Japan, Pentax 645D, Photography
Comments 3

Pentax 645D v Nikon D3X v Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III

日本カメラ Nihon Camera April 2010

日本カメラ Nihon Camera April 2010

The April edition of Nihon Camera 日本カメラ includes a couple of very interesting things for Pentaxians. The first is a history of Pentax’s medium format cameras, the second is a detailed overview of the new Pentax 645D camera including a comparison of the camera with the top of the range 35mm digital cameras.

Here’s some (but not all) of the differences between the Pentax 645D, the Nikon D3X  and the Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III.


Pentax 645D: 44x33mm 40MP CCD

Nikon D3X: 35.9x24mm 24.5MP CMOS

Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III: 36x24mm 21.1MP CMOS

Live View

Pentax 645D: No

Nikon D3X: Yes

Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III: Yes

Dust Removal System

Pentax 645D: Yes

Nikon D3X: No

Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III: Yes

Max Shutter Speed

Pentax 645D: 1/4000

Nikon D3X: 1/8000

Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III: 1/8000

Frames per second

Pentax 645D: 1.1

Nikon D3X: 5

Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III: 5

Memory Card

Pentax 645D: SD / SDHC cards

Nikon D3X: CF cards

Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III: CF cards & SD / SDHC cards

Weight (body only)

Pentax 645D: 1480g

Nikon D3X: 1220g

Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III: 1210g

Price (Japan list price / Amazon.co.jp / B&H)

Pentax 645D: ¥850,000 / ¥848,000 (10% points) / Not available

Nikon D3X: ¥830,000 / ¥740,520 /   $7,469.95

Canon EOS-1 Ds Mark III: ¥790,000 / ¥686,280 /  $6299.95

The very fact that the magazine chose to compare the Pentax 645 with 35mm digital cameras rather than other medium format cameras is interesting. Of course Pentax users with 67 and 645 lenses will be considering the 645D, but Pentax will be hoping that some of Japan’s Nikon or Canon shooters will defect and “upgrade” to the larger format.

The reality is that most Nikon and Canon shooters will probably have a large array of Nikon and Canon lenses that they want to continue using. Also brand loyalty is extremely strong in the camera world. I imagine that the auto focus for the Pentax will be much slower than its 35mm rivals. But a camera that can shoot a maximum of 1.1 frames per second is clearly not designed for sports photography.

The other big question is whether the Pentax 645D will tempt those who were considering getting a similar spec Leica S2, Hasselblad H3DII-39, or Phase One 645AF P40+ for around 3 times the price. The Pentax 67 was nicknamed Gulliver for its giant size. I have my suspicions that the photography world will nickname the 645D Godzilla as its performance will no doubt be monstrous.


  1. Pentax needs to take the LX and make it digital. That is all. The money they make from everyone dumping their colorful K-7s and other digi Ks they can put into research and development for a more competitive system with features that match the flagship cameras of the big 2 (Canon/Nikon).

  2. bourana says

    instead of just writing words wouldn’t be better to show us picture samples?

    • I can’t show pictures from the magazine for copyright reasons, and as I haven’t shot with all three cameras myself the best I could do was a brief translation of the magazine article.

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