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Author Topic: Ideal MF system for Location/Portable Advertising  (Read 117000 times)

gwhitf

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Ideal MF system for Location/Portable Advertising
« on: July 16, 2008, 09:02:44 am »

Well, it appears that the architectural guys, the still life guys, the landscape guys, the car guys, and the food guys now have their back, either in the Phase 60 or the Hasselblad 50. They're happy as clams, I'm sure. If you're only shooting fifty frames a day, who cares if every frame you shoot is 300megs of storage. And obviously, the sports guys and the wedding guys have their 1dsIII or their D3, so they seem happy too.

But what about the people shooters who do location advertising, or editorial, or fashion, but who also prefer to shoot medium format? I still insist that the perfect system has not been devised. There is a Sweet Spot in the development of this camera. We're not there yet. There's money to be made. Please, somebody design this camera/back/software:

* About 28-30 megapixels. That's all we need. Seriously. We're throwing away most of the data already, even from the Canon or the P21, when it comes time to size for repro size. Make a big sensor well, or whatever it's called, to reduce noise or diffraction, but only give us 28-30mp. Anything else will get thrown away.

* Multi point autofocus. Personally, I manually focus everything, everyone seems to want multi point autofocus, so that should be added to the list.

* One frame per second, minimum. We don't need a Canon/Red motor drive at 24fps, but we do need to capture spontaneity, so no slower than one frame per second.

* Process in any software. No more of this Hasselblad craziness, with whatever they're doing that forces you to convert all those files before you can open them. Make the file where you can easily open it in ACR, Lightroom, CaptureOne, Raw Developer, or whatever. More more Hocus Phocus.

* Easy operation. Make it fast and intuitive, like a Canon or a Nikon. Personally, I'd love to see this body be a unibody, with no removeable back, but many would not agree with me. I just want to be "turn it on, pop in a card, format it, and start shooting". One power switch; one set of batteries.

* Full frame 645. Yes, full frame, like the P65, but only 28-30 megapixles. No cardboard masks, no hyped-up reduced finders. Just full-frame 645.

* ASA ranges from 25-1600. You need 25 in order to do flash fill outside with Profotos, but you also need 1600 in case you find a great window in the back of a dark warehouse. No idea if this is technically possible, but the truth is the truth: we need 25-1600, in one back. Please figure it out. (Edit, see post #49 later in this thread. Appears that 25-1600 is reaching for the moon, so let's reduce the dream to maybe ASA 50-800. I listed the ASA ranges to show the two radically different types of photographers -- fill-flash-bring-down-the-sky guys, and Available Darkness guys).

* A great LCD, like the Nikon. I think Hasselblad is starting to understand about the importance of the LCD. Obviously Phase does not. If that P65 was five hundred dollars, I'd never buy it, due to the LCD quality. What they don't understand is: If you've got a usable, really good, DAMN good LCD, you could actually shoot a real job, with a real art director, without a $1500-a-day Digital Tech. You could actually bring the AD over to the back of the camera, point to it, maybe even zoom in, and say to him/her, "Hey, this is what I'm shooting, check it out". I wonder if Phase even understands this issue; that we have to get a shot approved. That it's just not us, standing behind the back, looking at a histogram, knowing that we're not clipping endpoints and knowing that we can deal with it in post. We've generally got a lot of money on the line, and it's us, standing in some tick-infested field somewhere, sweating, in bright sunlight, with a motor home, four C-Stands, three Profoto packs, and we're balancing strobe to ambient, and you NEED a trustable LCD to be able to SEE the relationship of the Strobe to the Ambient. And in this challenged economy that we're all in, sometimes it's hard to justify adding in a Digital Tech, for multiple days, not to mention all the ball-and-chain he adds, with his cart, and his G5, and his multiple Eizo monitors, and his Honda generators. Sometimes, honestly, you'd love to just be able to shoot a real job without a Tech. I know I would. I have nothing against Techs, but once they drag their DogPonyShow onto the set, something just changes. And for me, not in a good way. I would pay thousands of dollars extra for a camera that had an LCD that was about 4 inches or so, with great great color, and tight resolution. I have not seen the Nikon D3 screen, but everyone raves about it. It seems to be the only game in town, seriously. It needs to be roughly the same size as an old 669 Polaroid; big enough for a nervous art director to look at, and say, "Ok, I get it, it looks great, let's shoot". Anything short of that, and it's simply a failure. What Phase needs to hear, and what Sinar needs to hear, and what Leaf needs to hear is: Add an extra battery, if battery life is shorter with a good LCD. Yes, megapixels are important, (but only up to a certain point), but MORE THAN ANYTHING, a really usable LCD is just absolutely essential. Until they make an LCD that's four inches across, all of these backs are, for the most part, unusable by a location photographer. My opinion is that people will, more and more, migrate to Nikon and Canon MERELY for the LCD alone. (I know I did).

Edit: * A leaf shutter body, with flash sync at 1/500th or so. I'm adding this, from another suggestion. It could be that the days of focal plane shutter bodies are just in the past. Everyone seems jazzed about how the H bodies sync at 800th. Maybe that is what is needed from now on. No more focal plane.

