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Author Topic: Pentax 645D: The Interview  (Read 13948 times)
dng88
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« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2010, 08:36:12 AM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
I just hope they've got a buddy down the street though, that'll give them a hand in setting up the camera with those Japanese-only Menus.

...

The camera body is in English.  Someone in Hong Kong has been up there and looked at the menu and found that it has an option that it can be tailored to Traditional Chinese (the Taiwan / Hong Kong Chinese not the mainland Chinese).  There are picture of the menu in this other language.  I would be shocked that the camera cannot be had menu in English now.  

The interview is really super.  It answered a lot of questions which interested persons want to ask.  

The background is Pentax has been one of the pioneer in camera (M42, K, 67, 645).  In those days, as observed by Michael, it is one of those maker who actually has some in-house photographer doing the design (the PL lens can be rotated with hood on etc.)  Also, it is the one camera brings the SLR experience to the Medium Format as in the past.  Also, unlike Mamiya, it has done quite a bit of business in digital camera as well, both consumer (and up to K7 etc.).   It is also cool headed as the demo of this kit has been around for many years. It did not do the 999 thing.  It knew its niche and concentrated on it.  Of course one has to actually see the picture for this kind of "investment".  But we should be open minded and hope for the best.  Diversity is great!

Thanks for the interview once again!


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michael
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« Reply #21 on: March 17, 2010, 08:40:53 AM »
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..."and ten grand seems inappropriate for a stills-only camera for the masses"

You're absolutely right. But the Pentax 645D, as are all other medium format cameras, is not intended for the masses. It's targeted at a very specific speciality niche of the marketplace, and as such is appropriately priced and speced.

As for video, medium format does not need or want video. It needs Live View, and that will come as soon as CMOS sensors of the appropriate size are available with appropriate image quality, which is still likely 18 months way according to those that know how this technology is maturing.

The reason that video is meaningless in medium format is that the image size is too large and DOF is too narrow. Cinema likes narrow DOF, but even a full-frame camera like the 5DMKII is too shallow much of the time. Also, even a reduced frame 645 sized sensor such as that in the Pentax is larger than iMax, not something that too many people need or are even capable of handling.

Michael
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John R Smith
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« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2010, 09:01:45 AM »
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Here at work in the Archaeology section of the Council, we would certainly be interested in this camera. We have a film Pentax 645 which we use for archival recording of historic building interiors and exteriors, so we already have a set of three lenses - wide, standard and short tele. This digital version sounds as if it might be ideal for aerial photography, and at a very competitive price.

John
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Hasselblad 500 C/M, SWC and CFV-39 DB
and a case full of (very old) lenses and other bits
gwhitf
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« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2010, 09:12:09 AM »
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Quote from: michael
..."and ten grand seems inappropriate for a stills-only camera for the masses"
You're absolutely right. But the Pentax 645D, as are all other medium format cameras, is not intended for the masses. It's targeted at a very specific speciality niche of the marketplace, and as such is appropriately priced and speced.

I just think we have a different definition of "the masses". To me, when you buy an ad in PDN or PopPhoto, you're selling to the masses. When you're Bill Maxwell or Peter Gowland or that weird Littmann guy, you're not selling to the masses.

All I'm saying is: there is a window right now where ten grand seems like The Deal Of The Day, and people are standing in line with their checkbooks out, and yet, Pentax says, "We're gonna use Japan as a beta test, and consider worldwide later on". I'm just suggesting that "later on", ten grand is not going to be an acceptable price point for the masses. In eighteen months, it's going to be more like $2699, (if it's not already now).

For the record, I want this camera to win. But now is not the time to be meek, and just put your toe in the water. Now is the time to sell a bunch of cameras to the world.
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ziocan
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« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2010, 09:21:15 AM »
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Quote from: gwhitf
I just think we have a different definition of "the masses". To me, when you buy an ad in PDN or PopPhoto, you're selling to the masses. When you're Bill Maxwell or Peter Gowland or that weird Littmann guy, you're not selling to the masses.

