Sensing a great disturbance in the force

…of my 2008 budget.

“Depth of field” huh?

Pentax 645D prototype (200609-06)Pentax 645D prototype rear (200609-08)

A Pentax medium format digital camera. 19 or 31 megapixel CCD sensor with 1.4x crop factor in 645 format (44mmx33mm). Basically that’s twice the image area of 35mm “full frame” or .7x “crop factor” 35mm equivalent. Just saying this just shows the total futility of thinking in crop factors. Both use an offset microlens technology that first saw light of day in the Leica M8 to deal with vignetting.

Price (estimated): $7-12k. It’s Pentax so you know it’ll be much cheaper than that the Hasselblad H3D (48mm 39mp $32k, 48mm 22mp $27k and 44mm 31mp $25k), and the Mamiya ZD (48mm 22mp, $12k est.). On the other end you have the Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II (36mm, 17mp, $7.4k). Another reference point is film 645 format cameras are around $3k.

Also known are multi-channel readout, SDHC and CF media support (I hope they’re using UDMA instead of PIO). 1/4000s max shutter speed in a leaf shutter. Probably a max ISO around 800. The usual suspects: AE and AF lock buttons, bulb, MLO, cable releases, flash sync. Burst speed and buffer is unknown (a fast camera in medium format digital is is 1 shot in 1.5 seconds).

While we are dreaming wishlist: Pentax sensor-shift-based shake reduction in a medium format digital. I’d open my wallet this year if it had it. Seriously.

[Lenses for medium format cameras after the jump]

Besides taking the standard 645 and 67 lenses, Pentax will release 645 digital specific lens line with the first model being the PENTAX-D FA645 55mm f2.8 (This is a wide angle lens, not a normal lens). announcement.

And the thing that triggered this post

Lensbaby 3G for Medium Format camerasLensbaby 3G Medium Format Case (for Pentax 67)

Lensbaby 3G for Medium Format Cameras announced today. Finally a camera that can really use the 3G bend-lock feature. I know it’s not available for Pentax 645 yet, but I’ll assume you can use the same 67 to 645 Pentax adapter making the point moot.

Price: $390.

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