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Thread: Why no square digital backs any more

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    Member Analog6's Avatar
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    Why no square digital backs any more

    Why didn't Hasselblad at least stay with the square format in digital backs? My PhaseOneP20 is square (well 4086x4088, near enough) and I love it, I wondered why all the manufacturers chose to go to rectangular as digi backs evolved and advanced.

    Is it simply the cost of producing the sensors?
    Odille

    H2 | P20 | HC 50-110 | HC 150 f3.2 | HC 210 f4 ~ My Website

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Why no square digital backs any more

    I suspect that it's more cost effective to produce 4:3 ratio sensors and then you can crop. Certainly my Leaf allows me to select the desired output format and will crop in camera. That way you at least have choices.

    Personally I love the square format. It's one of the things I really liked about my old Kodak DCS645M back.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Senior Member kdphotography's Avatar
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    Re: Why no square digital backs any more

    I'm not sure about the IQ140 or IQ160, but the IQ180 is to offer 1:1 square ratio at 60 megapixels. I enjoyed the square format of the Kodak 645M too---so I look forward to seeing how the IQ180 incorporates the square format.

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    Senior Member Graham Mitchell's Avatar
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    Re: Why no square digital backs any more

    A square 48x48mm sensor costs a lot more to make than a 36x48mm sensor, but 99% of users would crop to a rectangle or buy a cheaper 36x48mm sensor in the first place. Not only is the unit cost of production more expensive, but given that the market for the square version is so small, the chip maker would have to charge a high price per sensor to recoup R&D and setup costs. What makes it even worse: the back maker would have to do the same. At the end of the day, the back would be so expensive that there is no potential customer base left. It's just not a viable proposition. Square shooters will have to keep cropping rectangular images for the foreseeable future.

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    Re: Why no square digital backs any more

    The square format is far less popular then the rectangle. The Mamiya 6 lost out to the Mamiya 7 for that same reason. It simply is not cost effective to produce one.

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    Re: Why no square digital backs any more

    Quote Originally Posted by kdphotography View Post
    I'm not sure about the IQ140 or IQ160, but the IQ180 is to offer 1:1 square ratio at 60 megapixels. I enjoyed the square format of the Kodak 645M too---so I look forward to seeing how the IQ180 incorporates the square format.
    I'm looking forward to seeing how the 1:1 is implemented on the IQ180. I do enjoy using this format on some of my micro4/3 bodies.

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    Re: Why no square digital backs any more

    i have always loved the sq, has the benefit of never needing rotation!
    since one can always crop rect to sq after the fact the issue in this context is how you view the scene. For example, with a tech camera, your main view might not be until the preview image, and could that be selectable to be sq? But that is not really the same as a sq viewfinder and pre-viewing while composing, all in sq

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    Re: Why no square digital backs any more

    I miss square and sometimes still previsualize as square, but in reality I rarely crop to square. That had been my intention when I went to the Hasselblad H system.

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