I swear if this was a e-magaizne on cars, somebody would record the sound of a toyota door slamming next to a BMW swearing the toyota was quieter. There are buyers of both brands and some people even buy both, though I bet the drive the bmw more.
I know I have a bunch of 35mm digitals, some medium format backs and cameras, digital video and digital cinema cameras and . . . actually . . . well probably, way too many cameras, but we use them all and usually for different reasons.
In the new normal it seems we work very robust days and use about all of our equipment, every project.
Anyway, TMark. I will probably eventually get someone to ship me a D800E and look at it but right now I'm pretty well set on cameras, then again I don't disbelieve that it's a capable camera. I know with my Nikons, the D700 and the D3, both are very difficult to manage skin tones and colors.
We can do it, but under lower iso, they're an issue, though maybe the D800 is better.
I know the original poster is talking about landscapes and I'm really not the guy to answer that question. All I can suggest again is to test them, regardless of price and gasp, gasp regardless of ultimate image quality, whatever that is.
I do know if I did do landscapes and REALLY and truly needed 80 mpx I'd just buy an 80 mpx back and camera because I like things in one shot, but hey, that's just me. Also I don't really care if a lens is sharp edge to edge because I very rarely need edge sharpness, think it's pretty when a lens has falloff and some softness to the corners. In fact some of the prettiest work we've ever done and a style that continues to get us work is using the Contax with that old Boris Hartiblie tilt shift and I can tell you nothing is really sharp on that lens but the very center.
Buying clients like the look because I think it looks less digital, less clack clack, more click manually focus, think about it, click.
Now, those are the things I know, but what i think is with all these very heated discussions three things are left out.
1. Why do you have to have any one camera? It's quite reasonable to have multiple formats. I do, I use them, they're paid for, they make me money and shoot the way I want.
2. There is nothing wrong with using a camera that is not as efficient as something that costs less, or more. I love the Contax(s) I use and love the analog feel. I spend a lot of time with my eye on a viewfinder and my eye on a computer screen and I like the viewfinder a lot more than a computer screen, so cameras that feel less computer and more camera is fine by me.
3. We all know we're in this weird world wide economic stagnation and everybody is looking for the less expensive alternative. Clients, suppliers, everyone, but I'm fortunate that I own my own equipment and can shoot to my standards not just what the budget dictates. I have to admit I appreciate that Phase (and I guess all medium format companies) have continued to update their software so my cameras are more viable today than they were when I bought them. Speaking of economics, just add up buying a $3,000 camera you'll use for two years or a $15,000 camera you'll use for 7 years and the numbers are close to a wash and even if they weren't wouldn't you rather have something that feels special, a device that becomes part of you and your work?
4. (I know I said 3). Use what you want to use, to shoot what you want to shoot. I have no doubt that they people that stitch like working that way. I also know some photographers love the latest model of everything. There is nothing wrong with either direction, but to try to get back to the original poster, really test before you buy. Any good dealer will either rent or or rent discounted if you buy almost any camera and even if you have to fly to do it, you'll be much happier to know that what you bought fits for your style of work, not you fitting to it.
5, (yea yea, I know I said 3 but I'm on a roll).
The last few years I've grown tired of hearing about the "new normal" of only delivering what is required and holding things to a low bar rather than higher.
I also find it somewhat absurd that people that want higher salaries, higher rates and fees take exception to a camera maker that wants decent profits. Actually I find it strange that living in a world economy profit has become a word said in hushed tones.
Sure, $30,000 to $50,000 is very high for a camera (any camera) but if you look, shop, test and maybe just wait you can find a deal and there are deals out there from reputable dealers of all makes, but the OP's desire to buy an H4 makes sense to me. He wants to buy one step from the latest and enjoy a camera, but instead of anybody with an H4d making a post, everyone says buy a Nikon.
Maybe the Nikon is the new normal and everyone should buy one, maybe we all should wear grey jumpsuits and ride in push carts, but I doubt if the world is going to go that way.
Whether you shoot for pleasure or business, (hopefully both), there is no joy in limiting yourself, less joy in just joining the crowd.
Does a camera make you better . . . I don't know, maybe-maybe not, but does a camera you like using make you feel better about what your shooting and delivering, whether it goes on the living room wall or in Times Square? Hell yes.
P.S. 2 years ago, my business partner/producer wife wanted a Leica. She didn't like focusing my M-8, so we went to a dealer and tried everything. She bought a Leica X-1. Were there better cameras, I dunno, maybe. Were there better prices . . . sure, but that doesn't matter because she likes it, it makes her feel good, she takes photos with it and will use it for years.
It makes her happy. Happy is good.