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01-13-2015, 01:34 PM   #16
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Thanks!, Scott. I am still using the system. I just sold the 645D after my 3 year journey with that lovely camera....

And now I have a 645Z. Both cameras are great, and the 645Z offers more file flexibility, at the expense of that lovely 645D rendering at base ISO. However, with some tweaking, one can get close to the look desired and gain the flexibility of the 645Z's dynamic range. Once I have more images, I will likely post a review of the Z, but need more familiarity to comment appropriately.

01-14-2015, 03:25 AM   #17
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Good to hear!

I kind of actually miss the 645D a little as I sold it to pay for the Z.

My turning point in photograhpy was when I purchased a Leica M9 and loved the CCD image and the camera slowed me down.

I had that image with the D as well, so there is some attachment there I guess.

I am only 32 and my eyes are crap so the Z makes for a better experience for me all round.

Might just get another D again one day as a spare.
02-05-2015, 06:17 PM - 1 Like   #18
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Cost effectiveness

I have read with great interest many posts regrading the virtues of the 645Z vs the 645D. I have been a D owner over the last 2 years and have shot some spectacular images with this camera. I was also well aware of its limitations well before some of them were talked about on the net. Principally the relatively low dynamic range is an issue compared to some of its competition, rendering some images liable to highlight blowout. I was fully aware of the limited low light capabilities of the D prior to purchase. I have made detailed comparison bewteen full sized jpegs downloadable and adjusted in LR 5 for both cameras. I adjusted each jpeg to the best compromise of sharperning, without oversharpening artefacts and microcontrast using the clarity slider. I down sized the resolution of the jepg taken with the 645Z to that of the 645D.
My observations were these:
There was little difference in resolution between the Z and the D, In some parts of the image the Z won out, in others the D won out.
There were subtle differences in colour rendering between the cameras. The darks of the CCD 645 D were darker giving the images more punch. The colours seemed a little richer from the CCD sensor but both cameras gave excellent colour rendition and I felt this was a matter of personal taste. What was noticeable was that the D required more sharpening than the Z. The Z also showed white haloes around very dark areas which is a sharpening artetact even when I applied no sharpening to the image.
There are limitations of a test like this:
Both images were jpegs straight from the cameras (set at default). Although the 645D can be shot at ISO, the test image was shot ar 200, and the Z at 100. This is not an even playing field. I would much rather see both compared in RAW format and shot at ISO 100.

Below is a link to the comparison. It is essential to download the full files and then compare them in LR.
If I were buying again I would probably opt for the Z mainly due to its spectacular dynamic range.
But as is always is these discussions the issue of the purpose of any given camera purchase needs to be accounted.

For a professional who requires good shots quickly with live view and superb low light capability the 645 Z is clearly by far the winner.
For me and the likes of me, I only use a MF camera for landscape work and using a tripod, at ISO 100 and sometimes graduated ND filters. the latter are a work around that comepnsated for the 645D's lower DR and produces an IQ of comparable quality to the 645Z.
I also use and OM-D5 which has all the other features that the 645D lacks - live view, , excellent low light shooting and is lightweight. And HD video to boot and near full frame IQ.
If I had unlimited funds I might have the 645 Z as well, but the little Olympus is SO gOod this is hotly debatable.

In many ways this discussion could be about cost effectiveness, application requirements and getting away from the consumerist obsession with always wanting the very best at all costs, with diminishing returns as upgrading goes on and on.
The absolute difference in IQ between the cameras is not great enough for an upgrade for most people, unless their professional needs demand the huge flexibility of the 645 Z. For most shooters the 645D offers an image quality with the flexibility of the digitial medium that would have seemed impossible a mere 10 years ago.

Image Caomparison 645 Z vs D vs other cameras:

Pentax 645Z Review - Image Quality
02-06-2015, 01:10 PM   #19
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When I first received my 645Z I immediately tested it on the same indoor scene against my 645D, same manual exposure, same manual WB, raw files (PEF) processed identically in LR5. As I expected, the 645D file had more 'pop' than the Z at default settings - more contrast and micro contrast, and bolder colors. But adding 10 points each of contrast, clarity, and vibrance to the 645Z file brought it very close to the default look of the D. I'm not surprised by this - I have found that cameras with the widest dynamic range tend to produce default files that look a bit flat and dull for my tastes, but it's easy to add the snap I prefer in processing.

02-06-2015, 02:09 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by SeatleDucks Quote
... But adding 10 points each of contrast, clarity, and vibrance to the 645Z file brought it very close to the default look of the D.
that much? whoa
02-06-2015, 03:14 PM   #21
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I have not shot with a 645D. I have found my 645Z nothing short of amazing as far as IQ. color etc. If you read the review by Chris Giles (he is on this site now) that mikeSF posted he addresses the CCD vs CMOS sensor issue. His quote is " the files that come out of 645Z are flatter than Belgium". Also I have found the Adobe color standard for the 645Z to be a little lacking. I am using Huelight color presets in some situations and have found them to be very good. Huelight Pentax Camera Profiles
02-06-2015, 05:42 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Linemrkr Quote
.. I am using Huelight color presets in some situations and have found them to be very good. Huelight Pentax Camera Profiles
i went with the Huelight color profiles for 645D as well and found a noticeable improvement over whatever default adobe profiles i had been using.
02-06-2015, 07:17 PM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by Linemrkr Quote
I have not shot with a 645D. I have found my 645Z nothing short of amazing as far as IQ. color etc. If you read the review by Chris Giles (he is on this site now) that mikeSF posted he addresses the CCD vs CMOS sensor issue. His quote is " the files that come out of 645Z are flatter than Belgium". Also I have found the Adobe color standard for the 645Z to be a little lacking. I am using Huelight color presets in some situations and have found them to be very good. Huelight Pentax Camera Profiles
I've just started shooting with the 645Z after seven intensive months with the 645D, and indeed the Z files are pretty flat upon import. But they seem to take processing extremely well. I am STUNNED at the ridiculously low noise levels above base ISO, and I cannot imagine ever needing more resolution than what I am seeing at 100% pixel view.