All I'm saying is: there is a window right now where ten grand seems like The Deal Of The Day, and people are standing in line with their checkbooks out, and yet, Pentax says, "We're gonna use Japan as a beta test, and consider worldwide later on". I'm just suggesting that "later on", ten grand is not going to be an acceptable price point for the masses. In eighteen months, it's going to be more like $2699, (if it's not already now).
With all due respect, I think with the 2699 limit, is quite off and too Canon centric.
Even 10k for a camera that will have a life span of at least 4 years and will still be sellable for a few grands e replaced with the latest model, is very very affordable.
In 4 years time there is no way the any DSLR maker will be able to provide the image quality of a 40mp larger sensor.
Considering that the handling and responsiveness of this pentax, is closer to a smaller DSLR than the MF dinosaurs it is actually competing with, the few extra thousands required to get it, is a non issue for who is the intended customer of camera like these.

There are folks already willing to land at the Conrad or Park Hyatt in Tokyo doing group tours to get one, go figure how  fast they will fly off the shelves even with a 10k tag.

I would not put too much faith in Nikon or Canon to compete on image quality with a 40mp sensor of larger size. As today, current offering of 21mp + FF DSLR from C, N, and S, cannot deliver the same quality of a 5 years old 22mp MF back.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 09:38:15 AM by ziocan » Logged
Peter McLennan
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« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2010, 09:31:26 AM »
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Quote from: John R Smith
This digital version sounds as if it might be ideal for aerial photography, and at a very competitive price.
John

If it's anything like the Pentax 6X7 system, it will be a superb aerial camera.  I used the 67 system for aerials for many years.

The 645D image size is huge.  Google "Wikipedia, IMAX" to see the scale of this imager.
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KLaban
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« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2010, 09:35:06 AM »
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I might as well post here what I've just posted elsewhere.

Make no mistake, unless it turns out to be a dog, which is highly unlikely, this Pentax is a game changer.

The 1.3 crop sensor is no good for my own applications, but for many out there the mere thought of a 40MP MFD camera for roughly a third of the price of the competition will have them drooling.

All those folk who have been seriously thinking of going the MFD route but have baulked at MFD prices will now sit on their wallets until the Pentax is released worldwide and then the fun will begin to see if they can actually make enough of them to meet demand.

Good on Pentax!
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hcubell
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« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2010, 09:50:52 AM »
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I was just thinking. If Pentax can sell a 40mp 645D for $10,000, is there any reason why they can't sell a 60mp version for say $15,000? Interesting choice at that point. A fully integrated DSLR form camera with a 60mp chip, in-camera sensor cleaning, 3" high resolution LCD, fully weather sealed, and shoots both JPEGS and Raws simultaneously, but you cannot tether. All for $15,000. Or, a Mamiya DF with a P65 or an H4D-60 for $40,000, and you can take the back off the camera and put it on a view camera or a tech camera and also tether? My guess is that many who have purchased or are considering the purchase of the P65 or the H4D-60 would opt for the Pentax, particularly if they did not already own a Mamiya or H system with lenses and a good trade up program. The Pentax at that price point would also open up a whole other market of customers who would not think of paying $40,000 for any camera but might dig deeper and pay the premium to get 60mp.
Of course, if the IQ of the Pentax 645D is flawed in significant ways compared to Phase and Hasselblad, all bets are off.
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vandevanterSH
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« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2010, 11:01:32 AM »
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It's targeted at a very specific speciality niche of the marketplace, and as such is appropriately priced and speced.
*********
That would be me...I was willing to pay $9+K 4 years ago to upgrade my legacy Hasselblad kit to digital.  I won't spend the $20k for a HD4-40 or the $14k for a CFV-39...$10k for a 40MP Pentax is within my psychological threshold for serious consideration for purchase.  I suspect that there are enough hobbyists,  with a similar financial threshold,  for the Pentax to do well, again if it performs as expected.

Steve

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JeffKohn
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« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2010, 11:20:40 AM »
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One thing's for sure. Hasselblad's hype about the $20K H4D being the camera that will finally win over the hordes of high-end DSLR shooters to MFD looks pretty stupid now, doesn't it?
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bcooter
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« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2010, 11:57:46 AM »
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Quote from: hcubell
I was just thinking. If Pentax can sell a 40mp 645D for $10,000, is there any reason why they can't sell a 60mp version for say $15,000?


