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Author Topic: The end of medium format ?  (Read 32484 times)
ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #20 on: December 03, 2012, 12:48:25 PM »
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Hi,

I guess that MF will be around as long as Dalsa and Truesense are around. Perhaps we see another MF sensor manufacturer in the future?

I don't really think that development of MF sensors is very expensive, so I guess it is more about a market large enough to keep production profitable. As Michael has pointed out, the market is not just professionals and wealthy amateurs but also museums and firms doing repro work.

On the other hand, I'd say it is pretty clear that small sensor technology has made inroads into MF. I used to be a MF shooter in the film days but was quite happy with APS-C and now full frame 135.

I also expect electronics to replace some of the technology of yore. For instance, I always hated the WLF (Waist Level Finder) on Hasselblad 500C and Pentax 67, but shooting waist level with swiveling LCD on my Alpha 99 is quite nice. Electronic viewfinders have just been around for a few years and I would expect them to improve rapidly. We probably also will see fully electronic shutters in some time.

Ultimately, I guess that the future of MF hangs on sensor availability. On the other hand I'm also pretty sure it is a shrinking market.

Best regards
Erik




I don't find the premise or the comparisons relevant.

There are only two MF companies, excepting a few ultra tiny body and lens makers, such as Alpa. These are Hasselblad, and Phase One / Mamiya / Leaf (really all one company).

Even these are very small, producing products in the low to mid thousands a year. Based on what I know about Phase, they are accommodating the marketplace quite well. While pro sales are declining, enthusiast sales are holding steady and even climbing in some markets. The museum, science, military markets also continue and even expand.

As for Hasselblad, I have no knowledge of how their sales are or what their plans are. The pimping up of OEM NEX cameras seems misguided at best, but stranger things have happened.

So, I wouldn't worry about MF. Leica is a player as well, and they seem to be selling every S2 and lens that they can make.

The industry just isn't about megapixels any more, from the point and shoots to backs. There are other metrics that potential purchasers care about. And in some markets, the ones where MF plays, price isn't foremost the way it is in mass markets. The wealthy amateur and scientific/military/museum segment is driven by needs other than simple price/performance analysis, or the availability of glitzy features.

Once film was over there never was a mass market for medium format, and there never will be. But mice do very nicely living almost invisibly among the feet of elephants, who hardly notice or care that they are there.

Just keep in mind that Canon makes more Rebels in one factory in a single day than the entire MF industry makes backs in a year. And that probably includes both gross profit and margin as well.

Michael
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tho_mas
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« Reply #21 on: December 03, 2012, 12:53:32 PM »
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MF has a different look
MF has a different crop ratio
MF has a big viewfinder
MF has finder options
MF has faster sync
MF has leaf shutter lenses
MF can shoot film or digital
...
- camera handling is different (MF has analogue cameras with buttons instead of dials digital menues)
- you can use the same sensor (DB) on different camera bodies (eg. on a 645 SLR and a tech cam)
- you can use different sensors (DBs) on the same camera
- you can shoot vertical compositions without rotating the camera (on some MF / LF models)
- super easy and fast sensor cleaning on DBs

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Guy Mancuso
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« Reply #22 on: December 03, 2012, 01:11:03 PM »
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While 80mp backs and tech cameras have an edge it is not all it is made out to be.  ... "nothing can touch it" ....  makes it sound untouchable.
However things are very close:

Here is a good comparison made by an IQ180 and tech camera owner that is also an experienced landscape photographer:

http://www.circleofconfusion.ie/d800e-vs-phase-one-iq180/

It gets even more interesting if we consider the lens used on the Nikon. It's not one of their best and somewhat due for an update.

here is how it compared with the state of the art in 135 format DSLR lenses.

