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Author Topic: Phase: Poker face or nothing up their sleeve?  (Read 23908 times)
Mort54
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« Reply #60 on: April 09, 2007, 12:23:49 PM »
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What do people think about the forthcoming 1Ds (or D3x) incarnation actually matching even a 22mp MFDB?
Well, I never underestimate Canon. If they bump up the bit depth to 14-bits (which I'm sure they will, since the 1DIII did), then that will gain them some (and maybe most) of the tonality benefits currently enjoyed by MFDBs. I would think noise will be better than MFDBs. Resolution probably won't be quite as good as 22 MP backs, assuming Canon sticks with an A/A filter, and of course, because of the lenses. If they make the A/A filter optional, then I think it'll come close enough to the resolution of 22 MP backs to give the back makers trouble at the low end.

I agree that the 1DsIII is causing uncertainty. I know for a fact this is true because I'm in the market for a MFDB, and the 1DsIII is certainly weighing on my decision process (or it at least adds lots of uncertainty to the process). I have to believe that almost everybody else who is considering their first MFDB is also wondering what Canon will do.
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« Reply #61 on: April 09, 2007, 01:39:22 PM »
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I assume Edmund was referring to One Delta Sigma =  Canon 1ds.  Canon can stick as many megapixels and bits into a 35mm chip as they like but they'll never get the 'look' of a MFDB. So if you want that 'look' then you've got to get a back to stick on your medium format camera body. There's no point in waiting for the Canon to appear. Unless they come up with a new format of course.

Pete
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« Reply #62 on: April 09, 2007, 01:58:25 PM »
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the canon will laways be a step behind in quality...it is made for a different market anyway.....the canons produce amazing quality...the 5D IMO is maybe the best digicam ever....simply amazing, but it is not fair to compare to a P30....and why would you? the next canon will be great but no DMFback...

james is completly right and i wrote this earlier....there are more camerabodies out there now, by far that accept phase backs then ones that don't......every 4x5!, contax, bronica, mamiya and all the H1&2s accept phase backs.....all these cameras will still work for the next 10-20 years....no problem....no reason to switch to some all inclusive system that forces me to use this lens or that back....that does not mean that i would not buy into such a system if i thought that the advantages would save me time/money or that the final product is superiour then everything else....but hasselblad is far from that right now anyway....same will go for the Hy6....neither one will give me a better file, faster, cheaper, more relyable.....so why let myself be locked into a promise?
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« Reply #63 on: April 09, 2007, 05:00:10 PM »
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the canon will laways be a step behind in quality...it is made for a different market anyway.....the canons produce amazing quality...the 5D IMO is maybe the best digicam ever....simply amazing, but it is not fair to compare to a P30....and why would you? the next canon will be great but no DMFback...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111525\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Let's face, it a 22MP camera with good 1600 ISO and good skin tone and no blown out highlights (14bit conversion) would do a lot of collateral damage to the back industry, especially when it costs 1/4 of a 30MP back.

I can already describe the scenario: A brilliant innovative fashion photographer, call him James, buys a 1DsIII, and shoots some quick handheld stuff on set next to the P30. He likes what he sees. Then he sells his backup 22MP back for $10K and takes his wife on a short trip to mount Aptus with the proceeds

When he gets back, James feels really great and playful, so while doing a national ad campaign  shoots a few comparison images with the Canon, and notices that the client cannot tell the difference, even if it's clear to him. Soon the back doesn't even come out of the Pelican case anymore, and stays in studio, while James buys a spare 1DsIII and starts shooting handheld a lot more ...

Two years later we find our hero James pioneering the use of cellphones for fashion photography - but that's another story

Edmund

PS. all names and persons in this post are purely imaginary. This poster would never insinuate that any pro photographer would ever dare to be seen on set by an AD with a 35mm SLR  in hand
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 05:01:52 PM by eronald » Logged

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« Reply #64 on: April 09, 2007, 05:10:05 PM »
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« Reply #65 on: April 09, 2007, 05:38:20 PM »
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Hi, Thierry,

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(we have excluded nobody).
Am I right in assuming that Jenoptik requires some form of a license agreement in order to brand the Hy6?  And if I just wish to make backs for the Hy6 that technical information enabling me to do so is not available?

If these statements are true, then it's pretty hard for me to understand the "openness" statement that is cllaimed about the Hy6.  Making barriers to being included does count as a form of exclusion IMHO.

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You ARE NOT stick to one brand of camera platform, when investing in a Sinarback, not at all!
This is true.  And I think this is a great thing--I wish everyone did this.  But I think the 'choice' that was being referred to was more about putting any back on a particular camera, not about putting a particular back on any camera.

