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Mamiya Leaf announce Leaf Credo 80MP, 60MP and 40MP digital backs

By dpreview staff on Apr 23, 2012 at 07:00 GMT

Medium format maker Mamiya Leaf has launched the Leaf Credo range of digital camera back designed for working with cameras such as the 645DF. There are 80MP, 60MP and 40MP, all CCD based. The Credo backs feature 1.15 million dot touch-screens with touch-sensitive regions that extend beyond the display area. They also all feature FireWire 800 and USB3 connections for fast data transfer.


Press Release:

Mamiya Leaf Introduces the Leaf Credo Medium Format Digital Camera Back Platform

TEL AVIV, April 23, 2012– Mamiya Leaf, a leading provider of medium format camera equipment, today introduced a newly designed medium format digital camera back platform -- the Leaf Credo. Available in three different models, the Leaf Credo 80, Credo 60, and Credo 40 digital camera backs feature high-quality resolutions of 80, 60 and 40 megapixels respectively.

Key platform features include:

  • A large, high resolution (1.15 megapixel), multi-touch screen with excellent rendition of 16 million colors for quick and easy verification of focus and tonal accuracy;
  • Fast, new dual-core microprocessor enables powerful performance for the fastest available image viewing, focusing and editing;
  • A new, intuitive graphical user interface (GUI) offers easy navigation and extends the touch screen beyond the LCD area -- letting you navigate and click outside the image area;
  • New FireWire 800 and USB3 implementation delivers fastest image transfer speeds.

Planned from the ground-up for comfortable, effective shooting both indoors and out, Leaf Credo delivers high-resolution Live View functionality for precise focusing when shooting un-tethered.  It also offers a wide viewing angle and a built-in bi-directional spirit level.

The flagship of the Leaf Credo platform is a full-frame 80 MP CCD sensor with a dynamic range of 12.5 f-stops. New to Mamiya Leaf is a full frame 60 MP CCD sensor with 3:4 aspect ratio providing unmatched detail, richness of color, low noise and beautiful tonality. Also available is the 40 MP CCD sensor which offers the fastest capture speed in the Leaf Credo platform at 1.2 frames per second.

Leaf Credo digital backs work seamlessly with the Mamiya 645DF camera - which offers shutter speeds up to 1/4000 of a second and sync speeds of up to 1/1600 of a second with Schneider-Kreuznach designed Leaf shutter lenses.

The Mamiya Leaf open platform philosophy enables compatibility with other medium format camera bodies, such as the Hasselblad V and H and Contax (see www.mamiyaleaf.com for full compatibility list).

Leaf Credo digital backs are optimized for shooting with Capture One software, which comprises a comprehensive workflow to capture, organize, edit, share and print images.

“Leaf Credo delivers the best price/performance ratio in the large sensor digital back market,” said Ziv Argov, marketing director, Mamiya Leaf. “Its impressive combination of high resolution image quality, ease of use, and the latest multi-touch screen LCD technologies makes the Leaf Credo digital back platform appealing for all photographers regardless of their styles.”

Pricing for the Leaf Credo 40 starts at € 14,995/$19,495. The Leaf Credo 60 is listed at €24,995/$32,495 and the Leaf Credo 80 for € 29,995/$38,995.  Shipping is planned for June, 2012.

Mamiya Leaf - Leaf Credo 80, 60 and 40 specifications

 Leaf Credo 80 Leaf Credo 60 Leaf Credo 40 
CCD size  53.7 x 40.4 mm 53.0 x 40.4 mm  43.9 x 32.9 mm 
Pixel size  5.2 micron  6.0 micron  6.0 micron 
ISO  35-800  50-800  50-800 
Capture rate (frames per second)  0.7  1.0  1.2 
Exposure time  Up to 2 minutes  Up to 1 minutes  Up to 1 minute

Comments

Total comments: 105
Alizarine
By Alizarine (Apr 24, 2012)

MF is MF. Please stop comparing D800 to these backs... they don't have so much in common aside from the term "megapixels" ~

8 upvotes
iAnoop
By iAnoop (Apr 24, 2012)

Is nokia competing with Mamiya with its nokia pureview 808, 41mp @ pricetag $711 ... LOLz...

2 upvotes
f64Craft
By f64Craft (Apr 24, 2012)

thats funny...

0 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (Apr 25, 2012)

The elephant-in-the-room reason why people compare the D800, , etc., to MF backs and one of the largest and arguably most important reason to a working person is whether or not the end product as viewed by the client, benefits from the usage of MF to a degree that is commensurate with the price ;)

Most of us know that MF exceeds the ability of the D800 in the most traditional areas in which MF is used; Hardly the point. The point to many people is the aforementioned.

