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Pentax's 645D digital SLR. Photo provided by Hoya Corp. Pentax 645D to ship in US market
(Thursday, October 14, 2010 - 20:43 EDT)

Pentax Imaging Co. has announced that its medium format Pentax 645D digital SLR, which began shipping in Japan last May, will soon be coming to the US market.

Based around a Kodak KAF-40000 CCD image sensor, the Pentax 645D offers 40 megapixel resolution, and a 4:3 aspect ratio. As compared to a 35mm full-frame image sensor with 3:2 aspect ratio, the KAF-40000 sensor provides 1.68 times more surface area. There's no optical low-pass filter overlying the sensor, which ensures the maximum image detail, but means the 645D must rely on software techniques and lens design to help prevent moire.

The Pentax 645D includes many features previously seen in the company's APS-C prosumer K-7 model, as well as its recently announced replacement, the Pentax K-5. These include a fully sealed body that resists dust, weather and cold to -10° celsius, a PENTAX Real Image Engine II (PRIME II) image processor, Dust Removal II (DR II) mechanism using piezoelectric vibration of the UV/IR cut filter, 3.0" LCD display with 100% field of view and 921,000 dot resolution (using a glass cover plate like the Pentax K-7 Limited Silver), power from a D-LI90 lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack, and a selection of USB, HDMI Type-C and NTSC / PAL composite video connectors. Other features previously seen in the K-7 include copyright tagging, in-camera HDR, dynamic range expansion and distortion / aberration correction, as well as the Color Temperature Enhancement white balance mode that helps emphasis color of sunsets, etc. Like the K-5, there's also a dual-axis digital level function (but without automatic level correction, since the sensor isn't mounted on a movable platter).

Like the K-7 and K-5, the Pentax 645D meters exposures with a 77-segment sensor offering three modes - multi-segment, center-weighted or spot. There's also an 11-point phase detection AF system with continuous and single operation, and the ability to select points automatically or manually, and the AF sensor chip carries the same SAFOX IX+ designation as in the K-5. Like the company's APS-C flagship models, the 645D's images are stored on SD or SDHC cards, but the Pentax 645D differs from its more compact siblings in offering two SD card slots to allow either automatic overflow, simultaneous backup or segregation of images by file type. No information has yet been provided as to whether the 645D will be able to accept SDXC cards in the future, something we understand is on the cards for the K-5 courtesy of a future firmware update. Eight creative modes like those in the K-7 and K-5 allow tuning of parameters like contrast, saturation, hue, sharpness, and more. The 645D's on-screen interface also looks to bear more than a passing resemblance to that of the K-7 and K-5, although with some rearrangement to cater to pro use and the camera's differing feature set.

Many points where the Pentax 645D varies significantly from its prosumer siblings - beyond the medium format lens mount and sensor, and the pro-friendly body with features such as a mirror lock-up knob - is in its variabless relating to exposure. Burst shooting is possible at 1.1 frames per second for 15 JPEG or 13 Raw frames. Shutter speed ranges from 1/4,000 to 30 seconds plus bulb (with noise reduction after 30 seconds), where the APS-C models have a maximum 1/8,000 second shutter speed. Shutter life is rated at 50,000 cycles, half that of the K-7 and K-5. Sensitivity ranges from ISO 200 to 1,000 equivalents ordinarily, and can be expanded to a range of ISO 100 to 1,600. As you'd expect given the target market (and the much greater sensor size and weight), there's also no in-body image stabilization. There's likewise no live view or movie functionality, due to the choice of a CCD image sensor rather than a CMOS chip, with images being framed on a trapezoid prism viewfinder offering 98% field of view.

Only one notable function really appears may be absent for the Pentax 645D's target market: like all of Pentax's recent models, the 645D lacks any provision for tethered shooting. As we've noted in past reviews and news coverage, this is something we'd hope to see the company rectify in the future. Tethering can add significant convenience in studio shooting, as an alternative to "sneakernet" transportation of flash cards between camera and computer. With a greater selection of third-party software such as Adobe's Photoshop Lightroom beginning to offer provision for tethered shooting from other brands, awareness of the feature -- and of its absence in Pentax's cameras -- will likely continue to grow.

