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Author Topic: If you were purchasing a new MFD camera today, which would you choose?  (Read 14390 times)
Anthony R
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« on: January 25, 2012, 11:41:41 AM »
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I've been out of the loop as far as new medium format backs and camera systems. The P45+ as far as megapixels is sufficient for my needs. I am curious about Phase One's current line up, of which I know nothing about.

The Hasselblad systems are attractive, however I am adverse to Phocus, especially when it comes to delivering raw files to clients as they have and are familiar with C1, etc, but not Phocus. I'm also unsure of my tethering options.

If you were to buy today, which would you choose? I shoot beauty and hair primarily, quickly.

Thanks in advance.
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hasselbladfan
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« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2012, 12:00:44 PM »
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No doubt, the H4D40, since there is a great promotion going on.
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Anthony R
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« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2012, 12:12:33 PM »
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No doubt, the H4D40, since there is a great promotion going on.

How about tethering and the proprietary raw processing?
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Anthony R
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« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2012, 12:26:28 PM »
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Also, I have a gig in a week and a half and I'd like to rent a potential contender for purchase. I normally tether to C1.
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Juanito
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« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2012, 12:37:06 PM »
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Money no object? I'd get a Hassie 4Dx. You get the Hassie camera and lenses plus the open platform. Best of all worlds.

I recently tested the Hassie HD40. I liked it. The Phocus software seemed easy to use and did what I needed. The images can also be processed directly through Lightroom - which is my processing software of choice. Color was comparable to what I've been getting out of my Leaf back. The True Focus system worked great. Images from the HD40 were noticeably sharper than those from my H1. High ISO - to 800 - was usable.

John
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yaya
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« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2012, 12:38:16 PM »
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Naturally (note my signature) I would recommend either an Aptus-II 8 or an Aptus-II 7 on a 645DF. Both tether into Capture One and shoot very fast (the 8 is probably the fastest back currently) and produce excellent skin tones

Check out Shay Kedem's work He uses a 645DF/ Aptus-II 8 combo. There's also a good range of f2.8 lenses with a leaf shutter in them plus the incredible 150mm/ f2.8

Good luck and enjoy!

Yair
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Josef Isayo
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« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2012, 01:14:44 PM »
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If you photograph people the Hasselblad has a big advantage with True Focus and simply the best skin tones I've ever seen.
The H4D 40 would be my first choice.

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EricWHiss
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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2012, 01:16:36 PM »
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While there are some that like Phocus, I also prefer C1.  

The 645DF body is the weak link though - what a terrible viewfinder, poor sync speed, lots of vibration, and the viewfinder stays dark for an eternity between frames which makes it difficult for fashion or beauty work - all IMHO.  Once you've used another camera you won't be happy with the DF.  People keep saying that Phase is coming out with a new camera but they've updated the DF already several times and it still has lots of limitations.  Unless they toss that platform and start new, its going to still be behind other camera platforms.  

Personally, I'd go with an AFi with Leaf back or the Hasselblad 4-xx and learn to use Phocus.  It's not bad, just different.

 The AFi and the H are the most advanced cameras out there.  You can buy the AFi body's from DHW or other places new and get the leaf back.   If you had to get a mamiya for a phase or Leaf back to get C1 software, then pick up an RZ with phase or leaf back.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 01:19:00 PM by EricWHiss » Logged

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KLaban
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« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2012, 01:28:54 PM »
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If you were to buy today, which would you choose? I shoot beauty and hair primarily, quickly.

Saying what I would choose is of no value to someone shooting beauty and hair.

If I was looking to shoot beauty and hair using MFD then certainly, no question at all, I'd be using an H4D-40.
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Anthony R
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« Reply #9 on: January 25, 2012, 01:30:14 PM »
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Thanks for all the opinions and info thus far. Does no one want to jump in and speak about a Phase One camera/back situation? I used to shoot a P30+ on Contax.
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bcooter
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« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2012, 01:33:23 PM »
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Thanks for all the opinions and info thus far. Does no one want to jump in and speak about a Phase One camera/back situation? I used to shoot a P30+ on Contax.

I only have deep experience with two brands, Leaf and Phase.  Love the look of the Leaf file (processed in photoshop) disliked the reliability of the back as it went in 4 times for major issues and/or replacement.

Leaf stood behind it, but it was a problematic day in day out tool for me, so I went with Phase.

My two phase backs have never had an issue and are even more viable today than they were when I bought them, as the software keeps improving, capture pilot for remote is great and the backs are solid, especially in tethering.

Since I use Contax and have a lot of backups, cameras aren't really my  problem today.

Knowing this if I decided to buy another medium format camera I'd either go Hasselblad or Pentax.

Hasselblad's 40 mpx camera because it goes to 800 clean and phocus produces beautiful skin tones and because the price of the h4d 40 is pretty good.  (Not great but good).   The main reason I would go to Hasselblad is the lenses and bodies are in rental world wide and they make an autofocus and fast 100mm which is a real go to lens.  Also Hasselblad has a mobile App and I hear that Phocus is finally stable.

The Phase/Mamiya DF I'm not in love with and doubt if I ever will be.  The real issue of that body is the prism doesn't remove.  That is a feature I use all the time on the Contax and when you need it, you really, really need it.

Now I'd amend all the above if the Pentax would tether and had a mobile app, because I believe the $10,000 price point is where these cameras should really be, (even though the Pentax also has a fixed prism).

BTW:  I love the mobile apps to the I-pad.  It makes the lcd on the camera irrelevant and finally stopped everyone from standing around the computer station.


