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Camera Profiles: Converting Raw in Adobe Photoshop ACR or Lightroom for Fujifilm X or Sony A7R/A7

There can be substantial differences in color and contrast that result from a difference choice of Camera Profile when converting raw files in ACR or Lightroom. It’s a feature that can be really useful in interpreting an image to your liking.

In Guide to Mirrorless:

Both with HD and UltraHD images for the various profiles.

A similar discussion in DAP is based on the Fujifilm X-T1 series above.

  Camera Profile choice in Lightroom
Camera Profile choice in Lightroom

Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2: Aperture Series: California Poppies + Picnic Table + Bench/Grasses (Fujifilm X-T1)

Presented in my review of the Fujifilm Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 are two ƒ/1.2 to ƒ/16 aperture series.

The poppy series gives a good sense of the rendering style and bokeh qualities of the lens at close range.

Aperture series: California Poppies at Dusk (X-T1, 56mm f/1.2)

The picnic table series yields an excellent evaluation of sharpness and control of color aberrations.

Aperture series: Picnic Table (X-T1, 56mm f/1.2)

The bench series shows the remarkable uniformity and sharpness:

Aperture series: Teak Bench, Grasses, Cat (X-T1, 56mm f/1.2)

All include HD and UltraHD images as well as large crops across the aperture series.

  California Poppies at Dusk Fujifilm X-T1 + Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 @ ƒ/1.2
California Poppies at Dusk
Fujifilm X-T1 + Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 @ ƒ/1.2
  Picnic Table at Dusk with Frog Fujifilm X-T1 + Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 @ ƒ/2
Picnic Table at Dusk with Frog
Fujifilm X-T1 + Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 @ ƒ/2
  Teak Banch, Grasses, Cat Fujifilm X-T1 + Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 @ ƒ/5.6
Teak Banch, Grasses, Cat
Fujifilm X-T1 + Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 @ ƒ/5.6

Camera Profiles: Converting Raw in Adobe Photoshop ACR or Lightroom

In the DAP Workflow section, I discuss the radical differences in color and contrast that result from a difference choice of Camera Profile when converting raw files in ACR or Lightroom. It’s a feature that can be really useful in interpreting an image to your liking.

This page has been cross-posted into the Fujifilm X section because it applies to Fujifilm X files, in this case the X-T1.

A similar profile comparison is also published for the Sony A7R / A7.

  One possible rendition of color and contrast
One possible rendition of color and contrast

Big Prints: Does 36 Megapixels Help vs 24 with Leica M Glass?

Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH
Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

The Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH is the finest lens in the entire line of Leica M lenses. At its best, can it deliver a superior large print when used on the Sony A7R versus its native Leica M 240?

The discussion has a distinct Leica M rangefinder lens viewpoint, taking into account performance issues applying to M rangefinder lenses in particular.

High quality image scaling was used to assess actual print quality at 36-inch and 45-inch print sizes, using the Canon PIXMA Pro 100 (sections of course, given the size).

How much does 36 megapixels matter for prints of that size? In Guide to Leica:

Printing Big: M240 vs Sony A7R with Leica 50/2 APO-Summicron (Mosaic)

Includes scaled matched crops from each camera using the Leica 50/2 APO on both under ideal circumstances. This analysis represents the best possible differentation based on the sensor resolution differences.

Image scaling using Photozoom Pro. Includes a general discussion and perspective.


Note that DAP has two comparisons in a similar vein but comparing formats:

Pentax 645D vs Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Leica S vs Nikon D800E

  Leica M240     Sony A7R     
Leica M Typ 240 and Sony A7R

Diglloyd Photo Tours in June, August, September

See the photo tours page.

I run my tours as you (the client) prefer: general photography, sharpness clinic, whatever you want to learn, see or discuss—it’s your time. Opportunistic shooting for weather and conditions as they arise.

Bistlecone Sentinel at Sunset with View of White Mountain Peak (August 2013) Sony RX1R @ ƒ/ 5.6
Ancient Bristlecone Pine, White Mountains
Nikon D800E + Zeiss 25mm f/2 Distagon

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM 'Art': Soon I Hope, and for Nikon and Canon

Sigma 50/1.4 DG HSM A at B&H for: Nikon F, Canon EF, Sigma SA, Sony A-mount.

See previous notes as well as the initial discussion in review of the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM 'Art'.

