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Author Topic: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)  (Read 56102 times)

eronald

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #100 on: June 08, 2015, 08:17:06 am »

Wow, 800 Euros for the waist level finder. Way too much!

 It does double duty as a powder compact during shoots :)
 
 I must say I find the level of negativity here alarming, even by by my own extremely negative standards. The high item prices are to be expected given the small production runs, and because you get Doug or Steve concierge service. Who will probably find a creative way to bundle a WLF in with the system you're buying because keeping you happy keeps them in business.

 Of course, if you don't get the appropriate level of service out of your dealer because of your geographical location, he makes you pay everything at list price, or you happen not to be rich, then maybe one of the orphaned Contax P+ systems with WLF that are going to hit ebay will be more cost-effective; at the current inflationary MF price increase rate, and the accelerating rate of used equipment depreciation, in a year or so, a used Pentax 645 will probably cost as much as a Phase lenscap list price.    
 

Edmund
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 09:04:53 am by eronald »
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ynp

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #101 on: June 08, 2015, 10:21:33 am »

Wow, 800 Euros for the waist level finder. Way too much!
A 10 years old Contax 645 waist level finder INIB is about $700.
Not a lot of difference.
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Gigi

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #102 on: June 08, 2015, 04:34:53 pm »

The Phase camera looks pretty good, and does a lot of good things. I'm sure the internal integration is well done, as noted above, Phase does know how to deliver. Also, the WLF is great to see. It looks like a positive move forward. 

That said, there is a small voice nagging about this: it looks like the camera is solving problems that have been around for some 5-10 years. There may be pent-up demand for a new Phase camera and the new product will do quite well. More power to P1.

Yet…. it seems that much of the world is shifting to smaller, lighter gear, and its not clear how this new product addresses such changes. I was kind of hoping for more from the MFDB industry leader. Put another way, if you were on the fence 6 months ago about MFDB or something more portable (fill in the blank as you wish), would this new camera pull you back to MFDB? Does anyone else have similar concerns?
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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #103 on: June 08, 2015, 04:49:30 pm »

It looks like the camera is solving problems that have been around for some 5-10 years.

That's a really good way of putting it. It's great, it solves some incremental issues, and adds a few neat touches. But it's more or less the same picture-taking device we've had since the first digital back-digital body combinations appeared.

It's making worthwhile but modest improvements to the state of MF.

It's certainly not enough to pull me to a system switch.

It's still great to see improvements, but I'm really hoping someone rocks my world with mirrorless MF with a 5-axis stabilised sensor, good high ISO performance, a screen as good as an IPad on the back and Mamiya-7 style lightweight ergonomics. At a price point more like top-end 35mm.

As I said higher in the thread, it would be really hard for me to find the value of the Phase solution over the Pentax 645Z if I was about to buy today.

Cheers, Hywel.
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alexluuphoto

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #104 on: June 08, 2015, 08:51:46 pm »

Is it safe to say that Pentax 645z brand new off of eBay for 6k is better then this? 8k for the body which is 2k more then the pentax lol. Then the 30k+ back you buy separately? I guess capture one pro, customer service, leaf shutter lenses are worth the extra 30k+ haha!

but you know what Annie leb doesn't use a pentax so I am inclined to say Pentax cameras are terrible lol!


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bcooter

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #105 on: June 08, 2015, 10:30:01 pm »

but you know what Annie leb doesn't use a pentax so I am inclined to say Pentax cameras are terrible lol!

This thread has run it's course for me because as Synn said, why can't he just be left alone to enjoy his new camera.

He's right and in his position I believe it will bring him enjoyment, hopefully more profit and assist in better work, though the camera won't change his talent, desire, or ability to produce.

I have zero issues with this camera, cost not withstanding and am not against anyone using anything.

The only problem I have is when I read this quote from a dealer "Under the continuous direction of its founders it has focused on serving the world’s best photographers, developing tools that help them stand out from an increasingly crowded and homogenous field of okay photographers."

I take exception.  Mostly because it's a well worn, desperate, insulting sales line and also because it's just wrong. 

I can run a long, deep list of very fine artists that have never used a phase one, or any 645 format.  

I also know that David LaChapelle used a pentax 645 film camera for years and his work is still being "emulated" by photographers around the globe.  

Back in the film days nobody cared, nobody asked.  You shot with what you shot with and there were no forums for anyone to sell a camera or find an issue.  Everyone just looked at a photograph and either liked it or didn't.

