I've been a frequent critic of medium format cameras. Both for the price and the limitations. By price, I mean $30,000 for a camera back, thousands more for the body and lenses, and a final investment of likely $100,000. All of this combined with the limitation of ISO800 as a common maximum sensitivity.
In the rest of the digital world, sensor size is most critical for high-ISO performance. A 4/3's Panasonic will produce similar amounts of detail to a Canon 7D, or even a Canon 1D, in bright light. It's only when the lights dim are the performance differences apparent.
I must admit, after having a chance to both see the results of, and play around with, a Phase One P65, my dedication to those statements wavered, but not completely. I still felt, having used a Canon EOS 5D Mark II, that the differences weren't worth it.
As if to really drive home that I was in fact wrong, Leaf has released an 80, EIGHTY, eight zero, megapixel digital back.
Holy, fucking, shit.
I'm insanely curious about whether those extra pixels, 15mp more than the nearest competitor, will actually result in more detail, but still, EIGHTY?! Nothing Canon, Nikon, Olympus, or Sony is working on gets anywhere close to that. It's leaps and bounds ahead of other systems.
Needless to say, it's times like this when I wish I was a pro and could see through to spending money like that. Because, shit, it would be lots of fun to play around with an 80MP camera. Even if the images are 480MB(!!) each. HA! One and a half pictures per CD. That's insane.
Leaf releases Aptus-II 12 digital back with 80MP sensor (DPReview.com)