OF COURSE THERE IS A DIFFERENCE!!!
Who's arguing that? There is no way that an image from a Digital Rebel is going to match that from a a MFDB. But then again, there are no two MF Digital Backs the same either. Would you care to enlighten us on the differences between them?
To make things even more chaotic: There is a difference in images between cameras of a single brand and sensor size. The Canon 20D, 30D, 40D, 50D and 7D all have different native curves. The 5D and 5Dmk2 are no where identical. The Nikons are the same way in that no two models produce the same images.
Almost without exception, every DSLR is using CMOS sensors. Like lemmings, we forced them into that because ONE manufacturer happened to figure out how to get better noise levels from CMOS than CCD. (CMOS good, CCD baaaaad). Even though, "industry experts" have, for years, said that CCD is superior in image quality, we, the buyers, have chosen ONE imaging characteristic over all others and we've done this to ourselves.
Back in the "film days" (which some of us still live in for quantifiable reasons), no two films were the same. Some used Provia, others Velvia, while Ektachrome and Kodachrome had their followers and users. For some professional applications, C41 ruled the day and we have the Portra and Fujifilms to choose from.
I mention that because it's absolutely silly to make a comparison between a 35mm Provia 100F picture and a Hasselblad Portra 160NC shot blown up to 16x20. No matter how you post-process them THEY WILL LOOK DIFFERENT!!! Depending on the application, one will be superior to the other, but it's obvious that the Hasselblad shot will be superior. Or will it? Which is better? Why is it better? What is the application? (I still laugh at the Provia/Digital comparisons--Provia 100F being one of the lowest resolving transparency films on the market).
Each film has a specific way of "seeing"--just as each digital imager has a specific way of "seeing". I've asked this question before, but what "film" does YOUR camera's imager most closely match? Don't give me that "whatever I want it to, I adjust it in post" nonsense because to do that you are bending bits (adjusting gamma, contrast, saturation, etc) far away from what the sensor itself is actually doing. The less bending you have to do, the better. (It's most likely the case that MFDB image data needs less bending to get to the usable form). The dirty little secret is that a lot of this bending is accomplished in-camera BEFORE the RAW file is written. You think those high-power processing chips are just there for JPEG files?
We KNOW that MFDB images look different than DSLR images. That's a given. But we've been reading all this self-grandizing pontification from the "experts" but absolutely no explanation as to why. There are too many variables involved that haven't been nailed down for an accurate comparison.
So we have this essay from an anonymous "industry insider and expert". Yeah, fine. I got absolutely nothing from it and it contributes absolutely nothing to the advancement of photography. Basically, all it said was "those who write the big checks are smarter than you."
You know what? I DON'T write big checks for THIS technology--I'm an industry insider and expert in something else, but while selecting and approving technology in my industry, we go about a time-consuming process of quantifying what exactly are the differences between products and WHY those differences exist. I've been doing the scientific method for over twenty years in the business world with high-tech products and know when somebody is blowing smoke.
So in other words, don't get so high and mighty on yourself. Until you pony up the facts and give me specifics as to what is going on between the technologies, I'm going to assume that you really don't know squat. (which is unfortunate, because it is obvious that you SHOULD know the facts)
In the last three threads on this, I'm the only one who has done any form of testing on anything and published it. Granted, it was a quick-and-dirty and offers no opinion to speak of, but of all the very very smart people that hang out here, I'm appalled that NOBODY else has done the same. Shame on us!
I guess it's just easier to write a "I'm smarter than you" essay.