With Hasselblad’s announcement last week of their new H3DII-50 “Integrated digital Camera” (The H3DII-50 camera will be available from October 2008 at a price of $39,995.").
Phase One felt the need to respond with the early announcement of their new P65+ digital back (Expected release Q4 2008) which is expected to work with most third party medium format camera bodies.
The estimated retail price for either one of these will be around $40.000.00 which begs the question: “Do we really need a 50 or 65 megapixel digital back?”
Anyone that knows me realizes that I’m all about Bigger, faster, Better, More.
But with the current economy, 5% inflation in the United States, $4.5% in Europe (as of a financial news report this morning), along with the recent bank failure here in the U.S., and gas going for as much as $5.00 a gallon here this past weekend.
You have to wonder about the logic of trying to market a $40,000.00 camera.
I don’t see very many prosumers rushing out for these. And the many recent posts in photo blogs and forums around the internet reveals that most of those posting comments are in the DLSR demographic and can’t see why anyone would shoot
The current file sizes from Phase, Leaf, and Hasselblad digital captures are choking even the fastest dual quad core and even quad-quad core processer MAC’s.
Not to mention that fact that file storage post shoot is an ever increasing problem for both photographers and their clients.
These new digital backs are said to produce digital files that will be nearly 150 to 180 megabytes or nearly 6 times the file size we are currently working with. This means longer file processing times and more processing power.
Time that photographers have yet to find consistent a way to bill to their clients.
The point that seems to be missed by so many is that regardless of the brand or number of mega pixels a camera or back has, all of these items are just “Tools for the Job” having the right tools for the job
(and knowing how to use them….) is always a prerequisite. But owning a 50 or 65 megapixel digital back to shoot editorial or catalog is absolute lunacy. It makes about as much economic sense as a roofing contractor purchasing a computer assisted
laser guided Lathe because he might want to build a table with spindle legs some day.
To date if a photographer wants the absolute best quality image for large reproduction he shoots either 4x5 or 8x10 simply because film still has a greater color range and reproduces greater detail in the shadows than we currently are able to
achieve with digital.
What we need to see happen is for all of the digital manufactures to put their money into R&D and improve the algorithms associated with the software that interpret the light captured and converted to digital image files.
It’s either that or at the current pace of increasing mega pixels we will be shooting full frame 4x5 digital in the next 4-6 years.
Can you image the cost of that digital back?
The vast majority of photographers, photo assistants, and rental companies are calling this the worst year for the photo business in over 10 years.
Here are a few things that you can do with $40,000.00
Chinese take out twice a day / $10.50 – 10.45 years
Health Insurance $800.00 month – 4.16 years
NYC cab ride to the rental studio once a day / $8.00 - 13.69 years
Cheap studio rent in mid town Manhattan - monthly / $4500.00 – 8.8 years
Quarterly self promotion mailers to a targeted audience / $6000.00 – 6.6 years.
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UPDATE: 07/24/2008 HERE IS A PRESS RELEASE hASSELBLAD SENT ME.
Hasselblad Announces New 50 Megapixel Camera and Upcoming 645 Sensor
High-End Digital Camera Manufacturer Announces The Launch Of Two New Products That Fully Utilize The Latest Developments In Sensor Technology.
Following the success of the Hasselblad H3DII-39, the market’s most advanced DSLR, Hasselblad is taking its H camera system even further and today announces the launch of the Hasselblad H3DII-50, featuring a new Kodak 50 megapixel sensor,
which is twice the size of the largest 35mm DSLR sensors. A new 645 sensor will also be launched in 2009.
“We are very excited to announce these two ultra-high resolution sensors,” says Christian Poulsen, Hasselblad Chief Executive Officer, “but having huge amounts of megapixels does not help your photography much if you are not using a
camera system that can reap the benefits of these resolutions. What we are most proud of is the fact that the unique resolution and optical quality of our H-system lens line, combined with our digital lens correction and UltraFocus accuracy,
has made it possible for Hasselblad to take our system even further with regards to the accurate capture and recording of image detail.”
