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07-20-2016, 05:26 PM   #1
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645Z User Thoughts and Impressions

I was hoping those who have owned and used the 645Z could give me feedback on there experience with reliability of the camera. I ask as I know a fellow photographer who bought one new and has had to send it off for repair. When the issue could not be sorted out here in the US it was then sent to Japan. This photographer said the customer service has been horrible and that she's not sure if she'd recommend me buying one based on her experience with the camera reliability and customer service. As I know sometimes there are lemons, I thought I would give the camera the benefit of the doubt with a little informal survey here on the Pentax forum and what users have experienced so far using the camera. Thanks in advance to all who participate!


07-20-2016, 05:41 PM   #2
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Precision has been hit or miss. Some have had really quick turnaround times, others haven't, especially for older equipment. (see the repairs forum for details)

As for the 645Z itself, I don't think there are any common QC issues. If you want peace of mind, you can always go for the 3-year service plan, or the "platinum" option that includes loaner gear.

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07-20-2016, 07:56 PM   #3
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I've had mine for over a year and about 8k photos and no problem so far.
07-20-2016, 09:36 PM   #4
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I've owned 7 Pentax cameras and so far never an issue that required taking it nor shipping it, sorry I cannot comment on that.

Did I just JINX my streak?!?!

PS - but don't get me started on Tamron...grrrr.

07-20-2016, 11:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by highermonkey Quote
As I know sometimes there are lemons, I thought I would give the camera the benefit of the doubt with a little informal survey here on the Pentax forum and what users have experienced so far using the camera.
The only problem I've had since November 2015 was a single freeze, which seemed to have happened when I hit the preview button too fast after taking a shot, but the camera unfroze some 40 seconds later on its own.
Another person had this happen more often and it required a battery pull, there's a thread on this somewhere here.
So far I've never owned a camera that suffered mechanical failure.

For what it's worth, it's still the most reliable of the medium format cameras alongside the Leica S, the problem is that these have to be sent back to Japan/Germany for repair.
Phase and Hass bodies are very prone to failure from all the horror stories I've seen, with some shooters having backup bodies as well as 35mm SLRs, but they also have dealers that have very fast turnaround for repairs. Basically you end up choosing between long-term reliability, slow repairs; or short-term reliability, fast repairs.

Last edited by Kolor-Pikker; 07-20-2016 at 11:22 PM.
07-21-2016, 02:32 AM   #6
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I own the 645 Z since it came out. I use it only outdoors and it has seen constant use from -25 C to +40C and rain and snow. I think I have around 40K shutter actuations.

The only problem I encountered is a freeze of the system which happens from time to time. A pull of the battery solves this problem.

I cannot comment on the service, as I am based in Germany.
07-21-2016, 06:17 AM   #7

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No issues in a year and a half.
07-21-2016, 07:52 AM   #8
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No issues in a year and a half.
OK, one freeze...


07-21-2016, 02:24 PM   #9
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Two years and 30k photos and no problem with my Z.
07-21-2016, 05:01 PM   #10

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Only problem I have had is the non-functioning of the remote release socket. My prior experience of support is like your friend's: that if it needs to go to Japan, you can expect it to vanish for a long time without any clear information or channels of communication. That's from Australia, so it may differ elsewhere. Overall, my view is that the reliability is good but support for issues requiring anything other than minor tweaks is poor, at least from my part of the world. However, the performance of the camera relative to the competitors' price means I have been willing to put up with it - so far - and love the camera.
07-21-2016, 05:04 PM   #11
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My first 645Z body had some what of a mechanical failure at around 4000 frames and the body had to be send overseas also. I ended up getting a replacement body pretty quick, I have a friendship with a pentax rep here and I think it got sorted out quick because of this. Since I have had the new replacement body, I have only had a couple minor freeze ups like mentioned above. Smooth sailing up until this point.
07-22-2016, 12:20 AM   #12
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Bought one in july 2014, around 10K pictures taken, no problem so far. No freezing ever, the only problem is I let it fall down on hard ground 3 weeks ago through open bag, and apart from metal and paint loss, it is still perfectly working (I have to admit I am rather impressed).
07-22-2016, 01:41 AM   #13
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Only four months into mine but not a squeak so far.
07-22-2016, 04:45 AM   #14

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I've only had minor issues, but as stated, support can be problematic. I also had the remote socket issue which initially I was going to be charged for, the camera was fixed in the UK and thanks to involving the Ricoh Imaging Social Media team and badgering them on twitter, I got a loan model while it was away. I did notice that the LCD was quite different to mine which I bought on release.

I have loved the camera from the first moment I bought it - those 2 years have flown by.
07-22-2016, 10:17 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by itshimitis Quote
I have loved the camera from the first moment I bought it - those 2 years have flown by.
Man, has it really been two years since it came out now? it still feels like a cutting edge camera, and I guess it still is. Ricoh/Pentax did a bang up job on packing this thing with features.

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