Pentax, with their 645PZ, seems to take seriously their participation in the medium format market. More than just an update of the 645D, the 645PZ looks like a completely renewed concept, how things should have been from the start.
And although its appearance is practically the same, what counts is what’s under the skin of its weatherproof metal body.
Its sensor is the popular Sony CMOS with a 32.8 x 43.8 mm size and 51.4 Megapixels. It lacks a low pass filter, just like the new Hasselblad H5D-50C, or the Phase One iXU150 or Phase One IQ250 cameras.
Rumors talk about a sensitivity of up to 204 800 ISO.
This is significant, but we believe the most important thing is that the Pentax 645 Digital, in this 645PZ version, now has the processing capacity it always should have had, the 645D.
So, with the support of the PRIME III processor, the Pentax 645PZ can shoot at 3 fps up to 10 pictures in RAW and up to 30 in JPEG (L).
The 645PZ Pentax is also much quicker, rivaling the response of a monocular 35mm SLR camera, which makes us think that the images can be displayed on the screen with minimal delay. This, of course, makes it necessary to use high-speed SD cards.
The Pentax 645PZ has two SD card slots, which is the usual choices offered to separate RAW JPEG or result in backup.
Based on our experience of the previous model, the Pentax 645D, we can expect nothing but excellent quality and results.
With a sensitivity that allows you to operate at -3EV, the new SAFOX 11 AF module includes 25 cross-type points and a total of 27, and also features the Pentax Real-Time Scene Analysis System, which uses an 86000 color RGB matrix pixel, which makes it easier to differentiate between the main subject of our pictures and the background.
The vibration of the UV/IR frontal filter keeps the dust at bay… but it has some additional help.
The DR II system protects against dust by making the UV/IR filter vibrate. In a similar fashion to the Pentax K models, an alert system allows users to check if there’s dust in the sensor.
In regards to the viewfinder, the Pentax 645PZ incorporates a real optical glass prism with a trapezoidal design which brings the image to the lens. With a coverage of 98%, its quality will surely be spectacular.
Having a CMOS sensor expands its Live View and video capabilities.
The Pentax 645PZ can record Full HD 1920 x 1080 video at 60i/30p in H.264 format with stereo sound.
It also features 4K video recording at a 3840 x 2160 resolution in JPEG (pictures) or AVI format. However, the 4K recording is only available in “time-lapse”, that is, in intervals of two to sixty seconds for a total of just over four days, as long as we have enough battery.
Regarding the design, it’s excellent. Its metallic body is divided into modules: an inner aluminum-made frame, to control temperature, and light but resistant magnesium alloy panels.
Both the LCD screen on the top and the rear monitor are made of resistant tempered glass, while the shutter mechanism has passed without problems up to 100000 cycles of testing.
The Pentax 645PZ is weatherproof, and it can operate at -10 degrees Celsius. The original model, the 645D, is also weatherproof, having been designed for enthusiasts of landscape photography.
A nice detail is the lock button that disables all other buttons to prevent mistakes and accidents, and a system to select different modes and options without opening the menu.
Finally, by using “Flucard” cards, we can operate the camera remotely.