I think your going the wrong way on those numbers.  What someone needs to do is make 60mp for $8,000.

Anway since I'm in the advertising biz and advertising is just a reflection of popular culture I have these thoughts;

I'm not too sure that "medium" format matters, or even full frame 35mm, cause it's all probably gonna be 3d anyway.

http://cyanatrendland.com/2010/02/03/3d-ed...ldovino-barani/

If they can find a way to show it where you don't have to wear those funny glasses.

http://tinyurl.com/ydepacx

Or maybe we won't sell stuff with photography at all.  Just Epoxy product all over the planet for people to try out.

http://cyanatrendland.com/2010/03/17/ikea-...metro-stations/

Or maybe we'll just shoot videos with no logos, no tag lines, or reference to who made it.  Sounds like perfect product placement to me.  

Think of these videos for goth clothing, or maybe plastic food wrap.

http://cyanatrendland.com/2010/03/17/the-iamamiwhoami/

Then of course there is the part where the camera doesn't matter at all, it's just self promotion, or in this case self immolation (if the following is true).

Warning, rude, explicit material in the following link.

http://cyanatrendland.com/2010/03/17/the-o...rry-richardson/
__________________________________

Sorry to go off track, but reading Bernhard's interview the Pentax people don't make any sense to me.   If there really are 2,000 nature photographers bopping around Japan just waiting for a digital solution for their dusty ol' pentax lenses
and all of them actually buy this camera that's 20 million bucks in sales.

If this is true then aren't there another 4,000 nature guys around the world with the same $10,000 burning a hole in their pockets?

We've heard forever the whole reason for the price of expensive digital cameras with just economy of scale, so if they can sell 2,000 of these things for that price, wouldn't selling 6,000 of them drop the price below a Canon 1ds3 or 4?

But that 2000 unit sales equals 20 million bucks just kind of warps my head and makes me think, how much would it really cost to make the thing tether to pick up another 2 or 3 thousands sales from  pro . . . fessional photographers?

Maybe the teams of geniuses at Pentax looked into their crystal ball and realized by the time they get this camera boxed up, out the door and shipped around the world, Canon will probably have a 30 mpx 5d3 that sells for $2,000.

IMO

BC


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tsjanik
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« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2010, 12:27:37 PM »
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Quote from: bcooter
If this is true then aren't there another 4,000 nature guys around the world with the same $10,000 burning a hole in their pockets?

We've heard forever the whole reason for the price of expensive digital cameras with just economy of scale, so if they can sell 2,000 of these things for that price, wouldn't selling 6,000 of them drop the price below a Canon 1ds3 or 4?



Maybe the teams of geniuses at Pentax looked into their crystal ball and realized by the time they get this camera boxed up, out the door and shipped around the world, Canon will probably have a 30 mpx 5d3 that sells for $2,000.

IMO

BC
Pentax no longer has worldwide support in place; the cost to set that up for an unproven product would be huge and risky.  I think it makes perfect business sense to introduce it while minimizing support costs.  If the camera world changes in a few years, at least they got back their R&D; if not, they expand the offerings at little financial risk
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uaiomex
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« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2010, 12:38:43 PM »
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I'm under the impression that once they get the camera tetherable, they will start worldwide distribution.
Eduardo

Quote from: tsjanik
Pentax no longer has worldwide support in place; the cost to set that up for an unproven product would be huge and risky.  I think it makes perfect business sense to introduce it while minimizing support costs.  If the camera world changes in a few years, at least they got back their R&D; if not, they expand the offerings at little financial risk
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bcooter
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« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2010, 01:02:22 PM »
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Quote from: uaiomex
I'm under the impression that once they get the camera tetherable, they will start worldwide distribution.
Eduardo


I was under the impression that Pentax sold them little cameras round' da world.  They gotta' have some kind of support for those.

In fact as long as somebody can fix something fairly quick (see CPS) . . . (don't see Leica), if the camera is logical and fairly intuitive you don't need support.

