Is anyone really enthused by the new offerings recently announced by the digi back makers so far ? if so please tell me why. I need some excitement.
Is anyone really enthused by the new offerings recently announced by the digi back makers so far ? if so please tell me why. I need some excitement.
I am, because they are making the "entry level" 22mp backs more affordable.
The full 645 size sensor is a breakthrough I've been hoping for although I'd prefer to see a 30MP version with 2fps and great high ISO performance
I am pretty excited about what I have seen so far but more important is the MF world is doing something to upgrade itself. That tells us there is a real market and the back folks are paying attention to it and they all have something new. I think that alone excites me although i may not buy any of it or just something from it all but I like the fact that stuff is coming to market and a lot of it. I think a lot of new folks are looking to go big and that is good for us in the long run.
I agree -- with a long view, improvements at the top can only mean reduced prices below. However, based on current cost/performance criteria, I am really excited I bought the P45+
"Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
I have mixed, but optimistic feelings at this point. I think some of the announcements offer some very interesting advancements. The full 645 sensor being one, the full-width and internally rotatable sensor for Leaf being another. I am still a bit mystified by some of the "missing" things, such as better LCDs, but there is still time between now and when these hit the market to see more improvements (my optimism!). The promise of some new lenses is also very interesting, but until they are actually delivered, they are vapors.
On balance, I do think there is a lot to be excited about if one is interested in MF. The only dampening effect is the sticker shock on many of the newer offerings. As Stuart commented, this can be very good news for some of the "entry" level gear that are seeing nice price discounts, so that is a good thing also.
Not really surprised or excited yet. There's nothing I've seen that would make me feel I jumped too soon and got the wrong kit. The huge files that these new backs will generate is not something I need or want. I think the Sinar arTec and Leaf's revolving sensor are pretty cool. I do suspect there will be some exciting news announced in the next few weeks... hope I'm not wrong.
I'm interested to see what might be happening with lenses ... especially with Phase as it directly affects me. I'd love a fast, portrait bokeh king 110/2 in a Mamiya/Phase mount.
Well this is not like the good old days when upgrading DSLRs was within reasonably affordable. For what these new cameras cost you can still buy a home in some cities.
I still remember buying the original Canon D30 and paying 2600 dollars for it..
However, I am not at all unhappy with my choice, just challenged by whether the trade-offs were the correct ones. So like all gear heads the only choice is to have both (203 FE and CFVII) so I can continue to use both and somewhere way down the line choose the one I feel I can live with.
I suspect that your comment "don't know how to get them..." has more validity than we know. My H3D II 39 seems more like ektachrome while the P20 CFV backs remind me of Velvia/ Astia/ Kodachrome depending on the circumstances of subject matter and capture. If we can move the 39s towards Provia/ Astia/ with profiles or newer raw developers I will be happy.
Resolution is without peer...
Surprised Peter? Not really.
Excited? Not yet.
Interested in seeing what it brings in terms of real world image delivery? Yes.
1.1X crop has had little effect on me personally. I'm more interested in the newer imaging technology employed in some of these larger backs ... what visable IQ improvement it will deliver, and where it will lead.
As Mark K aptly pointed out, we're really getting into some serious, life altering coin. So any "incremental steps" need to be carefully evaluated.
IMO, it's a great time to be buying at the other end of the spectrum ... like my new H3D/31 that was reduced by $9,000., or other excellent and proven backs being offered at more reasonable prices.
Yes I agree that yesterday's tech today is probably a great bargain if you think you need the horsepower.
Clearly the direction in MFD is an evolutionary process towards full frame chips. I guess some will see the move from 1.1X crop to a no crop as a very great benefit...I worry though that the marketing departments of these companies are running out of superlatives
and as always the actual software to process the massive files and to work into a decent DAM strategy is a few generations behind - but then again software requires real work and BS doesn't work on a screen.
Last edited by BradleyGibson; 30th July 2008 at 18:20.