IMO

BC
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 01:37:16 PM by bcooter » Logged
EricWHiss
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« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2012, 02:20:37 PM »
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Thanks for all the opinions and info thus far. Does no one want to jump in and speak about a Phase One camera/back situation? I used to shoot a P30+ on Contax.

Why did you give up the p30+ on Contax and what would you want different from that?   You won't be getting that much better in terms of higher Usable ISO with a new back and possibly not a big difference in DR either.  As others have pointed out, the Contax might still be a better body than the current phase offering. 

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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2012, 03:00:56 PM »
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Thanks for all the opinions and info thus far. Does no one want to jump in and speak about a Phase One camera/back situation? I used to shoot a P30+ on Contax.

I own the PhaseOne IQ180, and simply everything about it works perfectly. It works 100% smoothly with the PhasOne 645DF as well as very well with technical cameras. The IQ180 works great as a whole, touchscreen is not an issue and works just as well as it is advertised too. Shooting tethered is a breeze, simply throw the cable into the back, and into the firewire port of your computer, fire up C1 and your good to go. I could not recommend it any more thoroughly. You can read my full review of the camera on my website:
http://brianhirschfeldphotography.com/2012/01/14/phaseone-iq180-a-love-story/

Although, something else to consider is the Leica S2, I am considering purchasing this camera as well because it is considerably more compact then the PhaseOne 645DF and might be nicer to use at some times. However it offers about 1/2 the megapixel count that the PhaseOne IQ180 does, if you are looking in the 40mp range of cameras, I would certainly consider the Leica S2, since I have been more impressed with its performance and image quality then I have with the Hasselblad / PhaseOne / Leaf / (Pentax) systems in this range. also reviewed in depth on my website

That said the Hasselbald backs in the H4D-50-60 range are very good although I am less inclined to like the ergonomics to the Hasselblad H cameras, I owned a H3D-39ms for a couple of years, and it was a very good camera, and yielded me some very nice images (the half of the equation that was in its control; equipment) however I was never fully satisfied with the ergonomics and overall feel of the camera body. Oddly enough though, the lenses were absolutely some of the best built I have ever seen (in terms of exterior build quality) and there internal parts did not leave me wanting either. Their autofocus was on par with all medium format cameras, and their optics were stunning, especially for me the 50mm 3.5, 100mm 2.2 (this lens almost made me stay Hasselblad) and the 300mm f/4.5. you can also read about these cameras and lenses on my website in the Hasselblad section.

If you have the opportunities to use all of them that would be the best, but if you are going off of things you can easily rent, then Hasselblad and PhaseOne are the most common in rental houses, however based on your location its also possible to find other cameras like the Leica S2 (as well as the Pentax and leaf's).

thats my two cents.
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evgeny
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« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2012, 03:06:14 PM »
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I tested both 645DF with Leaf back and Hasselblad H4D-40.
The H4D-40 is the winner system. This includes much better camera, one battery (Mamiya/Leaf uses 2 batteries), less weight, better construction of lenses (at least to my taste), better true focus, and so on.
Price difference is too small to consider 645DF.
I sold all my Contax 645 kit with Leaf back and went to H4D-40.
C1 should not drive your choice of camera system.
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2012, 03:08:06 PM »
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did you switch because of the 645DF or because of the leaf back? Also, I prefer two separate batteries because this means if the body sucks out all its power, the back doesn't turn off.....
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craigrudlin
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« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2012, 03:12:04 PM »
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Consider the Leica S2 if you want the ergonomics of a DSLR with impeccable build and remarkable lenses.    The price is a factor, but the quality of the images is remarkable.  They have a depth, a three dimensionality and micro-contrast that is exceptional.  It can be tethered to Lightroom.  Leica hasn't released as many lenses as the other brands, but the ones they have are, well, Leicas.  I migrated from
the Nikon world, and the S2 just felt perfect in my hand-- there was no difficulty or awkwardness in the handling of the body.  I found
the Phase too bulky, too awkward (granted I do not shoot in a studio).  The H4D40 was better, but the viewfinder was not as good
as the S2.  In fact the viewfinder in the S2 is the best of the MF cameras I tried.  This is important, because I find myself manually
focusing far more often than when using a 35mm DSLR.  The difference is that manual focus is easy, fast, and accurate with the S2
(at least you don't have to release a clutch like with the Phase!)
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EricWHiss
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« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2012, 03:20:00 PM »
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I'm surprised with all the people who think the DF body is good enough and wonder what kind of shooting they do.  I found it near impossible to be happy with this camera for shooting people.  The viewfinder is limiting both because its tiny and dim and also because of the long black out between frames.

The one feature of the leaf that is wonderful is the revolving sensor - this is great for switching between portrait and landscape modes on the fly.  I can't believe how much I use that.
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fotometria gr
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2012, 04:05:53 PM »
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I think I would choose either a P1 or a Hassy! If I was to buy new that is....
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Brian Hirschfeld
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« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2012, 04:07:08 PM »
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I think I would choose either a P1 or a Hassy! If I was to buy new that is....

If you can get it down to two cameras, then I would have to say it pays to rent them both if you have an assignment or are going on a trip (rent 1 not both) and use it for a week or however long you are away, getting to know the camera more intimately will help you make your decisions.
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evgeny
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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2012, 04:09:51 PM »
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I switched because Contax AF is too slow, not always precise (as my Sinar M), and about useless under low light.

I replace battery with a fresh one of exactly same type. This is the H4D advantage. 2 batteries is all I used till now for longer photo sessions.
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