A strong point for MF are the leaf shutter options, giving options with strobes in ambient and studio settings that can't be matched with a common DSLR with a 1/250 sync speed (please don't say "flash stops the action"... while sometimes true, it isn't the case in many situations when dealing with water, lots of ambient light, studio strobes turned up high, etc..)

The MF industry is going to have to innovate; A lot of (not all) previous work done by MF has gone to 35mm for catalog work, lifestyle, industrial, etc.

3 upvotes
snake_b
By snake_b (Apr 27, 2012)

I saw some guy on Samsung's Imaging facebook page flaming people about how Samsung is the leader in tech because they got up to 16MP in a compact and how they were better than many dSLRs at this point. It was funny when he brought the D3s into it.

1 upvote
Sdaniella
By Sdaniella (Apr 23, 2012)

Live View, although new to MF digital backs, is still confined the more limited 'focus/framing' neutral/std autogain preview mode only. Lacks ExpSim LV. (Same predicament as Pentax's 645D built in LV, no ExpSim preview).

Since 'tonal accuracy' is maintained for LV, one has to wonder if it has ExpSim LV, but they won't spell it out so explicitly.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Apr 23, 2012)

Some say he has an ExpSim LV.
All we know is he's called the Stig! :D

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 40 seconds after posting
15 upvotes
Dirk67
By Dirk67 (Apr 23, 2012)

It is better looking than the Aptus series but the only big important difference is Liveview, which I don't have on my back. Output-wise it may be the same. Can a D800E challenge this? I don't know about the 40Mp but the 80Mp is still miles away. Plus you get a different aspect ratio, which is closer to 4x5 and 8x10 film. Personally I prefer that and with 35mm I would have to crop a lot to get to that aspect ratio. My lab support structure disappeared and I don't even get my 5x7 film anymore. The 80mp back is getting close to LF film, with smooth, detailed files. It can't do anything meaningful above 200 ISO (That's why DXO numbers suffer) but at ISO 50-200 it really pushes out fantastic files. I wish the D800E would give me that detail but it does not. It would save me a lot of money.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 57 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
mikeber
By mikeber (Apr 23, 2012)

Really?
For Pete's sake, why would you mention a 35mm camera (that sells for $3K) next to a $20-30K beast?
Back in the film days, I don'r recall anyone comparing an 8x10 Sinar with his Nikon.
And BTW, I expect images from the 80Mp back to surpass those from LF cameras.

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
Dirk67
By Dirk67 (Apr 23, 2012)

I mentioned that because people think that the D800E will sink MF but in reality it won't. With digital people start to compare because it is not just film at various sizes. Suddenly you have to deal with different sensor technologies, pixel densities, etc. that's why people do these comparisons and DXO seems to create a slightly distorted view. Anyhow, an 80MP back doesn't surpass 8x10. So far it looks better than 4x5 and close to my 5x7 output on Fuji Provia. Haven't done any detailed comparison and have not used Tech lenses yet. Just the PhaseOne D lenses.

7 upvotes
lxstorm
By lxstorm (Apr 24, 2012)

>For Pete's sake, why would you mention a 35mm camera

Just because 35mm digital crowd want to post something. Most of them not only never handle MF they never dialed with film either. So they bashing megapixels "different" sensor technologies pretending an APS-C instrument is a MF camera and other BS like that is so common here LOL.

This web site is not the best place to discuss pro stuff serious just let it go as it is.

BTW I yet to see a digital camera that can deliver real film look even talking about the cine 35mm media Leica M alike.

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 24, 2012)

"I mentioned that because people think that the D800E will sink MF but in reality it won't."

You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means. Here, in the real "reality", the D800 will contribute to the ongoing sinking of medium format that started back in the film days.

Every year, film got a little bit better, and 35mm became "good enough" for yet another job that was medium format territory. Combine that with more capable cameras, and you got a MF market that shrank a little each year.

The announcement is from "Mamiya Leaf", for God's sake. Two companies that went out of business years ago, and had their assets (not their "businesses", that's different) bought by Phase One. Kodak's sensor division got bought by Platinum Equity, do you think that looks "hopeful"? As far as Teledyne DALSA, I'm calling that "sensorgate".

5 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (Apr 24, 2012)

OK Joe, I am intrigued: "As far as Teledyne DALSA, I'm calling that "sensorgate".

The high end sensor division of the Dutch company Phillips passed first to Canadian ownership (Dalsa) and then to a US aerospace company (Teledyne), apparently with much of the R&D still done in the Netherlands. What is the dirty secret here?
Is it just that it reinforces the trend of companies and technologies in this sector being "hot potatoes" that keep being tossed to new owners, which does not inspire confidence in them as solidly profitable and growing ventures.

Comment edited 41 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Teila Day
By Teila Day (Apr 25, 2012)

"For Pete's sake, why would you mention a 35mm camera (that sells for $3K) next to a $20-30K beast?
Back in the film days, I don'r recall anyone comparing an 8x10 Sinar with his Nikon. "

Of course not- because in the "film days" the competition and business reality of photography was different, furthermore comparing a D800E to a 40mp digital back is a lot different from comparing 8x10 to to 35mm.

