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Thread: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

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    PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Not sure how the Headline matches the content of this story... read and discuss....

    Sept 24, 2010
    By Dan Havlik, PDN's Technology Specialist


    When they look back at photokina 2010 will they see it as medium-format photography's last stand or its Waterloo? A lot has happened since photokina 2008 when Leica released its game-changing medium-format/DSLR hybrid, the 37.5MP S2. Suprisingly though, no medium-format camera manufacturer has stepped up to the plate to challenge the Leica S2's innovative, tough and ergonomic design.

    What we have seen are traditional medium-format digital models with some added features, higher resolution sensors and lower prices across the board. Take the budget-friendly 40MP Pentax 645D which was on display at photokina 2010. This $9995 camera with its 44x33mm sensor has made the rounds of the trade shows for several years now and only last June officially went on sale in Japan.

    But the camera, which can use all Pentax 645 legacy film lenses and, with the help of an adapter, 67 lenses, has not shipped in the U.S. or even Europe yet due to overwhelming demand (and a limited supply) in Japan. We met with Ned Bunnell president of Pentax USA, during photokina on Thursday to find out what the deal was.

    "We're going to start to bring the 645D into the States in late November or early December but that's based on availability," he told us. "We're still fighting fairly significant back orders in Japan."

    Bunnell added that the camera will be on display at the PDN-sponsored PhotoPlus Expo show in New York City next month but he couldn't guarantee there will be more than one working model on the show floor. (If there is only one 645D, Bunnell could be the most popular man at the Jacob Javits Center.)

    "PhotoPlus is where we'll make our splash," he said, while noting that when the camera does come into the U.S., Pentax will be offering one-on-one support to 645D customers.

    "What we're saying is, if a photographer buys this camera, we will provide that photographer with direct contact to one of our support staff in Golden, Co. It's different from if you bought one of our traditional cameras in the past when you got a support group. In this case, you'll have a name." Pentax plans to officially announce this new 645D support plan at PhotoPlus Expo.

    Bunnell was pleased with the news this week that Hasselblad would also release a sub-$10,000 medium format camera, the 31MP H4D-31. "That was validation that medium-format can be made affordable at a fairly attractive price."

    To see some early images from the 645D, check out Okinawa-based photographer Chris Willson's Travel 67 blog and website.

    Article Link: http://www.pdngearguide.com/gearguid...983d622316c83d

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Not everyone waits for Photokinia to make announcements and actually a birdie told me Phase will announce whenever they are ready with something in hand. I think Photokinia has lost there zeal for announcements from years ago as everyone waited. Frankly I would not read that much into what has not been announced at a given time frame. Most OEM's now wait when product is ready to ship than announce maybe a month before
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Marketing 101

    Q: When is the appropriate time to announce a product?

    A: When it provides the maximum advantage.

    Trade show timing is definitely NOT the optimum time as attention is too divided amongst all of the vendors.

    So actually a trade show announcement is now mainly considered a filler move or perhaps a place holder.
    -bob

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    There seems to be a disconnect between the headline of that article and the content. As an aside I'm not sure I'd want to photograph that model with my MF kit

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    There seems to be a disconnect between the headline of that article and the content. As an aside I'm not sure I'd want to photograph that model with my MF kit
    I would have no problem shooting her as long as I was being paid
    -bob

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    When comparing with Photokina 2008, the article seems to be overlooking the worst recession in most working photographers' lifetimes! Definitely not a time when manufacturers had cash reserves for lots of R&D.

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    When comparing with Photokina 2008, the article seems to be overlooking the worst recession in most working photographers' lifetimes! Definitely not a time when manufacturers had cash reserves for lots of R&D.
    The time to focus resources and position yourself for the future is during a recession. Marketing money spent has fairly low payback during bad times so invest in new products instead for the future.
    -bob

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    The time to focus resources and position yourself for the future is during a recession. Marketing money spent has fairly low payback during bad times so invest in new products instead for the future.
    -bob
    All very well if you have the cash! Quite a few companies were struggling for survival.

