I'd like to make a few comments about Eduard de Kam's recent review of the Mamiya ZD.
He starts off the review by suggesting that the design of the camera implies that it can be hand held. Having said that he then says "I was not content with the handheld shots made with the ZD. Using a 200 mm lens and a shutter-speed of 1/320 sec I did not expect to have problems, but unfortunately, this was not the case."
Well I never would expect what is basically a medium format camera to be hand holdable. The design, Pentax 6X7 like, is just it's shape, and I don't infer handholdability from that. I know that I wouldn't hand hold the Pentax for example, at least not if I wanted sharp images.
More to the point why start here? A line in the middle of the review that went "I found this camera less handholdable than the Hasselblad." would have been fair. To start with this implies that the ZD is not a sharp camera, and if it's not sharp nothing else matters.
Yet the fact that his Hasselblad delivered sharp images at roughly the same shutterspeed as the ZD is moot. His greater familiarity with the 'blad, a better day, or even a conscious/unconscious desire to see that Mamiya fail could account for that. Handholding with ANY camera is going to be subjective. You are testing YOUR ability to handhold the camera, not the camera itself. Put the camera on a tripod, use a cable release and determine what the camera/lens will do with as little of the shooter in the equation as possible.
Of course you need a tripod for this camera, but you do for EVERY camera. If this camera was being marketed as a replacement for newshooter's 1D Mark IIN then handholding mght be an issue, but it's not is it?
He also comments on the relative superiority of the Hasselblad. "A H1D with either a Hasselblad, Leaf, Sinar or PhaseOne digital back costs quite a bit more, but the images are of a higher quality.That will likely be because the lenses are better, and maybe because of the way the software does its job."
This gives me pause. First off I don't think that he did a side by side comparison of the Mamiya with those digital backs. He doesn't say which specific digital back he's referring too either. OF COURSE the 39MP back will outperform the 22MP of the Mamiya. Will the 22MP Phase One? Possibly but I think that this is anecdotal, not imperical evidence.
How do the lenses fit into this evaluation, "...most likely because the [Hasselblad] lenses are better ..." In both case he's guessing that the Hasselblad backs and lenses are better BECAUSE THEY SHOULD BE, and not that they really are. My experience with a 6X6 transparency shot with a Zeiss 80mm f2.8 and a Mamiya-Sekor 80mm f1.9, both shot on tripod and both at middle apertures produced identical transparencies.
In sum I think that this review was superficial, leading off with a serious criticism that is subjective at best and continues with far too many assumptions about the competition.