This was originally intended as a response to the MF look conundrum thread, but expanded beyond the scope of the thread so I'm posting a new thread instead.
As an aspiring landscape/fine art photographer, what I get out of my Nikon is very different from what I get out of my large format cameras, simply because with the Nikon I can be sloppy, I can spray the scene, and I can experiment. Shooting 120 film in my Ebony SW23 demands a much more deliberate, careful process but still allows for some experimenting. Finally, using the 8x10" Toyo monorail requires meticulous planning and scouting, often days/months in advance. So my 8x10s often lack any spontaneity whatsoever. Obviously the results are quite different - although with the 36 MP D810 and modern glass I'm finally beginning to take FF digital seriously.
My own experience with MFDB - specifically latest-gen Phase One backs - is considerably worse than the labor of love of shooting 8x10" slide film. I apologize if anyone chooses to be offended by the following but in my experience from a usability standpoint those systems are a complete joke. Had Nikon released a product as crippled as, say, the IQ3/60 CCD back, it would be the laughing stock of the industry for years. And looking at the raw files (raw as in straight out of dcraw w/o de-noise, not rescued by C1), an ISO 400 capture looks pretty much as bad as a Nikon D5 at THREE MILLION ISO. It could of course be argued that C1 should always be used with P1 images, but those same algorithms would clean up a D5 ISO 3M file just as well so I'm not buying that argument. Obviously I'm not impressed, and I cannot imagine getting superior creative results from a system that is essentially as much an obstacle course as a video game.
P1: "Umm.. Here's the $50K IQ3-100MP back for you to borrow. There's no manual."
Me: "Oh... No problem, I'll just download the PDF."
In fact, I would decline to use a P1 back even if it was free - it completely ruins my creative process, I would hate every second of the experience, and the upside in imaging results is debatable. Had I used my 8x10 at the Carmel workshop, I would have had a handful of truly amazing exposures, as opposed to dozens of crappy, noisy, bulky files. Sure, it would take a bit of time and effort in post including development and drum scanning, but there would be a real contribution to my portfolio, whereas what I got from the P1 backs (60 MP CCD and 100 MP CMOS) was frankly utter crap.
In all honesty, I did go back to the same locations a few days later and re-shot some of the scenes on 8x10" Velvia as well as Nikon D810 and the little GM5, so at the very least the P1 experience was good scouting. The surf was amazing:
Big surf at Big Sur. Lumia GM5, Lumia 35-100, March 2016.
In about 2-4 years' time I expect this whole argument to pretty much be over. We'll have Sony/Nikon/Canon bodies with 60-100 MP, quite a few compatible high end APO lenses, and perhaps even (gasp!) leaf shutter lenses for FF bodies. Phase One and Hasselblad are well aware of that beyond a few specialized applications their competitive advantages are slowly slipping away. In my opinion there's nothing they can do to avoid that - as the FF cameras improve, lens makers will up their game and provide the high end lenses the market demands. This process is obviously already happening, with Zeiss approaching multiple segments from Otus to Milvus to Whateverus, Sigma and Tamron attempting to match or exceed present sensor resolutions with their latest-gen lens designs, Canon with the amazing 11-24 etc, etc. So where does MF go? While I'd love to use a good 300 MP camera, if the cost is on par with a supercar then the market just isn't there, and for everything else there will be 60-100 MP FF sensors with APO f/1.4 lenses at a fraction of current MF price levels. And maybe, just maybe, a leaf shutter lens.
This loops back to my original comment in the "MF look conundrum' thread - it's the photographer and the lens - not the camera - that creates, that makes for the "MF look". (Anyone who thinks that a camera is anything else than a light-tight box with glass in the front, sensor in the back, should look at the Alpa camera above. )
Many of the most accomplished creative photographers in the world (including some frequenting this forum) use MF, however they are accomplished due to their photography skills (and just as much marketing skills) rather than due to the gear they choose. If you personally notice that - all else being equal - you get better results using an MF size sensor then it's possibly because you approach MF photography differently than when using a FF DSLR - MF slows you down, makes your shooting more deliberate (and for some reason I personally cannot fathom, you actually enjoy it - just like you cannot understand why I still shoot 8x10" film, even more so slide film), whereas when you pick up a DSLR perhaps your shooting becomes less deliberate (just extrapolating from my own personality LF film vs DSLR). You like the creative results you get from MF so you accept the quirks of the system.
Okay this was a bit off-topic to the 'MF look conundrum' thread but it's a reasoning that ties together several current and past threads here. I am fully aware that some will disagree with me - even strongly - but I think sharing my experience and my own opinion based on my experience is the right thing to do. YMMV.