0 upvotes
csdotam
By csdotam (Apr 26, 2012)

"only big important difference"

I'm sorry - have you ever seen the back LCD of an Aptus? It's good for changing the ISO and that's about it.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Apr 23, 2012)

Seems the MLeaf is in a niche market driven by large format printing.

This new product announcement does not give me the "hmm, nice" feel if I don't get informed about 3' by 4' (or A0) printing availability, including cost.

0 upvotes
f64Craft
By f64Craft (Apr 24, 2012)

Last time I got mmm nice was with the Leica S. 70mm sensor

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Apr 23, 2012)

Mamiya should have continued producing film cameras instead of this.

0 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 24, 2012)

Continued?

What you call "Mamiya" is gone. Kaput. An ex-parrot. Their parent company divested themselves of their photography business years ago, to concentrate on golf clubs and pachinko machines.

http://www.reuters.com/finance/stocks/overview?symbol=7991.T

They boxed their camera division and sold the assets (not the business, just the assets) to a company called Cosmos Scientific. Cosmos made a hash of it, and sold the damaged assets to Phase One, who also bought the assets of the defunct Leaf from Kodak.

So, what you're calling "Mamiya" is, essentially, a bunch of crates of camera parts, machinery, and plans, bought by a digital back company. "Should have continued" is meaningless in that context.

3 upvotes
csdotam
By csdotam (Apr 26, 2012)

It's called the RZ - and it's still being manufactured.

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Apr 23, 2012)

Nice, but not my cup of tea. Yes, another one of my brilliant observations. Thanks.

2 upvotes
DotCom Editor
By DotCom Editor (Apr 23, 2012)

How many of these things does Mamiya expect to sell? Would they sell four times as many if they cut the price in half? (New application of the Inverse Square Law...)

0 upvotes
csdotam
By csdotam (Apr 26, 2012)

They're cheaper than the equiv IQ entries, and those have been moving pretty nicely.

0 upvotes
BDTROUT
By BDTROUT (Apr 23, 2012)

Where are the m4/3 fanboys (you know who you are !!!) to argue the superiority of the mirrorless wonders to this behemeth.
Sorry had to do it
Bill

4 upvotes
rmbackus
By rmbackus (Apr 23, 2012)

Dpreview, although it's in the article, please stop announcing megapixels instead of sensor sizes.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
6 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Apr 23, 2012)

buy D800 if you take pictures of your girls
buy Leaf if get paid to take pictures of other people's girls

end of discussion

8 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Apr 23, 2012)

wat

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Apr 23, 2012)

What should I buy if other people are being paid to take photo of my girl?

2 upvotes
milpai
By milpai (Apr 23, 2012)

Peiasdf,
You should buy the developed images :-)

3 upvotes
audijam
By audijam (Apr 23, 2012)

LOL!!!! indeed~~

0 upvotes
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Apr 23, 2012)

Obviously this person never got paid. It is not the camera it is the photographer.

2 upvotes
odyk
By odyk (Apr 23, 2012)

jmmgarza you couldn't be more right!
And you have your portrait to prove it!

1 upvote
Leo "Zoom"
By Leo "Zoom" (Apr 26, 2012)

Peiasdf, You should buy a Porsche :)

Comment edited 29 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
IcyVeins
By IcyVeins (Apr 23, 2012)

hmmm, $15k for 40 MP or $3k for 36 MP, tough decision...

4 upvotes
The Light Collector
By The Light Collector (Apr 23, 2012)

$20k!!! And that doesn't even include a camera body!

6 upvotes
JDClosser
By JDClosser (Apr 28, 2012)

I would much rather spend the 15k on the quality chip.

0 upvotes
Superka
By Superka (Apr 23, 2012)

I''d rather buy scanner and film camera and wouldn't be afraid if dropping the so expensive camera on the rocks or into swamp. My 617 camera gives 160Mpx equivalent. And costs 1500$!

Here is 1/1 crop at ISO 1600 (Fuji Provia 400X @1600)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/superka_01/6812897003/sizes/o

Here is downscaled full image (still 13K)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/superka_01/4191964674/sizes/o

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
jtan163
By jtan163 (Apr 28, 2012)

But you can't do your processing and/or in your hotel room, the front seat of your car, in a cafe, park, restaurant or strip club.

And you have to pay for film, chemicals paper and lug a scanner around and spend time scanning the shots, after you develop them that is.

As for risk?
There's always insurance.

And it's getting harder and more expensive to buy/process film.

0 upvotes
Peiasdf
By Peiasdf (Apr 23, 2012)

NYTimes has an article on spy satellite vs. commercial imaging satellite as government budget is being slashed and I think the analogy can be applied here. Sure MF is better than D800, but is it 10 times better if you are on a budget?

