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Gear Reviews

Pentax 645Z – Is This ‘Budget’ Medium Format Body Worth The Price?

By Anthony Thurston on July 27th 2014

Sony’s new CMOS 50MP Medium Format sensor has been making the rounds, and has virtually become the defacto Medium Format sensor. One camera that makes use of this new sensor is the Pentax 645Z, a low budget (in medium format terms, anyhow) body that looks very promising.

It looks so promising, in fact, that the guys over at The Camera Store TV have released probably the most in-depth camera review that I have seen from them in quite a while. The video review is about 25 minutes, and covers everything from the incredible stills you can get with this camera to the interesting addition of video to the medium format realm.

[REWIND: THE PENTAX 645Z GOES TO THE BEACH, PUTS WEATHER-PROOFING TO THE TEST]

I have to say after watching that I am pretty impressed with the camera overall (based on their review). I mean the video feature needs some work, but much of that may be able to be fixed with some firmware updates. Even without video, which is a unique feature in the MF world, this looks to be a solid camera.

Pentax 645Z Specs

pentax645z

  • 51.4MP CMOS Sensor – 43.8 x 32.8 mm
  • Prime III Image Processor
  • Anti-Alias Filter-Less Design
  • 3.2″ 1037K Dot Tiltable Air-Gapless LCD
  • Full HD 1080 60i/30p/24p Video Capture
  • ISO Sensitivity Range of 100 – 204,800
  • SAFOX II TTL 27 Point Autofocus System
  • 3 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Weather Sealed Magnesium Alloy Body
  • Pentax Flucard and Eye-Fi Compatible

I really hope that Pentax continues to push the limits with these 645 model MF cameras. The better and better that these lower cost bodies are, the more pressure is put on the higher end models like Hasselblad and PhaseOne to bring their pricing down to more reasonable levels as well. Which is better for us consumers every day of the week!

Anyway, if you are interested in grabbing a Pentax 645Z for your own enjoyment, you can hop on over to B&H here.

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What are your thoughts on this review? Do you think that their conclusions about the Pentax 645Z are correct? Leave a comment below!

[via The Camera Store TV on Youtube]

Anthony Thurston is a photographer based in the Salem, Oregon area specializing in Boudoir. He recently started a new project, Fiercely Boudoir to help support the growing boudoir community. Find him over on Instagram. You may also connect with him via Email.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Austin Swenson

    I am honestly wondering here if Sony might just throw their hat into the medium format ring with another medium format camera. They follow suit with their own version of a lot of camera sensors that they make for other manufacturers, namely Nikon, so I am wondering if they might try to compete. I can think of a million reasons why they wouldn’t, but who knows.

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  2. Russ Wittmann

    I think i would rather have a 1dx first but they are both out of my budget right now.

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  3. Rafael Steffen

    I loved the comparision of the new Pentax with the Nikon D810. Even though we are talking about different sensor sizes and mega pixels, it’s worth checking out the quality diferences.

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  4. Tim Broadbent

    I love it ! But, it’s way over my armature photography budget :-(( main thing I like ( apart form it all ) , is it’s WEATHER PROOFING !!! I’ll have to go to marketing school !

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  5. Cy Sawyer

    Have been saving for this, Gave up and bought a Nikon D810 lol. *sigh…one day.

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  6. Herm Tjioe

    The catch, a 25 mm lens that cost more than a 5D mk3 with lens. . . . ouchie oww. Definitely a commercial pro cam.

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  7. Phil Bautista

    I suffer from GAS too.

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  8. Rob Durston

    I got one a little more than a week ago. I’ve been shooting with a 5Dmk3 and 5Dmk2 before that.
    I have to say I’m very impressed with the camera; the files are huge, clean and have a depth that the Canon and other 35mm bodies just don’t have. I’ve been collecting lenses for a while now and outside of the 25mm, I have almost everything covered. The glass is decently priced, sensor is amazing and so far I’m not disappointed by anything.
    Even the sync speed doesn’t bother me since it is the same as the Canon.
    Two big thumbs up.

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