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Thread: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

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    Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Hi,

    The next step for me it's going to be to get a digital back for my new MF system.

    I got the Mamiya AFD II. I needed a system that works with both film and digital and this camera gave me the best value for the money while working within my parameters and style.

    I am mainly shooting people with this system (engagements, bridals, and some fashion shoots for my salon).

    From what I've been reading, the most recommended brands are Phase and Leaf (although both are own by Phase now).

    Is there another manufacturer you would recommend?

    Out of the two that I mentioned above, I have in mind one of the following:

    Phase: P25+, P30+
    Leaf: Aptus II 6, Aptus II 7

    I choose these because of price concerns. Since they are older models, obviously they can be had for less than a new model.

    I know the P30+ has micro lenses and it could be a problem when using wide lenses. I don't think that would be a problem for me since I don't think I will shoot wider that 35-45mm. High ISO is desirable since I will be shooting indoors as well (on location). P25+ specs lists up to ISO 800 but the question is how good are the files at ISO 400-800 (if you could compare with the 5DII would be great).

    I don't have much info about the Leaf backs. I know their interface is via a touch screen, but that's about it.

    How do they compare (Phase vs Leaf)? Any issues that I should be aware of? Also, how does the file compare for the P25+/Aptus II 6 with the files from the 5DII? Normally, the bigger photosites will give a better file (and the lack of AA filter), but I don't know how would they compare.

    I am trying basically to narrow down to the back that I would like to rent and try for myself. Renting all of them, it would get too expensive pretty fast.

    Any input/opinion is much appreciated.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Is there another manufacturer you would recommend?
    You could also check out the Sinar eMotion 54LV, which I think you can still get new for around $10K with standard 2-year warranty. You'll need to add the Mamiya 645 adapter. Maybe you could ask the dealer to throw it in.

    I believe Hasselblad also makes some backs which fit with an adapter. You'd have to check their website - I don't know them so well.

    All 4 back makers will give great image quality. The main differences are other features like the adapter system offering flexibility (Sinar, Hasselblad), long exposures (Phase One +), live view, warranty, price, etc.

    Btw, are you aware of the different crop factors between the P25 and P30? The P25 uses a larger sensor than the P30.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Actually cheapest entry point is older Leaf of ZD back. While II series are great and fresh and P+ technology is all spiffy and turny, but 22mp older backs arent all that crappy either.

    Also you need to look into not just saving money but also considering physical sensor size. 1.6-1.7 crops arent all that bigger than regular FF and your biggest gain would be from just getting into MF world and having thin or none AA filter. And thats why detail-wise most of these will beat socks out of FF camera. Plus better tonal range , which transforms into more 3D-ness of the look (still have to watch light and such of course)

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    ...
    Btw, are you aware of the different crop factors between the P25 and P30? The P25 uses a larger sensor than the P30.
    Thanks Graham,

    I'll check out the Sinar ones. What I like about the Phase though, is that you just mount them like a regular film back (no adapters, cables...).

    I am aware of the crop factor between the two.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    Actually cheapest entry point is older Leaf of ZD back. While II series are great and fresh and P+ technology is all spiffy and turny, but 22mp older backs arent all that crappy either.

    Also you need to look into not just saving money but also considering physical sensor size. 1.6-1.7 crops arent all that bigger than regular FF and your biggest gain would be from just getting into MF world and having thin or none AA filter. And thats why detail-wise most of these will beat socks out of FF camera. Plus better tonal range , which transforms into more 3D-ness of the look (still have to watch light and such of course)
    I've read about some complaints about the ZD backs that they don't handle high ISO well (even 200 ISO).


    On the highlighted part above, are you comparing 1.6 crop on MF with FF on DSRL? That part sounds like a negative for the MFD but then it's followed by a positive comment ... so, I'm a little confused .

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    None of the 22MP backs are good at high ISO - apart from that they are great performers.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham Mitchell View Post
    None of the 22MP backs are good at high ISO - apart from that they are great performers.
    That's a deal breaker. While I don't need ISO 3200, I need at least ISO 400.