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/20/us/politics/spy-satellite-clash-for-military-and-intelligence-officials.html

TheCameraStoreTV in Alberta uploaded a shootout between Hasselblad H40 and D800 (D800E vs MF will comes in a few week). MF won in skintone, DR and highlights while 35mm won high-ISO and shadows.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9UBTE4xpvpk

4 upvotes
Goreyo
By Goreyo (Apr 23, 2012)

You said it yourself, "...if you are on a budget".
If your on a budget, your not shopping for MF.

5 upvotes
obeythebeagle
By obeythebeagle (Apr 23, 2012)

Can an 8x10 sensor be far off? I am working on an archive project, scanning contact prints from 8x10 glass plate negatives from 1902. Damn they are pretty. My guess is the resolution would rival the Leaf Credo 80 back, but digital is slightly more convenient than setting up a darkroom tent.

0 upvotes
BJL
By BJL (Apr 23, 2012)

Yes, very far off; probably at infinity. The closest one gets is scanning backs in 5"x4" format (sweeping a linear sensor slowly over the image) like these from Better Light, and with no hint of upsizing to 10"x8".
For normal non-scanning sensors, the digital industry has clearly standardized on 645 as its largest format, with even 6x6 and 6x7 MF systems not getting supported with sensors larger than 645 (which is 56x42mm actually).

0 upvotes
EricHiss
By EricHiss (Apr 23, 2012)

There are bigger sensors being made now for scientific, military and industrial applications. There is a guy who used one to make his own 8x10 digital camera to replace use of polaroids for his work. He still shoots the final in film -btw. Search in Luminous-Landscape mediium format / large sensor forum for the posts.

1 upvote
BJL
By BJL (Apr 23, 2012)

Eric,
I should have known that someone would bring up those huge but very low resolution panels for X-rays and such. The 10x8 device you mention is only about 8MP, and used as a "digital polaroid" not for the final images. Those huge pixels can be made on large format fabs designed for making things like LCD panels, since it is 329PPI, about like the iPhone 4S screen. Unless LCD/LED screens move to about 20,000PPI, those fabs will not be much use for making camera sensors.

After all, since these huge sensors exist and yet are not used in any production large format "photographic" cameras (as opposed to devices for X-rays, astronomy and other technical uses) it should be easy enough to conclude that they are not suitable for large format "artistic" photography.

1 upvote
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 24, 2012)

BJL, Better Light has discontinued 4 of their 6 models, because Platinum (formerly Kodak) has discontinued the sensors, with no replacements. I think the remaining sensors have also been discontinued, so when Better Light uses up their remaining stock, that's it.

They weren't actually 4x5, either. There was a crop factor, more like 3x4. The linear sensor was either 72 or 76mm.

1 upvote
BJL
By BJL (Apr 24, 2012)

Thanks Joe. It is good to know that whenever I am skeptical about the future for film-era legacy formats larger than 36x24mm, I can still rely on you to correct me with factual arguments in favor of being even more skeptical.

Indeed, the longest linear sensors for scanning backs are only 72mm (3") and the highest resolution models have been discontinued, leaving 8000 pixels as the maximum, still a bit ahead of 6000 on the short dimension of the 80MP Teledyne-Dalsa CCD currently sitting atop the DMF sensor resolution heap.

What is more those "current" models are only on the old Kodak Image sensors website, since the new owners True Sense Imaging still do not have their website and product catalog ready yet, so who knows which if any of those linear sensors will survive the reorganization.

Maybe sheet film and film scanners still just make more sense than digital at these extremely large sizes and low production volumes.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
1 upvote
StanRogers
By StanRogers (Apr 28, 2012)

The problem with large format is that the reject rate for sensor chips would approach 100% for any technology other than scanning backs. With smaller sensors, you can just use the parts of the wafer that come out right; a small flaw on the wafer may mean you lose a couple-three sensor chips in the batch, but the rest are good to go. When you're only getting one or two chips out of a fab wafer, the chances that you'll wind up having to discard the whole thing get pretty high. Add everything that can go wrong actually putting things together, and you're talking about NASA prices for working examples.

That leaves scanning backs, but as with multishot medium format backs you're really limited in the kinds of pictures you can take. It's pretty much down to static studio shots (product/still life) and *extremely* cooperative landscapes/architecture. As small as the LF market is, that would be a marginal niche within a marginal niche.

0 upvotes
EssexAsh
By EssexAsh (Apr 23, 2012)

all very meh. Id rather spend £1500 on a hassleblad and good lens and use the rest on 15,000 rolls of film :)

3 upvotes
RKGoth
By RKGoth (Apr 23, 2012)

But for commercial users, you can go through 100 rolls in a day and are being paid for the work they capture on MF already -- (let's not even get into modern weddings); every 15 shots costing up to a tenner in total. £500-1000/day on film and processing... plus the time taken to handle it all... and the cost of a decent scanner (not much left to handle MF rollfilm with any quality).