As the lenses are essentially tied to the camera system (via proprietary mounts) I've really got a choice between picking a camera/lens combo and then choosing from available backs, or vice versa.  Given this choice, what's most important to me as a photographer is my camera/lens combination.  They're the things I physically interact with to photograph--they're literally my interface to my creative vision. (It's true that the back is the single most expensive piece of equipment, but that's more a financial consideration and not necessarily as much a creative one.)

It's for these reasons that I'd like to select my camera/lens system and marry the back of my choice to it.  The MF industry (as far as I can see by looking at the Hasselblad H3, Rollei/Sinar/Leaf Hy6) is moving the other way.  (Yes, I can understand why, but I'm not happy about it.)

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents, as the Hy6 (as wonderful as it sounds) just doesn't appear to be "open" by any definition I'm aware of.

Best regards,
Brad
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« Reply #66 on: April 09, 2007, 05:59:13 PM »
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Well, I never underestimate Canon. If they bump up the bit depth to 14-bits (which I'm sure they will, since the 1DIII did), then that will gain them some (and maybe most) of the tonality benefits currently enjoyed by MFDBs.

There are a few problems with that statement, imo.

Firstly, anyone can increase the quantization of their sensors to 16, 18 or more bits, but once past the noise floor, the extra bits become useless. I wouldn't put it past a manufacturer to increase the bit depth just for the bragging rights, even though the added RAW file size would do the user a disservice!

Secondly, there is a lot more to a medium format digital system v 35mm DSLR than a few more pixels. For example, they have larger viewfinders, better lenses (on the whole), and the sensor can be used on other cameras such as a view camera.

I have a feeling that Canon's heyday might be nearly over. Its competitors are starting to threaten Canon's core products.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 06:02:39 PM by foto-z » Logged

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« Reply #67 on: April 09, 2007, 06:04:01 PM »
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Let's face, it a 22MP camera with good 1600 ISO and good skin tone and no blown out highlights (14bit conversion) would do a lot of collateral damage to the back industry, especially when it costs 1/4 of a 30MP back.

I can already describe the scenario: A brilliant innovative fashion photographer, call him James, buys a 1DsIII, and shoots some quick handheld stuff on set next to the P30. He likes what he sees. Then he sells his backup 22MP back for $10K and takes his wife on a short trip to mount Aptus with the proceeds

When he gets back, James feels really great and playful, so while doing a national ad campaign  shoots a few comparison images with the Canon, and notices that the client cannot tell the difference, even if it's clear to him. Soon the back doesn't even come out of the Pelican case anymore, and stays in studio, while James buys a spare 1DsIII and starts shooting handheld a lot more ...

Two years later we find our hero James pioneering the use of cellphones for fashion photography - but that's another story

Edmund

PS. all names and persons in this post are purely imaginary. This poster would never insinuate that any pro photographer would ever dare to be seen on set by an AD with a 35mm SLR  in hand
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111572\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

edmund...the scenario you are describing is already in full swing....annie leibowitz uses canon, greg gorman uses canon....no problem at all...yes they have xxxxx$/day retouchers working on their files....the guys who can take a cellphone pic and make it look like it came out of a P45....

1D was used many times to shoot double spread editorials and national ad campaigns...

either way: does not matter, there will always be people who want the extra quality (which will always be there) or the ones who can't imagine showing up with a DSLR (and the AD on the shoot just bought the same one for his wife for christmas) or the hobby guys who just want the damn thing to take it out on the weekends to polish it and take a snap....

the 5D is good enough for 99% of all photography produced today...does that mean that everybody wants it or that development should stop? no....

if all descisions were based on rational thinking and actual necessity, i would not see that many guys sitting in traffic next to me on the 101 in their convertible porsche's in 110F heat with the sun frying the last hairs off their heads and the smog slowly getting them high.....
and yes it is mostly guys...women are by far not that stupid.....
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« Reply #68 on: April 09, 2007, 06:10:10 PM »
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I have a feeling that Canon's heyday might be nearly over. Its competitors are starting to threaten Canon's core products.
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+1

As far out as this may seem to some diehard canon DSLR fans (and I count myself one of them), I think your above statement hits it on the nail.

