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03-27-2008, 07:53 PM   #1
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645D is completely dead... NOT!!!

According to this post on the other forum, it seems that the 645D is merely in suspended animation rather than "dead dead"...

The post in question refers to a dcwatch interview with Mr. Torigoe of Pentax...

03-27-2008, 08:04 PM   #2
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hmm, here's an interesting tidbit, I wonder if this is a mistranslation...

"-- K2 and K3-digit digit lineup is settled, but digital SLR lineup, some other products are likely to join in? Recently, the 645 Digital announced a freeze on the development of the Instead of size 35 mm machine equipped with sensors to make such thoughts?"

K2x and K3x series already planned out?

sounds interesting, it sounds like the OP over there can speak japanese. I'd love to find someone who could translate the article sentence-by-sentence or paragraph-by-paragraph.
03-27-2008, 08:24 PM   #3
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Personally I think the whole idea of the relatively cheap "consumer" MF camera to be a pipe dream unless Samsung finds some way of making relatively cheap MF sized sensors.

That said I would still love to own one...
03-27-2008, 08:47 PM   #4
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Dejikame Watch runs an interview with a couple of Pentax executives:

【インタビュー】2008年の戦略を訊amペンタックス編]

The important points:

* Current cameras well received and the merger dustup has settled so morale is high. Hoya supports camera business and the camera division has a great deal of independence.

* The 645 Digital is frozen, not stopped, and it is the media, not Pentax that used words like "cancel" or "stop". "Frozen" means that development can quickly be picked up again at any time. They make a point of the difference and point out that the reason simply is that all resources are needed to flesh out the low and middle end mainstream product lineup at this time.

[Not sure how to interpret the tone or meaning] 645 development will definitely continue [at some point?]. A lot of know-how has been gained the past three years of development, so the models shown publicly are old designs so the 645 will be a newer development.

* full-frame 35mm: The concept is clearly doable, and a development plan would be possible "I think~I guess" (as in, "we haven't done such a plan"). I can't say it would be impossible. But the priority is the 645, not 35mm. Pentax don't have the resources to do both at the same time, so any 35mm camera would be developed after the 645 is released.

When asked if there is any planning or awareness of a possible 35mm camera in the future regarding lens development, the answer is that lenses are focused on APS cameras (as that is the volume segment they're developing). As for old FA lenses, there are issues with using such lenses with a 35mm digital sensor. Implies a 35mm camera would entail a whole new setup of lenses and other accessories as well, effectively making it a separate system.

* 645 development resumption: a 645 camera would be for landscapes and as an industrial product (as in advertisement, studio, fashion and so on), and need 30Mp at least. And as an industrial system it needs to be a "total solution", from input to output. And while Pentax won't need to actually develop all components themselves, they need to be able to point to a set of components that will work seamlessly together as a single system (they're talking in terms of tethered shooting, postprocessing, image management, printing and so on).

On the other hand, in Japan there is a large medium-format consumer segment too, and the camera will need to fit their needs and expectations as well.

So at first there wold be only one model, but ideally they'd produce two separate 645 models later on. In the film era they started developing a very high-end 645 model, but the market just wasn't there so that project collapsed. At the time a 100k yen film body was the magic limit, where lots of people would buy it. So a moderately priced body that attracts many buyers, who go on to buy lenses, is ideal. If you can offer that, the market is there.

So for the future (I think he's talking hobby medium format here), a low-cost 645 body is a challenge I want to take on. Not a camera for business use, but a camera for hobbyists that want a large sensor. A second, high-end body would be a dream, but the focus must be on a body for widespread use.
---

My comments on this: When reading this, to me it sounds like the 645 is even only barely frozen; more like turning slushy while development and lens manufacture focuses on APS. Mr. Torigoe, the Imaging Producs boss, seems to want to talk about a possible 645 to the exclusion of anything else, and seems very enthusiastic about the possibility (wonder what camera he's using in private?).

The overall takeaway message is that the number of engineers and other resources are finite, and those resources right now go to build up the APS camera segment. Once that buildup is complete, attention will turn to a larger-format camera. From this interview, it will not be 35mm, but 645, and aimed at the enthusiast market more than hardcore professionals - just like the current APS cameras in other words. Their attitude to 35mm seems to be that the amount of work needed is similar to that of a 645 camera, but with lower payoff in image quality and resolution, so 645 is a better way forward.

The talk about an affordable 645 being a challenge I interpret mostly as "we'll see when sensor prices drop enough". The 100k yen for a film body I read as a relative indicator - 100k was about three to four times more than the high-end 35mm film body, so in digital terms I guess wildly that they'd want to aim for a 300k-400k yen price point for an enthusiast 645. Which would mean it's a couple of years off still. That's just my guess, nothing else, though.


300,000.00 JPY=3,006.35 USD that seems to cheap to me

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03-27-2008, 11:09 PM   #5
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3K for a MF digital back would be a steal. However, I don't think Pentax would want to test out the water first. It's more likely to release at the same time, or a little after Canikons release their first MF.
03-27-2008, 11:26 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by HawaiianOnline Quote
Personally I think the whole idea of the relatively cheap "consumer" MF camera to be a pipe dream unless Samsung finds some way of making relatively cheap MF sized sensors.

