Pentax has this morning confirmed the upcoming Japanese launch of its long-awaited 645D medium format digital camera? five years this month since a mocked-up version was first unveiled.
However, the firm has yet to confirm whether the 645D will go on sale in the UK, or any other country for that matter.
Pentax has told UK journalists that the 40-million-pixel camera is due to be available to photographers in Japan from May.
A decision on its availability outside Japan is yet to be made, explained Pentax UK product co-ordinator Stephen Sanderson.
The camera is expected to cost 850,000 yen, body only. This equates to around £6,300 at current exchange rates (9 March rates).
The 645D will carry a 40MP (44x33mm) Kodak-made imaging sensor with a 14 bit A/D converter.
It will be compatible with all Pentax 645 lenses, said Sanderson.
The official spec ? officially revealed at 1am today UK time – confirms the inclusion of a ?dustproof, weather-resistant and cold proof? body, containing ?70 seals?.
It will have dual slots for SD/SDHC memory cards, plus a Dust Removal II mechanism.
The 1,480g model will also boast a new 11-point Safox IX+ AF system.
The Pentax 645D will debut alongside a 55mm Pentax D-FA 645 f/2.8 AL [IF] SDM AW lens, said to deliver the 35mm viewing angle equivalent of a 43.5mm lens.
The 416g optic, priced around 100,000 yen, will include a ?completely rounded diaphragm?, according to Pentax.
In 2008 Pentax appeared to have scrapped development of the 645D altogether.
But last year we revealed that Pentax had revived plans to launch the camera.
Only a mocked-up version of the 645D has been shown to journalists.
It has been paraded at numerous trade shows since it was first mooted at Tokyo’s Photo Imaging Expo show in March 2005.