Id trade my MF back for another brand MF back any day, if i had to (they are all good in my opinion.) But id turn and run with the back clutched in my hands if anyone tried to make me lose it over a DSLR.
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« Reply #69 on: April 09, 2007, 06:46:09 PM »
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I actually wonder about this as well, more  because of Nikon & others (especially at the lower end) than because of back makers hitting them at the extreme high end (although the ZD may be an interesting competitor to the 1Ds Mk II if its US price is close enough and the lenses are better.)

Nikon has many of Canon's products beat right now, in a real turnaround from a few years ago. For those without large lens systems, Pentax and Sony offer interesting alternatives (the Alpha and especially the K10D have some nice features). Canon's only unchallenged products are the 5D (the half as expensive D200 arguably provides a challenge, coming closer than it should given the price difference) and the 1Ds MkII. Canon has a three year old camera with only minor updates (the 30D) in a midrange segment where they have traditionally been a leader. If the ZD or the new Pentax integrated 645 start knocking at the top end (under $10,000), the 1Ds MkII is no longer unchallenged. They've got to counter the D200 with a 40D that blows the year-old D200 away, and they have to put the 1Ds out of Nikon's reach with a Mk III upgrade that may have to break free of conventional Bayer sensors to get the image quality it would need (even then, Nikon and Fuji could release a full frame Super CCD model). Didn't Canon have a Foveon type project going at some point?

In addition to that, they have to worry about more reasonably priced digital MF options hitting the high end. While still incredibly expensive, the latest generation of backs appear to have dropped by about 30% from the last generation, and the integrated bodies may be in 1Ds territory. Mamiya lenses are actually cheaper than Canon L lenses, although less versatile.

All in all, not a good time to be Canon (although, as a previous poster said, I wouldn't count them out - they DO have a habit of shocking people).


                                                       -Dan
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ndevlin
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« Reply #70 on: April 09, 2007, 08:13:09 PM »
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Canon is an abysmally bone-headed company (and I say that as a heavily-invested user whom they have just managed to piss-off mightily).  But they are still King of the Hill.

The argument that Canon is in danger suffers two fatal flaws:

1. It ignores the install-base.  The professional and serious-amateur ranks are overwhlemigly dominated by Canon users nowadays (45 of 50 on the LL Antarctic trip, and look at the phalanxes of white lenses at the sidelines the next time you watch a major sporting event on tv....).  Almost all of those users switched to Canon when Canon offered truly large qualitative advantages over its competitors (in AF, then in digital quality).  

Those users will not switch systems again without a VERY good reason.  What Canon's competitors are doing is closing the gap, coming out with equivalent, but not markedly superior, products.  No one is pushing the technology foward in quantum leaps the way the 1ds and 5D did.  

Users will not switch systems just because Pentax or Nikon has a camera that it comparable to a Canon offering.  The inertia of investment now heavily favours the Canon hegemony.

2. MF digital backs are a low-volume market.  The R&D required to make one work well is no less than what goes into a 35mm DSLR, but the number of units across which the maker can amortize this investment is far smaller. Therefore, MF back will remain significantly more expensive than small-format DSLRS. Consequently, they have to offer a significant gain in quality to justify their ownership for most photographers.

3. Canon is the 1000lb Gorilla of the industry.  No other company can rival Canon's mix of technical know-how, ability to produce and capital to fund.  Unless Canon mysteriously loses interest, the digital camera game will be theirs for a long, long time.  

The only thing that would threaten to dislodge Canon from their place of power is if Nikon licensed Foveon (or similar) technology, and was able to produce a true 35mm, full-res, 3 colour sensor.  

We live in interesting times.

- N.
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« Reply #71 on: April 09, 2007, 08:39:30 PM »
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The only thing that would threaten to dislodge Canon from their place of power is if Nikon licensed Foveon (or similar) technology, and was able to produce a true 35mm, full-res, 3 colour sensor. 

We live in interesting times.

- N.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't care about Canon. But I think the day the 1DsIII is announced is the day we will hear some very interesting noises coming out of the MF back crowd.

Edmund
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« Reply #72 on: April 09, 2007, 09:22:25 PM »
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The argument that Canon is in danger suffers two fatal flaws:

1. It ignores the install-base.  The professional and serious-amateur ranks are overwhlemigly dominated by Canon users nowadays (45 of 50 on the LL Antarctic trip, and look at the phalanxes of white lenses at the sidelines the next time you watch a major sporting event on tv....).  Almost all of those users switched to Canon when Canon offered truly large qualitative advantages over its competitors (in AF, then in digital quality). 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

This is probalby the case in the US, but less so in Japan for instance.

