Pentax 645Z

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pentax 645ZAs long as there are professional photographers and advanced amateurs demanding the highest imaging quality possible, there will be a need for cameras with big imaging sensors, and Ricoh Imaging is happy to oblige, with the Pentax 645Z medium-format DSLR. It features a 51.4 megapixel CMOS sensor, Full HD video and three frames-per-second speed.

Developed on the legacy of the 645D and 645 film cameras, the 645Z, says Ricoh, assures super-high-resolution images with a stunningly realistic sense of depth combined with vivid colours and rich shadow detail. The resulting images feature a uniquely distinct look and an unmistakable brilliance. The use of a CMOS image sensor enables live view on a tiltable 3.2-inch LCD panel while also making the 645Z the first and only camera in the medium-format category to offer video recording capabilities, says the company.

Along with 3 fps comes a maximum shutter speed of 1/4000 sec. as well as a top ISO of 204,800.

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 continuously records as many as 10 images in the RAW format (or up to 30 images in JPEGL) at a maximum speed of approximately 3 fps. It also offers quick-view function, UHS-1 speed class compatibility for high-speed data storage (in the SDR104 bus speed mode; with a compatible SD memory card), and USB3.0-standard data interface for easy transfer of recorded images to a personal computer.

The camera 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 f/2.8 lens to optimize focusing accuracy when using a large-aperture lens. It has an AF working range of –3EV to +18EV (at ISO 100; 23C) to assure pinpoint focus with dimly illuminated subjects, which are difficult to focus on accurately with the naked eye.

Live-view function allows the photographer to make more minute focus adjustments using the contrast-detection AF mode on the live-view screen, or by magnifying the on-screen image.

The 645Z captures Full HD video (1920 x 1080 pixels; 60i/30P frame rate) in the H.264 recording format. In addition to the built-in stereo microphone, it also provides a stereo mic terminal for external microphone connection and an audio level control function.

It provides interval video recording of 4K-resolution images (3840 x 2160 pixels; in Motion JPEG or AVI video format).

The camera features the Pentax Real-Time Scene Analysis System, which consists of an RGB light-metering sensor with approximately 86,000 pixels and a fine-tuned algorithm. This system not only assures much-improved exposure-control accuracy, says Ricoh, but also utilizes the data obtained by the light-metering sensor to further enhance autofocusing accuracy and white-balance adjustment. By accurately assessing the type of scene or subject using the light-metering sensor, the 645Z not only selects the exposure settings that are more consistent with the photographer’s creative intentions, but it also makes a clearer distinction between the subject and the background to assure more accurate control of a discharge level in flash photography.

The 645Z has a trapezoid-shaped glass prism, in place of a conventional pentaprism, to reduce size. Its optical viewfinder provides a field of view of approximately 98 percent, while the Natural-Bright-Matte focusing screen offers a sharp, clear viewfinder image for easier focusing and reduced eye fatigue, even during extended shooting sessions.

By installing the optional 16 GB Flucard memory card, users can release the 645Z’s shutter, check the live-view image, and browse and download the images recorded on the card using a smartphone (iOS6 or later and Android 4.2 or later).

By shifting the UV/IR-cut filter placed in front of the image sensor at supersonic speed using a piezoelectric element, this mechanism effectively and efficiently shakes dust off the image sensor. The 645Z also provides the Dust Alert system, which helps the user detect any dust particles clinging to the image sensor prior to shooting.

Other features:

– When the camera is positioned upside down such as in copying work and bird’s-eye-view photography, the user can select “Auto Image Rotation mode” that allows the automatic rotation of the image 180 deg. on the camera’s LCD monitor or on a computer screen for easier viewing based on the selected position data.

– The fine square grid on live-view helps you confirm the subject’s position in the image field during live-view shooting. The user can select grid colour from black and white.

– Lock button disables the camera’s control buttons and dial to prevent the accidental shift of settings.

– Dual SD card slots.

– Flexible white balance control, with a newly added Multi-Pattern Auto mode.

– HDR (High Dynamic Range) shooting mode, with RAW-format data filing.

– Attachment of copyright credits on recorded images; detection of image tampering using the accompanying software.

– Automatic compensation of lens distortion, lateral chromatic aberration, brightness level at edges, and diffraction.

The camera features a magnesium alloy frame and a diecast aluminum chassis, complemented by 76 weather-seals for a cold-resistant, weather-resistant and dustproof shooting experience.

In conjunction with the launch of the 645Z, Ricoh is also unveiling 13 FA 645 lenses.

The Pentax 645Z will be available in June for a retail price of $8,999.99 for the body only.

The FA 645 lenses are available now for the following prices:

75 mm f/2.8 $899.99
45 mm f/2.8 $1,399.99
150 mm f/2.8(IF) $1,799.99
300 mm f/4 ED(IF) $4,999.99
400 mm f/5.6 EDIF $3,649.99
45-85 mm f/4.5 $2,999.99
120 mm f/4 Macro $1,799.99
200 mm f/4 (IF) $1,399.99
80-160 mm f/4.5 $2,649.99
33-55 mm f/4.5 AL $3,399.99
150-300 mm f/5.6 ED $3,399.99
35 mm f/3.5 $1,999.99
55-110 mm f/5.6 $2,199.99

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