MF digital - be it Phase/Mamiya/Leaf/Hasselblad or whatever - is a commercial decision as well as a quality and ethos decision. If all people can do is scoff at the price, the system isn't what they wanted.

5 upvotes
Jogger
By Jogger (Apr 23, 2012)

but, does it do 1080p?

15 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Apr 23, 2012)

who cares???

3 upvotes
ryansholl
By ryansholl (Apr 23, 2012)

Well, Jogger... so much for making a joke.

2 upvotes
larrytusaz
By larrytusaz (Apr 23, 2012)

HA HA HA HA, thank you so VERY much for that. So, to the videographers who want to corrupt our stills-only cameras with your video concerns, I give you the Archie Bunker raspberry.

If I could afford it, I'd buy it just based on that principle alone, to "vote with my dollars" how much I so approve of this.

(But I've got to admit, it's a whole different league of camera, but I've got to admit, the Nikon D5100 I own, it is giving me KILLER photographs. As long as you can ignore that red-dot movie button, easy to do if you don't use live-view--and I usually don't--it continues to amaze me how great it does, especially at high ISOs.)

1 upvote
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Apr 23, 2012)

With bigger and much more pixels those CCD sensors have comparable (print!!!) SNR to FF cameras, not talking about DR : MFs are years behind (at same native ISO according to DxO),
Now imagine Sony made CMOS MF back !!!

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Lea5
By Lea5 (Apr 23, 2012)

1.) DXO proofs nothing for real life photography.

2.) No thanks for a Sony CMOS Sensor on a MF back. There is nothing comparable to Kodak CCD colors, especially skintones.

3.) I use a D3X most of the time (and my new D4), but for special product shots I use a H3D-50MS plus a HC Macro 4/120 mm. Just simply outstanding quality.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
4 upvotes
MarkByland
By MarkByland (Apr 23, 2012)

I was going to chime in and mention Kodak CCD technology, but it seems that some one else here knowns what he's talking about as well. I really like what the 36Mp fanboi sensor has done to people's brains by shutting them off to all things fact.

0 upvotes
ARTASHES
By ARTASHES (Apr 23, 2012)

DxO proofs what it proofs (ridiculous sentence I know), it's up to you (us) to give importance to those figures, I wasn't talking about real photography, I was talking about sensor's possible (measurable) performance if it was made by Sony, just imagine DR and high ISO IQ !!!

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Apr 23, 2012)

And most likely noise at base ISO (with Sony).

IMHO those MF backs are not exactly great, especially not if you want to crop a lot (tho when you shoot MF, you usually have time to compose photo right from start).

Colors are nothing special, today its better to get D800E and maybe some tilt-shift lens. With bit of stitching, you will have those 80 mpx too, and probably more. For far less money, with much better per-pixel quality.

And you can shoot handheld with D800..

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
openskyline
By openskyline (Apr 23, 2012)

DxO what? a software company which is selling a software noone care to use :)

1 upvote
Mescalamba
By Mescalamba (Apr 23, 2012)

Not really. DxO SW is used quite a lot and its very capable RAW developing SW. And like Capture One, it has better/nicer colors than anything from Adobe.

Ofc, unless you put decent color profiles into LR or ACR, then is that advantage lost..

Their lab tests are used on some review sites. Its useful, if you wish to know something specific and know how to use that result. Just I wouldnt take it as only criterium for buying something.. Using brain sometimes does help. :D

1 upvote
BJL
By BJL (Apr 25, 2012)

Some amazing comments above from people who think they know the advantages of these MF sensors over Sony's latest sensor technology. For the record,
1. These sensors are all from Dalsa, not Kodak.
2. The colors come from the CFA's (and subsequent processing) not from the characteristics of the sensor itself, which only measures amount of light, not its color.
3. The recent Sony sensors have far less noise at base ISO speed than any of the Dalsa or Kodak medium format CCDs, and the advantage grows quickly when higher ISO speeds are needed. That is part of why the actual MF users in forums like Luminous Landscape are hoping for something like a Sony CMOS sensor in medium format size.

2 upvotes
BDTROUT
By BDTROUT (Apr 23, 2012)

A freind of mine who has a business archiving movie film in Hollywood has told me that these med format cameras are used a lot in movie productions.They can achieve better resolution for set backdrops digital and stage, also for billboard prints.There must be a market for them or no one would make them.I will just stick with my lowly ol 4/3 Olympus format.
Bill

Comment edited 30 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 24, 2012)

Interesting concept "There must be a market for them or no one would make them."

