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Old    Bess Marine (xtremebordgurl)      Join Date: Dec 2002       12-07-2006, 6:39 AM Reply   
I'm sure there are some strong opinions on this, let's hear em!
Old    Jed (gehennaengine)      Join Date: Jun 2005       12-07-2006, 8:40 AM Reply   
Well, if you have unlimited budget, I would say a Hasselblad. Otherwise, Canon 1Ds, Nikon D2Xs, Olympus E1, etc.
Old    Mike Isler (isler)      Join Date: Apr 2003       12-07-2006, 8:42 AM Reply   
Well you really didn't put a whole lot of boundaries on that question...

So my response would be a Hasselblad H3D, 39MP version, with a 50-110mm zoom lens. That system will only set you back about...oh...$35,000, but for that you get 39 megapixels of goodness behind some fantastic glass. Also, the ability to sync with strobes at 1/800th, compared to most DSLRs syncing at 1/250th.

As for something a little more reasonable, I'd say Canon's 1DsMK2 is the top dog in the 35mm format. Very few would dispute that. For a little over $7,000 (body only), you get 16.7 megapixels and a great selection of lenses.

You really didn't say what the purpose of the camera is, though, so "best" for one thing may not be best for another. If you're looking for the best digital camera for shooting tabletop and still lifes, I'd probably say a Better Light scan back on a Sinar P2 view camera would be best. Better Light's Super10K-2 back pumps out roughly 614 megapixels (yep that's correct). However, it's a scanning back...as such it can't be used on anything that's moving. It'll set you back about $23,000, not including the view camera and lenses.

In any case, "best" is a loaded question... best for what? Best within a certain budget? System with best lenses available? System that can be used in the field, or studio only?


(Message edited by isler on December 07, 2006)
Old    Bess Marine (xtremebordgurl)      Join Date: Dec 2002       12-07-2006, 10:08 AM Reply   
-off topic, a little-
How would one of the medium format cameras work with wake photography? At school right now we are shooting with the Mamiya 645 AFD and using the Leafe Aptus 22 backs, at the end of the year we'll be given the option to purchase the aptus for a deep discount. I already own the mamiya with a 80mm and a 150mm lenses. Do you think its worth it to take a loan out for the aptus? Or should I sell my mamiya and lenses and get the Cannon 1DsMK2?
Old    Mike Isler (isler)      Join Date: Apr 2003       12-07-2006, 10:29 AM Reply   
I owned the Mamiya 645AFd (film back only) for a few years. Wasn't a huge fan of it. I had the 80mm and 35mm wide angle. I've used the Hasselblad H1 a bit myself, and GREATLY prefer it. Autofocus is much much better... faster. Viewfinder is brighter. Leaf shutter for 1/800th sync, instead of 1/125th on AFd.

I've shot some wake with medium format. Shot with a Mamiya ProTL, AFd, and Hass H1. None of the cameras will perform anywhere near a 1DsMK2 for wake.

I've used the Leaf Valeo backs a bit, but never the Aptus. I've read a lot about them but haven't used one. They're good backs, but for a certain purpose... and Wake is not that purpose.

I'm currently selling a complete Hass H1 system for a buddy, so he can invest in some Canon full-frame dig bodies and lenses. Lot more cost-effective system for most purposes.

Whether or not you should sell the Mamiya is a question only you can answer. Depends on what you want to shoot! If you're a people/fashion shooter, perhaps the Mamiya is best. But if you're shooting action, the Mamiya is not best. Mamiya makes a 300/2.8 that is $14,000. I own a Canon 300/2.8 for wake, and it only set me back just over $4,000. Also, Mamiya's 300/2.8 will behave like about a 200mm in 35mm terms.

And nope, I DEFINITELY would not take out a loan for the Aptus. That gear depreciates so fast, you'll be upside down on the loan before you finish the paperwork. If anything, maybe lease it for a year. It would have to be an enormous discount for me to want to purchase the Aptus. As in, getting the 39MP Aptus for maybe $10k, which wouldn't happen. The Mamiya student purchase program is great, but the gear is still expensive.

Figure out what you want to shoot, then tailor your gear purchases toward that.
Old    Bakes (bakes5)      Join Date: Aug 2006       12-07-2006, 6:36 PM Reply   
Depends on what you want...For wakeboarding shots you would be much happier with the Canon 1D or the Nikon D2 series cameras...both are a little spendy.

Next level down is the Nikon D200 or the Canon 5D. I have the D200 so am obviously biased
Old    shelby daniel (oldschoolripper)      Join Date: Jul 2004       12-14-2006, 8:24 PM Reply   
I am biased, but Canon for sure.

for Studio, Landscape or portraiture: 1DsMK2

for Sports: 1DMK2N

Both are rock solid and hold resell.

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