Pentax appears to have finally scrapped development of its long-awaited 645 Digital medium-format camera almost exactly three years after the plans were first unveiled.

Respected Japanese trade publication Pen News Weekly this week quotes informed sources as saying 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?.

Asked whether Pentax has only temporarily suspended development, a UK spokesman responded by telling us that the firm has not issued a press release on the subject.

Last summer we revealed that Pentax had put plans to launch its long-awaited medium-format digital SLR on the back-burner, raising fresh doubts over whether it would ever see the light of day.

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.

The news comes a month after Pentax announced plans to phase out digital compact camera production and concentrate on DSLRs.

Commenting on the move, Pentax Japan has since released an official statement saying: ?A number of experts in research predict the compact camera segment to shrink from 2008. Pentax just adapts its resources to be in line with the compact trends.

?Resources are re-allocated to the product area that enjoys general growth and particular growth for Pentax DSLR and its associated businesses such as lenses.?


On the back-burner

Speculation rife

Dummy version

Confusion reigns

Prototypes at PMA