Nikon 24mm pc-e @ f8


Canon 24mm TS-E @ f8

Then there is what has already been announced...... Zeiss is throwing it's weight behind very high end 135 DSLR format lenses in a manner that never have before.
The new 55mm f1.4 is a sign of what is on the horizon. MF makers are small and dependant on what Dalsa and Truesense make. Dalsa and true sense are more heavily inversted in other fields than MF enthusiat and pro photography. What they put out for Phase and Hasselblad is dependant on what they make for industrial applications for industrial equipment imaging systems. Dalsa was absorbed by Teledyne a giant industrial and defense contractor. Even if you go to their imaging website while the home page scrolls through many applications and areas it works in it does not feature enthusiast/armature or professional photography.

http://www.teledynedalsa.com/

While the MF companies have been in decline in the digital age, Zeiss has grown into a company with $ 5.5 billion of revenue.
The fact that they have thrown their weight behind motion picture and 135 format DSLR and pretty much have nothing to do with medium format
says a lot.


Thanks I have done all my own tests with all if Phases latest backs including the 180 and the best tech glass you can buy. My comment stands and no one else's test will change that. I have the T shirt.

I have the Nikon D800e and love the system but that takes nothing away from MF. They are different files.uch like when we said film vs digital. It's my conclusion it's now in that same vein it's CCDS vs CMOS. Each have there pluses and minuses but end of day I think a lot comes down to different types of sensor. Plus other factors as well. They both have there place and for Pros mostly we will decide what we need or don't need at any given shoot. Ill continue to buy or rent whatever it takes.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 01:26:14 PM by Guy Mancuso » Logged

FredBGG
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« Reply #23 on: December 03, 2012, 01:17:48 PM »
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Here's a though regarding tech cameras.....

Have you guys seen the new FF sony compact....

How about this as a tech camera system...

Modify the new sony FF compact and rig it as a two shot high speed stitch system...

Make a conversion lens to put infront of your Rodi or Schneider tech lens just for composition purposes that
changes the angle of view to preview your final two shot stitch so you can compose live view on the sony sensor...

Flip the preivew and composition converter lens out of the way, fine focus with live view off the sensor and shoot your two stitch shots
moving the sensor on the back of the tech camera.

The camera is small enough to make an automatic mechanism to do this.

48mp with higher dynamic range captures for not much money at all.

Hell the camera only coasts $ 2,800 .... probably less on the street.

Actually how about pairing something like this with the Canon 17mm TS lens. Two frame stitch-O-sonymatic ultra wide 48 MP shots.

Would be a damn good option for architectural photographer, product photographers. Certainly very interesting for the landscape enthusiast
with out a budget for an IQ180

Arca Swiss Sony colaboration maybe.... Wink
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 01:21:49 PM by FredBGG » Logged
JoeKitchen
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« Reply #24 on: December 03, 2012, 01:29:13 PM »
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I believe this post was started just to spark an argument.

I would like to add that I prefer to drive a standard.  I am only 30 and autos have been around far before I was born.  But something about a standard makes me feel so much more in control.  Especially when dealing with hills or nasty driving conditions.  Go figure. 
« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 01:39:17 PM by JoeKitchen » Logged

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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2012, 01:33:04 PM »
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Hi,

See below:

BR Erik


...
- camera handling is different (MF has analogue cameras with buttons instead of dials digital menues)

Well, Phase P45+ seems pretty much menu based, Sony Alpha 99 has plenty of buttons.

- you can use the same sensor (DB) on different camera bodies (eg. on a 645 SLR and a tech cam)
Yeah, that's great!

- you can use different sensors (DBs) on the same camera
Why? Even if you can afford two different sensors you would probably use the best one!

- you can shoot vertical compositions without rotating the camera (on some MF / LF models)
Yes, nice! You need a large image circle to support that! Hows wide are your wide angles get on that combo?

- super easy and fast sensor cleaning on DBs
Yes, of course! On the other hand, how much dust do you get on that big sensor? Some of the samples I have seen posted from MF were about the dirtiest I have seen. The IR filter on those sensor is exposed and easy to scratch.


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TMARK
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« Reply #26 on: December 03, 2012, 01:41:29 PM »
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Here's a though regarding tech cameras.....

Have you guys seen the new FF sony compact....

How about this as a tech camera system...

Modify the new sony FF compact and rig it as a two shot high speed stitch system...

Make a conversion lens to put infront of your Rodi or Schneider tech lens just for composition purposes that
changes the angle of view to preview your final two shot stitch so you can compose live view on the sony sensor...

