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Thread: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

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    Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Looking for a few preliminary opinions on a new system for myself. I do panoramic work and usually end up stitching. I sold my IQ180 and need a go to system that produces the best bang for the buck. Here is what I am currently thinking:


    Sony A7RII with Cambo Actus/Rodenstock HR 40mm (great glass but tough portable system in the weather) or
    Sony A7RII with Canon 24mm TSE (easy to use and good pano results) or
    Pentax 645Z with DA 28-45mm (still a great camera and glass and it is MF so you must know what you are doing and just using it makes beautiful pictures no matter what you point it at, haha, right?)

    Any opinions?

    Mark

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    A few thoughts:

    1. A7rII, still a lot to see from this. Will the new BIS design allow clean shifts? If not then I would not consider it for big movements. The A7r will show quite a bit of red cast on extreme shifts. I tested it last year with the following lenses:

    35XL, 40mm Rodenstock, 60XL, 90HR.

    Also, none of these are really that wide, as they are 35mm, 40mm etc. when used on a 35mm sensor.
    The 35XL really could not be shifted past 5mm maybe 6mm. The 40mm Rodenstock would go to 15mm and showed a lot of color cast, but the LCC correction was able to fix a lot of it. You will also see quite a bit of color saturation loss, which actually was harder to fix for me.


    2. The A7rII with the Canon's, will only go 12mm of shift, not really that much movement for a pano at least to me. You could combine shift and camera movement but you then would need to be level.

    With all the new features the A7rII is adding in sensor and stability, it really could be a game changer and I am looking forward to the testing follows.

    I don't have the Pentax, but have used the IQ150 which has the same sensor. Not a perfect solution for a lot of movement i.e. shifting due to color cast. The C1 LCC correction did a pretty good job in some cases, but with a solid blue sky it was hard to get back (at least for me). On center it's great and I would expect the 645z to be the same.

    The 645z and the 28mm-45mm would be a great camera for landscapes for sure and you could easily nodal pan it with great results. Something I am considering going back to with the XF and 35mm LS, as the tech workflow is getting me down. Modern stitching software allows for a huge amount of leeway now.

    Paul

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Why not the 5Dsr? I was going to bite and get an A7rii but after my recent experience with the a7ii body I ordered a 5Dsr today.

    The Pentax is a stellar option though and I love mine to bits although that 28-45 is an expensive lens but so is the Canon 11-24 I guess!
    Last edited by Chris Giles; 14th July 2015 at 12:53.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Why not the 5Dsr? I was going to bite and get an A7rii but after my recent experience with the a7ii body I ordered a 5Dsr today.
    Because of Canon dynamic range most likely, having used mainly Canon cameras for many years myself, being able to push shadows 4+ stops at a time is revolutionary. I have no idea how I could go back to a camera that can't do that. I suppose that if you're always shooting in ideal conditions or if dynamic range was never a problem for you, then the 5DS can work out.

    On one hand, Canon has some mind-blowing lenses for the landscape/arch photographer, like the 11-24mm, 16-35mm f/4 IS, 17/24mm TS-E, 24-70 2.8 II and so on. On the other hand, it's not a particularly amazing sensor that you're putting these lenses on... 50mp? Yeah, whatever, give me 14 stops DR instead of 11.5 please Canon. Just my opinion.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    Because of Canon dynamic range most likely, having used mainly Canon cameras for many years myself, being able to push shadows 4+ stops at a time is revolutionary. I have no idea how I could go back to a camera that can't do that. I suppose that if you're always shooting in ideal conditions or if dynamic range was never a problem for you, then the 5DS can work out.

    On one hand, Canon has some mind-blowing lenses for the landscape/arch photographer, like the 11-24mm, 16-35mm f/4 IS, 17/24mm TS-E, 24-70 2.8 II and so on. On the other hand, it's not a particularly amazing sensor that you're putting these lenses on... 50mp? Yeah, whatever, give me 14 stops DR instead of 11.5 please Canon. Just my opinion.
    I'm not sure I agree with you there completely. I think in the form of a D810 you would probably be correct (not having a D810 myself I cannot verify). Having recently procured a RX1 (yes older sensor but similar concept) I find that the ability to push Sony files in camera raw is greatly exaggerated, because of the lossy raw compression and the artifacts that it produces. Even a push of 2-3 stops for me has been sufficient to show the posterization that many have shown previously on high contrast edges (which seems to happen a lot in situations where I'd use the higher DR anyways).

