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Author Topic: Phase One Takes Controlling Interest of Mamiya  (Read 17975 times)
Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #40 on: March 27, 2009, 08:45:47 AM »
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Quote from: Steve Hendrix/Phase One
Here is a little more detail on a few topics -

First, I will have to say, as Michael indicated, it is unknown what the actual investment amounted to and whether that resulted in a controlling interest stake. And I say this primarily for Howard's benefit .  

But regardless of that aspect, the investment was substantial, and the result is that the rudder for Mamiya R & D, pricing, distribution, marketing, etc is now being steered by Phase One. We obviously have had R & D input for some time, but this raises the stake much higher than input, and control of distribution, marketing, etc, puts us in a very "driving the bus" position.

Regarding the Leaf Shutter lenses, we have promoted the Phase One Camera (AFD-III) as Leaf Shutter ready. This means no cables or special adapters are required. It may be possible that a firmware update is necessary. But if you're on the fence and wondering if you should go forward on a P1 Camera system right now because of compatibility concerns, the P1 camera (AFD-III) is compatible with those lenses.


Steve Hendrix
Phase One


I would still like to see a new body that is more ala DSLR style with better ergonomics and some additional features. But that wish list is a separate thread. More than anything here and maybe what has been glossed over a little is Phase is moving forward in some really tough times and more importantly a company for current users that will survive and we can grow our systems. People tend not to look forward a few years from now as our bodies start to age we need replacements and without taking a complete bath on a new purchase we still have our lenses and accessories and avoid the I have go out and replace the whole system with another brand scenario. It is very costly switching systems, trust me I know this all to well. I wish Phase a lot of luck and i have a good feeling they will be pushing a lot of new products through the door soon.
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gwhitf
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« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2009, 09:03:34 AM »
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I think the first order of business is for these guys to decide where they're going to place this new camera in the marketplace. I see at least two forks in the road: (1) A weekend-warrior camera, aimed at advanced amateurs, but where PRICE is the main driving factor, or (2), a true, solid, hard-working professional camera aimed at the H market and the rental market, but where price is secondary and QUALITY is primary. If they choose (1), then there's not that much work to be done. If they choose (2), then they've got their work cut out for them, and few tiny firmware upgrades are not going to overcome the general professional perpection out there that the Mamiya camera is a plastic-feeling, non-workhorse, shutter-lagged camera, that cannot be fully trusted in true pro advertising situations.

Many pros once owned the film version of the Mamiya 645, and they remember the lackluster build quality. Those memories do not die quickly. And then, you pick up those plastic-feeling lenses of today, and you don't think hardworking pro camera -- you think Adam Sandler Wedding Camera.

So it's Mamiya's and Phase's choice to make. But in this challenged economy, I'd probably pick the first option, slap some duct tape on it, and sell as many as they can while MF is still alive.

As we all know, Perception can be greater than Reality, so if Phase wants to remove the Edsel perception of that camera, they need to start from the ground up. Every time I see a picture of that camera, my first thought is PLASTIC, which is not a good thing.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 10:02:00 AM by gwhitf » Logged
Ed Jack
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« Reply #42 on: March 27, 2009, 09:45:18 AM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
I think the first order of business is for these guys to decide where they're going to place this new camera in the marketplace. I see at least two forks in the road: (1) A weekend-warrior camera, aimed at advanced amateurs, but where PRICE is the main driving factor, or (2), a true, solid, hard-working professional camera aimed at the H market and the rental market, but where price is secondary and QUALITY is primary. If they choose A, then there's not that much work to be done. If they choose B, then they've got their work cut out for them, and few tiny firmware upgrades are not going to overcome the general professional perpection out there that the Mamiya camera is a plastic-feeling, non-workhorse, shutter-lagged camera, that cannot be fully trusted in true pro advertising situations.

Many pros once owned the film version of the Mamiya 645, and they remember the lackluster build quality. Those memories do not die quickly. And then, you pick up those plastic-feeling lenses of today, and you don't think hardworking pro camera -- you think Adam Sandler Wedding Camera.

So it's Mamiya's and Phase's choice to make. But in this challenged economy, I'd probably pick A option, slap some duct tape on it, and sell as many as they can while MF is still alive.

As we all know, Perception can be greater than Reality, so if Phase wants to remove the Edsel perception of that camera, they need to start from the ground up. Every time I see a picture of that camera, my first thought is PLASTIC, which is not a good thing.