I’ll be testing the new Sigma 50/1.4 DG HSM A just as soon as it arrives from B&H.

I’ve requested Nikon and Canon mount versions so that I can evaluate it on both the Nikon D800E and the Canon 5D Mark III.

     Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM
Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM

Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH Aperture Series: Bikes at Night (Sony A7R + Sony A7R)

Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH
Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

The Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH is an outstanding lens, but sensor design has a lot to do with how rangefinder lenses perform on digital, a situation that might improve in the future.

Aperture Series Leica 50/2 APO: Bikes at Night (Sony A7R)

This particular scene caught my attention for its potential to show a number of optical behaviors—and it does so quite well; it is deceptively simple but quite difficult to render well.

This ƒ/2 - ƒ/8 aperture series includes HD and UltraHD images as well as large crops across the aperture series.

Student Transport Sony A7R + Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH
Student Transport
Sony A7R + Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

Consistent Focusing Accuracy Requires a High-Resolution EVF: Leica M vs Sony

Actual pixels from Leica M Typ 240 image  
Actual pixels from Leica M Typ 240 image

Shooting the mosaic with its ultra-fine details with (the same lens), I was struck by just how much better the Sony EVF is than the Leica VF-2 on the M240.

The extra resolution of the 36-megapixel Sony A7R means that at 14X there is more to be seen than with the 24-megapixel M240 at 10X.

But it’s about a lot more than sensor resolution: the Leica VF-2 just looks blurry by comparison to the Sony EVF regardless of what it is displaying, and its contrast is inferior. Which means that the ability to discriminate accurate focus is impaired using the Leica VF-2, in all cases.

The Leica VF-2 is 1.4 megapixels; the Sony built-in EVF is a much crisper 2.4-megapixels. With the M240 + VF-2, grout lines between the tiny tiles all but disappear; with the Sony A7R, grout lines pop into focus when the focus is perfect. Still, it’s fair to say that something around 4 megapixels would be even better.

Moreover, my extensive field work with both cameras tells me that the Leica VF-2 resolution can be a source of errors: it often leads to front-focus errors particularly with slower lenses. It just does not have adequate resolution, so one is forced to use focus peaking, which is a poor solution for optimal focus (close but no cigar).

Leica should support a high-res EVF option, even if the CPU in the M240 can only deliver 10 or 15 frames per second refresh rate. The VF-2 offering feels hugely inferior in comparison to current EVF technology, degrading the M experience.

Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH   Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH
Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH Aperture Series: Mosaic (M240 + Sony A7R)

Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH
Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

The Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH is the finest lens in the entire line of Leica M lenses. With esentially perfect performance by ƒ/2.8, almost no field curvature and exceptional color correction, it sets the standard for the M lens line.

Thus it seems fitting to test it on the most demanding test subject of all: a planar subject with extraordinary fine detail, a true stress test that reveals the slightest weakness no matter how fine the lens.

A dyadic approach in Guide to Leica:

Aperture Series Leica 50/2 APO: Mosaic (M240)

Aperture Series Leica 50/2 APO: Mosaic (A7R)

This ƒ/2 - ƒ/16 aperture series includes HD and UltraHD images as well as large crops across the aperture series.

This particular 50/2 APO is a replacement directly from Leica Germany received late in 2013. It incorporates improvements that adddress (in part) the flare issues that troubled the “rev A” lens.

Mosaic Leica M240 + Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH
Leica M240 + Leica 50mm f/2 APO-Summicron-M ASPH

Pentax 645D Images Updated to UltraHD, Large Crops

With the Pentax 645z 50-megapixel medium format camera due in June, I wanted to refresh my memory of how the 40-megapixel 645D performs (I distinctly remember the fabulous sensor, but other details about lens performance had become fuzzy 3 years later).

Accordingly, my review of the Pentax 645D has been updated to redo many images in UltraHD size with vastly larger crops. I did this anticipating that the 645z will be at least as demanding as the 645D in terms of lens performance.

See the DAP chronological index for pages that are now updated.

Pentax 645D + Pentax-D FA 55mm f/2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW
Pentax 645D + Pentax 75mm f/2.8

Pentax 645D + Pentax-D FA 55mm f/2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW (in anticipation of the Pentax 645z)

To my review of the Pentax 645D is added an aperture series with the Pentax-D FA 55mm f/2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW, which is the normal lens for the 645D and the coming 645z.

A digital image requires a high quality sensor and a lens that can deliver.

