Pentax 645D II specifications and price report from CP+

DC.Watch published another report from the CP+ show in Japan on the specifications and price of the new Pentax 645D II medium format camera:

  • 40 - 50 MP sensor
  • SAFOX XI AF module
  • Frame rate: 3 fps
  • Highest ISO: 102,400 or 204,800
  • Shutter life: 100,000
  • Live view (movie function possible as previously reported)
  • USB 3.0 support for tethered shooting
  • Price around 10,000 USD
  • Release date in mid April 2014
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  • That’s a HUGE ISO range for medium format. Can it be?

    • Robert Martinu

      You can dial in anything you want…I can’t imagine I’d like the quality, even with a flawless sensor photon noise would be a deal breaker for me.

      And 40-50MP? Availability in a few weeks would imply they are already made..they should now whats exactly in there by now.

      • camerageek

        They do

    • Eric Calabros

      no CCD anymore, so it can

  • Joe

    video on MF? that might be a game changer

    • kragom

      Only means they get a bit narrower DOF and have to throw away even more data…

      • Shallower DOF is what everyone on smaller formats think is the big thing about going for larger formats. Once you get a larger sensor camera than what you have, anyone with a brain also realise the improvements in plain image quality when shooting the same sorta of things. It’s physics. Why do you think studio photographers who shoot at f/11-16 with perfectly controlled lights still go for full frame or medium format instead of something like aps-c or fourthirds? They can match the f/11-16 DOF with small sensors too. Think about it.

        Also even if the video skips lines, the sizes of the photosites will be bigger than that of D800s and newer aps-c models. So the amount of photons gathered will likely be higher in many cases… in other words, you’re gaining information, not throwing more away.

        It’s very interesting how clueless people such as yourself can confidently embarrass yourselves and also mislead people who are learning.

        • kragom

          Haha, you are clearly a videographer! Or maybe not… The coming Sony A7s is likely to be better for Video than this. Your comment regarding Studio photographers is completely irrelevant when talking about video. These cameras are optimized for that kind of work and still images. One of the advantages is increased colour depth, 16-bit compared to the max 14 on most high-end FF cameras. Do you think this will be utput in the video stream? 😉

          People will buy the 5D MK3 or D800 for Video)(quality and cost reasons), but if you buy this one for video instead of a professional video camera for the same money, you are surely the one who is misled. Why do you think movies were only using medium format film for IMAX screens? It is simply not necessary!

          I’m sure we will have better medium format digital solutions in the future, but the whole system will be considerably more expensive for very little or no gain at all for most uses. In the meantime people like yourself can continue believing bigger and bigger is better.

          • First of all, at the time of writing this, I don’t think it had even been confirmed that this was a CMOS camera. So a lot of things were speculation. You’re just a little bit late 😉

            “Why do you think movies were only using medium format film for IMAX screens? It is simply not necessary!”

            I’m not sure whether you’re trying to make a point here.

            “In the meantime people like yourself can continue believing bigger and bigger is better.”

            You must be a user of a mFT or a smaller format. For your sake I hope you’re just delusional and not ignorant. If it’s the latter, learn the subject. And learn to click a link and find out what the person you’re replying to is doing before trying to speculate it 😉

      • MrBig

        Perhaps you should give a MF camera a try(rent for a day or two)and see for yourself. 🙂

        • madmax

          I think nobody here is bringing into question Pentax medium format quality for stills or video, but the inconvenience of shooting video with this big format.

          • frank

            Compared to using the Betacams, which were a behemoth, the size of the 645D shouldn’t be a problem for the professional videographer. Although I wouldn’t want to strap one of those bad boys to my head and jump out of an airplane.

          • Dpablo unfiltered

            Now I’m really scared about the camera…

          • Adam Knapp

            Haven’t you ever seen a professional movie camera rig? This thing is still much smaller! We don’t know the quality, but the idea of a 70mm video sensor will probably appeal mostly to filmmakers rather than run-and-gun video shooters.

          • Anto de Chav

            At a puch I’d say sony is heading in the direction of digital imax… they’ve invested over a billion in sensor development and are big players in high end movie cameras..

            although still not as big as Arri.. but they have ambition..

          • Adam Knapp

            Sony has been at the cutting edge of large-sensor video and photo for a few years now… it’s just a pity that their interface design is always so abysmal, even on big rigs like the F35!

          • Oggy

            you’ve never lived…..