I really agree. The trick to getting the most from these new backs is not trivial. I have been through the mill with leica M8, DMR/R9, Nikons from DiX through D3, Canon 1DsMkII etc. Now I have this wonderful 39 Mpx system from Hassy and all the wonderful Zeiss lenses as well as the FujiBlads and it is clear I don't know how to extract the best performance from this kit. I assumed that, with my knowledge of the 35mm systems, it would just be a subtle adjustment. Not so!!!!!LOL. I need a total adjustment of everything from attitudes to skills.
But from what I see in the images from those who know, the learning journey is worth the effort. I will just keep asking questions, shooting and adapting etc until I get it right. Love this stuff but need some additional skills/experiences.
Comments and suggestions always welcomed
Woody you will gain a lot more knowledge at the lighting workshops. We have some of the best folks on site at the workshop with a ton of MF knowledge and experts with processing on hand. Not to throw out a ad but folks really need to come to this one.
You know the benefits of MFD are subtle - except for resolution. In many applications - MFD is in fact inferior to a good DSLR. I dont mind stating the obvious.
Consider the obvious for example - to get the most out of the MFD you need very good light and lots of it - note how a lot of stuff posted her is shot in BIG LIGHT situations and the better stuff has fill and reflected liht added in..
So the lighting workshop is a great idea - and one of the lessons I am sure participants will come away with is that a decent lighting set-up is going to contribute much more to your shot than an extra 20 megapixels. In fact the extra megapixels - may in fact detract from your ability to extract the subtlety from your MFD files.
if people want to push the MFD makers to deliver 800 and 1600 and more ISO - all they are asking for is a dumbed down DSLR - this will take a year or so for people to figure out - by which time it will be common knowledge..and ther ewont be any decent backs left in inventory.
I say that because IMO it diverts the manufacturer's attention away from the job at hand. Right or wrong, the back makers have to follow consumer demands to survive, and as they expand beyond the more narrow confines of the Pro studio market in order to find new areas of marketing opportunity, it's driving odd and less useful innovations that starve the areas of performance where we need that innovation. After all, there are limits to the developmental resources of these companies.
I think if we started a thread as to what innovations people want in MFD ... bet a dollar to a donut that it'd be centered around turning MFD into a 35mm DSLR ... because that's the majority of digital experience for those moving to MF digital ... and admitedly a prime target of the manufacturers trying to expand their market.
A note on lighting: anyone who has dropped a bundle on a MFD back would do well to add one more accessory ... Jack and Guy's Lighting work shop! It'll be a revelation to those struggling with their 30K investment. The guys have gone to great lengths to provide what Peter termed "Big Light" ... both inside and outside.
My personal take on lighting is exactly that. Everything I shoot with my big back is using Big Light ... when it isn't then I might as well be using the M8 or D3. My studio ISO is ALWAYS 50 ... so I have well over 12,000 w/s at my beck and call. My "lite" travel kit is a tinyl Hensel 1200 w/s generator backed up by 1200w/s of monoheads ... and that's just for small jobs. When I shoot the 31 meg back on the fly at higher ISOs, it's often with a Metz 70Mz with "lightening strike" output that I use even in decent outdoor light ... it just takes practice to make it look like no flash was used. I don't live in California, Flordia or out West where God often provides the Big Light.
Hi Marc, et al...
I'm a little confused here, are you saying that there is little if any advantage - in terms of IQ - in using high end digital backs without employing "Big Light". For example, how about location work - think available light landscape - is there much advantage over top end DSLRs other than the increase in file size?
As an aside, personally I wouldn't be looking to MFD to ever replicate the advantages of DSLRs in terms of high ISO or high shooting speeds.
Very well put Marc - insightful comment re high end DSLR users as being natural market expansion targets...everyone ends up one or the other version of CaNikon X 60 megapixels - LOTSA MESS AND MUSH big files with more crap in them. If that happens you may as well be shooting film and getting it processed in Wal-Mart.
Keith - to adress your question 'better files' are an outcome not an input. IF you use a quality digi back in optimal shooting conditions MFD dlivers an over the horizon superior raw file to a DSLR, BUT the further one shoots from a MFD optimal setting and conditions the less difference in image quality one sees.
Now the two governing factors on what the optimal shooting requirement will be are chip and software. there is a difference in file quality that is quite distinct to many between a high ISO capable MFD back and a lower ISO capable digi back.