Aperture Series: Pentax-D FA 55mm f/2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW (Mosaic)

Pentax 645D + Pentax-D FA 55mm f/2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW
Pentax 645D + Pentax-D FA 55mm f/2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW

Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 to be Introduced in “near future”

I’ve communicated with Zeiss USA, and the following is now official:

We confirm the Otus 1.4/85 lens and our intention to introduce sometime in the near future.

Details about the specifications, pricing or actual sales data are as yet unofficial.

Shown below is the Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 APO-Distagon, the best lens ever produced for a DSLR, as shown in the in-depth review in Guide to Zeiss. I would expect an Otus 85/1.4 to be of similar construction.

Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon
Zeiss Otus 85mm f/1.4 APO-Distagon

Pentax 645Z: Does Not Have EFC Shutter (Electronic First Curtain)

An electronic first curtain shutter (EFC shutter) is needed for vibration-free exposures.

According to Pentax, the Pentax 645Z does not have an electronic first curtain shutter. The 645z does have the the same excellent mirror lockup feature as the 645D, and its shutter is generally well-damped (quite possibly no medium format camera has an EFC shutter). But a focal plane shutter is not and cannot be vibration free.

Like all DSLRs lacking an EFC shutter, longer lenses can be an issue: see Blur from the Shutter at 300mm in the review of the Pentax 645D.

Pentax 645z, rear view
Pentax 645z, rear view

Sony A7R: A Practical Effort to Mitigate Shutter Vibration at 90mm

Sony A7R
Sony A7R

Thinking about the Sony A7R shutter vibration, I wondered about whether applying mass to the problem might help mitigate the Sony A7R shutter vibration issue, a supposition that Joseph Holmes evaluated in detail and found to be true. By F=mA it ought to.

But I wanted to know if something simple using the hot shoe might offer benefits. For example, a relatively heavy flash like a Nikon SB800: inserted it into the hot shoe, would it show any benefit?

A simple solution requiring stuff I already have is appealing. With the hot shoe often not needed for flash use, it’s a convenient place to add mass. And while it’s regrettable to have to even consider such awkward solutions, if one has an A7R and anything of mass that can go into the hot shoe, bowing to reality and looking for mitigation is practical. Because my obstacle to using the A7R for lens evaluations is ruling out or at least minimizing blur from the shutter. Mitigating, not eliminating.

In Guide to Mirrorless:

Sony A7R Shutter Vibration at 90mm with Mass Mitigation (Chart)

The findings here are of practical, actionable value to any Sony A7R shooter.

Also analyzed is whether the vibration remains visible when the 36 megapixel image is downsampled to 24 megapixels (with and without extra mass), noting that the resolution difference between 36 and 24 megapixels is 1.22X: √(36/24). Extracting full detail from a 36MP sensor thus requires that absolutely everything be at its best to capture that modest difference.

Get Carl Zeiss Test Chart for Cinematography Lenses.

Carl Zeiss Test Chart for Cinematography Lenses
Carl Zeiss Test Chart for Cinematography Lenses

Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Makro-Planar for Sony NEX, Fujifilm X (and Sony A7 / A7R)

The Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Makro-Planar is arriving very soon. It will be added alongside my review of the Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 Planar and Zeiss Touit 12mm f/2.8 Distagon.

The Touit lineup is available in Fujifilm X or Sony E-mount (NEX or A7/A7R).

I’ll be testing the Touit 50/2.8 on the Sony A7R in crop mode (it’s an APS-C lens), but also exploring if it covers more of the sensor than APS-C at some distances and whether that is actually useful from an image quality point of view.

The MTF page for the Touit 50/2.8 includes and discusses MTF at infinity focus, 1:5, 1:2 and 1:1 reproduction ratios.

Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Makro-Planar
Zeiss Touit 50mm f/2.8 Makro-Planar

Future Sensors: Will they be Friendly to Rangefinder Lenses? (Ray Angle)

Zeiss ZM 21mm f/4.5 C-Biogon
Zeiss ZM 21mm f/4.5 C-Biogon

Neither the Sony A7 nor its A7R sibling are particularly friendly to rangefinder lenses; it’s the ray angle at issue and it causes all sorts of image quality losses, from color shifts to sharpness to white balance.

Moreover, DSLRs have too great a backfocal distance to be useable at all with rangefinder lenses, so mirrorless is the only hope for a wide range of some very fine lenses, Leica M Typ 240 aside, with its out of reach price for most photographers.

