– the same thing applies in fashion, advertising and such. When the photographer is using similar gear to the camera that the art director or client may have at home and use for their personal work, a similar question arises. Using an MF system with high-end back changes that equation and seperates the pro from the rest of the pack. Perception often IS reality.
I've heard this a lot, usually from the sellers of medium format and I have very few instances where a client or AD would know the physical difference between shooting with a medium format camera or a Canon 1ds.
Maybe they would notice an RZ or a Fuji 680 but from an H series, a Contax or any 645 camera, physically they are not much different in size and look to the Canons.
After all, when you have 22 people on set and 3,000 lbs of lightinng and grip few people are looking at the camera, (or should be for that matter).
Actually what most clients are now riveted to is the computer screen and this is where the dslr's fall down in comparison to medium format and in my case especially the Phase.
Fast stable software, large accurate previews, the ability to edit on set and even process out jpegs while we contiue to shoot has become more of the norm than the exception.
Canon's 4 pin fw cable is problematic, regardless of the different tricks in mounting it and though C-1 is good with the Canon's it's obviously better with the Phase products.
Digital capture has now changed client expectations. They want to see the images in correct color and tone the moment they are captured and they want to see them large enough to make informed decisions.
Nothing is more costly or more of a buzz kill than to have the software crash or the camera disconnect.
One of my next projects one of the key clients will not be able to attend so we have worked with a system that allows them to see an html image of the session almost in real time, so attempting to do this with any system that is not rock solid would be a nightmare.
I know few photographers that enjoy being tethered to a cable and fewer still that thought that someday our "capture device equipment" would come in 3 or 4 cases, but that is now the reality and now the level of expectations of commercial clients.
If medium format makers want to distinguish their product from the dslrs, then most of them really need to up thier game in software, speed and camera to computer capture, viewing, adjustments and processing. C-1 is the gold standard but it also needs improvement and though V4 is suppose to offer all of this, in the world of digital I've learned until it's proven on set, it really doesn't matter.
The digital back makers also need to find a way to get more useable iso out of thier backs. Right now Canon is the high iso king and though the my P-30 works very well up to 800 iso, for real low light or using continuous sources the dslrs have abouit 2 to more useable stops beyond most medium format backs.
I agree it is not always an eithe or situation and thier is a place for two or maybe even three type of camera backs/systems.
Given that it is almost imperative that software, workflow and file acceptability be exactly the same from the dslrs to medium format.
Nothing iadds more post production time than taking files from two cameras and trying to match them in color, tone and rank, if your forced into using multuple processors and different types of workflow.
I know as I have gone through the process of owning and using a lot of different digital backs and cameras at the end of the day workflow is of equal importance to the actual capture and if the system is not stable or requries workaround just processing out jpegs from a shoot can take longer than the actual shoot.
In this repsect Lightroom is very good as it accepts most files, though until it allows for easy "fast" tehtering and previews C-1 is the most effecient solution.