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

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Pentax 645Z

AWB Colour:
Dynamic Range:
LCD viewfinder:


  • 51.4-million-pixel CMOS sensor with no AA filter
  • Excellent value, used manual-focus 645 lenses available
  • Cheaper than the medium-format competition


  • Weighs 1,470g
  • AF could be a little faster


Pentax 645Z Review


Price as reviewed:



Pentax 645Z Review – Verdict

Pentax 645Z Product Shot 12

One of the best things about the 645Z is that it slowed me down. I stopped to think about what I was doing. I shot long exposures, waited patiently for insects to land on plants and made sure that my tripod was perfectly positioned.

Of course, you can do all of this with any camera, but there is something about the size, shape and way of working with the body of the 645Z that encourages you to get the absolute best from its 51.4-million-pixel sensor.

Yet for all the feeling that it was something new, it had a sense of familiarity, like stepping into your favourite shoes. Buttons, dials and on-screen menus are all logically placed, and the camera isn’t as intimidating as a digital Hasselblad. It handles like a very big DSLR.

As you would expect, image quality is excellent for the market for which it is intended, though images taken at higher sensitivities could benefit from a reduction in size to help reduce noise.

Although the price is prohibitive, it isn’t much more than the Leica M digital rangefinder cameras, once you include a lens or maybe two, and you get a lot of camera for that money. However, if you would like to try it, but can’t justify anywhere near the money, perhaps hire it for a weekend shooting landscapes. It is a great experience.


  1. 1. Pentax 645Z Review - Introduction
  2. 2. Build and Handling
  3. 3. Performance
  4. 4. Resolution, Dynamic Range and Noise
  5. 5. Verdict
  6. 6. First Look
  7. 7. Pentax 645Z Review – Full Specification
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