The Pentax Full Frame Camera Is Finally on Its Way

The Pentax Full Frame Camera Is Finally on Its Way

Today, Pentax posted a teaser page on its website, announcing the debut of a full frame camera, finally bringing to fruition a camera system many have long thought was in the making.Pentax, the company that peculiarly has a medium format camera and a line of APS-C cameras, but no full frame system, is finally filling that gap and frankly, we're excited. The 645z produces unbelievably gorgeous files, while their APS-C line has a small, but very devoted following. Information is scant at the moment, as Pentax has only posted a few silhouettes of the camera with the text "Full Frame by Pentax: Spring 2016 Debut."

Nonetheless, this is exciting news. The 645z uses the same 51 MP Sony sensor as many bodies costing five times as much and produces spectacular files with tremendous latitude; if the full frame model uses a similar sensor (perhaps something akin to that found in the a7R II), you can expect some serious competition on the market. Check out the images from Pentax below and let us know what you hope to see in this camera!

via Pentax

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21 Comments

It looks reaaaally slim for a MF.... Mirrorless MF?

DERP.... I read full frame and my brain went MF...

I'll have another coffee, it'll sort things out...

Fritz Asuro's picture

Pentax should enter the market (of full frame cameras) with a plan or else, they'll be simply eaten by the big boys.
It should posess unique (useful and innovative) features that Nikon and Canon doesn't have. And hopefully release a good line of lenses.

Arturo Mieussens's picture

3 lenses? They have 6 full frame lenses in their catalog now, plus more than a dozen they used to build recently and could bring back to production. Add to this the hundreds of SLR lenses they have ever built, K-mount's best in business backwards compatibility, and great optical and build quality pentax is famous for, and lenses are the least of the worries with this system.

Arturo Mieussens's picture

FA 31mm f1.8 Limited
FA 35mm f2.0
FA 43mm f1.9 Limited
DFA 50mm f2.8 macro
FA 50mm f1.4
FA 77mm f1.8 Limited
DFA 100mm f/2.8 macro

All recent production and Full Frame (FA)

DA* 300mm f4
DA 50mm f1.8

And a couple more, not marketed as Full Frame but reported to work well

There's a list of about 70 autofocus full frame lenses made by pentax and more than 100 manual focus lenses, many of them are of extremely good quality. And Sigma, Tamron, Samyang, Schneider and others make some pretty good FF lenses for pentax mount. (Zeiss/Voigtlander used to, maybe they could again)

I don't know if you can get any of those at sears, but you should ask.

My point is that Pentax has the glass, they have had it for decades. For me it has always seemed crazy that they hadn't gone Full Frame yet to take advantage of that. Of course they will need to release some new lenses, specially wide angles, but they're in a very good position for this.

Arturo Mieussens's picture

I agree with you in that it's crazy they haven't released a digital full frame body before, having good glass for it and being more than capable of producing more.
What's wrong with more than 10 years old glass? many of the best lenses from nikon and canon are way older than that and they're still great. The 135 DC is more than 25 years old and wonderfull, the 70-200 VR is 12 years old and 99% as good as the VRII, and there are many more examples.
I think many people just get crazy with specs and new gear. 50MP in a FF body will actually be less demanding on optical quality than 24MP in an APS-C sensor, and there's plenty of older glass that's more than good enough.
Many people only know about Canon, Nikon and Sony, and ignore there are other manufacturers with as much experience and as capable as them, as Pentax, Fuji or Olympus.
I don't use pentax (well, I have a couple spotmatics) but I know the brand and the quality of their glass, and would be happy to use many of those "obsolete" lenses on the new body if I had the chance.

There are fifty plus PK full frame lenses being sold on the market today

Fritz Asuro's picture

I still have faith for Pentax. I just want the company to be unique and not just another FF DSLR in the market. And since they are having a high MP sensor, they can start off with a good set of prime lenses. If Sigma can do it without breaking the bank, Pentax should be able to produce quality glass.

It will be a K-Mount (look at the photo). Pentax has already released lenses for the FF (the 70-200mm f/2.8 is delayed) in the K-Mount. There are a ton of legacy lenses, all fitting that mount.

Ricoh is better off financially than Canon or Nikon and can live with a 2% market share in a declining marketplace. The 645Z was priced way under the competition and it worked well for the company. The K-3 and the K-3ii gives more for the $ than any of its competitors. It is likely the FF will be competitively priced. Glass has already been released, and it is good. More would be nice and likely Tamron will fill some of the need. Sigma already has glass in the K-Mount for a full frame, but not enough of it is recent. It makes no sense for Sigma to have image stabilization in a Pentax mount lens, since Pentax has IS built into the camera (and it works well).

The delay is for one of two reasons. Either there were technical issues that have to be worked out, or Ricoh decided to go all out with the new SONY sensor. SONY usually requires a lag of several months (usually 6) before allowing other companies to use their new sensors, allowing SONY to maintain better margins on its cameras.

Jozef Povazan's picture

Used to shoot Pentax 67II in film era :) and if they deliver the same way in FF like they did with 645z then this is the best thing they can do... now Nikon and Canon might watch for this guy :)

Michael Comeau's picture

I think Pentax would get a lot more mileage out of a $5,000 MF camera (a completely stripped down 645Z) than a $3,000 35mm DSLR.

They'd get a ton of converts from Canon and Nikon.

What about a FF that costs $1,750? -- i.e., I don't know where you get your $3000 figure. In any case, Pentax isn't banking on Canikon converts, it's banking on upgrades from existing Pentaxians.

Peter House's picture

Eagerly waiting to hear specs. I've always been fond of Pentax camera's despite their compromises.

October 6th the press embargo ends. Hopefully they'll reveal the specs by then and their magic addition which will set them apart from the others except size/weight, pixel-shift and weather sealing. Apparently it's aimed at the pro market, but we will see...

Too little and way too late for what, precisely? Ricoh-Pentax is already viable, and this new camera doesn't overextend it -- it's based on the K3 architecture (i.e., production lines already exist) and, as several here have made clear, it's instantly compatible with scads of existing glass.

Tim Foster's picture

Why can't we get a full-frame 645 camera?

Same reason you can't get a front-wheel-drive 4x4: 645s are medium format, not full frame.

Tim Foster's picture

The full frame would be 6cm by 4.5cm. "Full frame" is not exclusive to 135 cameras.

Janis Ozols's picture

My first camera was pentax, this is kinda exciting news.

Anonymous's picture

My first SLR too. A K1000, got in 1984 and still have it today.

Ready for more details on this release. Secrets and sometimes equal a lake of interest. ??