If you want the ultimate file quality - you dont want the type of chip that high ISO capable digi backs have - you go for fewer but fatter pixels. SO if the MFD makers decide to go for DSLR capability except with more megapixels ( too simplify things) you are changing the game - I didnt move into MFD capture for the file size, shooting speed, high iso capability, frame rate , buffer size blah blah blah - I moved over for the file quality..
From what I've been reading here and especially on the LL forum, the first manufacturer to come out with a really good LCD and also fast WiFi connectivity to a laptop/whatever in a cheap 30 megapixel back will clean up the entire market. If it happens to be Hasselblad (most likely) then it would do a Canon vs Nikon (until the D3) to the rest of the market. The market research of the manufacturers seems to suggest that photographers are looking for a well integrated and well supplied system that has a back that can detach and be used on a view/technical camera. That is what they all seem to be making now. The Hasselblad 30 megapixel package has really become popular (I spoke to the 'blad representative in Manchester a couple of weeks ago, they are selling like hot cakes with the new very reduced price) and if they add the above features....
There is room now for one manufacturer to cut prices, add a really good LCD and a useable iso 800 at just 30 megapixels and to really make a killing. What are they giving instead? Funky sized sensors and huge amount of megapixels. Can't say that I see that as innovation.
I appreciate Marc's point that a MF camera is not a DSLR, what I think is fueling the drive for DSLR type functionality is the fact that a lot of the stuff being shot by MF shooters is no longer 'big light' types of photographs. A lot more of the stuff I see in commercial photography is not studio based, not 50 lights and a hundred person crew. There is incredible work being done with natural light and just a single fill/accent light and that is where I see the fashion/commercial industry going, no doubt the point of change was the fact that so many were using that original 1Ds and learnt the ability to do something different without being tied to the studio for technical/financial reasons.
I know I'm just a simple wedding photographer but at least in my field the work being done now with DSLR's is absolutely incredible in its breadth, the difference between the medium format static wedding album of yesteryear and the DSLR natural light, relaxed and spontatnous storybook album of today is incredible. It's as if freed from the shackles of the technical limitations wedding photography has finally spread it's wings and began to feel the freedom of expression. There are those few who still use MF film to do the same thing (Marc) but the revolution was sparked by the DSLR.
I think the same thing is true for a great deal of the world shooting MFDB's. They want the quality provided by those backs, but with the freedom of a DSLR to express themselves in different, more modern and dynamic ways.
Anyone with an eye on the future of photography can see that big changes are happening. The LL MF forum is heavy with talk of that realisation, sportshooter is full of the changes affecting their world, the newspaper world is finding it incredibly difficult and anyone wanting to stay dynamic in todays, but more importantly tomorrows photographic world has to be ready to ride the very cutting edge or sink into mediocrity. With that in mind, is wanting to have DSLR versatility with the quality of MFDB's such a bad thing? Shouldn't we all want to have the least technical limitiations so that we can innovate without a culture (if not reality, there are always those few in a generation who will shine whatever the limitations) of boundries?
It's that it's not optimal to use a smaller pixel back with a native ISO of 50 at ISO 800 or 1600. Obviously, you get the benefit of a larger file size for bigger prints without software interpolation, but the further away you move from the optimal delivery, the less your huge investment pays off. This is the reason I am interested in the new hardware technology in the latest releases more than that they are bigger size, or sport yet more but even smaller pixels. The proof will be in the pudding.
The elephant in the room is that in less experienced MFD hands, or for certain applications, a lesser back can produce stunning results and make one wonder about a 39 meg., or 50 meg., or 60 meg back's incremental improvements. For example, a sub $10,000. CFV, 16 meg., 9X9 micron sensored back can produce stunning results for certain applications and end use that rival a back costing $40,000 ... witness John's Shipyard Series (that probably sold more CFVs than Hasselblad's ads have: -) Irakly opted for a P25 for his Contax 645 because of the way he shoots ... having come from a Kodak ProBack he wanted to preserve the 9X9 micron performance that was a known enity with the Kodak, but be able to capture a wider field of view.