If you got your act together your gonna have back ups in place anyway.

I've never called a camera store and asked them how to set a 1ds on JPEG + RAW, or how to zoom into the LCD.

I kind of thought that was my job to figure it out.

BC
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bcooter
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« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2010, 01:06:35 PM »
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Quote from: michael
..."and ten grand seems inappropriate for a stills-only camera for the masses"


The reason that video is meaningless in medium format is that the image size is too large and DOF is too narrow. Cinema likes narrow DOF, but even a full-frame camera like the 5DMKII is too shallow much of the time. Also, even a reduced frame 645 sized sensor such as that in the Pentax is larger than iMax, not something that too many people need or are even capable of handling.

Michael

I'm not an engineer, but I'm not too sure about that.

If you've ever cut a video with an ad agency and clients everyone starts cropping.  You'll here "can we pull in on the face another 25%, now let's move down and do a separate cut of the hands.  Yea, that's cool".

I hate to say it but now in still and motion, it's a post production world.

Also F8 on a smaller than 645 format camera and 55mm lens pulls a lot of depth of field.

For video ( on a professional level)  I'd love to see a real 3k or 4k  file that went to the same high iso as the 5d2, whether it was 35mm or 645.    3k seems like overkill until you really start moving stuff around and at 3k if the conditions are right, you can probably pull a decent still out of it.

(What I would really love to see is a compression scheme that worked seamlessly in Avid or FCP without having to render or convert, (but I guess that's another subject).

I think the reason your seeing so much shallow depth of field on all the 5d2 videos  is just because video guys have been stuck with tiny, tiny little 3 ccd chips forever and it's just junky madness that has sent all of  them shooting their 5d2 at F 1.4.

They had never held a camera that would actually show focus falloff and once they looked at the back of the 5d2 they went wow, F 2.8 is cool, let's try 1.2 and see what that looks like.

That will all settle down eventually.

What I think is Pentax missed the mark.  They kind of wanted to be the amateur medium format back killer, but they could have been the RED, Canon and MFDB killer all in one.

I think Canon is the 400 lb. fat guy in the room and it seems most everyone lives in fear, or anticipation about what they'll do next.

Ask any photographer if they're gonna buy a RED and they say uh well, I'm kind of thinking about what the next 5d is gonna be like, or for that matter ask any professional photographer if they don't own something made by Canon and there will probably only be 14 hands that go in the air.



IMO

BC

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fredjeang
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« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2010, 01:08:11 PM »
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Quote from: michael
..."and ten grand seems inappropriate for a stills-only camera for the masses"
As for video, medium format does not need or want video. It needs Live View, and that will come as soon as CMOS sensors of the appropriate size are available with appropriate image quality, which is still likely 18 months way according to those that know how this technology is maturing.

The reason that video is meaningless in medium format is that the image size is too large and DOF is too narrow. Cinema likes narrow DOF, but even a full-frame camera like the 5DMKII is too shallow much of the time. Also, even a reduced frame 645 sized sensor such as that in the Pentax is larger than iMax, not something that too many people need or are even capable of handling.

Michael
When sensor will be available, I'm sure they will do it anyway at one point.
Maybe will emerge a new language from this extreme narrow DOF  
But what happen if we mount cinema lenses let's say on the future P65 2 CMOS???
Also, what could happen is dedicated cinema backs totally different that the ones for steals.
Just speculating

Fred
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gwhitf
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« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2010, 07:05:25 PM »
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Quote from: uaiomex
I'm under the impression that once they get the camera tetherable, they will start worldwide distribution.
Eduardo

The odd thing is: I'm betting this entire (already shaky) MF marketplace has now ground to a complete halt. Here we are in March, and this camera not shipping (in Japan) until May, (if then).

The guys that were on the fence about the H4D_40 now feel the rug pulled out from underneath them. No phone calls were made today to lock down a P.O.

The guys that took delivery on other cameras, now looking at themselves in the mirror and wondering what they've done, and checking their Bank Statement to see if the check really cleared the bank.

Suspended Reality.

