If you remember the controversial article Michael Reichmann wrote comparing the Canon D30 to film, he's done it again. Now he says the 6Mp D60 is nipping at the heels of medium format. The strange thing is although I think his presentation is good and the images representational, his conclusions are whacked:
Some things to consider in relation the Reichmann's article: 6Mp is only a modest increase in resolution compared to 3Mp. To double the resolution of a 3Mp camera (to the relative size of a 35mm image that he provides) you have to quadruple the sensor resolution. Why? The resolution needs to be doubled in both dimensions. That's 12Mp, something we can look forward to but probably not for a couple of years at least.
I agree that the clean image quality inherent to 6Mp digital vs. film is probably an equalizer up to 11x14 and that a high res 35mm scan is probably still superior at 12x18. I agree that 6Mp along with the other digital advantages will work very well for many pros. However, some of us still want full frame wide angle performance and more sensor resolution before ditching the film. Yes, digital does have some travel advantages with all the xray headaches now, but digital has a serious battery managment monkey on its back. The farther you get from the power grid, the less likely digital will be a viable way to go.
Where Reichmann really loses it this time is putting a modest 6Mp resolution up against medium format and declaring it to be getting "close". Say what? If he puts 6Mp and 35mm at parity, does that mean 35mm is "close" to 645 or 6x7? I guess it does if you only make modest sized prints from your medium format images. Call me crazy, but I think the reason you would choose a bigger, heavier medium format camera and the inconvenience of roll film is to have highly enlargeable and/or croppable images.
Let's keep this in mind: 645 is 2.7x larger than 35mm, 6x7 is 4.5x larger. 6Mp 35mm equivalance translates to 16.2Mp for 645 and over 20Mp for 6x7. I don't follow how someone promotes the value of medium format compared to 35mm and then so easily dismisses them in comparison to digital. Well, perhaps I do. His article on the D30 vs. film pulled in 100,000 hits for his site. The new article will surely get a huge number of hits as well...
I thought I'd better add that I think Luminous Landscape is a great site with lots of excellent information. Even if the new article is a little hyperbolic, it does have some interesting comparisons and is well written. The conclusions may be controversial, but it's good food for thought and discussion.