But why on earth would a $20k digital back use such outdated tech. You would think they would improve it over the years? I'm not saying you are wrong, I'm just really curious as to why! If such a sensor existed, even I would buy one. I would take out a loan if I had to. So if that is true that they could have advanced MF tech but didn't, that seems like the biggest marketing oops of all time, no? They don't want to expand the tiny MF market into something resembling the 1dx/D4 market, which I assume is many times bigger?
Fact is, Leica (S2), Pentax (P645), Leaf, Phase One, Hasselblad, probably put them all together and their sensor R&D budgets wouldn't go anywhere near that of Canon or Sony.
It's unfortunate, but MF technology is going to lag further and further behind, if not least because of their lower budgets. Take the latest sensors, the D800, D4, 5D3, and compare them on a *pixel level* (100%) to an MF sensor, half the time the 35mm outperforms the MF, and that's despite the individual pixels being a crudload smaller and closer together, and despite the MF sensors costing as much as a small house.
If Canon or Sony took what they'd learned from making APS-C and FF sensors, and put the same tech into an MF, that would be phenomenal. Take the low-light performance of the 5D3 and make those pixels twice the size again? Take the DR of the D800 and double or triple their full-well capacity and increase another 1 or 2 bits? Even take an MF sensor now and add gapless microlenses would bump up performance a stop or two.
I don't care how expensive that sensor would be, it would be phenomenal and leave even the IQ180 for dust.