Pro photographers might start hyperventilating when they see this Mamiya ZD 645AFD II Digital System, which the company touts as the first 22-megapixel digital camera system for under $10,000. That's a pretty good deal, considering that a 31-megapixel Hasselblad camera costs $25,000.
This Mamiya supercamera is offered as a $9,999 kit including a 80mm f/2.8 autofocus lens, the 645AFD II body which usually sells for $3,000 separately, and the new part of the system, the Mamiya ZD 22 Megapixel Digital Back. What, they're selling the fronts and backs of cameras separately now? WTF?
The pros like to specify exactly which back they'll use with their camera's body, and in this case they can choose either a honking 22-megapixel digital back like this one, or an old-school film back for those who just can't extricate themselves from film into the digital world. The front of this camera communicates with the back using Mamiya's two-way serial communication protocol, which the company says gives you an operating experience just like a one-piece camera.
Mamiya has teamed up with Adobe for this system, and offers a free copy of Adobe Lightroom software with each one of these ZD back units. If you aren't familiar with Lightroom, it's kick-ass software similar to Apple's Aperture, and it's aimed specifically at you high-end professional photogs/wonks, letting you adjust every parameter of your photos, and is especially adept at manipulating raw images.
The company is also rolling out a couple of new digital lenses that work with both this digital back as well as the company's film back, starting with the Mamiya Sekor AF at 75-150mm f/4.5 D, and then there's the full-frame 28mm f/4.5 D Aspherical lens. Mamiya didn't quote a price on those lenses yet.
This $10,000 mark for such precise equipment is a real breakthrough for the pro (or rich) photographer. Prices have been in such freefall for the low end of digital photography, the high-end couldn't help but follow. Hallelujah.
Product Page [Mamiya]