Pentax has revived plans to launch its long-awaited 645 Digital medium-format camera, four years after a mock-up was first shown.

The camera will go on display at the Photo Imaging Expo show in Tokyo later this month, said John Carlson, product marketing and support manager at Pentax USA.

He told Amateur Photographer that the 645 Digital is expected to go on sale in Japan.

However, it is unclear whether the camera will be sold in Europe.

And Carlson told us that it will not be marketed in the United States because Pentax predicted it would only sell 200 units there.

We understand that Pentax Japan has decided to aim the camera at the high-end market, so it seems unlikely it will be an affordable, enthusiast-level, model.

Last year, Pentax appeared to have scrapped development of the camera.

A press report in Japan had suggested that ‘developments of the new camera body introduced on various occasions, as well as the SMC Pentax-D FA645 55mm f/2.8 will be virtually discontinued’.

Only a dummy version of the camera has been shown to journalists – paraded at numerous trade shows since it was first mooted at Tokyo’s Photo Imaging Expo show in March 2005.

At the time of writing, no-one from Pentax Europe was available for comment at PMA.

NEWS UPDATE 9 March 2009: DSLR plans unveiled

Pentax 645D image


On the back-burner

Speculation rife

Dummy version

Confusion reigns

Prototypes at PMA

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