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Author Topic: Hasselblad at Photokina  (Read 40324 times)
Nick-T
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« on: September 30, 2008, 06:41:30 AM »
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Just back from 9 days working with Hasselblad on their stand at Photokina and wanted to share some thoughts on the show.

First off the price drops announced on Monday.

It seems to me that the price of MFDBs has long been a subject for discussion (complaint) here on Luminous landscape and I'm surprised at some of the negative comments expressed. I was especially disappointed to see Michael use the phrase "fire sale" with reference to the Hasselblad price decrease announcement.

Michael to his credit has always been very clear about his close relationship with Phase One and I thank him for that, but do wonder if he has a slightly negative outlook on things Hasselblad. I should point out that I am a long time Hasselblad user, I run a large user group for owners, Alpha and Beta test software and was paid by Hasselblad to be at the show, so my opinions certainly are biased.

Michael wrote:

"As consumers we all like lower prices. But what will be the cost of this to the companies that make them and who find their margins and sales drying up? Desperation is contagious."

Dealers have always had lower margins on upgrades, and upgrades have always been the majority of sales made, with the new pricing the upgrade paths no longer exist. The dealers will be pleased about this as upgrades are complex and heavily discounted.

For existing users it would appear at first glance that the removal of the upgrade program would seem to be very bad news, however there is a rather significant silver lining.

Here is an indicative scenario:

Joe User wishes to trade his Hasselblad 22 product against a 39. Previously he could have traded his 22 in and paid  12 600 euro to upgrade to a 39. Now he now longer has a trade in but can buy a 39MP outright for 15 000.

For 2400 euro more he gets a 39 and can keep his 22 as a backup, which I think is a pretty compelling deal.

As for Michael's use of the word "desperation" I think if you had been at Photokina you would have disagreed.  The stand was very impressive, (I'll post some pictures in the next few days) and very busy. The sales figures for the show were absolutely extraordinary but I'm not sure the actual figure is supposed to be public knowledge, so you'll just have to trust me when I say it was substantial.

On to products.

I spent most of my time showing the HTS and Phocus 1.1.
The HTS is a very nice piece of kit (the one we were shooting with still has a few tweaks to be made) and 'Blad are expecting to ship in January (hopefully to me first:)).
The amazing thing (to me) about the HTS is that the movements (tilt/swing, rise/fall/shift and rotation) are read by sensors in the HTS and embedded in the files meta data so that Phocus can preform lens corrections.  The distortion correction is particularly impressive. The corrections work with any (of the 5 supported) lenses and or extension tube combinations.

Its also worth noting that the HTS works mechanically on any H body and digital back but without the significant benefit of Lens Corrections.

Phocus 1.1 is a solid improvement on 1.01 with performance enhancements and new features. Should be available in a week or so for download.

The new zoom (35-90 4/5.6 HCD) is great, about 250 grams lighter than the 50-110, thinner (but about the same length) and the AF is about twice as fast. The price is pretty eye-watering however (I'm told due to high R&D and use of aspherical glass).

I shot quite a bit with the new 50MP but cannot discuss some of it's clever features as yet as they are not quite confirmed.

Nick-T
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Dustbak
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« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2008, 07:01:37 AM »
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Good to hear the Photokina went well. I wanted to go on sunday but eventually decided to stay in my bed and get some sleep. Maybe next show that is a bit closer

I agree the abolisment of the trade-up program will be a good thing, eventually. Still I am very happy I can trade-up my 384 towards the 39MS under the old program

Especially considering I already have a backup CF39.

Is there any sight on stuff like a CF50? Or a 3" screen on the CF? I know I seem to be the odd one out that is using something other than the H3 but I am sure there are more of us

The HTS looks promising. Does it work with the H2F as well (with auto lens corrections naturally)? I assume it does but it would be nice to get this confirmed.
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flashfredrikson
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« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2008, 07:05:48 AM »
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Thanks for your report Nick-T!
May I ask you about the tethering performance of the H3dII together with Phocus 1.1?
As far as that goes I think I am quite spoiled using Phase normally, but the new pricing once again raises the question if the Hasselblad system is becoming a real alternative.
So if you shoot tethered, is there any buffer to hit or can you just shoot non stop till your harddrive is full like with c1? How quick do the previews show up and does the system keep it's speed or does it slow down after some frames? Is there a limit of captures in the shooting folder?

