You’ve read all the rumors, now camera and specs are confirmed. The Pentax 645Z medium format camera is officially announced, and boy does Ricoh, the new owner of Pentax, know what it’s doing. At its heart the 645Z has the same 50MP Sony sensor (another growing Sony dominance) as the digital backs of the Hasselblad H5D-50C and Phase One IQ250 with retail prices of $29,000 and $37,000, respectively. From June onwards the Pentax can be yours for $8,499 — and the Pentax will not only give you a larger ISO range with an unheard of medium format maximum sensitivity of ISO 204,800, you’ll also get a more state-of-the-art AF system, class-leading 3 fps with improved burst rates, tiltable LCD, live view plus full HD video recording.
Soon Leica’s first CMOS medium format S system camera will enter the post-CCD fray with expected announcement this summer. Its price will be no less astronomic than the Hasselblad’s and Phase One’s, meaning Pentax is not only the most DSLR-like medium format camera, with the 645Z Ricoh is positioning itself as a serious force to be reckoned with in the large format market. Just look at the price. The 645Z is nearly a fifth cheaper than its own CCD predecessor, the 645D.
A medium format camera of excellent built quality with weather seals, rubberized dials for better grip and magnesium alloy body — this is the first medium format camera to take for a serious ride and not fear the elements whereas the certainly more fragile competitors prefer the comfort zone of a studio. It’s a hefty piece of equipment with a body-only weight of more than 1.5kg.
Certainly a dream come true for the serious, expenditure-conscious photographer who doesn’t want a medium format camera with the price tag of a limousine. Add the availability of 13 lenses for this durable 645 system.
For more information on the 645Z and complete specifications visit Ricoh.