Ray, most of the time one would use a Phase One camera on a tripod. When you use a camera on a tripod, the IS MUST be turned off (at least with some cameras and lenses including my 1DsMk3, but perhaps not all) otherwise the result is WORSE. I've pesonally tested this one time when I was disappointed with the sharpness of some on-tripod shots with my 1DsMk3. So the absence of IS is irrelevant for all the work one would do with this camera mounted on a tripod. Furthermore, the need for IS can be overblown. If you had had the opportunity of seeing the very large (I believe probably 40*60 inch) prints Mark Dubovoy displayed at the workshop from his Antarctica shoot, you would readily appreciate what I mean. These were done with the Phase back, hand-held on a boat and the far distant detail in the snow and ice is simply breath-taking. No IS.
The point you are missing in all of this is the elementary one that different technologies satisfy different objectives and not all features are necessary or possible on every type of camera; that doesn't make one kind of camera lacking in technical progress relative to another. They are just different. If you need a high frame rate, you don't need a Phase One camera. If you need ultra-high resolution then you may well need an MFDB-type camera, and the application may be less limited than you think.
An Epson 7600 BTW, provides ample print size to take good advantage of this technology. 24*30 inch prints from a properly made Phase One exposure would be stunning at that size.
The model shoot which Michael did, and the one done in Death Valley did not require stitching to deal with blinking eyes. Sure, you bracket exposures to select the best one, but that's it.
Ray, I went into that workshop with a questioning and open mind. I'd seen MF prints in Michael's gallery which impressed me a lot, but I've also seen there a whole slew of Sony, Nikon and Canon originated prints which also impressed me a whole lot. So needless to say, I was asking myself "what's the deal here?" As well, we all know a Canon 1DsMk3 has a pixel size of about 6 mu and the same goes for the latest Phase One backs. So again, "What gives?" One of the reasons, amongst others, I attended this workshop was to learn more about what goes into the technology, see exactly what it can do in my hands and those of others with more experience at it than me, and make up my own mind once and for all what, if anything, distinguishes this technology (goes well beyond pixel pitch and pixel count) from what I own and use very satisfactorily. I also wanted to get some insight into what makes MF so darn expensive, so I could put on my economist' cap and evaluate the likelihood of the costs coming down. Well, the workshop satisfied my curiosity on all of these counts. I am thoroughly convinced MF delivers another level of image quality when used correctly, and I am quite convinced that for understandable technical reasons costs for this level of quality will not come down substantially any time soon - so a good news/bad news story, but there we have it.
With that I shall now close my contribution to this thread. My intention here was not so much to carry arguments, but to give readers the benefit of insights I gained from my participation in this excellent workshop.
All the best.