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Author Topic: ZD Review by Michael, Thank You  (Read 10575 times)
mcfoto
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« on: March 28, 2007, 10:16:37 AM »
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Hi Michael
Thank you for an excellent review. I think you nailed it and this what I have been saying to fellow photographers. I also believe that Phase & Mamiya have a great oportunity here. Lets hope they can work together.

Denis
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2007, 04:41:30 PM »
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As a Rollei 6008/e22 user, it gets a bit annoying to be constantly told that your camera doesn't exist. Perhaps these parts of the article could be corrected?

"With the demise of Bronica and Contax, and the seeming inability year after year of Pentax to launch a medium format digital model, Mamiya and Hasselblad have till recently been the only game in town"

"Mamiya lenses and accessories are often quite a bit less expensive than Hasselblad, and with the exception of the discontinued Contax 645 (available used) is now the only medium format camera game currently in town."

Also the dynamic range sample just didn't live up to the text: "The camera's ability to hold detail in the white hood as well as in the black leather jacket is excellent." The whites were blown out over a significant area.

The issue of sensor-cleaning didn't get a mention that I could see. This is something which detachable backs have in their favour. That and the fact that they can be moved to a view camera setup. No mention of this disadvantage either.

Finally the buffer issue was glossed over, but it is fact the most likely feature to deter would-be buyers.

Nothing against the ZD, just thought the article could be better/accurate.
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Quentin
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« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2007, 05:45:29 PM »
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I think the article nailed it, as Denis has already mentioned.  And yes, dynamic range is excellent, as my personal experience has established through using the camera over the last 6 or so months.

Quentin
« Last Edit: March 28, 2007, 05:47:58 PM by Quentin » Logged

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michael
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« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2007, 06:08:41 PM »
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I have to admit to a North American bias. The Rollie 6008, as good a camera as it is, (and I owned for for a time) is almost completely non-extent here in the US and Canada, hence my leaving it out.

As for the whites being blown out in my sample shot NOT. They may look that way to you, but I assure you that they are very nicely detailed. The ZD's dynamic range is superb at low ISO. The web is a very poor way to evelauate image quality.

No I didn't mention sensor cleaning issues, and you're right. A removable back is easier to clean. But is also just as suseptable if not more so to becoming dusty. I never took the back of fmy H2/ P45 in Antarctica, (a very clean though dry environment) and yet on several days found huge goobers on my images which wern't there the day before.

As for the buffer issue being glossed over, please advise me what additional needs to be said beyond what was in the article. I thought the topic was well covered.

Michael
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Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2007, 06:46:20 PM »
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It seems a bit ironic that the 6008 is omitted due to being not widely available in the US, in a review of a camera which is not available at all in the US

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As for the whites being blown out in my sample shot NOT. They may look that way to you, but I assure you that they are very nicely detailed.

I just downloaded the 100% sample named "t-big.jpg" and checked the values in Photoshop. 80% of the hat area is pure 255,255,255 (RGB). I'll take your word for it that the RAW files was better but regardless this JPEG doesn't support the article's claim, which is a pity.

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The ZD's dynamic range is superb at low ISO. The web is a very poor way to evelauate image quality.

Again, I'm happy to believe it. I'm not attacking the ZD itself.

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As for the buffer issue being glossed over, please advise me what additional needs to be said beyond what was in the article. I thought the topic was well covered.

My point was that the frame rate is a big issue, for people photography in particular. Waiting nearly 2 minutes for a buffer to clear after every 10 shots makes it unuseable for this type of photography, imo. Although the article points out the issue in figures, it doesn't pass any comment on this unusual feature and the limitations this places on real world useage. There is also no mention of this limitation in the "who's it for?" section.

Just my $0.02
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thsinar
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2007, 07:31:47 PM »
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Can anyone tell WHERE Michael's review can be read? I just can't figure it out.

Sorry if a stupid question.

Thanks,
Thierry
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2007, 07:40:32 PM »
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Waiting nearly 2 minutes for a buffer to clear after every 10 shots makes it unuseable for this type of photography, imo

When the buffer is full, not after every 10 shots...  

I think Michael's review was fair in suggesting the ZD is better suited for landscape photographers. Generally I shoot a short burst of 2-4 shots and then move on, so the buffer would seldom be an issue.  The 1Ds only buffered 11 RAW images and don't recall that ever being an issue for me.  Certainly it could and should be better, I'm not disputing that.  Hopefully Mamiya will update the ZD in the near future with a 2.5" or 3" LCD and better buffer & throughput speeds.

On the other hand considering the ZD is 1/2 the price of a given body and Phase, Aptus or Sinar back with a similar sensor size, is a slower buffer that unreasonable?  A P25 has more bits, an Aptus 22 has a better buffer and frame to frame rates, etc...  These other backs cost 2x as much, so shouldn't they do something???  The ZD is smaller than a body plus back, so it's easier to travel with.  A body plus back requires dual sets of batteries, ZD uses one integrated battery.  

The pro's & con's of the ZD can be spun either way, it just depends on what's important to you.
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Mort54
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« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2007, 07:45:37 PM »
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Can anyone tell WHERE Michael's review can be read? I just can't figure it out.

Sorry if a stupid question.

Thanks,
Thierry
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thierry, it's at [a href=\"http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/cameras/zd-late.shtml]http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/...s/zd-late.shtml[/url]
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BernardLanguillier
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« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2007, 07:50:08 PM »
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On the other hand considering the ZD is 1/2 the price of a given body and Phase, Aptus or Sinar back with a similar sensor size, is a slower buffer that unreasonable?  [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109272\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Make it 3 times cheaper in geos like Japan compared to a P25+.