However, when I shoot commercial work in the studio the CFV takes an obvious IQ dive compared to the H3D-II/39. Or if I'm working on location and have the light we all want and love, the big back shines ... and I assume/hope this next "more" generation will too.
The in-between for me are the backs with microlenses to boost performance. NG for T/S, but I don't use it that way. That camera replaced my Canon 1DsMKIII in the applications I used the Canon for ... and delivered much better IQ. So, all of this is very application sensitive.
Nicely put Peter,
The challenge for us, is to maintain a high level of IQ while using advanced pixel design that allows it to be smaller yet still to be able to hold the same amount of light and low noise, even when pushed to higher iso.
In 10 years we've moved from 12µ down to 6µ without sacrificing DR or base iso noise levels.
Personally I think that a 6µ sensor that gives a low-noise base iso of 50 and that can be pushed to 800 or even 1600 and still keep a broad DR (which is not the case with the latest CMOS DSLRs, is quite an achievement and I'm convinced that no one in our industry is willing to compromise one market (e.g. studio based, flash etc.) for the benefit of others (location, available light etc.).
We are, however, trying to bring out products that are more versatile than before so they can still capture those who move up from 35mm.
- faster flash sync speeds (up to 1/1000)
- more dynamic range (several stops)
- ability to push and pull an image more than DSLR files can stand
- higher resolution
- option of working with waist-level or 45 degree or 90 degree finders
- digital back works with view cameras
- better lenses on the whole
- better colour
- with some MF cameras, no need to rotate the whole camera when shooting in portrait mode
- and believe it or not there are features which some MF cameras have which Canon et al do not, afaik, such as focus bracketing, focus trap or colour temp sensor
Marc, Peter, many thanks, I now understand your point.
Frankly, the H3D-II's new LCD is darned close, and WI Fi would be okay as long as I don't have to pay a lot for it ... or pay another $20,000. for a new upgrade to get it. What I would like is even MORE dynamic range. That the P-65+ boosted it some is VERY interesting. When it comes to dynamic range, a little is a lot.
My use of 35mm DSLRs has gone retro ... 1DsMKII ... gone. D3/D700 is now the weapon of choice for weddings ... and I will not be in the target market group for a big meg Nikon.
What I'm reading both on this forum and LL does not bode well for sales of the new backs. IMHO, the company to emulate at this point in time is Nikon. Seems to me they listened to what the market place was saying (not only to comments by Nikon users but to the laments of Canon shooters too) and responded accordingly with, from anecdotal evidence, spectacular results. Canon, on the other hand, seems to be stuck in the same mold they've been in for a while and their sales are suffering accordingly. (A local dealer I know recently sold his one remaining 1Ds Mk III below his cost just to move it out of the store). One thing I've noticed about the folks that frequent the forums is that they are not shy about saying what they want and they are very articulate in expressing those wants. All that's needed now is for a company to listen and respond accordingly.
Last edited by David K; 31st July 2008 at 04:04.
Mamiya and Contax 645 sync speed is 1/125th.
Push-pull is dependant on ISO used. With-in the bounds of end size, I can do things with an ISO 800 D3 file that would be stretching an ISO 800 MFD file.
Higher resolution is a given and wasn't disputed.
35mm DSLRs can and are being used with view cameras.
Rotating a D700 is a no brainer.
Horses for courses.
At those prices I should certainly hope not! What really did make me sit up and notice was the price the 'blad rep quoted for that 30 megapixel package, wow but the prices have come down!One thing I've noticed about the folks that frequent the forums is that they are not shy about saying what they want and they are very articulate in expressing those wants. All that's needed now is for a company to listen and respond accordingly.
If I had the money...
