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07-09-2014, 04:40 AM   #1
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IQ comparison between the D and Z please

I am reading many positive comments about the glorious 645Z. The number of features, ease of use, and the improved ranges are all very impressive, but has anyone compared the base image quality of the 645D against the 645Z particularly in the 100 to 800 iso range?

Like many of us, I can't afford the "Z" - but with a push (and a few lens sacrifices) I might be able to afford a Used "D", and as most of my photography is landscape, travel and a bit of social I'm not sure how much better the "Z" would be for these type of images.

I think there are quite a few of us who would like to know how they compare, so if you've got both then please share your opinions and images

07-09-2014, 04:50 AM   #2
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Well hey, just because the 645z was released doesn't mean the 645D is now a bad camera. Its just as good as it ever was, its still a big upgrade from APSC. If you can't afford the Z (like many of us), there is no shame in going after 645D.
Also, the 645D has CCD sensor while the 645z has a CMOS sensor, so the differences in image quality might be more than just noise. They might capture colours and hues a little differently
07-09-2014, 07:49 AM   #3
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Blind testing will be very compelling I bet.
07-09-2014, 09:36 AM   #4
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I will compare the 645D and the 645Z... once I have a Z. Still no word on availability of Z's in Calgary but I hope it's imminent.

I've shot my 645D's for over 3.5 years and images have never lacked for IQ at low ISO. I suspect the main benefits I'll see from the Z at low ISO (100 - 400) will be usability features more than anything: faster shooting & reviewing rate, Live View, improved shutter, that kind of stuff. I expect files from the D will hold their own; they were and are gorgeous. The price of the D has dropped to a pretty compelling level. So a new or used one would still make a great entry point to the Pentax 645 digital system IMO.

07-09-2014, 01:13 PM   #5
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tomorrow is my comparison day - even though I have had the camera for 5 days. Just Z shooting when I can. And even worse - hand-held because I'm just lazy.
07-09-2014, 03:21 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
tomorrow is my comparison day - even though I have had the camera for 5 days. Just Z shooting when I can. And even worse - hand-held because I'm just lazy.
All handheld:

http://we.tl/XygEaZ1Vka

7 days only….
07-09-2014, 04:25 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by jeromexs Quote
All handheld:

http://we.tl/XygEaZ1Vka

7 days only….

not seeing anything … are yours that blurry too?
07-09-2014, 06:23 PM   #8
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Well I am about 6 months out from a 645Z as I am currently investing into new paint on my old Jeep expedition rig. The main advantage I see for me is the improved ISO sensitivity and reduced mirror vibration. Both key attributes for me as I do landscapes and wildlife with the D. The big improvement is in the slightly easier wildlife usage, lightning/storms, and starscapes (waiting for word on dark frame behaviour). From a pure landscape perspective minimal reason to go with the Z over the D. Oh and those people that do the tethered thing, maybe Pentax will get it right this time.

Depending on how you classify or what you are thinking of for travel photography I would think a compact signal focal length lens camera like the Sigma DPMerrils or the Sony R's would be good choices as they are compact and you are a bit more free to move around yet can still offer superb image quality. Reports on the the Sigma quatro's or whatever are incredibly high for image quality (lacking on the sigma photo editing software...). I have considered one of these just as an emergency I need a camera right now camera to keep in the car for those times when you don't need a camera then all of a sudden bam why don't I have something now now... Ricoh GR's get high praise as well in the smaller format size, far better IQ then what is reported from anything Fuji on down...

07-09-2014, 07:10 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by hsteeves Quote
not seeing anything … are yours that blurry too?
@hsteeves… So blurrrry… Check the raw files, you can download them at the link I posted.
07-09-2014, 07:52 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
Well I am about 6 months out from a 645Z as I am currently investing into new paint on my old Jeep expedition rig. The main advantage I see for me is the improved ISO sensitivity and reduced mirror vibration. Both key attributes for me as I do landscapes and wildlife with the D. The big improvement is in the slightly easier wildlife usage, lightning/storms, and starscapes (waiting for word on dark frame behaviour). From a pure landscape perspective minimal reason to go with the Z over the D. Oh and those people that do the tethered thing, maybe Pentax will get it right this time.

Depending on how you classify or what you are thinking of for travel photography I would think a compact signal focal length lens camera like the Sigma DPMerrils or the Sony R's would be good choices as they are compact and you are a bit more free to move around yet can still offer superb image quality. Reports on the the Sigma quatro's or whatever are incredibly high for image quality (lacking on the sigma photo editing software...). I have considered one of these just as an emergency I need a camera right now camera to keep in the car for those times when you don't need a camera then all of a sudden bam why don't I have something now now... Ricoh GR's get high praise as well in the smaller format size, far better IQ then what is reported from anything Fuji on down...
My thoughts too. I ordered a Quattro on the five day trail and am considering an A7r, but I have a feeling the 645Z will be too hard to resist based on reports and since I have a large investment in Pentax glass.
07-09-2014, 08:20 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Well hey, just because the 645z was released doesn't mean the 645D is now a bad camera. Its just as good as it ever was, its still a big upgrade from APSC. If you can't afford the Z (like many of us), there is no shame in going after 645D.
Also, the 645D has CCD sensor while the 645z has a CMOS sensor, so the differences in image quality might be more than just noise. They might capture colours and hues a little differently
that's a good point. I encourage everyone who can afford it to go for the 645Z for the latest and greatest camera Pentax offers...but as I try to weigh the pros and cons vs my own amazing 645D, it looks like this:
  • improved high ISO performance - but I only use ISO 100
  • 27 AF points - I prefer MF
  • 50 Megapixels - 40 isn't enough for me??
  • Movie mode - wouldn't use
  • faster burst rate - I don't use burst for landscapes
  • tiltable screen - hey, that THAT would be nifty...
so, i need to work a little harder to justify this one, but someday...
07-09-2014, 08:28 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Royce Howland Quote
I will compare the 645D and the 645Z... once I have a Z. Still no word on availability of Z's in Calgary but I hope it's imminent.

