Pentax medium format digital camera is now a reality

The Pentax 645D, just announced, is a 40MP medium format digital camera. Pentax had long been in the medium format film business, but this is the first medium format digital for the company.

For years, photographers, journalists and rumor mills have been mulling over whether Pentax would be reentering the world of medium format cameras with their first digital model. Well, debate no longer, because Pentax has joined the digital medium format game. Yesterday, Hoya Corp. Pentax Imaging Systems announced the Pentax 645D, a 40MP medium format digital camera.

The camera will be utilizing a 40MP CCD sensor with a physical size of 44mm x 33mm, and no low-pass filter. The camera will be compatible with the majority of existing smc PENTAX 645 interchangeable lenses. Processing of images will be done by Pentax’s proprietary Prime (Pentax Real Image Engine) II.

The camera was designed to be durable, a feature seen in many of the Pentax 35mm DSLRs. The 645D is made with a main frame created out of magnesium-steel alloy with a diecast aluminum chassis; the two LCD panels, (one on the back panel, one on the camera’s top) are covered with tempered glass plates for extra protection. The camera’s 70 seals will keep dust and other nasties out. A newly designed shutter is said to withstand as many as 50,000 shutter releases. On the inside, the camera will utilize the Pentax DR (Dust Removal) II mechanism to keep dust off the image sensor.

Other features of the camera include the ability to shoot RAW (PEF/DNG), JPG, and RAW + JPG, (for a 40 megabyte 14-bit RAW file size); a newly designed 11 point Safox IX+ wide-frame AF sensor, 77-segment multi-pattern metering system, dual SD/SDHC memory card slots, ISO range of 200 – 1000 expandable to 100 – 1600, TTL, exposure compensation +/- 5 f/stops, shutter speeds from 1/4000 of a sec. to 30 seconds plus bulb, self timer, interval, multiple exposure and other modes, custom image function, HDR functionality, dynamic range expansion, digital level, automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration with the D FA 645- and FA 645- series lenses, copyright credit attachment on image files, compatabiltiy with the SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) autofocus mechanism inside SDM lenses, and much more.

The camera features a 3-inch LCD and HDMI terminal. PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package will come with the camera. To see the full press release, go to www.pentax.jp/english/news/2010/201008.html.

We can’t wait to get our hands on this baby, however at this time, there are no plans to bring the camera to the U.S.

—Diane Berkenfeld

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