Full details on the 645 sensor will be part of Hasselblad’s Strategy and Technology seminar at Photokina 2008 (23rd
September, Cologne, Germany).
Poulsen continues: “We will discuss the new 645 sensor and other system additions, our overall view of the Medium Format market, its future development, and our role in driving that development, at this seminar.”
Poulsen adds, “Both the H3DII-50 and the new 645 sensor are designed to serve the photographers who require the highest possible image quality and resolution, and are part of Hasselblad’s ongoing commitment to continue pushing the boundaries of
The new Kodak KAF-50100 image sensor, which measures 36x48 millimeters, will be implemented in the same size housing as the H3DII-39 camera and will comprise the core of the new H3DII-50.
The new sensor size is also optimized to work with Hasselblad’s new HTS 1.5 tilt/shift adapter (patent pending), which enlarges the image circle by 50% to bring the benefits of tilt/shift photography into medium format DSLR cameras.
An impressive 83 line-pairs/millimeter are resolved over the full, large area of both today’s 36x48 millimeter sensor and of the upcoming larger 645 sensor.
Kodak has also added a set of entirely new features on the 50Mpix sensor, such as new dyes, which will result in even better, richer colors and take full advantage of Hasselblad’s R&D in the area of color rendering technology.
The new sensor also includes a range of other new features, including quick flush technology to enable faster capture and lower power consumption, resulting in longer battery life.
Poulsen concludes, “The H3DII camera line has been specially designed to meet the challenging demands of high-end photographers, and these two new products will take the line even further,
providing ultimate resolution for photographers who require the best in image quality, performance and creative freedom.”
For further details about the H3DII-50, the 645 sensor, or to sign-up for the Hasselblad Future Technology seminar at Photokina 2008, please contact AD Communications.
The H3DII-50 camera will be available from October 2008 at a price of $39,995.
About the H3DII-50
The H3DII-50 features the Kodak KAF-50100 image sensor. The 50 Mpixel sensor, measuring 36×48mm, is twice the physical size of the largest 35mm DSLR sensors.
Basic ISO rating ranges from ISO 50 to ISO 400 and using the H3DII-50 with Hasselblad’s Phocus software allows the ISO to be bumped further to ISO 800.
As with its fellow H3DII models, the H3DII-50 makes use of a new high speed capture architecture capturing full size, compressed 70 MB images at a rate of 1.1 seconds per capture, working either mobile or tethered to a computer.
The H3DII-50 will provide full access to all Hasselblad lenses and the advanced image improvements attained through Hasselblad’s Phocus software.
Hasselblad A/S has developed, manufactured and delivered the very best in high-end camera systems for over 50 years.
A Scandinavian company, headquartered in Gothenburg and Copenhagen, the company employs more than 250 people, has subsidiaries in the USA, the UK, Germany and France and is represented worldwide by more than 90 distribution partners,
through which it reaches every segment of the professional photographic market.
Inspired by the vision of its senior management to create the world’s best high-end DSLR cameras and to become the market leader in that sector, Hasselblad continues to pursue its founder’s philosophy of combining the most advanced technology
available with a passion for photography to give professional photographers the best possible tools to capture the best possible images.
To satisfy the evolving requirements of today’s customers, Hasselblad continues to offer analogue cameras while delivering the ultimate in flexibility and digital image quality through its H3D camera line and it’s digital backs,
the flagship of which is the H3DII, the world’s first high-end, DSLR camera system.
By developing the H3D’s integrated camera architecture specifically for digital users, Hasselblad is able to provide customers with the full benefits of professional medium-format digital cameras as well as the ease of use of the best 35mm DSLRs.
An iconic brand throughout the world of professional photography and probably best known for the cameras that the Apollo astronauts took to the moon, Hasselblad remains synonymous with outstanding craftsmanship and unsurpassed image quality.