So I am wondering, what are your experiences and procedures with the Leaf back and focussing on a large format camera ; do you consider the Live Video feature any helpful ?
I'm a still-life photographer too and I could not live without the Live Video. You need it for fine focussing.
The Live Video on the Leaf is, to my knowledge the best there is at the moment, apart from having the Sinar shutter with their expensive, extremely bulky and heavy appendage that you attach to the front of the camera (at least that what it was like when I last saw it, it may have changed).
The Live Video is considerably, I mean considerably better than on the Hass cameras in my opinion, and the frame refresh rate is not too bad. However, I haven't seen it on the Hass 39 series backs as it was not implemented yet when I had the demo three months ago, so check it out for updates.
You just need to get used to how the Leaf Live Video works. You can get quite a nice and smooth monochrome image if you have exactly the right amount of light and contrast, but they are always extremely sensitive to light, so we use either ambient light, or just the light in the room, or a very dimmed modelling light, and it works. However, it needs to be diffused light.
If you are shooting high contrast, as for example a small item surrounded by a lot of white background, or a bright subject on black, you are going to have problems and you may need to shield some of the white (or black background) with a medium contrast piece or paper or picture, anything medium contrast, even an adjacent object or maybe a small colored box so that the area of high contrast occupies momentarity less of the frame.
Complicated? Well, to be honest, it's c*rap, but it is possibly the least c*rap of all there is, so you better get used to it!
I am told by someone who has seen the Phase Live Video that it's really primitive, but to be fair, I don't have first hand experience and things could be better, though don't hold your breath.
Given a workable software, (and I don't really like any of the software solutions for tethered) I would go for any camera back that offers an excellent Live Video, as it's so essential for still life. I think you will probably find that the Leaf one, once you get used to it, will do the job... The dongle addition is a joke, it should all be part of the camera, they are expensive enough as they are, without having to pay for these little extras, particularly since you still can't use it with LC10 (but hopefully soon you will) but that's another question.
But I'd like to hear whether Sinar has actually improved on their shutter, or whether it still is that heavy monstruosity that I saw, which, together with view camera, back, etc, made the whole system weigh more than a small child!