn you a living, then the choice is clear, IMO. With that said, the 645D's larger sensor area should deliver clearer images, though the amount of detail should be about the same! The two cameras have two entirely different purposes no matter how you look at it, though.
Yes, it should be about the same but is clearly not if you look at the sample images Nikon posted on their site. Lloyd Chambers seems to have come to the same conclusion. diglloyd.com blog - Nikon D800 / D800E ? Which Nikon Lenses?
02-08-2012, 03:24 AM   #4
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It never ceases to amuse me how people just look at the resolution count of the camera and assume the output will equal or better that of any other camera that is within 2Mp+/- of it's MP count and completely ignore the size of the sensor. I agree that the D800E will have output that is similar to that of the 645D in terms of resolution, however the overall IQ from the 645D will be higher because the sensor is bigger, the pixels are bigger, and there is much less strain put on the lenses with the sensor used in the current 645D than with the D800E. Nikkor lenses are very good, I own a decent sized collection of them that I work with, but in the area of wide-angles there are going to be some problems with image quality in the corners that are going to be exacerbated but the high resolution of the sensor. Canon photographers have pretty much given up the hope of ever finding a prime, or zoom wider than 20mm* that doesn't have horribly smeared corners.


*truth be told the Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED lens is absolutely stellar, but in the end it is a rather specialised and expensive lens....and prone to flare.


Last edited by Digitalis; 02-08-2012 at 04:05 AM.
02-08-2012, 03:36 AM   #5
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These samples do not even come close to the 645D
02-08-2012, 03:40 AM   #6
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Given the difference in sensor and cost of the cameras why are they even being compared?
02-08-2012, 03:59 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by veato Quote
Given the difference in sensor and cost of the cameras why are they even being compared?
that is a very astute observation for a newbie, but to many armchair "photographers" cost isn't a factor. The Pentax 645D is more visible in the consumer market, otherwise they would be comparing the Nikon D800E to the Leica S2 - though it would be a tall order for any nikkor lens to outperform the lenses Leica has made for that camera. And pentax lenses do impressively well especially when one takes into account that they were never designed with a 40Mp digital sensor in mind.

Last edited by Digitalis; 02-08-2012 at 04:07 AM.
02-08-2012, 08:06 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by veato Quote
Given the difference in sensor and cost of the cameras why are they even being compared?
Because various forums are flooded with people calling the D800 the end of medium format. Also cameras like the NEX7 have been compared to a Leica M9 multiple times on popular blogs and forums. Figured I would do my own quick comparison with images I already had. I'm not planning on doing any type of "shootout" as I'm not really interested in camera wars that much. In this case I really wanted to see if a bigger but older sensor can hold it's own.

I only hope that Pentax will get their act together and release some modern lenses for the 645D. It's been a long time and we need something in the long range to complement the 25mm and 55mm lenses that are available.

02-08-2012, 09:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by larkis Quote
Because various forums are flooded with people calling the D800 the end of medium format. Also cameras like the NEX7 have been compared to a Leica M9 multiple times on popular blogs and forums. Figured I would do my own quick comparison with images I already had. I'm not planning on doing any type of "shootout" as I'm not really interested in camera wars that much. In this case I really wanted to see if a bigger but older sensor can hold it's own.

I only hope that Pentax will get their act together and release some modern lenses for the 645D. It's been a long time and we need something in the long range to complement the 25mm and 55mm lenses that are available.
they announced an smc PENTAX-D FA645 90mm F2.8 today for the 645. I imagine there are more in the pipeline as well
02-08-2012, 09:33 AM   #10
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Misread the press release..

Anyways, I like the 35MP of the FF, so maybe saying "competes with MF" is silly, but it is nice vs other FFs.
02-08-2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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Yes, it's good news. Now if they made something on the long end (300mm or 400mm). Those are very useful focal lengths for extracting elements from landscapes.
02-08-2012, 10:09 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by larkis Quote
Yes, it's good news. Now if they made something on the long end (300mm or 400mm). Those are very useful focal lengths for extracting elements from landscapes.
They already have 300 and 400mm primes. In the medium format thread I have just uploaded a 4 shot pano using the 400mm....It's a pretty sharp lens...
02-08-2012, 12:31 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
They already have 300 and 400mm primes. In the medium format thread I have just uploaded a 4 shot pano using the 400mm....It's a pretty sharp lens...
I'm talking about the modern design lenses with silent wave motors for AF and full weather sealing like the 25mm and the 55mm. I have the 120mm lens that is the older design. It's very sharp and I like it but I would not want to take it out in the rain.
02-08-2012, 12:44 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by larkis Quote
I'm talking about the modern design lenses with silent wave motors for AF and full weather sealing like the 25mm and the 55mm. I have the 120mm lens that is the older design. It's very sharp and I like it but I would not want to take it out in the rain.

I've had it with me in snow and rain...I wipe it down with a microfibre cloth - I have 2 different types one is particularly absorbant.
02-08-2012, 03:58 PM   #15
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I also downloaded the sample D800E pictures from the Nikon website. I am definitely not impressed so far. In all the pictures you clearly can see the problems the lenses have with the sensor, especially in the corners. Not even one of the shown samples has a good corner sharpness. Also fine details are not visible. If you consider that for these pictures already the best lenses available were used, it is quite dissapointing.
Maybe a 24 Megapixel version would have been a better choice.
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