Thing is that I don't need more megapixels and when I do it's static stuff and I'm getting 39 megapixels and incredible tonality from stitching. When the new 5D's come out I ain't upgrading, can't make it a financially correct business decision. Yes I can now get the 'blad for under 10 grand (sterling) but although it's an incredible price, if you don't need it and by need I mean as a financially correct business decision, then it might as well still be at the old price. Business hasn't changed, if you need it then the money isn't important and if you don't then you're wasting your money however cheap it is. That's what I find confusing about these new backs, who can say that it's a correct financial decision to buy a 60 megapixel back? If the extra 20 or 30 megapixels aren't making profit over and above what a 40/30 megapixel back would, if there is no client pressure to need those extra megapixels, why on earth could any business justify it? And for those who can, for whom it is needed, what where they doing before and who the heck needs that much single shot resolution for the end product?
I have to agree Marc, Hassy wants people in there system and lowering the price to a level that can attract more folks in the better. They still have to buy lenses and we all know that is really where the money is at in a lot of ways. Even Phase will come very close in price with the P30 plus and body. Leaf also lowered there price on the 65s . So most of them see the market in pricing as being very close to the high end DSLR's. Also we will see prices coming down on demo's and refurbs. Even here the prices are posted that are very attractive in the buy/sell section for the vendors. Than the new high pixel backs will drive prices down. This is all good for us to get in easier and actually even add more to the existing user base.
What will alter that is IF the backs deliver obvious, and I mean obvious, advancements in IQ ... then those with a real application for that kind of performance will pony up for it. But the weekend landscape shooter better have a trust fund to dig into to play that game.
I agree with your Nikon assessment verses Canon as a poster child for listening and delivering. It advances what you want a DSLR for ... speed in every area of performance.
Give me a full 645 frame, 9X9 micron, 30ish meg back and I'm squirming with delight.
Give me a full 645 frame, 9X9 micron, 30ish meg back and I'm squirming with delight.
Almost there. LOL But I agree and I really like these 9 micron backs, bigger would be nice though.
Ben and all,
I would just like to add that basing the market's requirements on what is reflected via 2-3 public forums can be very tricky.
No disrespect to anyone on this forum or on LL, quite the opposite actually, but if you were a manufacturer of a high-end professional tool (in our case, cameras), will you be making your camera go to 1600iso because 25 people have expressed their desire for it and knowing that the majority of these 25 people already own or use a 200/400/800 device and produce good work with it (and hopefully make some good money with it as well)?
Obviously I'm exaggerating but do you see my point? Here's an exercise with numbers:
If there was, today, a 30MP back in FULL 56X42 format that shoots 2 fps at 1600iso with a D3 screen offered at $30K, how many more backs do you really think will be sold WW?
Let's assume that every poster on LL represents another 100 photographers that he/ she knows from college, work, APA, AOP, BIPP etc.
So from 76 voters we'll get 760 sales, split between 4 manufacturers, that's a $5.7M revenue per manufacturer, at a relatively low margin that will have to reflect on the dealer's margin...now due to limited resources, this will have to come on the expense of producing and selling allot more $15K-$20K backs and/ or similar numbers of $40-50K with higher margins?
Much of the above is hypothetical, but what I'm trying to say is that as much as these 2-3 forums might be the only "representative" vehicle, they should not necessarily be used as a true reflection of the WW market/s
So Yair - you are saying that the total market isnt very big...??
Last edited by PeterA; 31st July 2008 at 05:26.
As a guy that is presently peering over that precipice, I have to say that a $15-25K "fall" for the first tumble is still a long way to drop, but may be more doable if the camera/system offers enough features and capabilities for intended use. Ah, the catcher.....intended use. If looking to replace a 35mm DSLR, there is nothing in the MF stables that can do that now from a handling, functions, ease of use, high ISO, speed, perspective. Why should there be? (I know I would not think of using a MF for all of the things that I can do more easily or better (resolution and DR may be the exceptions) with a top end DSLR.) What I would like it to have the same sort of feature set on MF that is available on high end DSLRs. Not everything, but more of the things that are ergonomically and functionally useful, and at a price that more encouraging to pull me in. The Hassy and Phase offerings are starting to get there, and that is very encouraging. The volumes for some of the new offerings are not going to be high, as Yair points out....at least not until there is a much larger user base in MF. We can bash Canon and Nikon all we want about their shortcomings, but both were able to create a market interest with their low end DSLRs, while selling much fewer high end units. (That may be an exception with the sports shooter cameras, but even there, the prices were reachable at $4-5K.) The serious crowd the migrated up the DSLR ladder and that is looking for even more in IQ brings a lot of expectation and maybe baggage about use, features, capabilities, etc. That is a market group that should be the target for the MF makers, so meeting more of those wishes will translate to more sales. That in turn will create the upward migration path and volumes for the bigger guns. Trying to sell 5,000 or so 60MP backs to a market with only 6-10K users ain't gonna get you there. However, selling 10-15K 30MP backs on bodies that have the features developed over time in the DSLR world will get you a much larger user base to increase sales of those higher end backs. It is a numbers game here too, and by increasing the market base with affordable and useful entry products that have lots of practical features, it can finetune the expectations for the next round of offerings.
