Phase One counters Hasselblad :D
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Old 07-15-2008   #1
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Default Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

So just when Hasselblad and Kodak announces their 50MP monster, in comes Phase One from the leftfield and smashes in a 60 MP retort.

This one seems to have a few ups on the Hasselblad aswell:

* True full frame (20% larger sensor than the Kodak)
* downgradable resolution (you can use it as a 30Mp with better performance, in theory)
* will work on pretty much all medium format cameras (except the Hasselblad H3

So. in the meantime, i'll keep scanning my negatives =)

Read more at Phase One P65+ Preview

And its scheduled for "release" at PhotoKina.

Should be a very interesting place to be this year

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Old 07-15-2008   #2
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Default Re: Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

Interesting. Hopefully that means full frame 6x6 backs soon. Maybe one day they won't cost as much as a new car. They are still cost-prohibitive to everyone except working pros.

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Old 07-16-2008   #3
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Default Re: Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

Actually on that preview the auther does mention one important reason why we might never see a 6x6 (or 6x7) digital back. Simply because the market is just too small, it's a fraction of a very small pro-market that wants a square based format. And no company would start manifacturing a 6x6 sensor if you are looking at producing maybe a few hundred sensors worldwide.

So unless someone starts actually making custom built sensors & backs, i doubt we will see square sensors or even 6x7.

But. on the other hand... shooting film on a square format camera and scanning that still works just fine and at a fraction of the cost

as for price drops i think we might see that in the future. Especially with products such as the Mamiya ZD coming onto the used market and more manifacturers besides Kodak and Dalsa entering the medium format sensor scene, this should create a lower price base which may increase the userbase.

Since the catch 22 of this world is that today, the pricetag on these products are so high so they are only availible for a few selected pro users, the market remains quite small. And small markets leads to higher prices.
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Old 07-16-2008   #4
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Default Re: Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

I think I'll get the Hasselblad. It sounds a lot cooler than a Phase One. I'll suffer with the image quality...
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Old 08-26-2008   #5
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Default Re: Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

Well, the Hasselblad H3 is a closed format which locks you into them forever so I'm not even considering that ... I've got enough of that with other technology. The Phase One camera with a large assortment of backs sounds very good to me. At the moment I don't need MF but I am venturing out into landscape, family/wedding/fashion with my 1DsMIII (and a couple of 1DMIII's) and if I can sell myself I'd really love that 12 stop dynamic range. And, like most others, I am expecting the MF digital backs to come down in price in the next year or so.
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Old 08-28-2008   #6
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Default Re: Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

Does it really have to be that expensive? ($39,500 est)

I mean....I can't drive it...it doesn't do sexual favors......
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Old 09-09-2008   #7
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Default Re: Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

I wouldn't hold my breath for prices to drop. Figure that the largest diameter silicon wafers that you can easily get ahold of are 300mm, which is just under 12 inches, you're liable to only get one sensor out of each wafer. Figure that variances in wafer consistency will force you to throw out some of these sensors, basically an entire wafer, and there's hardly any way to lower price. You can't decrease the size of the sensor and print more sensors on each wafer because the sensors always have to be 6"x6". Wait around for silicon wafer size to increase and for someone to invest in a brand-new multi-billion dollar facility that can handle the larger diameter wafers?

There's still a lot of competition in this space, so you're probably going to have to keep pace with that latest processes, so you can't farm your sensor production out to an older 25µm fab in the hopes of taking advantage of idle capacity because the other guys are booking time on 18µm or 13µm fabs. At the prices theses cameras bring, you can't afford to NOT build the most advanced sensor possible.
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Old 09-09-2008   #8
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Default Re: Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

Matthew, you are correct. NEW prices will most likely not drop much but what does happens to a degree is that last years "omgwhataback!" gets pushed down. It's a bit similar to how the first digital cameras were priced. Yes they were ofcourse expensive to manifacture compared to todays camera, but not THAT more expensive. A lot of the price is based also on supply & demand. If a supplier can charge $20000 to a customer and that customer is happy to pay it then the supplier would be stupid not to. If there is a big overhead it means that the supplier will have a solid financial foundation to work from and can provide a lot of added value to their product (which is generally the case with medium format backs). There is a reason they can have things like "buy one camera, get a 2nd backup house for free".

I think however that as the last years model are pushed down the hierarchy the 2nd hand value drops. A jentech M11 back today cost you between $1500-2000 and that was $20 000 in 2003. Still a good back but ofcourse not as effective and fast or as high resolution as a P45+ today but thats what you get for going in cheaper.

So while i do not think that the prices of the newest backs will drop anything, i do see that prices on 2nd hand used backs are dropping as they come onto the market. Now the suppliers do battle this a bit by offering very nice upgrade deals where you hand in your back and get the new one at a reduced cost, which is basically a way to keep the customer more inclined to upgrade right away than hold on to a old back that may end up on the used market and possibly harm their own sales.
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Old 09-09-2008   #9
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Default Re: Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

One of the posters commented on possibly seeing prices go down without clarification. I don't see any way prices on new backs can go down much unless there's a fundamental change in the way processors are manufactured. Most of the processor world (except for camera sensors) increase its yield by making the size of the processor physically smaller. The camera world did this by ditching the full 35mm frame and coming up with APS-C, so they could get higher yields while still holding acceptable levels of image quality. Hence, sub-$1000 dSLRs.

Of course, each advance in fabrication using the current methods keeps getting more and more expensive than the advance before. The way companies like Intel make the money back is by making dies aggressively smaller. Not an option for image sensors.

Also, considering how much money that a professional shooting medium format can command, does it pay to buy a used piece of equipment? The demand for medium format photography is pretty low; only the most well-funded can call for it, although the existence of used backs could create a lot of problems for the business. I have a friend who shoots 35mm digital and a client actually wanted him to do a shoot in medium format; their budget was only $500. I told him to not even talk to them about. let them find some sucker to take the gig. Of course, if too many used backs are out there, you're likely to find suckers who will do the work for nothing.

It's been awhile since I actually did much research, but don't most medium-format backs still require a tether and a dedicated operator to handle the image files? It doesn't seem like a great option outside of a studio environment.
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Old 09-09-2008   #10
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Default Re: Phase One counters Hasselblad :D

Most modern backs can shoot to CF cards and doesnt need to be tethered. Having said that however it's never as easy, fast and manageable as a DSLR.

And the used market is for the pro who doesnt have the client base to buy or lease a new back or the "advanced" amateur who wants to try digital medium format.


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