Edit: * More Canned Presets/Profiles/Styles. Of course you'd have the standard white balances, ie Strobe, Daylight, Tungsten, etc, but I'd also love a submenu for Skin Tone presets as well. I'd love about ten Skin presets alone. Maybe you'd call them Presets, or Styles, or whatever, but I'd love these companies to ship a back that nails skin tone right out of the box. I know with Canon, they tend to skew red, and with Phase as well; always fighting red in skin tone. I just wonder if these companies tweak their color with a bunch of brightly colored packages thrown down on a table, lit by strobe, and they're going for that punchy color. But I find that, with skin, it's a very skilled science, to fight that color crossover from yellow to magenta.

Edit: * A back that shoots embedded previews large enough for a web gallery. (I don't know how many times I can edit this post, but as people respond here with good points, I'm adding them). Yes, there is nothing more frustrating than shooting a three day lifestyle job on location, (without a tech in tow), and then as you're packing the van at the end of the job, the AD comes up to you with that congratulatory beer in his hand, and says, "OK, we're outta here, we're headed to the bar. And oh by the way, this job is pretty hot; we'd just love to see web galleries by tomorrow afternoon, to begin the edit". It's at that point that you realize that you've now got to batch three days of eight setups per day, from the RAW into a 1200x900 sRGB JPG. So let's just mention: You won't be joining him in the bar.

----------

I know that this is a medium format forum, and everyone seems to get upset at the mention of anything 35, but, if the truth were known, I think that there is a race toward this Sweet Spot Camera; something that balances speed and ease of use and portability, with high resolution. In my honest opinion, Canon and Nikon are winning that race. When this 24MP Nikon comes out, I think a lot of MF companies are going to be nervous. I think Phase and Hasselblad are clearly choosing their market segment, and recent announcements seem to show that they're not choosing Location/Portable photographers; they're going for the studio guys, and the dog/pony show guys. Or, they're going for the Clueless Photographer Who Always Rents From A Tech, who generally thinks, "More Megapixels are Always Better".

All I'm attempting to do here is to hold up a flag to these MF companies, and say, "Hey, don't forget the Location Photographers".
« Last Edit: July 17, 2008, 10:24:49 am by gwhitf »
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Graham Mitchell

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Ideal MF system for Location/Portable Advertising
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2008, 09:22:25 am »

Quote
But what about the people shooters who do location advertising, or editorial, or fashion, but who also prefer to shoot medium format? I still insist that the perfect system has not been devised.

The 'perfect' system never will, but I think we are quite close (see below).

Quote
* About 28-30 megapixels.

Agreed. Already exists.

Quote
* One frame per second, minimum.

Actually I'd like to see 2 or 3 fps. My 22MP sensor can handle 3fps according to the spec sheet so it is the back slowing it down. 1 fps already exists (my own Sinar back for example).

Quote
* Process in any software.

Sinar already uses the DNG format, so this is another point which already exists.

Quote
* Easy operation. Make it fast and intuitive, like a Canon or a Nikon. Personally, I'd love to see this body be a unibody, with no removeable back, but many would not agree with me.

I definitely don't agree. I like to be able to use the back on other platforms. If a camera body fails, would be nice to move the back to a backup body. Removeable back makes it easier to clean the sensor. Also means that you can upgrade just the back or the body without having to pay for both every time.

Quote
* Full frame 645. Yes, full frame, like the P65, but only 28-30 megapixles.

I agree and also have my fingers crossed for a 30MP 645 sensor.

Quote
* ASA ranges from 25-1600.

Agreed. We need better high ISO performance rather than more pixels. 50-1600 would do me. I have never found 50 to be too sensitive, and I am usually mixing Profotos with outdoor light.

Quote
* A great LCD, like the Nikon.

Agreed. Would be nice to have a screen which you could easily use to know that you really nailed a shot.

You forget to mention high flash sync speed, but we have that already in 2 platforms.

I think the Hy6 camera is nearly everything we need for location people photography. The current backs are about a generation away from being in the "sweet spot". If/when a new 30MP full 645 size back with at least 2fps, ISO 1600, and better LCD comes out, we'll be there too. Just my $0.02
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robert zimmerman

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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2008, 10:45:31 am »

Hmmm, not a perfect camera, but something that should be possible.

Top Priority:

A full frame 645 30mp sensor.

Multi software usability would be fantastic. But I'll settle for lightning fast software that allows me to make precise tonal and color adjustments, capture and view thousands of pictures at fast speeds, have a 10 flag system for seperating, rating, ordering, etc. however I like, export small jpegs in lightning speed

Also, multi preset color and tone corrections in the software (or as action uploads, which I would gladly pay for if they were really, really good), that would allow you to shoot tri-x pushed two stops, Porta 160nc, etc. with the possibility to tweak the presets in the software with real curves.
and could be applied to the preview jpegs.

No single body unit, I want to be able to change backs if Ineed to.
But the back should provide fast and easy controll of all the important parameters ala Nikon.

ASA 50 to 3200 (grain is okay at 3200)

A high definition 4 inch LCD or an extra wireless LCD viewer.

A scroll thumbwheel for accessing the menus and scrolling through pics. (may sound stupid, but I don't have one on my back...)

A wide array of fast glass at well thought out focal lenghts, with fast autofocus motors and leaf shutters.


Lower Priority:

Multi-Point Autofocus with a wide array of cross hair sensors would be great.

3 FPS.

A focal plane shutter in the camera for use with non leaf shutter lenses. 1/4000th max. shutter speed.

Either a rotating back/chip or an extra rightangle grip ala contax.

