A friend of mine have the latest 80MP Phase One. He made some shots in the Pyrenees this fall, which I saw in high quality 1mx1.5m prints. Incredible dynamics, resolution, color, the lot.
I'll second this. Phase One and Leaf make huge sensor medium format digital backs. I'd say it's probably worth renting that kind of system for the shoot if your budget allows. Truth is, for a magazine spread you don't need 80MP, or anywhere near it, but it will yield the most headroom for post work.
Thank you both. So I will look up Phase on and Leaf. Are these complete cameras? I do not know what 'back means'. And yes headroom in post work is what is required for this job. I am allowed to rent whatever I want, so why not the best? The rental will be perhaps not so much compared to other expenses: Flights, hotels, etc.
Medium Format cameras tend to be modular in design. That is, the body, lens, viewfinder and sensor (called the "back") are separate elements that are assembled to create the camera. The benefit is that you can use the same camera body (just a box with some electronics, really) with any compatible back. The newest generation of backs go up to 80MP. Both Phase One and Mamiya Leaf make those. Hasselblad is another leading Medium Format player. Leica makes a "Medium Format" DSLR-style camera, the S system. It's a fully-contained system like your interchangeable lens DSLR with a 37.5MP sensor. My understanding is the Leica S is exceptional.
The interchangeable digital backs are very expensive. The 80MP varieties are in the $40k range. As such, the modular system allows you to upgrade the backs without upgrading your entire camera.
Even though it's (arguably) the highest quality, I might warn against blindly renting a system like this for an important shoot if you haven't worked with different formats before. They aren't exactly "plug-and-play", and like anything else, it will most certainly take some practice with the system to get the most from it.
My thinking is the Leica S would offer a more familiar and streamlined workflow. Either way, sounds like a great assignment! Best of luck!!