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09-17-2011, 02:51 PM   #1
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Pentax 645D vs Nikon D3x Review Discussion

We've finally published our Pentax 645D Review and Nikon D3x Comparison in our review section. This will serve as the comment thread for that review We hope you enjoyed the read.


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09-18-2011, 11:40 PM   #2
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tl;dr except the conclusion. (No, not really too long, just irrelevant for me personally.) But a good question is raised: Why a pro Pentax cam without a fairly full line of lenses? Maybe a 1 October announcement will rectify that!
09-18-2011, 11:43 PM - 1 Like   #3
ogl
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You forget about
1. Some of old FA 645 lenses are under production now in Vietnam and Phillipines. But they are available essentially in Japan and Asian market.
For example
http://shop.pentax.jp/g/gS0026725/
http://shop.pentax.jp/g/gS0026725/
http://shop.pentax.jp/g/gS0026785/
http://shop.pentax.jp/g/gS0026121/
http://shop.pentax.jp/g/gS0026335/
http://shop.pentax.jp/g/gS0026745/
http://shop.pentax.jp/g/gS0026555/

2. 645D can use 67 lenses via adapter.
http://shop.pentax.jp/g/gS0038454/

Last edited by ogl; 09-18-2011 at 11:51 PM.
09-19-2011, 12:42 AM   #4
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The review boils down to that the 645 essentially is a tripod camera, while the D3X is also very useful away from the studio, on the move! The flash synch speed is very oldfashioned with the 645 (remember that even olf manual Hasselblads synch at 1/800th of a second), but other than that the 645D produces stunning results (if not on par with modern Hasselblads, which are even more made to be used in the studio, preferably tethered, and is even less useful handheld, and even more expensive).

09-19-2011, 03:10 AM - 1 Like   #5
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This is less a comparison than a review of the 645D with some side-notes relating to the Nikon. That was disappointing at first, until I realised the article's emphasis. This may be read as content bias from a non-Pentax oriented reader.

A few points that require correction.

1. The lens review links are incorrect. One has the wrong text and the other links to the wrong page.

2. The features in the "Pros and Cons" list should be properly aligned. For example "No tethering" is on a different line from "Tethering (but software must be purchased separately)", making direct comparison difficult.

3. I think you mean "amply sized" in the phrase "thanks to the large dimensions the controls are amply sixed and easy to grip". That took me some time to figure out!

4. Can the battery and memory cards be changed with the camera on a tripod? I don't think you mention this important feature.

5. When writing of the flash sync speed, should mention be made of the leaf shutter lenses?
09-19-2011, 03:12 AM - 1 Like   #6
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P.S. You write "Even though the Pentax images were reduced in resolution to match the physical size of the Nikon images, the rendering of detail appears slightly better in the Pentax images."

I say that the 645 detail is significantly better.

Nice camera! Anyone want to invest in an Irish photographer?
09-19-2011, 05:06 AM   #7
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645 "review"

HI there

IN general, I like the reviews on this web site. However, this particular review seems to show bias. I say that because of the conclusions. The IQ of the 645D is better than any Canon or Nikon, but on all other dimentions, I would put the Nikon on top. All Performance metrics, for example are clear negatives of the 645D but was not highlighted.
09-19-2011, 06:07 AM - 1 Like   #8
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Another correction. The review states that the Nikon D3x has no electronic level: "The electronic level on the Pentax is a useful help to level the camera when using it on a tripod. The Nikon lacks this feature." On the bottom of page 3.

Nikons from the D300S up all have this feature. Called "Virtual Horizon" and is a graphic display on the rear LCD that looks somthing like a gyroscope.

09-19-2011, 06:12 AM - 2 Likes   #9
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Overall, having owned the D3x and now the 645D, I think the review was spot on. The 645D is a more specific purpose camera than the Nikon as pointed out in the review. For landscapes and macro work (I do both) the 645D has an advantage exhibited clearly in the files. As a general purpose camera, the D3x gets the tiara. With Nikon offering several PC-E lenses architectural photos are excellent with the D3x. No such Pentax lens exists for this purpose. My biggest complaint with the D, as I have successfully used it handheld, is the lack of a vertical release button. When working on a tripod this is a non-issue, especially with the use of the cable release. Tethering would be nice of course, but with exterior shooting it is mostly irrelevant. Of course, a faster processor would be a big bonus.

