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Z-1p / PZ-1p

General Description

From the time of its release (1995) until the release of the MZ-S (2001), the body was Pentax's AF flagship. The camera is large and heavy, but also solid and well-built. Most functions are selectable through two wheels positioned under the thumb and index finger as well as a function selector on the upper-left side. The camera's features are targeted towards professional users: separate flash and ambient exposure controls, custom functions, exposure control in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps, fast shutter and flash synchronization, DOF preview, 2-second mirror-prefire, multiple exposure, interchangeable screens, spot metering, custom user mode, etc. Very useful is also the ability to "shift" exposure along the program curve and to instantly jump to the camera's internal preference (even under changing light conditions).

The camera has a few weak points too: dust gets to its insides quite quickly, it consumes a lot of power, there is no AA battery pack available for it, and the TTL flash system lacks evaluative and multi-segment TTL flash metering. A few mechanisms seem fragile: the mechanics of the built-in flash, the battery compartment cover, and the base plate. The viewfinder is well laid out, but offers only 92% coverage. But the biggest problem with this camera is Pentax's lack of commitment and further development. In the years between 1995 and 2001, the competing manufacturers upgraded their models a number of times while Pentax left this body with a small number of fitting accessories and an AF system whose performance was quickly outdated by the competitors

Many of the disadvantages of this camera have been addressed by the "new" flagship, the MZ-S.

The Pentax FDP Grip Strap is a hollow plastic device that looks like a battery pack, but its only function is to improve the handling of the Z-1/PZ-1 and Z-1p/PZ-1p cameras.

Product Variations
Exact NameZ-1pPZ-1p
Years of Production1994 ~ 20001994 ~ 2000
Availabilityabout once a month, usedabout once a month, used
Sales Variations
Catalog Numberunknown0352506725
Sold with Case

Technical Specifications

Lens MountKAF2
Mount Limitations
AF System (sensitivity)SAFOX II (-1 ~ 18 EV)
AF with supersonic lenses
Power-Zoom Featuresauto-lens retract, image-size tracking, power zoom, zoom clip, zoom effect
Self-Timer12 / 2 sec
Mirror Lock-Up
Cable Releasecable release F
Infra-Red Release
Panorama Functionalityyes
Custom Functions15
Additional FeaturesDOF preview, mirror lock-up
Width x Height x Depth152 x 95.5 x 74 mm
Weight650 g
Exposure System
Exposure ModesAv, HyM, HyP, P, Tv
Metering Modes with K and M Lensescenter-weighted, spot
Metering Modes with A and newer Lenses8-segment, center-weighted, spot
Meter MaterialSPD
Exposure Compensation (Step)+/-4 (1/3 or 1/2 EV steps)
Exposure Lockyes
Meter Range0 ~ 21 EV
Manual ISO Range6 ~ 6400 ASA
Film DX Range25 ~ 5000 ASA
Constructionelectronic (vertical)
Shutter Speeds30 ~ 1/8000, B
Mechanical Speeds
Magnification [Coverage]0.80x [92%]
Aperture IndicationLED
Shutter-Speed IndicationLED
Interchangeable Screens
Power Source
Batteries1 x 6 Volt 2CR5
Continuous Shooting
Continuous Shooting4 frames per second
Flash System
Command Protocol(s)analog
FeaturesTTL, P, S
Synchronization Speed(s)1/250 ~ 30, B
Built-In Flash
Guide Number (GN)14
Coverage (35mm equivalent)28
Auto Pop-Up
Red-Eye Reductionyes
AF Assistyes
Fitting Case(s)soft case: Fd(s),
soft case: Fd(m),
soft case: Fd(l)