The Pentax 645D shipped in Japan from mid-May 2010, where pricing was set at ¥807,620. We understand the company has been kept busy with demand in that market, causing it to delay a decision on whether to ship the 645D elsewhere, and hence the 645D is only now becoming possible for Pentax to respond to demand in other markets. That's also provided the company with ample time to consider its options in terms of after-sales service for the professionals that will likely make up a large proportion of its customers. In the US market, the 645D will go on sale from December 2010, priced at around US$10,000. Customers will be automatically enrolled in Pentax's Professional Services Program, and will also have access to a dedicated team of 645D specialists, available to offer assistance from on weekdays (excepting holidays), from 7:30am to 4:30pm Mountain Time.

The Pentax 645D will be shown to the public at the PDN PHOTOPLUS EXPO from October 28-30 at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City. Information on retailers expected to carry the 645D can be found in the press release at the end of this news item. Following below are detailed specifications provided by Hoya Corp.

Pentax 645D
Pentax's 645D digital SLR. Photo provided by Hoya Corp. Click for a bigger picture!
Camera Type Pro SLR
Manufacturer Pentax
Model Number North America: 645D
Dimensions 6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 in.
(156 x 117 x 119 mm)
Weight 52.2 oz (1,480 g)
Image Capture
Sensor Type Kodak KAF-40000 CCD
44mm x 33mm (approx. 2.17 in. diagonal)
40.01 megapixels (total)
40.00 megapixels (effective)
Filter Type RGBG
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Image Dimensions 7264 x 5440 (39.5 megapixels)
6528 x 4896 (32.0 megapixels)
5376 x 4032 (21.7 megapixels)
4224 x 3168 (13.4 megapixels)
3072 x 2304 (7.1 megapixels)
Capture Speed Continuous: 1.1 frames per second for 15 frames
Image Preview / Review
Viewfinder Yes, Trapezoid prism finder w/ Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen.
98% field of view
LCD 3.0 in. diagonal
921,000 dots (approx. 307,000 pixels)
100% field of view
Lens Type Interchangeable Lens
Lens Mount PENTAX 645AF2 bayonet mount
Image Stabilization No
Focusing System 11-point SAFOX IX+ Phase Difference Detection, single / continuous
Does not have AF assist lamp
Manual focus possible
ISO Sensitivity 100*, 125*, 140*, 160*, 200, 250, 280, 320, 400, 500, 560, 640, 800, 1000, 1100*, 1250*, 1600* (*expanded values)
Shutter Speed 30 - 1/4000 second
Exposure Modes Aperture, Shutter, Manual
Metering Modes 77-segment multi, center-weighted, spot
Exposure Compensation +/- 5.0EV in 1/3EV increments
White Balance Image Sensor - Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent ( D / N / W / L), Tungsten, Flash, CTE, Manual 1 / 2 / 3, Color temperature setting 1 / 2 / 3 w/ adjustment
Internal Flash Modes: P-TTL, high-speed sync, wireless sync w/ Pentax flash
Self Timer Yes, 2 or 12 seconds
Time Lapse Yes
Recording Medium SD/MMC including SDHC
File System Complies with Design Rule for Camera File System (DCF)
File Format 14-bit PEF / DNG Raw, JPEG
Video High definition: Yes (HDMI)
Standard definition: Yes, NTSC / PAL switchable
Computer USB 2.0 High Speed
Other DC input
Battery Type Lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Form Factor Proprietary D-LI90
Product Bundle
Software PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 (Ver.4.20)
PictBridge Compliant No
Internal Microphone No
Tripod Mount Yes, 2x metal (landscape, portrait)
Remote Control Yes
Notes Compatible with PENTAX 645AF2 645AF, and 645A mount lenses. Has dual SD/SDHC card slots.
More Photos
Pentax's 645D digital SLR. Photo provided by Hoya Corp.
Pentax's 645D digital SLR. Photo provided by Hoya Corp.
Pentax's 645D digital SLR. Photo provided by Hoya Corp.
Pentax's 645D digital SLR. Photo provided by Hoya Corp.
Pentax's 645D digital SLR. Photo provided by Hoya Corp.
Pentax's 645D digital SLR. Photo provided by Hoya Corp.
Pentax's 645D digital SLR. Photo provided by Hoya Corp.

