I will say that on this and other forums, Thierry has been more than helpful with mine and others questions and issues regarding Sinar (including advice of looking on ebay or buying used, when it makes sense), his behavior has been far and above what I would expect of any rep.
The medium format camera reps and dealers that visit this forum offer good service and response. Yes they want to put a positive spin on their products, that's their job, but you don't have to go far to find someone who hasn't received direct benefit from their public and behind the scenes contributions and I wish them all the best.
It doesn't alter the fact that you'd rather not have any discussion about fixing, learning, working with a new system. It's preferable just to buy it and have it work as planned.
I believe the reason there is such intensity towards medium format is the companies have burned through all lot of good equity.
Name a medium format brand that doesn't continue to be late on delivery of software, hardware promised features and comes out of the box without issue?
It's doesn't mean the medium format companies don't have good intentions, or work hard to produce the best product they can but the fact remains a lot of users of medium format backs like the quality of the images, (under almost perfect situations) but won't or can't continue with the workarounds and limitations. Not when the dslrs are so close in quality for a fraction of the costs.
Honestly, I'm fascinated by most of these comparisons, because I don't see that huge of a difference. If you want to prove that digital medium format is the preferred format, there are better ways to shoot examples.
Regardless, because of the internet, forums and blogs all manufacturers and advertisers have to change the way they make, market and demonstrate their products. The internet has made everything transparent.
This is an interesting article and applies to this thread. (you need a NY Times account to read the article).http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/23/magazine...ble-t.html?_r=1
As the economy turns downward the rubber band will only stretch so far and most of us who have shot digital for any period of time have grown a little tired of the annoucements and upgrade cycle, not just from medium format but from everything in the digital domain. In all fairness Canon has shipped cameras with their share of issues also (see focus, black dots, etc.).
Compared to film, sometimes digital is magic, but other times, it still seems like it's an evolving medium and in ways not that mature. Talk to a dozen retouchers and get their res[onse on digtial capture and to a person they will tell you it takes a lot of correction and adjustments to get to the basics of where film capture begins.
I constantly read these replies where photographers justify their medium format purchase saying they want to give their client the best. That's commendable and obviously, professional equipment is important, but if you want to improve you and your client's images, investing in better models, props, locations, and/or post production will go a lot further than adding 10 or 20 megapixels.
A great retoucher can level the format field in two hours.
Talent also goes a lot further than pure technique or capture device and stepping out and shooting a body of work that is different, or unique will move your photography forward a lot further than a camera format or brand.http://current.com/items/76430062/in_the_frame.htm?xid=55
Lately I've seen the client response to film vs. digital swing both ways. Early on with digital capture you had to prove it was as good as film, then once it got a foothold and the labs started disappearing, commercial clients began to demand digital. Today I see an attitude from AD's that as long as it's pretty, or unique or has a style they don't really care how you captured it, in fact most AD's would rather do their editing from a contact sheet that an electronic gallery.
Like all of us I think clients have become computer weary.
This is the time of year that every photographer becomes retrospective on how they work. As I look back on 2008 I wonder how much easier I could have made my life if I shot certain projects with film vs. digital and in the next few days as it comes time to make a purchase, all those wonderful used film cameras start to look very attractive.