A lighter weight, low key, simple matt black finished metal allow body with rubberized grip and fully body/back sealed.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 10:47:36 am by kipling »
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ruraltrekker

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Ideal MF system for Location/Portable Advertising
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2008, 11:26:37 am »

Quote
* A great LCD, like the Nikon. I think Hasselblad is starting to understand about the importance of the LCD. Obviously Phase does not. If that P65 was five hundred dollars, I'd never buy it, due to the LCD quality. What they don't understand is: If you've got a usable, really good, DAMN good LCD, you could actually shoot a real job, with a real art director, without a Digital Tech. You could actually bring the AD over to the back of the camera, point to it, maybe even zoom in, and say to him/her, "Hey, this is what I'm shooting, check it out". I wonder if Phase even understands this issue; that we have to get a shot approved. That it's just not us, standing behind the back, looking at a histogram, knowing that we're not clipping endpoints and knowing that we can deal with it in post. We've generally got a lot of money on the line, and it's us, standing in some tick-infested field somewhere, sweating, in bright sunlight, with a motor home, four C-Stands, three Profoto packs, and we're balancing strobe to ambient, and you NEED a trustable LCD to be able to SEE the relationship of the Strobe to the Ambient. And in this challenged economy that we're all in, sometimes it's hard to justify adding in a Digital Tech, for multiple days, not to mention all the ball-and-chain he adds, with his cart, and his G5, and his multiple Eizo monitors, and his Honda generators. Sometimes, honestly, you'd love to just be able to shoot a real job without a Tech. I know I would. I have nothing against Techs, but once they drag their DogPonyShow onto the set, something just changes. And for me, not in a good way. I would pay thousands of dollars extra for a camera that had an LCD that was about 4 inches or so, with great great color, and tight resolution. I have not seen the Nikon D3 screen, but everyone raves about it. It seems to be the only game in town, seriously. It needs to be roughly the same size as an old 669 Polaroid; big enough for a nervous art director to look at, and say, "Ok, I get it, it looks great, let's shoot". Anything short of that, and it's simply a failure. What Phase needs to hear, and what Sinar needs to hear, and what Leaf needs to hear is: Add an extra battery, if battery life is shorter with a good LCD. Yes, megapixels are important, (but only up to a certain point), but MORE THAN ANYTHING, a really usable LCD is just absolutely essential. Until they make an LCD that's four inches across, all of these backs are, for the most part, unusable by a location photographer. My opinion is that people will, more and more, migrate to Nikon and Canon MERELY for the LCD alone. (I know I did).

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208633\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

What a great collection of words that I think sums it up for the location advertising  shooter. If only the decision makers would read this one paragraph, understand it, ask more questions, then I think the "gap" that MF shooting creates would close to a hair line crack.

Came at a great time because Chris Lawery is about to walk through my door to talk stuff with me.

Ken
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 04:27:45 pm by ruraltrekker »
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James R Russell

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Ideal MF system for Location/Portable Advertising
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2008, 11:56:11 am »

I use to think the tail wagged the dog.

I use to think the process was Kodak or Dalsa made a sensor with all of these different limitations in iso, shooting speed, color response and expsoure time and told the medium format makers take it or leave it.

I use to think that medium format digital was stuck with whatever camera they could stick there backs on, whether that was a Contax or a Hasselblad V.

Obviously that has changed and now the back makers are designing the sensors and are very much alingned with the camera makers.

All this makes me believe that medium format really isn't targeting my type of photogrpahy to their product.

I know everyone screams 60mpx, both ways.  Some think it's peachy, some think it's the end of the world, I personaly just think (actually I know) that no client I have is asking for a 300mb file.

In fact if I shipped 300mb files they would return them.

This variable frame size iso thing sounds good on paper and if it gives me a 30mpx file that will shoot fast and go to high iso that's great, but what happens when I need a low iso studio setting?

Am I stuck to 60mpx, because 40mb raw files x 800 frames a day is 320 gigs of storage a day x 3 backups, which puts us near a terabyte a day of storage.

Start pricing out storage because whether your running a server, Raid 5's or just stacking drives inn the corner, it's very easy to spend $3,000 a month on storage.

Then the thought of waiting for previews to build on 800 60mpx files and batch correcting and batch processing those images, may make the digital techs that charge per file happy,  but for me crunching through 10 hours of post processing a day is not something me or anyone in my studio is going to look forward to.

I don't know who medium format talks to when they make their decisions, but I wish they wouild listen in on the 2 hour conference callas I have with clients prior to a shoot.

They would hear the terms, speed, volume, costs, timing, costs, long hours (limited light), costs, delivery dates and oh did I mention costs.

I have a p21+ and a P30+ and if someone asked me what camera/back I would want it would be two p21+ backs.  Both that went to something like 30 mpx real full frame, one back that would go easily to a REAL 1000 iso clean and one back that would go to 50 to 400 ISO clean.

I wish they were on set when we shoot 20 setups a day and try to look at one of their lcd's and make a judgement.  Or better yet see what happens when the computer and cart won't fit into the room.

The very next thing I would ask for is an lcd that was useable, because I have yet to see a medium format lcd, including Hasselblad's new one, that was as good as the original 1ds and 1/100th as good as my leica.

Quite honestly I am amazed and even shocked that any maker would still try to sell a camera/back that costs $20,000 to $40,000 and has an lcd that was unuseable.

The next thing I would ask for is a full lens and accessory range.  Fast lenses at F2, along with a full range of leaf shutter lenses (and by full I mean from wide angle to medium telephoto).

I am also blown backwards by the fact that any camera maker that attempts to sell a $30,000 to $40,000 system would have an asterick that said, lenses, accessories, software to be released later.

