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Pentax unveils its first medium format DSLR

Pentax unveils its first medium format DSLR

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Pentax 645D has 44x33mm, 40MP sensor

By Adorama News Writer

March 10, 2010

Pentax has finally introduced a medium-format digital SLR. The ruggedized, outdoor-friendly 645D is compatible with Pentax 645 lenses. The Bad news? No plans as yet to sell it in the U.S.

 

PENTAX Imaging Systems Division is pleased to announce the launch of the PENTAX 645D lens-interchangeable, medium-format digital SLR camera. Thanks to the incorporation of a large image sensor, equal in performance to professional-standard digital camera backs, this high-performance model delivers super-high-resolution images with approximately 40 effective megapixels. It also offers outstanding dependability and superb operability and maneuverability to make outdoor shooting effortless and comfortable for demanding photographers.

The PENTAX 645D has been developed to provide super-high-resolution images produced by large image sensors — something previously available only on professional models — to serious landscape and outdoor photographers. It combines exceptional image quality with excellent maneuverability and outstanding reliability to simplify professional-level outdoor shooting. Thanks to the incorporation of a large, high-performance image sensor (measuring 44mm by 33mm) and PENTAX-original image-processing technology, it produces extra-sharp, super-high-resolution images with approximately 40 effective megapixels. It features remarkable durability and dependability, thanks to its lightweight but solidly built body featuring a magnesium-steel-alloy frame, reinforced glass LCD panel protectors and a reliable dustproof, weather-resistant construction. In addition, it is designed to be compatible with the majority of the existing PENTAX 645 system, so that current PENTAX 645-series camera users can take advantage of their valuable assets, including high-performance smc PENTAX 645 interchangeable lenses.

Major Features

Unprecedented image quality

Super-high-resolution images possible by approx. 40 effective megapixels
The PENTAX 645D incorporates a high-performance CCD image sensor produced by Kodak. It measures 44mm by 33mm, and is approximately 1.7 times larger than its 35mm-format counterparts. Thanks to approximately 40 effective megapixels, it assures a wide dynamic range to faithfully 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. Thanks to its high-speed data-processing capacity and new algorithm exclusively programmed for medium-format digital SLR cameras, this high-performance imaging engine produces 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 faithful conversion of image data to digital signals
The PENTAX 645D features a high-performance A/D converter, which faithfully 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, maneuverable body

The PENTAX 645D's main frame is made of lightweight but strong magnesium-steel alloy, while the chassis is made of diecast aluminum to minimize the expansion and extension caused by heat and also to optimize kinematic accuracy and thermal stability. The LCD panels — one on the camera's top panel, another on the back panel — are covered with tempered glass plates for extra protection. The PENTAX 645D's body is also designed to be a compact and highly maneuverable medium-format camera, despite the incorporation of such dependable features as a 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, and 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 a pair of 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: for instance, recorded images can be assigned to different cards according to recording format (such as RAW or JPEG), or one of the cards can be used as the backup of 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 comes equipped with the highly dependable DR (Dust Removal) 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. Thanks to the user-friendly dust-alert system, the photographer can check at a quick glance 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, at the same time with the addition of the 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

Incorporated in the PENTAX 645D's finder unit, a trapezoid-shaped glass prism not only assures an approximately 98% field of view, but also greatly contributes to the downsizing of the camera body. Coupled 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 lets the user easily control an image's finishing touches to more precisely reflect the user's creative intentions, or to more faithfully reproduce the ambience of the scene. The user can 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 — can be easily adjusted to desired levels, so that the photographer can shoot images with great ease.

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

Hyper Program function
The PENTAX 645D's Hyper Program function allows the user 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 lets the user 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 can 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. It 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. Since its wide-view design allows quick, effortless confirmation of the monitor image from approximately 170 degrees both horizontally and vertically, the photographer has little difficulty shooting images from low and high angles. The LCD monitor is also treated with exclusive AR (Anti-Reflection) 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.

Other 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
• Attachment of 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

Specifications

645D Specifications
Type:     TTL autofocus, auto-exposure medium format digital SLR camera

Effective Pixels:     approx. 40 megapixels

Image Sensor    
Total pixels:     approx. 40.01 megapixels
Type:     CCD with a primary color filter
Size:     44mm x 33mm
Pixel size:     6.0 μm x 6.0 μm

Dynamic Range:     11.5f - stops

Recorded Pixels    
    Still:     JPEG: L[40M]7264x5440 pixels, M[32M]6528x4896 pixels [21M]5376x4032 pixels,
            S[13M]4224x3168 pixels [7M]3072x2304 pixels
            RAW: [40M]7264x5440 pixels
Formats    
    Still:     RAW(14 bit): (PEF/DNG), JPEG: starstarstar(Best), starstar(Better), star(Good),             RAW+JPEG: available

Recording file Format    
    Still:     RAW (PEF/DNG), JPEG (Conforms to Exif 2.21),
    Conforms to DCF (Design rule of Camera File system) 2.0

