I can only speak for this dealership, but we're doing well with the P65+.
I would love to be a fly on the wall in Phase One's boardroom to try to understand who this camera is aimed at.
I would be fascinated to learn what professional photographers are buying a $40,000 camera back?
I'm lucky because I'm busy, but the list of what we have to produce in a day makes using medium format or anything that slows you down difficult. This week, every day was a 12 hour shoot day, with AD's sending jpegs back to the home office to get every shot "approved".
It's not that the economy is bad, it's just that everyone is in a cya mode and when the client says jump everybody up and down the chain just answers how high and I don't know a single person in this industry, photographer, crew or ad agency that isn't producing twice the work for the same pay they were doing a year ago.
Everybody I know is working from a bottom line number and right now numbers rule so even if a $40,000 camera back would be a better tool, where do you fit that into the estimate? When I say everybody, I mean every country I've worked, every crew member I know has the same story and if I made a list of photographers that were selling or not using their medium format backs it would be twenty five lines, if I made a list of the client requests crew and photographers are agreeing to, it would make your head spin.
I can see rental houses buying it (maybe) for the uninitiated that just say give me the biggest camera you got, but for a busy photographer that owns their own equipment I can't see where those prices make sense.
This year will turn out ok for our studio but we've had to adapt, do more, work faster, negotiate every line item down.
Digital has changed everything. This year we have renegotiated use and talent fees over a dozen times from past projects dating back to 2004. Clients that are currently shooting are throwing in extra sessions to build a library of images. On set digital has changed the way clients are viewing what we shoot. Whether it's a 12mpx file or 39 mpx. they don't notice, they don't care as long as it looks good on a 30" lcd monitor and it's in focus and has the look they want.
Obviously things will get back to normal, but the climb is going to start out slow, because so many people have cut their prices and pushed the numbers downward, that moving back up is going to take a while. It's not the end of the world, there is work out there and good people are working, but the ones I know that are working are aggressive and know how to work fast, know how to negotiate and deliver more than the client thought was possible, which is a tall order now that most clients are asking the impossible.
One client that we shoot a lot of in-store advertising for is even asking for smaller files to be optimized for projection, and lcd play because they find it more cost effective to show a digital slide than a printed poster, so 60mpx isn't even close to being on their radar screen.
One of the reasons I've always bought my own equipment during the fat times is because I know when things get tight you can still work without worrying about rental costs, though cameras are the last thing I would think about buying in todays market. Faster easier to use lighting makes sense, quick fast computers are fine, but to just put out the old numbers with the mindset of bill the client isn't a workable solution in todays market.
Right now quality and quanity are expected in equal proportion.
Client's aren't unknowing, in fact I was told yesterday of a large advertiser that is offering a bonus to any employee that can come up with a plan to lower photography costs and since all the numbers are pared to the bone anyway, where does new cameras fall within this type of equation?
I wish Phase well, but at $40,000, I would think that would be a damn tough sell.
Actually the most effective purchase today is for a photographer to advertise and advertise big, because you can't play to a local, regional, national market. You have to be pushing worldwide and when I think of dropping 40 grand for anything, it's has to be an advertising campaign, not a piece of equipment.