Though I will reserve final judgement until I see this back work in the real world, I really believe medium format has decided to ignore the people that shoot what I shoot.

In fact other than just raising the costs and rasing the mpx count, I don't see anything that was annouced recently that would move me to do anything, other than look at the new Nikon.

The only camera company that now hits on all cylinders is the RED.  They're covering the low end to high end. 3k to 5k, all the lenses and accessories with compatibility of lenses that are industry standards.  They have all kinds of lcd previews, good high iso, autofocus lenses, standard cinema lenses, zooms, storage medium and most of it from the ground up in two years.

RED listened to their customers.

JR

P.S.   I've asked this twice to the dealers so I will ask it again (obivously nobody wants to answer this) but what is the quote that ISO is an upgrade to come in 2009?   How do you upgrade the ISO?



Quote
Well, it appears that the architectural guys, the still life guys, the landscape guys, the car guys, and the food guys now have their back, either in the Phase 60 or the Hasselblad 50. They're happy as clams, I'm sure. If you're only shooting fifty frames a day, who cares if every frame you shoot is 300megs of storage. And obviously, the sports guys and the wedding guys have their 1dsIII or their D3, so they seem happy too.

But what about the people shooters who do location advertising, or editorial, or fashion, but who also prefer to shoot medium format? I still insist that the perfect system has not been devised. There is a Sweet Spot in the development of this camera. We're not there yet. There's money to be made. Please, somebody design this camera/back/software:

* About 28-30 megapixels. That's all we need. Seriously. We're throwing away most of the data already, even from the Canon or the P21, when it comes time to size for repro size. Make a big sensor well, or whatever it's called, to reduce noise or diffraction, but only give us 28-30mp. Anything else will get thrown away.

* Multi point autofocus. Personally, I manually focus everything, everyone seems to want multi point autofocus, so that should be added to the list.

* One frame per second, minimum. We don't need a Canon/Red motor drive at 24fps, but we do need to capture spontaneity, so no slower than one frame per second.

* Process in any software. No more of this Hasselblad craziness, with whatever they're doing that forces you to convert all those files before you can open them. Make the file where you can easily open it in ACR, Lightroom, CaptureOne, Raw Developer, or whatever. More more Hocus Phocus.

* Easy operation. Make it fast and intuitive, like a Canon or a Nikon. Personally, I'd love to see this body be a unibody, with no removeable back, but many would not agree with me. I just want to be "turn it on, pop in a card, format it, and start shooting". One power switch; one set of batteries.

* Full frame 645. Yes, full frame, like the P65, but only 28-30 megapixles. No cardboard masks, no hyped-up reduced finders. Just full-frame 645.

* ASA ranges from 25-1600. You need 25 in order to do flash fill outside with Profotos, but you also need 1600 in case you find a great window in the back of a dark warehouse. No idea if this is technically possible, but the truth is the truth: we need 25-1600, in one back. Please figure it out.

* A great LCD, like the Nikon. I think Hasselblad is starting to understand about the importance of the LCD. Obviously Phase does not. If that P65 was five hundred dollars, I'd never buy it, due to the LCD quality. What they don't understand is: If you've got a usable, really good, DAMN good LCD, you could actually shoot a real job, with a real art director, without a Digital Tech. You could actually bring the AD over to the back of the camera, point to it, maybe even zoom in, and say to him/her, "Hey, this is what I'm shooting, check it out". I wonder if Phase even understands this issue; that we have to get a shot approved. That it's just not us, standing behind the back, looking at a histogram, knowing that we're not clipping endpoints and knowing that we can deal with it in post. We've generally got a lot of money on the line, and it's us, standing in some tick-infested field somewhere, sweating, in bright sunlight, with a motor home, four C-Stands, three Profoto packs, and we're balancing strobe to ambient, and you NEED a trustable LCD to be able to SEE the relationship of the Strobe to the Ambient. And in this challenged economy that we're all in, sometimes it's hard to justify adding in a Digital Tech, for multiple days, not to mention all the ball-and-chain he adds, with his cart, and his G5, and his multiple Eizo monitors, and his Honda generators. Sometimes, honestly, you'd love to just be able to shoot a real job without a Tech. I know I would. I have nothing against Techs, but once they drag their DogPonyShow onto the set, something just changes. And for me, not in a good way. I would pay thousands of dollars extra for a camera that had an LCD that was about 4 inches or so, with great great color, and tight resolution. I have not seen the Nikon D3 screen, but everyone raves about it. It seems to be the only game in town, seriously. It needs to be roughly the same size as an old 669 Polaroid; big enough for a nervous art director to look at, and say, "Ok, I get it, it looks great, let's shoot". Anything short of that, and it's simply a failure.

----------

I know that this is a medium format forum, and everyone seems to get upset at the mention of anything 35, but, if the truth were known, I think that there is a race toward this Sweet Spot Camera; something that balances speed and ease of use and portability, with high resolution. In my honest opinion, Canon and Nikon are winning that race. When this 24MP Nikon comes out, I think a lot of MF companies are going to be nervous. I think Phase and Hasselblad are clearly choosing their market segment, and recent announcements seem to show that they're not choosing Location/Portable photographers; they're going for the studio guys, and the dog/pony show guys. Or, they're going for the Clueless Photographer Who Always Rents From A Tech, who generally thinks, "More Megapixels are Always Better".