Regards,
Bernard
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« Reply #9 on: March 28, 2007, 09:04:19 PM »
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FYI and according to:

http://www.photoscala.de/node/3068

the ZD back is fitted with a 14 Bit A/D converter, BUT produces real 12 Bit files.

Thierry
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mcfoto
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« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2007, 12:57:17 AM »
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It seems a bit ironic that the 6008 is omitted due to being not widely available in the US, in a review of a camera which is not available at all in the US
Quote


Hi
I think the point Michael was making is that Mamiya as a camera system is widely available in the NA market. He was just reviewing the ZD as it has become available in  Canada. Sinar has a great oportunity with the Hy6 with both Sinar & Leaf backs on board.

Denis
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thsinar
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« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2007, 01:09:12 AM »
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just hoping that the Sinarback(s) will have the chance one day of a review, since those are available in the states!    

Thierry

Quote from: mcfoto,Mar 29 2007, 12:57 PM
It seems a bit ironic that the 6008 is omitted due to being not widely available in the US, in a review of a camera which is not available at all in the US
Quote


Hi
I think the point Michael was making is that Mamiya as a camera system is widely available in the NA market. He was just reviewing the ZD as it has become available in  Canada. Sinar has a great oportunity with the Hy6 with both Sinar & Leaf backs on board.

Denis
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109309\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Thierry Hagenauer
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« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2007, 01:13:17 AM »
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I would like to add how excellent I thought Michael's review of the ZD was.  I have done some tests and shooting with one, and it really confirmed how I felt about this camera.java script:emoticon('Smiley')
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Dustbak
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« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2007, 01:36:52 AM »
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just hoping that the Sinarback(s) will have the chance one day of a review, since those are available in the states!   

Thierry
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109310\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Well, maybe Sinar can offer Michael the backs on loan to to review? I would be very interested in a Sinar review.

I think the ZD will be on more peoples radar after this review.

You pay 10K less than a comparable back & body.

Biggest differences are as far as I can see, 12Bits colors vs 16Bits from the backs, buffersize & framerate and the fact the ZD is a complete integrated system.

Not sure about the digital Pentax but that and the ZD might shake up things in MFDB landscape a bit more.
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ronno
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« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2007, 09:00:23 AM »
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As for the whites being blown out in my sample shot NOT. They may look that way to you, but I assure you that they are very nicely detailed. The ZD's dynamic range is superb at low ISO. The web is a very poor way to evelauate image quality.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109244\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Thanks for the useful review Michael.

Maybe you would expand on how the image quality is inferior to the P25 at low ISO.

re:  "Yes, the P25 is a superior digital imaging device, but its simply not that much better as I say, if it were my money being spent."


Also, seeing as you are illustrating a comment about the camera holding highlight detail -- using a photo with blown highlights, you might want to reprocess that hood photo...

One more question: is the shooting speed (re: buffer) the same when shooting tethered?

Thanks again.

-ron
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Quentin
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« Reply #15 on: March 29, 2007, 09:14:12 AM »
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Maybe you would expand on how the image quality is inferior to the P25 at low ISO.

Thanks again.

-ron
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109369\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

One thing to throw in to the mix is the software used.  My view is that Silkypix is significantly better than Lightroom or ACR with ZD files.  Others say Raw shooter is better still.   Its impossible for MR or any reviewer to test products with every software combination available, but some hardware / raw software combinations just seem to sing.

Quentin
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michael
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« Reply #16 on: March 29, 2007, 09:15:29 AM »
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I wrote that it was a better device, not that the image quality was better.

But, having said that, there are many aspects to image quality. For example the P backs are much better at long exposures.

To repeat, the highlights are not blown. They may look that way on your browser in an 8 bit JPG, but on my caliobrated screen and in a print they have lots of detail. The brightest white is at about 235, while the black coat is about 35, except in the deepest shadows. Great dynamic range, notwithstanding what you see on your monitor. Trust me, I know what I'm seeing.

I did not shoot tethered.

Michael
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ronno
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« Reply #17 on: March 29, 2007, 09:38:45 AM »
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I wrote that it was a better device, not that the image quality was better.

But, having said that, there are many aspects to image quality. For example the P backs are much better at long exposures.

To repeat, the highlights are not blown. They may look that way on your browser in an 8 bit JPG, but on my caliobrated screen and in a print they have lots of detail. The brightest white is at about 235, while the black coat is about 35, except in the deepest shadows. Great dynamic range, notwithstanding what you see on your monitor. Trust me, I know what I'm seeing.

I did not shoot tethered.

Michael
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=109377\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

So I guess we can we assume that image quality is not noticably inferior when used at low ISO for short exposures...

Also, I DO trust that the D.R. is great and the exposure is correct, just wanted to point out that that particular sample appears to refute the statement next to it, rather than supporting it.

Thanks again.

-ron
« Last Edit: March 29, 2007, 09:41:27 AM by ronno » Logged
Graham Mitchell
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« Reply #18 on: March 29, 2007, 09:41:37 AM »
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Great dynamic range, notwithstanding what you see on your monitor. Trust me, I know what I'm seeing.

Hi Michael,

Did you miss the post I sent about checking the values in Photoshop? There is a large area of pure white. Perhaps we are looking at different files?
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« Reply #19 on: March 29, 2007, 12:57:43 PM »
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The issue of sensor-cleaning didn't get a mention that I could see. This is something which detachable backs have in their favour. That and the fact that they can be moved to a view camera setup. No mention of this disadvantage either.
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