Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Good never enough!
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition for “good” is as this. Than there are the “better” and the “best”, therefore, good is never enough.
As of July, 2011, the highest quality of single digital capture would the just available in the market – Phase One IQ 180, a new digital back packed of the state of the art technology available for medium format digital back. Most of the medium format digital camera/back today are much less than what was years ago and sadly the trend is likely to continue regardless the recent stir in the industries: Hasselblad being sold again to a private equity Ventizz and Pentax again being sold (only the camera and lens division) to Ricoh – the one who pioneered the modular compact camera system, GXR. Pentax has been among the earliest one to announce medium format digital camera and the last to make it available in the market, and during such time, changed hand twice. What Ricoh said in their press material indicate their desire to acquire Pentax for mirrorless interchangeable lens camera system – which Pentax just introduced the Pentax Q. How success this venture would be only time will tell, but clearly their focus is not the medium format Pentax 645D. But will such inspiration for the Ricoh-Pentax to develop a 135mm full frame modular camera is without doubt interesting.
The most interesting news to me has to be the Vintizz now the boss of Hasselblad. I am a Hasselblad user, owning H1, H2, H3D cameras and all the lenses, and still have some older legacy V series FE lenses still in my storage, for example the mighty Carl Zeiss TPP 300/2.8 for Hasselblad 2000 series cameras, one of my favorite lenses. But to me, clearly, the Hasselblad perhaps has seen its best. I am also a Phase One digital back user, using the still mighty, still good P65+, but good never enough, so I will move up to IQ 180, and possibly switch to Phase One camera platform, and hope Phase One will last a little longer. Am I pessimistic? I don’t think so. Phase One’s IQ 180 is at the moment the pinnacle of medium format digital but within months its features will be good but not in the same league as the smaller cameras, larger camera companies from Japan or may be Korea or China in the future but of course, the digital back’s pure quality in controlled light would still be untouchable. And Hasselblad at the moment, is at least 18 months away from IQ 180, and I would not be surprise they will not be able to carry out any surprise in another 12 month! But does that make Hasselblad current camera obsolete? Not yet. They are good, but not better, certainly not the best.
But just how good or how much better the IQ 180 will be? Luminous Landscape has a piece of review for reference and I would have to wait until mine to make comparison myself. And how about P65+? This image is taken with P65+ and I cropped a small section for reference.