      • madmax

        Is a lot narrower depth of field. This means you can´t use apertures like 1.2 or 1.8 because that shallow depth of field will make impossible to accurately focus video. You see: medium format lenses never go brighter than f/2.0 for this reason. If you need to close iris to let´s say f/16 in order to get enough depth of field, you have a real problem. So I prefer smaller formats like 4/3 or maybe APSC.

        • “Never”? And “for this reason”? “Need to” close iris?

          How can you say rubbish like that?

          • madmax

            You are really a funny clown.

          • So you like funny clowns who know better than you… hey, whatever floats your boat 😉

        • Anto de Chav

          Explain the mamiya f1.8 then.. Larger sensors display diffraction at smaller apertures than 4/3 or other smaller sensors..and making a 1.4 or smaller aperture lens is difficult for medium format because it would have insanely thin DOF and be huge in size..

          • madmax

            “Insanely thin DOF” yes, you are just saying exactly the same I said.

            And agree that Mamiya has three lenses under f/2.0… but Mamiya has produced about 150 lenses! How many MF lenses do you know having that aperture? Pentax has none nor Hasselbald and even Leica which format is somewhat smaller than standard MF only goes to f/2.5.

          • It’s the size of the pixels that can tell diffraction. Not the size of the sensor.

          • Anto de Chav

            “Larger sensor sizes can use smaller apertures before the diffraction airy disk becomes larger than the circle of confusion (determined by print size and sharpness criteria).”


          • What they say is a larger sensor with the same amount of pixels as a smaller sensor will show diffraction effects later. Airy disk size is a function of wavelength and f number… it has nothing to do with sensor size or whether you’re creating the image on a wall.

            This is what happens when you randomly pick things up from here and there without understanding the whole concept.

          • Anto de Chav

            I didn’t randomly pick it up,I don’t have much interest in the psychics of lenses design,I prefer shooting,and pixel pitch definitely plays a role in diffraction.. but read this.. “Diffraction effects: Occur at wider apertures for both smaller sensors and for smaller pixels.” Roger Cicala says that diffraction occurs earlier for BOTH smaller sensors and smaller pixels.. here is the article..

            I use Hasselblad 50mp (6micron) and the effects of diffraction occur later than my D800E (Ok I know the D800e is smaller pixel..but my D4 wasn’t much better)

          • LOL light doesn’t behave differently on Hasselblads.

            Sorry but you’re mixing up a lot of things… a classic sign of copying and pasting or quoting without understanding. If you don’t like the physics then why murder it?

          • Anto de Chav

            Who said light behave’s differently ?? your saying that sensor size has no affect on diffraction..but roger cicala and many others say it does.. where is the confusion??

          • I haven’t even checked what the lensrentals guy said but I can guarantee that you’re misinterpreting it because he knows his stuff.

            The airy disk is something that is entirely related to the lens. By the time it reaches the sensor its size has been determined. Would the size of the rain drops change if you used different sized trays to collect them? 🙂

          • Anto de Chav

            Ok,your right… I spoke to a lens tester,it’s only based on pixel pitch.. So it’s airy disc’s only that affect diffraction… makes me wonder at what point pixels become too small,already we have sub 3um on nikon DSLR’s.

          • Tell me something I don’t know 😀

            Personally I consider photosites as being too small when the overall efficiency of the sensor starts to become compromised. Otherwise smaller photosites mean a smoother “base” image… which is a good thing whether you have a sharp lens or not.

        • Les

          “medium format lenses never go wider than f:2.0 because” it makes it impossible to accurately focus video?

          That makes no sense whatsoever.

          The motion picture equivalent to medium format digital video is 70mm. It’s not impossible to shoot, and depth of field isn’t much more of a problem than with 35mm. What is a problem is that you need a lot more light, unless you go dark/high contrast/deep shadow for aesthetic reasons. I am sure that we will see a bunch of “tests” on Vimeo and YouTube soon after the camera is released. I’m not so sure that film makers will be able to successfully use the camera for longer projects.

  • Sky

    Tiltable LCD. Canikon still can’t get that one sorted in their Full Frames.


      Sadly, nor can Pentax in any of it’s DSLRs…

      • John

        The 645D are DSLRs.

        • Adam Knapp

          You know what he means!

    • Adam Knapp

      They have this notion that most “professionals” don’t want articulating screens. I’m not sure who they’re talking to, because it seems like an extremely useful feature.

      • Matt

        As a professional photojournalist, I’d never buy an SLR with a tilt screen. My cameras are built solidly and I use them that way… I expect them to take a beating and still work. A tilt screen would add a major risk of breaking off and leaving me in trouble.