---------- Post added 02-06-15 at 07:19 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by mikeSF Quote
that much? whoa
Mike, now I'm doubting my memory :-) Perhaps it was 5 points each. Either way, that's not a lot to me, as I'll usually go much higher than that to get the feel I want in the finished image.

02-07-2015, 09:23 AM   #24
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I'm still dreaming of having MF camera one day...645D should be just enough for me as getting in to it...? Cannot afford Z not even close...but D is getting closer to be more than a dream. Should be enough for me.
02-07-2015, 05:18 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by repaap Quote
I'm still dreaming of having MF camera one day...645D should be just enough for me as getting in to it...? Cannot afford Z not even close...but D is getting closer to be more than a dream. Should be enough for me.
The 645D remains an excellent medium format option with stunning image quality at low ISO. It's a very satisfying machine to work with in the field.
02-14-2015, 11:08 AM   #26
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personally those 645z all resembles to big and better nikon d800e samples, much better i'd say, but the colors tonality rendering it's very similar, maybe the big latitude an big dr tend to flatten the tones....anyway i have 645d and the color reproduction is something for me not touched by any camera ff and 645z.z.
02-14-2015, 12:40 PM   #27
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Every time I hear someone defending CCDs I only hear "I don't know how to process my files." If you can't get it down with a CMOS sensor, you won't get it down with a CCD. The D makes nice files at moderate and sometimes even high ISOs. Now you can make nice files at very high ISOs with the Z. Do the files look the same SooC? No. Were you ever going to deliver a SooC file from a MF camera anyway? I've shot with both and when I'm done with files from either just look like "my photographs." The Z just makes my life wayyy easier with it's more flexible latitude and noise at 1600+.

We all wish we could still be shooting medium and large format Kodakchrome too but we can't. Just like I can't use E100G, or 160NC. I get it done with what I have, and I appreciate what the new technology brings to the table. Ektar 100 is the not the same as Kodachrome, but I can like them both (and guess what, I have more shadow and highlight detail!).

I am exhausted by this debate. Seriously. Go make pictures! No one will ever ask about your sensor.
02-14-2015, 07:38 PM   #28
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Thank you, thank you, thank you. Exactly zero percent of the people on this forum, or anywhere else, would be able to tell the difference between a final, properly post-pro'd image from a "D" or "Z" at base ISO, except that the "Z" image may have a smidge more tonal range.

If you like the "D", these are happy time, because you can have your camera of choice for about the price of a D810. But time is not marching backwards.
02-18-2015, 02:01 AM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Sperdynamite Quote
Every time I hear someone defending CCDs I only hear "I don't know how to process my files." If you can't get it down with a CMOS sensor, you won't get it down with a CCD. The D makes nice files at moderate and sometimes even high ISOs. Now you can make nice files at very high ISOs with the Z. Do the files look the same SooC? No. Were you ever going to deliver a SooC file from a MF camera anyway? I've shot with both and when I'm done with files from either just look like "my photographs." The Z just makes my life wayyy easier with it's more flexible latitude and noise at 1600+.

We all wish we could still be shooting medium and large format Kodakchrome too but we can't. Just like I can't use E100G, or 160NC. I get it done with what I have, and I appreciate what the new technology brings to the table. Ektar 100 is the not the same as Kodachrome, but I can like them both (and guess what, I have more shadow and highlight detail!).

I am exhausted by this debate. Seriously. Go make pictures! No one will ever ask about your sensor.
the d at base iso produce files that are natural and resemble film, the 645z not.
simply go and compare them. then you can spend hour to process the z to obtain the look you want, everybody do that , but at base iso ccd is simply untouched by the cos, even with less dr. the 645z cos has the same rendering of any other cos smaller sensor, with more pixel and more dr.
anybody who has used the z and d can tell you.
the z is much better in every other respect,
02-18-2015, 05:19 AM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by jonny1986 Quote
the d at base iso produce files that are natural and resemble film, the 645z not.
simply go and compare them. then you can spend hour to process the z to obtain the look you want, everybody do that , but at base iso ccd is simply untouched by the cos, even with less dr. the 645z cos has the same rendering of any other cos smaller sensor, with more pixel and more dr.
anybody who has used the z and d can tell you.
the z is much better in every other respect,
I don't know what you mean by 'cos'. Just importing files from either camera and doing nothing to them is like allowing a first day newbie at a costco photolab process your film before he's had any training. Don't get me wrong, as someone who owned the 645D before the Z, it does take great photos in the right hands (as does pretty much any camera - including phone cameras) but you won't get the best out of any camera without processing them. Comparing CCD and CMOS based on unprocessed photos is like looking at two similar looking negative films. They aren't like comparing Portra to Velvia 50. There are subtle differences but they aren't huge and soon dealt with on processing.
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