The long-awaited, much-rumoured Pentax 645Z medium format camera has been announced, with local availability from June/July.
The 645Z is similar in design to the 645D, but there the similarity stops. The 645Z has an CMOS image sensor – 51 megapixels – and imaging engine to improve image quality and reliability, plus improved specifications all round.
These include a state-of-the-art SAFOX 11 phase-matching AF module with 27 sensor points (including 25 cross-type sensors), along with high-speed data readout that supports a live-view function; a high-precision exposure control system; and a more durable, dependable shutter unit as well as a tiltable, 3.2-inch LCD monitor with approximately 1,037,000 dots.
The new camera includes full HD movie recording capability with a 60i frame rate and smart-phone accessibility via Wi-Fi transmission with an optional Flucard for Pentax 16GB O-FC1 memory card.
The image sensor has an area of 43.8 x 32.8mm, roughly 1.7 times larger than a 35mm full-frame sensor. Pentax has dispensed with an anti-aliasing filter and the 645Z delivers an ISO sensitivity range up to ISO 204800. The PRIME III imaging engine includes advanced image-processing and noise-reduction capabilities and supports continuous shooting at approximately three images per second, with a buffer capacity of up to 10 raw frames or 30 high-resolution JPEGs.
The 645Z includes UHS-1 speed class compatibility for high-speed data storage (in the SDR104 bus speed mode; with a compatible SD memory card), and USB3.0-standard data interface for easy transfer of recorded images to a personal computer.
The 645Z features a large, bright optical viewfinder with approximately 98 percent field of view coverage and a Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen. It includes the “Pentax Real-Time Scene Analysis System’, which consists of an RGB light-metering sensor with approximately 86,000 pixels, and a fine-tuned algorithm. This system provides improved exposure-control accuracy and also utilises the data obtained by the light-metering sensor to further enhance autofocusing accuracy and white balance adjustment.
Overseas websites provide an estimated release date of June 2014, with the price in the vicinity of US$8500 for the body only.