I think the MF makers have started down this path, but are still limited in their ability to deliver things at the demand pace of the new and growing market coming from the DSLR world. Wanting a 9 micron, full 645 frame, broader ISO range, 30MP back does not sound unreasonable for folks coming from a world that has 20-24MP, full 35mm frame, very high ISO, cameras with great LCDs, flexibility to shoot, speed, etc. There are some limitations for sure, but that is not going to dampen the expectations.
I agree with Peter and Marc and others that changing the expectations to work within the present MF parameters is important, such as big light, shooting for more DR, etc., but that is not going to eliminate the other expectations, wants, needs, desires for more functionality, utility, ease of use, affordability, reliability, etc. I like were some of these innovations and developments are going in MF. I like that it is looking easier to get into MF with more competitive pricing. I am still impatient to see more features wrapped up into more affordable packages sooner, but that is just me ;-)
Great discussion. Traditional MF market share is most likely limited. But, when you start recruiting current and potential high-end DSLR users, it becomes interesting.
You can see where digital back manufacturers might be looking at an updated overall business strategy. Lower the margins and increase the number of backs sold as entry level backs ... and keep developing higher priced/margin trade-up backs to support the overall business. Buyer demographics aren't the same and the potential size of the market is smaller ... but, a similar strategy has been profitable for DSLR manufacturers.
Whoops ... I see that LJ just posted much of the same while I was writing this ...
Last edited by KurtKamka; 31st July 2008 at 06:02.
I could not agree more and that is why I am attending the workshop and would suggest others consider this as well.
After a six week period with the H3DII-39 it is clear that the money you spend does not guarantee higher IQ. What is for sure is that you bought the capability for higher IQ. And once you master the tool, understand the limitations etc (much of which is being discussed in this thread!) you can probably consistently get great results a la Marc Williams.
Just for the hell of it I took mine to a water park with my two grandkids the other day just to see what my results would be. When I came home and looked at the images my disappointment was palpable! I missed a lot of shots because the auto focus is slow compared to my Nikons. I find it harder to hand hold because of shake compared to either the M8 or the D3/D300.
On the other hand, I also have been doing product shoots for my daughter's new business. Here I am always using a tripod and have everything optimal for such work in terms of ISO, focal length, shutter speed etc. And as Marc vividly describes, plenty of big light. Now the IQ is spectacular compared to the Nikons.
My next set of experiments will be landscapes. Here again I will be shooting with a tripod. Manual focus. Optimum F stop etc. I will be shooting primarily at the native ISO of 50 but will also experiment at 100 and 200. Nothing higher. I will get back with results so all can hopefully learn from this.
Yair... I think you need to add a zero to your example (unless you're figuring a 10% sales rate in there). Wish you guys would make the same mistake in pricing these things Seriously though, I do understand the point you are making, i.e. there's a finite number of $30k + buyers in the world. I mentioned in another thread that Harley Davidson just announced they'd be buying an Italian manufacturer of $120k motorcycles for over $100 million. While I've got no insight into why they're doing this, it's seems clear that they want bragging rights to one of the "best bikes in the world" not because they expect to sell that many of them but to lure buyers in to their lower priced line. Ford and Dodge did the same thing with their "fastest pickup truck in the world" battle. These guys are all smarter than I and I've got to believe this is a valid marketing strategy. If this is what the Big 4 MF manufacturers are thinking, i.e. let's develop HUGE megapixel backs and we'll sell a lot of the lower end stuff, then I certainly hope it works, but I'm not convinced that it will. I'm pretty sure that there's a lot of MF users who think, that for the money they're spending (or spent) they should have gotten a better LCD, etc. and that those areas are where the Big 4 should be spending their limited R&D dollars. I don't know... maybe Marc is correct in thinking that the public comments are rationalizations about why they don't need the new generation of back when the reality is that they don't want to part with the bucks. One thing I'm sure of is that all of us are rooting for the industry to grow and be profitable. That can only be a good thing for everybody.
