Using a Pentax 645z

As some of you would know I bought a Pentax 645z camera.  Why? Well I have wanted to get a medium format sensor camera for some time and the Pentax is priced to amaze.  Considering that it has the same sensor as the much more expensive Phase one cameras and that it does brilliant work  at just over 11k (AU) I can’t see why any one wanting to go to medium format would not buy this camera.  Yes I Know $11k is a lot of money but when you are my age, have worked and saved  all my life a little luxury is what one can afford.

Now that I have got my guilt trip out of the way I will give you some examples of why this is such a great camera.  Its low light ISO ability is strikingly good,  normally I wont use high ISO due to the noise that is generated, however with this camera I am much more prepared to step it up into ISO ranges well above 6400 if needed.  However there is one aspect of this camera that makes needing higher ISO’s a little less required.

Have a look at these two jpegs,  they come from  the same raw image its just in one I have boosted the exposure by 5 stops in Adobe Camera Raw, yes thats right 5 stops.  Normally if one did this the noise normally found in the black areas would kill the photo.



5 stops


Now if you could zoom into the man seated on the left you can read his jacket logo. Simply amazing, kudos to the man for keeping still as this was a 25second exposure.

What about colour you say, well the main reason I was down at the beach was for a sunset which looked like this after some minor corrections from the raw image (raw always lacks the punch of Jpegs straight from the camera and does need some saturation and other adjustments).  BTW I always shoot raw even though the files are bigger and therefore harder to handle  there is so much more detail to be found in the image.

Enough waffle here is the beach sunset image that I was after last night.


Again a long exposure of about 25 seconds.

Now if I had two shots of the same scene using this and a different camera perhaps you could compare the images.  However I don’t but just so you can see how this camera performs here is a shot of Melbourne taken a few weeks ago.


And this of a building a few nights back.


All in all this is the best camera I have ever used and its making me seriously think about selling all my canon gear so that I can buy a couple of other lens for this beauty.

Hope you enjoyed my little ramble.


4 thoughts on “Using a Pentax 645z

  1. poppytump

    Love the sunset John .. and yes that’s amazing re the lack of noise in the first shot !
    I’ll be looking forward to some more of your ocean shots and your Astrophotography 🙂

    1. johnholding Post author

      Thanks Poppy, haven’t had a good night to try the Pentax on Astro but certainly will be going for a few ocean shots in the near future.

  2. Mike Powell

    I was quite taken by your explanation of why you purchased the camera–I am of a similar age and place in life–and was really impressed by your initial results. The sunset image is spectacular and provides a nice preview of future amazing photos that are sure to come. Congrats on making the big decision on the camera.

    1. johnholding Post author

      Thanks Mike, having to wait for so long to get such a camera makes it all the more appreciated.


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