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While the Pentax 645d may not be the best medium format digital camera and the best digital camera, it is certainly a fantastic choice for photographers new to medium format digital photography that don’t want to shell out the cash for a Hasselblad X1D II 50C. The Pentax 645d offers high resolution, high ISO, and a weather-sealed body, all of which make the Pentax 645d an excellent camera for capturing high-quality images, rain or shine.

Why We Like It – Pentax 645D

The Pentax 645d is a more affordable option for photographers branching out into medium format photography, but that doesn’t mean image quality suffers for it. Thanks to the 40-megapixel resolution from the CCD sensor and high ISO, this camera is a great gateway for those looking to try out the medium format sensor size. For a more compact travel camera, consider the Panasonic Lumix TZ200.

  • Weather sealed body
  • Great photos at high ISO
  • High resolution
  • Slow to write images
  • Heavy and awkward

Image Quality

The CCD sensor of the Pentax 645d delivers professional quality images that surpass that of 35mm full-frame digital SLR cameras. Like other digital SLR cameras, the Pentax 645d utilizes an AF system that makes it simple to capture even the smallest details for a gallery-worthy shot. The high ISO means the Pentax 645d can even produce great photos in ultra-low light. The ability to save the raw files from the Pentax 645d will also please users, as it ensures they will get the purist image quality possible from their camera. A similar top-quality medium format camera is the Pentax 645z model.

Ease of Use

Unlike the technically compatible Mamiya digital camera, this digital camera is a behemoth. This camera might be a bit much for handheld photography; a tripod is an absolute must to get the best image quality out of this one. Lens-wise, there aren’t many made specifically for the Pentax 645d, but the lens mount here is functional with all Pentax lenses. Most reviewers do cite one major downside to the Pentax 645d, and that’s speed. Users report that images can take anywhere from 4- 6 seconds to write to the memory card, so be prepared to be patient.

Battery Life

Photographers can expect about 800 shots out of the Pentax 645d on a single battery charge. This translates to approximately 440 minutes of playback time using the LCD screen. As is to be expected with any DSLR camera, the battery life of the Pentax 645d is highly dependent on the shooting style of the photographer. When compared to more expensive options in the medium format digital camera market, the Pentax 645d far and away takes the cake in the battery life department.


Thanks largely to the fact that the Pentax 645d is weather sealed, you won’t have to worry too much about shooting in harsher conditions. The Pentax 645d also boasts a reinforced glass upper surface on the LCD screen, reducing the likelihood of chips and scratches. Landscape photographers looking to get artsy regardless of weather conditions will be confident knowing their camera is safe from the elements. In addition, Pentax offers a small line of weather-sealed lenses to accompany this camera’s mighty body.


Value is a major selling point of the Pentax 645d. Now that the camera has been available for several years, it’s not difficult to get an aftermarket one for less than half of the original asking price. In comparison to more powerful cameras like Hasselblad digital cameras, the Pentax 645d is a mere fraction of the price. At $2600 on Amazon, this camera is a steal for photographers that want to experiment with medium format digital photography. The fact that the 645d can produce incredibly high-resolution images is indisputable; photographers are more than assured to get their money’s worth out of this purchase.

Pentax 645D Wrap Up

Photographers that desire superb image quality really ought to try out medium format photography for a change of scenery from standard full frame cameras. The CCD sensor delivers professional quality images that can’t be beat, especially for this price. The weather-sealed body makes this camera perfect regardless of weather conditions, but photographers should be ready to wait a significant amount of time for this camera to write its images to memory.

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