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?
It's clear in its marketing that Mamiya's chief competitor with the Credo 50 is the PhaseOne IQ250 -- the most expensive of the bunch. That said, it manages to leave your wallet $8,000 heavier than if you were to spring for the IQ250. What do you lose?
Technically, not much. The Leaf Credo 50 leaves out WiFi, geotagging, focus mask, a custom startup screen, and the virtual horizon doesn't autolevel in CaptureOne. For $8,000, I'd gladly give up those features. Then again, anyone can and will argue that PhaseOne's implementation, menu/file structure, and general durability and ergonomics has clear advantages over any competitor; but I'll let you all fight about that in the comments.
Back-only, the Leaf Credo 50 is $26,990, while the DF+ body and 80mm LS (leaf shutter) lens kit comes in at $30,995. That's a lot for any camera, but when considering the best backs in the world pushed double that price just a year ago and were several stops less sensitive with several stops less dynamic range, we've come a long way.
Yes, the most affordable 50MP CMOS medium format system out there is still the Pentax 645z. And the Hasselblad H5D-50c still comes in almost $1,000 under the Credo 50 kit when you add the Hasselblad 80mm lens. That doesn't help anyone who wants to stick with their Contax 645 system, but honestly, who are we kidding? Even for the price difference I'd take a modern body any day at this point. So sticking with a current body (unless it's a newer Mamiya/PhaseOne DF or H4X anyway) is a silly thing to consider. Anyone wanting and able to spend upwards of $25,000 on a camera back shouldn't be clinging onto their old system because of "all those lenses" they may have for it. It's time to move on. And today's sensors need the really good stuff.
In any case, competition is always good for us. For those on the DF system, this is perhaps the best news. Eight grand is still some chunk of cash: you can stick with the same body you've always loved and the same sensor everyone else is getting while still having enough extra cash for that totally reasonable, slightly used Ducati with which you'll undoubtedly piss off the girlfriend. How soon can you do all that? Apparently, the camera is "shipping at Photokina." If we can reasonable expect we won't have to actually be at Photokina to order the back, that means eight days to most of us. So look out for it around September 16th. Alternatively, you can pre-order the kit from B&H today.
While you can check out the links below for sample RAW images, be aware that you'll need CaptureOne to open them (at least for now). In the meantime, you can check out more about the camera on Capture Integration's blog here or here.
Here's a recap of the specs:
- 50MP CMOS 33mm x 44mm sensor
- ISO 100-6400
- 1.2 frames per second
- Long exposures up to 1 Hour (1/10,000 minimum shutter speed)
- 14-stop dynamic range, 14-bit color (no 16-bit, unfortunately)
- Wide Spectrum (WS) models available (backs without IR filters for IR photography will be available, making this ideal for high-end infra-red photography)
Firmware updates (will also be available on older Leaf Credo backs via update):
- Black and white preview available on the back LCD
- LCD screen can be dimmed down to 1% (from 20% previously)
- Stopwatch function is now added on the LCD while taking long exposures
- Virtual horizon useable without CF card in tethered mode
Click on the links below to download sample RAW images (CaptureOne required):
Same images in JPG (these'll do the trick and are much easier):
Find more samples on Mamiya's site.