Original Source Press Release:

American Photo Magazine Names Pentax 645D An Editor's Choice 2010

The Long-Anticipated Medium-Format Digital SLR To Appear At PDN Photoplus 2010 And Will Ship To The United States By December

GOLDEN, CO. (October 12, 2010)…PENTAX Imaging Company confirmed today that the long-anticipated PENTAX 645D medium-format digital SLR camera will ship to select U.S. dealers and pre-order customers by December 2010 in very limited quantities. PENTAX also announced that the camera has received an AMERICAN PHOTO MAGAZINE EDITOR’S CHOICE 2010 award in the November/December issue.

In the current issue, AMERICAN PHOTO magazine states that “PENTAX’s first medium-format digital camera is a bombshell, delivering 40-megapixel image quality for radically less money than comparable medium-format systems. How does it do this? By borrowing core technologies from the APS-C-format PENTAX K-7 DSLR. In fact, it will seem instantly familiar to any PENTAX DSLR owner.”

The article goes on, “The 645D’s gigantic 44x33-millimeter Kodak CCD boasts two-thirds more pixels than a full-frame 24-megapixel DSLR and produces 23x30-inch native image size at 240dpi, ideal for big prints. The body itself offers superb balance and ergonomics, a light but tough magnesium-steel alloy frame with extensive weather sealing, and automatic sensor-dust cleaning, a first in a medium-format digital camera. It also features built-in automatic correction for a given PENTAX 645 lens’s optical characteristic.”

The PENTAX 645D medium-format digital SLR is among “12 TOOLS THAT CHANGE THE RULES” and that “of all the hundreds of cameras, lenses and accessories released over the past year…these are the ones that matter most – the true innovations in the field.”

Along with the 645D, PENTAX Imaging Company also will ship the smc PENTAX-D FA 645 55mm F2.8 lens, the first model of the smc PENTAX-D FA 645 Series.

Previously announced camera and lens features and specifications follow in the associated fact sheets.

The PENTAX 645D (body only) will ship in December 2010 for the price of $9,995.95 USD. The smc PENTAX-D FA 645 55mm F2.8 lens will ship at the same time for $1,199.95 USD.

Along with the purchase of the PENTAX 645D, each new owner will have prioritized access to:

  • A dedicated team of US-based PENTAX 645D specialists to answer 645D customer service and product questions (Monday – Friday 7:30am-4:30pm Mountain Time - holidays excepted)

  • Automatic enrollment in the PENTAX PROFESSIONAL SERVICES Program offering access to various medium format lenses and accessories. More details:


There are limited ways to experience or test drive the PENTAX 645D prior to purchase:

  • The camera will be displayed in PENTAX Booth 612 during PDN PHOTOPLUS EXPO from October 28-30 at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City. Show details and registration information is available here: www.photoplusexpo.com

  • Anticipated select retailers* that will offer the PENTAX 645D camera in-store by December 2010 (and may accept pre-orders on the camera body and lens) include:

Ace Photo
44710 Cape Ct. Suite 122
Ashburn , VA 20147

Adorama Camera
42 West 18th Street (Between 5th & 6th Ave.'s)
New York, NY 10011

B&H Photo Video
9th Ave. @ 34th St.
New York, NY 10001

Samy’s Camera
431 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

*Retailers subject to change.