The image stood on it's own merits.

It really is that simple.  

This was shot with a non 645 anything.  Actually a "lowly" Canon.  End of the day, almost darkness, not on the creative brief.  I didn't have to shoot it, though  I noticed the talent standing there, the possibility of what I could do and shot it at high iso, using a magliner and an apple crate for a tripod.

A simple throw away shot, that no one asked for it and it was selected and continues to run in all sizes today from 2 story high walls, to every conceivable medium.

For the clients that were paying, for our studio's worth, using a different camera would have made little difference, with some lower iso cameras it wouldn't have happened.

It is a simple photograph, not award winning, not unobtainable, but did fit the creative brief.  

That is what mattered.


IMO

BC
« Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 05:30:04 am by bcooter »
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eronald

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #106 on: June 08, 2015, 11:20:37 pm »


The image stood on it's own merits.


Yes.

e.
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ErikKaffehr

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #107 on: June 09, 2015, 01:24:38 am »

Hi,

This quote from BC makes a lot of sense:
Quote
Now bottom line;

Forget cameras, equipment, dealer sales messages, the newest tech, because 99.9% of everything you see, hear and aspire to produce is usually done with two to ten year old tech.   At least with still cameras.

What separates the artist, photographer, film maker, illustrator, designer, writer, stylist, producer, on set artists is not his/hers tools, it's his/hers ability to conceptualize an idea, produce it in a unique way and get it in front of the buyers that are empowered to pay real money.

I would agree that a camera, once it meets requirements, plays a minor roll.

That snapshot BC posted of that lovely model in lovely light is a very likeable picture.

Best regards
Erik
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gigdagefg

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #108 on: June 09, 2015, 06:28:47 am »

This thread has run it's course for me because as Synn said, why can't he just be left alone to enjoy his new camera.

He's right and in his position I believe it will bring him enjoyment, hopefully more profit and assist in better work, though the camera won't change his talent, desire, or ability to produce.

I have zero issues with this camera, cost not withstanding and am not against anyone using anything.

The only problem I have is when I read this quote from a dealer "Under the continuous direction of its founders it has focused on serving the world’s best photographers, developing tools that help them stand out from an increasingly crowded and homogenous field of okay photographers."

I take exception.  Mostly because it's a well worn, desperate, insulting sales line and also because it's just wrong. 

I can run a long, deep list of very fine artists that have never used a phase one, or any 645 format.  

I also know that David LaChapelle used a pentax 645 film camera for years and his work is still being "emulated" by photographers around the globe.  

Back in the film days nobody cared, nobody asked.  You shot with what you shot with and there were no forums for anyone to sell a camera or find an issue.  Everyone just looked at a photograph and either liked it or didn't.

The image stood on it's own merits.

It really is that simple.  

This was shot with a non 645 anything.  Actually a "lowly" Canon.  End of the day, almost darkness, not on the creative brief.  I didn't have to shoot it, though  I noticed the talent standing there, the possibility of what I could do and shot it at high iso, using a magliner and an apple crate for a tripod.

A simple throw away shot, that no one asked for it and it was selected and continues to run in all sizes today from 2 story high walls, to every conceivable medium.

For the clients that were paying, for our studio's worth, using a different camera would have made little difference, with some lower iso cameras it wouldn't have happened.

It is a simple photograph, not award winning, not unobtainable, but did fit the creative brief.  

That is what mattered.


IMO

BC
I totally agree with the above. The technology on the H5D50 is all I will ever need for the images that I take. If I could buy creativity, I would pay up big time for that!
Stanley
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PaulSchneider

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #109 on: June 09, 2015, 11:48:25 am »

Just had a 645 XF in my hands. Nice camera but way too expensive and hyped up for what it is.

Impression was that focus is a bit snappier, and some pros will certainly appreciate integrated flash triggering - but 8k for this is way overpriced and I did not feel that the difference in usability between DF+ and XF is so big as it is made up to be by the salesmen in this forum.

Probably best left to the enthusiast amateur class of people in my view.
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #110 on: June 09, 2015, 01:36:11 pm »

Just had a 645 XF in my hands. Nice camera but way too expensive and hyped up for what it is.

Impression was that focus is a bit snappier, and some pros will certainly appreciate integrated flash triggering - but 8k for this is way overpriced and I did not feel that the difference in usability between DF+ and XF is so big as it is made up to be by the salesmen in this forum.