    OP: You didn't mention whether you flat stitch or nodal stitch, but I will presume nodal stitch since the 645z basically can't do flat stitching. In that case my vote would be for the 645z, if for nothing else but to avoid compressed raws. If you prefer flat stitching you can't beat the A7 series with either of Canon's newer TS-E lenses. That or that new 11-24.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    I stitch with my 645Z and have no complaints. There is no taking away that whatever other 35mm sensor you are considering, the photo sites on the 645Z are what makes MF what it is. As for other cameras using the same Sony sensor as the 645Z, somehow the Pentax engineers have extracted more from that same sensor than the others-Hasselblad and Phase One. Must be in the translation-i.e., Sony=Japan and Pentax=Japan.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    I will do flat stitching or nodal stitching, it doesn't really matter. While I agree that the photo sites are bigger on the 645Z and to this point, this has been tremendously advantageous to MF, the new BSI sensor allows smaller photo sites to get more light than the old technology so it is interesting to see what this may bring. This is a tough decision. It will be interesting to see what the comparison of A7Rii and 645Z files brings.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    If you don't care about flat vs nodal stitching, then I'd skip the Actus solution for the weather/portability reasons and stick with nodal stitching and the A7rii/canon combo or Pentax.

    As far as a7rii vs Pentax, I'd wait for more reviews/samples on the a7rii and make the decision from there. I've also not been terribly impressed with the lossy compression scheme Sony employs that another member mentioned which gives me pause for the a7rii. I prefer the files from my d800e and d810 over my a7r currently and don't find the a7r files as malleable as the Nikon files. There's talk of firmware upgrades that allow for uncompressed raw but it's not a reality yet as far as I know. A lot of people say artifacts from the sonys are neglible unless you're printing really large. That's probably true but to me that's the whole point of high megapixel cams - to print large when you can/need to. I'm really excited about the a7rii and on paper it checks almost all the right boxes and has great promised bang-for-buck, but until more people start shooting with it we won't know how well it delivers for landscape. The Pentax on the other hand has already shown that it delivers impressive results, especially with the 28-45.

    Out of curiosity, why did you decide to sell the iq180 and move to the a7rii/645z?

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    I agree, I can't wait to see the results of the A7RII. I sold my ALPA STC and IQ180 for financial reasons and a change in career but I also thought it was time for it to go because I do think a CMOS wave is coming to high end Phase One digital backs. Not sure if I could ever get one but I did want to preserve what was left of my IQ180 monetary value before it dropped dramatically again. A 100MP MF full frame CMOS on an ALPA STC with an HR32mm would be perfect.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by markymarkrb View Post
    Looking for a few preliminary opinions on a new system for myself. I do panoramic work and usually end up stitching. I sold my IQ180 and need a go to system that produces the best bang for the buck. Here is what I am currently thinking:


    Sony A7RII with Cambo Actus/Rodenstock HR 40mm (great glass but tough portable system in the weather) or
    Sony A7RII with Canon 24mm TSE (easy to use and good pano results) or
    Pentax 645Z with DA 28-45mm (still a great camera and glass and it is MF so you must know what you are doing and just using it makes beautiful pictures no matter what you point it at, haha, right?)

    Any opinions?

    Mark
    Bang for the buck? No question the A7RII. Well, at least from what we know about it now. The Sony has yet to be thoroughly tested but on paper it seems killer.

    A great advantage of the Sony is that one can use almost any lens on it due to its very short flange focal distance (lens mount to sensor dist.). That is a huge plus.

    Can't wait to see tests with Leica glass. The BSI sensor design should, in theory, all about eliminate issues with light entering the sensor at steep angles.

    As a System the 645z with the 28-45mm lens is an awesome choice due to the proven quality and integration. But with the Sony you get to use the awesome Canon TS-E's including the 17 and 24mm's.

    I love the Pentax with it's optical VF and overall build quality and feel but it is a beast.

    Honesty the A7RII's spec sheet reads like a wish list for a LOT of photographers so it's a must to at least try it out if one is in the market.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Hi,

    Pentax 645Z is a great value. The new lenses are pretty expensive. Lloyd Chambers has tested a lot of the older lenses and he found that most were not really great.

    The Pentax 645Z doesn't have T&S if you need that. There may be an old Pentax 67 shift that may be adapted, tough.

    Personally, I will go the Sony A7rII route. Part of that is because I am an old Minolta/Sony user and have a lot of lenses for that system. Another reason is that I am pretty sure that mirrorless/EVF is where we are going. So, I don't want to buy into old technology.

    Chris Barret a well known architecture photographer made the shift from IQ-260 to Sony A7r, he uses both Canon T&S lenses and a lot Hasselblad CFx (Zeiss) glass. He seems very happy with the Zeiss lenses. check here: ...and I'm out.

    Personally, I have a bunch of things on order:

    • A Sony A7rII
    • A Canon 24/3.5 T&S
    • A Zeiss Batis 85/1.8 lens
    • A Metabones adapter for Canon
    • A Sony adapter for my older Sony lenses.


    Hopefully I get delivery first week of August (according to estimates). I will share my findings when I get the stuff.

    Like Chris Barret I mentioned before, I have a bunch of Zeiss lenses for my Hasselblad/P45+.

    I plan to get the H-Cam Master TS adapter to use with the Hassy lenses. It has been reviewed by Jack Flesher, the image below is from that article.



    This comes with a Canon mount. So I will need another adapter from the Canon bayonet to Hasselblad V.

    Must say, I am a bit skeptical about the Hasselblad lenses on high resolution sensors, not least as I think I see some significant chromatic aberration which may not be easily corrected on a shifted lens.

