Japanese photography retailer Map Camera reports that production of the Pentax 645Z medium format DSLR (buy here) has ended. In a Tweet, the company said they still have some for sale as long as current stocks last. It appears that those stocks have now been depleted, as they are currently listed as sold out.
So far, there doesn’t appear to have been an announcement from Ricoh regarding the 645Z. It’s not showing as discontinued on the Ricoh website (yet), and no successor has been announced. Other retailers around the world are also still showing it as being in stock with no hint that the supply has ended or is about to. But that may change.
[Related reading: Pentax 645Z Announced – It’s a Beast!]
中判デジタルカメラの代表作『PENTAX 645Z ボディ』が遂に生産完了品に💦
— カメラ専門店 マップカメラ【公式】 (@mapcamera) June 5, 2023
The translated Tweet from Map Camera reads:
Thank you for your continued patronage.
[New product information 📸 ]
The PENTAX 645Z body, a masterpiece of medium format digital cameras, is finally out of production 💦
It will be sold as long as the map camera is in stock ‼ Don’t miss this opportunity to purchase a new product 👇
Net limited map camera with 2 year warranty ✨
The 51.4-megapixel Pentax 645Z medium format was announced in 2014. So, it’s had a pretty good run. But with no successor announced, this may be the end of Pentax’s pursuit with medium format. Or at least, maybe for now.
Pentax has been making some interesting decisions of late. They’re not going to be jumping on the mirrorless bandwagon. They’ve also started working on film cameras again. So, it’s possible that even if there are no more digital medium format cameras from Pentax, we might see one that shoots film in the future.
[Related reading: First new Pentax film camera will be a compact camera]
For now, though, the 645Z appears to be Schrodinger’s camera. It’s dead, according to at least one retailer, but also not yet, according to Ricoh’s current product lists. Even if it is discontinued, Ricoh’s silence isn’t unusual. Most companies don’t announce when products end. At least, they don’t announce it to the general public. They obviously have to inform retailers that the product is no longer available.
For the rest of us, though, they just appear on the discontinued list one day. That hasn’t happened yet, although I expect the Ricoh website will update to reflect this fairly soon.
Update 7th June: It’s official. The Pentax 645Z is now listed as discontinued – “Completed Production” – on the Ricoh online store.