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Pentax 645Z medium format camera officially unveiled

Pentax 645Z medium format camera officially unveiled

Ricoh has finally introduced the Pentax 645Z medium format camera, which was teased in early 2014 for the first time, as a competitor for Phase One IQ250 and Hasselblad H5D-50c.

It should have been unveiled at the CP+ Camera & Photo Imaging Show 2014. It should have featured an identical 50-megapixel CMOS sensor made by Sony found in the Hasselblad H5D-50c and Phase One IQ250. Also, it should have been capable of capturing 4K videos.

Well, here is the Pentax 645Z, a medium format camera with a 51.4-megapixel CMOS image sensor manufactured by Sony which can shoot 4K videos only in timelapse mode. Still, it is one of the first medium format shooters capable of recording movies and one which will become available for an amazingly-low price this summer.

Pentax 645Z medium format camera with 51.4-megapixel CMOS image sensor announced by Ricoh

Pentax 645Z front
Pentax 645Z features a medium-format-sized 51.4-megapixel CMOS image sensor.

Ricoh continues the tradition of Pentax medium format cameras with the introduction of the 645Z. The company calls it a “game-changer”, a bold claim, but one which is backed-up by diverse features and a small price, as stated above.

The Sony-made 51.4-megapixel CMOS sensor is capable of recording high-quality photos with stunning details, great colors, while providing rich shadow recovery.

CMOS sensors allow the use of high ISO settings, so Ricoh has confirmed that the new Pentax 645Z offers a maximum ISO sensitivity of 204,800.

The shooter supports RAW files, but its maximum continuous shooting speed of 3fps can be achieved only when shooting JPEGs and it can be attributed to the processing power of the PRIME III engine.

This medium format cameras records full HD videos at 60i frame rate

Pentax 645Z back
Pentax 645Z houses a 3.2-inch tilting LCD screen on the back.

On the back of the Pentax 645Z users will find a 3.2-inch 1,037K-dot tilting LCD screen as well as a built-in optical viewfinder with a 98% coverage and 0.62x magnification.

A 27-point autofocus system allows photographers to focus on the subject and recording videos is done with the help of the LCD screen acting as a Live View.

The shutter speed stands between 30 seconds and 1/4000th of a second and video recording can be captured at a maximum frame rate of 60i (interlaced video as opposed to 60p progressive video).

Images and videos are stored on dual SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, allowing users to spend more time shooting rather than swapping cards.

Release date and price details of the weathersealed Pentax 645Z

Pentax 645Z top
Pentax 645Z is capable of recording videos at full HD resolution and offers a maximum ISO sensitivity of 204,800.

Pentax 645Z is a weathersealed camera. There are 76 sealing points in the camera making it resistant to splashes, dust, as well as temperatures down to -10 degrees Celsius / 14 degrees Fahrenheit.

The medium format shooter measures 156 x 117 x 123mm / 6.14 x 4.61 x 4.84-inches and weighs 1,550 grams / 54.67 ounces. There is plenty of room for a rechargeable battery and microphone, miniHDMI, and USB 3.0 ports.

The 645Z has been set for a June 2014 release date and a $8,449.95 suggested price tag, essentially becoming one of the cheapest medium format cameras in its category.

Both Adorama and B&H PhotoVideo have put the camera up for pre-order on their websites with an exact shipping date waiting to be determined.

Pentax 645Z side
Pentax 645Z release date is June 2014 for a price less than $8,500.
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Pentax 645Z medium format camera officially unveiled