Since that shoot I did for Phase One and the subsequent video is mentioned, I freely admit I wasn't prepared for it, or liked the results very much, because we we're all exhausted at the time of taping and we looked and felt like hell.
In fact we edited our own video of the process from production stills, as I thought it was more stylized and showed a more positive view than the Phase One video. http://spotsinthebox.com/paris_prod2.mov/
I guess I should clarify my relationship with Phase One or any camera company, so nobody here thinks I'm getting something in return.
#1. No camera company really sponsors me. I receive no money, no extraordinary treatment.
#2 When we shot that image for Phase we were on a very, very heavy schedule and had just finished shooting 18 hour days in Barcelona, then made the overnight drive to our Paris studio and in two days went into production of that session and shot on day 3. We produced the shoot like a commercial job, with ad agency input. No excuses, just the facts.
My renumeration from Phase one was not and didn't plan to be a profit making endeavor. Actually less than profit making but that wasn't our studio's goal.
In my personal opinion I like the Phase engineers, wasn't that overwhelmed by the marketing effort, at least in this instance, so when I say how well my phase backs have performed for me, I do so with the opposite view of personal gain or favoritism.
In the few moments I had Phase One's ear I gave them my complete unvarnished opinion of what I liked and didn't like about their product, with the biggest issue being the color sensitivity of the files.
I thought they were way too receptive to ambient color pollution for photographing people and the Phase engineer I spoke to listened and responded in the positive.
In the last two years this has been fixed and we have used our phase backs more and more. Some of this I can attribute to better processing in C-1, some of it is probably our ability to come to grips with our own post production of the phase files and some processes in photoshop that let's us kill noise at higher isos, without cutting sharpness.
Bottom line is I like the backs, for me the've been the most bullet proof and cost effective equipment our studio owns except for grip.
Now, Bernard asks if we moved through series 35mm dslrs because of the changing evolution of that format. The answer to that is of course.
We've done the same with video cameras, computers, drives, storage, dam systems, software, sound recorders, monitors, etc. etc.,
The only "dated" dslr I've kept was one of my original 1ds 1's, because i believe that camera was ground breaking and I still think the files are the sharpest and offer the best look of any dslr system we've ever used, including later Nikons and Canons.
The only reason we don't use the 1ds1 routinely is it doesn't tether fast or easily. Ok, we also kept our 5d2, because I don't like the look of the 5d3. It's just personal preference but I really have issues with the over smooth look of some cameras especially ones with high density sensors.
Now as I've also said for the record I've never used a D800. I know I'll test it because there are about 4 professionals on this forum whose opinions I really respect, so if it works for them, it might work for us. We have a large Nikon lens set of new and older glass so the costs of a D800 is not high for us.
The main issue I have with 35mm, is when shooting vertical I tend to compose right on the limit. Maybe it's a mindset from the film days when shooting 35mm we had to shoot tight and I find I shoot 35mm just on the very edge, which doesn't allow for a lot of room. I know as sensors increase in size and detail this shouldn't effect me, but it does. Also I'm not that wild about AA filtered cameras. It's not sharpness, but the grit or something that I really like with non AA filtered CCD cameras and not just medium format. I see the same look with my M-8 and saw it with our first digital camera the Kodak dcs 760.
Regardless, even if the D800 is the best camera every made, I doubt seriously if I would shoot the bulk of our still work with it because I like what I currently use and since we tether, C-1 is generally recognized as the gold standard in the industry. My contax and plus backs shoot slow to medium speed, but the beauty is when tethering I never hit a buffer.
But . . . once again I "like" what I use and liking something goes a long way.
I also don't like tethering our Nikons because the camera LCD blanks out. Not that I need the camera lcd to judge critical focus or look but I do need to check every now and then for composition.
I respect that everyone has different opinions, but what I don't understand why there is such a heated and personal response to what anyone likes or uses to produce a photograph.
One other thing of note, is I have had amazing service from the Phase dealer (CI) on any support issues and previously when I owned Leaf backs, direct response from Leaf and their representatives.
They both offered professional service for professional equipment.
And once again . . . no I don't get any deals for saying that.