    On the other hand the Master TS adapter comes around 1000€ (including tax) and having T&S for 6-lenses would be a nice thing.

    Just to mention: The Master TS adapter is mostly based on Mirex adapaters. Mirex has Canon to Hasselblad adapter, which is cheaper than the Master TS, but the Master TS is probably less crammed and has a tripod mount, meaning that we can tilt the camera and not the lens.

    So the Master TS is clearly on my shopping list.

    The original A7r had some problems with vibrations from the shutter. Those should have been eliminated by the electronic first shutter curtain (EFSC) on the A7rII. Without the EFSC the shutter needs to close before exposure, so EFSC improves reaction time significantly.

    Best regards
    Erik





    Quote Originally Posted by markymarkrb View Post
    Looking for a few preliminary opinions on a new system for myself. I do panoramic work and usually end up stitching. I sold my IQ180 and need a go to system that produces the best bang for the buck. Here is what I am currently thinking:


    Sony A7RII with Cambo Actus/Rodenstock HR 40mm (great glass but tough portable system in the weather) or
    Sony A7RII with Canon 24mm TSE (easy to use and good pano results) or
    Pentax 645Z with DA 28-45mm (still a great camera and glass and it is MF so you must know what you are doing and just using it makes beautiful pictures no matter what you point it at, haha, right?)

    Any opinions?

    Mark

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Can Leica S lenses be used in some way with the Aptus, or is there a problem with the electronic control of the aperture? Would offer more limited movements than actuall tech lenses, but pretty amazing edge to edge performance I imagine.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    Because of Canon dynamic range most likely, having used mainly Canon cameras for many years myself, being able to push shadows 4+ stops at a time is revolutionary. I have no idea how I could go back to a camera that can't do that. I suppose that if you're always shooting in ideal conditions or if dynamic range was never a problem for you, then the 5DS can work out.

    On one hand, Canon has some mind-blowing lenses for the landscape/arch photographer, like the 11-24mm, 16-35mm f/4 IS, 17/24mm TS-E, 24-70 2.8 II and so on. On the other hand, it's not a particularly amazing sensor that you're putting these lenses on... 50mp? Yeah, whatever, give me 14 stops DR instead of 11.5 please Canon. Just my opinion.
    I agree and disagree at the same time. I totally hear you about the dynamic range but the A7 files are nothing to shout home about, not really. The Pentax on the other hand, superb. Maybe if Sony unlocked their raw files to be uncompressed then things would be different.

    Jumping back to Canon at ISO100 you can really push all hell out of the files. It's when the ISO bumps up to around 800 that pretty much most cameras start to level out and things like lens options, usability, build quality and so on start to influence the purchase, that was my reasoning at least for stepping from the a7 to the 5dsr.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    I will not try a Sony until they offer DNG or similar files. As we all know the 645Z one can choose from various RAW formats, but to me DNG is what I look for OOC.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Regardless of the lossy Sony RAWs, I find them vastly superior to my 5D III files in DR and flexibility in post. Its not even close IMHO.

    Yes, the 645Z are another substantial step up, but the A7R's files are much closer to the 645Z than the 5D III's are to the A7R to my eyes.

    the A7R II will offer the best bang for the buck, surely. But a Panny GM-1 offers a better bang for the buck still. I would question whether this is the right way to look at such a purchase: isn't it more about whether the additional cost and weight of the 645Z is worth it over the A7R II?

    One cannot be sure without having an A7R II to play with, but with optics included in the equation, I do not see the Sony kit fully rivalling the 645z based on my experiences with the 645Z and the A7R. My 28-45 SR on the Z is unmatched by some margin by anything in my Sony bag.

    For some full-rez 645Z example files and commentary, I wrote up on the 645Z and some of the lenses here. It may help.

    IMHO for most travel/landscape applications, the Sony route would be my choice. For getting the last bit of performance for v large prints and the finest results after heavy processing, the 645Z is likely to come out comfortably ahead. Just my 2 cents.

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    Senior Member ErikKaffehr's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Hi,

    I would agree on DNG being preferable to oddball raw formats, but on the other hand I convert my Sony images direct to DNG on import. I do it with an option so the original raw is imbedded in the DNG, so I can both eat the cake and save it. The cost is larger files…

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    I will not try a Sony until they offer DNG or similar files. As we all know the 645Z one can choose from various RAW formats, but to me DNG is what I look for OOC.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    The more I think about the more I believe the Sony A7RII is a 645z killer. Specially for landscapes. The Sony is much smaller/lighter and accepts a huge range of lenses including tilt/shift lenses. Resolution and Dynamic range of the new Sony sensor should be quite close to the 645z. It is obviously a newer generation sensor with a BSi design so it is possible that it might even be better.