 So what about a Leica S2 competator then ? Basically a ZD update, but with all phase technology and maybe even smaller (why not use the 39MP chip whillst you are at it). I assume that using the P65+ chip would not only make a compact MF system prohibitively expensive as a "fixed system" package, but may also even starve P65 sales. A product based on the now no-longer flag-ship P45+ would be a real good business decision, especially if you can bring it in around the sme price as the S2 (approx $10K). this sort of Uber travel camera or in the field camera might be a real winner, especially if use the best battery technology around and a good LCD on the back of the thing too.

I say go for it.

EJ
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KLaban
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« Reply #43 on: March 27, 2009, 09:51:36 AM »
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Quote from: Ed Jack
...especially if you can bring it in around the sme price as the S2 (approx $10K)

$10K?

Dream on.
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TMARK
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« Reply #44 on: March 27, 2009, 09:54:56 AM »
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Memo to Phase:  Think RZ.  A digital RZ, perhaps smaller, that takes the RZ/RB lenses.  A flexbody type RZ as well.  I use the RZ system as my exclusive digital system, with a Leaf 54s H mount back.  A friend sold me his 54s really, really, really cheap.  Its H mount, so I bought the H to RZ Leaf adaper, and man, this set up is superior to almost all of the MF cameras out there, for my needs.  Only the AFi/Hy6/6008 is better but, at the time I gave up on MFD and went all Canon and film, absurdley expensive.  

Isn't it odd that two of the best MFDB camera systems (Contax and RZ) are ancient (for digital) designs?  I hope Phase can do something with the AFd series.  I love my AFd for film, but its a dog with Digital.  The AFd2 was better built and had the * AF-on, but the shutter lag was just stupid and frustrating.  I hear they have addressed this issue somewhat with the AFd3/Phase camera.  If I ever get a new MFD system it will probably be an AFi/Hy6, but then again, it is too much of an investment (mainly lenses because you can't rent them anywhere) in this brave new world of media disintegration.

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Jack Flesher
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« Reply #45 on: March 27, 2009, 10:13:39 AM »
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Quote from: KLaban
$10K?

Dream on.

You know, it could be like Leica to offer the body for $10K (though I agree that's it's HIGHLY unlikely )...  But of course if they did, the lenses will cost $10K each too LOLOLOLOL!
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 10:15:33 AM by Jack Flesher » Logged

James R Russell
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« Reply #46 on: March 27, 2009, 12:36:23 PM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
I think the first order of business is for these guys to decide where they're going to place this new camera in the marketplace.


Who does Phase market this camera to?

Well, imo, anyone who's mindset is stuck in 1994, because the AFDIII or IV may be an improvement on the AFD but not in the looks department, and regardless of what body works with what leaf shutter lens, as of today there are no leaf shutter lenses for sale for this camera, so it's not really an issue.  They're promised, they probably will come but right now the only leaf shutter lens anyone has seen is under glass in Japan and requires a babbelfish translation.  When they do hit the streets  there will also be asterisks involved.  1/800th of a second becomes 1/400th and dealers are changing their websites as we speak to reflect this.

Until Phase/Mamiya have a whole range of these lenses it probably doesn't matter what body they go on and since nobody is talking price you can just assume that two of these lenses will cost more than a D3x and by the time they hit the street a D3x will probably become a D700x, sell for $2,800 and have full high def video.

Now if Phase wants to sell these cameras to the country club set, they need a new logo.  Hasselblad and that red dot Leica carry some weight at Pebble beach, but I doubt seriously if anyone other than the Brooks students that valet the cars knows what a Mamiya, Phase One or Phamamamayia is and even if they do, they can't afford them.  If Phase really wanted the seminar set they should have latched on to the HY6 demanded it be called a Rolleiflex and sold it like an Aston Martin at an almost  Ford price, not a Ford at Aston Martin prices.

If Phase is selling to the pro fesssion al advertising photographer, then they need some more straight talk and better start listing sell dates and prices, rather than posting strategic alliance pdfs.

Everyone is aware that Hasselblad already has Leaf shutter lenses in place, has a large dealer network and most importantly was the first to address price.  That's a tough combination to beat.

 I would also suggest Phase make these cameras durable and get these things in rental because I don't have the exact numbers but I doubt seriously if most high end cosmetic ads shot with a 39mpx camera is owned by the photographer, at least in the all important micro world of New York City.

Times have changed and the shake out is just starting.