    Thanks.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    If you need high iso - stick with dSLRs. Thats pretty much the answer that i normally give. Most of current backs and even older ones - perform at the level of film. But many people keep forgetting what high iso film looks like, after seeing artificially cleaned high ISO on dSLRs.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    If you need high iso - stick with dSLRs. Thats pretty much the answer that i normally give. Most of current backs and even older ones - perform at the level of film. But many people keep forgetting what high iso film looks like, after seeing artificially cleaned high ISO on dSLRs.
    What's your definition of high ISO? To me, ISO 400 is not considered high. Even film at that speed doesn't show a lot of grain.

    And I will keep my 5DII, that's for sure .

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Based on pretty broad personal experience and a lot of customers' experiences I can say very safely that ISO400 on a P30+ is perfectly fine for most applications, and ISO800 is often usable, ISO1600 would be reserved for the most extreme situations and will be associated with added post-processing effort like adding grain, reducing noise, increasing contrast (to sink shadow noise), converting to B+W etc.

    While the 30+ is not as large a sensor as the 25+/45+ or 65+ I think it is much better suited to your needs than the 25+. "trouble with wide angles" regarding the 30+ only applies to technical camera / view camera bodies. You have no problems with any of the Mamiya or Phase One lenses - all the way down to the 28mm if you so desired.

    Sergei said "Also you need to look into not just saving money but also considering physical sensor size. 1.6-1.7 crops arent all that bigger than regular FF and your biggest gain would be from just getting into MF world and having thin or none AA filter. And thats why detail-wise most of these will beat socks out of FF camera. Plus better tonal range , which transforms into more 3D-ness of the look (still have to watch light and such of course)"

    Other aspects of medium format that are not related to sensor size:
    Better Color (I can write a lot about the technical reasons but no one really cares - what matters is what you see)
    Better tonal transitions
    Better highlight/shadow handling (at low ISOs)
    Bigger/Brighter viewfinder
    Better lenses
    Better long exposures**
    More tactile shooting experience***

    *generalized statement of course but I'll stand firmly behind it
    **When talking about the P30+
    ***HIGHLY subjective

    A 30+ is a very good selection for what you're looking for.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Also a quick visual of those sensor sizes. Sure the P30+ is smaller than the 25+ (or 65+) but it's a "full step up" from FF dSLRs (my own highly subjective wording - see the images below and make up your own mind).



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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    That's a deal breaker. While I don't need ISO 3200, I need at least ISO 400.

    Thanks.
    This would be an easy decision for me--- P30+. I had the P30 for quite some time, and it was just a fantastic all-around MFDB. Nice files right out of the box.

    I'd go harass Doug and see what CI has available....


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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    What's your definition of high ISO? To me, ISO 400 is not considered high. Even film at that speed doesn't show a lot of grain.

    And I will keep my 5DII, that's for sure .

    400+ is high ISO for me . I grew up in days, when using 125/250 film for portraiture was considered to be suicidal

    Doug is right - MFDB do have better colours nowdays, b/c almost all dSLR now using CMOS sensor, which is better for liveview and high iso (and less production costs ), but loosing to CCD sensor of similar size and totally loosing to CCD sensor of larger size.

    If you pull out from shelf something like E-1 and compare it to any of 5Ds - you will see same difference as when you shooting with either one of digital backs - fantastic, creamy colour rendition , thanks to CCD based sensors.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    btw , thanks for visual comparition chart, Doug. I kept thinking that difference for P40/30 is less vs FF sensor. Not sure why. My bad.

    but "Better tonal transitions
    Better highlight/shadow handling (at low ISOs)"

    actually it does relate to sensor size a bit. As well as to bit depth reproduction, but i did some side to side comparition a bit ago for 14 bit D700 vs 14 bit on ZDb and while depth of processing is same - sheer sensor unit size helps to handle transitions of shadows a bit better - giving it a bit of 3Dness umph

    But handling of shadows (thanks to extra bits to carry shadow details) is very notable when you doing 12bit vs 16 bit shooting... Sometime almost to point of "damn - i dont need reflectors anymore"

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    ....
    While the 30+ is not as large a sensor as the 25+/45+ or 65+ I think it is much better suited to your needs than the 25+....

