I think the first order of business is for these guys to decide where they're going to place this new camera in the marketplace.
Who does Phase market this camera to?
Well, imo, anyone who's mindset is stuck in 1994, because the AFDIII or IV may be an improvement on the AFD but not in the looks department, and regardless of what body works with what leaf shutter lens, as of today there are no leaf shutter lenses for sale for this camera, so it's not really an issue. They're promised, they probably will come but right now the only leaf shutter lens anyone has seen is under glass in Japan and requires a babbelfish translation. When they do hit the streets there will also be asterisks involved. 1/800th of a second becomes 1/400th and dealers are changing their websites as we speak to reflect this.
Until Phase/Mamiya have a whole range of these lenses it probably doesn't matter what body they go on and since nobody is talking price you can just assume that two of these lenses will cost more than a D3x and by the time they hit the street a D3x will probably become a D700x, sell for $2,800 and have full high def video.
Now if Phase wants to sell these cameras to the country club set, they need a new logo. Hasselblad and that red dot Leica carry some weight at Pebble beach, but I doubt seriously if anyone other than the Brooks students that valet the cars knows what a Mamiya, Phase One or Phamamamayia is and even if they do, they can't afford them. If Phase really wanted the seminar set they should have latched on to the HY6 demanded it be called a Rolleiflex and sold it like an Aston Martin at an almost Ford price, not a Ford at Aston Martin prices.
If Phase is selling to the pro fesssion al advertising photographer, then they need some more straight talk and better start listing sell dates and prices, rather than posting strategic alliance pdfs.
Everyone is aware that Hasselblad already has Leaf shutter lenses in place, has a large dealer network and most importantly was the first to address price. That's a tough combination to beat.
I would also suggest Phase make these cameras durable and get these things in rental because I don't have the exact numbers but I doubt seriously if most high end cosmetic ads shot with a 39mpx camera is owned by the photographer, at least in the all important micro world of New York City.
Times have changed and the shake out is just starting.
My "close" personal friend BCooter compared medium format to the bloods and crips and that's too modern of a comparison. Medium format is like going back in time and watching the jets and the sharks fight over some territory in New York and not realizing that New York is now BMW 3 series and over leveraged Condos, and the kids riding the subway to NYU (prime advertising consumers), are wearing Justin Timberlake jeans and reading and blogging on I-phones and blackberrys rather than Levi's, the NY times and Life Magazine.
Medium format talks 16 bit, vs. 14bit, 1/3 stop more DR, micro/macro image detail, but the truth is medium format sells megapixels instead of usability and selling file size is not a growing business. Ask Getty and Corbis how many high rez jpegs they sell vs. web sized 72ppi and you'll understand that web based advertising is the only growing segment in the ad biz and web based advertising doesn't require 60mpx.
Ask Getty, Corbis, Hasselblad and Phase how are sales, because even in today's economy they should be good, because there are more photographers than ever, more use of images than ever, more places to display the images than ever. That should equate the higher sales of cameras and images, not less. If the sales are good, then keep gong down the same path, but if not, then it's time for a rethink.
Actually the medium format biz needs to learn how to market at ground level.
Canon got it right (or lucky, or both) with Vincent La Forte and his 2 minute nighttime video. Vincent probably sold more 5d2's than every dealer on the planet with just a one evening shoot because that is a camera, hobbled or not, that has something that looks like the future attached to the price. The problem is while Canon and Nikon are making hybrid still and video cameras, medium format is trying to make basic lenses and $5,000 tilt shift devices.
I know the traditionalists, especially on this forum will scream to high heaven about dslrs and moving imagery, but if the image is captivating, the story is unique, the presentation is compelling people will watch and in the visual image game getting people to look at anything past 30 seconds is considered a win. Even if the user never turns on the video of a 5d2, they still get 22mpx for the price of a medium format lens.
But if it's uber detail you want, make a petition to Canon and Nikon to offer a non AA filtered camera, because I've always believed a lot of the oversharp look of medium format comes as much from no aa filter as file size. Try a Leica M8 and you'll understand.
Today I got an e-mail from one of the first digital techs in NY who has moved to LA and now offers his services for the Red. This is a smart guy who has worked at this biz for a long time and he sees the future and realizes if he's going to drop 40 grand for a camera and 4,000 hours of learning curve it needs to do more than sit on a tripod and take pictures of trees or models on a white cove at the Piers.