The camera and lens also are also available for purchase on the official PENTAX Online Retail Store: www.pentaxwebstore.com

The consumer contact information for ongoing details about the camera’s features and availability is:
[email protected]

Sample PENTAX 645D images produced independently by photographer Chris Wilson are available here:
http://travel67.wordpress.com/ More information about Chris Wilson: http://travel67.wordpress.com/about/

PENTAX Imaging Company is an innovative leader in the production of a variety of digital cameras including; weather-resistant medium format digital, DSLRs and stylish, compact, waterproof cameras, as well as lenses, flash units, binoculars, scopes, and eyepieces. For over 90 years, PENTAX has developed durable, reliable products that meet the needs of consumers and businesses. With headquarters in Golden, Colorado, PENTAX Imaging Company is a division of PENTAX of America, Inc.

# # #

PENTAX 645D FACT SHEET (previously announced)

Unprecedented PENTAX image quality
The PENTAX 645D incorporates a high-performance CCD image sensor produced by Kodak. The sensor measures 44mm by 33mm and is approximately 1.7 times larger than its 35mm-format counterparts. With approximately 40 effective megapixels, the sensor assures a wide dynamic range to reproduce the prevailing ambience and the sense of depth in super-high-resolution images that are rich in gradation and truthful in texture description. In order to bring out the full potential of the lens and the image sensor and assure the highest level of image-resolving power, the CCD unit is designed with no low-pass filters.

High-performance, high-speed PRIME II imaging engine
The PENTAX 645D features the acclaimed, PENTAX-original PRIME (PENTAX Real Image Engine) II as its imaging engine. The high-speed data-processing capacity and new algorithm exclusively programmed for medium-format digital SLR cameras allows this high-performance imaging engine to produce super-high-quality images rich in gradation and faithful in color reproduction, while allowing speedy data transmission of large-volume image data — even RAW-format images as large as some 50MB per file.

14-bit A/D converter for accurate conversion of image data to digital signals
The PENTAX 645D features a high-performance A/D converter, which converts the large volume of analog image data output by the large CCD image sensor to digital signals carrying an extensive amount of image data including resolution and gradation.

Solid, tough, fast maneuverable body
The PENTAX 645D’s main frame is made of lightweight, strong magnesium-steel alloy, while the chassis is made of die-cast aluminum to minimize heat expansion and optimize kinematic accuracy and thermal stability. The LCD panels - top panel and back panel - are covered with tempered glass plates for extra protection. The PENTAX 645D body also is designed to be a compact and highly maneuverable medium-format camera with:

  • dust-proof, weather-resistant construction with 70 special seals

  • outstanding cold-resistant performance to assure solid operation at a temperature as low as –10°C (14°F)

  • a newly designed shutter unit with a top shutter speed of 1/4000 second that can withstand as many as 50,000 shutter releases.

Dual SD/SDHC memory card slots
The PENTAX 645D has dual memory card slots for the recording of images on both SD and SDHC memory cards. This dual-slot design gives the photographer extra data-storage options. Recorded images may be assigned to different cards according to recording format (such as RAW or JPEG), or one of the cards may serve as a backup to the other. The settings for each memory card slot can be easily made by dedicated button.

Dependable DR II mechanism to minimize dust spots
The PENTAX 645D is equipped with the highly dependable Dust Removal (DR) II mechanism, which effectively minimizes annoying dust spots on recorded images even when the lenses are changed in dust-prone outdoor settings. By shifting UV/IR-cut filters placed in front of the CCD image sensor at supersonic speed using a piezoelectric element, this mechanism effectively and efficiently shakes dust off the image sensor. A user-friendly, at-a-glance dust-alert system allows the photographer to check for dust adhering to the image sensor prior to the actual shooting.

Newly designed, high-precision 11-point wide-frame AF sensor
The PENTAX 645D’s new SAFOX IX + wide-frame autofocus system features 11 sensor points (with nine cross-type sensors positioned in the middle) to assure the extra-high-precision focusing demanded of medium-format digital SLR cameras. To develop this sophisticated AF system, the entire optical system was redesigned and includes new functionality to analyze and make use of the light sources data in the field of view.