10 years ago, there were 4 viable sensor makers, and 20 companies making medium format digital backs or bodies. Today, there are 2 sensor makers, both of which are currently in financial difficulty (Kodak's sensor division having been bought by a private equity company, and DALSA having been bought by Teledyne for what I estimate to be three times their market value, in something that reminds me of the recent Oly scandal). There is one viable camera, company, Phase One, who owns the assets of the defunct Mamiya and Leaf. There's also Hasselblad, recently bought by another equity company, Pentax, who appears to have saturated their market, and Leica doing incomprehensible things with S2.

1 upvote
Izu
By Izu (Apr 23, 2012)

Will Dan Chung or someone else make an interview about this camera? It's a real camera so it should be more important to us than a videocamera like the Canon's one which had three or four news stories...

4 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Apr 23, 2012)

But will also have an infinite smaller number of users.

1 upvote
Bad Dongz
By Bad Dongz (Apr 23, 2012)

Hard Core Pro would prefer these cameras for advertising. I would if I was a customer.

It seems identical to Phaseone IQO180.

1 upvote
Fraxinus excelsior
By Fraxinus excelsior (Apr 23, 2012)

Hi.

Thats because the Danish company PhaseOne owns Mamiya and Leaf.

3 upvotes
waitformee
By waitformee (Apr 23, 2012)

actually i really wonder who uses these...???

Maybe can consider gigapan for hi-resolution images...

D800 is 36mps and Leaf Credo 80 is 80mps... the jump is not really big but leaf lose a lot of agility.

0 upvotes
MaikeruN
By MaikeruN (Apr 23, 2012)

Sensor size my friend, sensor size.

12 upvotes
Heliconius
By Heliconius (Apr 23, 2012)

There's a physical limit to what optics can resolve. So instead of sticking tons of megapixels to a limited area, enlarging everything a step up will achieve higher quality in every aspects of the picture you take.

9 upvotes
DioCanon
By DioCanon (Apr 23, 2012)

I can tell you ve never had the pleasure to use something like, say, an Hasselblad...

2 upvotes
Joseph S Wisniewski
By Joseph S Wisniewski (Apr 24, 2012)

"There's a physical limit to what optics can resolve."

That is true. It's based on aperture and diffraction. So,while it is true that "enlarging everything a step up will achieve higher quality in every aspect", the MF companies have not enlarged the lenses. In fact, they're typically a stop slower than the scaled aperture, so...

1 upvote
topstuff
By topstuff (Apr 23, 2012)

Truly professional tools.

A farmer will pay $200,000 on a tractor.

A photographer can spend $80,000 on a new body, back and a few lenses.

It a tax deductible expense. Clients will pay for it.

Why all the focus on the prices? For the level of pro these are aimed at, it is not a problem. If they want it, they will pay it.

There are jobs where only gear like this will do and 35mm would not even be considered.

9 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Apr 23, 2012)

As an amateur I would like to know who's using this kind of equipment. What kind of pictures exactly show a major difference with the best FF cameras and how does this show in print? I have no clue. Thanks in advcance.

1 upvote
Febs
By Febs (Apr 23, 2012)

Not that I'm a big expert but I bought an old second hand Mamiya digital back about a year ago. It's definitely different to the available FF cameras. Microdetail and microcontrast is soo much better. Color reproduction is more natural and highlight rolloff very smooth. What's not to like? Btw, older digibacks cost no more than a new 5D or D800.

2 upvotes
apelle
By apelle (Apr 23, 2012)

@ Rubenski - Nice question... I'm a professional photographer and I'm using a Leaf Aptus 22... and I think is good enough for commercial and personal work...
There are differences between a Nikon D3s (or else) and a Digital back... but not as many as people may think... Post productions makes the differences... Personally, as a professional photographer who work for magazine and advertising, I don't think is necessary to have that amount of megapixel... for magazine you just need a 30/40MB file... As a Fine art Photographer it's a little bit different... I'll love to have a bigger back only because I love bigger, reeeeaally bigger prints...

3 upvotes
apelle
By apelle (Apr 23, 2012)

Having said this I would like to remind you that a lot of photographer (me included) had a lot of analogic cameras such as field camera, Hasselblad or Mamiya... with lenses and so on... selling analogic for peanut may disturb someone (me included)...
It is much easier to add staff rather to sell part of your life or change system...
And remind one more thing... the camera and lenses alone are not enough for good printing... you need to have professional software such as a RIP, a lot of color profile and some good plug ins plus the knowledge to use them together

1 upvote
Paul Guba
By Paul Guba (Apr 23, 2012)

Not sure how many pros buy these cameras today. I don't know any in my group of friends that does. It is much easier to bill a rental then raise my rate to cover the cost of ownership. Also if I am not working that lease payment is still going to show up, and in 3 years its a brick.