    Yes, I prefer an optical viewfinder when photographing people handheld, specially in the studio when working with flash where light levels are pretty low for EVFs. But in the studio I much prefer a Hasselblad or Phase camera (much better tethering and software integration) or even a 5DS/R. So the 645z is somewhat the oddball choice once the A7RII is out (if it performs as expected or better). Not that any of this will change the fact that the 645z is an excellent camera but it factors in when making a purchasing decision.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    The more I think about the more I believe the Sony A7RII is a 645z killer. Specially for landscapes. The Sony is much smaller/lighter and accepts a huge range of lenses including tilt/shift lenses. Resolution and Dynamic range of the new Sony sensor should be quite close to the 645z. It is obviously a newer generation sensor with a BSi design so it is possible that it might even be better.

    Yes, I prefer an optical viewfinder when photographing people handheld, specially in the studio when working with flash where light levels are pretty low for EVFs. But in the studio I much prefer a Hasselblad or Phase camera (much better tethering and software integration) or even a 5DS/R. So the 645z is somewhat the oddball choice once the A7RII is out (if it performs as expected or better). Not that any of this will change the fact that the 645z is an excellent camera but it factors in when making a purchasing decision.
    The A7rii is certainly an interesting camera with a high possibility to rip a decent share of the MF market but all the time the sensor is 135 it'll miss a certain look and feel to the image.
    Saying that, ask me in two weeks when I've done side by sides of the 5Dsr and the 645z at a few weddings because if I can dump the 645z for the lighter setup and am able to go back to a single line of lenses I will. Just so long as the images don't lose something.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    I think in all round terms the A7R II will be a gem and even more compelling with the new lenses slowly being released, but a lot of this resolution potential comes down to lenses. I have not found anything on the Sony wide side that can compete with the 28-45 lens on the 645Z, prime or not. I don't think 6 extra MP will change that. The 25mm Batis looks like it might just do so, but its a 25mm, whereas the 28-45mm is a 21 to 35 equivalent, which means its a much more flexible tool.

    The 645Z has bigger pixels and if you are a fan of 4:3, the A7R II's 42MP drops to 38. More MP and better lenses has inevitable consequences and I find the images from the 645Z look smoother overall and have more processing potential. While the A7R II will surely close the gap somewhat, I will be very surprised if it can truly match the 645Z for performance. I am ready to be amazed however!

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by turtle View Post
    I think in all round terms the A7R II will be a gem and even more compelling with the new lenses slowly being released, but a lot of this resolution potential comes down to lenses. I have not found anything on the Sony wide side that can compete with the 28-45 lens on the 645Z, prime or not. I don't think 6 extra MP will change that. The 25mm Batis looks like it might just do so, but its a 25mm, whereas the 28-45mm is a 21 to 35 equivalent, which means its a much more flexible tool.

    The 645Z has bigger pixels and if you are a fan of 4:3, the A7R II's 42MP drops to 38. More MP and better lenses has inevitable consequences and I find the images from the 645Z look smoother overall and have more processing potential. While the A7R II will surely close the gap somewhat, I will be very surprised if it can truly match the 645Z for performance. I am ready to be amazed however!

    The elephant in the room that no one is considering is that up to this point, we have all seen and witnessed that when a sensor has bigger photosites, it takes smoother "nicer" looking pictures but her comes BSI technology and I do think it has the potential to change that thinking as now the photosites are closer to the surface of the sensor and can gather more light. Time will tell.

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    I'm happy with it, need to play about some more but initial stuff looks great.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    I'm happy with it, need to play about some more but initial stuff looks great.

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    from what camera is that?

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    Senior Member Chris Giles's Avatar
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    from what camera is that?
    Canon 5DSr Ken.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    from what camera is that?
    This whole thread Chris has been talking about waiting for his 5DSR to arrive so that he can test it out. Edit: beaten

    +100 shadows is nothing though, add +4 exposure as well to really test it out, although even on this web-size jpeg the shadows in the bushes in the background already look fairly crunchy. Canon cameras also have some DR in the highlights, so add some negative setting to the highlights.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post
    This whole thread Chris has been talking about waiting for his 5DSR to arrive so that he can test it out. Edit: beaten

    +100 shadows is nothing though, add +4 exposure as well to really test it out, although even on this web-size jpeg the shadows in the bushes in the background already look fairly crunchy. Canon cameras also have some DR in the highlights, so add some negative setting to the highlights.
    Yep, +1 by itself is not much.

    Canons start to break down at about +3 exposure and at +4 and beyond they get really ugly. Of course the 5DS/R have much more resolution/pixels so one can use noise reduction more aggressively and still retain a lot of detail. But still, color quality in the shadows goes down quickly. The stock Adobe profile for the 5DS/R looks fairly contrasty, I would dial down contrast quite a bit also.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    ISO800

    First image SOOC
    Second image +2 exposure and +100 shadows
    Third image +4 exposure and +100 shadows

    Best I have right now, will get something real ugly for you in a moment.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    First image, ISO100 -4 stops.
    Second image +4 exposure in post
    Third image +100 shadows
    Fourth image, close up.

