puggle wrote in post #18181146
I have a PhaseOne 645DF+ body (same as Mamiya), with a P30+ back, hopefully I can help.
My lenses: Mamiya 55mm f/2.8, Mamiya Sekor D 150mm f/2.8, and PhaseOne 80mm f/2.8.
Yes, It's still an outstanding system, despite it's age and absolutely love shooting with it. And, used p30+'s are still popular on the used market.
It will not replace my Canon DSLR gear, but it is a wonderful addition for studio work.
The downsides -
1) New lenses are a fortune. Buy used if you can.
2) When upgrading the firmware to the p30+ back to be compatible with the newer 645DF+ body, I was unable to update it myself because the connection from the P30+ to the computer requires firewire 400. My newer Mac does not support firewire. A thunderbolt - to - firewire adapter also did not work. The connection and the software are finicky. You also need to purchase CaptureOne Pro software to do the update, although this is not a negative. CaptureOne Pro is excellent for processing p30+ images.
This became a real pain. I tried using the firewire adapter to thunderbolt, but I the update failed. I thought I ruined my p30+ back, it would not startup and I got an error message. This could have been fatal, but I got lucky. I sent it in to a dealership (Capture Integration) in Atlanta GA, and they were able to resurrect it, and update the firmware successfully.
Since the p30+ back is ancient, from 2008, the LCD screen on the back is very poor in comparison with today's DSLR's. However, it's perfectly workable, and the histogram is useful.
3) Since I couldn't shoot teathered due to the firewire issue, I shoot to the CF card in camera and copy the images to my laptop. It's really not a big problem, but if you are doing work that requires your client to see the results instantly as you shoot, this could be a shortcoming for you.
If you are more saavy than I am with computers and software you might be able to figure out a teathered, firewire - thunderbolt connection that works.
4) As for image quality, there are some banding issues in the deep shadow areas, if you try opening the shadows up further in Lightroom or CaptureOne Pro, the banding can become quite prevalent. If you get your exposures and shadows right when shooting, the issue is minimized or nonexsitant.
5) Minor downside, the batteries don't last very long, have a few extras on hand. They are readily available and cost around $70.
30 megapixels or more common in current DSLR's and some are much greater resolution. Although, there may still be an advantage to the larger sensor, when it comes to depth-of-field and the array of amazing Mamiya, PhaseOne and Schnieder LS lenses that are available.
Is the IQ better than newer, high-megapixel cameras out today Like the Sony A7rII (I also own), or a Nikon D5, or D750 or Canon 5DIV or Canon DSR? No, the newer sensors and newer technology is better.
What I love:
There is no doubt a "Look" you get in images from the 645DF+, P30+ medium format that IMHO is gorgeous.
There is a visceral feel to using the 645DF+ that makes it a sheer joy to shoot with. You'll fall in love with the shutter sound.
Customers who see you using a high-end camera system that is not the same as everyone's "uncle Harry's" DSLR, gives you a perceived edge. I know, this sounds silly, but there's truth here. It will help differentiate you.
PS - I have not had any problems processing or opening native RAW files generated from the p30+, on my Macbook Pro or iMac. Keep your firmware up to date, and with CaptureOne Pro, you'll have no issues.