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    All very well if you have the cash! Quite a few companies were struggling for survival.
    Darwinian mechanisms in play in economic as well as in biological systems.
    -bob

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Quote Originally Posted by David K View Post
    There seems to be a disconnect between the headline of that article and the content.
    I agree, he also mentions some game changing? Well the game may have changed a bit but only due to the market/ financial situation and not due to this camera or the other...

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ggriswold View Post
    ... when Leica released its game-changing medium-format/DSLR hybrid, the 37.5MP S2. Suprisingly though, no medium-format camera manufacturer has stepped up to the plate to challenge the Leica S2's innovative, tough and ergonomic design. ...
    Everyone is different but to look at the world from that DSLR cameras should fit all and everyone is not correct. I for one do not like them at all, too many buttons and complex operation. MF cameras have always been different than DSLR/SLR and serve different purposes than DSLR/SLR. While Leica's S2 is interesting and attract folks preferring DSLR type handling, the Hassy V is still a lesson in simplicity. Perhaps a re-intro of AFi/Hy6 in mount for Mamiya 645 lens and DB would be a far larger seller than the Leica?? And... how about making a budget model without the handle as competition to Hassy V... as a model that would be made of light weight materials, lighter than a Hassy V and more portable than Mamiya 645... Why not?

    Or... is perhaps rather the future to introduce a DSLR type 4x5 that would take both 4x5 film and upcoming 4x5 DBs?? If so I honest would choose to keep my Shen-Hao!

    Remarkable is to not find mere mention of Aptus-II 12 & 12R, for if indeed something in MF would be remembered from Photokina 2010 I believe that would be it.

    Regards
    Anders

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    What about the DSLRs themselves? There were no flagship DSLRs announced at Photokina at all.

    At least Leaf, Hasselblad and Pentax had stuff to show!

    Leica S2 as a game-changer.... give me a break... who writes this stuff?

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Whirr, buzz, beep ... does not compute.

    Headline seems to be "Yellow Journalism" ... sensational declaration to attract attention followed by bland, slanted reporting unrelated to the headline.

    Personally, I think Leaf's news was astounding ... sure to be followed by Phase One ... game changing resolution leaving all other MFD makers in their dust.

    While it's very nice that there are more economical MFD choices coming on-line to attract fresh users ... IMO, that isn't what MFD is really about. It's always been about bigger and better than alternative formats. Now there is no question at all even to nay-sayers ... the lines are not blurred when 80 megs are extracted from a sensor twice the size of other formats. Of course, not everyone needs such a thing, but it clearly demonstrates the difference and potential for astounding performance for specific applications.

    That to me is "Game Changing".

    -Marc

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    Actually forget the Leaf 80 mpx back for a second . The real news here is it is a NEW sensor which lets face it in MF there are only 2 or 3 to begin with as a basic sensor. Now we have a 5.2 micron on the scene. Just think how many different configurations from each OEM we can get out of that. Now that is game changing
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    "game changing" would be a CCD with any chance of Live view or a bigger CMOS, but a normal CCD just more pixels cramped into it isn't really changing anything.

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    5.2 sensors will be better at Moire for sure and we don't know what they can actually do yet with this sensor as far as noise, DR and tonality. In Phase there are 2 crops and 1 full frame sensor. The game just got upped for a P40 to stuff this sensor in maybe get a 50 mpx sensor out of it or thereabouts have not done the math. Now what each OEM does with it could be game changing since it is new and they have to do something with it. I'm expecting some good things down the road.

    Of course i am a optimist too. LOL
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: PDN Article: Medium Format's Last Stand?

    I think the term "game changer" kind of depends on what game you're interested in playing. The new 5.2 sensor and 80MP Leaf back might change the game for landscape shooters and those concerned with maximum resolution and moire, Hassy's True Focus for portrait and fashion shooters and the Leica S2 for those more interested in form factor, weather sealing, etc. The only game I think we all play is getting what we want at the least possible cost and I think we can thank Pentax for helping to change that game.

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