    A 30+ is a very good selection for what you're looking for.

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    Thanks for your input Doug.

    Is the above statement because of the better performance at high ISO (curious minds want to know )?

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    This would be an easy decision for me--- P30+. I had the P30 for quite some time, and it was just a fantastic all-around MFDB. Nice files right out of the box.

    I'd go harass Doug and see what CI has available....

    Thanks Ken. Doug said that he's the tech guy ... I need to harass somebody else over CI

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    ...
    actually it does relate to sensor size a bit. As well as to bit depth reproduction, but i did some side to side comparition a bit ago for 14 bit D700 vs 14 bit on ZDb and while depth of processing is same - sheer sensor unit size helps to handle transitions of shadows a bit better - giving it a bit of 3Dness umph
    ...
    This is one of the reasons I'm asking here: you can read all the specs all you want. While they are helpful, real world experience is much more valuable.

    Thanks.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    btw , thanks for visual comparition chart, Doug. I kept thinking that difference for P40/30 is less vs FF sensor. Not sure why. My bad.
    Not "your bad" at all. It matters a lot HOW you show or decide the difference in size. We obviously work with a lot of customers who want to know "how big is the cropped MF sensor" so we've had a lot of experience with how to compare them.

    The difference feels larger if:
    - You stack them with the top left corners aligned
    - You are cropping both sensors to 4:3 aspect ratio
    - You rotate the 35mm FF (e.g. visualizing stitching 35mm to get higher res)

    The difference feels smaller if:
    - You stack them centered
    - You are cropping both sensors to 3:2 aspect ratio

    It even matters whether you show the larger sensor as a lighter or darker color than the smaller sensor. (dear Stan, my Visual Communications Theory professor - thanks!).

    Anyway figures lie and liars figure but hopefully it gives the OP some better idea than he had before.


    Quote Originally Posted by SergeiR View Post
    but "Better tonal transitions
    Better highlight/shadow handling (at low ISOs)"

    actually it does relate to sensor size a bit. As well as to bit depth reproduction, but i did some side to side comparition a bit ago for 14 bit D700 vs 14 bit on ZDb and while depth of processing is same - sheer sensor unit size helps to handle transitions of shadows a bit better - giving it a bit of 3Dness umph

    But handling of shadows (thanks to extra bits to carry shadow details) is very notable when you doing 12bit vs 16 bit shooting... Sometime almost to point of "damn - i dont need reflectors anymore"
    Absolutely sensor size influences these two. My point was only that sensor size is not the ONLY factor.

    The entire image chain matters:
    Lens Hood / Flare > Lens coating > lens > aperture/shutter > body's blackness > IR filter > microlenses > AA filter (or lack thereof) > sensor size > sensor pixel type > readout speed > sensor-to-AD-convertor path, A/D convertor > heat sinking / cooling > raw file compression > black calibration > in camera raw data manipulation > characteristic curve > ICC profile > demosaic algorithm > deconvolution algorithm > noise reduction type > up-res or down-res algorithm > sharpening

    For instance the generation of the P25+ had a lot of wasted space on each "pixel" - the electronics package for each pixel, which is not light sensitive. The wasted space was nearly eliminated when they moved to the 30+/45+ generation so in fact a 30+ has similar light-gathering area on the sensor as a 25+ despite smaller outside sensor dimensions.

    Nothing is ever simple! :-) That's one of the reasons we advocate so strongly that after initial research and opinions should come hands-on testing. There are simply too many factors to decide by theory/specifications/charts rather than on real world results. Every time someone (here or elsewhere) reads a few posts, compares a few charts, and then buys off eBay I cry a little.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Thanks for your input Doug.

    Is the above statement because of the better performance at high ISO (curious minds want to know )?
    Correct. The P30+ will provide 1-1.5 stops of usable ISO beyond the 25+. Put differently, whatever you find "usable" on a P25+ you could get another 1-1.5 stops out of a P30+.