I miss those days when Apple Computer announced a computer in the morning, and that afternoon, it could Fedex out from SmallDog.com. That day. In that business model, the world kept on turning, and a camera was actually judged on its performance merits, rather than by its marketing department's ability to announce. These MF companies just keep leapfrogging each other's announcements, and in the end, nobody actually buys anything, for fear of yet another announcement before your own camera is ever delivered. I call for a Truce within the industry -- when you've got something on the Dock, ready to ship, then announce it; until then, STFU.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2010, 07:25:08 AM by gwhitf » Logged
eronald
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« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2010, 07:08:42 PM »
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The 1Ds4 will be announced next month, a pro dealer told me.

Edmund

Quote from: gwhitf
So let's say the 1ds4 hits the streets this fall, worldwide, at $7999, with both awesome video and awesome RAW stills? The time to get that Pentax on the streets is now, worldwide, while the window is still open. Because just like the P65+ at $42,000 for back only seems ludicrous -- at some point, the Pentax at ten grand is also going to seem ludicrous.

Flood the market while you can.
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Edmund Ronald, Ph.D. 
pschefz
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« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2010, 07:42:09 PM »
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so pentax has a 40mpix ccd, no video for about 9000 (maybe less street).....this most likely produces considerably better still files at base iso then the soon to be announced
canon 1ds4, which is probably 30mpix cmos, HD (maybe uncompressed) video (maybe up to 60fps)....and the obvious advantages of DSLR.....for about 8000....
the 5DII shoots 24fps HD video, (according to rumors a coming firmware provides uncompressed video via HDMI) and everybody has one especially for 2400$....

who will get the ds4? sport shooters might, but the file is too big, they just bought the d4 anyway....
and let's not forget the 5DIII will give the same (maybe even better) file in a couple of months later for 25% of the price....

i think a lot of people would rather go for a 5DII/pentax combo, have all bases covered (video and superior stills) for the same price...

if phase/hass/mamiya weren't shaking in their boots, they should be after reading this interview.....

pentax seemingly waited patiently and now are going in for the kill....and it will be easy for them.....

is the 645d my dream camera? not at all, but i am much more likely to buy it rather then a 30mpix canon (if it delivers and unless the canon has something outrageous i can't imagine now...)

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« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2010, 08:08:34 PM »
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sorry,

I'm joining this discussion kinda late, but I've been following it since it started, and I'm very excited about what I've been reading. This interview was an eye-opener to a camera, that IMO, will be a game changer.

let me 1st say though, I'm a current college student, a photo major here in LA. I know that many of you participating in this thread are established pro's, so you're looking at it from a standpoint of "will this give me and my clients what we need/want for a reasonable price?", please correct me if I'm wrong.

since I'm a student, and making photographs is my passion, I've been considering getting a 5dII, as my 1st digital solution in cooperation with my MF-film kit, as well as LF(when time is permitting,etc...). I've really wanted to go to MF digital, since 35mm never really felt "right" in my hands, but I've gotten so used to the quality and the "look" of MF film, that its been hard starting to shoot assignments, and my own work, with a digital solution that can match MF film quality.

After this camera was announced, and at the supposed pricepoint($6500), I almost jumped for joy, thinking "hey, this camera I can (almost) afford, and it can get as close as I can afford to MF/LF film!

I know that many of you will answer with, "film, wtf is film?", but since I picked up an RZ kit for less than a grand, and since then have added a few lenses, I'm still less than the cost of a 5dII body, much less in terms of price. The thing that really gets me about digital capture(at least to my eyes), is the creaminess of it, its just smooth(when done right obviously). And the 5dII with L-lenses is a great camera to shoot with, light and fast, and easily bump it up to 800 or 1600iso, and shoot available light into the dusk, no problem.

motion ain't my thing, yet,  but as BCooter and others have made us aware of, going from a stills to motion camera is about a 5 min change. Easy as that.

so, for my stills-only game, from a student's standpoint, this camera is a game-changer. PHASE, MAMIYA, LEAF(P1), watch out, once this camera hits stores I think it'll fly. And when it gets to the US, it'll rock!

just my $.02, from a budget-limited student of photography.

-Dan
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