New lens availability is another major issue which also plagues the Leica S2 system which has been available much longer than the 645D. I'm not sure how long the management at Ricoh is going to support the camera, in the end, that is a concern not mentioned in the review. One would think that with all of the positive reviews Ricoh would jump on board. However, the market for the system may be limited, and unless Ricoh is willing to treat the Pentax D as a "halo" product I have my doubts. Until all of this shakes out, I will continue to enjoy the great files the D produces.
09-19-2011, 06:14 AM   #10
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As a D3x shooter seriously considering a 645D, I have to say I'm surprised at how well the now 3year old + D3x held its ground. Without a doubt the Pentax captures more detail, but I think the real problem is glass.

As a landscape shooter, I like wide to mid range usually. Nikon has a significant amount of glass that allows me to capture the images I want, but Pentax really only has 1 lens I can buy - the 55mm. The 25 will / may be out soon, but even so - a $10K camera with a whopping 2 lenses???

I know, I could go used, but really, when you buy a camera like this why should you have to go over to eBay and fight over a bunch of beat up, 20 year old glass? That's crazy to me.

Problem is, Nikon- if they follow their release schedule - is probably only a year to 14 months away from a D4x, possibly at 36MP. Based on the photos I saw, that might put the two camera too close for anyone to really care. However, the Nikon will likely be cheaper and still have a LOT more glass to choose from. It won't be long before people start asking when the 645D is going to get a higher res sensor to compete.

I guess it almost seems to me Pentax was just too slow with this camera and its lenses. I have a feeling it's going to be obsolete before it even has a complete system together. Too bad too - as an old Pentax 6x7 and 645 film shooter, I would love to go back to a medium format camera.

Just my opinion as a D3x shooter...
09-19-2011, 06:31 AM - 1 Like   #11
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It sounds like the Nikon is the 5x7 and the 645 is the 8x10, without the funny little cloth over your head.
09-19-2011, 06:32 AM   #12
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Coming from a 5D2, the 645D is a dream. As a landscape shooter, I agree with the review. The Nikon would be my choice for a wide variety of shooting options. However, for sports, journalism, etc., a camera much less expensive than the Nikon can be used. To fill in the blanks, when I bought my 645D I also bought a K-5, as well. I'm pretty well covered. I was also fortunate in having a huge selection of primes from my P645 and 67 film days and adapters. A no brainer for me.
09-19-2011, 07:44 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by CDW Quote
Coming from a 5D2, the 645D is a dream. As a landscape shooter, I agree with the review. The Nikon would be my choice for a wide variety of shooting options. However, for sports, journalism, etc., a camera much less expensive than the Nikon can be used. To fill in the blanks, when I bought my 645D I also bought a K-5, as well. I'm pretty well covered. I was also fortunate in having a huge selection of primes from my P645 and 67 film days and adapters. A no brainer for me.
I guess my impression was that Nikon released the D3x as taking the place of medium format. It isn't the high iso king and certainly doesn't have the frame rate of somewhat cheaper cameras like the D3s. I just don't know how many situations where you were dissatisfied with the 645D, where you would be happier with the D3x than a D3s.

The biggest knock on the 645D is lack of new lenses. Hopefully that continues to change over time.
09-19-2011, 08:29 AM   #14
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There is only one choice!!!!!!

I cannot even believe you are comparing the two cameras....The 645D is so superior to ANY dslr that is currently available. I have used virtually every product available and the 645D is in a class of it's own. The detail is just stunning and it handles and operates like a dream. Please do not compare this to an SLR. That is like comparing a F1 car against a middle of the road sports car........
If you want the best possible images for under £10k, the 645 is the only product you should ever consider.
09-19-2011, 09:25 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by rparmar Quote
P.S. You write "Even though the Pentax images were reduced in resolution to match the physical size of the Nikon images, the rendering of detail appears slightly better in the Pentax images."

I say that the 645 detail is significantly better.

Nice camera! Anyone want to invest in an Irish photographer?
Also, downsizing (reducing resolution) usually makes images appear sharper/more detailed. (Witness all the early speculation that the 24MP sensor in the NEX-7 will produce 16MP shots as detailed/sharp as those coming from the 5N/K-5.)
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