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Thread: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

  1. #101
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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    If Pentax aims for ISO 200k, there's a risk that they've made a DSLR-like compromise for the CFAs, ie worse color fidelity at base ISO to get a bit better high ISO performance. Makes the camera more all-around, but less suited for product and repro.
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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    Sorry, but the color and contrast of the images from the Sony chip were so far off the mark that it cost us over 100 addl. man hours in post to render acceptable images to our clients.
    Art repo quite possibly (even the most expensive cameras need careful calibration) but what on earth product wise were you sooting that caused the problem.

    Thousands of photographers use Nikon's and Canon's every single day to deliver top notch product shots to their clients without too much of a hitch but FF 35mm are often slated for their colour reproduction in the MFD forum due to being CMOS chips over CCD's colour supremacy.

    However, CCD's in cameras plateaued in 2009 with the P65+ and looking at Dougs test results, CMOS seems the obvious next step both in technology and IQ wise.

    Now if Sony (and Canon hopefully) continues to develop large CMOS chip manufacture, Phase and Hasselblad fine tune their colour profiles and Pentax drive down the price I'd say the game has already changed.
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    Senior Member alajuela's Avatar
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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    Quote Originally Posted by PeterA View Post
    I look at the previous 'regulars' who carried the P1 flag real high and they are no longer users of P1 gear- of course for 'very good reasons'.

    LOL

    When photography went digital the die was cast. People HAD to pay for bleeding edge smoke and mirrors for a long time AND put up with 4th rate service from little cottage industry companies..

    Party is OVER folks - in fact it was OVER when Sony delivered the killer kidney punch to P1 and Hasselblad via the D800

    all that remains is for Sony et al to quietly dismember what is left of a dead or dying market segment over the next few years..

    but hey guess what? your 60K system still makes the same quality shots it did when you bought it - that has to be good news right?

    LOL
    I don't think it is out of possibility - that we are in the same position sensor wise (physical size / MP) that we saw in 35mm with the success of the Canon 20D.. The market in 2 years from now will be much different. Unless CCD make a break thought like the CMOS did then - I would venture to say, the future will be different than the present.

    I want to hope that Phase et al gives us a break thru, at least in live view and iso. Actual camera wise, Pentex / Leica has the advantage as not carrying a legacy - Phase needs to bring out a camera which has better auto focus, and better dampening on the mirror and shutter. I would think apart from price, we would all be satisfied.

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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    Footwear, handbags, gloves, hats, medical instruments, handmade one of a kind guitars, food food and more food...and that's just the last 3 weeks...of hell.

    Textile clients are particularly finicky about color balance on lether and shearling (very similar to flesh tone)

    The Canon chips freak out on reds and yellows, the Sony chips freak out on reds yellows and teals...
    Whereas the CCD chip in the Aptus gets everything right, dead on, 1st time and every time. It's like it doesn't know how to fail.

    As far as 1000's of other studios using Nikons .....what can I say that wouldn't sound self serving? I specifically have several very large accounts because the clients were not happy with color delivered by those studios. Rather than give them excuses, I spent the $$$, took the time, did the research, and low and behold...there is a difference!

    Art repro it isn't even a contest....not yet anyway.

    BTW, I absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE using Canon's 5D Live View system and the clients do as well. It is the proverbial gold standard. Nikon's isn't even close! I don't know why. So much so, that we piggyback a 5D2 and 45TSE on top of the DF/Aptus during critical shoots.
    When it absolutely positively has to be right on color and contrast...we use CCD

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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    Quote Originally Posted by Egor View Post
    The Canon chips freak out on reds and yellows, the Sony chips freak out on reds yellows and teals...
    Whereas the CCD chip in the Aptus gets everything right, dead on, 1st time and every time. It's like it doesn't know how to fail.
    While I don't disagree about some of the colour traits of said cameras what I do disagree with is the myth that CCD nails colour without any need for correction. While on some colours CCD might be closer (without adjustment) than Canon/Nikon/Sony, I've still never had a colour critical product image straight out of a Phase camera (various generations) without the need of some sort of colour correction be that in the colour editor of C1 or full on into PS.

    I remember discussions on here about P45's rendering greens (rather difficult colour to avoid in nature) a terribly yellow which I might add is a hyper colour accurate CCD chipped back? All totally fixable in post but still there all the same.