All I'm attempting to do here is to hold up a flag to these MF companies, and say, "Hey, don't forget the Location Photographers".
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rainer_v

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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2008, 11:57:17 am »

if i see the things right the p1 / 65 is also a 645 30mp sensor so far.
and... photokina is not far away. we havent seen all what will to be seen there.
i am sure about that.

... but in general.: i agree.
esp. about the immense costs if you want to stay in the first row with your gear.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 11:59:27 am by rainer_v »
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rainer viertlböck
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2008, 12:14:07 pm »

Quote
Well, it appears that the architectural guys, the still life guys, the landscape guys, the car guys, and the food guys now have their back, either in the Phase 60 or the Hasselblad 50. They're happy as clams, I'm sure. If you're only shooting fifty frames a day, who cares if every frame you shoot is 300megs of storage. And obviously, the sports guys and the wedding guys have their 1dsIII or their D3, so they seem happy too.

But what about the people shooters who do location advertising, or editorial, or fashion, but who also prefer to shoot medium format? I still insist that the perfect system has not been devised. There is a Sweet Spot in the development of this camera. We're not there yet. There's money to be made. Please, somebody design this camera/back/software:

* About 28-30 megapixels. That's all we need. Seriously. We're throwing away most of the data already, even from the Canon or the P21, when it comes time to size for repro size. Make a big sensor well, or whatever it's called, to reduce noise or diffraction, but only give us 28-30mp. Anything else will get thrown away.

* Multi point autofocus. Personally, I manually focus everything, everyone seems to want multi point autofocus, so that should be added to the list.

* One frame per second, minimum. We don't need a Canon/Red motor drive at 24fps, but we do need to capture spontaneity, so no slower than one frame per second.

* Process in any software. No more of this Hasselblad craziness, with whatever they're doing that forces you to convert all those files before you can open them. Make the file where you can easily open it in ACR, Lightroom, CaptureOne, Raw Developer, or whatever. More more Hocus Phocus.

* Easy operation. Make it fast and intuitive, like a Canon or a Nikon. Personally, I'd love to see this body be a unibody, with no removeable back, but many would not agree with me. I just want to be "turn it on, pop in a card, format it, and start shooting". One power switch; one set of batteries.

* Full frame 645. Yes, full frame, like the P65, but only 28-30 megapixles. No cardboard masks, no hyped-up reduced finders. Just full-frame 645.

* ASA ranges from 25-1600. You need 25 in order to do flash fill outside with Profotos, but you also need 1600 in case you find a great window in the back of a dark warehouse. No idea if this is technically possible, but the truth is the truth: we need 25-1600, in one back. Please figure it out.

* A great LCD, like the Nikon. I think Hasselblad is starting to understand about the importance of the LCD. Obviously Phase does not. If that P65 was five hundred dollars, I'd never buy it, due to the LCD quality. What they don't understand is: If you've got a usable, really good, DAMN good LCD, you could actually shoot a real job, with a real art director, without a Digital Tech. You could actually bring the AD over to the back of the camera, point to it, maybe even zoom in, and say to him/her, "Hey, this is what I'm shooting, check it out". I wonder if Phase even understands this issue; that we have to get a shot approved. That it's just not us, standing behind the back, looking at a histogram, knowing that we're not clipping endpoints and knowing that we can deal with it in post. We've generally got a lot of money on the line, and it's us, standing in some tick-infested field somewhere, sweating, in bright sunlight, with a motor home, four C-Stands, three Profoto packs, and we're balancing strobe to ambient, and you NEED a trustable LCD to be able to SEE the relationship of the Strobe to the Ambient. And in this challenged economy that we're all in, sometimes it's hard to justify adding in a Digital Tech, for multiple days, not to mention all the ball-and-chain he adds, with his cart, and his G5, and his multiple Eizo monitors, and his Honda generators. Sometimes, honestly, you'd love to just be able to shoot a real job without a Tech. I know I would. I have nothing against Techs, but once they drag their DogPonyShow onto the set, something just changes. And for me, not in a good way. I would pay thousands of dollars extra for a camera that had an LCD that was about 4 inches or so, with great great color, and tight resolution. I have not seen the Nikon D3 screen, but everyone raves about it. It seems to be the only game in town, seriously. It needs to be roughly the same size as an old 669 Polaroid; big enough for a nervous art director to look at, and say, "Ok, I get it, it looks great, let's shoot". Anything short of that, and it's simply a failure. What Phase needs to hear, and what Sinar needs to hear, and what Leaf needs to hear is: Add an extra battery, if battery life is shorter with a good LCD. Yes, megapixels are important, (but only up to a certain point), but MORE THAN ANYTHING, a really usable LCD is just absolutely essential. Until they make an LCD that's four inches across, all of these backs are, for the most part, unusable by a location photographer. My opinion is that people will, more and more, migrate to Nikon and Canon MERELY for the LCD alone. (I know I did).

Edit: * A leaf shutter body, with flash sync at 1/500th or so. I'm adding this, from another suggestion. It could be that the days of focal plane shutter bodies are just in the past. Everyone seems jazzed about how the H bodies sync at 800th. Maybe that is what is needed from now on. No more focal plane.

Edit: * More Canned Presets/Profiles/Styles. Of course you'd have the standard white balances, ie Strobe, Daylight, Tungsten, etc, but I'd also love a submenu for Skin Tone presets as well. I'd love about ten Skin presets alone. Maybe you'd call them Presets, or Styles, or whatever, but I'd love these companies to ship a back that nails skin tone right out of the box. I know with Canon, they tend to skew red, and with Phase as well; always fighting red in skin tone. I just wonder if these companies tweak their color with a bunch of brightly colored packages thrown down on a table, lit by strobe, and they're going for that punchy color. But I find that, with skin, it's a very skilled science, to fight that color crossover from yellow to magenta.

