Medium Format Camera Market

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Curt:
I would surely love to resurrect my several MF cameras. I did use Hblads for weddings & travel, but now take DSLR's.
I will not pay anywhere near the current asking price for a digital MF back when my Nikon D2X makes wonderful 20x30's.
But, offer me a digital back for my Hblad at the price of a D200 & I will consider.

BJL:
Quote

Find the statistics that show how much FILM was sold.
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FujiFilm provided such statistics recently: film sales are down about 80% from what they were five years ago, and still declining. This news of a five-fold reduction in film sales went with FujiFilm's announcement of plans to close down a number of film-related facilities, as Kodak has already been doing (not to mention Konica and Agfa!)

Clearly film is not dead but is leaving the mainstream of photography, at every level from snapshots to high end professional work.

Gary Ferguson:
"But, offer me a digital back for my Hblad at the price of a D200 & I will consider"

Maybe your wish, or at least something close to it, may be granted before too long. If not new then from the falling prices of second hand digital backs.

Here in the UK factory refurbished P20 and P25 stock is now being sold off at half price, and that's equipment supported with a Phase One guarantee. In a year or two's time the P45 will be replaced, so current P45 stock will likely follow the same discount route, which in turn will push the P20 and P25 down to even lower prices.

The general view is that today's digital backs, with no moving parts, have a healthy life expectancy in front of them. The world's kitchens and bathrooms are full of thirty year old transistor radios that still work just fine, so why will digital backs be any different? And the market price of today's digital backs is only going one way.

Many pundits are expecting a new flagship Canon DSLR of about 22MP to be shipping by early 2007. Sometime in 2007 I'll probably sell my current P25 back, my guess is that when I do it'll be worth the same or less than the new Canon uber kamera.

If that happens then it will present photographers with an interesting choice.

I'm already seeing that there's little practical difference between the quality I get in an A3 print from a Canon 5D and from a Canon 1Ds mkII. In other words a combination of depth of field restrictions and lens quality conspires to negate the benefit of those additional pixels. If I look at the difference with hand held shots, even with IS, then there's absolutely no difference in an A3 print for 99% of my photography.

Consequently I'm not expecting much practical quality benefit from a new 22MP Canon DSLR. But the shots I get from a 22MP P25 digital back are noticeably better than those I get from a 1Ds MkII, and I am expecting that difference to be maintained (at least with the majority of my lenses) when there's equal pixel counts for the 35mm FF DSLR and the digital back on an MF camera.

So going forward photographers may be presented with a choice for approximately the same money. They could take the superior flexibility, lens range, and general convenience of a 35mm digital system. Or they could get superior quality from a second hand MF digital back with the same pixel count.

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