Its resolution is staggering, but there is much more to the 51.4-million-pixel Pentax 645Z medium-format digital camera. Richard Sibley finds out what it is like to use in our Pentax 645Z review
Build and Handling
Pentax 645Z Review – Build and Handling
Getting up at 4am to capture sunrise in the summer is something that, surprisingly, I enjoy, especially when I have a new camera to test. My only reservation was the size and weight of the Pentax 645Z.
You can’t escape the fact that the body is large, weighing 1,470g. Add a couple of lenses to my camera bag and, all of a sudden, the weight on my shoulder was a little more than usual. All that said, the camera wasn’t really that different from carrying around a professional DLSR with a few lenses, and I was pleasantly surprised that I managed to fit the 645Z into a medium-sized shoulder bag.
So while the size and weight of the camera will be noticeable to those with an enthusiast-level DSLR, those used to carrying professional bodies with f/2.8 lenses should be less concerned.
The body of the 645Z is largely unchanged from its predecessor, and all the buttons and dials are positioned in almost identical locations. Anybody who has used a Pentax DSLR will find the layout of the camera familiar, and you should be able to pick it up and start shooting without having to pore over an instruction manual. The camera is extremely straightforward to operate, and I have to say that at no point did I find myself struggling to find a button or switch a setting.
Slightly altered from the original camera is the handgrip, which is a bit deeper, making it more comfortable and secure to hold. This is important, as the last thing you want to do is drop a camera that costs around £7,000 body only.
Should you drop the 645Z, its magnesium-alloy body should be able to withstand the odd knock, while the camera also receives the same level of weather sealing that we have come to expect from Pentax DSLRs. In total, the 645Z has 76 weather seals protecting the camera, which meant I was unconcerned about spray from waves occasionally dashing against the camera body when shooting by the sea.
To accompany the weather-sealed body is a series of three All Weather (AW) lenses: the smc DA 645 25mm f/4; the HD D-FA 645 90mm f/2.8 ED AW SR; and the smc D-FA 645 55mm f/2.8. The 55mm optic comes with the 645Z as the kit lens.