----------

I know that this is a medium format forum, and everyone seems to get upset at the mention of anything 35, but, if the truth were known, I think that there is a race toward this Sweet Spot Camera; something that balances speed and ease of use and portability, with high resolution. In my honest opinion, Canon and Nikon are winning that race. When this 24MP Nikon comes out, I think a lot of MF companies are going to be nervous. I think Phase and Hasselblad are clearly choosing their market segment, and recent announcements seem to show that they're not choosing Location/Portable photographers; they're going for the studio guys, and the dog/pony show guys. Or, they're going for the Clueless Photographer Who Always Rents From A Tech, who generally thinks, "More Megapixels are Always Better".

All I'm attempting to do here is to hold up a flag to these MF companies, and say, "Hey, don't forget the Location Photographers".
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I agree.  I think alot of what we need is here, but not in one box, and apparently it cannot be jammed into one camera/back/lens package at this time.  The new Phase will, apparently, bin the pixels and give a 30 mega pixel 645 frame. That's cool but its retarded expensive and thus not suited for most of the people shooter market.

The LCD issue is really, really annoying.  The 5D LCD is better than my P30+ LCD outside.  I shot part of a catalogue in the damn woods in CT a week or so ago.  I was tethered to a MBP on a Multicart powered by a homemade inverter of the tech's design. Mostly natural light with bounce.  I had to walk to the end of the 16 foot cable to see what was going on and to talk to the AD about the shots.  This sucked.  Broke the mood, made the light difficult to replicate because of clouds and the position of bead board changed because it was handheld.  A big LCD or a wireless transfer to an iPhone would be nice.  AD's all have iPhones, they could get the preview sent to their iPhone, but then you would need to have a real jpeg preview and that will never happen.I shot a bunch of "atmospheric" stuff for this catalogue on film, wandering around with two models and the stylist.  Great stuff.  No AD, no tether, just shooting and reloading.

I like the focal plane shutter.  Any lens can be used with adapters and 1/4000 is a nice option when outside without strobes. mamiya says they will have some really expensive leaf shutter lenses available for their FP shutter camera, which would give you both high flash sync and high shutter speed abilities.  I find I need 1/4000 more than I need 1/500 flash sync.

I don't think we'll get multi AF points for years.  The mamiya selectable AF points are a cruel, cruel joke.  Much too close to gether and they don't light up.  It was an after thought in the design process.

I bet Leaf will make their 6x7 LCD better and will enable wifi/bluetooth to portable device on their new backs, much like they had with the old Valeos.  

Shutter lag needs to be eliminated.  I haven't tried them all, but the H with a Phase back has some lag, not much but some.  The AFD and AFD2 have bad shutter lag that never happened with film, which results from the back to body communications protocol.  The AFD3 is better, but still has lag.  The Hy6/AFi has no lag.  It just shoots like a film camera or a Nikon D2X or Canon 1 series.

Frame rate:  the P21+ has a nice fast frame rate, something like .8 frames a second.  The Leaf 54S also shoots really fast. Plenty fast for me.  I have a P30+ and find the frame rate on a Mamiya AFd to be a hair too slow, sometimes.

ISO of the P30+ is really good.  Slightly cleaner 1600 would be nice.

What needs to be understood by the product managers is that the people shooters can more easily do our jobs, especially outside of a studio, with a 5D than with any of the MFDB/cameras out there.  The 1ds3 and I'm sure the new and rumored Nikon megapixel machine have/will have IQ that is good enough for much of what we do.  Hell, the 5D, 1ds, and 1ds2, D3, D2x have good enough IQ.  And with these cheap cams you spend more time taking pictures than dicking around with all that unwiedly gear, work arounds, etc. We use MFDB because its OUR choice.  Not a client requirement.  Make these cameras more usable, with lower pixel count, and make the price for entry reflect the market in which we find ourselves.  Hint:  Look at the Phase Refurbs.  This should be the price point for new backs with a body.
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gwhitf

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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2008, 12:30:46 pm »

I read Michael Reichmann's thoughtful reply the other day, in that P65+ thread. As usual, it was well-reasoned, and not reactionary, like most commercial photographers would write. I thought he made good points.

But, in the end, if this is all about business, and sales, and dollars and cents, I would just wonder, how many potential photographers are there out there, that truly need a 60 megapixel back? Versus, say, the number of potential photographers that need a 28 megapixel back, (but one that truly works great, instead of still shipping with lots of asterisks and apologies and "we're working on its".)

I would think a hugely larger number of 28MP customers. But maybe Phase/Leaf/Sinar/Hassie have just resigned themselves to competing head-on with Canon/Nikon. Maybe they simply know they can't win, if they go head to head, so they're choosing the "more megapixels is better" avenue of marketing, (even if most people are throwing half the file away, by repro time).

The other thing I wonder is: Why do these MF companies sell to Digital Techs? For every time that I rent a camera/back from a Tech, that's one more back that'll never get sold. I wonder why Phase/Leaf/Sinar/Hassie don't write something into their Licensing Agreements that's similar to what those color profiling services write into theirs? In other words, you can buy our Profiling Package, but you can't write profiles for other people. It's only for your own use. Almost similar to iTunes, when you buy a song.