Flip the preivew and composition converter lens out of the way, fine focus with live view off the sensor and shoot your two stitch shots
moving the sensor on the back of the tech camera.

The camera is small enough to make an automatic mechanism to do this.

48mp with higher dynamic range captures for not much money at all.

Hell the camera only coasts $ 2,800 .... probably less on the street.

Actually how about pairing something like this with the Canon 17mm TS lens. Two frame stitch-O-sonymatic ultra wide 48 MP shots.

Would be a damn good option for architectural photographer, product photographers. Certainly very interesting for the landscape enthusiast
with out a budget for an IQ180

Arca Swiss Sony colaboration maybe.... Wink

Rather than the Sony, the Sigma DP2M. 
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ErikKaffehr
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« Reply #27 on: December 03, 2012, 01:44:22 PM »
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Hi,

I don't think so. C't is one of the largest and most respected periodicals in Europe. That said, C't is a computer periodical and not about photography. They have photography specials that are quite good.

The views may just be different. I just got a mail from a photographer selling of his IQ180. He acknowledges the benefits of the IQ180, but he says he cannot see differences between IQ180 and D800E in prints up to 36" (without a loupe), the D800E has better DR and simply is more practical.

I'd suggest that we see a similar move from full frame or APS-C to micro 4/3. Once a technology is good enough it will compete, not on quality but practicality.

Best regards
Erik

I believe this post was started just to spark an argument.
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JoeKitchen
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« Reply #28 on: December 03, 2012, 01:49:46 PM »
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Hi,

I don't think so. C't is one of the largest and most respected periodicals in Europe. That said, C't is a computer periodical and not about photography. They have photography specials that are quite good.

The views may just be different. I just got a mail from a photographer selling of his IQ180. He acknowledges the benefits of the IQ180, but he says he cannot see differences between IQ180 and D800E in prints up to 36" (without a loupe), the D800E has better DR and simply is more practical.

I'd suggest that we see a similar move from full frame or APS-C to micro 4/3. Once a technology is good enough it will compete, not on quality but practicality.

Best regards
Erik


I would agree with you if only this was posted in some other sub-forum.  But to post a negative story in a sub-forum dedicated to MF will only start an argument. 
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Joe Kitchen
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"Photography is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent moving furniture."  Arnold Newman
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theguywitha645d
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« Reply #29 on: December 03, 2012, 02:09:28 PM »
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Lets face it, with the quality of APS-C and m4/3, 35mm is dead...

And don't forget the pundits that predicted film would be dead in five years in 2000...
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #30 on: December 03, 2012, 02:15:53 PM »
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... And don't forget the pundits that predicted film would be dead in five years in 2000...

It's not!?
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« Reply #31 on: December 03, 2012, 02:17:51 PM »
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It's not dead, it's just resting.
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tho_mas
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« Reply #32 on: December 03, 2012, 02:24:44 PM »
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you can use different sensors (DBs) on the same camera
Why? Even if you can afford two different sensors you would probably use the best one!
I shoot a P45 and P21+. The P45 exclusively at ISO50 and mounted on a tripod. The P21+ handheld and up to ISO800. And of course I shoot the P21+ when I need the somewhat faster capture rate (the P45 is sloooowww).

you can shoot vertical compositions without rotating the camera (on some MF / LF models)
Yes, nice! You need a large image circle to support that! Hows wide are your wide angles get on that combo?
on my tech cam I just rotate the rear plate with the DB attached to it... And then there is e.g. the Hy6 (6x6) and Leaf's rotating sensors...

super easy and fast sensor cleaning on DBs
Yes, of course! On the other hand, how much dust do you get on that big sensor? Some of the samples I have seen posted from MF were about the dirtiest I have seen. The IR filter on those sensor is exposed and easy to scratch.
I do see dust spots very rarely. I switch my backs back and forth on my tech cam and Contax all the time and I routinely blow (or wipe) over the sensor glass. This is why my sensor is mostly clean. I can't speak of other users.