So where does that leave outstanding Leica M and Zeiss ZM lenses in the changing landscape which is shifting heavily to mirrorless cameras of all stripes?

Suppose the landscape were to change, e.g., what if sensor technology were to evolve such that a 36 or 50 or 60 megapixel mirrorless camera were to appear with a sensor that by design is far more friendly to ray angle, perhaps even made usable for the worst case lens, the Zeiss ZM 21mm f/4.5 C-Biogon with its demanding 44° chief ray angle?

After all, the Leica M9 and Leica M Typ 240 already do have sensors that are relatively friendly to rangefinder lenses. That further improvements might be in the pipeline is well worth pondering for anyone with a stable of Leica M or Zeiss ZM lenses, e.g., some patience might be worthwhile.

Not so friendly ray angle behavior  (Sony A7R)
Not so friendly ray angle behavior
(Sony A7R)

Sony A7R: Is Shutter Vibration an Issue at 50mm?

The 50mm Leica M primes (with lens adapter) are highly appealing for use on the 36-megapixel Sony A7R for multiple reasons: compact size, ergonomics, ultra high performance, that wonderful high-res Sony EVF for focusing precision and best of all, recording that performance to a 36-megapixel sensor is more rewarding than the 24 megapixels of the Leica M Typ 240.

Sony A7R
Sony A7R

Prompted in part by a few recent reader inquiries and my own interest in the foregoing, I set out to answer a straightforward question: I wanted to know whether in the field it would be possible to mount a world-class 50mm lens and obtain peak-quality images with the A7R. Or whether I would need to be concerned with the A7R shutter vibration. And/or whether the limitations would be acceptable to migitate, somehow.

That Sony A7R sensor is a first rate performer, and at 36 megapixels, any Leica M owner should ask the above, because why not get state of the art image quality at 36 megapixels instead of 24, and with far superior focusing capability (EVF)? In other words, could the Sony A7R be considered a superior platform over the Leica M240 on the basis of a better EVF and notably higher resolution (and at 1/3 the price)?

In Guide to Mirrorless:

Sony A7R Shutter Vibration at 50mm (Chart)

(This is not a lens test, it is a camera test). Included are thoughts on deciding how to approach the A7R, given the results.

Reader Comment: Sony A7s

Winfried H writes:

What could be the reason, that the Sony A7s has “just” 12MP?

Something to do with the 4K and video optimization?

DIGLLOYD: By using a sensor that is just over 4K video resolution (minimal cropping), the image can be read natively off the sensor with no need for resampling, and the sensor can be optimized for video use knowing that no resampling is needed, and quite possibly optimized in other ways also. A higher-res sensor would require more cropping (self defeating) or more complex resampling (more CPU power needed to do that also) and would pose other optimization and operational challenges.

I don’t know what is state of the art now, but one need only look at the mangled Live View (magnified) of the Nikon D800 to see that the every-3rd-line line-skipping approach makes an awful mess of things (resampling was probably too CPU intensive and still would lead to artifacts). While extracting 4K video out of the 24-megapixel Sony A7 or 36-megapixel Sony A7R presumably is technically feasible (somehow), the issue might be as simple as heat/power and resampling speed (CPU speed).

The 12-megapixel state of the art sensor resolution in the A7s dovetails with 4K resolution demands, but it also extends the brightness (darkness) range for video and stills into previously problematic territory. I see it as part of a natural trend to build cameras that fit into certain usage needs better than jack-of-all-trades solutions.

See also Hits and Misses: Ultra Low Light Photography—Sony A7s vs Nikon Df.

Pentax 645Z 51-Megapixel Medium Format DSLR, 13 Pentax Lenses Now Avail in USA

The medium format Pentax 645Z (about $8498) is a successor to the Pentax 645D. That price is a very aggressive one for a medium format camera.

See the review of the Pentax 645D and lenses in DAP.

With a 51-megapixel CMOS sensor supporting Live View, the 645z is by far the most cost effective way to get into medium format.

The Pentax 645z sensor is a 44 X 33mm sensor (4:3) and is thus not the same sensor as would go into a new Leica S with its 3:2 aspect ratio. However, it does appear to be the same sensor as in the new Hasselblad H5D-50c. Which of course does not mean “same”: electronics and sensor make a package that can vary in various ways.

