Digital backs for medium-format SLRs offer advantages over 35mm-style digital
SLRs. But are they worth the price?
As more and more professional photographers switch to digital SLRs, the number of medium-format camera makers has dwindled dramatically. Bronica and Contax have shuttered their businesses; Mamiya recently sold its camera operations to another company. Rollei's 6008-series cameras are attractive but incompatible with most digital backs. For the moment, Hasselblad is the primary medium-format player in the U.S.
Luckily, independent companies such as Phase One, Leaf, Eyelike, and Imacon (itself now part of Hasselblad) make digital backs for almost all major medium-format bodies produced during the past decade -- even discontinued models. Most of these cameras were developed before digital capture became a reality, yet even a 50-year-old Hasselblad can be fitted with a state-of-the-art digital back. (Just do careful compatibility research before buying.)
Last year, despite its corporate changes, Mamiya started shipping the Mamiya ZD, a 22-megapixel digital SLR with a nonremovable back and me