DPP Home Gear Cameras Beyond the D-SLR

Monday, August 10, 2009

Beyond the D-SLR

For professionals, there are times when the modern D-SLR isn’t the camera that will get the job done

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Mamiya 645ZDb
Sinar offers the Hy6 autofocus D-SLR, available in three versions: the e75 (33.3-megapixel 48x36mm Dalsa sensor); the e54 (21.4-megapixel 48x36mm Dalsa sensor); and the m54 (22.2-megapixel 49x36.7mm Kodak sensor). The grip rotates, so the LCD display can always be viewed at a comfortable angle. (Images are displayed on a 2.5-inch LCD panel on the back itself.) Flash sync up to 1⁄1000 sec. is an advantage over the 35mm-based D-SLRs. Camera and back each use its own battery.

The digital backs from the AFi-II and Hy6 can be removed and used with many large- and other medium-format cameras.

The Mamiya 645ZDb is a Mamiya AFD III medium-format body with a 22-megapixel Mamiya ZDb digital back and Sekor AF 80mm ƒ/2.8 D lens—a nice kit for under $11,000. The ZDb back features a 36x48mm CCD sensor with 21.5 effective megapixels. It has slots for CF and SD memory cards, optional user-replaceable low-pass and IR filters, and a 1.8-inch LCD monitor. It can shoot up to 22 frames at 1.2 fps and provides ISO settings from 50 to 400. Many other digital backs also can be used on the camera.

Phase One P21
The Phase One 645 has similar features (Mamiya body and lens mounts, shutter speeds from 60 to 1⁄4000 sec., plus B and X, TTL phase-difference AF), but comes with a Phase One P+ back of 16 to 60.5 megapixels. (The backs also are available for a wide range of medium-format, large-format and technical cameras.) The backs feature Phase One’s Sensor+ technology, which lets you shoot at full resolution, or at one-quarter resolution (still 15 megapixels) at a faster rate and up to a 4x higher ISO. The Phase One backs all provide a 12.5-stop dynamic range.

Mamiya 645-format lenses can be used with both the Mamiya 645ZDb and Phase One 645, and there’s also a line of Mamiya-produced Phase One Digital AF lenses from 28mm ƒ/4.5 to 150mm ƒ/2.8, including a 75-150mm ƒ/4.5 zoom and a manual-focus 120mm ƒ/4 macro lens that can be used on the Mamiya and Phase One cameras.

View-Camera Kits For D-SLRs
What if you’d like the shifts and swing and tilt movements of a view camera in your D-SLR? You can use tilt-shift or perspective-control lenses on your Canon or Nikon, respectively, or you could try a different approach.

Cambo’s X2-PRO and Horseman’s LD Pro will convert several popular pro D-SLRs into view cameras with front-standard shift, swing and tilt capability. The units cost around $2,000 and could be well worth it if your work calls for perspective control or great or very limited depth of field. Large-format lenses like the Schneider APO-Digitar or Rodenstock APO-Digital will allow full range of movements. Live View focusing is possible with D-SLRs that provide it. The Cambo Ultima 35 ($4,099) adds rear-standard movements.


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