That said I would still love to own one...
Amen to that, I wouldn't care if it had no fancy functionality or speed at all, as long as it could take hugely detailed, high pixel count, high DR photos.

A lightproof box with a MF sensor in it, with a lens mount clapped onto the front.
03-27-2008, 11:32 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by aegisphan Quote
3K for a MF digital back would be a steal. However, I don't think Pentax would want to test out the water first. It's more likely to release at the same time, or a little after Canikons release their first MF.
Very unlikely to happen. Nikon quit MF long ago and neither company have an MF mount or a range of MF lenses.

However if Pentax do release an MF "hobby" camera then I suspect it will be in place of an FF digital 35mm. Since they will have to develop a new range of lenses in either event, they are more likely to come out with 2 rather than 3 ranges. They have never gone after the PJ and sports market but had a very loyal following in studios and landscapes the world over, and I think they would win that back with the right solution.

With the 1DS mk3 selling for a rediculous $8000 or thereabouts I suspect Canon would be worried.
03-28-2008, 01:43 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by *isteve Quote
However if Pentax do release an MF "hobby" camera then I suspect it will be in place of an FF digital 35mm. Since they will have to develop a new range of lenses in either event, they are more likely to come out with 2 rather than 3 ranges. They have never gone after the PJ and sports market but had a very loyal following in studios and landscapes the world over, and I think they would win that back with the right solution.

With the 1DS mk3 selling for a rediculous $8000 or thereabouts I suspect Canon would be worried.
Indeed, this interview seems to confirm the belief that Pentax will come out with the 645D before it comes out with a FF DSLR. I wouldn't mind seeing something like the original 645 (minus those damn pushbuttons). The Pentax 645 isn't meant to be an fps speed demon (my 645N does a little under 2 fps IIRC). Just as long as it has that nice, detailed, silky smooth MF look.

03-28-2008, 03:23 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by HawaiianOnline Quote
Indeed, this interview seems to confirm the belief that Pentax will come out with the 645D before it comes out with a FF DSLR. I wouldn't mind seeing something like the original 645 (minus those damn pushbuttons). The Pentax 645 isn't meant to be an fps speed demon (my 645N does a little under 2 fps IIRC). Just as long as it has that nice, detailed, silky smooth MF look.
Maybe the 645 as a testbench for FF????
03-28-2008, 05:14 AM   #10
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So, we got a clear signal here:

(1) Pentax internally would like to be allowed/able to do the 645D-II (30 MP).
(2) Resources are that a 35mm FF DSLR would then have to be second.
(3) Hoya and Samsung currently only give resources to do APS-C development, so K2D is APS-C.

Time will tell where development money will go. Clearly right now, Pentax would fill a nice niche with a 5k$ 655D-II. However, what if at the time it comes out, only Pentax is left in the APS-C camp, everybody else doing FF?
03-28-2008, 05:31 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clawhammer Quote
hmm, here's an interesting tidbit, I wonder if this is a mistranslation...

"-- K2 and K3-digit digit lineup is settled, but digital SLR lineup, some other products are likely to join in? Recently, the 645 Digital announced a freeze on the development of the Instead of size 35 mm machine equipped with sensors to make such thoughts?"

K2x and K3x series already planned out?
I read this as "2-digit" and "3-digit" K-series; i.e. KxxD and KxxxD series.
03-28-2008, 05:51 AM   #12
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This makes alot of sense, Pentax knows it can't fight N or C in the pro 35mm or FF ( of 35mm ) digital arena, and as always they consider MF to be true "PRO". They have a line of 67 and 645 lenses as well as FF lenses still around, add to the large user base still using 67 and 645 cameras a 30+ mp MF digital for $3500 or so will take the C and N magic away. Pentax will be playing with Contax and mamiya where whey have done well against in a higher margin ( but lower number of sales ) market.
03-28-2008, 06:10 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by falconeye Quote
However, what if at the time it comes out, only Pentax is left in the APS-C camp, everybody else doing FF?
IMHO the physical size of FF cameras would have to be somehow reduced for them tocompletely supplant those with smaller sensor sizes (ignoring price differential, of course). We live in an age of minaturisation - the mass market will not buy cameras the size and weight of bricks. The average reaction to my K10 with grip attached goes quickly from 'that must be a good camera' to 'how do you carry that thing - I wouldn't want to' as soon as you let the admirer hold it - and that includes my DL carrying wife
03-28-2008, 02:09 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Talisker Quote
FF cameras would have to be somehow reduced
I see no excuse for Pentax making their FF larger than their MX. I mean, 30 years of technical progress should show, shoudn't it? That's the genuine FF market positioning for Pentax as well.
03-28-2008, 02:30 PM   #15
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How about battery and electronics? That's a good excuse, IMO
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