Phase sells three backs to a Digital Tech, and over the life of that back, maybe a hundred different photographers use it, and thus, never buy their own back.

It just makes you wonder.
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TMARK

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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2008, 12:35:40 pm »

Quote
I read Michael Reichmann's thoughtful reply the other day, in that P65+ thread. As usual, it was well-reasoned, and not reactionary, like most commercial photographers would write. I thought he made good points.

But, in the end, if this is all about business, and sales, and dollars and cents, I would just wonder, how many potential photographers are there out there, that truly need a 60 megapixel back? Versus, say, the number of potential photographers that need a 28 megapixel back, (but one that truly works great, instead of still shipping with lots of asterisks and apologies and "we're working on its".)

I would think a hugely larger number of 28MP customers. But maybe Phase/Leaf/Sinar/Hassie have just resigned themselves to competing head-on with Canon/Nikon. Maybe they simply know they can't win, if they go head to head, so they're choosing the "more megapixels is better" avenue of marketing, (even if most people are throwing half the file away, by repro time).

The other thing I wonder is: Why do these MF companies sell to Digital Techs? For every time that I rent a camera/back from a Tech, that's one more back that'll never get sold. I wonder why Phase/Leaf/Sinar/Hassie don't write something into their Licensing Agreements that's similar to what those color profiling services write into theirs? In other words, you can buy our Profiling Package, but you can't write profiles for other people. It's only for your own use. Almost similar to iTunes, when you buy a song.

Phase sells three backs to a Digital Tech, and over the life of that back, maybe a hundred different photographers use it, and thus, never buy their own back.

It just makes you wonder.
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The Profile packeges are intellectual property, so what they are selling us is a license to use the software, and that license has restrictions, like the license we sell to a client to use our images.  The backs are physical goods and cannot, I believe, be sold with strings attached.
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gwhitf

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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2008, 12:40:01 pm »

Quote
The Profile packeges are intellectual property, so what they are selling us is a license to use the software, and that license has restrictions, like the license we sell to a client to use our images.  The backs are physical goods and cannot, I believe, be sold with strings attached.
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But the software could. What good is a P65+ back tethered to a G5 tower if you can't run CaptureOne on the G5, for another photographer?
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snickgrr

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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2008, 12:46:00 pm »

Quote
I bet Leaf will make their 6x7 LCD better and will enable wifi/bluetooth to portable device on their new backs, much like they had with the old Valeos. 

[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208685\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]


I'm betting on Leaf also.  They came close with theirs, except of course, it doesn't work outdoors.  James' point he brings up all time is a good one.  Make the screen operate when tethered, it would cut down on running back to the computer.

I know it ain't goin' happen but I would love the MF reps that speak here to start to speak from the cuff about why some features are doable and others aren't...and why.
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mtomalty

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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2008, 12:53:39 pm »

Quote
The other thing I wonder is: Why do these MF companies sell to Digital Techs? For every time that I rent a camera/back from a Tech, that's one more back that'll never get sold.


By extension,why does any photo product allow its products to be purchased by
rental companies.

If you determine that DB's can't be sold to Digital Techs then,by law,to avoid discrimination
you'll have to restrict sales of cameras,lenses,power packs,...... to rental outfits.

For every Profoto pack rented,for example,  that's one less powerpack sold.

I wouldn't spend much time worrying about this   :>))

Mark
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James R Russell

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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2008, 01:01:39 pm »

From the rumors we all hear I think the only one that interests me is Leica.  If they rumors are even half true, the idea of a new format, 35mm type body with a 4:3 ratio, fast lenses, autofocus, useable manual focus and the sweet spot of 30mpx is just perfect and could be the ONLY camera that I could use for everything I do.

Now whether Leica has the resources or funding to do this I don't know, though since I've had to return 3 leica lenses because they front of back focused about 5 feet I do know that if they do make that R-10, they had better hire some quality control people from Porsche to check each one.



JR



Quote
I read Michael Reichmann's thoughtful reply the other day, in that P65+ thread. As usual, it was well-reasoned, and not reactionary, like most commercial photographers would write. I thought he made good points.

But, in the end, if this is all about business, and sales, and dollars and cents, I would just wonder, how many potential photographers are there out there, that truly need a 60 megapixel back? Versus, say, the number of potential photographers that need a 28 megapixel back, (but one that truly works great, instead of still shipping with lots of asterisks and apologies and "we're working on its".)

I would think a hugely larger number of 28MP customers. But maybe Phase/Leaf/Sinar/Hassie have just resigned themselves to competing head-on with Canon/Nikon. Maybe they simply know they can't win, if they go head to head, so they're choosing the "more megapixels is better" avenue of marketing, (even if most people are throwing half the file away, by repro time).

The other thing I wonder is: Why do these MF companies sell to Digital Techs? For every time that I rent a camera/back from a Tech, that's one more back that'll never get sold. I wonder why Phase/Leaf/Sinar/Hassie don't write something into their Licensing Agreements that's similar to what those color profiling services write into theirs? In other words, you can buy our Profiling Package, but you can't write profiles for other people. It's only for your own use. Almost similar to iTunes, when you buy a song.

Phase sells three backs to a Digital Tech, and over the life of that back, maybe a hundred different photographers use it, and thus, never buy their own back.