I've shot my 645D's for over 3.5 years and images have never lacked for IQ at low ISO. I suspect the main benefits I'll see from the Z at low ISO (100 - 400) will be usability features more than anything: faster shooting & reviewing rate, Live View, improved shutter, that kind of stuff. I expect files from the D will hold their own; they were and are gorgeous. The price of the D has dropped to a pretty compelling level. So a new or used one would still make a great entry point to the Pentax 645 digital system IMO.
Royce,

I will be very interested in your comments. I love the D, but slow shutter speeds with telephotos can be a problem as you know.

Tom
07-09-2014, 08:37 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
My thoughts too. I ordered a Quattro on the five day trail and am considering an A7r, but I have a feeling the 645Z will be too hard to resist based on reports and since I have a large investment in Pentax glass.
I would definitely like a report back on the Sigma. I really think it offers a great option in its own nitch. Not a replacement for medium format, a true SLR, or something like the Sony A7 series.

I can't remember but do you have a 645D now? I have to admit I was leery of the 645D initially and took a big gamble buying it as I was living in Africa at the time and couldn't hold or test but soon fell in love. As to medium format before the 645D I was mainly a Pentax 67 and Mamiya 7 (I dabbled with a 645NII) user with Canon and Pentax dslr's for wildlife. I was finding myself far more enjoying environmental wildlife images so I used the 645D to replace for all my needs. Works very well for those goals and no reason to change other than that softer mirror slap will work wonders on my 300mm and 600mm lenses and the improved ISO hopefully means a little less downsampling in lower light wildlife and late late evening landscapes/star/milky way work.

It's hard to justify that cost for those two improvements so if I factor in the security of having two bodies I can sell it to myself mentally.
07-09-2014, 08:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by atlnq9 Quote
I would definitely like a report back on the Sigma. I really think it offers a great option in its own nitch. Not a replacement for medium format, a true SLR, or something like the Sony A7 series.

I can't remember but do you have a 645D now? I have to admit I was leery of the 645D initially and took a big gamble buying it as I was living in Africa at the time and couldn't hold or test but soon fell in love. As to medium format before the 645D I was mainly a Pentax 67 and Mamiya 7 (I dabbled with a 645NII) user with Canon and Pentax dslr's for wildlife. I was finding myself far more enjoying environmental wildlife images so I used the 645D to replace for all my needs. Works very well for those goals and no reason to change other than that softer mirror slap will work wonders on my 300mm and 600mm lenses and the improved ISO hopefully means a little less downsampling in lower light wildlife and late late evening landscapes/star/milky way work.

It's hard to justify that cost for those two improvements so if I factor in the security of having two bodies I can sell it to myself mentally.
I do have a 645D, since Dec 2010. I too took a gamble pre-ordering the 645D when it was released in the US; I was using a 67II, but film was becoming a real problem for air travel (ironically, I haven't done much since). You may remember that I notified you about the 600mm polarizer. The high ISO of the Z may be enough to convince me and a used D is worth so little now, it's a good back up.
07-09-2014, 09:35 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Thomas Quote
I do have a 645D, since Dec 2010. I too took a gamble pre-ordering the 645D when it was released in the US; I was using a 67II, but film was becoming a real problem for air travel (ironically, I haven't done much since). You may remember that I notified you about the 600mm polarizer. The high ISO of the Z may be enough to convince me and a used D is worth so little now, it's a good back up.
I knew you were familiar; I couldn't remember if you had sold me something or I sold you something, etc. I am still in debt to you for finding the polariser. I would have missed a couple amazing shots without it.

Yeah the 645D has fallen a long way from what we paid back then hasn't it. It seems used in conditions like mine at least it goes for about 3,500. Not justifiable for me to sell having spent 10k on it plus 1k in shipping to me over there...

What a bargain though if you want the 645D now. So to the original poster I would not hesitate to enter this market at current prices. There will always be that trade off to the high res 35mm bodies but I have never looked back from my change. I often contemplated the switch back to 35mm when the D800 came out; but, still to this day don't regret sticking with the 645D as it would have always been in my kit and stayed the primary use. To each his own. Live view on the Z is another plus. I often dreamed it would be nice but never had an issue (have the focus magnifier to aid focus confirmation on the D).

Someday I may get tired of hauling the weight around compared to other decent more compact options but that isn't today and won't be tomorrow.
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