A different insight on the the Harley acquisition. Here in the Milwaukee media (Harley's corporate home) the rationale for the purchase has been placed on increasing marketshare in Europe vs. giving high-end US enthusiasts something more exotic. Although, a few high-end, high-profit sales always help the bottom-line.
Harley has never been a big player in the European market because European tastes largely favor touring and sport bikes. They've tried pushing Buell in Europe but it's been a non-starter. Harley management knows that the US market has leveled off, so they need to become more aggressive in Europe. It was probably a necessary move to acquire a European badge for the company to think seriously about increasing share in Europe.
Sorry for the off-topic post ...
I am very new to the MF world (in research mode right now). I think the MF companies had better do something about only advertising resolution. As it stands right now I could buy a 1DsMKIII right now if I wanted to. But I am not seeking merely 21 mega pixels. I want the quality of the 9 micron pixels. When I hear about 60mp backs that only shrink the pixels it makes me sad. I want to leave that world not spend thousands more to play the same game.
So my question is how committed are the MF companies to image/pixel quality? Will I get support for my 30/16 9x9 backs if I buy one now?
I don't mind the slow pace of MFD but I do need an LCD to judge exposure with because I won't have a tech with me.
To summerize here is what I wound jump on:
- ISO 100 to 400
- Flash sync 1/500
- 25mp 9 micron pixel (or same quality tech)
- Good lens that is equivalent to a 35mm lens in 35mm format. So if a cropped sensor I need an equivalent lens.
- An LCD to check exposure with
I am close to just staying 35mm because MFD can't seem to improve in areas that matter to me... If I am not a target customer then let's see who lasts the longest
If the world wide market is so small the shouldn't companies be trying to corner it unlike what Yair seems to be saying? If a company has the guts to sell a package at a price where it really is competing with high end DSLR sales, if they are willing to make DSLR shooters like me go 'hmmm' then they will corner the market, not with switchover sales from their current user base which is pretty small anyway, but by making themselves not only the first address for a first time MF buyer, but also a serious contender for the 1Ds mkIII buyer.
However what is more interesting is applying Yair's logic to the new very high megapixel chips, especially the Leaf wide chip. Will that really make more money than trying to pursuade an entire segment of the market to invest in your products? More than that, what you are essentially asking is whether people will upgrade or sidegrade for better options, why don't you ask Phase with their '+' backs? They put in a better screen and an extra iso and I doubt they made a loss doing it but given the amount of pre + backs for sale, and I'd love one of the sellers to back me up here, people really did upgrade for those minor features.
Yair, you're saying that these forums are not representative of the world wide MFDB market. So what is? When I spoke to to the 'blad representative he was in my local pro store arranging to have them sell the cameras for him rather than referring people straight to him. He's selling loads of the 31 megapixel package and he wants them sold through stores so that people coming in for a high end DSLR will have the camera in front of them, to give them a choice at an almost affordable price. Seems to be working too. If what we are reading here isn't representative then please tell us what is, what your own research is telling you that is different? Can we be blamed for believing what we read from users if no one is telling us any different?
Seems to me that MFDB's can remain a small volume niche market making ever increasingly niche products or they can try to tackle people like me (I only have a couple of years left in the wedding business and then will have to diverse) and make some real money through volume rather than skimping on what seem to be essential details such as LCD's with the excuse of low margins. Canon don't make their money on the 1Ds mkIII, they're making a fortune on the 450D...
First manufacturer to market a decent MFDB at the DSLR crowd wins a coconut!