Probably best left to the enthusiast amateur class of people in my view.


What specifically have the salesmen on the forum stated about the performance? Is there someone here beside Doug or me? Do we have competition?  ;)

And really - if the price is "too high" for the XF Camera, then you really mean for any Phase One Camera they've ever offered, since the difference in price is only $1,000 more than what the previous DF and DF+ kits were listed at.


Steve Hendrix
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PaulSchneider

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #111 on: June 09, 2015, 02:00:44 pm »


What specifically have the salesmen on the forum stated about the performance? Is there someone here beside Doug or me? Do we have competition?  ;)

And really - if the price is "too high" for the XF Camera, then you really mean for any Phase One Camera they've ever offered, since the difference in price is only $1,000 more than what the previous DF and DF+ kits were listed at.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration


When you read the way you introduce the camera for example:

"the XF Camera System represents a fundamental re-engineering of all key elements in a modern camera system. With robust, aerial-grade mechanics, advanced electronics, a new autofocus platform, new modularity options, new software and customizable touch controls, this system is based on more than 20 years of digital imaging design expertise, a commitment to open systems, and a relentless focus on image quality."

... the expectation level gets ramped up quite a lot. One would think that this new camera is on a completely new level. But its just marketing, new website, new language, lets sell.

As an owner of a DF+, I just wanted to underline the fact that this expectation level has not been met by the product in reality. I would seriously recommend anyone to go to the events offered by the distributers to make up their own minds. I take the camera in my hands, look through the viewfinder - basically the same as the old one to me - as I do not see any more focus points, press focus, yes it is snappy, but then DF+ was not so bad either, then I press shutter ... and the image appears on the back. Ok. Pretty much the same thing as before. The touchscreen interface is ok, but not revolutionary and the wheel dial has its haptic advantages as well.

So what exactly would one pay for? Yes, I forgot:

-> New Autofocus Platform (do not yet see the revolution here)
-> OneTouch User Interface (some might prefer the old way with dials)
-> Modular viewfinders (ok)

It is just my subjective opinion then that this is not a whole lot but is being marketed as the dawn of a new era in modern photography or something. Phase one has great distributors and great marketing, but sensor tech only moves on slowly and all they can do is add features around this and sell it as best as they can.

And I must say, I am sure many will buy into it!

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Steve Hendrix

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #112 on: June 09, 2015, 02:38:47 pm »


When you read the way you introduce the camera for example:

"the XF Camera System represents a fundamental re-engineering of all key elements in a modern camera system. With robust, aerial-grade mechanics, advanced electronics, a new autofocus platform, new modularity options, new software and customizable touch controls, this system is based on more than 20 years of digital imaging design expertise, a commitment to open systems, and a relentless focus on image quality."

... the expectation level gets ramped up quite a lot. One would think that this new camera is on a completely new level. But its just marketing, new website, new language, lets sell.

As an owner of a DF+, I just wanted to underline the fact that this expectation level has not been met by the product in reality. I would seriously recommend anyone to go to the events offered by the distributers to make up their own minds. I take the camera in my hands, look through the viewfinder - basically the same as the old one to me - as I do not see any more focus points, press focus, yes it is snappy, but then DF+ was not so bad either, then I press shutter ... and the image appears on the back. Ok. Pretty much the same thing as before. The touchscreen interface is ok, but not revolutionary and the wheel dial has its haptic advantages as well.

So what exactly would one pay for? Yes, I forgot:

-> New Autofocus Platform (do not yet see the revolution here)
-> OneTouch User Interface (some might prefer the old way with dials)
-> Modular viewfinders (ok)

It is just my subjective opinion then that this is not a whole lot but is being marketed as the dawn of a new era in modern photography or something. Phase one has great distributors and great marketing, but sensor tech only moves on slowly and all they can do is add features around this and sell it as best as they can.

And I must say, I am sure many will buy into it!




Paul - I'm not picking at you, but those are not my words. I did not write that. And when someone posts about "salesmen" on the forum in a generic way, the brush paints wide, and I do get sensitive about it. I just like to be given fair credit or blame. I work hard for it.

On the specific language you are referring to from someone else, I have to say I don't really see anything that points to any performance metric .... at all. It all sounds impressive from a "technical" standpoint, but I don't see a single thing in that paragraph that provides any sort of measuring stick for what this new camera will actually do for someone. And isn't that what it's all about? If I don't see a claim for a specific improvement, and how much it is, then why would I consider buying it at that point?

