Finally was able to coordinate a test drive of the H4D/60 thanks to my local Hassey rep Jim Arnosky, and regional rep Gina Connors ... thank you both!
Of course it was raining and gloomy when I finally had time to work with the camera. However here is what I was able to test ... based on my needs and a comparison against my current kit ... a H2F/39 Multi-Shot. Even though I only had 4 hours to spare for the test, I didn't need to get up to speed on use of the H4D or Phocus ... so I could concentrate on shooting the whole time.
As luck would have it, I had a typical paying job shooting automotive fabric samples in studio ... boring stuff but a good test of ability to render detail. Both cameras mounted on a camera stand and tethered to my mac computer ... 180th shutter, HC/120 macro @ f/13, same lighting ... nothing changed except the camera body.
Conclusion: By sheer size of file, the H4D/60 easily has what it takes to deliver on this type of job via single shot, and blows away the 39 back when used in single shot mode.
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We then set up a very basic portrait scenario with Jim as subject using a 1 to 2 lighting ratio ... hand-held ... also boring, but a good test using standard studio content. Using the (inappropriate) 35-90 @ 90mm the native file was 22.36" X 29.856" @ 300 dpi ... so the 200% pixel peeping crop represents a 44" X 60" final IQ ... as if
Conclusion: the Dalsa sensor delivers skin tones as promised and rendered Jim's coloring dead on the money. Note to self ... never use the zoom for a head shot
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I then did some roaming hand-held ambient light stuff ... again in crappy, gloomy light, but also a good test of extremes. H4D/60 with the 35-90 ... all at ISO 800 ... but here's the kicker ... shutter speed on the Pillow shot done at 90mm was 1/45th! By using a 100ms mirror delay, I've always been able to hand-hold the H cameras better than any other MFD camera ... but was expecting more issues with a sensor this big ... a tribute to the mass of the camera combined with leaf shutters perhaps ... no focal plane shutter creating vibrations. I did NOT have my usual hand-strap on the H4D/60 demo camera, so I'd expect to do even better with one. The Tulip snap was done @ ISO 800 1/50th shutter 35-90 @ 90/5.6
Conclusion: Camera is easy to shoot hand-held. ISO 800 is fine ... the usual slight color muting but the noise structure is nice and would be easy to selectively deal with using Nik Define-2 when needed.
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True Focus: Absolute Position Lock will really come into it's own with this camera in comparison to the smaller sensor H4D/40 I used to have ... shallow DOF is even more of an issue with a sensor this size, and the off-center focusing issue will rear its head more frequently when using the faster HC lenses up-close ... like the 100/2.2 or 150/3.2 shot wide open to isolate the off-center subject.
Tethered shooting really puts demands on the computer. We did not have many issues, but when we tried it on Jim's older laptop it did 65 shots ... but about 20 shots into the sequence his computer slowed down to 3-5 seconds between shots ... if we tried to view images while it was still loading, the computer crashed. Conclusion: his laptop computer is to wimpy for the H4D/60 ... However, when we tried to do side-by-side comparisons of the 60 verses the 39MS @ 100 and 200% on my Mac Tower, Phocus got weird on us ... and sometimes never rendered the 60 file full resolution. Restarting Phocus helped, but it happened more than once. I have a 2 X 3 GHz Quad-Core Mac with 10 gigs of RAM and a brand new ATI Radeon HD 5770 GC with 1024MB of VRAM!
Hasselblad has yet to issue the firmware enabling the double resolution LCD ... which this camera desperately needs for spontaneous location work ... a style of shooting which it is fully capable of doing.
Hasselblad has also yet to enable sync work to use the back on a technical camera, so I was not able to mount it on my Rollie Xact-2 and test it with the Rodenstock/Schneider optics.
The camera has a new door on the bottom of the back which has different plugs ... the sync port is now located there, and a power inlet is there for some sort of power when shooting without the H4D body.
Lastly, the H4D/60 files are not yet recognized by LightRoom ... hope that happens
Over-all: a really, really nice camera! The images are spectacular. Needs some updates soon: LCD and Sync ... and the tethered performance needs immediate attention IMO.