    The Leaf Aptus line is an excellent option, and Sinar and Hasselblad/Imacon also made/make backs which will mount to your body.

    However, on net, for the style of shooting you describe and your general budget range the high ISO performance of the 30+ is the way to go.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Halo,

    Wait until Phase One announce their new product:
    - New sensors (different technology)
    - New Bodies, including one with anti shake!! n multi focus points
    - New Software
    - New Lens

    A lot of new exciting thing is happening.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Santoso View Post
    Halo,

    Wait until Phase One announce their new product:
    - New sensors (different technology)
    - New Bodies, including one with anti shake!! n multi focus points
    - New Software
    - New Lens

    A lot of new exciting thing is happening.
    - There will always be something around the corner.
    - Medium format's history is full of delayed or shelved projects.
    - Phase / Mamiya have a pretty good history of forward/backward compatibility of their products.
    - It's very unlikely that a new body with a new sensor will be in the same cost-neighborhood as a used or demo P30+ on his AFD2. Brand new / best-in-class product releases always carry a price premium. If the OP has the budget to be buying a new 40+ or a 65+ he'd be covered by the 18 month investment protection plan which would give him 90% of his purchase price towards any new back he upgraded to. My impression was his budget was more around the used 30+ mark.
    - Every good medium format dealer does everything possible/practical to make and keep long term customers. Upgrades, trade-in, cross-trades, and stopping someone from buying if the "next thing" is coming out next week or even next month. In a way we want you to be burned even less than you do because you're likely to tell a friend or two either way!

    And most importantly...
    - It's very hard to take pictures with a camera which is "just around the corner" rather than "in your hands"

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Santoso View Post
    Halo,

    Wait until Phase One announce their new product:
    .....
    A lot of new exciting thing is happening.
    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    - There will always be something around the corner.
    ....
    - It's very unlikely that a new body with a new sensor will be in the same cost-neighborhood as a used or demo P30+ on his AFD2. Brand new / best-in-class product releases always carry a price premium.....

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    Thanks Dan. Doug pretty much summed up the situation (no Jersey Shore association here ). I need to keep the compatibility with film so new bodies are out of the question (at least for now) and I don't have the budget for a brand new back.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    I knew it'd only be a matter of time!

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post

    And most importantly...
    - It's very hard to take pictures with a camera which is "just around the corner" rather than "in your hands"
    great way to put it

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Just to weigh in if you are after a good back for ISO 400 than no question the P30+ on a budget is the best option. BTW it does a amazing ISO 800 so plenty of elbow room.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Another vote P30+. I have it for a while. If you do not use it for T/S, it will be a good choice. What I don't like on P30+ is the LCD screen. It is small and does not have good DR. You will find that actual pictures look very much better that on the screen. Leaf may have a better screen.

    Its performance on my Phase One 28mm is excellent. Good noise level at ISO400 and acceptable at ISO800.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by topgreat View Post
    ..... What I don't like on P30+ is the LCD screen. ....
    Are you talking just about the P30+ or all the Phase backs?

    eh, ....could also be middle-age hitting my tired eyes.... Maybe we can get one of those plastic magnifier pages that they sell at Border's Bookstores and cut it down to size...

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Thank you everybody, I really appreciate your input.

    It looks like the P30+ is ahead of the pack (for my requirements).

    What's the difference (aside from interface) between the P+ backs and Leaf one? More exactly, are there any benefits of one over the other? Are they the same with only the interface that's different? Spec wise they look similar, but it's hard to quantify the performance from that alone.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by symbolphoto View Post
    I knew it'd only be a matter of time!
    ... well, I need to gather info and find out how many babies I need to sell

    I never claimed I will never get a digital back

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Thank you everybody, I really appreciate your input.

    It looks like the P30+ is ahead of the pack (for my requirements).

    What's the difference (aside from interface) between the P+ backs and Leaf one? More exactly, are there any benefits of one over the other? Are they the same with only the interface that's different? Spec wise they look similar, but it's hard to quantify the performance from that alone.
    Quality wise the Phase One P30+ and similar Leaf offerings are going to be generally very similar, especially at low ISOs. The differences originate from the fact the P30+ uses a Kodak sensor with microlenses and the Leaf backs use a Dalsa sensor without microlenses.

