Ricoh has introduced a new Pentax 645Z medium format DSLR, which features a sensor which is approximately 1.7x larger than that of a 35mm full-frame sensor.

The sensor has 51.4 million effective pixels, while the camera design is based on the 645D, which was first released in 2010.

Several improvements have been made however, although the camera's weather-resistant dustproof construction stays the same.

For a start, there's a tillable, high-resolution LCD screen and a new AF system as well as live-view shooting. A more durable shutter unit is also included along with a high precision exposure control system.

Pentax 645Z
Being an SLR, the Pentax 645Z has an opticsl viewfinder

The sensor is combined with a PRIME III image engine and an anti-aliasing filter-less design. Ricoh says that these combine to produce highly detailed, low noise images. Furthermore, sensitivity may be set up to a maximum of ISO 204800.

Pentax 645Z
It's beefy, but that deep grip means the 645Z can be used hand-held

Continuous shooting is available for up to 10 images in raw format, or up to 30 images in JPEG at a maximum sped of approximately three frames per second.

Autofocus

A newly designed SAFOX 11 phase-matching AF module with 27 points (including 25 cross-type sensors) has been incorporated into the 645Z, while the AF working range is -3EV to +18EV.

At the back of the camera is a tillable, 3.2 inch, 1,037,000 dot screen with a front panel made of tempered glass. An anti-reflection coating is also included to minimize reflections.

Pentax 654Z
That screen will be familiar to Pentax APS-C format SLR users

Full HD video recording is available, as is Wi-Fi connectivity when using an optional Flu Card which fits into one of the 645Z's memory-card slot.

The Pentax 645Z price will be £6,799.99/approx US$11,371/approx $AU12,077 (body only) and should be available from May.

Pentax 645Z
The tilting screen is capable of showing a live view image