Pentax 645Z Review: The medium-format camera, redefined


posted Monday, October 27, 2014 at 3:55 PM EST


Way back in 2011, we reviewed Pentax's first medium-format digital camera, the 645D. We found lots to love, but also quite a few limitations -- although in fairness to Pentax, they were shared with all of its medium-format competition. Fast-forward three years, and the followup Pentax 645Z keeps the best of its predecessor, while answering most of our criticisms of the earlier model

Building on the 645D's design, the Pentax 645Z offers features that are rare or in some cases unique in a medium-format camera. Pick up its weather-sealed body, and you'll find both live view and video capture on offer. You'll also find an extremely wide sensitivity range of ISO 100 to 204,800 equivalents, a 27-point phase-detect autofocus system, and -- compared to its medium-format rivals -- very swift performance, too!


And of course, you'll get the incredible detail-gathering capability of medium-format, plus a really big, bright viewfinder. In effect, the Pentax 645Z is Ricoh's answer to the full-frame camera, and what a rebuttal it is. In the process, it has redefined what is possible in medium format, especially at anything that even remotely approaches its pricepoint.


Is it time you considered moving to medium format, or are the compromises that remain enough to persuade you to stick with full-frame instead? Read the just-published conclusion to our Pentax 645Z review, and find out!