I don't know who owns who and have no inside info, but I always assumed Leaf had a big part to play with Mamiya and always was associated closely with them.
I think when Phase bought into Mamiya they kind of found that out and had to buy into Leaf , but hey that's just a guess.
The thing is I don't think Phase sees much point in offering a bargain brand digital camera. They've situated themselves in the rarified air part of the imaging world and from the rumors I've heard, they probably make more money off of government contracts than consumers.
But if they did make a 7 grand 645 camera like the ZD what would that get them and their dealers? There is obviously little margin in 7 grand vs. 20 or 30, or 40 and the trade in on a all in one camera is probably low. Also at that point your kind of competing with Nikon and I don't think Phase can get to Nikon prices and make money.
To me if they are going to hang in the stratsophere that's fine, but their next camera and lens sets should look the part. Look at a cooke Panchro lens and look at a Phase One lens. They cooke may be overpriced at 8 grand, but at least it looks special where most medium format lenses, at least the modern ones look just like any other still lens.
Same with the DF+. It's not a bad camera, but for the money I'd be spending I want it to look different and purposeful, not like a stretched out Canon.
Though all of that being said, I know from use that Phase backs are damn good. Mine have lasted forever and it's actually their fault (Phase) that I haven't bought another one, because mine keep working so well.
But if anyone wants an entry level larger than 35mm digital camera for 7k, the Pentax is on the shelf ready to go.
In regards to Phase owning Leaf, I'm sure they position them just slightly below the phase line up but high enough to not bite into their business.
I personally liked the new Leaf interface better than the Phase, except the Leaf didn't have that sensor plus thing and Phase did, so . . .
Honestly though, people keep saying it's not how a camera looks it's how it works and I agree, except when your dropping large coin on a piece of equipment, actually spending E class money it should look like E class quality and be apparent to everyone.