..., I can't help but think there's nothing concrete to MF's credit over 35mm, ... well enough to do much more than keep pace with 35mm cameras in terms of image quality, let alone in features.
What CaNikon has a 53.9x40.4 mm 60.5mp sensor ?
...(I'm sure I'm showing off my MF ignorance a fair deal here; I'm trying to be balanced, but I've seen and heard enough to be fairly certain that MF systems are years behind 35mm ones, in specifics and in general.)
Many times the focus sensor isn't where you want it to be, so you focus and recompose. The problem is that after you have focused on the eye and recomposed the focus is off slightly. Well the Hasselblad True Focus refines the focus using a yaw sensor. Read about it here http://www.hasselbladusa.com/promotions/apl.aspx
Does CaNikon have anything like this?
We can talk about studio photographers, but a 35mm camera gives somebody an edge in freedom of motion.
Ever shoot with a medium format camera? I prefer a Medium Format over a CaNikon Pro Body (with built-in grip). I find them more ergonomic. But a 5D or D700 is better than both.
I think the evidence is pretty clear that DSLRs have cut the knees out from under the MF market, and now they're working on the stumps.
A lot of Pros disagree with you. MFD sales are good.
A $3K premium for no apparent benefit in functionality ... furthermore don't really seem to provide knockout quality (on average) compared to 35mm format with all the new bells and whistles, doesn't seem a good overall investment to me ...
Once again, have you ever used a MFD? If you haven't how do you know that your statements are true? BTW the wants/needs vary from photographer and many Pros think MFD is a good investment YMMV.
Simple economic sense would seem to validate your claim that this pressure - and expanded options - is good for the market, but consider: MF buyers recently seem to have been faced (from what I gather) with the most uncertain future ...Who wants to buy into MF when it's uncertain that the manufacturer will survive from this year to the next?
Fuji owns Hasselblad and isn't going anywhere. BTW Fuji released a MF Film camera last year, an it is selling well. Phase One owns Mamiya and Leaf, it isn't going anywhere either.
BTW Leica has their new S2, so I guess they think the MFD market will survive. And Pentax announced at Photokina that the 645D will be available worldwide.
... In some ways it seems like a continuation of the split between point and shoot 35mm cameras and SLRs from some years ago; a 35mm SLR never really could be underspecced compared to a point-and-shoot ...
Terry Richardson and Juergen Teller made their reputations using Film P&S cameras. Nothing wrong with a P&S if you have something to say and talent.
But now even 35mm format cameras are fighting to stay relevant when even point-and-shoot cameras can have sophisticated movie modes and other features - cell phones are following quickly. ... This is pretty good compared to most MF systems where your next upgrade will be never, because the manufacturers have closed up shop.
Sorry for the extreme length of the post, and for anything unfair I said.
Yes the market is changing, and someone will become famous shooting advertising campaigns with a phone. But large companies like Kodak and Dalsa continue to develop MF sensors for use by MFD manufactures. MFD isn't going away anytime soon!
BTW Hobbyists,Wedding photographer, Photo Journalists and Commercial Shooters all have different wants/needs. One size doesn't fit all. Always use the right tool for the job ... and sometimes a 4x5 Film Camera is the right tool