My "close" personal friend BCooter compared medium format to the bloods and crips and that's too modern of a comparison.  Medium format is like going back in time and watching the jets and the sharks fight over some territory in New York and not realizing that New York is now BMW 3 series and over leveraged Condos, and the kids riding the subway to NYU (prime advertising consumers), are wearing Justin Timberlake jeans and reading and blogging on I-phones and blackberrys rather than  Levi's, the NY times and Life Magazine.

Medium format talks 16 bit, vs. 14bit, 1/3 stop more DR, micro/macro image detail, but the truth is medium format sells megapixels instead of usability and selling file size is not a growing business.  Ask Getty and Corbis how many high rez jpegs they sell vs. web sized 72ppi and you'll understand that web based advertising is the only growing segment in the ad biz and web based advertising doesn't require 60mpx.

Ask Getty, Corbis, Hasselblad and Phase how are sales, because even in today's economy they should be good, because there are more photographers than ever, more use of images than ever, more places to display the images than ever.   That should equate the higher sales of cameras and images, not less.  If the sales are good, then keep gong down the same path, but if not, then it's time for a rethink.

Actually the medium format biz needs to learn how to market at ground level.

Canon got it right (or lucky, or both)  with Vincent La Forte and his 2 minute nighttime video.  Vincent probably sold more 5d2's than every dealer on the planet with just a one evening shoot  because that is a camera, hobbled or not, that has something that looks like the future attached to the price.  The problem is while Canon and Nikon are making hybrid still and video cameras, medium format is trying to make basic lenses and $5,000 tilt shift devices.

I know the traditionalists, especially on this forum will scream to high heaven about dslrs and moving imagery, but if the image is captivating, the story is unique, the presentation is compelling people will watch and in the  visual image game getting people to look at anything past 30 seconds is considered a win.  Even if the user never turns on the video of a 5d2, they still get 22mpx for the price of a medium format lens.

But if it's uber detail  you want, make a petition to Canon and Nikon to offer a non AA filtered camera, because I've always believed a lot of the oversharp look of medium format comes as much from no aa filter as file size.  Try a Leica M8 and you'll understand.

Today I got an e-mail from one of the first digital techs in NY who has moved to LA and now offers his services for the Red.   This is a smart guy who has worked at this biz for a long time and he sees the future and realizes if he's going to drop 40 grand for a camera and 4,000 hours of learning curve it needs to do more than sit on a tripod and take pictures of trees or models on a white cove at the Piers.


JRR


 

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sdai
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« Reply #47 on: March 27, 2009, 12:54:23 PM »
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Like I've said in my first reply to the thread, if Phase/Mamiya could revive the original ZD with a 36x48 (or even larger, close to 645 FF) sensor, the map of medium format world will be completely redrawn.

Re. marketing, P1 could use their own brand name for the premium segment, on a detachable back etc. while retaining Mamiya as a brand for the mid-low end mass market.

Once you get volume, price will come down ... no one does this better than Japanese companies. The S2 is just a wrong bet, nothing to look at really ... I had very high hope with it at the beginning when rumor says Phase was behind it.

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jimk
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« Reply #48 on: March 27, 2009, 01:03:15 PM »
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hasselblad wont go back to open format  hey equate it with as told to me by a hassy rep "will canon allow you to put a nikon chip on their camera or vice versa? thats why we wont allow other chips on ours "
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feppe
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« Reply #49 on: March 27, 2009, 01:25:47 PM »
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Quote from: jimk
hasselblad wont go back to open format  hey equate it with as told to me by a hassy rep "will canon allow you to put a nikon chip on their camera or vice versa? thats why we wont allow other chips on ours "

I'm sure this (extremely poor) justification is not widely shared by Hasselblad employees. Such reason sounds like a 5-year-old justifying to his mom why he's going to jump off a bridge.

Then again, I've thought about this myself, and find it hard to justify closing the system in this day and age from the financial POV. If Hasselblad was like Apple (ie. closed from the beginning), it wouldn't be so drastic. But being open, then closing it, burned a lot of goodwill in the user base.
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Ed Jack
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« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2009, 01:41:56 PM »
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Quote from: Jack Flesher
You know, it could be like Leica to offer the body for $10K (though I agree that's it's HIGHLY unlikely )...  But of course if they did, the lenses will cost $10K each too LOLOLOLOL!

We can but dream, maybe $20K is more like it ?  

