A view camera has a darker viewfinder than any 35mm or MF systems. I shot 4x5 for 10 years and focusing on the ground glass is more taxing than a reflex camera. Sold all 4x5 end of last year with no remorse.
Putting a 35mm frame size sensor on a 4x5 (true view camera) at this junction in time with current cameras is practically a joke. A lot of wasted real estate that helps no one when composing, most 4x5's don't have the tolerances for such a small frame. Sure people did it years back and maybe some still do but I think it's just plain silly. Shoot 4x5 film, use a larger sensor or a different camera choice to mount a 1x1.5in sensor to. Putting the 35mm sensor on a smaller "view camera" sky rockets the cost of the camera and lenses, i.e. Linhof and others.
Let's help "newcomers" find good, practical systems to use - not older hugely more hassle prone, and little future proof tech.
If the OP is shooting architecture a postage stamp on a 4x5 is pointless, just shoot 4x5 film, color neg is still a brilliant tool for a lot of architecture, Fuji makes 4x5 instant film. For product and food shooting, a Canon full frame with any of the tilt shift lenses will more than do, easier to implement, has tethered shooting and more, just a better choice than the 6MP digital backs. The 5D file will be better than a Valeo 6, H5, etc. in print.
First, the OP said he was mostly shooting tabletop, only "some" architecture
Second of all I said View Camera, not a 4x5. It would a much better choice to go with a mid-sized view camera more specifically designed for the sensor size and precision requirements of digital.
Third, most of these systems have a stitching sliding back adapter so you compose with nearly twice the frame size and nearly twice the resolution. Here are the specs with two shots:
H25: about 38 megapixels
H20: about 28 megapixels (oddly long aspect ratio)
H10: about 18 megapixels (oddly long aspect ratio)
Those megapixels will carry the dynamic range, sharpness, color fidelity, and noise-less shadows of medium format and would enlarge (if needed) quite well.
After reading your response I agree an H5 would not be a viable solution.
It's NOT the simplest solution, the fastest solution, or the easiest to use. It is however very viable, and quite reasonably priced. It adds swings, tilts, ground glass composition, great tethered shooting, excellent color fidelity, great dynamic range and low shadow noise. It also establishes a base from which the OP could later upgrade to more modern backs if he wanted.
I would argue that a mid-sized well-made view camera (especially if you buy it used at the ridiculous prices you can find them now) is one of the most future proof systems available. I think it's very very hard to predict what people will be shooting for photojournalism, sports, or fashion in a decade, but I strongly suspect mid-sized view cameras will still be used by many pros in still life and product shooting. Adapters/plates are available for just about any lens or imaging system.
My suggestion would be stupid for anything hand-held, action based, low light, high ISO or many areas where a 5D would kick it's ass. However, for the specific purpose the OP wants I would argue to my death than an H10, H20, H25 on a small view camera are all worthwhile to look at. Naturally I would never encourage him to buy on spec; he would need to test this setup in his studio with his workflow to see if it was manageable.
Keep in mind the OP already has a 5D. There are many reasons why still life / product shooters chose view cameras over SLRs in addition to the higher reproduction size and most of those reasons have not changed in digital.
Doug Peterson (e-mail Me)
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Phase One, Canon, Apple, Profoto, Eizo & More
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