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Author Topic: 16mp digital back vs dslr: what's the difference?  (Read 7124 times)
rastas
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« on: January 14, 2008, 12:31:28 PM »
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I've been considering getting an older digital back, like the h20 or kodak pro back. Those backs have sensors which are about 37mm x 37mm. If I crop that square to a rectangular format, it will be about 37mm x 24mm - the same size as a full frame DSLR.

So what is different on the medium format back compared to the DSLR back? Someone please help me understand this....

For what its worth, the digital backs attract me because of the "3d feel" I can get with the medium format....

thanks
« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 12:31:41 PM by rastas » Logged
Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2008, 01:25:56 PM »
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I've been considering getting an older digital back, like the h20 or kodak pro back. Those backs have sensors which are about 37mm x 37mm. If I crop that square to a rectangular format, it will be about 37mm x 24mm - the same size as a full frame DSLR.

So what is different on the medium format back compared to the DSLR back? Someone please help me understand this....

For what its worth, the digital backs attract me because of the "3d feel" I can get with the medium format....

thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=167107\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Once you have cropped down there is no difference

It is my opinion that the 3d look comes from a larger sensor that covers a field of fiew with longer lense and therefore has less deptho of field and pings the subject off the background

This will not occur with a 16mp cropped to rectangle

Of course there may be other advantqages to using one of these old chips ocompared to a DSLR

16bit files, stitching on a view camera , high flash synchs etc

Most of these dont happen with a Proback though

And of course there are major disadvantages - poor AF low ISO ergonomics compared to a DSLR

I would only recomend a P20 to a stiching fiend or someone how has all the MF kit and will use it at a future trade up

IMO probacks are pretty dead now exept as a tool for trading in

Of course if you shoot square that is a whole different story

My recomendation is buy a P25 or better or keep it DSLR

SMM
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John_Black
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2008, 02:00:45 PM »
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As Mr. Moore explained, in landscape view the 36mm sensor is going to capture the same FOV with similar focal lengths.  With the medium format sensor there will be more FOV at the top and bottom, but I don't if that will really get you much unless shooting a square aspect ratio suits your style.

I went the route Sam suggested and purchased a P25.  There are pro's and con's relative to something like the Canon 1Ds2 (which had to be sold to help finance the back).  Getting a 3D look on the 1Ds2 wasn't that hard with the right lenses.  I had good results with the Contax C/Y 100mm F2 Planar and Contax 100/2.8N (converted to an EOS mount).  

If you like shooting with 100mm and alike, then working with a dSLR will get the job done in most cases.  If you wanted a wider FOV than 100mm on a full-frame dSLR, etc., etc. then the next option is something like a P25 or Aptus-22.

If I were being budget minded and wanted the most for my dollar, I'd buy a 1Ds2 long before a Kodak Pro Back.  The 1Ds2 bangs out great files with speed and ease.  Even the occasional 3D shot from time to time

All with the Contax 100mm F2 Planar on a 1Ds2 (the first on a 1Ds) ---





« Last Edit: January 14, 2008, 02:01:56 PM by John_Black » Logged

wcl4
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« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2008, 07:23:01 AM »
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If you crop a P20 sensor to 3x2 format of a 35mm dslr like the Canon 5D, 1DsII/III, or Nikon D3, your mp becomes more like the original 1Ds at 11mp. The P20 sensor is 4080x4080 pixels, so cropped to the 3x2 format, it becomes 4080x2720 = 11.1mp. The size of each of the pixels is 9 micron, far larger than the 1DsII size of 7.2, 1DsII 6.4, and even the 5D 8.2. I don't know what the Nikon specs are, but they have to be approximately the same as the 5D.

The larger the pixel size, the more light/information each can capture which results in the "3D" effect.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2008, 07:23:51 AM by wcl4 » Logged
shutay
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« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2008, 11:09:01 AM »
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I went thru much of this reasoning recently myself and eventually decided to get a serviced Hasselblad Ixpress V96C through the local Shriro office. I haven't had much chance to do much testing yet, but will be doing so in due course.

For me, I wanted something that would be versatile, but wouldn't cost too much. As it is, even a serviced V96C costs a considerable amount of money by consumer D-SLR standards, but I felt it gives me value for money if like me, you want to:

* Use it on your Bronica with a Hassy V adapter because the Bronica gear has sentimental value.
* Use it with Hassy V bodies.
* Stick it on a view camera with stitching back and do stitching, or find cheaper creative ways to achieve the stitching.

I don't know if any of the above makes any sense to anybody here, but I've got it and I intend to make the most of it! There are adapters that let you use Nikon or Canon D-SLRs on a view camera for stitching, but it requires too many separate shots, usually because of the depth of the D-SLR body, you lose good wide angle options, etc.

Later on, I also intend to rent a Silvestri Flexicam and see how that works for me. I have tried the back on a KaptureGroup TrueWide with some of my existing Nikon F-mount lenses and I am not convinced by this setup myself, although many lenses, including the Zeiss ZF lenses do have image circles that cover the whole 37mm x 37mm sensor.

If you're interested to know how I get along, PM me, and I can let you know what I find out. I suspect this is the sort of thing that you simply have to borrow or rent one and try it out and see if it represents value for you or not.
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yaya
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« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2008, 11:28:56 AM »
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I've been considering getting an older digital back, like the h20 or kodak pro back. Those backs have sensors which are about 37mm x 37mm. If I crop that square to a rectangular format, it will be about 37mm x 24mm - the same size as a full frame DSLR.