        I’d be happy to have it on a studio camera, though, or something that’s going to be used in a pretty controlled setting.

        • Adam Knapp

          You could always leave it snapped in place if you didn’t want to use it. Despite all the fears of damage, I have yet to find more than a few scattered reports of any damage to the hinges on cameras like the 60D. If it was built adequately, I’d take the risk in getting it in order to get shots I couldn’t get before!

          FWIW, I was one of the “no hinge club” until I tried a friend’s Rebel T3i. Made my 7D feel practically crippled in some situations.

        • Oggy

          good for you knowall…..

  • Rawr

    Yes video mode on MF 😀
    Can’t wait for this

    • Marr

      So I guess you’d be buying the $10k beast?

      • Rawr

        I just might lol

  • Frank

    It’s not enough for to justify upgrading to it. So I think that I’ll be like most 645D owners, and sit this one out.
    The original 645D was designed specifically as a landscape camera, but the new tethering feature will be very appealing to those who would like to use it as a studio camera too.
    High ISO is very cool – but I can count on one hand the times I’ve ever been at ISO 800, let alone ISO 1600 – 99% of the time I’m at ISO 100.

    • camerageek

      I use the current 645D in studio tethered fine. USB 3 just makes tethering faster. The 645D wasn’t designed as a landscape only camera BTW

      • Frank

        Thanks for setting me straight on that. It seemed, to me at least, as if the 645D had been marketed as landscape camera or publicized as one by the media.

  • Panchoskywalker

    If x-sync works over 125 and this beast can shoot at high speeds it’s gonna be very cool….for those who will buy it.

    • camerageek

      It shoots fast already for Medium Format

      • Panchoskywalker

        I understand that on the 1st model sync signal turn off over 125.

        • Meh

          1/500s sync option is always available on lenses with leaf shutter like 75mm F2.8 LS and 135mm F4 LS.

  • Mike

    Now they just need leaf shutters for higher flash syncs to break into the studio or “on-location” studio scene.

    • waterengineer

      And tethering, with out a work around. Can the new body take a cable?

      Also, what is the reported sync speed? Hopefully higher than the first body.


      No they don’t.
      They just need a digital workaround and keep cost down.

    • Zos Xavius

      The 645D has supported older pentax leaf shutter lenses for some time now. So there are options there as well.

  • longzoom

    What is most interesting for me, is there any kind of VR (OS) system, if so, how effective? THX.

    • x4rd

      In lens SR as far I’m concerned 🙂

    • Frank

      SR is in the lens and can be used with the current 645D providing you’ve upgraded to the latest firmware version.

      • longzoom

        Thank you!

  • Rob S

    Thats a pretty big range on everything. I don’t know if I would call this a “report”

  • malchick743

    Actually more concerned with this hardware’s bit depth, can it achieve true 16-bit raw (instead of the previous version’s 14-bit)?


      If Pentax can’t, nobody can..
      Even the ones that could (“H”) were upsampling.

  • Jer

    Wasn’t it supposed to have the new Sony CMOS 50mp sensor for sure?

  • ธีระศักดิ์ เลื่อนแก้ว

    อนาคต มีตัง จัดสักตัวแน่

  • Panchoskywalker

    Pentax should request sigma to make lens for this camera, as hasselblad did with zeiss in the past. Having good and more affordable lens for this camera would make it a killer.

    • AMJ

      Hasselblad asks because they don’t have the technology , sigma should enter the race as a third party…

    • Les

      What makes you think that Sigma’s medium format lenses would be any cheaper than Pentax’s lenses?
      Truthfully, the low-cost lens options for the 645D are all of the existing used Pentax 645 lenses, as well as tons of Pentax 6×7 and Hasselblad lenses that can be used with adapters.

    • Les

      What makes you think that Sigma’s medium format lenses would be any cheaper than Pentax’s lenses?
      Truthfully, the low-cost lens options for the 645D are all of the existing used Pentax 645 lenses, as well as tons of Pentax 6×7 and Hasselblad lenses that can be used with adapters.

    • Zos Xavius

      Seriously? What makes you think Sigma could make a better MF lens than Pentax who made some of the best MF lenses ever? They have so many amazing MF lenses that all they need to do is slap an AF motor inside, update the coatings and be done.

  • Ahmad Al-Joboori

    Shutter life: 100,000 ?????

    • Cynog

      That seems pretty good to me for a MF camera. Cameras like the D4, etc are rated higher, but the 645D isn’t made to rattle off shots at 10 fps like those. And the shutter is larger and subject to more stress. I wonder for how many actuations a Hasselblad is rated.