A slew of 645 lenses is listed on the B&H web site, suggesting that Pentax is aggressively committing to the medium format market (lenses were a sore spot with the 645D). That is good news, but it is extremely unlikely that these lenses will approach the quality of Leica S glass (at 1/2 to 1/6 of the price, this is is expected). Still, the pricing on the 645Z camera body is far lower than that of the Leica S, and so if there are two or three good lenses it might fit the bill for many a landscape shooter looking for more than what the 35mm format can deliver.

On the other hand, 51 megapixels is only marginally more than 36, and so a really good lens like the Zeiss Otus on a 36-megapixel DSLR will perform awfully close to 50 megapixels (or better) than a pretty good lens on 50MP. See the Leica S vs Nikon D800 comparison made some time ago.

I have a request in for a loaner camera and the 25mm f/4 and a few other lenses. If I can get them, I’ll be doing a detailed review of the 645z as soon as they arrive (June looks to be the release date). The lenses I have in mind are the high performers (by my guesstimate): 25mm f/4, the 35mm f/3.5, and the 90mm f/2.8.

Pentax 645z, rear view
Pentax 645z, rear view
Pentax 645z, front view
Pentax 645z, front view

Ricoh USA announcement

Pentax is part of Ricoh as of August, 2013.

Two features regrettably absent: no EVF option and no 4K video.

According to Pentax, there is not an electronic first curtain shutter (EFC shutter) for vibration free exposures, but the 645z has the same mirror lockup feature and mirror damping feature as with the 645D.

An optical viewfinder on such a camera is a plus, but for critical focusing a high-res EVF would have been ideal for critical focus, which one must have to reliably exploit the sensor resolution.

Achieve Photographic Distinction with the Medium-Format PENTAX 645Z

Ricoh Imaging’s new PENTAX 645Z medium-format DSLR features a 51.4 megapixel CMOS sensor, Full HD video and a responsive shooting experience with three frames-per-second

DENVER, CO, April 14, 2014 – It is not often that a camera can be referred to as a game-changer. One that can provide photographers with the tools that not only enrich their craft but are capable of producing images so distinct they are easily set apart from the competition.  Today, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation is pleased to announce the game-changing PENTAX 645Z medium-format DSLR, thus altering the landscape of professional photography.

Developed on the multi-award-winning legacy of the PENTAX 645D and the historic PENTAX 645 film cameras, the PENTAX 645Z improves upon one of the most lauded cameras in the company’s 95 year history. Featuring an amazing 51.4 megapixels on a high-performance CMOS image sensor, the PENTAX 645Z assures super-high-resolution images with a stunningly realistic sense of depth combined with vivid colors and rich shadow detail. The resulting images feature a uniquely distinct look and an unmistakable brilliance that clearly differentiate professional photographers to their clients. The thoughtful inclusion of a CMOS image sensor enables live view on a tiltable LCD panel while also making the 645Z the first and only camera in the medium-format category to offer video recording capabilities, resulting in footage that captures amazingly lifelike reproductions with tangible depth and incredible dynamic range.

“Our diverse lineup of DSLRs enables us to offer professional tools like the 645Z at a price point within reach of many photographers,” said Jim Malcolm, Executive Vice President, Ricoh Imaging. “Today’s photographers are looking to differentiate their craft and the 645Z offers the perfect option as an exceptional medium-format camera that does not sacrifice in quality or specification, with affordability.”

The new PENTAX 645Z has also received several significant enhancements including an improved and highly responsive shooting experience that can capture an incredible three frames per second—a significant benefit when compared to other medium-format cameras featuring CMOS sensors and an equivalent resolution—with a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second. The 645Z is equipped with an amazing top ISO of 204,800 for images with exceptional quality, even in situations with very low light or pushing for higher shutter speeds in all lighting conditions, providing the photographer with totally new creative options far beyond the scope of existing medium-format photography. Additionally, the 645Z is compatible with the recently introduced FLU Card, providing  remote operation of the 645Z including the ability to release the shutter, view a live-view, and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a wireless connection to a smartphone, tablet, computer or any web browser enabled device.

Widening the 645Z’s already diverse applications for shooting is an articulated LCD with a 3.2-inch LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots, ensuring even the most agile photographer captures waist-level, high and low-angle images with precision and ease. Finally, the PENTAX 645Z features an incredibly sturdy and dependable body with a magnesium alloy frame and  a diecast aluminum chassis, complemented by 76 weather-seals for a cold-resistant, weather-resistant and dustproof shooting experience.

