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05-04-2015, 03:31 PM   #1
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First few probs with 645z

hi guys

Had the 645z 3 days now. Had what looked like 2 software issues ;

1) Inserted SD card into camera after it was in computer card reader. Came up "card not formatted". Thought that was odd, but formatted the card in the camera. Then went to take a few shots and noticed it was flashing up very briefly "cannot record image". Turning camera on & of did not fix this. Pulling the battery out & reinserting it did.

This is worrying - not so much the fact the problem happened but because the "cannot record image" thing flashed up so briefly (I'm talking fractions of a second) that I think if I was at a wedding shoot I might have missed it.

It was a sandisk ultra 40mb/s 128gb card.

2) During a engagement shoot with a couple it was in live view mode and then suddenly went haywire - it went into auto iso and the iso was just changing constantly, as was the aperture & shutter. Basically all 3 variables were changing pretty much continuously, and changing modes (i.e. to Av) did not fix it. Again, a battery reset fixed it.

Apart from that it's worked reliably - but they do make me a touch nervous about using it at this weekends weddings!

Lastly, I know this camera will never be like my 1Dx's, but there was a few times when I would have the couple in front of me in a great moment so I'd click a few shots, then I might press the play button to check focus on captured image, but a hourglass icon came up and then stayed there for so long (I'm talking over a minute) that I put the camera down and kept using the 1Dx so I wouldn't look like a bumbling beginner to the customers When the hourglass comes up the camera is completely unusable and won't respond to anything.

I'm writing raws to both slots, with a 128gb card in each one.

It is this exact card - SanDisk 128GB Ultra UHS-I SDXC Memory Card (Class 10) | DigiDIRECT Australia

Should I buy faster ones - I don't care about the money, but can the 645z take advantage of faster cards?

In the meantime I'll write jpegs to the 2nd slot in the hope it speeds up the buffer clearance a bit.

Here are a few shots from that shoot -

Thanks in advance for any info.

05-04-2015, 03:39 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by gavincato Quote
I'm writing raws to both slots, with a 128gb card in each one.
This slows things down considerably (essentially doubles the writing time), so just bear that in mind. The same goes for splitting files between the two cards. See this page for some detailed tests:
Pentax 645Z Review - Performance and Burst Mode | Reviews

And yes, I'd strongly recommend that you get an Extreme or Extreme Pro card since that Ultra card you linked is way below the 645Z's write (and read) speed capabilities. This should reduce the amount of time you need to wait for the camera to finish writing the the card, and increase the speed of playback.

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05-04-2015, 03:42 PM   #3
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I believe the 645z, just like the k-3, can take advantage of the 95mbps+ cards. It would make a huge difference with writing to the card.

And make sure it's 95mbps write, not just read.
05-04-2015, 03:53 PM   #4
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Right. I'll order some super fast ones. Just wanted to check the 645z could actually write that fast.


05-04-2015, 07:06 PM   #5
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Regarding your issue #2, check the firmware version your 645Z is running. If it isn't the latest, then download & install the latest because it fixes many glitches from older firmware versions.

Your issue #1 sounds like what is described in another thread here, corrupting the SD card by pulling it out of the computer without safely ejecting it first. I would guess it's not a camera issue.

I can't comment on the hourglass icon when trying to review images. I've never seen or heard of that. Using faster cards will help. If you want in-the-camera backup then you'll want to continue writing raw files to both cards, but it will slow down performance. One thing you should do is disable all in-camera auto-exposure correction settings, lens corrections, etc. If you're shooting raw, all these functions do is slow things down further because they only affect the JPEG preview embedded in the raw file.

Last edited by Royce Howland; 05-04-2015 at 09:15 PM.
05-04-2015, 08:08 PM   #6
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Thanks for the tips royce I'll look into those.

I ordered 2 x 256gb 95mb/s sandisk's a little while ago. Hopefully that will help. One things for sure, I won't be running out of space during a shoot.
05-05-2015, 06:44 AM   #7
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I use the Sandisk Extreme Pro 64 95mb/s without issue. I just wonder if you are not using too large a card size. Perhaps just buy one 64Gb 95mb/s card to see if it writes any faster/better for you since some cameras are limited to the size card they will support.

I bought the 64 cards since a friend told me it is a single internal memory chip whereas the 32 is 2x16. Perhaps the 128 is 2x64. I don;t know just suggesting this. Also it generally indicates with DNG files I can get over 550 images per 64GB card. Just happen toremember if you save in TIFF they are larger than DNG and could also slow down writing to cards too.

I also write jpeg to the second card for speed and an extra backup so to speak. Also when I format I take it real slow in that area of the menu to make sure I hit all the buttons as desired. To try to elimiate any hasty moves in the field and on a shoot, I format all my cards at home before leaving for a shoot and just number them on the outside of their plastic cases, such as Z012015, for first card (01) and year so I use them in sequence and then put them back into their cases upside down when full to indicate to me not to reuse that same card while on the shoot.

I am sure you know all this, but perhaps there is one small item that helps you on your next shoot.
05-05-2015, 07:20 AM   #8
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I use two 64GB cards, a 45MB/s Sandisk extreme and Lexar professional 600x, both are UHS-I class-10, and I don't have problems with either of them. I originally bought the Sandisk for a video recorder, but it turned out to be too slow and caused stuttering, but works fine in the 645Z. Besides running into the initial problem related to pulling cards out without first ejecting them or waiting for the camera to flush the buffer, I never had a bad exposure.

Even when it comes to high-end brands you never really know exactly what chips you're getting inside.

05-06-2015, 03:00 PM   #9
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hi guys. just a small update, since the firmware upgrade the camera has been performing very solidly. I have 2 weddings on this weekend and I will be using my slr's mostly but do intend to use the 645z where appropriate, I'm pretty confident with it now.

The amount that you can push & edit these files is pure witchcraft.

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