Anybody else who uses the H3dII for fashion is of course welcome to chime in here as well.

thanks,
martin
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SeanBK
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« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2008, 07:29:48 AM »
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............... It seems to me that the price of MFDBs has long been a subject for discussion (complaint) here on Luminous landscape and I'm surprised at some of the negative comments expressed. I was especially disappointed to see Michael use the phrase "fire sale" with reference to the Hasselblad price decrease announcement.
Michael to his credit has always been very clear about his close relationship with Phase One and I thank him for that, but do wonder if he has a slightly negative outlook on things Hasselblad. ..........

Michael wrote:
"As consumers we all like lower prices. But what will be the cost of this to the companies that make them and who find their margins and sales drying up? Desperation is contagious."
........................................
Nick-T
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Thank you for so delicately putting it, as we all do tread gently for comments like yours. I have been mulling for at least a few days over the same comments by Michael, as I too was quite disaapointed, though not surprised. Not surprised as Michael has in past (see his comments @ Hasselblad H3D) his total disdain, abhorrence toward everything Hasselblad. True he always ends his comments by mentioning he uses Hasselblad H series. I personally think his comments DO imply that Hasselblad is in financial trouble, hence the term "fire sale". But I am sure as everybody is quite aware, that as products gets more advanced, they do drop in prices. Just like our obsolete computers, film cameras & last years new fangled MPs cameras. Also R & D is recovered.
   Au Contraire, I strongly believe opposite is true, Phase One's alliance with Leica S series, shows that Phase One is again betting on the wrong horse. For life of me I can't believe too many S series Leica will be sold, other than testers, as they seem like ludicrously expensive for a product, that is just being developed. To quote James Russell,"Really what does it offer that a working photographer has to have?"
   I know Michael does not approve of rumours on this forum for which I applaude him, but there sure was innuendo or should I say "in your endo, Hasselblad."  
   I think it was brilliant of Hasselblad to drop their prices, as you don't know what H4D will bring? Tilting LCD screen like Leaf, Wifi capabilities, like Leaf. A complete new size sensor - left overs from Leica, or just preparing for the storm from economic meltdown, that may be compounded by Nikon MX/D3X ....
   But most of all Hasselblad is doing, what every ....Microsoft, Google does - make it tougher for competion to make profit - Business 101.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 07:34:27 AM by SeanBK » Logged
michael
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2008, 07:59:31 AM »
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All I care to add to this thread is that I call them the way I see them.

If this rubs some people (or companies) the wrong way, then that's just the way it is.

I avoid regurgitated press releases, company "positions" or popular (safe) positions. I like some products (and companies) and have issues with others.

It all comes down to a matter of informed opinion.

That's why they pay me the big bucks.  

Michael
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 08:44:01 AM by michael » Logged
ixpressraf
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2008, 08:55:30 AM »
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I also was at the Hasselblad boot and it was impressive. Nick explained the features of the HTS 1,5. I was very pleased to see how perfect this device works for most needed shooting scenarios. I will keep my TC but will ad the HTS to my working horses.
And for me, I could only jump as i heard about the new prices!!! Yep that's me making the jump                  
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Dustbak
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2008, 08:57:52 AM »
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I also was at the Hasselblad boot and it was impressive. Nick explained the features of the HTS 1,5. I was very pleased to see how perfect this device works for most needed shooting scenarios. I will keep my TC but will ad the HTS to my working horses.
And for me, I could only jump as i heard about the new prices!!! Yep that's me making the jump                 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=225753\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


Think about your bad back... this is going to cost you dearly
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BrianSmith
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2008, 08:58:42 AM »
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It seems to me that the price of MFDBs has long been a subject for discussion (complaint) here on Luminous landscape and I'm surprised at some of the negative comments expressed. I was especially disappointed to see Michael use the phrase "fire sale" with reference to the Hasselblad price decrease announcement.

Michael wrote:

"As consumers we all like lower prices. But what will be the cost of this to the companies that make them and who find their margins and sales drying up? Desperation is contagious."
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=225722\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Michael,

No offense, but calling price cuts "desperation" is about the dumbest thing I've heard.

This isn't a temporary price drop to boost sales for the quarter at a loss.

Rather it exposes just how bloated margins are on digital backs.

