Pentax 645D (40MP MF Camera) Coming to US in 2010

Pentax 645D

You may recall the Pentax 645D announcement from earlier this year.  As it stood at that time, the 40MP medium format camera was set to only be available in Japan.

Well, that seems to have changed with apparent word from Pentax USA President Ned Bunnell that the Pentax 645D will, in fact, be available later this year in the US.

“We’re going to start to bring the 645D into the States in late November or early December but that’s based on availability. We’re still fighting fairly significant back orders in Japan.” -Ned Bunnell

The US price for the 645D looks to be just a sliver under the $10k mark at $9999.99.

While you can get a decent, used Honda Civic for the same price, this move marks the potential start of a new era in digital still photography.  Until the laws of physics decide to take a day off, the larger medium format sensors will continue offer a superior overall image quality to smaller 35mm and APS-C sensors.

Of course, ten grand is not an insignificant sum, but it was just a couple of years or so ago that anything close to the specs of the 645D would set you back $30k+.

Could we see a $5,000 medium format camera in the next 3-4 years?

I think so – especially, if cameras like the Pentax 645D and the new Hasselblad H4D-31 sell like hotcakes.  These are going to be real attractive cameras for full-time stock shooters (where size can really matter) – and for studio photographers who sell a lot of large prints.  Of course, a lot of commercial shooters are already shooting MF, and these new, relatively affordable cameras should help solidify MF as a standard for a broader range of commercial work.

I’m thinking medium format is going to become a lot more relevant to a widening gamut of pro shooters.  Cut that price in half over the next 3-4 years and you’ll have a lot of advanced amateurs raising some eyebrows as well.

[via Photo Rumors]



  1. Jay says

    This looks to be and incredible camera. I love working with medium format, but haven’t done so in years. This 645 in a digital form with a 40M sensor is very appealing. And I’ll have to admit I’m excited about the prospect of this coming to the states. It would be sort of going full circle for me since the very first camera I ever bought was a Pentax Spotmatic.

  2. Manfred says

    I was very interested in the Mamiya-prototype at last Photokina and now we face another digital MF camera with similar specs on the same price level.

    These stories remind me somehow of the Rollei 2000 decades ago which showed also an intersting concept but the headline was: too late!

    Currently, I am disappointed of Canon and Nikon who let us wait with interesting news regarding their top cameras but if they would be clever, a new D4x or 1Ds IV will deliver almost the same quality of 30+ MP at a lower price and offer a richer choice of lenses etc.
    Why then buy a MF with 40 MP which makes no big difference anymore? I suppose that sensor will not be enough for future market success – for survival they will need more to attack competitors and defend themselves: the market may grow but the niche for MF’s may decrease…