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June 30, 2009

Three new Mamiya digital backs M31, M22 and M18 (tape-delayed news)

All apologies for the tape-delayed coverage, but better later than never :-) Mamiya launched a trio of new digital backs in mid-June, the M31, M22 and M18. Details at the Mamiya website. As you can guess, the model numbers are also the number of megapixels of each back, making the model number more functional than usual :-)

The three new digital backs are ideally suited for the Mamiya 645AFD III, but they can also be used on the RZ Pro IID with the help of an adapter.

Of great interest to medium format fans is that each one of the backs presents its own trade-offs, so it's not like getting your choice of one of three of the same. For example, the M22 does not have micro-lenses and has a larger 48.9x36.7mm sensor at 9 microns.

The other two have micro-lenses and slightly smaller sensors at 44.2x33.1mm. Your choice here is either 18-megapixels with the M18 (9 micron pixels) or 31-megapixels with the M31 (6.8 micron).

Even though traditionally medium format is not exactly known for burst modes and high ISO, some of the improvements in technology are allowing these numbers to creep upwards. For example, the M31 can go from ISO 100 to 1600.

On a semi-related note: Mamiya DL28 unboxing
It's probably going to be a while before we visit the the traditional MeFo land again, so since we are talking Mamiya, here is a 6-minute hands-on preview video of the Mamiya DL28 by David Scholss posted at the Mamiya blog. The DL28 is a ready-to-go interchangeable-lens medium format digital camera using a Mamiya body with a Leaf digital back and a lens included in the box.

A quick price-check shows that it costs about twice as much as the Nikon D3X, at $15000:
+ B&H Photo
+ Adorama
+ Calumet Photo

And just because it's medium format, it doesn't mean it can't have its own unboxing ceremony - it starts at the 90-second mark in the video below :-) This is quite possibly the first unboxing of a medium format camera!

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