An Aptus 65 gives you 28MP, 7.2µ, 44X33cm, 50-800iso (bit of leg/headroom), a 6X7 screen that gives a bit more than just exposure reading.
This (used or refurbished), a used 500 C/M body with a 40mm or 50mm Zeiss Distagon will give you the 1/500 sync and will likely fit into your budget.
It's fully serviceable and supported by a wide dealer network, software that runs on PC/ Mac, files that work in LR, ACR, Aperture, iPoto...plus it can be traded in as/ if/ when you choose to get something newer/bigger/ faster etc.
I'll be clear; I know nothing. !:^) Thanks for a really great discussion.
I've heard it said a number of times that the new 31-39 mega backs have as good IQ as the older 22 meg 9 micron backs. Is this not true?
I've also heard from dealers that the bigger backs far outsell the smaller backs so they aren't interested in improving the smaller backs.
I'm very interested because I'm looking at a good deal on a demo that's actually more megs than I probably need, but being the new generation it has improvements including a much better LCD over the smaller backs.
I like the idea of the 22 meg back, but it seems that the companies see the demand as too low to bring a new generation of small backs to the table. They sell more 30 something backs at higher margins.
Well, I'm really surprised. I don't own a dback yet, but been following a lot of theads like this here and in other sites for the purpose of keeping up and when time comes (pretty soon I believe), I'll make the best decision when buying.
I'm surprised that the 30 something backs outsell the 22mp crowd. Most posters say they all love their big fat pixel sensors for the quality.
I'm surprised that the 30mp backs outsell their less dense siblings because a lot of posters complain about increasing computer needs for processing.
I'm surprised too because they mostly claim there is no real advantage in resolution unless you are printing real big.
I think that there must be other motives for this to happen. Maybe the 9 micron stamp tool got broken and nobody has been able to replicate it. Now, seriously, I don't understand why, it beats me. Manufacturers keep coming with denser and denser backs while the great mayority of photographers claim better DR and physical larger sensors (in that order).
Some makers claim that brighter lcd displays would worsen the problem of noise because of increased heat. Why not build a 10% bigger back to allow for some room to cool off?. Why not come with a swinging back like Kodak did a short while ago? That would allow for extra cooling and with the big bonus of flipping the lcd like waist level finder. Now, that's cool!!
Well, I'm not surprised. I'm not surprised that now all is about bokeh. With this denser pixel backs lenses start to difract shortly after f5.6, now everybody brags about how nice bokeh they get with their brand new glass but nobody seems to keep both eyes in focus!!
I'm surprised and not.
Last edited by Uaiomex; 31st July 2008 at 18:37. Reason: typos
I think a lot of the responses in this thread serve to re-enforce the point I made about so many alternative demands on the manufacturers that it must absolutely drive them crazy ... and, IMO, if they respond to all these demands. it will serve to take the eye off the ball as to what MFD is really all about ... IQ ... just like Peter said in the beginning.
On the other hand, users and potential users feel they know what they want ... however, I would offer that those "wants" are based on previous experience more than "what can be" ... maybe even "should be." I also think many folks aren't aware of where these MFD systems are currently ... and I'd suggest renting to find out. Actually experiencing them is a lot different than theoretically chatting about them on-line.
As Yair pointed out, a couple of these forums only represent a fraction of actual MFD users. Lots of landscape shooters and advanced amateurs (not meant as a negative,) that isn't truly representative of the universe of MFD shooters. Anyone making a living with this stuff has incredible demands put on them to produce very versatile files that increasingly are serving a multitude of usages, cropping and manipulation. In this environment, IQ is king. Moiré is a no-no, small file size doesn't cut it, color fidelity is paramount. and so on. I'd estimate that 90% of the end result of MFD work ends up being produced in CMYK printed on paper, not RGB out-puts from a inkjet or Fuji photo printer. You have to have a lot going in to maintain any quality going out.
As far as hardware features, controls and software are concerned ... IMO the priority should be "does it help increase IQ?"
If the new multi-channel, bigger backs deliver visably superior IQ, and I have no reason yet to doubt they will, then a % of that universe out there will opt for it.
Last edited by fotografz; 1st August 2008 at 01:41.