We’re sitting on the precipice of game-changing year for photographers. 2015 is going to be the year of medium-format. Ricoh (formally Pentax) dropped a bomb this year with a sub-$9,000 medium format camera. There are even rumors about Sony and Mamiya teaming up for a medium format rangefinder of some kind. Yes folks, the competition is heating up, and this version of “king of the hill” is already getting nasty.
Ever since Benjamin Von Wong took a leap of faith and left his successful career as a engineer to persue his artistic passions, he has kept a legion of die hard fans enchanted by his ability to turn the ordinary into epic. Whether it be organizing complicated pyrotechnics, photographing surreal scenes of ultraviolet models, or chaining models to a shipwreck 25 meters below the surface in Bali, Benjamin has never been interested in being ordinary. In his insanely creative mind, his thought process of "If it's not epic, than what's the point?" has led to some of the most memorable photoshoots in the last several years.
Hasselblad and PhaseOne are officially flip-flopping as PhaseOne just added its no-WiFi IQ150 following a much earlier IQ250 announcement and Hasselblad is now releasing a WiFi-enabled version of its H5D-50c. In addition to WiFi, the new version brings several firmware-related improvements that will find their way into the current H5D-50c and CFV-50c models via a future update.
At a $5,000 "discount" compared to the IQ250, the IQ150 seems almost identical in every way. While we don't currently have much information, we do know that the IQ150 features the same Sony 50MP CMOS sensor that is featured in the IQ250, Hasselblad H5D-50c, Mamiya Leaf Credo 50, and Pentax 645z, boasting the same native and useable ISO range of 100-6400. The only [in]visible difference is the lack of WiFi and $29,990 price tag (compared to the IQ250's $34,990).
In a perhaps not-so-surprising turn of events, Leica has entered the medium format CMOS market with their new Leica S. At 37.5 megapixels, this doesn't seem to be the same 50-megapixel Sony sensor everyone else is using, naturally. This time, Leica means business with a weather-sealed magnesium body capable of 4K video at 60fps and 3.5fps still shooting between ISO 200 and 6400. Looking for the more traditional CCD version? Leica updated that, too, with the new breakout S-E.
Following in the footsteps of the Hasselblad H5D-50c, PhaseOne IQ250, and Pentax 645z comes Mamiya's 50-megapixel CMOS solution, the Leaf Credo 50. Available with PhaseOne/Mamiya DF, Hasselblad H1/H2/H4X/500-series, and Contax 645 mounts, the Leaf Credo 50 opens Sony's latest medium format sensor to a greater range of systems still loved by many. But is it cheap?
As a commercial photographer, I specialize in product, food, and architecture. One of the products we've been shooting a lot of lately is jewelry, specifically jewelry for catalog use. In my opinion, jewelry is one of the hardest things to photograph, and many photographers don't know where to start. Whenever we're tasked with photographing shiny, reflective, spherical objects, our studio sounds like a group of sailors on leave with all the profanity flying around (often times strung together to make complete sentences).
As one might expect (though perhaps not quite so soon after the H5D-50c announcement), Hasselblad has taken to Instagram to announce the H5D-200c MS, a 200-megapixel, multi-shot variant of the H5D-50c. The camera, which can still produce normal 50-megapixel stills at 6200 x 8272 pixels, also ads 4- and 6-shot capabilities for applications such as fine art reproduction, product photography, and more. At its highest resolution, the 200c MS produces massive and glory-clenching 600MB, 16-bit TIFF files.
Our friend, retoucher and commercial photographer Clint Davis is no stranger to this site. He was nice enough to share this awesome behind-the-scenes video from this recent ad campaign. The most impressive part aside from the images themselves? The fact that he only had about five minutes per setup while working alongside a separate video shoot.
Having recently moved from a DSLR into medium format digital, I can affirm the transition isn't a cheap one. Besides shelling out tens-of-thousands of dollars for a body and digital back, you've also got to buy a new set of lenses which average around $4k each. Add tether cables, tripod mounts, additional batteries, and filters, you're in the hole for the equivelent of a home mortgage. Every once in a while, the manufacturers will offer incentives and/or savings and for Hasselblad, July happens to be one of those times.
Today, Hasselblad launched the CFV-50c -- a medium format back using the same 50-megapixel CMOS censor in the H5D-50c that can be attached to any existing V-system camera. With no external cables required to connect the backs, the back is incredibly well priced at €11,000. While we're not quite sure what that means for the US market, the new back seems poised to be an incredibly affordable 50MP CMOS medium format system.
His client list reads like a who's-who in iconic businesses: Pearl Vision, American Standard, Shell Oil, Virgin Galactic, AOL, Wells Fargo, Salesforce, Red Bull, Minute Maid, Costco, and Allstate. He has even photographed celebrities like Kevin Spacey, Richard Branson, and Al Gore. No doubt you've seen the remarkable work of Chris Crisman in the past, but photographers want to know how does he do it? What does his studio look like? What equipment does he use?
Late last year I was contacted by one of my magazine clients to shoot their upcoming cover with Panic At The Disco front man Brendon Urie and it had to take place across the country in Las Vegas in about a week (I am NYC-based by the way). I scrambled to find some cool locations in the region, knowing full well I did not want to shoot in some cramped hotel suite. Little did I know that with some good researching and shrewd negotiating, I would find some of the coolest locations I have ever photographed, and just moments from the Las Vegas strip.
A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of testing out the Phase One IQ250, and so I thought I would put together a practical write up of my time spent the Phase One IQ250 Camera System, the Capture One software, and whether or not either one has found a permanent place in my workflow.
This past week I've been sleep deprived, socially inactive, and holding a camera in my hands for more than I ever have in my entire life. You see, this past week I've been working with RGG EDU to film my first tutorial series to go on sale at the Fstoppers store this summer. Though learning a lot about my own work and process, I think I learned the most when I used a rented PhaseOne IQ250 system for one of my shoots.