You know the hyperbolic marketing is going to happen, it's a fact of life with all products. But that doesn't mean you're forced to buy it or off the hook for just accepting that all these vague technical innovations must produce some sort of benefit without quantifying what that benefit is.

The limited benefits you list as examples don't add up as a reason - to you - to upgrade at the price offered, and that's fair. Though I'm horrified at the thought that anyone would prefer the cryptic DF/DF+ LED function panel!


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration
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Paul2660

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #113 on: June 09, 2015, 02:42:14 pm »


What specifically have the salesmen on the forum stated about the performance? Is there someone here beside Doug or me? Do we have competition?  ;)

And really - if the price is "too high" for the XF Camera, then you really mean for any Phase One Camera they've ever offered, since the difference in price is only $1,000 more than what the previous DF and DF+ kits were listed at.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration

Now I am confused,  as I though the new XF body only was 7999, i.e 8K and the DF+ was either 4995 or 5995 when first offered.  Is the list on the XF 7K, body only?  if so then the 2K trade in for a DF+ (till August 31) would make it 5K?

Thanks
Paul
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Steve Hendrix

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #114 on: June 09, 2015, 03:40:37 pm »

Now I am confused,  as I though the new XF body only was 7999, i.e 8K and the DF+ was either 4995 or 5995 when first offered.  Is the list on the XF 7K, body only?  if so then the 2K trade in for a DF+ (till August 31) would make it 5K?

Thanks
Paul



A good point, the context is important Paul. I was referring to one who would purchase a stand alone XF Camera Kit, or in the past someone ordering a brand new DF+ camera kit (no trade in, no digital back bundle price). The DF and DF+ Camera Kits (with 80mm lens) purchased straight up have always been $7,990. And today, the XF Camera Kit with 80mm is $8,990.

Now - that being said - I can't recall selling a DF or DF+ Kit at $7,990 ever. The majority of those purchases came about as a digital back bundle (typically $3,000 - $5,000 off the standard camera kit price). And in cases where someone was purchasing a camera without a digital back, we could usually find a way to get close to the lower cost bundle price for the camera to our client. That's likely where the referenced $4,995, $5,995 pricing comes from.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration
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Paul2660

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #115 on: June 09, 2015, 03:57:49 pm »


A good point, the context is important Paul. I was referring to one who would purchase a stand alone XF Camera Kit, or in the past someone ordering a brand new DF+ camera kit (no trade in, no digital back bundle price). The DF and DF+ Camera Kits (with 80mm lens) purchased straight up have always been $7,990. And today, the XF Camera Kit with 80mm is $8,990.

Now - that being said - I can't recall selling a DF or DF+ Kit at $7,990 ever. The majority of those purchases came about as a digital back bundle (typically $3,000 - $5,000 off the standard camera kit price). And in cases where someone was purchasing a camera without a digital back, we could usually find a way to get close to the lower cost bundle price for the camera to our client. That's likely where the referenced $4,995, $5,995 pricing comes from.


Steve Hendrix
Capture Integration

Steve:

Thanks, that's the way I was thinking also, the $4995 number kept sticking in my mind. 

The only issue I have seen is all the P+ backs not being able to use this great platform, and that's a big miss by Phase One, i.e. if they think those folks are all going to jump to a new 160/260 etc to use the camera.  I don't see that happening.  I am still shocked by the fact that Phase appears to have overlooked the Credo line, support should have been there at announcement, can't be that hard for a Credo.  As you pointed out on another site, the P65+ was and still is a great back, basically the DR of IQ160 without all the IQ interface. 

Personally having been in the computer industry for 30 years, my opinion is that that P+ (at least P65+) could have been make to work, or the XF could have been modified to take them, albeit with no more function than a current DF+. 

However Phase's go to business model has been a bit strange to me for the past year or so, I am sure I am in the minority there. 

My take is pretty simple, really still need Live View for a lot of critical focus needs, especially with these high MP solutions and only CMOS will get there.  Live View on the DF+ with the 150 is a very smooth operation and obtaining critical focus very easy with the back's LCD.

Net, the XF/250/150 or now 350 combo will be a very desirable combination.  Especially as Phase continues to grow the feature/function of the XF over time.