Hopefully it will also end the arrogant notion that a $45,000 digital back is better than a $33,000 digital back just because it costs more....

Is it desperation that both Canon and Nikon continue to make better cameras that cost the same or less than the last version?

If Canon operated the way that MFDB makers have operated the 1DsMark3 would cost at least $16,000.

If RED operated the way that MFDB makers have operated the RED would cost at least $200,000 and come with claims about how superior it was to Panavision.

I'm a Leaf user.  I frankly would have preferred to see Leaf beat Hassy to the punch. Rather than selling backs to Sinar at a discount, why not just sell them to consumers for that price?

Hasselblad's pricing is hardly "desperation."

Desperation is clinging to the notion that consumers aren't bright enough to realize that being over-charged doesn't make a product better...
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Quentin
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« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2008, 09:13:30 AM »
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If you've been working for 9 days on Hassy's stand, then with all due respect you are hardly in the position of an objective observer.

A 40% price drop indicates one of two things.  Either it is a fire sale to win business and market share, or there has been blatant overcharging.   Maybe its a bit of both, but I'm inclined to agree with Brian and run with the second option.  Either way, you don't normally see 40% price reductions unless its in the US housing market...

Quentin
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 09:15:35 AM by Quentin » Logged

Quentin Bargate, ARPS, Author, photographer entrepreneur and senior partner of Bargate Murray, Law Firm of the Year 2013
Dustbak
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« Reply #9 on: September 30, 2008, 09:27:36 AM »
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Nick already mentioned being biased

Naturally a price drop needs to be financed somewhere. Everybody is now clinging on the 40% but frankly the price drop is more moderate than that. Yeah... maybe 40% is to start with one of the products at the absolute highest suggested retail price. None of these products have been selling for that amount.

I haven't done calculations on it but it seems to be more in the range of 20-30% but there might be a thing in there that is 40% discounted not sure. To me the 40% seems a marketing slogan.

Another part where this price is financed is from dropping the trade-up program. Don't get me wrong, many people scooped up cheap backs solely for the purpose of trading up. I am quite convinced ending this program will be beneficial to both Hasselblad as well as new users. For cheap schmucks like me it is an initial bummer   However on the other hand this will create a larger 2nd hand market as well for those that initial do not want to invest into new equipment. I am also pretty sure this move will expand the market for MFDB's.

Putting it down as a move out of desparation? I for one am not convinced it is, even if it is I find it a move that shows guts and a willingness to change the status quo.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 09:39:05 AM by Dustbak » Logged
SeanBK
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« Reply #10 on: September 30, 2008, 09:34:04 AM »
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If you've been working for 9 days on Hassy's stand, then with all due respect you are hardly in the position of an objective observer.

A 40% price drop indicates one of two things.  Either it is a fire sale to win business and market share, or there has been blatant overcharging.   Maybe its a bit of both, but I'm inclined to agree with Brian and run with the second option.  Either way, you don't normally see 40% price reductions unless its in the US housing market...

Quentin
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 Was it iPod or iPhone, that they drop their prices avg 33%+/- & yet they are successful. If you were to do the actual math, than price drops are;
H3DII-31        $17,995  (was $26,995) - 33.3%
H3DII-39        $21,995  (was $33,995) - 35.3%
H3DII-50        $27,995  (was $39,995) - 30%
H3DII-60        $35,995  (New Product) -
H3DII-39MS  $30,995  (was $43,995) - 29.55%
CFII-39           $19,995  (was $27,995) - 28.57%
CFII-39MS     $28,995  (was $37,995) - 23.68%
   Really, the most important thing is compare these prices with Phase One's prices, even though I like the Phase One ( they have the same sensor as Hasselblad), I have better things to do with my money. Also if your business model is getting loan for your equipment, then read the headlines today, credit WILL be difficult to come by in future.
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Christopher
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« Reply #11 on: September 30, 2008, 09:49:31 AM »
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Was it iPod or iPhone, that they drop their prices avg 33%+/- & yet they are successful. If you were to do the actual math, than price drops are;
H3DII-31        $17,995  (was $26,995) - 33.3%
H3DII-39        $21,995  (was $33,995) - 35.3%
H3DII-50        $27,995  (was $39,995) - 30%
H3DII-60        $35,995  (New Product) -
H3DII-39MS  $30,995  (was $43,995) - 29.55%
CFII-39           $19,995  (was $27,995) - 28.57%
CFII-39MS     $28,995  (was $37,995) - 23.68%
   Really, the most important thing is compare these prices with Phase One's prices, even though I like the Phase One ( they have the same sensor as Hasselblad), I have better things to do with my money. Also if your business model is getting loan for your equipment, then read the headlines today, credit WILL be difficult to come by in future.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=225763\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What you have to think about is that you can get a P45+ or a Leaf or Sinar product for the same price. There is just no real "discounts" anouncements, but ask a dealer and you perhaps will be suprised on what quotes you get. At least that is the experience I have from Germany. Nobody is paying the list price of (I think it still is) 30,000EUR for a P45+.
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Dinarius
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« Reply #12 on: September 30, 2008, 10:02:48 AM »
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I would be very surprised if it isn't the case that, now that they have a complete system very much up and running (this wasn't the case just a few months ago. It took nearly 6 months for my 39Mp MS to arrive. Also, a few lenses in the range are very recent.) that Hasselblad are using their extremely deep pockets to flex their muscles, competitively speaking.

