« on: August 12, 2013, 07:17:04 PM »
Square was the format for Hasselblad and no one else.
Hasselblad / Kiev 88, Pentacon Six / Kiev 60, Rollei 66, Rollei 6008, Rolleiflex and Rolleicord TLRs, Zenza Bronica, Mamiya C330 and variant TLRs, Mamiya 6, Minoltaflex, Yashica Mat, not to mention all the other ones I've never heard of. Hell, you can still buy a Rollei Hy6 brand new.
I've used my Mamiya 645AF in portrait mode. It sucks, big time, especially handheld. I'm not sure if there's a vertical grip for the 645AF but I sure could use one (although it's already unwieldy, a grip would make it a monster). I find myself using my Hasselbladski more and more these days with the WLF and external lightmeter, so much more comfortable. Cropping is actually easier from square, you can decide later if you want to crop to portrait, landscape, or leave it square (which I do most of the time).
The biggest downside to square formats is the cost. With 120/220 film, getting 12/24 square shots to a roll wasn't that much more expensive than getting 16/32 645-shaped shots, especially for a decent-sized modelling studio. But turn that into a digital sensor and suddenly an $80k 645-sensor is a $150k 6x6-sensor, costs increase exponentially with sensor size (ie a FF-sensor is a lot more than a few APS-C and a few FFs are miles cheaper than an MF sensor).
Rollei got it right with the Hy6, a 6x6-sized hole in the body for 6x6 film, rotatable back for 645 sensors, and future-proof for a 6x6 digital sensor. (But leaf, phase one, and mamiya being all the same company, digital 6x6 is just never going to happen because it won't fit on their 645DF).
Mamiya's RB/RZ67 is the same deal, but it's a 6x7 rotatable back, that can also take digital backs. Biggest problem is that Mamiya killed it off to focus on 645, even though the lenses and bodies are excellent.
Canon buying Rollei (or at least the Hy6 from whomever owns the name) makes more sense than buying Leaphasemiya, they'd get great glass and great bodies, leaf-shutters are one thing canon don't do, and a slowly-dying Hy6 community looking for an upgrade-path. Canon can bring in more lens experience, in-house sensors and AF, the capital to be able to compete with leaphasemiya (and above all, fanboys on internet forums to drool over the new stuff).