PetaPixel

Rumor: Pentax’s 645z MF Camera Shoots 4K and Only Costs $8,500, Arrives Monday

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If you’re just now considering getting into digital medium format photography, then you’ve picked a great time. CMOS sensors are making their way into just about every brand, 4K video is too, and now, it looks like the entry-level price bar might be dropping as well.

According to fresh rumors out of Photo Rumors, the upcoming Pentax 645z is set to arrive on Monday with 4K capability and a very reasonable price tag that is a full $1,500 less than the 645d cost when it was announced (and less than originally reported).

You won’t have to wait long for an official announcement, but if you’d like to review the camera’s specs ahead of the debut, click here to read our previous coverage from mid-February.

(via Photo Rumors)


Update: Photo Rumors just got ahold of and published several leaked images of the 645z:

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  • PHILIPPOS RAFTOPOULOS

    It has the same FLU card WiFi support as the K-3 has, so, yes, wireless tethering is there. The HDMI output could be very useful too as a preview tool. I really do wish they improve their wired PC tether as well…

  • PHILIPPOS RAFTOPOULOS

    I disagree. Tethering, especially in these “big” cameras is very very usefull…

  • markz

    damn cheap, insanely cheap, CRAZY CHEAP! even.

    I know when our business bought some 553 FLX blad’s back in the early 90’s with backs and sans lens the inflation adjusted price would have been not too far off this then add the cost of film (it was nothing for them to shoot 40 rolls a day’s shoot and quality MF film has never been cheap so that’s $400+ in todays money) and add to that the wages of the full time darkroom techs (that was me, well one of them was me, we had three).

    all adds up in such a way that it’s easy to see why a professional studio will see even the $50,000+ Blad systems as cheap over their lifespan.

  • http://www.digipixelpop.com Digi•Pixel•Pop

    Don’t believe the hype when it comes to the RED and stills. The sensor is only 19.4MP, so the resolution is not higher than the 5D mkiii. It also has a native ISO of 800, which is inconvenient and has IR pollution issues, so you always need to use an IR filter, especially since you need so much ND to shoot in daylight (“pulling” exposure to ISO100 can cause clipping issues). Additionally, if you’re pulling stills from video you’d better have a stationary camera and subject because it shoots with a 180º shutter, which in stills world would be a shooting at 1/48-ish of a second, so you get a lot of motion blur.

  • jamesbjenkins

    You must be completely ignorant of MF to even consider typing that out. One could EASILY drop $30-40k on a Hassy setup.

  • Tommy N

    Leaf shutters aren’t needed, I assume, with today’s abilities to post process.

  • Tommy

    Yeah. The D800 sounds may look good on paper but it sounds like a d*ck-waving product whose only function was to stick Nikon’s tongue out at Canon. Fool Frame (typo intended) with 645Z and APSC on either side frame won’t be a comfortable place to be.

  • Tommy

    Have they even sold any? Being so close to medium format, why not just get a 645D or now 645Z.

  • Andrew Munster

    Pentax has tethering software for the pentax 645D already with the 645z it will be modified to allow live view….

  • Ken Elliott

    I can tell you have zero experience with a D800. For those of us with large format printers, the D800 is in a class of its own. The IQ is closer to medium format than any non-MF camera, yet still has the performance of a pro dSLR. Lens selection is outstanding. It has its place.

  • Ken Elliott

    And hard working pros with a tight budget.

  • hdc77494

    I’ve seen stills pulled from the Red Dragon published in photography magazines and since when does the number of MP determine image quality? The point I was making is the direction technology is moving. Cameras that shoot full color in less than 1 lux, cameras with resolution to pull excellent stills from a video recording, working AF shooting video. Cameras are changing very rapidly and the advances will continue to change the market.

  • Rob S

    Ok this is a serious question – what exactly would you be shooting with a MF that would REQUIRE a sync above 1/125? I am racking my brains for an answer and I can’t come up with one. I see MF being used for product photography, fashion and landscape. Fashion is the only one with movement.

  • Carlos Arango

    It’s really cheap. I have been using a Bronica ETRS and I’m thinking on buying a Pentax 67 I have found more quality and resolution just by scanning my negatives than a DSLR besides I keep the feeling of the silver grain :) digital is just, flat.

    But what I really want is a medium format digital, that is fully manual, only controls, aperture, shutter speed and ISO and keep it up to 1600 not really a need for more than that, keep a price below 3000 (dream price). That would be amazing.

  • Carlos Arango

    The are legends by quality and versatility, I have a Bronica ETRS and a Pentax 67 on the way and I must say even the Bronica handles extremely well, but what I like a about pentax is that they kept the universal ring for the lenses I can buy any MF lense of them an I can use it in the 67 or 645 and I’m sure this new one won’t change that

  • Alan Klughammer

    Price, portability, versatility if nothing else.

  • BDWT

    So another 4k camera for under $10,000? That’s cool.. I just, ..I think I would prefer if these camera companies would perfect 1080HD first, I mean, talk about jumping the gun. I know 4K tv prices are dropping but it likely won’t be a standard in homes for another 5-6 years, in many places people are still getting used to HDTV’s.

    I’m sure someone will disagree or snap back at me with some other facts but personally, as someone who shoots often with a DSLR, I would really prefer to see (all the) companies give us a global shutter and 60p (or higher) frame rates at 1080, before shoving 4k down our throats.

  • me

    You realize that this is actually worse than every other medium format camera out there? These all shoot at 16-bit.

  • Rob Elliott

    That’s good… Flu or EyeFi are not wireless tethering options for a 50MB sensor.