    As with all my cameras I don't sharpen, use noise reduction or anything like that.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Processed to my taste (but still +4 stops). We're in interesting times with cameras. I'm particularly happy with the colours of the Canon, more so than my Pentax and A7ii. It'll be interesting to see broader use of this with skin tones over the next few weddings.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    I am not really sure I understand the point of underexposing by 4 EV only to push by the same value afterwards.

    ...although, I do that all the time with my antique Hasselblad MF. It does not have an analogue amplifier, so any ISO above base ISO (which is ISO 50) is digital push. ISO 50 + 4 EV is ISO 400, which I sometimes use. Looks reasonably fine to me. But my Hasselblad is a CCD camera, designed in 2008, 7 years ago.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I am not really sure I understand the point of underexposing by 4 EV only to push by the same value afterwards.

    ...although, I do that all the time with my antique Hasselblad MF. It does not have an analogue amplifier, so any ISO above base ISO (which is ISO 50) is digital push. ISO 50 + 4 EV is ISO 400, which I sometimes use. Looks reasonably fine to me. But my Hasselblad is a CCD camera, designed in 2008, 7 years ago.
    Quite, I'm the same with my 645z, expose for the highlights and then push the rest. I tend to expose correctly so don't need the push files so much.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Quite, I'm the same with my 645z, expose for the highlights and then push the rest. I tend to expose correctly so don't need the push files so much.
    I am pretty sure you expose correctly! I understand you did that just for the test.

    What I wanted to point out is that digital pushing by +4 EV was already done as a standard function in digital backs in 2008, since this is the way my antique camera operates when set to ISO 400. If Hasselblad built that as a standard function, I think that they thought it was already good enough at the time.

    So, basically, your test shows that your camera can do what a digital back could already do in 2008.

    (Note that I am discussing the test, not the particular camera)

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    I am pretty sure you expose correctly! I understand you did that just for the test.

    What I wanted to point out is that digital pushing by +4 EV was already done as a standard function in digital backs in 2008, since this is the way my antique camera operates when set to ISO 400. If Hasselblad built that as a standard function, I think that they thought it was already good enough at the time.

    So, basically, your test shows that your camera can do what a digital back could already do in 2008.

    (Note that I am discussing the test, not the particular camera)
    I know

    I thought with CCDs the signal beyond ISO100 was amped by software anyway and CMOS the amplification was carried out at the point of capture.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    I thought with CCDs the signal beyond ISO100 was amped by software anyway and CMOS the amplification was carried out at the point of capture.

    Not really. The necessity for analogue amps comes from using an ADC with insufficient bit depth.

    CCD or CMOS of about 6 µm pitch have a full well of about 50K photons. If you use a 16-bits ADC, you can count from 0 to 65535, so you can count the whole dynamic range of your sensor without needing analogue adjustment.

    If you only have a 12-bits ADC, you can count from 0 to 4095, or by analogue amping down by a factor of 2, from 2 to 8191, or from 4 to 16385, or from 16 to 32767, or from 32 to 65535 (full well).

    Early DSLRs had only 12-bits ADCs, so they needed an analogue amplifier. Hasselblad chose to use a high-end 16-bits ADC, so did not really need an analogue amplifier. On CMOS sensors, the ADCs are directly on the chip and the constraints of integration mean that using really fancy ones is difficult. Early CMOS ADCs were also only 12-bits.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    On CMOS sensors, the ADCs are directly on the chip and the constraints of integration mean that using really fancy ones is difficult.
    Specifically, Sony sensors have on-chip A/D conversion, which is why they have so little read noise compared to other manufacturers. I don't know if there are other companies that have adopted this technology, but you need to have a sufficiently small manufacturing process to put circuitry directly on the sensor, and Canon refuses to budge from their tried and tested methods that are too large to put anything on-sensor except pixels. They recently improved this and now have on-sensor PDAF, but still no A/D conversion, meanwhile Sony is pushing even further by using copper wiring and BSI to maximize the speed at which photons are read off the sensor and converted to data.

    This is a big shame, since if we were to calculate the dynamic range of the 1DX recursively based on it's linear noise performance from ISO800~12800, it should have had even more DR than the D810 at ISO100 by nearly a stop. As it stands, the 1DX loses just around 0.5 stops of DR going from ISO100 to ISO800, because the read noise level significantly exceeds sensor noise.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    The A7rii is certainly an interesting camera with a high possibility to rip a decent share of the MF market but all the time the sensor is 135 it'll miss a certain look and feel to the image.
    Saying that, ask me in two weeks when I've done side by sides of the 5Dsr and the 645z at a few weddings because if I can dump the 645z for the lighter setup and am able to go back to a single line of lenses I will. Just so long as the images don't lose something.
    Chris, I sold my 5DSR two weeks ago, after having tested it against the 645Z (there is a thread on it here).

    At the end of the day, the camera needs to be coupled with a lens for the final results and in my comparison, not only was the Pentax better at pulling up shadows (no surprise there), but the best Canon glass I have (the 16-35 f4 IS and the 24-70 f2.8 MkII) could not match the Pentax with its legacy glass (the FA 45-85 and FA75) in center AND particularly corner sharpness, even when stopped down.