    Some prefer the color (especially skin), tonality, and other very subtle and hard to define characteristics of the Dalsa sensor while some prefer the Kodak. If you had to pin me down I'd be in slight favor of the Dalsa sensor in this regard (all Leaf backs and the P40+/P65+). However the differences here are subtle/nuanced.

    The Kodak sensor is much better at long exposures and with Phase's talent for long exposures the 30+ can run an hour long exposure (or more/less depending on ambient temperature) whereas the Leaf backs all max out at 30 seconds or so. Sounds like this wouldn't be very important for your intended use.

    The Kodak sensor have aggressive microlenses which give it a stop or so of "free" ISO (the only drawback - it's not suitable for use on a view camera or technical camera - doesn't sound like it would matter given your intended uses).

    Leaf's UI is a large touch screen and provides better focus-check (view at 100%) and a significantly larger preview than Phase's significantly smaller LCD. Leaf's UI is deeper and allows more control in the field (e.g. you can set up file names and folders while shooting) but is a bit slower to access basic functions like ISO. The Phase UI is ultra-simple, and while it does not provide many advanced features it does provide a very quick/easy way to access ISO and other basic functions, and since it uses large buttons is easier to use with gloves on.

    Leaf backs have tended to shoot faster shot-to-shot for any given file size, especially tethered, but the 30+ is quick snappy shot to shot so I don't foresee that being a big issue for you. The Leaf battery can be purchased in multiple sizes, and if you're willing to use the largest (triple deep battery) it will last a long time.

    All digital backs systems can only do "live preview" when tethered to a computer and only perform well in controlled lighting situations (e.g. food/still-life/product/table-top). Leaf's Live Preview is a full step ahead of the P30+ Live Preview. Dalsa sensors do Live Preview better than Kodak sensors, but even so the two Dalsa-based Phase One backs (the 40+ and 65+) do not have as nice a Live Preview as Leaf. Again, doesn't sound relevant to your use - it's more a tool for still life / product shooters.

    Digital backs are very reliable and not prone to "fail" but should you be unlucky you should know that most Leaf repairs can be done in the US compared to Phase where most repairs must be done in Denmark, and Leaf repair bills are generally less expensive. Hopefully neither system would ever need any repairs but I want to be thorough.

    Really there are very few "bad" systems in this space. The 30+ just seems the best fit for your needs. The only thing that would give me pause would be skin-tone and skin-tonality out of the box (which Leaf is a slight edge for) and LCD (which Leaf has a much larger one of). But the ISO performance of the 30+ to me trumps any other consideration. The only real way to be sure would be to rent or otherwise get your hands on one of each. Guy/Jacks workshops, our studio locations (Atlanta/Miami), our reimbursable evaluation rental program, a friend/colleague that has one would all be good ways to get real hands-on time to make a final decision.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Last edited by dougpeterson; 1st November 2010 at 08:04.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    ....

    Really there are very few "bad" systems in this space. The 30+ just seems the best fit for your needs. The only thing that would give me pause would be skin-tone and skin-tonality out of the box (which Leaf is a slight edge for) and LCD (which Leaf has a much larger one of). But the ISO performance of the 30+ to me trumps any other consideration. The only real way to be sure would be to rent or otherwise get your hands on one of each. Guy/Jacks workshops, our studio locations (Atlanta/Miami), our reimbursable evaluation rental program, a friend/colleague that has one would all be good ways to get real hands-on time to make a final decision.

    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Thank you Doug. This information is very valuable. I don't know anybody that has those sensor around me. It looks like it might be cheaper to fly to one of your locations for a day than actually rent them. ... Miami in the winter sounds very tempting ....

    It helps to see the pros and cons of each (from an objective point). Of course, as they say, the proof it's in the pudding, I will need to try both under the same conditions and see how the files look (that's the subjective part).

