Falling prices mean it might not be too long before medium-format photography is back on the agenda for enthusiasts, but what can we expect from a digital medium-format camera?
Still Life Shoot Image transfer
Adobe doesn’t list the H4D-40 as being compatible with Camera Raw 5.7, but I found I was able to open and adjust the 3FR-format images successfully by right-clicking and selecting Open in Camera Raw.
Having a CF card on board means I was free to shoot without computer connection, but the 50MB files soon mount up so transferring the images to a computer can take a while. If you only have a USB 2.0 card reader, it’s worth connecting the camera via the supplied FireWire cable to speed up the process of downloading images.
Shooting with the camera tethered to a computer via the FireWire 800 cable and using the supplied Phocus software means the images are transferred one at a time as they are shot, which could be preferable when shooting indoors.
This method also brings the advantage of allowing each image to be examined in detail on a large computer monitor, as the 3in, 230,400-pixel LCD screen doesn’t display as much detail as some smaller format DSLR monitors. The software can also be used to control the camera, even setting the white balance by using the sample tool to correct an otherwise neutral area.
I shot with the camera untethered for most of the time I had it, and it took me a while to work out how to set a custom white balance because the camera’s two LCD screens display slightly different menus for some features.
Although the white balance button is next to the grip-based LCD, it is impossible to set a custom white balance value via this menu display. I had already used Adobe Camera Raw 5.7 to assess the appropriate colour temperature to set the manual white balance value to, when I discovered a method of setting a custom value via the controls shown on larger LCD screen.