  • http://www.digipixelpop.com Digi•Pixel•Pop

    Yes, technology marches on but I actually work with RED footage on a daily basis, and also being a photographer, it is not yet comparable to a high-end DSLR. There’s a lot of point-and-shoots that look great at magazine size prints too, so you should probably take what you see there with a grain of salt, as it’s a small print and usually not great quality.
    Pulling a still from a RED camera is about as exciting as printing a still from an Arriflex. If you get the right frame, it looks ok, but why would you bother?

  • hdc77494

    We’re not talking about the same thing. You’re talking about today, and I’m talking about where rapid advances in today’s technology will take us. If I could film continuously on a kid session, pull the best frames and even do a head swap from one frame to the next, it will ease my workload and improve my images. It will be especially useful to sports photographers. That’s where i see technology taking us.

  • Pete Charlesworth

    The UI looks like pus. It is $8500 because its a Pentax, and because they have to turn a smaller volume into profit. Hard to imagine how it will work overall. So what if it shoots 4k? So does a GH4…..and for stills, a D800/e craps on everything for 99.99999% of anything, for 1/4 the price. And it is weather sealed.

  • Gav

    You assume wrong…Being able to sync up to 1/800th sec with flash opens up a whole new world of lighting possibilities on location.

  • Gav

    Having a sync speed above 1/125 is not really anything to do with movement. But rather lighting and mood. Think for a moment you are shooting talent on a sunny day. On the Pentax your exposure is going to be f16 1/125 at 100 ISO. That means to light the talent you are needing flash that will have the power to light at f16 for an extended period of time. (you are going to juice out your battery packs really quickly…have a slow as recycle…and be stuck shooting at f16) If you want a shallower DOF you will need to use ND filters on your Pentax lens and then even more flash power to compensate..(as you can see you really get stuck in an exposure corner). With a leaf shutter lens I can open up to f6.3ish and use a shutter speed of 1/800 sec. Now because I am using f6.3 rather than f16, not only do I get to have a shallower DOF but I can now turn down my flash because at f6.3 I don’t need as much power (assuming you use good fast duration flash equipment) and yes 1/800 is better for possible ambient movement. At lower light levels I can open the aperture even more or choose to reduce exposure more in the background to add mood to an image……Just a shed load more exposure options and control…

  • Rob S

    So overpowering the sun. I get that. In fact that is a frustration for me with my Pentax K-5. Its not that I care so much about the 1/180th sync but that Pentax stubbornly refuses to even fire the hot shoe above sync. I have no problem with it not being in sync but at least let me manage the lighting myself.

    Thanks for the explanation. I understand the reason, just not an application I would think of with a MF body.

    Someone in Pentax HQ HATES artificial light!

  • Rob S

    I hear you. And despite being a total gear geek I got my first full HD TV 18 months ago. I have absolutely no plans for 4K.

  • http://www.digipixelpop.com Digi•Pixel•Pop

    Well if that’s something that would appeal to you, you could always give the Nikon V series a try. I think for most photographers, sifting through 24-60 frames per second would not ease their workload, but everyone is different.

  • Betty

    + 1000

  • the correcticator

    - IF it shoots 4K, the 43.8 x 32.8 mm could deliver better quality video than the GH4’s 17.3 x 13 mm sensor – especially at higher ISOs – and it has the Option of thinner DOF.

    – The D800(E)’s 36MP may be enough resolution for many purposes but this sensor will outperform it both in resolution and high ISO performance. There’s a reason people still use MF cameras and this new CMOS sensor (which the other MF manufacturers will be using aswell) will offer high ISO performance well beyond what the CCD sensors in current MF cameras have.

    – The 645z (like the 645D) and a number of Pentax’s 645 lenses are weather sealed just as well (and perhaps better) as the D800

  • le DUDE

    You can change the metering mode on a K-5 with one hand (while holding the camera, I’d assume with the right one)?

    You must have weird hands!

  • Hubert Farnsworth

    GET BACK TO THE SEWERS, MUTANT SCUM!

  • Zos Xavius

    its so rare that I ever take it off Av.

  • docholliday666

    It’s called owning one previously and simply firing the shutter. Chunky it is. And, that 645 was just a un-ergonomic as the old 67II I had. The grace of a 205FCC, 503CW, or H4D is much more balanced and smooth.

  • docholliday666

    They actually did release one version of it, the GX645 (or H1 Hasselblad). Guess they realized they made good gear, but Hasselblad marketed it better.

  • docholliday666

    Don’t worry, swallowing the Pentax pill won’t make you better or worse than the rest of us. I’ve hiked plenty with a Hasselblad, RB67, and 4×5 Wisner. Even the RB was better than the 67II.

  • docholliday666

    “Only” is correct…go look up a Leica S2 or Hasselblad H5D!

  • Panchoskywalker

    The speed sync is the main drawback in this camera. We all knows this camera is perfect for landscape and product photography. If it could sync faster it would be on pair with phase one and hassy. I’ll be waiting for reviews about this subject.

  • le DUDE

    I was talking about the metering mode (matrix/center-weighted/spot)… and I was joking.

    The ergonomics of the K-5/5II/3 are great.

  • Andrés Cuesta

    I believe you have never shoot with a 645D in your life.

  • Arn

    I’m a Hasselblad 553 ELX owner, and i dream to have a Pentax 645 ergonomy on my Hassy…

  • docholliday666

    I own two 205FCC’s…I’ll take them with the modded CW winder over the pentax any day.