“Affordable” Medium Format

Pentax is back in the news as Ricoh (its parent company) announces a significant update to their medium format digital body, now labeled 645Z.  Though an update of the previous 645D, the changes are big and important.

Using the same 51MP CMOS Sony sensor that recently debuted in Phase One and Hasselblad backs, Pentax’s in-body build allows a vastly more affordable price of $8,500 (body only).  Live view, modest burst mode, articulating rear LCD and many other features make it a very different camera from the previous model.

Additional good news is that there will be 13 FA 645 lenses available in the near future covering a wide range of focal lengths.  Lack of lenses was one factor that held back the original 645D.

There are any number of sites providing detailed “hands on” reports, including DP Review and Imaging Resource.  Full reports will shed more light on real-world performance.

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