It just makes you wonder.
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« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 01:50:47 pm by James R Russell »
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James R Russell

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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2008, 01:08:09 pm »

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« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 01:40:33 pm by James R Russell »
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Jack Flesher

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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2008, 01:30:03 pm »

Some of us remember the good old days...  All we had to complain about back then was the manufacturers not being to able to make an ISO 400 film that didn't show grain like sandpaper, or not being able to give us close, let alone accurate, color.  We also complained that different batches of film had different ISO's and oh yes, let's not forget the printed ISO was rarely the actual ISO!  Then there was the issue of actually being to find your favorite emulsion in stock when you needed it for an "emergency" shoot, or when the manufacturers just discontinued it for some unknown reason.  

Yeah the good old days were far better than what we are faced with now...
 
,
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James R Russell

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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2008, 01:43:37 pm »

Quote
Some of us remember the good old days...  All we had to complain about back then was the manufacturers not being to able to make an ISO 400 film that didn't show grain like sandpaper, or not being able to give us close, let alone accurate, color.  We also complained that different batches of film had different ISO's and oh yes, let's not forget the printed ISO was rarely the actual ISO!  Then there was the issue of actually being to find your favorite emulsion in stock when you needed it for an "emergency" shoot, or when the manufacturers just discontinued it for some unknown reason. 

Yeah the good old days were far better than what we are faced with now...
 
,
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208707\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Photographers use to paint their own emulsion on glass.

What does that have to do with an lcd?

Then again when they were processing those plates in a tent, I bet they didn't have a hundred grand of expenses sitting outside waiting withh the clock ticking.

You shoot what you shoot which is different that what I shoot.

Not that one is better than the other, though one does come with a great deal more monitary pressure.

JR
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TMARK

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« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2008, 01:47:46 pm »

Quote
Some of us remember the good old days...  All we had to complain about back then was the manufacturers not being to able to make an ISO 400 film that didn't show grain like sandpaper, or not being able to give us close, let alone accurate, color.  We also complained that different batches of film had different ISO's and oh yes, let's not forget the printed ISO was rarely the actual ISO!  Then there was the issue of actually being to find your favorite emulsion in stock when you needed it for an "emergency" shoot, or when the manufacturers just discontinued it for some unknown reason. 

Yeah the good old days were far better than what we are faced with now...
 
,
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=208707\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I remember not feeling like a Zork geek sitting at a computer for hours and hours and hours.  And Hours.  When I was a kid in LA I would play Zork on my Apple II for 20 hours straight.  I feel that way with digital.  If I charged full freight for the time in post I'd lose that client.  

I still shoot lots of film, especially for editorials, and you know, with a small shoot, film takes about the same time to get a client proofs as it takes with MFDB, and you don't have to spend your time at a computer to do it.  Canons are different because of the onboard JPGs, so lets get some on board jpegs Phase Leaf Sinar Blad!
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« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2008, 01:48:33 pm »

How in the world did HCB, AA, EW, SS, RA  make images without a screen let alone a histogram?

Come on why is a big pretty on camera display so important?  

DR, frame rate, sensor size, ISO sensitivity and noise are all key factors to a MFDB that can't be gotten any other way.

 You can see the images you took with big screen tethered, by zooming in on your back, check exposure with a tiny histogram, measure with a lightmeter... all kinds of ways.  Its not a make or break feature to a camera.    The screen has zero affect on image quality.  Again why is it so important?
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gwhitf

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« Reply #18 on: July 16, 2008, 01:58:40 pm »

Quote
How in the world did HCB, AA, EW, SS, RA  make images without a screen let alone a histogram?

Come on why is a big pretty on camera display so important? The screen has zero affect on image quality.  Again why is it so important?
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Mr Hiss,

What do you shoot? What do you do for a living?

The subject line of this thread was about the appropriate camera/features for advertising photography. In that line of work, there's generally always at least one, if not more, ADs or CDs in tow, that need to see and sign off on what you're shooting. In the old days, you'd shoot a polaroid, stand around and fold it, and they'd give the thumbs up or down. Now, with no polaroid, you either hire a Tech, with all his mess and cables and drudgery, or you have a USABLE LCD on the medium format back. So you're either showing the AD the back of the camera (LCD) or you're walking him/her up to the Tech's monitor for approval.

Image quality is, of course, very important, but of equal importance is the communication with the client, during the shoot, and making sure that they are feeling good about the setups. Again, there is no more Polaroid.

Personally, I resist using Techs because of the Ball and Chain effect that it has on the project. On location, any and every time you move or explore a new shot, or a better angle, it's a whole affair of moving the cart, and the firewire cable access, and that dreaded effect of the whole damn crew slowing to begin to hover around the monitor, like they're being paid to watch TV or something, instead of looking/watching the live talent.

What is hard to understand about that?

And as you know, HCB or AA didn't really shoot for clients, and if AA did, from time to time, I'm sure he shot a polaroid and handed it to the AD that was in the factory with him.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 02:02:09 pm by gwhitf »
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snickgrr

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« Reply #19 on: July 16, 2008, 02:01:14 pm »

Quote
How in the world did HCB, AA, EW, SS, RA  make images without a screen let alone a histogram?

Come on why is a big pretty on camera display so important? 

DR, frame rate, sensor size, ISO sensitivity and noise are all key factors to a MFDB that can't be gotten any other way.

 You can see the images you took with big screen tethered, by zooming in on your back, check exposure with a tiny histogram, measure with a lightmeter... all kinds of ways.  Its not a make or break feature to a camera.    The screen has zero affect on image quality.  Again why is it so important?
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« Last Edit: July 16, 2008, 02:02:28 pm by snickgrr »
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