Advanced 77-segment multi-pattern metering
The PENTAX 645D employs a state-of-the-art, 77-segment multi-pattern metering system to assure super-high-accuracy light metering. The exposure accuracy is further enhanced by collecting such additional data as image orientation (horizontal or vertical) and the distance to and magnification of the subject using the sensors installed inside the camera body (with the obtained data incorporated into exposure calculations).

Large, easy-to-see optical viewfinder
The trapezoid-shaped glass prism incorporated in the PENTAX 645D’s finder unit assures an approximately 98% field of view and greatly contributes to the downsizing of the camera body. Combined with a bright, easy-to-focus Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen, the PENTAX 645D’s viewfinder offers a large, clear view of the subject.

Custom Image function to create desired visual effects with ease
The PENTAX 645D’s Custom Image function allows users to control an image’s finishing touches to more precisely reflect the user’s creative intentions and accurately reproduce the ambience of the scene. The user may select one of eight modes including the new Reversal Film mode designed to create images with the colors that are typical of reversal film. In addition, all parameters, such as saturation, hue, contrast, sharpness, key, and highlight/shadow contrast, may be easily adjusted to desired levels, so that the photographer can shoot images with flexibility.

Versatile, multi-mode exposure system for faithful reproduction of creative intentions

Hyper Program function
The PENTAX 645D's Hyper Program function allows users to instantly switch from Programmed AE mode to Shutter- or Aperture-Priority AE mode with a simple turn of the electric dials positioned around the grip. A single push of the green button shifts the exposure mode back to the original Programmed AE mode.

Hyper Manual function
When shooting in the Metered Manual mode, the PENTAX 645D's Hyper Manual mode allows users to instantly set the proper exposure for the subject with a single push of the green button.

Sensitivity-Priority mode
The unique Sensitivity-Priority (Sv) mode automatically selects the optimum combination of aperture and shutter speed for the user-selected sensitivity. The sensitivity may be shifted swiftly by electronic dial on the back panel. The variable amount of the ISO could be configured to either 1/2 or 1/3 steps per click.

Shutter/Aperture-Priority mode
Taking full advantage of the unique capability of digital cameras for the automatic shifting of sensitivity at any time, the Shutter/Aperture-Priority (TAv) mode automatically selects the most appropriate sensitivity for the user-selected aperture/shutter-speed combination. This allows the user to effortlessly experiment with a greater range of photographic expressions.

Large, easy-to-view 3.0-inch LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots
Positioned on the camera’s back panel, a large 3.0 inch color LCD monitor with approximately 921,000 dots provides a clear, bright view of onscreen images and menus. The wide-view design allows quick, effortless confirmation of the monitor image from approximately 170 degrees both horizontally and vertically, so that photographers may shoot images from low and high angles with ease. The LCD monitor is also treated with exclusive Anti-Reflection (AR) coating to minimize reflections on the screen, even in the outdoor locations under bright sunshine.

Long battery life
The PENTAX 645D is powered by a large-capacity, rechargeable lithium-ion battery, which can capture approximately 800 images* when fully charged.
* Under testing conditions prescribed by PENTAX, when using a rechargeable D-LI90 lithium-ion battery with no flash.