    I just think now CMOS has arrived in MFD land there is no going back to CCD's and things can only get better from here on in.
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    Senior Member Ed Hurst's Avatar
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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    I await the results from the 645Dii with extreme interest. If the results at base ISO are good (i.e. good colours, DR, S/N and resolution); if the high ISO results are noticeably better (though the 645D is no slouch in this area by MFD standards); if the 3 fps is real; if the compulsory dark frame can be turned off - if all of these things apply (especially the dark frame thing), I may be tempted to buy one. But I won't be doing anything before seeing these benefits and actual files.

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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    At great risk, I'm going to chime in here.

    I'll echo Egor's experiences. MFD with CCD sensors at base ISO have always, and still produce, the best studio color renderings and subtile shadings compared to any 35mm CMOS camera up to and including the latest greatest. IMHO, even some of the old MFD "fat pixel" backs beat the newest 35mm CMOS technology in this regard.

    For reference if needed: experiences ranged from Kodak ProBacks, Imacon MS backs, Leaf Aptus 75/75s with a Dalsa sensor, Hasselblad CFV, Hasselblad H from 22 meg, 31 meg, 39 meg and 40 meg, plus a CF 39 Multi-Shot: all using Kodak CCD sensors, and H4D/60 meg using a Dalsa sensor. Current camera is a S2P with a Kodak CCD because I am tapering off commercial work in semi-retirement. No direct user experience with Phase One, although I've been on many shoots as the Art Director/CD where P1 was used.

    Clients ranged from:[ Unilever Foods both studio & location food shoots and editorial images; Johnston Outdoor Kayaks/Canoes/ and myriad accessories, plus some location nature shots; national ads appearing in Forbes for a BtoB client involving complex conceptual images; to lifestyle images for various financial institutions; to large industrial clients like American Axel and General Motors accessories (wheels and interior fabric samples) not to mention local clients like MuddyRiver Horse riding products, high-end jewelers and local banks that commissioned custom lifestyle shots rather than use stock. Oh, and since I had the gear, I also used it, and continue to use it, for higher end wedding and portrait photography.

    Never felt a need for live view in studio or for location commercial because everything was shot tethered to 30" screens or a large location laptop. However, on occasion LV would have been handy for use of a back on a studio tech camera with full movements.

    What many may not realize is these shoots often involve high volume RAW capture that have to be processed fairly fast, and/or, clients are on set evaluating and approving shots as you shoot so the closer out of the camera the better. These images are also much more malleable and easier to retouch once key images are selected by the client and due to multiple usage (from web to huge display use, or severe crops of details) are more versatile. Every time I tried substituting high resolution 35mm, the post time ramped up to unacceptable levels and lost us money.

    To date nothing has equalled out-of-camera color accuracy and seperation of a MultiShot final image once the client has approved the image elements, lighting and composition. Post was usually next to nothing, or nothing at all.

    I think it is great that MF sized CMOS sensors are becoming available to provide choice. Had I continued with Hasselblad H gear I MAY HAVE opted for the H5D/50c in place of a H4D/40 for editorial and lifestyle works (although the H4D/40 is a hard act to follow for such applications), and moved from the H4D/60 to a H5D/50 MultiShot CCD for studio images, using MS when color separation and tonal rendering was super critical.

    Oh course any commercial photographer would love a system that cost 1/6 to 1/3 the price and delivers the needed performance who wouldn't? Yet, one can't muck with what is making for success and we have to remember, many of these expensive systems are amortized over time via tax write-offs and digital capture fees. In my most prolific years I never paid a penny for my MFD gear it was covered by write-offs and fees to the extent I could upgrade every 2 to 3 years for free. Same with lighting gear BTW.

    - Marc

  8. #108
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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    I'll echo Egor's experiences. MFD with CCD sensors at base ISO have always, and still produce, the best studio color renderings and subtile shadings compared to any 35mm CMOS camera up to and including the latest greatest. IMHO, even some of the old MFD "fat pixel" backs beat the newest 35mm CMOS technology in this regard.
    I will not disagree (and so they should, cost considered) but sometimes the MFD lovers here would seem to suggest (exaggeration here) a 35mm CMOS chip renders a juicy red apple more like an orange due to poor colour rendering and this is not that case. Additionally, with the quest for perfection in product photography the increasing reliance on retouching has in some ways made the importance of 100% capture perfection less of an absolute amongst all formats.

    Obviously we are debating a technology that is still very new and has little real world experience but just based on Doug's IQ250/260 test images, the CMOS chipped back to my eyes looks more pleasing. If that is mostly down to the chip then the Pentax is going to be a winner surely?

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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    Quote Originally Posted by gazwas View Post
    I will not disagree (and so they should, cost considered) but sometimes the MFD lovers here would seem to suggest (exaggeration here) a 35mm CMOS chip renders a juicy red apple more like an orange due to poor colour rendering and this is not that case. Additionally, with the quest for perfection in product photography the increasing reliance on retouching has in some ways made the importance of 100% capture perfection less of an absolute amongst all formats.