Quote
2. MF digital backs are a low-volume market.  The R&D required to make one work well is no less than what goes into a 35mm DSLR, but the number of units
across which the maker can amortize this investment is far smaller. Therefore, MF back will remain significantly more expensive than small-format DSLRS. Consequently, they have to offer a significant gain in quality to justify their ownership for most photographers.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Yep, prices will probably remain high in the very high end, but Mamiya has clearly shown that it is possible to produce cheaper MFDB. Whether their are making money is unclear, but it looks like Pentax is targetting the same market now.

Quote
3. Canon is the 1000lb Gorilla of the industry.  No other company can rival Canon's mix of technical know-how, ability to produce and capital to fund.  Unless Canon mysteriously loses interest, the digital camera game will be theirs for a long, long time. 

The only thing that would threaten to dislodge Canon from their place of power is if Nikon licensed Foveon (or similar) technology, and was able to produce a true 35mm, full-res, 3 colour sensor. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Canon isn't larger than Sony for instance.

Besides, although Canon is huge, the camera division is fairly small, and it is doubtful that the HQ would let them waste money for long.

A company the size of Nikon is credible and healthy enough a business to get any kind of money they might need of they can come up with a business plan showing good potential for returns.

From this standpoint, I don't think that the size of Canon plays any role in their actual capability to invest in new technologies.

My point of view has always been that the lack of Nikon FF camera is the result of a wrong business decision, and not the consequence of a lack of technological capability on their side.

Cheers,
Bernard
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« Reply #73 on: April 09, 2007, 10:35:44 PM »
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I have a feeling that Canon's heyday might be nearly over. Its competitors are starting to threaten Canon's core products.
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This February it was announced that Canon has surpassed Kodak as the leader in digital camera sales in the U.S., edging out Kodak for the first time. Canon has 20% of the market, Sony 17% and Kodak 16%. 29.8 million cameras were shipped in 2006 and the market is "cooling down". (Source: Wall St. Journal & IDC Research).

I know this pertains to all cameras, including consumer models, but this is where the money comes from that funds R&D. Canon has installed dual Digic III chips in the latest DSLR (hello, parallel processing), they've begun modifying (i.e., improving) their lens line, and offer v2 of their wireless transmitter. They know who their competition is.

I think Canon is just getting started.
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« Reply #74 on: April 09, 2007, 10:41:14 PM »
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This February it was announced that Canon has surpassed Kodak as the leader in digital camera sales in the U.S., edging out Kodak for the first time. Canon has 20% of the market, Sony 17% and Kodak 16%. 29.8 million cameras were shipped in 2006 and the market is "cooling down". (Source: Wall St. Journal & IDC Research).

I know this pertains to all cameras, including consumer models, but this is where the money comes from that funds R&D.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111630\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

It could be argued that money comes mostly from consumer DSLRs and the associated lenses.

In that segment Canon and Nikon are close #1 and #2, and both are way ahead of all their competitors.

Regards,
Bernard
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« Reply #75 on: April 09, 2007, 11:02:01 PM »
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These charts are volume, consumer segment primarily (based off the flickr market, clearly majority of which are pure consumer), but that volume is where the money is:

http://www.flickr.com/cameras/

FWWI, no sign of Canon slowing down yet.
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« Reply #76 on: April 10, 2007, 04:04:09 AM »
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The only thing that would threaten to dislodge Canon from their place of power is if Nikon licensed Foveon (or similar) technology, and was able to produce a true 35mm, full-res, 3 colour sensor. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111613\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I see more and more of the top shooters in my country in the professional (not press/documentary, but all others) going for top quality MFDB's. And whats started recently is the lower level professionals (social/high-street) are buying into MFDB's like the P20 and CFV instead of going the 1Ds route. I'm amazed at this as I personally dont see the cost/customer satisfaction ratio being there to support MFDB purchases in this segment, but it seems some people are doing it anyways.

The top range Canons will be threatened from MFDB's as long as the back makers will move towards lower priced/higher specd. models. Its a dream for many professionals to move into MF again, and I think many would pay premium for this in todays good photography market (at least where I live...)

The place Canon has with press, documentary, wildlife and sports shooters is undoubtedly there, and is not threatened by anyone but Nikon at the moment, ant the threat is more like [span style=\'font-size:8pt;line-height:100%\']"hey you, can i join!"[/span], but Nikon and others are playing catch up.

In the lower end of both DSLR's and consumer cam's, Canon is in the same massively competitive race as everyone else, and wont win or lose without a breakthrough and protected technology, as the market is so healthy at this point.