Don't forget who owns them!  

D.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2008, 10:03:16 AM by Dinarius » Logged
James R Russell
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« Reply #13 on: September 30, 2008, 10:21:47 AM »
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I haven't done calculations on it but it seems to be more in the range of 20-30% but there might be a thing in there that is 40% discounted not sure. To me the 40% seems a marketing slogan.
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It obviously is somewhat of a marketing slogan as if you shop around most dealers will discount, even prior to this annoucement.

Still, from an end users standpoint I think this Hasselblad annoucement is more than just a discount, it is new think in the world of medium format digital and maybe, just maybe digital cameras will go back to being sold the way film cameras were, where you walked into a camera store and bought a camera.

No secret handshakes, no having to know who is the one or two authorized dealers in your area and probably a lot less haggeling on price and no more dealing with an upgrade system that makes it financially unattractive to keep your old back and buy a new one.  

It's not just that this allows for backups but allows you to own even different backs or different cameras and backs, as you can come closer to affording to keep your current back and camera and buy a new blad without breaking the bank.

(never underestimate the need for backups).

I really dislike the upgrade system because once in, it's very expensive to make a change and if you use something like the Contax, your back down the list as to when you get your upgrade, sometimes way down the lists.

Let's face it even two h3dII-31's (did I write this correctly and if I did what a mouthfull), costs just slightly more than where one 22mpx back was a few years ago and this includes two bodies and two lens.

The only thing that would make me feel better about this is if the Hasselblad (and all the backs) would work on any camera, because with more options and lower prices medium format would grow rather than contract.

From a professional standpoint, it probably shouldn't matter what non professionals buy, but if the Hasselblad becomes more available (and given the fact the name has the bling factor) I think they will sell a lot more cameras which means more R+D for the line which means more options for the professional.

Let's be realistitic, if Canon and Nikon didin't have the consumer business to amortize their development a D3 or 1ds3 would probably be double the costs, have single point autofocus and top out at 800 iso,  if they existed at all.

So I see all of this a good thing, not a negative and it might just be the slap in the face that medium format needs to become more consumer friendly.

Given all of this, I'm probably not Hasselblad's or any medium format companies target market as what I presntly use is paid for and works and until medium format gets cleaner higher iso, (if they ever do) I probably won't buy another medium format back of any brand again, but if I was starting fresh, the blad would be the first on my list.

The prices are good and the lens line is not only extensive and buyable in most markets and there are rentals of the H lenses in just about every city.   Also Hasselblad has that 2.2 100mm which is perfect for about 75% of what I shoot.

The only two things I think Hasselblad should address is getting their software out faster and with more information (well, I guess this holds true for all medium format companies) and they should make the H series camera back fit on the V system because there is a lot of V-systems still in use and this would give even more usability.

Regardless of any of this, I wish them the best of success with this strategy because I think this is good for all of us.

JR
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DesW
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« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2008, 10:41:20 AM »
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Yoh Nickus!

Great Blurb--too much Blad not enough Seitz--where's my report I've been waiting for?

Des
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BJNY
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« Reply #15 on: September 30, 2008, 11:46:21 AM »
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http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=mZyWM_zpVuw&feature=related
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Guillermo
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« Reply #16 on: September 30, 2008, 12:20:29 PM »
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I really don't want to get sucked into this debate, but I'll add one thought.