I am sure i heard the S2 was going to be $12K (which is what I meant to type), but as you suggest that is body only, maybe I'll have to fashion a pinhole lens out of a bit of card then   ?!
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sdai
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« Reply #51 on: March 27, 2009, 02:57:01 PM »
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IMO many people don't buy Hasselblad's "closed concept" simply because they prefer the Phase backs, imagine now Hassy opens up their interfaces they're probably looking forward to losing at least half of their installations.

Looking at the flip side, Phase says their interfaces are open, open to whom?  Hassy closes up already, Rollei is on its death bed, the only viable option is Mamiya anyways.

I'm not trying to make a judgment whether this practice is good or bad ... speaking on my own behalf, the choice is always MINE so I couldn't care less.



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EricWHiss
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« Reply #52 on: March 27, 2009, 04:00:30 PM »
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I would have been ecstatic to see Phase partner or become majority investor with F&H and work with the Hy6 platform.  It just seems weird to me to see probably the best digital back maker tie themselves up to the camera platform with the least going for it ( hold your flames - this is only my opinion nothing more         ).
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 04:00:46 PM by EricWHiss » Logged

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sdai
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« Reply #53 on: March 27, 2009, 04:16:55 PM »
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Quote from: EricWHiss
It just seems weird to me to see probably the best digital back maker tie themselves up to the camera platform with the least going for it ( hold your flames - this is only my opinion nothing more         ).

Never mind, Eric ... it'll become the platform with the most going for it from now on (let's hope so).  
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mcfoto
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« Reply #54 on: March 27, 2009, 05:20:30 PM »
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Hi
A few years ago in July of 2007 we saw 2 people from Hasselblad, they came from Europe. They were talking to certain professional photographers here in Sydney, I guess to see what we all were shooting with. At the time we said Leaf/Mamiya but in the end what they were most concerned about was Canon. They felt that Canon in Australia had the biggest penetration in our market, They could not believe how many photographers were using Canon. They said in Europe there were more photographers using MFD. What I found most interesting is that these Hasselblad guys were not talking about Sinar,Leaf & Phase. They felt thee competition was from Canon. Well I know the guys really well at Canon here & they have been having some record sales lately. With the 5DII I think they have caught up with demand now. Also Nikon has come back big time too since 2007.
Denis
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Denis Montalbetti
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« Reply #55 on: March 27, 2009, 06:15:13 PM »
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Quote from: BJNY
I wonder if Hasselblad would open back up their H platform


Oh I would certainly pay to have that happen with Phase Backs

Those Mamiya/Phamiya bodies are a POS!

Add that to the C1Pro V4. debacle--mores the sad

DesW
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Let Biogons be Biogons
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« Reply #56 on: March 27, 2009, 06:26:11 PM »
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Maybe they will give us a digital Mamiya 7...

:-)
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HarperPhotos
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« Reply #57 on: March 27, 2009, 09:06:40 PM »
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Quote from: DesW
Oh I would certainly pay to have that happen with Phase Backs

Those Mamiya/Phamiya bodies are a POS!

Add that to the C1Pro V4. debacle--mores the sad

DesW

Gidday Des

Gee isn't it interesting that you think the Mamiya/Phase cameras are a POS whereas I think they're great, but then personally, I think the only good use for a Hasselblad/Fujiblad is a paperweight.  

Hope you're enjoying the diving on the Barrier.

Cheers

Simon
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Simon Harper
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DesW
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« Reply #58 on: March 27, 2009, 10:18:48 PM »
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Quote from: HarperPhotos
Gidday Des

Gee isn't it interesting that you think the Mamiya/Phase cameras are a POS whereas I think they're great, but then personally, I think the only good use for a Hasselblad/Fujiblad is a paperweight.  

Hope you're enjoying the diving on the Barrier.

Cheers

Simon

Ha Simon,

My seconds will be touch-- the choice of Elephant  shall be yours!

Des
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #59 on: March 27, 2009, 11:47:10 PM »
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Quote from: sdai
Never mind, Eric ... it'll become the platform with the most going for it from now on (let's hope so).  

Well that's sort of my point - how long have Mamiya shooters waited for leaf shutter lenses and now just getting 1/400.   Plenty of better cameras out there already much more developed with wonderful lenses.  Sure Mamiya has a few nice lenses now but which ones have leaf shutters?   Anyhow go ahead and wait a few years - you still won't have half of what Contax and Rollei shooters have had for 10 years or more.    And if Mamiya comes out with a new camera body and new lenses do you expect them to be cheaper than used Rollei or Contax lenses?  Probably not.....  So go ahead and wait. It's always your choice.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2009, 11:47:45 PM by EricWHiss » Logged

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