Paul
 
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eronald

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #116 on: June 09, 2015, 04:36:07 pm »

I went to see the new Phase XF today. It is a solid, well constructed improvement on the previous Mamiya, and wih it one finally gets the impression that lens, back and body have been melded into an integrated set and not assembled from different kits. This really is a Phase camera, not a Phamiya FrankenMaschine. The top body display panel is clean and well legible by my middle aged eyes, the controls wheels are crisp, although they don't really stand out enough for my fat fingers. Diopter adjustment on the prism display is easy, and with my glasses the viewfinder @ F2.8 is nice and sharp, with an outline marked for the crop. In summary, all the camera controls are integrated and well located.

As I expected, focus may be the weak point of the new body at least in office-level light. When I tried a portrait, the focus hunted a bit. There is none of the low-light snapiness of a modern dSLR. Also I focused as best I could on the front eye, @F3.2, and got the back eye in focus on a 3/4 profile shot with the 80 @ 1.5/2 m. I did repeat this test, with the same results; maybe I don't know how to focus, maybe the lens adjustment was off, maybe the AF went for the much brighter and higher contrast eyeball which was by the window. I wouldn't know which, but I certainly wouldn't use this camera under F5.6 without extensive testing.

The Gentleman from Phase to who I spoke (Esben?) told me that this camera has a color sensor surface rather than individual AF points, and that Phase's idea is to make focus "just work" for pros, rather than have the multiple focus points of an SLR. I don't really understand what is meant by that, but then I think we all agree with Synn that I'm not the sharpest knife in the box. My feeling is that the focus system is still a work in progress, and that every user should test that the focus is appropriate to their use.

I tried the chimney fold-down waist-level finder, and it worked as well as can be expected,. I'm a bit nostalgic for the Hasselblad experience, but this is a modern sub-645 camera without the large bright 6x6 image I so nostagically remember - did it really exist? IMHO a rigid vertical enlarged loupe finder might make more sense, especially for repro. But if you're desperate for a WLF it is there, as advertised, with metering.

On balance, my impression is that if you are a user of the Phamiya, and like Phase backs and Schneider optics, then you will love the new FX. It is faster to focus, has less mirror slap,  feels much more solid, has a large, pleasant and clean non-distorting finder, speed and aperture displays that middle aged eyes can read even in average light,  customisable controls, and has been designed from the start to integrate well physically and logically with the superb Phase backs. The XF is a  quality product, specifically designed for the needs of the existing customerbase; it has a COPAL shutter rated at 350K shots, a record in my book, and I believe that Phase will make good on their clear intent to make a tool that is totally reliable, while providing the best possible files available from an MF camera. However if you want an MF camera that is reactive or nearer in ergonomics to a dSLR, then you might still well prefer Hasselblad's TrueFocus H series or Leica's S model, or even the cheap but very modern Pentax.

Edmund
« Last Edit: June 09, 2015, 05:12:42 pm by eronald »
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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #117 on: June 09, 2015, 05:02:12 pm »

The XF seems like a very well engineered medium format body but in the classical mode. Will we ever see a mirrorless body with a 645 CMOS sensor from Phase or Hasselblad that will handle the Hasselblad H or Phase lenses?

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Re: My thoughts on the new PhaseOne XF (what are yours?)
« Reply #118 on: June 09, 2015, 05:16:25 pm »

The XF seems like a very well engineered medium format body but in the classical mode. Will we ever see a mirrorless body with a 645 CMOS sensor from Phase or Hasselblad that will handle the Hasselblad H or Phase lenses?

A mirrorless will need an extension adapter to take those lenses.

You can mount a Phase back on an Alpa; probably at some point the mirrorless experience will be feasible there with the very compact Alpa lenses.

Edmund
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how might a mirrorless MF system develop?
« Reply #119 on: June 09, 2015, 09:20:11 pm »

Will we ever see a mirrorless body with a 645 CMOS sensor from Phase or Hasselblad that will handle the Hasselblad H or Phase lenses?
I see a three step transition, if it happpens at all:

1) CMOS sensor options expand to cover all "medium format" sizes -- or it is decided that something like the current 44x33mm is as big as they are going to get.

2) A body with EVF instead of OVF is introduced (no point having separate backs, which add bulk), initially with a few compact "native mirrorless" lenses plus adaptors for all manner of MF SLR lenses.

3) fill out the native lens system.

The familar argument about the AF performance advantage flipping mirror cameras barely applies in MF, so the biggest delay might be waiting on the CMOS transition.
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