In conjunction with the launch of the PENTAX 645Z, Ricoh Imaging is also excited to announce the availability of 13FA 645 lenses to support an even wider variety of optics providing the perfect system that spans numerous shooting scenarios.

Pentax 645z, oblique rear view
Pentax 645z, oblique rear view

Pricing and Availability
The PENTAX 645Z will be available for purchase in June 2014 for a category-low retail price of $8,499.95 for the body only.

The newly available FA 645 lenses are available now for the following prices:

SMC-FA 645 75MM F2.8 $839.00
SMC-FA 645 45MM F2.8 $1,319.00
SMCP-FA 645 150mm f/2.8(IF) $1,679.00
SMC PENTAX-FA* 645 300MM F4 ED(IF) $4,799.95
SMC-FA 645 400MM F5.6 EDIF $3,479.00
SMC-FA 645 ZOOM 45-85 F4.5 $2,879.00
SMCP-FA 645 120mm f/4 MACRO $1,679.00
SMCP-FA 645 200MM f/4 (IF) $1,319.00
SMCP-FA 645 80-160/4.5 $2,519.00
SMCP-FA 645 33-55 f/4.5 AL $3,239.00
SMCP-FA 645 ZOOM 150-300MM F/5.6 ED $3,239.00
SMCP-FA 645 35mm f/3.5 $1,919.00
SMCP-FA 645 55-110 f/5.6 $2,039.00

Main Features
Super-high-resolution images made possible by approximately 51.4 effective megapixels — The PENTAX 645Z features a high-performance CMOS image sensor, with an imaging area (43.8mm x 32.8mm) approximately 1.7 times larger than that of a 35mm full-size sensor. By combining this sensor with the PRIME III imaging engine — with its advanced image-processing and noise-reduction capabilities and anti-aliasing filter-less design — the 645Z makes full use of the imaging power and approximately 51.4 effective megapixels to deliver super-high resolution and exceptional depth rendition.

Since the 645Z effectively minimizes annoying noise during high-sensitivity shooting, the photographer can comfortably take pictures even at super-high sensitivities up to ISO 204800. This provides the photographer with totally new creative options beyond the scope of existing medium-format photography.

Responsive and high-speed shooting experience accommodates even the demanding professionals — The 645Z continuously records as many as 10 images in the RAW format (or up to 30 images in the JPEG:L・★★★) at a maximum speed of approximately three images per second. It also offers quick-view function, UHS-1 speed class compatibility for high-speed data storage (in the SDR104 bus speed mode; with a compatible SD memory card), and USB3.0-standard data interface for easy transfer of recorded images to a personal computer. Thanks to its high-speed response, rivaling that of 35mm-format SLRs, the 645Z assures active, flawless shooting in a wide range of applications required by professionals.

Articulated, 3.2-inch LCD display with approximately 1,037,000 dots — In addition to its wide-view design, the 645Z’s 3.2-inch high-resolution LCD display with approximately 1,037,000 dots (in the 3:2 aspect ratio) has a tilt mechanism to adjust the monitor angle, making it easier for the photographer to capture low- and high-angle images. Its front panel is made of tempered glass for extra protection. To optimize visibility during outdoor shooting, the LCD display features a unique air-gapless construction that eliminates the air space between the LCD layers to reduce the reflection and dispersion of the light, with an AR (Anti-Reflection) coating to minimize reflections on the screen.

High-precision AF system — The 645Z incorporates a newly designed SAFOX 11 phase-matching AF module with 27 sensor points (including 25 cross-type sensors). It also detects the light flux of an F2.8 lens to optimize focusing accuracy when using a large-aperture lens. Its wide AF working range of –3EV to +18EV (at ISO 100; at 23oC) to assure pinpoint focus with dimly illuminated subjects, which are difficult to focus on accurately with the naked eye. Thanks to the new CMOS image sensor with high-speed data readout, it even provides a live-view function allowing the photographer to make more minute focus adjustments using the contrast-detection AF mode on the live-view screen, or by magnifying the on-screen image. Full HD movie recording at 1920 x 1080 pixels and 60i frame rate

The 645Z captures beautiful Full HD video clips (1920 x 1080 pixels; 60i/30P frame rate) in the H.264 recording format. Its large image sensor is effective in recording shallow-depth videos with an effectively blurred background. In addition to the built-in stereo microphone, it also provides a stereo mic terminal for external microphone connection and an audio level control function. It even provides interval video recording of 4K-resolution images (3840 x 2160 pixels; in Motion JPEG or AVI video format) to add a new dimension in creative imaging.