      • Ahmad Al-Joboori

        I believe that I heard Peter Hurley once said that he had 300,000+ on his H2D

      • Les

        Hasselblad medium format cameras have leaf shutters inside the lenses. The “rating” is irrelevant. You would get the lens serviced several times before you get to 100,000 actuations.

    • Global

      “Rated” doesn’t mean “limited to” — but it does mean they would fully expect you to pay for a replacement after 100,000 images.

      Based on other rating methods, you could probably expect 150% to 200% that without issue (you simply wouldn’t want to stake your business on it).

    • Les

      Looking at the specs, they are using the same medium format shutter that Mamiya, Phase, Contax have used for the past 15 years.

      The market isn’t big enough to have several competing medium format focal plane shutter designs.
      It’s a good shutter and no one complains about its reliability. If your camera gets to 100,000 shots, it’s made you enough money to be serviced.

  • Every now and then Pentax comes really close to having a one of a kind camera then throws it all away.

    First time was with the K mount mirrorless… they still could have been the only player on the market with a short flange mirrorless with a stabilised APS-C sensor (a good sony one at that?) but decided against it by forcing everyone to use dslr lenses on it. They could have easily sold it with a short flange for future lenses and an adapter for K mount for now. No matter how developed the Sony Aps-c mirrorless line up was/is the inbody stabilisation and short flange lens compatibility would’ve put them on the top.

    And now this… they could have been the first company to offer a digital medium format mirrorless. Couple it with a Pentax 645 adaprer since there aren’t many lens options… but no… that just makes too much sense.

    I wonder if they’re paid to lurke in the shadows.

    • MrBig

      It’s all about the proprietary relationship.
      ie, a mirorless mount would in every sense of the word, equate a cross platform MF. solution. To which I’d ask, who at Ricoh/Pentax wants that?

      • Funny thing is Leica, out of all people, want cross platform compatibility with their Leica S allowing even electronic compatibility with Contax 645… strange.

        • Zos Xavius

          Leica had the luxury of abandoning the original S and developing a whole new mount. Of course they made it shorter than many exiting MF mounts. Their sensor is also smaller than the already cropped 645 sensor.

          • I don’t see how the original S was of any consequence to anything.

          • Zos Xavius

            I guess my point was that Leica didn’t really have a legacy mount to support when they designed the S system.

    • Zos Xavius

      Pentax seems very committed to the SLR. They were the first to introduce it to a very large market and even their name pays homage to the pentaprism. The K-01 with a viewfinder and shorter flange could have easily been an early aps-c A7, yeah they missed the boat on that one. I’m pretty sure that was a hoya developed product, so developing new lenses for a new mount would have been out of the quetion. Hoya starved Pentax. Believe it or not the k-01 actually sold fairly well once they reduced the price to a reasonable figure. There maybe deals at play that state that pentax could not use a MF sensor from sony in a mirrorless camera. Personally I’m happy to see that they have continued development of the 645D. Name another rugged weather sealed MF camera. I guess the Leica S2 is fairly rugged, but costs twice as much. Live view was the only thing that was really missing from the first 645D. This with better sensitivity means the camera can come off the tripod more. Not that people were afraid to shoot even the 645 or 6×7 handheld.

      • Anto de Chav

        I don’t think there are Leaf shutter lenses for this system,but i could be mistaken..

        • Zos Xavius

          there are some leaf lenses for both 645 and 6×7. The first 645D’s firmware was upgraded at one point to use the 645 lenses at least.

    • Frank

      This is what happens when a company hires an inept CEO who’s not passionate about photography, nor has the vision to take a company by the reins and lead it to greatness. If Pentax had, your post would never have been written and 645D would fit in my pocket.

  • MrBig

    I don’t know about the rest of the MF proponents out here, but this camera might just be the one for me!

    ie, it this has focus peaking etc. I’m most likely going to jump on the MF bandwagon.

  • aurele

    10 K $ ! almost cheap compared to the hassy !

  • Nikonuser

    Must be CMOS with that ISO range. Could be a big deal…

  • abortabort

    I see no movie record button nor movie mode… So not sure how you can conclude it records video?

  • Oggy

    10 grand!! what! :O i’ll pass thanks and get a GH4.

  • Mahmoud El-Darwish

    I envision it, and it comes to pass! I jokingly suggested A Pentax 4k hybrid and here it is. I sure hope it’s rentable though

  • Mahmoud El-Darwish

    The tilting screen is a joke. Give me a fully articulating or HDMI to external monitor

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