    So for me, cost not being the most important factor (anybody who has owned a Phase IQ180 will agree that that was one helluva poor bang for the buck), the final IQ battle was won by the Pentax. The weight/heft/ease of use etc are secondary issues.

    FWIW, I've also owned the Canon 24 TSE MkII and was not blown away by its IQ either. So the argument that the A7RII will be super sharp and better than the Pentax because you can put the Canon TSE lenses on it does not hold water for me.
    Last edited by Pradeep; 17th July 2015 at 06:52.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken_R View Post
    Yep, +1 by itself is not much.

    Canons start to break down at about +3 exposure and at +4 and beyond they get really ugly. Of course the 5DS/R have much more resolution/pixels so one can use noise reduction more aggressively and still retain a lot of detail. But still, color quality in the shadows goes down quickly. The stock Adobe profile for the 5DS/R looks fairly contrasty, I would dial down contrast quite a bit also.
    I tested my 5DSR against the Pentax 645Z going from underexposure to overexposure and found that the Canon, even at ISO 100 was unable to pull up the shadows as cleanly. For a fair comparison you will need to have the same scene/lighting set up for both cameras and then see how much the image can be manipulated and what the results are.

    I have an A7RII on order so yes, I too am very interested in getting a package that is not cumbersome and will not break the back or the bank.

    These are interesting times.....
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    Not really. The necessity for analogue amps comes from using an ADC with insufficient bit depth.

    CCD or CMOS of about 6 µm pitch have a full well of about 50K photons. If you use a 16-bits ADC, you can count from 0 to 65535, so you can count the whole dynamic range of your sensor without needing analogue adjustment.

    If you only have a 12-bits ADC, you can count from 0 to 4095, or by analogue amping down by a factor of 2, from 2 to 8191, or from 4 to 16385, or from 16 to 32767, or from 32 to 65535 (full well).

    Early DSLRs had only 12-bits ADCs, so they needed an analogue amplifier. Hasselblad chose to use a high-end 16-bits ADC, so did not really need an analogue amplifier. On CMOS sensors, the ADCs are directly on the chip and the constraints of integration mean that using really fancy ones is difficult. Early CMOS ADCs were also only 12-bits.
    This is a great post. It helps me understand what issues really contribute to and control noise in sensor design. It's really very similar to the relationship of analog s/n to bit depth in audio recording.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Hi,

    There are a couple of points missing.

    One is that modern CMOS sensors seem to have increased in full well capacity. I don't have actual numbers but I would guess that say Nikon D810 and say Phase One IQ have similar FWC (number of electron charges stored).

    The other point is that the maximum meaningful amount of information from a sensor is FWC / readout noise. Readout noise for a Phase One IQ 180 may be around 12 electron charges. So the amount of information is really around 1:3800, say 1:4000. To represent that range you need 12 bits. So the output from the ADC is 16 bit but 4 bits of that is noise.

    With recent CMOS sensors Sony and other vendors moved the ADCs on the chip. Normally there is an ADC for each column, so a normal 24 MP sensor has 6000 ADCs. Those ADCs are probably simple ramp type devices and can have long conversion times as each ADC only handles 4000 pixels.

    Noise levels of on sensor ADCs may go down to 2 electron charges. Using the same source of info as for the the IQ-180 we find that a Sony Alpha 99 has a full well capacity of 64682 and and a readout noise of 2 electron charges. That means the useful information is around 60000/2 = 30000
    which corresponds to 13.8 bits, that is close to 14 bits. In real world the Sony A99 seem to deliver around 13 bits of information, though. Both Pentax and Nikon seems to make better use of those Sony sensor then Sony themselves.

    Now, DxO mark actually measures this. It is pretty much the same as engineering DR in "screen mode", this figure is 11.89 EV (12 bits) for the IQ-180 and 13.15 for the Sony Alpha 99. So the IQ-180 is actually a 12 bit device while the Sony Alpha is essentially a 13 bit device.

    The image below was shot on the Sony Alpha 99


    And this one was shot on my P45+


    Both of these images were shot so they would retain some highlight detail in the windows.

    Now, lets look at the Piano at the bottom of each image, first the Sony Alpha 99:


    And the P45+:


    These are not test shots under controlled circumstances but real world exposures based on ETTR using in camera histograms. The exposure on the Sony may have been more optimal. I tried to process both images similarly. Note that the P45+ image is 39 MP while the Sony Alpha 99 image is 24MP, downscaling the P45+ image to 24MP would reduce noise to some extent. But this is more like intended to illustrate dynamic range and bits needed rather than comparing different sizes of sensors.

    The raw images are here, these are DNGs with original raw image embedded, can be extracted using Adobe DNG converter.
    http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Ar...7-CF045290.dng
    http://echophoto.dnsalias.net/ekr/Ar..._lumariver.dng

    Just to say, I have not seen spec sheets for the IQ-180 sensor, but the Dalsa Specsheet for IQ-160 sensor gives around 12 bits and Phase One-s published figure was also around 12 EV (12 bits), the IQ-250 and IQ-350 supposedly deliver 14 EV corresponding to 14 bits of data and according to Phase One the camera has 14 bit wide data path.