1 upvote
Vadimka
By Vadimka (Apr 23, 2012)

@ Rubenski,
These MF cameras used by advertising and fashion industry a lot.
In fashion int very important to have a sensor capable of resolving the texture of the fabric worn by models. Most of the FF sensors will have a moire trying to resolve fine details and patterns.

0 upvotes
tmy
By tmy (Apr 23, 2012)

I agree w Mr Guba.
All the times I've use MF digital for shoots, I hire as required. Much easier as you are always hiring the lastest gear ( to a point, but at least not something way out of date). The main point being, it is a lot of cash to put upfront while your business is also supporting updating "normal" (FF) DSLR bodies, lenses, computers, pro monitors, flashes, etc etc....
But definitely there is a need for MF equipment in the pro market.
Similar idea to motion picture equipment. Most productions will hire as they go, from the super expensive prime and zoom lenses to the 35mm cameras and the rest of the bits and pieces...

0 upvotes
gillamoto
By gillamoto (Apr 23, 2012)

many of well known professional photographers I know are moving to 35mm format recently. those MF digital backs are way too high above the cloud..

0 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Apr 23, 2012)

Yes, and my NEX-7 is generally more than competitive with most full-frame bodies. However, think about cell phones crowding-out the bottom of the camera market. Larger-format sensors may be a tiny market, but it's immune to the cell phone attack because of size-dependent properties like diffraction limit and DOF of practical optics. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see non-scanning 1GP 4x5 sensors in the near future... I don't expect to see them for sale at Walmart. ;)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Apr 23, 2012)

I am sure you are the one who is best informed about the professional photography industry. Thanks for keeping us informed.

2 upvotes
ProfHankD
By ProfHankD (Apr 24, 2012)

Actually, I believe most of the market for big sensors is not in the "professional photography industry," but in digital technical imaging... a field I've been doing research in since the mid 1990s. My experience in the other industry is limited to having been a commercial photographer in the late 1970s, way back before I became a computer engineering professor. Clearly, my background is not sufficient to justify formulating and expressing *my opinion* in a comment here. Sorry. ;)

1 upvote
vFunct
By vFunct (Apr 23, 2012)

No built in rotation? Or do the Mamiya bodies handle well vertically?

0 upvotes
MaikeruN
By MaikeruN (Apr 23, 2012)

Rotation is a very expensive luxury haha

0 upvotes
RKGoth
By RKGoth (Apr 23, 2012)

The 645DF is a 645. So rotating it would be a bit pointless, you'd want a 6x6 body for that like the RZs.

However, there's a vertical grip for the 645 - handles fairly well and adds to the body capabilities (wireless flash triggering, body power from Li-Ion packs instead of AA, USB firmware updates).

0 upvotes
thomo
By thomo (Apr 24, 2012)

Have a look at their web site. The new backs are compatible with the hasselblad V series bosies and the backs have a rotating sensor so that you can choose vertical or horizontal format aprox. 5x4cm with the 60MP and 80Mp backs. I see they era also compatible with the H1 & H2 cameras as well - pity they don't fit the H3 series!

0 upvotes
csdotam
By csdotam (Apr 26, 2012)

@RKGoth - the RZ is 6x7, no?
@thomo - Hasselblad closed the H3 off. If you're using an existing H2+P1/Leaf set up, you can upgrade to an H4X and keep your third party sensor. No way to get into it new, though.

Comment edited 55 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
nicolaiecostel
By nicolaiecostel (Apr 23, 2012)

They're going to go bankrupt anyways so they might as well boast with 1 fps and 12 ev DR for 20k. Instead of respinding at the D800 with a 5k 40MP back, 15k 80MP back and try to surpass the 100MP margin, they sit and watch as the MF clients migrate to 135.

0 upvotes
Revenant
By Revenant (Apr 23, 2012)

It's always fun reading these armchair marketing experts, who know exactly what's best for the camera manufacturers. And do you have any evidence of this migration to small format? People just assume that the D800 will be a competitor in the medium format market based on its megapixel count and its low price. It's not always that simple.
When the Sony A77 was announced, some people predicted a mass migration from Canon/Nikon FF, and these companies going out of business, but I'm not sure it turned out that way. So let's just wait and see what happens before making any sweeping statements.

12 upvotes
robertDpi
By robertDpi (Apr 23, 2012)

..and people forget about the difference between systems.
D800 is 35mm format.
Medium format is medium format.
Different optical relationship, different out of focus, different lenses.
Megapixels are only one small detail in the equation..

3 upvotes
DStudio
By DStudio (Apr 24, 2012)

I think many D800 buyers may believe they're getting MF quality, but I'm not sure many MF users will move to the D800.

I doubt many of these D800 buyers would spring for a MF anyway, they just like the thought that they're getting near-MF pixel resolution for a much lower price. Generally they won't care about the differences in lenses, DOF, CCD vs CMOS, ISO 35, or 1/1600 flash sync speeds.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Apr 23, 2012)

For those wondering where the "Leaf" came from:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2012/01/17/MamiyaLeaf

.