Sensitivity ( Standard output sensitivity )    
    Auto:200-1000, Extension:100, 1600 (1EV steps or 1/2EV steps or 1/3EV steps)

Storage Media:     SD, SDHC memory card (Dual slot)

White Balance:     Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light ( D, N, W, L), Tungsten Light, Flash, CTE, Manual setting 1, Manual setting 2, Manual setting 3, Color temperature setting (3 types) with WB fine adjustment

Custom Image:     Bright, Natural, Portrait, Landscape, Vibrant, Muted, Reversal Film, Monochrome
Viewfinder    
    Type:     Trapezoid prism finder
    Focusing screen:     Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen
    Field of view:     approx. 98%
    Diopter adjustment:     approx. -3.5 - +2.0m-1
    Magnification:     approx. 0.62 x (with D FA645 55mmF2.8 at infinity),
approx. 0.85 x (with FA645 75mmF2.8 at infinity)

Monitor    
    Type:     TFT color LCD monitor, Wide angle view, Brightness adjustable, Color adjustable, AR Coating, Reinforced glass
    Size:     3.0 inch
    Dots:     approx. 921,000 dots

Preview Method:     Optical preview, Digital preview

Playback:     1 Image, 2 Image, 4 Image, 9 Image, 16 Image, 36 Image, 81 Image, Enlargement (up to 32X, scroll available), Image Rotation, Folder view, Slideshow, Histogram, Resize, Cropping, Bright/Dark area, Calendar view, Index view

Digital Filter    
    Playback Mode: Monochrome, Extract Color, Color, Base Tweaking, Soft

Focusing System
    Type:     TTL phase difference detection, 11-point autofocus system (SAFOX IX+)
    Focus Mode:     AF-single, AF-continuous
    Focus Point:     Auto, Select, Center
    Superimpose:     available
   
Exposure Control
     Metering System :    TTL open-aperture 77-segment metering
    Metering Mode:     (1) Multi-segment metering, (2) Center-weighted metering, (3) Spot metering
    Exposure Range:     EV 2-21 (at Standard Output Sensitivity 200 with 55mmF2.8)
    Modes:     (1) Program AE, (2) Sensitivity-Priority AE, (3) Shutter-Priority AE, (4) Aperture-Priority AE, (5) Shutter and Aperture Priority AE, (6) Metered Manual, (7) Bulb, (8) X speed
    Exposure Compensation:     ±5EV
    AE Lock:     availiable

Shutter
     Shutter Type:     Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter
    Shutter Speed:     Auto:1/4000 - 30 sec, Manual:1/4000 - 30 sec (1/3 EV steps or 1/2 EV steps), bulb

Drive Modes
    Single-frame, Continuous (Hi, Lo), Self-timer (12s, 2s), Remote control (0s, 3s ), Remote Continuous Shooting, Interval, Multiple Exposure, Exposure Bracketing, Extended Bracketing
    Continuous shooting    
approx. 1.1 fps, RAW(PEF)+JPEG(40M at starstarstar): until approx. 13 fps, RAW(PEF): until approx. 13 fps, RAW(DNG): until approx. 13 fps, JPEG(40M at starstarstar): until approx. 15 fps
    Mirror Lock-up shooting     available by dedicated dial

Flash Synchronization:     Hot shoe, X-sync socket, sync-speed: 1/125 sec., P-TTL, high-speed-sync, wireless-sync with PENTAX dedicated external flash

Dust Removal:           Image sensor cleaning function by supersonic vibration (DR II) with dust alert function

Time:     World Time     75 cities (28 time zones)

Data Folder    
    Folder Name:     Date (100_MMDD···), PENTX (100PENTX, 101PENTX···) ,
    File Name:     Standard, User customize

Power Sources:     Rechargeable D-LI90 lithium-ion battery, Optional AC adapter also available.

Battery Life    
    Number of recordable images:     approx. 800 (23°C) *, approx. 700 (0°C), approx. 650 (-10°C)
    Playback time:     approx. 440 minutes (23°C) *, approx. 400 minutes (0°C), approx. 380 minutes (-10°C)

Interfaces    
    USB2.0 (Hi-Speed:mini B type), Video output (mini phone type), HDMI output (type C mini), DC input , Cable switch, X-sync socketc

Video Output:     Compatible with NTSC and PAL formats

Lens Mount:     PENTAX 645AF2 bayonet mount

Usable Lens:     PENTAX 645AF2, 645AF, and 645A mount lenses

Dimensions:     approx. 156(W) x 117(H) x 119(D)mm (6.1 x 4.6 x 4.7 inches)

Weight:     approx. 1480 g (52.2 oz.) loaded and ready with battery and two SD memory cards
approx. 1400 g (49.4 oz.) without battery and SD memory card.

Bundle software:     PENTAX Digital Camera Utility 4 (Ver.4.20)

 

The above is an unedited press release provided by Hoya Corporation, Japan.

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