Pentax 645Z vs Sony Alpha a6500

  • Medium format
  • 51 megapixels
  • Pentax 645AF2
  • 70
    Overall
  • 60
    Imaging
  • 55
    Features
  • 66
    Size
  • 0
    Price
  • APS-C
  • 24 megapixels
  • Sony E
  • 53
    Overall
  • 25
    Imaging
  • 71
    Features
  • 79
    Size
  • 0
    Price

Pentax 645Z vs Sony Alpha a6500: a Complete Review and Comparison

Are you looking for the best camera to suit your needs? Due to a wide range of options, making a wise and weighted decision can be rather challenging. Which specs to keep in mind? What are the key pros and cons of each model? This comparison should give some helpful hints!

In this review, we are going to make a detailed comparison of two cameras that fall into different categories. While the first model we are looking at, Pentax 645Z belongs to a Pro DSLR category, the other model, Pentax 645Z is a Semi-Pro Mirrorless camera. Pentax 645Z is equipped with a 51.0 MP CMOS sensor, while Sony Alpha a6500 comes with a 24.0 MP CMOS sensor.

Both cameras we are going to look at in our overview fall into two different categories - DSLR and MirrorLess. Keeping in mind all the distinctive features of each category, it will be hard to make a detailed comparison of these two models. However, we will do our best to make this review as unbiased and detailed as possible.

To get started, let’s take a look at some of the key features of Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500 and, after this, we can go on to our detailed comparison of these models.

Pentax 645Z Key Features:

  • 51.0 MP Medium format CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 204800
  • Image Stabilization: No
  • 3.2″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 3.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p,24p)
  • Built-in Wireless: No
  • Dimensions: 156 x 117 x 123 mm
  • Weight: 1550 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: Yes
  • Replaced Pentax 645D. Compare

Sony Alpha a6500 Key Features:

  • 24.0 MP APS-C CMOS sensor
  • ISO 100 - 25600 (Expands to 51200)
  • Image Stabilization: Yes
  • 3″ Tilting Screen
  • ViewFinder: Yes
  • 11.0 fps Continuous Shooting
  • Video: 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
  • Built-in Wireless: Yes
  • Dimensions: 120 x 67 x 53 mm
  • Weight: 453 g
  • Environmental Sealing: Yes
  • Built-in GPS: No
  • Replaced Sony A6300.

Pentax 645Z substituted Pentax 645D. Be sure to check out some of our other overviews that may also interest you:
Pentax 645Z vs. 645D
Pentax 645D vs. Sony Alpha a6500

Why is Pentax 645Z a better choice than Sony Alpha a6500

Storage Slots 2 vs 1 Extra storage slot
Sensor Resolution 51.0 MP vs 24.0 MP 52.9% more pixels
Sensor Area 1452 mm2 vs 366.6 mm2 74.8% larger pixel area
Screen Size 3.2″ vs 3″ 0.2" larger screen
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots vs 922k dots 11.1% higher resolution screen
Battery Life 650 shots vs 350 shots 300 more frames with a single charge
Dxo Color Depth 26 vs 24.5 Better color depth
Dxo Dynamic Range 14.7 vs 13.7 Better dynamic range
Dxo Low Light Iso 4505 vs 1405 Better High ISO performance
Viewfinder Magnification 0.85 vs 0.7 0.15 better magnification

What are the key reasons to pick Sony Alpha a6500 over Pentax 645Z

Wireless Connectivity Yes vs No Better connectivity
NFC Yes vs No Easy wireless connectivity with compatible devices
Image Stabilization Yes vs No All lenses are stabilized
Continuous Shooting 11 fps vs 3 fps 8 fps faster
Built-In Flash Yes vs No All the lenses are stabilized
Flash Range 6 vs No 6 better flash range
Number Of Focus Points 425 vs 27 398 more focus points
Touch Screen Yes vs No Easy control of camera functions
Weight 453 g vs 1550 g 1097 g lighter
Max Video Resolution 3840 x 2160 vs 1920 x 1080 Higher Resolution Video

Key PROs of Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500

Screen Size 3.2″ | 3″ Large display
Screen Type Tilting | Tilting Help viewing and changing settings easily
Viewfinder Optical (pentaprism) | Electronic Better framing and control
Raw Support Yes | Yes Better image quality
Sensor Resolution 51.0 MP | 24.0 MP Bigger prints and more details
AutoFocus Face Detection Yes | Yes Very handy for portraits
Microphone Port Yes | Yes High quality audio recording option
Bracketing Yes | Yes Useful for tough lighting conditions and HDR
Flash Sync Port Yes | Yes Port for Flash Sync
Environmental Sealing Yes | Yes Shoot at tough conditions

Key CONs of Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500

Headphone Port No | No No headphone port

Pentax 645Z vs Sony Alpha a6500: Comparing Two Models By Physical Characteristics

Before heading straight to the technical characteristics of each model, let’s start with comparing their physical specs. Let’s start with looking at the physical difference of the two products. Below are images that clearly show the sizes of Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500 from the front view.