So what is different on the medium format back compared to the DSLR back? Someone please help me understand this....

For what its worth, the digital backs attract me because of the "3d feel" I can get with the medium format....

thanks
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=167107\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Maybe worth looking at a 17MP back which gives a rectangle 4:3 crop (41mmX31mm) so more pixels (at 9 each) are being used in most situations.

Yair
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lance_schad
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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2008, 09:35:58 AM »
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Maybe worth looking at a 17MP back which gives a rectangle 4:3 crop (41mmX31mm) so more pixels (at 9 each) are being used in most situations.

Yair
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

One key thing between DSLRs and Digital Backs is the bit depth. Most DSLR's have 12bit color (0-4096 shades of gray) and for example the P20 from Phase One has 16bit color (0-65k shades of gray) so you will have a broader dynamic range .Your color transitions will be smoother and such.

The Phase One P20 is an untethered solution, has a 9miron pixel and the chip size is 37mm x 37mm.

They are available as used / refurbished units as the P20 or new in the P20+ config. They are available for all the major MF camera platforms .

More info can be found at [a href=\"http://phaseone.com/Content/p1digitalbacks/P-,-a-,H-series/P%2020.aspx]http://phaseone.com/Content/p1digitalbacks...ies/P%2020.aspx[/url]

btw we have some pre-owned ones available.


Lance Schad
Capture Integration - Miami/Atlanta
Phase One Dealer of the Year
305-534-5701 office
305-394-3196 cell
877-217-9870
Capture Integration , Phase One Dealer
lance@captureintegration.com
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LANCE SCHAD - DIGITAL TRANSITIONS - Phase One,Leaf/Mamiya,Arca-Swiss,Cambo value added reseller
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thsinar
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2008, 07:42:06 PM »
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Just a little correction, Lance:

Colour depth and dynamic range are 2 different things: more shades does not mean higher dynamic range. The amount of tonal values (grey shades) can be compared e.g. with how many steps you have on a ladder with a given high. And the higher the ladder, the broader is the dynamic range.

Best regards,
Thierry

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Most DSLR's have 12bit color (0-4096 shades of gray) and for example the P20 from Phase One has 16bit color (0-65k shades of gray) so you will have a broader dynamic range .Your color transitions will be smoother and such.

Lance Schad
Capture Integration - Miami/Atlanta
Phase One Dealer of the Year
305-534-5701 office
305-394-3196 cell
877-217-9870
Capture Integration , Phase One Dealer
lance@captureintegration.com
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=173949\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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Thierry Hagenauer
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alexjones
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2008, 08:04:07 PM »
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I had a Kodak ProBack+ as my first back.  It was a great back for sure but with the advances in technology I think you will get a nicer file out of a current 35mm like the Nikon D3 or Canon.  Ease of shooting is another factor to consider.  A more current back would be a nice step up however.  A used Imacon 132c or similar would be great.  Dynamic range and bit depth make a nicer file all around.

Alex
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shutay
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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2008, 08:44:45 PM »
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I did consider a used P20 or P21 to start with since the allure of shooting to CF card was a powerful one, but (unless I got my math wrong) the prices being asked for it from the local PhaseOne dealer here in Kuala Lumpur were much higher than the prices advertised on Capture Integration's website, and consequently, although I realized I could have gone direct, I did worry about subsequent cross-Pacific support (sorry Lance / Chris!). Eventually, I ended up in Shriro looking at Hasselblad backs since they are located just a short drive away.

One of the concerns I had when looking at "alternatives" like a Nikon D3 or Canon 1D was that I felt that I was paying for all sorts of things that I didn't need, like weatherproof body, high speed continuous shooting, especially not when my idea of walkabout shooting is with a 6x6 manual SLR anyway.

Moreover, I shoot square or 4x5 aspect ratio most of the time. For me, 3:2 is already panoramic!
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AndreNapier
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2008, 09:43:51 AM »
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Once you have cropped down there is no difference

It is my opinion that the 3d look comes from a larger sensor that covers a field of fiew with longer lense and therefore has less deptho of field and pings the subject off the background

This will not occur with a 16mp cropped to rectangle


SMM
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=167122\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, I shot for a long time with LightPhase and H20 along side of the original 1Ds. I even went as far as putting Hasselblad V lenses on every generation of Canons via adapters to compare side by side using the same glass. In conclusion I will take H20 any time over any 36mm DSLR regardless of the pixels count. It is not because I like to make it hard for myself, nor is it because I need to show off with MFDB. It is purely because " the king is NOT nude" despite of some people see or not see for that matter.
Andre
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 11:34:44 AM »
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Well, I shot for a long time with LightPhase and H20 along side of the original 1Ds. I even went as far as putting Hasselblad V lenses on every generation of Canons via adapters to compare side by side using the same glass. In conclusion I will take H20 any time over any 36mm DSLR regardless of the pixels count. It is not because I like to make it hard for myself, nor is it because I need to show off with MFDB. It is purely because " the king is NOT nude" despite of some people see or not see for that matter.
Andre
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I agree. a cropped to 1ds size H20 file is probably superior - more bit depth - no aa filter blurring the image

BUT (and this is what my post said ) the perspectives of the two files will be identical

S
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Sam Morgan Moore Cornwall
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