3 upvotes
Simon Zeev
By Simon Zeev (Apr 23, 2012)

I don't think that is a problem for somebody that "Leaf" comes from ISRAEL.

2 upvotes
Photomonkey
By Photomonkey (Apr 23, 2012)

Do you know where Mamiya came from?

0 upvotes
lifeflaw
By lifeflaw (Apr 24, 2012)

Maybe not to you, but I think it is a problem for someone who lost a family member or a friend through an Israeli attack.

3 upvotes
BobYIL
By BobYIL (Apr 23, 2012)

To see the prices of the latest 40MP backs hovering around $20K indicating to one fact: None of the MF manufacturers are expecting substantial sales quantities to feel encouraged to reduce the costs.

0 upvotes
Greg VdB
By Greg VdB (Apr 23, 2012)

the specifications alone make these niche products targeted at a very small group of photographers, so obviously prices will remain high... (decreasing the prices significantly might not even increase sales by much)

1 upvote
DougPeterson
By DougPeterson (Apr 23, 2012)

There seem to be a lot of misconceptions people have of this market. As someone working at a specialized Phase/Mamiya/Leaf Dealer let me give my perspective:
- Sales were higher in 2011 than '10 which were higher than '09. '12 is starting off VERY well.
- If 2 cameras (e.g. D800 & Credo 40) are different in *every* way, but similar in resolution... why compare them?
- Around a third of our customers are NOT pros. They simply want, and can afford, the very best. For a weekend landscaper there is no camera more *enjoyable* to use than a digital back on a technical camera; it's mechanical, ergonomic, tactile, pure experience to capture a scene, and produces a REALLY great file to print (color, tonality, detail rendering, resolution).

6 upvotes
DougPeterson
By DougPeterson (Apr 23, 2012)

- Many medium format users rent rather than buy. The rental houses are one of the biggest customers.
- Dealers like us (Digital Transitions) rarely sell a digital back without a hands-on test (whether in our studio or by a rental shipped to the customer). Nobody spends $20k without their own tests to see what they'll be getting. If you'd like to see what the difference is just call; we'll be happy to let you do your own testing.
- A good (modern) pre-owned digital back, body, and lens can start around $10k, not much more than a D3X and lens. Even backs from 6-8 years ago can hold their own image-quality wise with any dSLR on the market, while allowing the photographer to use other kinds of camera bodies than the Canon/Nikon that nearly everyone walks around with nowadays.
- For those who are interested here is a FAQ page: http://www.digitaltransitions.com/blog/dt-blog/credo-faq

4 upvotes
DougPeterson
By DougPeterson (Apr 23, 2012)

"...prices of the latest 40MP backs hovering around $20K indicating to one fact: None of the MF manufacturers are expecting substantial sales quantities to feel encouraged to reduce the costs."

The other way of viewing this is of course is that none of the MF manufacturers feel they need to lower their prices to maintain their excellent sales, and that the existing higher price allows them to use the absolute best components, invest heavily in R+D, and provide really great service and support to their customers.

What would you say if I noted that "I see there is another photographer in your industry producing pretty good work at less cost, but you've not lowered your prices - you must not be confident you'll gain enough work to lower your price"? Wouldn't quality, service, and the idea of not needing to compete purely on price and quantity come up?

0 upvotes
DougPeterson
By DougPeterson (Apr 23, 2012)

A lot of people seem to think that the only successful product is one that has a large market share. Remember that when you are a niche product that you can double your sales by grabbing only a few % more of the market. Therefore the medium format market can continue to thrive as long as just a small % of people want better than "good enough". And even in the old days where for most applications 120 film was good enough and 4x5 film was overkill some people still shot 8x10.

My company (Digital Transitions) has been working with that kind of customer for a long time. Very little has changed as new dSLRs have come on the market.

0 upvotes
Alegre
By Alegre (Apr 23, 2012)

I'm a serious amateur and am awaiting delivery of a Phase One 645 DF with an IQ180 back. Why? Once you shoot with one of these cameras you will know the answer. They are simply incredible and the captures are that much better. By the way, notice that I said that I am waiting for delivery. The units are sold even before they arrive here in southern California.

0 upvotes
Shiner
By Shiner (Apr 23, 2012)

Wow - an IQ180 is a serious investment. I would have a hard time factoring that into my business model, as a pro, now. I still use an Aptus 22 and, as a backup, an original Kodak ProBack. They still get the job done. But there's no way I would reinvest in MF, now. The returns are too-small, mid-market. If I need more MP, I rent a back. The Leafs are great because of the openness of the system. I can sling any Leaf unit onto my beloved ELDs, and I'm off. I cannot abide 645 bodies, so I stick with the V system Hassies.

1 upvote
Total comments: 105