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03-09-2010, 08:15 PM   #1
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PENTAX announces a medium format DSLR, the 40MP 645D

PENTAX Japan today announced the 645D medium format camera. The press release can be found here:

PENTAX 645D. PENTAX's First Medium-Format Digital SLR Camera: Designed to be the Top of Medium-Format Digital SLR Camera s, Thanks to Super-High-Resolution Images

We understand that it is priced just below US $10,000.

It is based on a Kodak CCD sensor, 44mm x 33mm in size, and with a pixel size of 6.0 μm x 6.0 μm.

The electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter has speeds up to 1/4000 sec:

Auto:1/4000 - 30 sec
Manual:1/4000 - 30 sec (1/3 EV steps or 1/2 EV steps)
Bulb

The drive Modes are:
Single-frame, Continuous (Hi, Lo), Self-timer (12s, 2s), Remote control (0s, 3s ), Remote Continuous Shooting, Interval, Multiple Exposure, Exposure Bracketing, Extended Bracketing
Continuous shooting at approx. 1.1 fps.

Continous shooting buffer capacity:
RAW(PEF)+JPEG(40M):, RAW(PEF) and RAW(DNG): approx. 13 frames,
JPEG only (40M): approx. 15 frames

ISO range: 200 - 1000, expandable to 100 - 1600.

Although the camera has no shake reduction, it does have a dust removal system.

The new 645D is compatible with PENTAX 645 FA and A lenses, and with the new SDM-only aoutofocus D FA series:

smc PENTAX-D FA 645 55mmF2.8 AL[IF] SDM AW. A Unifocal Standard Lens for use with Medium-Format Digital SLR Cameras; The First Model of the smc PENTAX-D FA 645 Series

The new D FA lenses can be used in manual focus mode on the 645N and NII film cameras.

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Last edited by Ole; 03-09-2010 at 08:43 PM.
03-09-2010, 09:54 PM   #2
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Also worth mentioning that it and the lens are weather and cold resistant.....
03-09-2010, 10:59 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
Also worth mentioning that it and the lens are weather and cold resistant.....
...and SDM-focusing. Bleh!!!
03-09-2010, 11:12 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
...and SDM-focusing. Bleh!!!
Shows an investment and long term strategy....that's a good thing.

03-09-2010, 11:24 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by smc Quote
Shows an investment and long term strategy....that's a good thing.
Or a hard-headed refusal to admit that SDM is a failure, which would be more typical of a Japanese company.

I wonder how many professional fashion photographers will be impressed when their fancy new 645 SDM lens fails in 6 months.
03-10-2010, 01:26 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
Or a hard-headed refusal to admit that SDM is a failure, which would be more typical of a Japanese company.

I wonder how many professional fashion photographers will be impressed when their fancy new 645 SDM lens fails in 6 months.
Not all SDM lenses fail.. the DA* 16-50 f2.8 does it alot.. but the other SDM lenses are not failing that much.
03-10-2010, 01:38 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Vaizard Quote
Not all SDM lenses fail.. the DA* 16-50 f2.8 does it alot.. but the other SDM lenses are not failing that much.
I won't turn this into an SDM-hater thread... but suffice it to say, you're very wrong. Feel free to research it for yourself.

I had high hopes after I saw the Hoya patent application for a new focusing motor technology. But apparently those hopes aren't going to come to fruition anytime soon. So this new 645 lens gets stuck with SDM It's too bad, because the rest of the lens' specs look pretty sweet.

I suppose a 645 to K adapter doesn't carry over the SDM contacts
03-10-2010, 02:14 AM   #8
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Looks good to me too - Pentax in the spotlight in both consumer and professional circles.
Hope it becomes a success.

03-10-2010, 03:04 AM   #9
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The 16-50 and to some extent the 50-135, has had some SDM failure problems yes.
This forum's view that 100% of all SDM lenses are falling into pieces is a myth.
The double AF system in the 16-50 and 50-135 puts stress on the complicated construction and this must be made with utmost attention. Most of the double AF system DA Stars are made with this attention. Unfortunately, some 16-50's and to a lesser degree the 50-135 slipped through.

A few 200 and 300's has been affected, but numbers are very low and not something to be alarmed by. The single system DA Star 55 and DA 17-70 has had very little SDM failures. Nothing more than standard sample variation and not more than AF failures among Canon and Nikon pro lenses.