Pentax 645Z
Sony Alpha a6500
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Now, let’s go on and see how the reviewed models are different or similar by the top view.

Pentax 645Z
Sony Alpha a6500
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After looking at these images, you should get a clear idea of each model’s dimensions and how they are different from each other. However, we are not going to stop there. The next characteristic worth looking at is the weight. Of course, not every photographer is concerned about the weight, for example, it wouldn't be a decisive point for those who shoot in a studio. However, it is still an important factor because if you happen to go on a long photo session or just love having the camera with you wherever you go, you want to be sure that the chosen model isn't too heavy.

Speaking of weight, Sony Alpha a6500 is a lighter option of these two, as it weights 1097g less than the Pentax 645Z. This difference, in fact, can become a significant disadvantage for the photographers, who prefer to have their cameras with them wherever they go.

Comparing Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500 by the type of Sensor and Resolution

Sensor is, without a doubt, the most significant element of every digital camera. Its type, size, and resolution are the factors that define the quality of future shots. Thus, it is barely possible to pick a suitable camera without looking at these specs.

Are Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500 any different in terms of sensor type?

In fact, that's exactly what makes these two models really different. Thus, it is a good point to consider if your are choosing between these two cameras. Pentax 645Z features a 51.0 MP Medium format sized CMOS sensor and boasts of a PRIME III processor . Sony Alpha a6500, in its turn, comes with a 24.0 MP APS-C sized CMOS sensor and Bionz X processor , which makes it significantly different from the first model.

Take a look below to find the comparison of Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500 by the size of their sensors.

Pentax 645Z
Sony Alpha a6500
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One more distinctive feature of compared models is the sensor size. Pentax 645Z has a sensor area 0.3x bigger compared to Sony Alpha a6500. What does it mean? This basically means that if you these cameras them with the same aperture and focal length, the first model will give you more control in terms of the blurry background and depth of field.

For Which Fields Of Photography Are Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500 Suitable?

If you are interested in photography or has made a career in this field, you should know that different types of shooting actually require different camera characteristics. While one model can produce outstanding portraits, at the same time, it can be terrible for shooting landscapes, and so on. Thus, before you purchase a specific camera, it is vital to decide, which type of shooting you do most often and consider an option that suits it the most.

This section of our comparison is devoted to the performance of Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500 in different fields of photography. Here we are going to look at the five main areas and evaluate how well each of the reviewed models performs in them. This will help you choose an option that suits your needs the most depending on your interest in one or several of these fields.

Photography Type Pentax 645Z Sony Alpha a6500
Portrait Photography
93%
93%
Street Photography
67%
97%
Sports Photography
92%
98%
Daily Photography
79%
49%
Landscape Photography
100%
97%

Pentax 645Z for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Medium format (44 x 33 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (51 MP)
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha a6500 for Portrait Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Image Stabilization
  • Face Detection Focusing

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Pentax 645Z for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Large Medium format(44 x 33 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (156 x 117 x 123 mm)
  • No Image Stabilization

Sony Alpha a6500 for Street Photography

Advantages:

  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Image Stabilization
  • Large APS-C(23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor

Disadvantages:

  • Big size (120 x 67 x 53 mm)

Pentax 645Z for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Environmental Sealing
  • Nice Low Light ISO (4505)
  • Big size (156 x 117 x 123 mm)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Continuous Shooting (3.0 fps)
  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Smal Number of autofocus Points (27)
  • Small battery life (650 shots)

Sony Alpha a6500 for Sports Photography

Advantages:

  • Fast Continuous Shooting (11.0 fps)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Big Number of autofocus Points (425)

Disadvantages:

  • Slow Max Shutter Speed (1/4000s)
  • Small battery life (350 shots)

Pentax 645Z for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Medium format (44 x 33 mm) sensor
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (1550 g)
  • Big size (156 x 117 x 123 mm)
  • No Built-in Flash

Sony Alpha a6500 for Daily Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • Built-in Flash
  • Built-in View Finder
  • Live View
  • Wireless Connectivity
  • Video is available

Disadvantages:

  • Big weight (453 g)
  • Big size (120 x 67 x 53 mm)

Pentax 645Z for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large Medium format (44 x 33 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (51 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (14.7)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support
  • Nice Low Light ISO (4505)

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Sony Alpha a6500 for Landscape Photography

Advantages:

  • Large APS-C (23.5 x 15.6 mm) sensor
  • High resolution sensor (24 MP)
  • Good Dynamic Range (13.7)
  • Environmental Sealing
  • Live View
  • RAW Support

Disadvantages:

No Significant Disadvantages

Comparison of Pentax 645Z vs Sony Alpha a6500: Final Verdict

Hopefully, our detailed overview of these models has helped you consider all the main specs, pros and cons of each cameras. Maybe, after reading this comparison, some of you have already decided which option to opt for depending on your needs and preferences. However, if you are still wondering which option is a better choice, Pentax 645Z or Sony Alpha a6500, below you can see what scores each of them received in five different aspects. To wrap up, we have used our unique Decision Algorithm that assesses different camera models upon 63 different factors including their price, and, if possible, DxO Mark scores. This algorithm allows us to make our verdict more consistent and objective.