Talk to a VAR who sells MF digital backs, and ask them about the cost of sales and support, and the margins that they need to provide these. Things aren't as simple as they might appear.

A box seller might do OK with 5-10% margin. Unless a VAR makes at least 20 points, and preferably more, they aren't going to stay in business long, and then where will you buy your back from?

And who's going to come to your studio and help out when something goes wrong, and where are you going to get a loaner when you have a raft load of expensive models and a pissed off art director breathing down your neck, and your back goes south on a Friday afternoon?

Michael
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amsp
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« Reply #17 on: September 30, 2008, 12:25:28 PM »
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http://es.youtube.com/watch?v=mZyWM_zpVuw&feature=related
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Every time I see the H-series it just blows my mind how Hasselblad could make such an ugly camera, especially looking at their elegant heritage. Ok, bring on the flames  
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Nick-T
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« Reply #18 on: September 30, 2008, 12:26:02 PM »
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A box seller might do OK with 5-10% margin. Unless a VAR makes at least 20 points, and preferably more, they aren't going to stay in business long, and then where will you buy your back from?

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=225793\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Who says Hasselblad's dealers aren't making 20%?

Nick-T
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« Reply #19 on: September 30, 2008, 12:40:29 PM »
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I really don't want to get sucked into this debate, but I'll add one thought.

Talk to a VAR who sells MF digital backs, and ask them about the cost of sales and support, and the margins that they need to provide these. Things aren't as simple as they might appear.

A box seller might do OK with 5-10% margin. Unless a VAR makes at least 20 points, and preferably more, they aren't going to stay in business long, and then where will you buy your back from?

And who's going to come to your studio and help out when something goes wrong, and where are you going to get a loaner when you have a raft load of expensive models and a pissed off art director breathing down your neck, and your back goes south on a Friday afternoon?

Michael
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Michael,

With all due respect I'm not against the dealer system, though if a photographer has their s^%t together they should have backups and know what to  do.

From the professional side, especially in the large markets, a lot of photographers have moved into the world of not really knowing their equipment, (not  just cameras) and rely on a room full of "specialists" to do everything.

Some of that is good, though regardless of anyone's personal business system, I think it's almost lazy that a photograher doesn't know how to work a digital camera and the software.

To begin with they are much easier than before.  Even ol' 3.78 with Phase is  pretty much a plug and play system once you've spent a day learning the software.  

Now as far as my system, I invest in my business including equipment.  From a lot of photographers I've been told for years this is foolish as the thought is rent it and "let the client pay for it", which is fine, I guess as long as the market is strong.

In the challanged times we have now, that becomes more difficult and surely less profitable for the photogrpaher.

For years I've had a system where every large project I buy something, maybe lights, maybe rollers, maybe a lens or a camera body but I buy it and roll it into the produciton.

Today the budgets I see from clients are still good, but very bottom line based and if you own your own equipment (and know how to work it) your in a much more competiitive and profitable situation.

As far as dealers and their tech help, well some are good, some are not so good, but the loaner system just doesn't work under large production.  After all who has a day to wait for a backup or even 4 hours.

Once again I appreciate the good dealers like Capture Integration and PPR and even Karen at Samys, (I am sure there are many others), but I can promise you if my Phase backs go down and whether I'm shooting in a studio in culver city or El Mirage they are not going to get me a camera in 30 minutes probably not in a day, especially in a Contax mount.

If you have your own backups and know your s*&t, you don't have a room full of pissed off art directors or models standing around talking on thier cell phones.

Still my way (and I'm not sayng my way is the best way, its just the way that works for me) is to know how to use what I own and though I hire gaffers, grip, assistants, swings, etc. I would not be comfortable not knowing how to do the artistic and technical aspects of my job.

As far as learning these systems go, if someone can't go on the web, download or read a few turtorials  (yours included) and not learn how to work this stuff, then why become a photographer in the first place?

I commend Hasselblad's price system and hope it continues.  It will put more pressure on the makers to make the euqipment eaiser to work, easier to own and allow the photogrpaher affordable backups.

In fact from your business model, I would think the more people that own equipment, the more market you have to sell your instructional videos.  If there were 25,000 hasselblad, or phase users you could turn out videos on how to work those systems.


JR
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