    Best regards
    Erik
    Quote Originally Posted by D Fuller View Post
    This is a great post. It helps me understand what issues really contribute to and control noise in sensor design. It's really very similar to the relationship of analog s/n to bit depth in audio recording.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    There are a couple of points missing.
    My post was indeed vastly simplified. I was just answering a specific question.

    One is that modern CMOS sensors seem to have increased in full well capacity. I don't have actual numbers but I would guess that say Nikon D810 and say Phase One IQ have similar FWC (number of electron charges stored).
    There is no indication that FWC has increased in a meaningful manner, especially when the pixels have be shrunk. Besides, increased FWC would only be useful if we were able to get more photons, which means either lower ISO or higher quantum efficiency or both. We are already relatively close to the maximum of quantum efficiency on modern cameras.

    The other point is that the maximum meaningful amount of information from a sensor is FWC / readout noise. Readout noise for a Phase One IQ 180 may be around 12 electron charges. So the amount of information is really around 1:3800, say 1:4000. To represent that range you need 12 bits. So the output from the ADC is 16 bit but 4 bits of that is noise.
    Yes and no. Having 4 bits of info on the noise will allow noise reduction to work better.

    With recent CMOS sensors Sony and other vendors moved the ADCs on the chip. Normally there is an ADC for each column, so a normal 24 MP sensor has 6000 ADCs. Those ADCs are probably simple ramp type devices and can have long conversion times as each ADC only handles 4000 pixels.
    That is true and is a Sony Patent.

    Noise levels of on sensor ADCs may go down to 2 electron charges.
    Yes and no. Part of that extremely low figure is due to correlated dual sampling, which adds some problem of its own. But discussing this would lead us too far from the title of the thread, which concerns the 645Z and the A7RII. The two cameras use a Sony chip.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Comments, see below:

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by jerome_m View Post
    My post was indeed vastly simplified. I was just answering a specific question.



    There is no indication that FWC has increased in a meaningful manner, especially when the pixels have be shrunk. Besides, increased FWC would only be useful if we were able to get more photons, which means either lower ISO or higher quantum efficiency or both. We are already relatively close to the maximum of quantum efficiency on modern cameras.

    Yes, but there are indications that minimum ISO is going down. Also, SNR seems to go up a bit. What I see is that the pixels are shrunk but FWC seems to stay around 60000.

    For instance: Base ISO on the Sony Alpha is 119 ISO according to DxO and SNR at base ISO is 41.2 dB while the Sony A7rhas a base ISO 73 and SNR 45.2 dB. So SNR (18%), which is only function of full well capacity, has increased 4db. SNR is proportional to SQRT(FWC) so I would suggest that FWC/sensor area has been dubbled between the A900 and the A7r although the A7r has smaller pixels.

    Sony Alpha 900 versus Sony A7R - Side by side camera comparison - DxOMark





    Yes and no. Having 4 bits of info on the noise will allow noise reduction to work better.

    I have not seen article confirming this, you perhaps have a reference?



    That is true and is a Sony Patent.
    Hi, I don't know if it is a Sony patent, I much doubt it because I think there are older implementations. Leica CMOSIS sensor also has column converters, but with higher base ISO and lower SNR. Toshiba has also column ADCs, so they may be more of a norm than an exception.



    Yes and no. Part of that extremely low figure is due to correlated dual sampling, which adds some problem of its own.

    Hi, correlated double sampling is simply measuring cell voltage before and after exposure, AFAIK, correct me if I am wrong.

    Check this article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correl...ouble_sampling


    But discussing this would lead us too far from the title of the thread, which concerns the 645Z and the A7RII. The two cameras use a Sony chip.

    Quite right, both are 14 bit devices.
    Last edited by ErikKaffehr; 17th July 2015 at 12:15. Reason: Changed color from red to green

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Hi,

    Nice to hear something positive about Canon's colours. Most posters are negative, it seems.

    My take is a bit that I would think I have seen more great pictures taken with Canons than with any other camera. The other is that I am pretty sure that much is depending on colour profiles.

    Which raw converter are you using?

    I decided to go with Sony A7rII, for a few different reason. One of the major reasons was the ability to use Canon's T&S lenses. So I have a Canin 24/3.5 TSE II waiting at the post office, but no camera to put it on. Two weeks of waiting...

    Best regards
    Erik

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Giles View Post
    Processed to my taste (but still +4 stops). We're in interesting times with cameras. I'm particularly happy with the colours of the Canon, more so than my Pentax and A7ii. It'll be interesting to see broader use of this with skin tones over the next few weddings.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Nice to hear something positive about Canon's colours. Most posters are negative, it seems.
    I would say disappointed rather than negative, but not where the colors are concerned, just the pattern noise and limited ISO. I've always been a fan of their system otherwise.

