Unveiled: Pentax 645Z Medium Format DSLR


Just as full-frame DSLRs have begun to hit their stride in the marketplace, an entirely different contender is beginning to re-emerge: the medium format DSLR. With recent advancements in sensor design, medium format cameras are, for the first time, utilizing CMOS image sensors rather than the tried-and-true, but less sensitive, CCD image sensor. The benefits: significantly higher ISO sensitivity as well as expanded uses for live view, continuous shooting, and even movie-recording abilities. On the springboard of these new developments, Ricoh has just announced the Pentax 645Z Medium Format DSLR Camera.

Taking on the familiar shape of the Pentax 645 from the film era, and succeeding 2010's 645D, the Pentax 645Z blends an air of intuitiveness with a host of technological advancements designed to make the medium format camera an even more efficient and contemporary digital-imaging solution. Inside the large yet ergonomically designed body is a 51.4MP CMOS sensor measuring 43.8 x 32.8mm, making it approximately 1.7x larger than 35mm-format, full-frame image sensors. Moreover, the 645Z's sensor omits the conventional optical low-pass filter from its construction for even greater resolution and detail-rendering capabilities. Making use of the sensor's output, RAW files can be recorded at 14-bit and saved using either the proprietary PEF format or Adobe's DNG format for greater post-production control and flexibility.

A new spin for medium format cameras, too, this one focuses much of its attention on speed. The updated CMOS sensor's design, along with the PRIME III image processor, enables a sensitivity range from ISO 100 to 204800, which along with enhanced noise-reduction capabilities, enables its use in a wide array of shooting conditions. A continuous shooting rate of 3 fps can be used for moving subjects, with the ability to record up to 30 consecutive JPEGs or 10 RAW photos per burst. If you're working at 1 fps, up to 25 RAW files or 300 JPEGs can be recorded. Finally, one of the most unique assets of the 645Z is its ability to record full HD 1080 video, at 60i, 30p, or 24p frame rates, in the H.264 format. Switching between movie recording and still shooting is controlled with a dedicated switch and, when recording, a stereo microphone terminal can be used along with an optional external mic for enhanced sound with manual audio-level control capabilities. In-camera time lapse sequences can also be recorded using the built-in intervalometer, allowing up to 2,000 shots to be recorded with 2-second to 24-hour delays, and output as 4K (3840 x 2160) files.

Taking on the familiar shape of the Pentax 645 from the film era...the Pentax 645Z blends an air of intuitiveness with a host of technological advancements...

Augmenting the camera's imaging capabilities is the 27-point SAFOX11 phase-detection autofocus module, which incorporates 25 cross-type sensors and three dedicated low-light AF sensors. Further contributing to focusing accuracy, as well precise auto exposure and white balance settings, is Pentax's Real Time Scene Analysis System, which employs an 86,000-pixel RGB sensor to deliver consistent results based on color, brightness, and subject-recognition abilities. This system avails the use of the AF system in a -3 to +18 EV range, and the exposure metering system in a -1 to +21 EV range. In regard to white balance control, a Multi-Pattern Auto WB system can be used to intelligently and independently adjust white balance settings when mixed lighting is prevalent. For example, if both sunlight and shade are detected, or flash and ambient lighting, different white balance settings are used in the different regions of an image to more accurately portray overall color balance. Also helping to achieve sound exposure balance is in-camera HDR image capture, with a variety of blending modes, which automatically composites sequential exposures in order to gain an extended dynamic range with richer shadow and highlight details.

The physical design of the camera—large in stature, but comparable to a professional full-frame DSLR—is poised to rest well within the hand and avail easy access to the physical controls, including a customizable RAW/Fx button for direct access to a common shooting setting. A large trapezoidal-shaped glass pentaprism, with Keplerian telescope-type eyepiece, enables bright and clear eye-level finding with 98% frame coverage. The included Natural-bright-Matte focusing screen is also interchangeable, permitting the use of optional focusing screens, depending on personal preference. If choosing to work in live view, and also for image review and menu navigation, a 3.2" 1,037k-dot air-gapless LCD monitor is available and features a tilting design (-35° down and +125° upward) to simplify use from high or low viewing positions. An electronic level gauge can be utilized with either the viewfinder or LCD monitor during shooting and, when working in live view, a variety of grid overlays and manual focus peaking can be used for greater compositional and focusing accuracy. The body is constructed from magnesium alloy and features a die-cast, aluminum-alloy chassis for enhanced durability and an overall solid feeling, which pairs well with a new shutter mechanism that is rated for 100,000 actuations. Additionally, 76 seals are placed around the body to render it both cold-proof and weatherproof for use in inclement conditions.