Additional features

  • HDR (high dynamic range) function to create one composite image with an extra-wide gradation range from three images with different exposures

  • Dynamic-Range Expansion function to compensate for both whitewashed (excessively overexposed) and blacked-out (excessively underexposed) areas

  • Digital Level function for easy checking of the image’s levels

  • Automatic compensation of distortion and lateral chromatic aberration (available in combination with the D FA 645- and FA 645- series lenses)

  • Versatile white-balance control system, including the CTE mode designed to emphasize the dominant color components of the captured images, which works especially well with such scene like sunset

  • Mirror shock/operation-noise reduction function to assure smooth, quiet operation of the mirror during shooting

  • Ability to attach copyright credits on recorded images

  • Compatible with the SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) autofocus mechanism, designed to assure smooth, quiet operation using the supersonic motor installed inside SDM lenses

  • HDMI terminal (for type C mini connectors) for high-resolution image data output

  • User-friendly, color-classified control buttons/switches, based on the color universal design concept

  • PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 software package, including a RAW-data processing application (based on the popular SILKYPIX RAW-data processing engine developed by Ichikawa Soft Laboratory) and browser application

smc PENTAX-D FA 645 55mm F2.8 Lens Fact Sheet (previously announced)

State-of-the-art optics to accommodate the requirements for super-high resolution photography using medium-format digital SLR cameras
Incorporating high-performance, hybrid aspherical optical elements in its optics, this new standard lens offers exceptional image-resolving power with outstanding brightness levels even at the edges, while compensating various aberrations to a minimum. All lens characteristics are optimized for digital photography: for instance, flare and ghost images are minimized by applying exclusive lens coatings to optical elements and employing anti-reflection materials for the interior of the lens barrel. As the result, this lens can bring out the full potential of the PENTAX 645D medium-format digital SLR camera.

Versatile standard lens
When mounted on the PENTAX 645D camera body, this standard lens offers a focal length of 43.5mm (in the 35mm format), which produces an angle of view close to that of the human eye. As a result, it can be used for many different kinds of subjects and applications, including landscapes and portraits.

Dependable dustproof, weather-resistant construction
Using seven special seals, the lens’ dustproof, weather-resistant construction effectively prevents the intrusion of dust and water to the lens interior. Combined with the PENTAX 645D camera body, this lens offers a durable, reliable digital SLR camera system that performs superbly in outdoor settings, even in rain or mist or at locations prone to water splashes or spray. (PENTAX uses the “AW” (All Weather) designation in the product name of all dustproof, weather-resistant medium-format interchangeable lenses to be marketed in the future.)

Aero Bright coating to dramatically improve image description in backlight
The lens is treated with PENTAX-original Aero Bright coating, which delivers brilliant, high-quality images by preventing annoying flare and ghost images more effectively than ever before. This exclusive coating effectively reduces lens reflectance and greatly increases light transmittance by forming a silica aerogel layer with uniform pores on the surface of optical element.

Rounded diaphragm to produce a beautiful bokeh
This is the first PENTAX medium-format interchangeable lens to feature a completely rounded diaphragm. It creates a natural, beautiful “bokeh” (out-of-focus rendition), while minimizing the streaking effect of point light sources.

Smooth, quiet SDM autofocus mechanism
The SDM (Supersonic Direct-drive Motor) autofocus mechanism operates smoothly and quietly using the supersonic motor installed inside the lens barrel.*
* Only manual-focus operation is available when this lens is mounted on the PENTAX 645N or PENTAX 645N II camera body.

SP coating to block dust and dirt
The front surface of the lens is treated with PENTAX-original SP (Special Protect) coating, which applies an exclusive fluorine compound to the lens surface through a vapor deposition process. This SP coating not only effectively repels dust, water and grease, but also makes it easy to wipe off fingerprints and cosmetics.

Additional features

  • Image circle covering the image area of 645-format film SLR cameras

  • Functional, simplified design, with no aperture ring

  • Quick-Shift Focus system for instant switching to manual-focus operation, after the subject is captured in focus by the AF system

  • PL filter window for easy installation of a polarizing filter without removing the lens hood

  • PH-SA67 Square Plastic Hood (optional)* for more effective prevention of flare and ghost images when mounted on the PENTAX 645D camera body
    * This hood cannot be used with a 645-format film SLR camera body, as it causes vignetting.

PENTAX and smc PENTAX are trademarks of HOYA CORPORATION.
SDM is a trademark of HOYA CORPORATION.
Design and Specifications is subject to change without notice.

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