    My take is a bit that I would think I have seen more great pictures taken with Canons than with any other camera. The other is that I am pretty sure that much is depending on colour profiles.
    On a purely statistical level, an image is more likely to be captured on a Canon camera than any other, so invariably you're going to see an image you like shot on this brand more than others.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Yes,

    I am quite aware of that. But what I see is that great photographers take great images with Canon cameras fully ignoring the awful colour rendition and the mediocre DR :-)

    Josh Holko, an Australian landscape photographer comes to mind, but also Hans Kruse who shoots both Canon 5Ds and Nikon D800. I will meet up with Hans in the Dolomites end of August and hope I can compare my Sony A7rII to his 5Ds :-)

    Best regards
    Erik



    Quote Originally Posted by Kolor-Pikker View Post


    On a purely statistical level, an image is more likely to be captured on a Canon camera than any other, so invariably you're going to see an image you like shot on this brand more than others.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Hi,

    Nice to hear something positive about Canon's colours. Most posters are negative, it seems.

    My take is a bit that I would think I have seen more great pictures taken with Canons than with any other camera. The other is that I am pretty sure that much is depending on colour profiles.

    Which raw converter are you using?

    I decided to go with Sony A7rII, for a few different reason. One of the major reasons was the ability to use Canon's T&S lenses. So I have a Canin 24/3.5 TSE II waiting at the post office, but no camera to put it on. Two weeks of waiting...

    Best regards
    Erik
    Erik, Adobe standard profile always seems to do a great job with canon files so while I do have a few home made profiles for certain applications anything I post here will be adobe standard.
    Chris Giles Photography
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Yes,

    I am quite aware of that. But what I see is that great photographers take great images with Canon cameras fully ignoring the awful colour rendition and the mediocre DR :-)

    Josh Holko, an Australian landscape photographer comes to mind, but also Hans Kruse who shoots both Canon 5Ds and Nikon D800. I will meet up with Hans in the Dolomites end of August and hope I can compare my Sony A7rII to his 5Ds :-)

    Best regards
    Erik
    Yeah, it is a miracle that great images were made before the Sony EXMOR was available...
    Last edited by Ken_R; 17th July 2015 at 17:03.
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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by markymarkrb View Post
    A 100MP MF full frame CMOS on an ALPA STC with an HR32mm would be perfect.
    Oh yes ...
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikKaffehr View Post
    Yes,

    I am quite aware of that. But what I see is that great photographers take great images with Canon cameras fully ignoring the awful colour rendition and the mediocre DR :-)

    Josh Holko, an Australian landscape photographer comes to mind, but also Hans Kruse who shoots both Canon 5Ds and Nikon D800. I will meet up with Hans in the Dolomites end of August and hope I can compare my Sony A7rII to his 5Ds :-)

    Best regards
    Erik
    Very true Erik.

    A great photographer would take a better picture (aesthetically) with an iPhone than most amateurs could with an MF rig. I mean Ritchie Blackmore could produce far better music on a tin can than I could on a Strat.

    BUT, us amateurs are striving to achieve the best image quality possible and having a top of the line system does provide that extra little push .........
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Pradeep

    It will be interesting to read your analysis and comments on using the A7R2 versus the 645Z.

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    Quote Originally Posted by algrove View Post
    Pradeep

    It will be interesting to read your analysis and comments on using the A7R2 versus the 645Z.
    I am hardly qualified but it will be an interesting comparison. I hope I am able to get it before my trip to Iceland at the end of August. Was planning to take the Pentax but will likely now take both systems to try them out.
    Too much to list, let's just say I have a bad case of GAS.........

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    Re: Pentax 645Z vs A7RII IQ and bang for the buck

    I have two A7r's and a Pentax 645D and 645Z. When I got the A7r's, they were a bigger bang for the buck than the 645D in terms of portability, predictable focusing, and lens options and in some cases resolution (due to the ability to get the focus spot on through live view). The downside was the raw file compression and the lack of a reliable build for the Sony bodies. For example mine gave out in Antarctica while the 645D kept on ticking, having been exposed to humid jungles and a typhoon in Japan over the years I had it. Some of the small buttons and switches on the back of the A7r are already loose and will probably stop functioning properly in the next few months.

    There camera reliability/build quality and things such as dual card slots are often forgotten in bang for the buck type of discussions. It all depends on what you value when shooting and how much demand you put on your gear. If you are going to some extreme locations, the weight of the system matters, but a solid non toy built camera can matter more at the end of the day. So will the post processing potential of the files when you get back. In my case, most of the files I have shot with the A7r in dense mountain fog or rain exhibit mushy color areas and a big loss of the subtleties that make such scenes come across in a final print. In such cases the bang for the buck totally swings back to the Pentax system.

    I assume the differences between the A7rII and the 645Z will be about the same as they were between the 645D and the original A7r. The 645Z will be the workhorse I take on pre planned shoots, and the A7rII will be the camera I always have in my backpack for the unexpected shots and for higher altitude trips where a heavy camera kit is basically out of the question without a dedicated porter.

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