« Last Edit: December 03, 2012, 02:26:21 PM by tho_mas » Logged
design_freak
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« Reply #33 on: December 03, 2012, 02:37:43 PM »
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MF has a different look
MF has a different crop ratio
MF has a big viewfinder
MF has finder options
MF has faster sync
MF has leaf shutter lenses
MF can shoot film or digital



MF has a different look - Yes it's true, but most people don't see it ( customers, especialy in magazines ) or just don't want to pay for it extra
MF has a different crop ratio - Yes, but somebody will crop it as well in post
MF has a big viewfinder - Yes, I love it, big, very bright.
MF has finder options - Yes it is very nice, especialy when you work with children
MF has faster sync - Yes
MF can shoot film or digital - Yes, if you have old MF camera like contax, hasselblad or mamiya etc. Now PhaseOne DF+ and Hasselblad HxD can't work with film, only digital....

35 mm camera
Has a faster AF
Has a better ISO range
Has a better High ISO IQ
Has a better price
Has a better battery
Has a better seal
Is faster


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torger
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« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2012, 02:43:53 PM »
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Lets face it, with the quality of APS-C and m4/3, 35mm is dead...

And don't forget the pundits that predicted film would be dead in five years in 2000...

In the worst case scenario MF will probably not go away, but may become just as widely used as scanning backs are today. My worries are that sensor development seems stalled, prices don't ever seem to come down, the market does not exactly look expansive, and the manufacturers don't seem to have the financial muscle to do something revolutionary, like a lower cost higher volume enthusiast MF product, or developing a CMOS sensor to make their cameras more practical and all-around.

I don't think APS-C or m4/3 is a real threat to full-frame 135 as it is today. Quality lenses are on the 135 format, and I think shot noise is a bit of a problem on the smaller formats, and 135 is not extremely expensive. The jump from 135 to MF is more difficult, some experience the quality difference as even smaller than between APS-C and 135 fullframe, and the price difference is huge, and the initial investment is also large.
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FredBGG
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« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2012, 05:04:07 PM »
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MF has a different look
MF has a different crop ratio
MF has a big viewfinder
MF has finder options
MF has faster sync
MF has leaf shutter lenses
MF can shoot film or digital



Interesting points.

Lets look at them:

MF has a different look
There are very subtle differences. Go and download the hi res files of a few side by side tests and see if you can see the difference.

here is a side by side put together by a forum member that downloaded one example.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=69391.0;attach=64261;image
You can download the high res here:
http://www.photigy.com/nikon-d800e-test-review-vs-hasselblad-h4d40-35mm-against-medium-format/

Larger formats do have a different look, but IMHO you have to go bigger than 645 to see it.


MF has a different crop ratio
Neither better nor worse. D800 can be setup to shoot 5:4
When I shoot fashion on white background I add white on the sides in post. Instant virtual gain of a few megapixels.

MF has a big viewfinder
Yes, but it's not that simple. For example if you are using a 44x33 sensor with a Phase One Camera the screen is actually quite small.
Hasselblad on the other hand has two types of prisms, one for larger sensors and one for smaller sensors.
High quality live view and HDMI output with the D800 in many situations is better than a large optical viewfinder.
Critical focus is far far better with d800 live view.

MF has finder options
Only some and they are not all that great.
Phase One DF and DF plus have no alternative viewfinder options.
You can do waist level viewfinder like work with rotating live view screens
or add on HDMI finders (often used in motion picture)
There is no high magnification moving loup viewfinder made by an MFDB manufacturer.

MF has faster sync
Not that simple.
Hasselblad tops out at 1/800th
Phase One with their better backs and a limited range of lenses tops out at 1/1600th
The D800 using FP mode reaches a high speed sync of 1/8000th of a second with the full range of Nikon and 3rd party lenses.
Each system require the right technique.
More details here: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=71679.0

MF has leaf shutter lenses
Not all they are made out to be.
Phase One needs both a focal plane shutter and a leaf shutter in order to use the leaf shutter.
Big focal plane shutter goes off along with the leaf shutter. You still have focal plane shutter vibration even if you are using a leaf shutter.
Phase One focal plane shutter has some reliability issues. JUst look at the warranty. Non leaf shutter lenses 3 years... leaf shutter lenses 1 year.
Hasselblad has Leaf shutter only but is limited to a fastest speed of 1/800th. Can be very limiting if shooting in strong light but you
want shallow depth of field.

