I went to FotoCare yesterday, in Manhattan. Nice guys there. I went there curious about several possibilities:
1. H4D-40: I did not shoot it and process a file, but the LCD is pretty nice. It's large, and somewhat OK quality. Quality seems maybe somewhere in between the Leaf LCD and maybe a Canon 1ds. The 3 inch size really helps a lot. Would it be fine if I was shooting HMI or available light? Absolutely. If I was trying to use it untethered to judge adding fill? I'm not sure. Did not really try out the TrueFocus thing, but I get the idea, and it seems well designed. But the camera still seems to "lunge" in my hands; I know they've got the Mirror Delay, but still, in my hand, if I was shooting available light at say, 1/60th, I'm not sure I'd ever be comfortable with that camera. Also, I realized, since the back is made WITH the body, you'd be forced to buy two of them, one for backup, so that doubles the price tag. I'm sure the camera will be successful probably, but I simply do not like that camera in my hand, actually shooting it. Not sure why. Maybe in the studio, on a tripod, shooting stuff that you don't care about, for money, it would be fine. Still, I feel like Hasselblad is "getting it", and they are close to finding that sweet spot. For a wealthy amateur, it's probably already there, in this version. But I left there underwhelmed.
2. Putting a CFV on my 203FE: This is a possibility. I guess the back would be a 39MP Hassie back. Not sure the exact number. Send your body off, have it modified in Jersey, and then stick a back on it. Not sure if cable is needed, to sync post. Small LCD. Not sure about usability of ASA 800. Affordable. Seems risky though, for actual use. Kinda Fred Sanford.
3. 39MP: 39MP Hassie back on a 555 V body. I think no cords needed. Small LCD. Not sure about ASA 800. But affordable.
4. P65+ on a V 555: This interests me because I think the P65+ is easily rotatable, from vertical to horizontal. Horrible LCD, and big big money.
5. Screw it all, keep shooting film: No way. Film is dying more and more each and every day. This won't affect me, but I do wonder about guys who built their career on shooting LF, and whether they can keep that look when they switch over.
6. Keep shooting Canon: Snooze.
In short, I walked out of there just shaking my head. Walked into a pro camera store an hour later, on 17th St, to buy some 220, and I see Leica, Hasselblad, Nikon, Canon banners, and when I asked for film, they said, "Sorry, we stopped selling all film. Go to Calumet." My jaw dropped.
One really frustrating thing about all this search: It's often very difficult to really see, in your hands, what you want to buy. And if you've ever written the large check for one of these cameras, and then discovered something large and irritating later, you are NOT wild about repeating the mistake. Again, I'm amazed that these companies don't post up a million little YouTube videos for potential customers to get their heads around a possible solution. Nobody wants to get burned for twenty grand.