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12-17-2014, 11:50 AM   #1
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The NEW Phase One vs 645Z

Phase One and Alpa release official details and pricing of A-Series medium format cameras: Digital Photography Review

Sample gallery: Phase One: Digital Photography Review

Let's see: for the price of SIX 645Z', you get an extra ten megapixels, but the iso tops out at 6400 (in the Z, an astonishing iso 204,800). I predict Pentax is about to make a HUGE comeback in the Medium Format market segment.

Phase one will sell tens of these cameras. Maybe. They do look kind of funky. But $48,000.00 for the 50 meg and $55,000.00 for the 80 meg...and they'll be obsolete in 6 months. Good luck with that.





Cheers,
Cameron


CORRECTION: It's exactly the SAME SENSOR - 50 meg Sony...for 6x's the price.


Last edited by Cambo; 12-18-2014 at 12:02 PM.
12-17-2014, 12:26 PM - 1 Like   #2
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Not really a new camera so much as a bundle, but being tech cams, there is no real comparison to go on, as the Pentax system doesn't even have tilt-shifts.

And due to the nature of the focusing systems on the Alpas, you'll have a heck of a time trying to nail focus while hand-holding, these are tripod cameras, while the Pentax is clearly aimed at the outdoorsman
12-17-2014, 12:26 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Hasselblad dropped the price of the H5 system by $8000 when the 645Z came out. The Z is definitely an upstart in the industry.
12-17-2014, 01:36 PM   #4
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I think the main difference is that practically no individuals will buy the Phase one - it will be bought by agencies, studios, businesses, corporations. The 645Z, while still expensive, can be bought by individuals (as well as the previous mentioned groups). So the 645Z has a much wider potential market. The main limit for Pentax is, as mentioned, the lack of some highly specialized lenses, and general service (accessories, tethering, software, customer support, warranty, repair centres, gear rentals..). Pentax is really bridging the gap between high end FF and high end MF, but it is not directly comparable to either. If this sells well, Pentax can fix those gaps and strengthen their position. But they must do this quickly, many brands are not thinking about entering the MF market.

12-17-2014, 01:40 PM - 1 Like   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Cambo Quote
I predict Pentax is about to make a HUGE comeback in the Medium Format
645Z topping many best of 2014 lists. Reports of demand out stripping supply.

No "about" about it, they already have.
12-17-2014, 03:14 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kolor-Pikker Quote
Not really a new camera so much as a bundle, but being tech cams, there is no real comparison to go on, as the Pentax system doesn't even have tilt-shifts.
This was discussed on a couple of earlier threads. The Phase One backs are new, but the pairing with Alpa is not a new thing. Alpa has supported Phase One pretty much forever and the combo is incredibly over-priced except for a very narrow market.


Steve
12-17-2014, 05:27 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Alpa has supported Phase One pretty much forever and the combo is incredibly over-priced except for a very narrow market.
Alpa has been in the business since 1918, as I read.
12-17-2014, 06:22 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by wombat2go Quote
Alpa has been in the business since 1918, as I read.
Read again. The original Alpa (known mostly as makers of high-end 35mm cameras) ceased active production in the 1980s. The current company purchased rights to the Alpa name in the late 1990s and has been making high-end medium/large format technical cameras* since about year 2000.


Steve

* Their product is sort of hard to characterize. Although most commonly mated to medium format digital backs, the form factor is that of a technical camera capable of also accepting 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 sheet film and roll film holders. Lenses are traditional lens-in-shutter view camera optics. Compatibility with a particular back is a simple matter since there is no real coupling to the body other than attachment.


Last edited by stevebrot; 12-17-2014 at 06:27 PM.
12-17-2014, 06:39 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
Read again. The original Alpa (known mostly as makers of high-end 35mm cameras) ceased active production in the 1980s.
??
ALPA of Switzerland - Manufacturers of remarkable cameras - History
12-17-2014, 07:09 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
Hasselblad dropped the price of the H5 system by $8000 when the 645Z came out. The Z is definitely an upstart in the industry.
Well, you can both get the Hassy AND the Z for the same money. Sign me up.
12-17-2014, 07:34 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by robertchow999 Quote
Well, you can both get the Hassy AND the Z for the same money. Sign me up.
That's only the H5D-40 40MP CCD camera I think. The version using the same sensor as the 645Z is still 27-36k (H5D-50c).
12-17-2014, 08:37 PM   #12
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A small percentage of photographers can afford to get a 645Z (in alot of cases, a highend FF), even smaller number to get anything from P.O., Hassey & Mamiya (within the 50MP range).
12-17-2014, 08:46 PM   #13
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Read it. "1996: Capaul & Weber, Zurich, at long last acquire the world-wide rights to the brand-name ALPA...2000: The uncompromising search for the highest possible precision begins to pay off. The appearance of digital backs in professional quality requires minimal mechanical tolerances – and the ALPA 12 cameras are engineered from the beginning for precisely this."*

I am a long-time fan of Alpa and remembered seeing ads for the Alpa 9d and Alpa 10d in the late 1960s. They were the most expensive 35mm cameras you could buy. I have since handled a friend's 9d and would buy one in a heartbeat if I could both find and afford one. It is simply the nicest piece of precision machinery I have ever held in my hand.

I was dismayed to see Alpa go on the skids during the 1970s. There was a failed attempt to increase sales with relabeled Chinon product in the early 1980s. The last real Alpa was the Alpa 11si of which only a handful (3239) were made between 1976 and 1989. By the early 1980s Alpa was essentially absent from the camera market. The original company (Pignons SA) filed bankruptcy and was liquidated in 1990. Output during the 40+ years of company history was only about 1000 cameras per year.

Six years later the Alpa trademark was acquired by Capaul & Weber for use with their proposed technical camera line. The Alpa 12 prototypes were shown two years later in 1998 Those cameras went into production about year 2000 with no shared technology, personnel, or engineering expertise from Pignons SA. Take a close look at the Alpa 12 product (essentially an alloy frame) and this is obvious.

So to close the loop...the current makers of Alpa-branded cameras (Capaul & Weber) have been making them for almost 15 years, during most of which time those cameras were capable of and featured as supporting digital backs.


Steve

* Alpa's listing of the history of the brand name is similar to Ricoh's initial usurpation of the Asahi/Pentax history as its own except that Ricoh bought more than the brand name.

Last edited by stevebrot; 12-17-2014 at 09:17 PM.
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