What is our final verdict? Based on our comparison and the final scores of Pentax 645Z and Sony Alpha a6500 here is what we can say in conclusion:

According all the factors that we considered in the process of comparing these two cameras, Pentax 645Z deserves a higher Total Score than the Sony Alpha a6500. Thus, if you are choosing between these options, we would recommend you to choose the first model over the other one.

Pentax 645Z vs Sony Alpha a6500 Table Of Technical Specs

For better understanding of each model’s technical characteristics, find the detailed comparison below:

Pentax 645Z Sony Alpha a6500
General
Brand Pentax Sony
Model 645Z Alpha a6500
Announced Apr 15, 2014 Oct 06, 2016
Body Type Large SLR Rangefinder-style mirrorless
Sensor
Sensor Type CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size Medium format APS-C
Sensor Dimensions 44 x 33 mm 23.5 x 15.6 mm
Sensor Area 1452.00 mm2 366.60 mm2
Sensor Resolution 51.0 MP 24.0 MP
Max Image Resolution 8256 x 6192 6000 x 4000
Max Native ISO 204,800 25,600
Max Boosted ISO n/a 51,200
Min Native ISO 100 100
RAW Support Yes Yes
Lens
Manual Focus Yes Yes
Lens Mount Pentax 645AF2 Sony E
Number of Lenses 6 83
Focal Length Multiplier 0.8x 1.5x
Macro Focus Range
AutoFocus
AF Touch No Yes
AF Continuous Yes Yes
AF Single Yes Yes
AF Tracking Yes Yes
AF Selective Yes Yes
AF Center No Yes
AF Multi Area Yes Yes
AF Live View Yes Yes
AF Face Detection Yes Yes
AF Contrast Detection Yes Yes
AF Phase Detection Yes Yes
Number of Focus Points 27 425
Number of Cross Focus Points n/a n/a
Screen
Screen Type Tilting Tilting
Screen Size 3.2″ 3″
Screen Resolution 1,037k dots 922k dots
Live View Yes Yes
Touch Screen No Yes
ViewFinder
ViewFinder Optical (pentaprism) Electronic
ViewFinder Resolution 0k dots 2,359k dots
ViewFinder Coverage 98% 100%
ViewFinder Magnification 0.85 0.7
Photography Features
Min Shutter Speed 30 s 30 s
Max Shutter Speed 1/4000 s 1/4000 s
Continuous Shooting 3.0 fps 11.0 fps
Shutter Priority Yes Yes
Aperture Priority Yes Yes
Manual Exposure Mode Yes Yes
Exposure Compensation Yes Yes
Custom White Balance Yes Yes
Image Stabilization No Yes
Built-in Flash No Yes
Flash Range 0 6
Flash Modes Flash On, Flash On+Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Slow-speed Sync+Red-eye, P-TTL, Trailing Curtain Sync, contrast-control-sync, high-speed sync, wireless sync Flash off, Autoflash, Fill-flash, Rear Sync., Slow Sync., Red-eye reduction (On/Off selectable), Hi-speed sync, Wireless
External Flash Yes Yes
AE Bracketing Yes Yes
WB Bracketing No Yes
Exposure Modes
Multi-Segment Yes Yes
Average No No
Spot Yes Yes
Partial No No
AF-Area No No
Center Weighted Yes No
DxO Sensor Scores
DxO Sensor Score 101 85
DxO Color Depth 26.0 24.5
DxO Dynamic Range 14.7 13.7
DxO Low Light ISO 4505 1405
Video Features
Video Resolutions 1920 x 1080 (60i, 50i, 30p, 25p, 24p), 1280 x 720 (60p, 50p, 30p, 25p,24p) 3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 100 Mbps, XAVC S, MP4, H.264, Linear PCM
Max Video Resolution 1920 x 1080 3840 x 2160
Video Formats MPEG-4, H.264 MPEG-4, AVCHD, XAVC S
Microphone Port Yes Yes
Headphone Port No No
Connectivity
Wireless Connectivity No Yes
HDMI Yes Yes
USB USB 3.0 USB 2.0
Physical
Environmental Sealing Yes Yes
Water Proof No No
Dust Proof Yes No
Shock Proof No No
Crush Proof No No
Freeze Proof Yes No
Weight 1550 g 453 g
Physical Dimensions 156 x 117 x 123 mm 120 x 67 x 53 mm
Battery Life 650 shots 350 shots
Battery Type Battery Pack Battery Pack
Battery Model D-LI90 n/a
Other Features
Self Timer Yes Yes
Timelapse Recording Yes Yes
GPS Optional
Storage Type Dual SD/SDHC/SDXC slots SD/SDHC/SDXC + Memory Stick Pro Duo
Storage Slots 2 1

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