Dual SD memory card slots are also integrated into the 645Z, both of which are compatible with SDXC UHS-I card types. Dedicated FluCard memory cards can be used, as well as Eye-Fi cards, which avail wireless image-transferring abilities to linked mobile devices. The FluCard also enables wireless remote control over the camera, including the ability to configure aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and focus point settings and release the shutter using a smartphone or tablet as a trigger. When shooting tethered, the USB 3.0 interface offers faster transfer rates between computer and camera, compared to USB 2.0, for a more efficient shooting workflow.

Now available in the USA, this camera's release brings with it 13 new lenses, in addition to three existing lenses, which serve to fully round out an optical network. Ranging from the wide-angle smc Pentax-FA 645 35mm f/3.5 AL IF to the telephoto smc Pentax-FA 645 400mm f/5.6 ED IF, this system touches on wide zooms, standard zooms, two macro options, and fast f/2.8 standards. Each of the current lenses supports the 645Z's AF system; however, legacy manual focus 645 lenses are also compatible, as well as Pentax 67 lenses, via an optional adapter. Since the Pentax 645Z is serving as the next step in the evolution of the Pentax 645 series, which dates back to the 1980s, this new model inherits a broad system of lenses, including wide-angles, telephotos, primes, and zooms.

Pentax 645Z Medium Format DSLR Camera
Lens Mount Pentax 645AF2
Image Sensor 43.8 x 32.8mm CMOS
Effective Pixels 51.4MP
Total Pixels 52.99MP
Maximum Resolution 8256 x 6192
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Still Image File Format JPEG, RAW (PEF and DNG), TIFF
Storage Media SD, SDHC, SDXC
Card Slot Dual SD card slots
Viewfinder Type Keplerian telescopic trapezoid prism finder
Frame Coverage 98%
Magnification Approx. 0.85x (with 75mm f/2.8 at infinity)
Eye Relief Approx. 21mm (from view window)
Diopter Adjustment Approx. -3.5m to +2.0m
Shutter Type Electronically controlled vertical-run focal plane shutter
Shutter Speed 30 to 1/4000 sec. in 1/2 or 1/3 EV steps, bulb
Flash Sync Speed 1/125 sec.
Drive Modes Single Frame, Continuous (H, L), Self-timer, Remote Control (immediately, 3 sec., continuous), Multi-exposure, Interval Shooting, Interval Composite
Top Continuous Shooting Rate 3 fps for up to 30 frames (JPEG), 10 frames (RAW), or 12 frames (TIFF)
Self-Timer 12 or 2 sec. delay
Exposure Metering System TTL open aperture metering using 86K pixel RGB sensor
Metering Method Multi-segment metering, Center-weighted metering, Spot metering
Metering Range -1 to +21 EV (ISO 100 with 55mm f/2.8)
Exposure Modes Program, Sensitivity Priority, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Shutter & Aperture Priority, Manual, Bulb, Flash X-sync Speed, User-defined (1-3)
Exposure Compensation +/- 5 EV in 1/3 or 1/2 steps
Exposure Bracketing 2, 3, or 5 frames
ISO Sensitivity Auto, ISO 100 to 204800 (1, 1/2, or 1/3 EV steps selectable)
Autofocus System SAFOX11 TTL phase-detection
Number of Focus Points 27 (25 cross type)
Focus Modes Single AF (AF-S), Continuous AF (AF-C), Manual, Customizable
Autofocus Sensitivity -3 to +18 EV (ISO 100)
Built-In Flash No
Flash Interface Hotshoe (P-TTL), high speed sync and wireless with Pentax dedicated flash, X-Sync Socket
Flash Modes Flash On, Flash On+Red-eye Reduction, Slow-speed Sync, Slow-speed Sync+Red-eye, P-TTL, Trailing Curtain Sync, contrast-control-sync, high-speed sync, wireless sync (available with a dedicated external flash)
Flash Compensation -2 to +1 EV in 1/2 steps
White Balance Modes Auto, Multi Auto, Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Fluorescent Light (D: Daylight Color,
N: Daylight White, W: Cool White, L: Warm White), Tungsten, Flash, CTE, Manual
Movie Recording Full HD: 1920 x 1080, 60i/50i/30p/25p/24p
HD: 1280 x 720, 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p
File Format MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 (MOV), Motion JPEG (AVI) for Interval Movie Record 
Audio Recording Via built-in stereo microphone, external microphone terminal available
Monitor 3.2" 1,037k-dot tilting LCD monitor
Interface USB 3.0 (micro B), external power supply terminal, cable switch terminal, X-sync socket, HDMI output terminal (Type D), stereo microphone input terminal (USB Connection: MSC/PTP)
Power Source D-LI90 rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery Life Approx. 650 images
Operating Environment 14-104°F / -10 to 40°C
Dimensions 6.1 x 4.6 x 4.8" / 154.9 x 116.8 x 121.9mm
Weight 3.4 lb / 1.5 kg


