After dealing with the lack of reliability (camera lockups and erratic behavior, Phase One), the primitive bodies and the lousy viewfinder/auto focus combination I absolutely had enough of medium format digital. You can add to that poor customer service from Phase One.
Several things brought me to this decision and I'd like to share it here.
I needed a small replacement part from Phase One. The little plastic spacer/guide that fits between the Phase One Body and the vertical grip.
After nearly a month of trying to get it from Phase One or Mamiya I still do not have either the part or an answer. Multiple phone calls to phase one and various dealers got me no where. Phase one just went and sent me the wrong part to get rid of me. Keep in mind I had sent them a photograph of the part I needed..... so I am having the part machined and made out of metal instead of plastic.
In comparison I needed to service an out of production Hasselblad V lens. Three days and it was on it's way back home, despite needing replacement parts.
I won't go into the flakey performance of the Phase One DF. Both mine and rented ones. The Phase One AF was slightly better.
The final decision was after shooting once with a Nikon D800, the 50mm 1.4, the 85mm 1.4G and the 85mm TS. The quality and ergonomics of this camera is quite something. Shadow performance beats even MF digital. The difference is more than I expected. Resolution is so good it's almost ridiculous that it comes out of a little camera you can swing around your neck. It's not quite what I have seen from a higher end MFD, but the sharpest MFD lenses while being very very sharp, they don't have anywhere near the beautiful out of focus rendering of the Nikon 85mm 1.4 or the 85mm TS.
Shooting wide open with the Nikon is a breeze with either live view (best for the tilt shift lens) or the reflex viewfinder.
Shooting tilt shift fashion and portraits with live view from the D800 on an 11 inch tablet screen makes MFD feel like something from last century.
Shooting ultra shallow depth of field on MFD with a subject moving around is just too much of a pain in the *** and just not reliable enough if the feature you want in focus is not in the center of the frame.
In comparison I get a close to 90% hit rate manually focusing an old waist level viewfinder MF film camera, with film or a digital back.
One other really nice thing with the D800 is running video into an HDMI monitor to finely tune optical effects such as shooting with desired lens flare or through partial diffusion or through out of focus foreground elements.
Priceless. The client was very impressed with the rig. Camera and monitor mounted on a movie rig. Using video, not live view is better for absolute high quality image preview. Best of all you don't even have to shut down the video feed to shoot a still.
35mm DSLR digital and true large medium format with film IMHO is a much more powerful combination that Medium format digital. The combination covers a larger range of performance and visual quality than MF digital. The combination also costs about 1/4 of the price. Looks like I might have to buy another car or designer furniture for the office for a tax write off. Actually I'll be putting the investment that ws going to go into the latest and greatest MF digital into a production van and "pied a terre" in Europe.
Arrivederci MFD.... oops actually Adios...
See you in the Nikon section further down the road with some examples....