Thanks, Axel for posting this.
I read the paper with great interest--I share much of their opinion of the current situation in MF. But other than "take another look at Mamiya", I didn't get much from it in the way of a call to action.
Perhaps some clarity from them on their intents to support which platforms would help some people with planning hardware purchases. Put another way, I wonder how many Hassy H3 or Hy 6 purchasers would have the luxury of deferring their purchases if they knew that Phase was planning support for their camera of choice?
I briefly skimmed over that PDF and though I respect some form of bringing current information to light, I don't really see this as any kind of statement that is that relevent to photographers.
Yes, it does look like Leaf, Sinar and Hasselblad are investing in proprietary systems and without knowing the behind the scenes facts it seems the intention is to lock Phase out of camera platforms.
From one standpoint it seems if the rival manaufacturer's can't beat Phase by producinga a better digital back or software they will push them out of the market through other means, but in the world of commmerce there really isn't nothing new about that.
Don't think Ford wouldn't wrap up a deal to be the only supplier of automobile tires if they could financially and legally do it.
I could see this coming the moment Imacon and Hasselblad got together so I moved to the Contax because other than the quality of the camera and the ability to add different lenses to a focal plane body, the biggest motivator for buying a Contax was they had no agenda, since they were closing down shop.
The Contax is well built and should last a long time, the Zeiss lenses legandary, the prices were good and nobody at Contax was going to write a new firmware to make my camera only work with a Contax digital back.
For me as a photographer this all seems like a non issue. As long as I can continue to produce this with a P-30 and a Contax then there is not much out there that would move me to invest tens of thousands of dollars more to make a change.
Still, if I was Phase and I was publishing an advertising vehicle, I wouldn't mentioned the competion, I would just make points of the positives of the product because IMO they have a lot of positives to mention.
I would also make note of while the other manufacturer's now have a vested interest to move you to one of their complete camera and body systems, Phase will still provide the option of going with virutally any camera you want.
I know I was suprised then I when I ordered my P-30 in a Contax mount I got it in a day, where the Leaf A-22 and later A-65 took many weeks and even months to get a contax mounted back.
If you step back and think about it for a moment, does anyone really believe that if the HY6 and the H3D disappeared tomorrow there are not more than enough supply of Mamiyas, Contax, H1's and H2's in the market place to keep you working for another 10 years?
And those are just cameras with dedicated digital interfaces, when you add in the Hasselblad V's the RZ non digital versions, Bronicas, etc., there are enough cameras to keep us working for a century.
Personally, I'm more concerned with the quality of the "film" the workflow, the stability of a camera back and the look and color it can produce than I am if I can't buy a new camera body in 12 months.
During the film days, few people invested in a medium format camera and lenses thining it was just an 18 month solution. Those were decade long purchases and looking at digital capture in the same light there is no reason that any medium format camera for sale today, used of new, cannot or should not also last another 10 years.