    Obviously we are debating a technology that is still very new and has little real world experience but just based on Doug's IQ250/260 test images, the CMOS chipped back to my eyes looks more pleasing. If that is mostly down to the chip then the Pentax is going to be a winner surely?
    I guess this depends on the photographer's philosophy. Many of today's shoots are 3 bid propositions and if you bid a price and then it costs X amount more in post to even get to the retouching stage, you can under-cut your own profits. In my experience clients want the best possible file before any retouching is done and that includes color correct. Unilever and GM in particular are VERY picky about this.

    I learned this lesson shooting a high end corporate awards catalog with over 200 items. I thought I could pull it off using a Canon 1DsMK-III, and the on first day saw what a losing post production proposition that was. Switched to MFD and got back on schedule. It can be the difference of a meager profit and a juicy one. My bid was $125 per shot total buy-out delivered color correct camera ready (sans any product changes which would be separate retouching).

    Total job was $25,000 bid; took two 10 hour days and one regular 8 hour day to complete. That is roughly 8 shots per hour which sounds like a lot but really isn't if you are well organized (similar products grouped for simple swap outs etc.)

    That comes to $893 per hour. One assistant prepping the products, one at the computer and both also helping adjust lighting when needed @ $2,800 total. Less digital and lighting package rental fees (which is a separate income stream), left $17,000, less normal 1/3 for overhead (studio, maintenance, insurance) a $5,667 expense.

    $17,000 less $5,667 = $11,333 or $405 per hour to me after all expenses and overhead were subtracted. $3,800 per day is not a bad fee for this type of job. I paid myself $2,200 per day and allocated the remaining $1,600 per day to profit.

    If I had to add a day, or a day and a half to this, it would have been lost revenue against a fixed bid which is exactly what Igor was talking about.

    Gotta think this way to make a buck.

    All that said, if the MFD CMOS cameras can deliver all the better because it can make the tool more versatile for other applications however, it is up against a well established and proven methodology which it has to meet or exceed to justify the cost even $10,000.

    -Marc

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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Hurst View Post
    I await the results from the 645Dii with extreme interest. If the results at base ISO are good (i.e. good colours, DR, S/N and resolution); if the high ISO results are noticeably better (though the 645D is no slouch in this area by MFD standards); if the 3 fps is real; if the compulsory dark frame can be turned off - if all of these things apply (especially the dark frame thing), I may be tempted to buy one. But I won't be doing anything before seeing these benefits and actual files.
    These too are essentially my thoughts and concerns too regarding the new 645DII as compared to the 645D. Color fidelity is near the top of my list for most of my applications (with higher ISO performance just behind for the performing arts) and although CMOS has come a long way, my long term experience with CCD based sensors and their ability to render colors especially skin tones with convincing accuracy, has me a bit leery of the current crop of CMOS based MF cameras.

    Usually there is a series of tradeoffs, "give up something to get something" and this is where these sorts of tradeoffs will vary for each individual user, depending on their own personal requirements and needs.

    Dave (D&A)

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    Re: Game changer? Pentax 645 II - 10k USD for 50Mpx CMOS, 3fps, ISO 200k+

    Having said all I said, I am sure that CMOS sensors such as the Sony chip in the hands of dedicated people like at PhaseOne will get it right. Perhaps they already have, I am not a big enough fish to get testing on such things, nor do I have the $$ to just "check it out" willy nilly.
    We have always assumed that CMOS sensors like in the mass market D800 and 5D's has to appeal to a huge market segment and therefore compromises are made to accomodate. I mean they use these things from everything from weddings to super high iso to studio product to friggin video fer chrissake! Whats next? A Facebook button?
    I just know that the D800 chip foo is "no good"...not as good as I need for the 20% of files that demand critical color. And it's LV foo is no good either, not compared to Canon, not even same universe. But these things get better and better and I am not a married to anything camera-wise. Just want to get the job done.
    We still use canon 5D3 on 80% of shots (newspaper inserts, quick web stuff, crazy lens angles and LV shots that can't be achieved any oth way)
    I would love to not have to do the piggyback routine, but our margins just arent large enough to shell out $35k right now. I wish it were believe me!

    In the images attached, realize that the images on the TV screen are LV from the 5D2, not captures. So is the image on the left monitor. The right monitor is C1 capture from Aptus.
    Last edited by Egor; 17th February 2014 at 10:57.
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