Solid, dependable body — Both the 645Z’s exterior housing and the LCD monitor frame are made of sturdy yet lightweight magnesium alloy, while the chassis is made of diecast aluminum to optimize kinematic accuracy and thermal stability against excessive heat. The LCD panels — one on the camera’s top panel, another on its back — is covered with tempered-glass plates for extra protection against scratches. The 645Z is also designed for a durable and dependable shooting experience even in harsh outdoor conditions. It’s not only weather-resistant and dustproof with 76 seals applied around the body, but it’s also cold-resistant against temperatures as low as –10°C, while its dependable shutter unit has withstood a punishing operation test of more than 100,000 shutter releases.

High-precision exposure control supported by PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System — The 645Z features the innovative PENTAX Real-Time Scene Analysis System, which consists of an RGB light-metering sensor with approximately 86,000 pixels and a fine-tuned algorithm. This system not only assures much-improved exposure-control accuracy, but also utilizes the data obtained by the light-metering sensor to further enhance autofocusing accuracy and white-balance adjustment. By accurately assessing the type of scene or subject using the light-metering sensor, the 645Z not only selects the exposure settings that are more consistent with the photographer’s creative intentions, but it also makes a clearer distinction between the subject and the background to assure more accurate control of a discharge level in flash photography.

Large, bright optical viewfinder — The 645Z features a trapezoid-shaped glass prism, in place of a conventional pentaprism, to assure compact dimensions. Its optical viewfinder provides a field of view of approximately 98% to facilitate image composition, while the time-proven Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen offers a sharp, clear viewfinder image for easier focusing and reduced eye fatigue, even during extended shooting sessions.

Smartphone-support functions*
By installing the optional FLUCARD FOR PENTAX 16GB O-FC1 memory card in the 645Z, the user can release the 645Z’s shutter, check the live-view image, and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a smartphone.

* This software supports smartphones operating on iOS6 or later and Android 4.2 or later.

DR II to eliminate dust from the image sensor — The 645Z comes equipped with the highly effective DR (Dust Removal) II mechanism to eliminate annoying dust spots on recorded images. By shifting the UV/IR-cut filter placed in front of the image sensor at supersonic speed using a piezoelectric element, this mechanism effectively and efficiently shakes dust off the image sensor. The 645Z also provides the Dust Alert system, which helps the user detect any dust particles clinging to the image sensor prior to shooting. Thanks to these user-friendly features, the photographer is assured of beautiful, spotless images, even when the lenses are changed in dust-prone outdoor settings.

Advanced, professional-grade features

  • When the camera is positioned upside down such as in copying work and bird’s-eye-view photography,  the user can select “Auto Image Rotation mode” that allows the automatic rotation of the image 180 degrees on the camera’s LCD monitor or on a computer screen for easier viewing based on the selected position data.
  • The fine square grid on live-view helps you confirm the subject’s position in the image field during live-view shooting. The user can select grid color from black and white.
  • Lock button disables the camera’s control buttons and dial to prevent the accidental shift of settings.

Other features

  • Dual SD card slots for memory card flexibility (compatible with SDXC, SDXC UHS-1 speed class in SDR104 bus speed mode)
  • Flexible white balance control, with a newly added Multi-Pattern Auto mode
  • HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode, with RAW-format data filing
  • PENTAX-invented hyper control system for quick, accurate response to the photographer’s creative intentions
  • Attachment of copyright credits on recorded images; detection of image tampering using the accompanying software
  • Automatic compensation of lens distortion, lateral chromatic aberration, brightness level at edges, and diffraction
  • Compatibility with Eye-Fi wireless LAN memory cards
  • Compatibility with USB3.0-standard interface accessories, with HDMI (type D) terminal
  • Digital Camera Utility 5 software included, to provide enhanced image-processing performance and speed using its newly designed engine
  • Compatibility with IMAGE Transmitter 2 software, for easy transfer of recorded images to PC (optional; available soon)
Pentax 645z, top view with 55/2.8
Pentax 645z, top view with 55/2.8

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