So the whole thing is exagerrated. The 16-50 is the most popular SDM lens and Pentax makes 10 000's of them each month. If you believe that 120 000 of those in a year is falling into pieces then I'm sorry to say that you are very very wrong.

The Japanese police has ordered thousands of them to be used with K-7 for the documentation of crime investigations and other police work. If they can trust SDM, so can we.

I have no problem with my 17-70 SDM.
I truly apologize for not having SDM problems. I know I will be flamed to death by not having a SDM problem because you refuses to see that most SDM lenses are working just fine. I wonder why it is so provocative to hear that many has great working SDM lenses, but then forums are problem oriented and if you don't have a problem then you are not welcomed.

My sincere apologies for having a SDM lens without problems. I know you all hates me for this. But honestly, despite popular belief of the opposite - I'm sure that I am not the only one in the world.
03-10-2010, 08:19 AM   #10
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I can't say I'm not excited about this new development. But I think Pentax did drop the ball in a huge way with the X-Sync at 1/125th. While they're twice as much, Hasselblads max out at 1/500th and Mamiyas at 1/1600th. That seem like quite the oversight on Pentax's part.
03-10-2010, 09:06 AM   #11
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@Gunsotsu - I expect those higher speed flash sync speeds come from using leaf shutters.
03-10-2010, 09:19 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Steinback Quote
@Gunsotsu - I expect those higher speed flash sync speeds come from using leaf shutters.
1/125 is not that bad a medium format plane shutter.

Leaf Shutter lens is mantory to reach 1/500.
03-10-2010, 11:08 AM   #13
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I would be very surprised if the next 645D lens does not have a leaf shutter in it. I was pretty confident that this camera was going to be aimed at the lower end of professional studio photographers as a way to begin rebuilding their professional support network. The specs on this camera lead me to believe that Pentax has instead identified a small niche market in Japan that I'm clueless about. I do think Pentax knows exactly what they are aiming at and that the vast majority of us American forum posters aren't seeing it.

I can see a possible American target in the architectural market, which might explain their decision to come out of the gate with such a wide initial lens. I don't know, this is one I'm going to have to watch for a while to see the plan. I'm gaining confidence that it's a smart move, but like most of Pentax's moves lately, maybe not in my direction.
03-10-2010, 12:05 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoldenWreckedAngle Quote
I would be very surprised if the next 645D lens does not have a leaf shutter in it. I was pretty confident that this camera was going to be aimed at the lower end of professional studio photographers as a way to begin rebuilding their professional support network. The specs on this camera lead me to believe that Pentax has instead identified a small niche market in Japan that I'm clueless about. I do think Pentax knows exactly what they are aiming at and that the vast majority of us American forum posters aren't seeing it.

I can see a possible American target in the architectural market, which might explain their decision to come out of the gate with such a wide initial lens. I don't know, this is one I'm going to have to watch for a while to see the plan. I'm gaining confidence that it's a smart move, but like most of Pentax's moves lately, maybe not in my direction.
Well, I perfectly understand, who it may attrack. I have a friend/colleague who is also semi-professionnal shooter (he sells regulary and for a significant amount prints, but doesn't make a full living of it) His "domain" is to make very large square prints. He chose the 5DmkII for that purpose (he didn't like the Alpha 900) The 645D makes him green of envy, he doesn't care of AF speed or frame rate, but the ratio (4/3) is more favorable to square crop, and the 40Mpx are definitively what he's looking for.
850 000Y / 9000$ / 7000€ are not in his league, but it is almost. I bet he will want it for renting ASAP.

The lens lineup have been empty for some time, so my bet is that Pentax will present shortly at least 2 more lenses on the 645 lineup. A true wide prime (a 35mm updated or shorter) and a leaf shutter lens.

For the moment, they get enough coverage with the 645D. Presenting the lens lineup later (for example at CP+) would double the coverage and therefore free publicity.
03-10-2010, 02:16 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by ghelary Quote
I bet he will want it for renting ASAP.
You may be right, and if so it may be the niche market they have identified in Japan. I have no idea what the medium format market looks like across the pond. Maybe they don't enjoy some of the rental benefits we take for granted here in the US.

Current medium format rentals, with a whole slew of service and support, are pretty affordable for guys like your friend here in the USA. If he is not currently renting medium format gear do you think the lower purchase or potentially lower rental price on the 645D will be incentive enough to bring guys like him into the medium format market?
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