What feature changes/improvements do you suggest on an IQ### that would be better suited for tech camera use?
I can promise you I'm serious in listening, as is Phase.
I can think of a few I'd like to see:
- long term CMOS (for faster/more-flexible live view) if/when it can be done without compromising quality
- ability to enter lens metadata (as in Aptus II)
- internally rotating sensor would be nice but with Arca Rotamount this is less critical now to me
- longer exposures than 2 min
The only suggestion I can't help with is the price. There will not be a $5-7k IQ back.
On the technical side there may be conflicting goals, I'm not sure. With CMOS the active area is smaller(?) so one needs some funneling, i e micro lenses, which might not combine so well with the desire to make a sensor that don't have that bad color casts. Maybe lightpipe technology or similar can solve that issue. I think the symmetric/near-symmetric with very short flange distance wide angle lens designs is something unique to tech cams and is something that would be nice to keep or maybe strengthen, but for that we need sensors with low color cast.
Maybe it is possible to make use of the larger sensor area and thus larger pixels to make a sensor that can handle low angles of incoming light better than a small pixel sensor can, and in that way you could gain a clear advantage bound to the sensor format size. This assumes though that you can use a ultra-short flange distance to design better lenses, which I think you can do, but I'm no lens design expert.
Having some sort of electrical contact between camera and back so you actually get tilts and shifts stored would be cool, and then you could auto-apply LCC corrections. That would require deep collaboration with a tech cam maker though, and some of the charm of tech cams is that they are 100% mechanical, but as a professional tool it would be a nice feature to have I think.
I'd also like to see the return of the 48x36mm size. Why? I think it is a very good balance movement vs image circle size of the typical 90mm lens image circle size. I think 44x33 is a bit undersized and 54x41 oversized, while they are excellent sizes for the 645.
And I'd like to see development towards better 6 um pixels (more dynamic range, less color cast) before going smaller. As it happens, I think 6 um also strikes a nice balance for f/11 diffraction-wise which gives some lens design advantages compared to having to support f/8 or f/5.6.
For medium format I think the balance you should try to strike is to have more pixels than the high end 135 DSLRs, but at the same time larger pixels. In terms of image quality reputation I think that better pixel-peep quality should not be underestimated
Concerning lower costs backs, I think it can be done. Sure sensors are expensive, but not *that* expensive. What you would do as a MFDB manufacturer today rather than develop something new from scratch is to use the base from an existing back, use an off-the-shelf sensor (FTF6080C, as in Sinar eXact) and cripple away some "professional" features, say tethering, and sell at an entry level price. The risk would be quite small, and the gain can be large if there really is an enthusiast market. If the pro market is shrinking it may be a thing to try.
(Concerning long exposures I wonder if it would be possible to make some external cooling device that you could attach to the back, say some fluid cooling and a huge fan, that would make your back a lot bulkier and require extra batteries but you could do very long exposures without the need of a dark frame.)