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Some P30+ shots if your interested. My gallery has a lot in there a good start is here

    http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/brow...seimages&c=173
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Thank you Doug. This information is very valuable. I don't know anybody that has those sensor around me. It looks like it might be cheaper to fly to one of your locations for a day than actually rent them. ... Miami in the winter sounds very tempting ....

    It helps to see the pros and cons of each (from an objective point). Of course, as they say, the proof it's in the pudding, I will need to try both under the same conditions and see how the files look (that's the subjective part).
    If you do fly in we can have both here for your evaluation and after making your decision we can ensure that several hours of software/digital-back training are included in the kit (back/accessories/warranty) that you purchase. That would eliminate a lot of the learning curve.

    Plus the weather, women, and beer in Miami is fantastic.



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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Some P30+ shots if your interested. My gallery has a lot in there a good start is here

    http://forum.getdpi.com/gallery/brow...seimages&c=173
    Thank you Guy. They look great (although it's harder to evaluate an image from web sized dimensions).

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by dougpetersonci View Post
    If you do fly in we can have both here for your evaluation and after making your decision we can ensure that several hours of software/digital-back training are included in the kit (back/accessories/warranty) that you purchase. That would eliminate a lot of the learning curve.

    Plus the weather, women, and beer in Miami is fantastic.



    Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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    Thanks Doug. I'm trying to see if I can work something out with my boss for this winter (aka, my wife ).

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Seems kind of odd to me that a dealer needs to offer up women and beer to get a guy to come try out a digital back - really?

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Doug is a young, single man -- what else do you expect him to be thinking about after work?

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Doug is a young, single man -- what else do you expect him to be thinking about after work?

    ,
    Actually, that's before, during, and after work.

    Lucky for Dave, Doug knows his stuff so well.....


    Doug---p.s. maybe I missed it, but is there a summary/rundown how your trip went back to Phase in Denmark?

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Woodland View Post
    Seems kind of odd to me that a dealer needs to offer up women and beer to get a guy to come try out a digital back - really?
    That's the icing on the cake


    ETA: on a serious note, Doug has been very helpful and shared great information that helped in my decision making (both here and via email) for choosing a camera system as well. Thanks.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    But kind of unprofessional don't you think? My goodness - don't you have a sunset bar here for that? This does seem to be kind of a boys club here though, especially with the boys at CI. I would rather concentrate on the camera equipment than chasing women and getting drunk, but I guess I'm in the minority here. Oh well.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Woodland View Post
    But kind of unprofessional don't you think? My goodness - don't you have a sunset bar here for that? This does seem to be kind of a boys club here though, especially with the boys at CI. I would rather concentrate on the camera equipment than chasing women and getting drunk, but I guess I'm in the minority here. Oh well.
    I think you are taking Doug's tongue in cheek comment a bit too far. Especially considering that Valentin has already mentioned he needs to check in with the wife.

    It was simply a joke. Don't you have a ledge to jump off somewhere?

    See what i did there?

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Good grief guys, what sort of forum is this - telling me to go jump off a ledge? I just don't see what any of this has to do with serious photography - is this really DPReview? You guys just took a step down on the scale of my respect. I'll stand on the unprofessional remark and leave it at that. Wow...

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    amen, joseph

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    ... Miami in the winter sounds very tempting ....
    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Woodland View Post
    But kind of unprofessional don't you think? My goodness - don't you have a sunset bar here for that? This does seem to be kind of a boys club here though, especially with the boys at CI. I would rather concentrate on the camera equipment than chasing women and getting drunk, but I guess I'm in the minority here. Oh well.
    Joseph,

    I think that his remark was in response to what I wrote above. If it was out of the blue, than I can see how that can be unprofessional.

    Also, to me, good customer service doesn't necessarily means to be all the time political correct and official like. I'm in the event industry and I deal with people all the time. Joking and making fun is part of the "connection" you forge with your customers.

    Some people like to keep it business like all the time, and that is fine. I personally don't mind when people joke and act natural. This is not an office where everybody has to wear a tie.

    In regard to "the boys at CI" ... I think that's smart business on their part. It's an open forum and any vendor is free to post and answer questions. If other vendors want to gain new customers, they should try to do that by staying involved and get to "know" the people that are looking for products.

