On March 2005, Pentax announced the development of the Pentax 645D. After being announced, the 645D immediately aroused many interests, because it would have been the company’s first ever medium format digital SLR camera. Moreover, due to its compatibility with existing Pentax 645 lenses, many photographers who already own the non-digital Pentax 645 medium-format camera from year 1984 were also waiting impatiently for the 645D; however, it turned out to be a long wait. The 645D’s development process was longer than expected, and during the process, its specifications have been updated a couple of times in order to keep pace with the rapidly growing digital camera technology.
Pentax’s plan in merging with the optic giant, Hoya Corporation, which in the realization didn’t go as easy as expected has also affected the development of the Pentax 645D. Due to this problem, Pentax has announced an indefinite hold of the 645D project. Fortunately, on March 2010, Pentax announced that it has continued the development of the 645D. And finally, after a month-long of intensive online campaign, Pentax launched the 645D on May 2010. The wait was indeed lengthy but it was worth it, since the 645D is a medium-format digital SLR camera that exceeds the expectations of many people.
At the heart of the Pentax 645D is a Kodak KAF-40000 sensor, which is a large, high-performance CCD sensor measuring 44mm x 33mm. This large sensor, which is approximately 1.7 times larger than a 35mm full-frame sensor, allows the 645D to produce super high resolution 40-megapixel images. This equals the performance of professional-standard digital camera backs – electronic sensors used by professional photographers that allow them to take digital images with their medium-format or large-format film cameras. Besides its high-performance large-sensor, another thing that makes the 645D so special is its excellent maneuverability. The 645D is indeed a large medium-format digital SLR camera, larger than ordinary digital SLR cameras, but it is surprisingly light and very comfortable to hold, even for occasional one-handed style shooting.
The Pentax 645D also offers outstanding reliability, its body may be lightweight, but it is very solidly built. Its main frame is made of magnesium-steel alloy and its chassis is made of die-cast aluminum, while its LCD display is also covered with a tempered glass plate for maximum durability. As a result, the 645D is a highly resilient medium-format digital SLR camera that can even be operated at –10 °C. The combination of exceptional image quality, excellent maneuverability, and outstanding reliability makes the 645D a perfect medium-format digital SLR camera for professional landscape and outdoor photographers.