You may recall the Pentax 645D announcement from earlier this year. As it stood at that time, the 40MP medium format camera was set to only be available in Japan.
Well, that seems to have changed with apparent word from Pentax USA President Ned Bunnell that the Pentax 645D will, in fact, be available later this year in the US.
“We’re going to start to bring the 645D into the States in late November or early December but that’s based on availability. We’re still fighting fairly significant back orders in Japan.” -Ned Bunnell
The US price for the 645D looks to be just a sliver under the $10k mark at $9999.99.
While you can get a decent, used Honda Civic for the same price, this move marks the potential start of a new era in digital still photography. Until the laws of physics decide to take a day off, the larger medium format sensors will continue offer a superior overall image quality to smaller 35mm and APS-C sensors.
Of course, ten grand is not an insignificant sum, but it was just a couple of years or so ago that anything close to the specs of the 645D would set you back $30k+.
Could we see a $5,000 medium format camera in the next 3-4 years?
I think so – especially, if cameras like the Pentax 645D and the new Hasselblad H4D-31 sell like hotcakes. These are going to be real attractive cameras for full-time stock shooters (where size can really matter) – and for studio photographers who sell a lot of large prints. Of course, a lot of commercial shooters are already shooting MF, and these new, relatively affordable cameras should help solidify MF as a standard for a broader range of commercial work.
I’m thinking medium format is going to become a lot more relevant to a widening gamut of pro shooters. Cut that price in half over the next 3-4 years and you’ll have a lot of advanced amateurs raising some eyebrows as well.
[via Photo Rumors]