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08-13-2017, 01:53 AM   #1
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What's next for Pentax 645

Hi all.

So.....where do we all think Pentax is at right now with their 645 system??

- Is it dead now with resources being poured into FF?
- Is there something new on the horizon? Early next year marks 4 years for the Z.
- Where are the new lenses on the roadmap?
- Where does an SLR type body sit in the market for affordable MF now that the Fuji GFX is out, it's quite a good camera (not perfect but a compelling offering).
- are we going to see a replacement for the DFA25mm?

I'd like some sort of direction from Pentax to be honest. I've got too much invested for a dying system.

Anybody else have any thoughts?

08-13-2017, 01:58 AM   #2
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The number of medium format digital cameras is on the rise and I think the market segment is growing, mostly thanks to the 645Z but I suspect the Fuji system will take a lot of that business and Pentax will have to react in order to keep sales on track. Sensors are improving all the time though the larger the sensor the longer each technological generation is, but I'm sure there will be a new model with an even better sensor before too long.

As far as lenses are concerned, I'd like to see Pentax make something faster than f/2.8 available. I think a standard or portrait prime at f/2 (or faster) would sell well even if it was very expensive (which it would be) as it would studio portrait photographers and shallow DoF junkies.
08-13-2017, 01:59 AM   #3
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I suspect we'll see a full frame 645 sensor at some point.
Don't hold your breath.
08-13-2017, 02:08 AM   #4
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Maybe Mirrorless. it makes more sense on MF than on smaller formats, because of the huge mirror box. But Pentax likes to carry over dslr tech to 645 to save development costs. So look at the K-3 II successor for hints. At the moment there is not much wrong with the 645z though. Mirrorless would also mean an adapter (loosing the size advantage, but also opening the way for more lenses from other brands to the system) and expensive development of dedicated new lenses.

08-13-2017, 02:45 AM   #5
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I think Sandy is right.

My guess would be that the 645z sticks around with a lower price -- competitive with the Fuji price and Pentax releases a full frame 645 that would be priced higher (I have no idea how high). Lenses will continue to be released, but at a glacial pace with older glass filling in the gaps.
08-13-2017, 03:07 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Ricoh Imaging aren't the kind of company making new products if it does not show better IQ than the existing one.
Full frame MF sensor is very expensive, such cameras are positioned into a whole different segment (digital camera backs etc., 40K systems, leaf shutter lenses etc).
And now that 24x36 flagship cameras all reach around 40Mpixels with very good IQ vs price, RI could well make a 645 mark II version with a 100Mp crop sensor in it, same lenses, + a couple of lenses refreshed. i.e minimal investment , yet a unique product that not other company currently offers. Fuji would follow, but since 645z was well before Fuji, Pentax would still be the first and would come soon.
08-13-2017, 07:20 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
So.....where do we all think Pentax is at right now with their 645 system?
- Is it dead now with resources being poured into FF?
With one exception (see below), the 645 is as dead as the Q.
QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
- Where are the new lenses on the roadmap?
On the roadmap.
In other words, you can't buy them and put them on your camera!

The only difference between the 645 and Q systems right now
is that the "2017 or later" roadmap displays
are gone from the Q system, but still there for the 645 system.
08-13-2017, 07:52 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
The only difference between the 645 and Q systems right now is that the "2017 or later" roadmap displays are gone from the Q system, but still there for the 645 system.

Sound reasoning. Any mount with or without lenses on the roadmap is dead because those lenses just have not evaporated yet. The camera industry is dooooomed.

08-13-2017, 09:13 AM   #9
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I think the body is starting to be due for an upgrade, but this would depend on sensor availability. Doubt they'll increase the sensor size, though, as nice as it would be. Adding pixel shift would be a great start.

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08-13-2017, 10:25 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lytrytyr Quote
With one exception (see below), the 645 is as dead as the Q.


On the roadmap.
In other words, you can't buy them and put them on your camera!

The only difference between the 645 and Q systems right now
is that the "2017 or later" roadmap displays
are gone from the Q system, but still there for the 645 system.
I would agree, but for the little advertising Ricoh does, they still use the Z in standalone advertisements. I think they are working on something, but it might take a while.
08-13-2017, 10:34 AM   #11
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I was also thinking full frame 6x4.5 sensor, but that might be way more expensive and push the camera into a different market segment.
08-13-2017, 10:39 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by 2351HD Quote
Hi all.

So.....where do we all think Pentax is at right now with their 645 system??

- Is it dead now with resources being poured into FF?
- Is there something new on the horizon? Early next year marks 4 years for the Z.
- Where are the new lenses on the roadmap?
- Where does an SLR type body sit in the market for affordable MF now that the Fuji GFX is out, it's quite a good camera (not perfect but a compelling offering).
- are we going to see a replacement for the DFA25mm?

I'd like some sort of direction from Pentax to be honest. I've got too much invested for a dying system.

Anybody else have any thoughts?
It would be awesome knowing what they are doing with the system. It would be nice if they gave us some updated lenses that are quiet. I was doing some portraits and had to stick to using the 55 because the other lenses are way too loud in certain environments even though I prefer the 75 and 150. For that reason the Fuji is tempting, new lenses, quite reasonably priced for new glass, lighter/smaller, quieter, having a wide angle such as the 23, weather sealing, but there nothing long though.

I wish they would feed us something, preferably with updated lenses or something.
08-14-2017, 02:58 PM   #13
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All good points.

Some are right in saying that the Z does not need a lot of work, but a revision or Mid-term release would certainly help.

There is nothing wrong with the body size in my view, I don't mind it and its very comfortable to use. Due to the lack of the "right" lenses, I find myself not wanting to carry it around on holiday, thus making me think about the fuji.

How about:
- Make a 45mm f/2.8 OS lens that can be used for general use, Sharp, light and portable.
- Make a new 45-90mm f/4.5 OS lens. That's the perfect one lens solution for a Z and would satisfy 80% of my landscape photo needs.
- Release the current Z but with an electronic first curtain shutter, faster processor, add-on EVF, pixel shift and the gorgeous K1 multi-angle LCD.
08-14-2017, 03:28 PM   #14
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The next iteration hopefully has some things that the K1 has (e.g. electronic shutter, Pixel Shift).
The thing with DMF is that their cycle/new release times are a bit longer than FF cameras, with newer DMF versions coming out every 5 years or so and FF Dslrs being around 3 to 4 years. I think Ricoh is focusing more on the lens(es) side of things right now for what they have out and waiting till they have most of those products completed & ready to released (or close to being release) before putting more attention of the next 645 iteration (which I'm sure they have some things already on the table they want to add to it).
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