In a move likely to completely silence all whispers of chicanery, DxOMark has finally published its results for Ricoh’s Pentax 645Z. The camera just misses out on being hailed as the best stills camera sensor ever (as it would have been, when data was first published for the camera back in 2015), but it still scores a very impressive 101 points.
And, as we know, points mean… Er…
|Several years after its release, the 645Z still holds its own in the company of some excellent cameras built around similar sensors.|
The results themselves are very similar to those of the Hasselblad X1D 50c, which itself is based around a very similar Sony CMOS sensor (albeit for at least $3000 more). How much of the difference can be ascribed to better readout circuitry, how much to the Hasselblad’s use of 15-bit Raw files (I mean, that extra 0.1EV of DR has to live somewhere), and how much is simply within the tests’ margin of error it’s impossible to know.
Still, we can now be certain that, while not quite the best sensor in the world, is 99% as good as the best sensor DxO has tested.
In all seriousness, though, whatever the reason for the delay, it’s a seriously impressive performance from a very aggressively-priced camera. And, since we have first-hand knowledge of how difficult it is to get a 645Z for long enough to do extensive testing on, we think it’s great to see its performance recognized.
Pentax 645Z: A great choice for medium-format shooters
Pentax’s medium format camera delivers in all areas
PARIS – November 14, 2017 – DxOMark has just published the results of its in-depth analysis of the Pentax 645Z medium-format camera. With an overall DxOMark sensor score of 101 points, the Pentax 645Z has the second-highest-scoring sensor we’ve ever tested, beaten only by the 51.4Mp Sony sensor in the Hasselblad X1D-50c. The 645Z achieves extremely good sub-scores, indicating that it can capture a huge range of colors and tones in a single file.
It’s clear from our testing that the Pentax 645Z’s sensor is extremely capable, coming within a whisper of matching the performance of the Hasselblad X1D sensor. Its high dynamic range and color sensitivity make the 645Z ideally suited for capturing the types of scenes that are traditionally favored by medium-format photographers — landscapes, weddings, portraits, and other photographic genres that require capturing images with lots of detail, low noise, and smooth tonal gradations.
In addition, the Pentax 645Z controls noise well, making it suitable for use in relatively low light, and perhaps expanding the range of conditions in which medium-format cameras are traditionally used.