    Just to be clear: I received answers to my questions and I was never solicited to buy anything from CI or anybody else.

    While I did buy a camera from them, it was because they offered a good value (comparable with KEH). They showed great customer service and when I'm ready to buy something else, they will be the first place to look. At the PPE show, the guys that are closer to me (NY) left me with a bad taste and I felt like I was in front of a used car salesman.

    So, if you are a vendor, you should stay more involved because you never know where your next customer will come from: I'm in Philly area and the closest CI is to me is Atlanta.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by symbolphoto View Post
    I think you are taking Doug's tongue in cheek comment a bit too far. Especially considering that Valentin has already mentioned he needs to check in with the wife.

    It was simply a joke. Don't you have a ledge to jump off somewhere?

    See what i did there?
    Lets keep it civil. No need for comments like this
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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by Valentin View Post
    Joseph,

    I think that his remark was in response to what I wrote above. If it was out of the blue, than I can see how that can be unprofessional.

    Also, to me, good customer service doesn't necessarily means to be all the time political correct and official like. I'm in the event industry and I deal with people all the time. Joking and making fun is part of the "connection" you forge with your customers.

    Some people like to keep it business like all the time, and that is fine. I personally don't mind when people joke and act natural. This is not an office where everybody has to wear a tie.

    In regard to "the boys at CI" ... I think that's smart business on their part. It's an open forum and any vendor is free to post and answer questions. If other vendors want to gain new customers, they should try to do that by staying involved and get to "know" the people that are looking for products.

    Just to be clear: I received answers to my questions and I was never solicited to buy anything from CI or anybody else.

    While I did buy a camera from them, it was because they offered a good value (comparable with KEH). They showed great customer service and when I'm ready to buy something else, they will be the first place to look. At the PPE show, the guys that are closer to me (NY) left me with a bad taste and I felt like I was in front of a used car salesman.

    So, if you are a vendor, you should stay more involved because you never know where your next customer will come from: I'm in Philly area and the closest CI is to me is Atlanta.
    Well said . saved me some typing.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by symbolphoto View Post
    1. It was simply a joke.

    2. Don't you have a ledge to jump off somewhere?

    3. See what i did there?
    Am i being vague or is that somehow offensive? Sorry Valentin, didn't mean to fill your thread with nonsense.

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by symbolphoto View Post
    Am i being vague or is that somehow offensive? Sorry Valentin, didn't mean to fill your thread with nonsense.
    No worries.

    And I met Brendan: he's a cool guy and I know he didn't mean anything by it. It's hard sometimes to convey jokes over an internet forum.

    Joseph, see what the corporate life did to him?

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Valentin, get your phase or aptus back already! I want to play around with it... BTW if it helps, Frank Doorhof, i really admire his work, he swears by the Leaf backs again, because of skin tones...

    .02

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    Re: Deciding which digital back - how do you know?

    Sorry my comments elicited such a response. I think that part of any unintended offense may come from different cultural norms regarding business practices. Part of the way we (CI) does business is not to hide the fact we are "real people". Everyone in the company (minus the accountant) enjoys photography and enjoys what we do (working with photographers, testing great equipment, etc). We all also have lives outside of the office.

    Many of our customers become our friends as well as purchasers and we enjoy seeing what they create using our equipment. I think we are extremely professional when the context calls for it (arranging repairs, invoicing, shipping, etc), but in other contexts such as this one we do tend to adopt a more laid back approach.

    Business should be fun, easy, and intellectually interesting. If it wasn't I'd be doing something else.

    Not every vendor is the right match for every customer - there are many great alternatives to us for anyone who doesn't feel we are a good fit for them.

    I would point out however that emotion/connotation/joking are not easy to read through the veil of a forum. It's possible that you might feel differently about me and our company if we had a chance to meet in person - something I would welcome anytime you're in the area. I'd offer to buy you a drink but the irony might be misinterpreted :-).

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    Last edited by dougpeterson; 3rd November 2010 at 08:40.

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