I was looking some (few) reviews and image samples, and I believe this camera can shake the Medium Format industry. The quality of the RAW and JPG files that I could see is really great. The new glasses for this camera has an affordable price, similar to the prime's DLSR35mm and some of theses glasses are even cheaper.
Some people will say that there's no leaf lenses for this camera to allow high speed sync (I don't know yet) and the maximum flash sync speed is too low - 1/125 (is true compared with some other MF), but the price of Pentax 645Z with this big  51 MP CMOS is about 1/3 of the others MF available.
I'm using Canon, but I'm really looking forward to earn the budget to let me get my own 645Z.


I´ll appreciate to know the price and the maximum ISO sensibility..


Thank you in advance




Our site is live with current pricing.  That being said, you can find the price of the 645Z on the camera’s page on our site if you click on the image of the 645Z above.  The camera has an ISO range of 100-204,800.

Nice...... Wats the market price camera

Our site is live with current pricing.  That being said, if you click on the image of the 645Z above, it will take you to the camera’s page on our site where you can find the current price.

I think this camera is going to change the photography capability of a lot of professional photographers. Instead of getting high end Canon and Nikon full frame cameras maybe a few will opt for this medium format now that its a bit more affordable. They can get the camera and a couple of lenses for the cost of a Phase One or Hasselblad camera without a back (in some cases). Phase One is coming out with a more affordable package but still not on the level of the Pentax.


Comparative photos with differents ISO

Thank you so much!

    Any PC lenses available?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a PC lens for the 645 mount.

 Dynamic range (how many stops). How long of an exposure before geting xtra noice. Shutter lag. (how short). List of lenses with espesifications. Lens factor to full frame 645. Color shift if any.


Ricoh-Imaging USA has not published what the dynamic range of the camera is. I've read many reviews that claim RAW files capture 14 stops. Sensor noise due to long exposures is another specification not mentioned and is affected by many vairables including the temperture the camera is used in. Higher temps can cause higher rates of image or sensor noise. No lag time stat's are available from Pentax nor any early reports of color shifting.

For our listing of 645 lenses please use this link.

A 645 negative is 6×4.5 cm, the 645Z's sensor is 4.38 x 3.28 cm (approximately 1.7 times larger than that of a 35mm full-size sensor).


This looks really good.

Pentax make serious cameras.

If its as good as I think it might be for video this is going to be incredible - wont be ditching the blad any day soon though. 

Mas informacion sobre las camaras,lentes, y accesorios.

Please provide me info on interchangable lenses. I still own my Pentax FA645 80-160 zoom lens which I used for my 645N.


You can use any Pentax 645 lens on both the 645N and the 645Z.  You can find a list of the lenses we carry on the following link:  http://bhpho.to/1pxisvT

If you have specific questions about any of these lenses, feel free to email us.

[email protected]

i wont to teaken imege from 645z