MF can shoot film or digital
Not that simple. Phase One DF and DF+ do not support film backs.
Most Hasselblad bodies do not support film backs either.
Hy6 supports film backs
Mamiya RZ supports film backs

Plenty of 35mm film SLR cameras can be bought to shoot film.
Canon EOS film bodies work with EOS lenses.
Nikon too, not too sure about AF-s lenses...

IMO if your going to shoot film nothing beats 6x7cm and bigger.
I ditched Hasselblads to the Mamiya RZ67 years and years ago.

Any DSLR or MFDB shooter can add a very nice larger MF system to their kit
without Spending that much.

My choice is a combination of D800 for digital and 6x8 Fuji GX680 (film) and 8x10 film and paper negatives.
All three systems put together cost lens than just one medium range MFDB camera.

Now that said I don't think MF Digital is dead. It just isn't all it's drummed up to be.
You can choose between 35mm DSLR and Medium Format Digital and the quality is of the same caliber....
contrary to what the MF manufacturer's would lead you to believe.



 


« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 01:17:28 AM by FredBGG » Logged
bjanes
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« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2012, 05:58:04 PM »
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Lets face it, with the quality of APS-C and m4/3, 35mm is dead...

And don't forget the pundits that predicted film would be dead in five years in 2000...

John Maynard Keynes
: "in the long run, we are all dead". In the meantime, we all have to decide what to do with our lives. By the same token, 35mm and MFDB will eventually be superseded by other camera types, but in the meantime, both formats will continue to be useful for their intended purposes.

Bill
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K.C.
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« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2012, 11:42:51 PM »
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People, note that Fred, who is the loudest and most persistent nagging voice about the D800, has not given up his 8x10 or his Fuji.   When he posts his own images, how many his work images were taken with the d800?  I mean ones that he is proud of? 

Now you're on to something. With all due respect to those posting, the rest of the thread is information that has been rehashed time and time again.

Fred how about some recent work with your D800 ?

It would be refreshing to see you put something in a positive light.
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« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2012, 12:41:53 AM »
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Wait! Wasn't the Red supposed to kill MF?
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« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2012, 03:17:28 AM »
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You just knew that this thread was going to bash medium format and gosh . . . someone we know would post a long laundry list why a Nikon D800 is the best camera for chump change.

This race to the bottom is even more amazing because I'd just bet that the same people that bash the cost of equipment, probably yell the loudest over the lowering of professional rates and fees most photographers have negotiated through and around the last 4 years.

They're usually the same people that say a Hyundai is faster than a 5 year old Porsche for 1/2 the price.  That's true, but if they won the lottery tomorrow I doubt if they'd buy Hyundais.

Actually if everyone won the lottery tomorrow I doubt if Hyundai would exist.

Regardless I think in the professional world, most cameras have a place, in all formats and though the Nikon pundits constantly sing their praises I think we all should note that Nikon or any digital camera maker is not without their issues and faults.

Check the web on Nikon focus, skin tones, green lcd's, lens variations, manual focus and not everything is perfect in any format, including 35mm, regardless of megapixels.

Heck without lightroom, or C-1 the Nikon would be virtually unusable in the professional world because NIK software is at best slow at worst just complicated and dismal.

Anyway, I'm all for saving money, but I find no joy is hoping any company, especially wishing small professional camera companies lose their place in the market.

This week, we shot commerce for 5 days on a very compressed schedule and yes, due to time restraints and the creative brief I shot most of the images with NIkon and Canons, but when we could I used my Phase backs and just reviewing a few files tonight, I know the medium format files hold up better in post production.

I'm not looking at charts, or comparing frame rates but I am working real world images in a professional environment.

But as I review some of these pointed threads and posts I've come to the conclusion that none of this negativity is meant to inform anyone.  

In fact i have the opinion that the only reason for these posts is to stick a black mark in the googlesphere towards certain brands.

What a waste of time.

Just a note.  If anyone is thinking of buying and comparing don't listen to me or anyone, just test all formats of cameras yourself in as close to exact conditions you work.

I think you'll be surprised in the results.



IMO

BC
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 03:19:08 AM by bcooter » Logged
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