Pentax 645Z Cut in Half
Photos of the camera's internals
It is becoming increasingly-common to see cameras and lenses cut in half at trade shows. Pentax has always been a fan of this practice, and now it looks like Ricoh Imaging is carrying on the tradition. The Pentax 645Z (with a D FA 55mm lens) was among the products that were split in two at CP+ 2015. Click on either photo for a better view:
These cross-sections confirm that there's a considerable amount of empty space inside the camera, a suspicion that we had earlier. Notice how the gaps are behind the sensor itself, so their removal would not affect the registration distance. The extra space is present because the 645Z uses a film-era body design that was meant to accommodate a bulky film holder.
Compare this to the cramped internals of the Pentax K-30 shown at Photokina 2012:
A potential successor to the 645Z could thus be made much more compact without the loss of any features or DSLR functionality, along the lines of what is shown the photo below:
Right: a smaller hypothetical version of the 645Z (note that the prism would actually be larger)
It will be interesting to see how the design of the Pentax medium format bodies will evolve in the years to come, as the current design, while good in many ways, is still clearly an artifact of the film era.