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Ricoh deploys new medium format Pentax 645Z DSLR with HD video

updated 01:43 pm EDT, Tue April 15, 2014

New camera uses 51.4MP CMOS, with peak ISO of 204,800

Today, Ricoh Imaging Americas Corporation has revealed the new Pentax 645Z magnesium alloy-bodied, medium-format DSLR. The new camera features a 51.4-megapixel CMOS image sensor, tiltable LCD, and is the only camera so far in the medium-format category to offer video recording capabilities. The new camera has a shutter speed of up to 1/4000th of a second, and has an top ISO of 204,800.

Additionally, the 645Z is compatible with the recently-introduced FLU Card, providing remote operation of the 645Z -- including the ability to release the shutter, view a live-view, and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a wireless connection to a smartphone, tablet, computer or any web browser-enabled device.

The 645Z incorporates a newly designed SAFOX 11 phase-matching AF module with 27 sensor points, including 25 cross-type sensors. It also detects the light flux of an '2.8 lens to optimize focusing accuracy when using a large-aperture lens. Its AF working range of -3EV to +18EV (at ISO 100; at 23oC) assures focus with dimly illuminated subjects. The camera is also capable of Full HD video recording at 1920x1080 pixels at a 60i frame rate.

The Pentax 645Z will be available for purchase in June at a retail price of $8,500.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    It's not entirely clear to me why you'd want to spend $8.5K on a medium-format camera with fantastic features and then use it to record 1920 x 1080 with h.264 compression (it does do 24p framerate, not mentioned above).

    Assuming it's averaging and not just reading a fraction of the pixels, you'd be getting ridiculously good low-light performance, and since it does use the whole frame you'd get the nice depth of field and lens characteristics of medium format, but it doesn't appear that it can output video in any sort of professional format, so I don't see that a movie or documentary crew would be able to use it for any sort of higher-end production.

    It just seems like with Blackmagic and Panasonic putting professional codec support into drastically smaller and cheaper cameras that it's artificially limiting the use of pro-grade hardware to relatively consumer-level productions.

    I guess there's no harm in giving a photographer carrying around one of these beasts the ability to shoot some video.

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