D800 vs Medium Format Video

Started Apr 19, 2012 | Discussions thread
Contributing MemberPosts: 780
MF offers much more than sensor performance
In reply to Astrophotographer 10, Apr 20, 2012


What I'm about to write you may find odd and nonsense. Some will say I'm a troll.

But the list of reasons to go the MF route is quite endless over the D800, if you're at the pro spectrum of the market.

I don't want to be a jerk, but that sensor performance obsession is a DP review forum thing.

There're so many reasons to choose MF besides sensor performance and cost.

It's more about the type of service you wanna offer, the image of your business you wanna pass forward, and some important features the MF system offer.

I'll try to name a few reasons (assuming you're a portrait, fashion, product, architecture and/or studio photographer):

1) higher flash sync speed.

Being able to blast full flash power at 1/1600 and shoot wide open, with nice and smooth background isolation is a must among high-end portrait and fashion photographers.

For that type of photography, that feature alone is reason enough to go the MF route.

Speedlights and HSS on Canikon is not good enough most of the time.

The speedlights are too weak, and loose too much power at high sync speed, that it's not doable most of the time (unless you're Joe McNally shooting with 12 SBs).

2) Colors:
See that D800's magenta color cast that video is showing?

See the Blad's "better" colors right from the start?

The digital backs have a reputation of nice colors, nicer gradations and a better overall quality, just before any post production.

It's simple as that: in post you adjust anything you want, but the backs give you a better, nicer start.

You know that saying: "time is money". Less time on post is much more desirable.

I don't care if the D800 gives me the same output after extra minutes of post.

Extra minutes of post today, tomorrow, and after every shoot is a bummer.

Time is money.

3) marketing:
Sensor performance is not that important to most pros.

Marketing is.

As we reach an era where ALL cameras on the market are good enough on a sensor POV, from the D3200 to the IQ180, which argument will you use to isolate yourself from your competitor?

Sensor performance? No. All cameras are good enough today. You can't sell more, just because you gotta 1 shiny extra stop of DR.

You'll use marketing skills. Marketing sells.

The D3200, or even the D800 is not that impressive marketing wise. It's just another affordable 35mm camera.

Your client possibly has one of those at home, and shoots his hobby with it.

You'll use the "nicer" camera aprouch.

The agency art director will not give a d@mn about DR numbers of your D800, but he surely has already heard of Hasselblad and its legend.

Do you believe this is wrong or nonsense?

How do you measure a business man sucess, when you see him parking his top notch Mercedes and coming out with his custom made Armani suit?

That's the same here.

Marketing is much more powerful than a cleaner image or an extra stop of DR.

Well, that list could go on, but the thing is:

For those that can afford, MF will always be a viable option.

We're long past the point where sensor performance is the limiting factor of any camera in the world.

A pro will consider other features and reasons to consider one system over the other, and among those reasons you may find these 3 listed above, IMHO.

Bottom line: for those that need it, a MF system is just as desirable today as it was last year, before the D800.

And note, I'm a Nikon shooter myself.

All the best
Marcio Napoli

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