Nikon D800E vs. Pentax 645D


Before we dive into our evaluation of each camera, let's take a look at the specifications of the Pentax 645D and Nikon D800E side-by-side.

Pentax 645D and Nikon D800E

Pentax 645D

Nikon D800E

Sensor Resolution

7264 x 5440 pixels
no low-pass filter

36.3 MP CMOS
7360 x 4912 pixels
no low-pass filter
Sensor Dimensions

645 medium format, cropped

35mm full-frame ("FX")
RAW Color Depth

14 bit

14 or 12 bit (configurable)
Exposure Modes

HyP, Sv, Av, Tv, TAv, HyM, X, B

P, Av ("A"), Tv ("S"), M, X ,B
Mount Type

Pentax 645 AF2 mount
(645 A, 645 AF, 645 AF2 lenses supported,
67 lenses via adapter in M and Av modes)

Nikon F mount
(APS-C "DX" lenses supported)
ISO Range (Expanded) 200-1000 (100-1600) 100-6400 (50-25600)
Shutter Speed Range 30s - 1/4000s 30s - 1/8000s
Shutter Life 50,000 exposures 200,000 exposures
Max. Continuous FPS 1.1 4 in full-frame mode
6 in APS-C mode (w/grip)
Continuous Shooting Buffer 13 RAW, 15 JPEG 17* RAW, 100 JPEG
Autofocus (phase detect)


-1 to 18 EV operating range

w/AF assist light

-2 to 19 EV operating range

Viewfinder Trapeziod prism
0.62x, 98% coverage
0.7x, 100% coverage
Rear LCD 3.0" VGA (921,000 dots) 3.2" VGA (921,000 dots)
Top LCD Yes (a huge one!) Yes
Live View N/A Yes
Video Mode N/A 1080p @30,25,24 FPS
720p @60,50,30,25,24 FPS

H.264 .MOV
RAW video out
Flash External only Built-in, GN12
Flash Sync Speed 1/125s 1/250s
Weight w/Battery 1480g 900g
GPS Via O-GPS1 accessory Via GP-1 accessory
(W x H x D)
156 x 117 x 119mm 146 x 123 x 82 mm

USB 2.0
HDMI out
Composite video out

5-gigabit USB 3.0
Microphone and headphone

Weather Sealed Yes Yes
Media Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots 1 CompactFlash slot
Remote Control Optional, infrared or wired Optional, radio or wired
Year Launched 2010 2012
US Retail Price
(Nov. 2012)
$8799 $3299

In many areas, the specifications speak for themselves.  One main feature which the 645D lacks, by modern standards, is live view.  We do like the Pentax shooting modes, though, and really wish that Nikon would offer the flexibility of Hyper Program (lets you change shutter speed or aperture on the fly in P mode) and Hyper Manual (the green button reverts to the main program line).  In addition, the 645D's top LCD is almost as wide as its back LCD, which makes it very easy to read (though its viewing angle could use some improvement).

The D800E has Nikon's latest 51-point autofocus system, which features a variety of continuous tracking modes and is sensitive down to -2EV.  This same system is found in the Nikon D4, their current flagship DSLR.

In other areas, both cameras have what would be expected of any professional body these days: weather sealing, dual card slots, 14-bit RAW, and GPS support.

*this number may be higher or lower depending on the speed of your CF card.  See the performance page for more details. PentaxForums +Pentax Forums @PentaxForums News | Reviews | Forum

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