The New Pentax 645D Medium Format Is Coming!

The New Pentax 645D Medium Format Is Coming!

As far as digital products from Pentax go, the 645D Medium Format has always been the king of the hill for the company. Fans of Pentax, such as myself, have been anxiously awaiting an update to the original digital medium format offering from Pentax which was released nearly 4 years ago in 2010. Nipping at the heels of the recent Hasselblad and Phase One CMOS Medium Format announcements it appears Pentax finally has its own Medium Format announcement to make... and a 50MP CMOS no less.


The upcoming Pentax 645D set to be announced at the CP+ Imaging Show next week appears to be equipped with the same 50MP CMOS Sensor made by Sony that we have already seen in the new Hasselblad H5D-50c and the Phase One IQ250. As with most Pentax camera's we would expect to see a fully weather sealed body as well as built in image stabilization. As can be seen from the images the new 645D will feature a tilt type LCD screen. It is also rumored that it will have video recording capabilities. The release date is scheduled for Spring 2014 and, although price is currently unknown, I would expect it to be priced VERY competitively if the previous 645D is any indicator.


Though all Pentax camera's are backwards compatible with older Pentax lenses, in addition to the camera, Pentax will also be releasing a new 645 Ultra-Wide Angle Lens to compliment the new 645D. No extra details are out at this point but we do have a picture.


[Via PhotoRumors]

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jared's picture

Sony must be doing something right... 3 MF camera manufactures are buying their sensors... cant wait till they make their own on A mount...

Arturo Mieussens's picture

The funny thing is they might actually do that. They have already stuffed a FF sensor on a mount designed for APS-C, so why not MF on a mount designed for FF so you can use your old lenses in a way they won't perform at their peak.

Dave Nunez's picture

Basically everyone but Canon and Fuji are buying their sensors in the DSLR and Mirrorless markets too

Joe Gunawan's picture

The A-mount's image circle would be too small for this sensor. I do hope that Sony will come out with the world's first mirrorless MF camera, though. EVF with its magnified focus and focus peaking would be fantastic for focus-critical work.

Graf Almassy's picture

This is simple. Until the Kodak went to bankruptcy, every medium format manufacturers used Kodak CCD MF sensors. After the collapse Hasselblad, Phase One and Pentax need to buying sensors from another supplier.

Anto de Chav's picture

The sensor making division of Kodak is still at work,now known as true-sense.

Graf Almassy's picture

But they doesn't produce faster and cheaper medium format CMOS sensors like Sony.

Anto de Chav's picture

Phase and Hasselblads most expensive camera's still use Dalsa CCD's,

Nick Beaulieu's picture

I don't know a whole lot about medium format, but why does a digital medium format have to be so much fatter than an SLR? wouldn't the only difference be the size of the sensor? Or is there something else I'm not aware of?

Brandon Bandy's picture

The size of the sensor and mirror is much bigger, and usually the lenses are pretty big because they have to cover the full area of the sensor or film

Scott Cushman's picture

I'm far from being an expert on these things, but I assume it's because you need more distance between the lens and the sensor in order to focus light on a significantly larger area. I think that's the same reason why the pin-prick size sensors of cell phone cameras can have lenses so close while DSLRs are comparatively enormous.

Brandon Bandy's picture

this has a lot to do with it too. On my 6x7 format Mamiya rb (a camera with bellows) , during close focus the back of the lens is at least 5 or 6 inches from the film plane, where with a smaller sensor or film you can have it less than an inch away

Nick Beaulieu's picture

Thanks guys. I had a feeling that might be the reason, but I wasn't sure. I appreciate the education :)

Anto de Chav's picture

The lens mount is a lot larger than a Nikon mount for example....

Paul Glover's picture

The main (maybe only) reason here would be retaining direct compatibility with older lenses designed for the original 645 series, SLRs with a rather large mirror box compared to 35mm SLRs.

A mirrorless, EVF based system could have a shorter register distance, but at some point optical issues related to the large area covered vs shorter distance to the lens would have to be addressed. Keeping the original register distance when the 645D was developed presumably simplified matters a great deal.

FrankY Lo.'s picture

It's all about the distance between sensor and the end of the lense in relation to the image circle.
the bigger your imgage sensor ist, the bigger the image circle of your lens must be, the nearer the lens is to your sensor, the more you must 'bend' the light.
So the sensor is plane, but reality ist not plane, so what is sharp on the sensor is not a plane, its is more spherical. but you can approximate a small part of a sphere with a plane surface - that's what they do in optics unless they don't use aspherical elements. so the nearer you come to the lense, the worse this approximation works. so smartphones use very small sensors with small image circle to be able to put tthe lens near the sensor to keep the whole thing flat. but there were also phones and flat cameras, that used prisms like a periscope...

Gogu's picture

All tech specs aside, it sure is butt-ugly :D

Christopher-Kasey Breneman's picture

completely agree but there is something kind of charming about really ugly cameras.

S Wade's picture

It looks like a Mamiya 645, I kinda like it.

Wouter van der Linde's picture

This thing is ugly as hell! Hope the files are more convincing!

OhBoy's picture

Have you seen other MF cameras? Who cares what it LOOKS like?

fakename mc'gee's picture

Seriously? this thing is the sexiest piece of hardware I've seen in a while. Sexy in the sense that it's what's on the inside that counts ;)

Anto de Chav's picture

i used the previous model,it's ver user friendly...

Pete's picture

Guys havent you heard?! It's more important how a camera looks that how it performs! You've all been doing it wrong!

Joe Gunawan's picture

Love the 645D. If you ever held one, then you know it is the most reassuring and most comfortable MF camera out there. I've held and used Phase One 645DF+IQ180, Hasselblad H2D, and Leica S, and I felt more at home with the Pentax over the others.

One thing though. The original 645D did not have built-in image stabilization.

Broseph of Arimathea's picture

The Contax 645 would like a word with you. Makes the Mam/p1 and H2 feel like toys for your 2 year old.

S Wade's picture

Because companies save costs by using plastic that is almost as durable as metal? The Contax 645 is the most overpriced medium format camera that there is.

Broseph of Arimathea's picture

It's not overpriced because of construction costs, since it isnt being made anymore and therefore only sold on the secondary market. It's overpriced because of the demand - everyone wants one. Half because it's an excellent camera, and half because a couple of internet-celebrity wedding photographers use one (including the guy who wrote that film book) so momtographers think they have to buy one to get 'the film look' :)

And I was more referring to the design than the solid materials. It's perfectly designed. The H2 is a horrendous camera to use. The UI was slapped together by a drunken monkey.

Also, I ran over my contax with a car. Twice. With a lens attached. Broke off the shutter speed switch, and that's it. The 'almost as durable' plastic Canon next to it was in a million pieces.

S Wade's picture

I wasn't saying it was over-priced because of construction costs, I'm saying it's over-priced because exactly what you said, namely Jose Villa. The camera is ok, the beautiful thing about it is the Zeiss 80mm. Other than that.

How did you run over your cameras with a car?

DennisonBertram's picture

No, but at the time it was made it truly was amazing to use. It was so solid, so firm, so fast. It was really a marvel compared to what was on the market. Only with the most recent Mamiya/phase one body am I feeling anywhere near as comfortable with a 645 body. But it still doesn't match the contax.

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