Also the installed top end user base for 1Ds cameras, may not quickly change out what works at the moment. But sit back with the current model and lens line they own, and build up a new MF system over time (i see guys buying the H or AFD models with only the 80, and wait long periods of time before buying their next glass, slowly building up what they need while keeping their canons warm.)

So the way I see it is that Canon won't disappear and will stay at the top end, but they are threatened in some core high-end areas where they currently are the market leaders, and things may change. The same goes for Phase in my eyes, but that was on the topic of the original poster  
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« Reply #77 on: April 10, 2007, 08:16:12 AM »
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This is a much broader topic that one can explore in a brief forum message (and maybe it deserves an article), but here are a couple of more points to ponder....

there is the pro/prestige factor. I've been told by many wedding photographers at the high end of their market that when Uncle Harry shows up at the reception while the group portraits are being taken, and has a 1Ds MKII or similar top DSLR, the family often asks themselves and the photographer) what is it that differentiates him from Uncle Harry. Lot's. obviously, but to the man-in-the-street, it's the gear that takes the shot, not the photographer.

the same thing applies in fashion, advertising and such. When the photographer is using similar gear to the camera that the art director or client may have at home and use for their personal work, a similar question arises. Using an MF system with high-end back changes that equation and seperates the pro from the rest of the pack. Perception often IS reality.

The viewfinder. There simply is no comparison between the viewfinder on an H1/H2, for example, and that of any DSLR, including a 1Ds MKII. Size matters.

No matter how many pixels Canon or anyone else crams into a 35mm format sensor, a MF back will always have more. It's the same equation that has always existed with film. Canon may move to 22MP or even a bit more, but with MF at 39MP, and going to 50-60MP within the next 9-12 months the gap will always be there. And for anyone that thinks that XX megapixels is "enough", well if you haven't seen what a 30+ MP 16 bit sensor can do, you owe it to yourself to find out.

Finally, this isn't a win/lose equation. Canon will continue to make more DSLRs an hour that the entire medium format industry makes backs in a year. (This is not hyperbole). Canon also knows that most pros shooting with MF also have 35mm DSLRs for those situations where it's more appropriate. It's not as if it's an either or for most pros.

Michael
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« Reply #78 on: April 10, 2007, 10:36:51 AM »
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Dear Brad,

for the first part of your comments/replies I won't make any more comments anymore and here at this stage: most has been said by me and since long. I really think that you should ask here the other competitor(s) in question, since they should give you these answers you are still sicking for. We definitively cannot speak for them. Anyway, the (near) future will tell us more about "openess" and what and how it will happen.

For your second part of comments: yes, sure, I fully agree the way you see it, and I would most probably do it this way as well.

Best regards,
Thierry


Quote
Hi, Thierry,
Am I right in assuming that Jenoptik requires some form of a license agreement in order to brand the Hy6?  And if I just wish to make backs for the Hy6 that technical information enabling me to do so is not available?

If these statements are true, then it's pretty hard for me to understand the "openness" statement that is cllaimed about the Hy6.  Making barriers to being included does count as a form of exclusion IMHO.
This is true.  And I think this is a great thing--I wish everyone did this.  But I think the 'choice' that was being referred to was more about putting any back on a particular camera, not about putting a particular back on any camera.

As the lenses are essentially tied to the camera system (via proprietary mounts) I've really got a choice between picking a camera/lens combo and then choosing from available backs, or vice versa.  Given this choice, what's most important to me as a photographer is my camera/lens combination.  They're the things I physically interact with to photograph--they're literally my interface to my creative vision. (It's true that the back is the single most expensive piece of equipment, but that's more a financial consideration and not necessarily as much a creative one.)

It's for these reasons that I'd like to select my camera/lens system and marry the back of my choice to it.  The MF industry (as far as I can see by looking at the Hasselblad H3, Rollei/Sinar/Leaf Hy6) is moving the other way.  (Yes, I can understand why, but I'm not happy about it.)

Anyway, I just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents, as the Hy6 (as wonderful as it sounds) just doesn't appear to be "open" by any definition I'm aware of.

Best regards,
Brad
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« Reply #79 on: April 11, 2007, 09:19:36 AM »
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the (near) future will tell us more about "openess" and what and how it will happen.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=111705\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi, Thierry,

Thank you, as always, for your reply.

I very much hope that I am wrong on the openness question (it's just how things appear to someone on the outside like me at this moment in time).

I look forward to any announcements clarifying the Jenoptik/Sinar position on this and will try to be as patient as I can.

Kind regards,
-Brad
« Last Edit: April 11, 2007, 09:30:12 AM by bradleygibson » Logged

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