When is it time to trade up to a BetterLight camera? 3 years using a Dicomed large format camera taught me that these cameras were solidly made.
So when it was time to move up to a more modern, faster large format CCS scanning back I had to decide which brand?


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BetterLight Super6000 large format digital scanning back for 4x5 cameras beats
PhaseOne in image quality.
Better Light or PhaseOne?

betterlight early prototype
This early prototype is still taking pictures. It has never ever broken down, stopped, or required repair at all. This is all the more impressive because I use this camera entirely on location, all over Honduras and Guatemala

Jobo's 4x5 scan back was shown at PMA trade show last year but not even evaluation units were available at that time. PhaseOne is well known and highly respected, but they require a FireWire connection. What about the thousands of people with SCSI-based Macs? Besides, the photographs by BetterLight were better in color fidelity and in shadow detail than those of PhaseOne, as clearly demonstrated when both cameras were used at PMA trade show. Both BetterLight and PhaseOne were used to photograph the identical scene with the same lighting. The results with the BetterLight camera were, better.

Furthermore, the BetterLight is considerably more reasonable in price. Also, I had used a prototype made by Michael Collette for three years.

All my equipment is constantly on the move, being rattled around in cabs, in camera cases being rolled up and down stairs. In any given month I may do location photography a dozen or more times, meaning that the entire system is taken down, moved to another location, and set up again.

In conclusion, if a camera built by Michael Collette can survive this for three years, if the new models are faster and cost less, and if the resultant photographs were demonstrated (by an independent panel) to be better than PhaseOne, then which camera would you chose?

BetterLight, www.betterlight.com, is available from Calumet Digital Solutions. At present photography equipment on location in Guatemala, Central America includes: BetterLight mounted on a Cambo Ultima. The BetterLight scan backs hold up to heat, dust, and constant travel.

michael collette and betterlight camera
The photo here shows Michael Collette at PMA trade show. BetterLight also exhibited at Photokina, Seybold, GraphExpo, and the various Macintosh trade shows. Next big event will be Photokina 2002. You can find Michael Collette and his colleagues at the upcoming Seybold trade show. Nicholas Hellmuth will attend every day to take notes on the latest advances in digital imaging technology.


If you need a reliable source for professional camera and studio equipment, Calumet Photographic/Calumet Digital Solutions has everything. Besides, you can talk to them and get friendly information.

If you wish additional information on the equipment described on this page, you might wish to contact scott.price@calumetphoto.com, tel 312 944 2777 ext 2202, fax 312 944 4035

If you might be using the BetterLight scanning back to photograph art for eventual fine art giclee printing, then consider asking about the BetterLight camera, since they know scanners, fine art giclee printers, watercolor paper, canvas, and also now the BetterLight digital camera systems. Contact is Mike Collette directly: e-mail: info@betterlight.com

If you really want technical details on inkjet media, inks, and/or inkjet printhead technology, and especially if you wish to meet the movers and shakers in this industry, be sure to sign up for the next conference organized by IMI. To contact them write to imi@tdstelme.net. These seminars are outstanding; the senior review editor of FLAAR usually attends because he can get so much fresh information for the readers of the FLAAR Reports in PDF format and the FLAAR Information Network of web sites.

 

 

Answers to all the FAQs about large format inkjet printers for rollouts  
Nicholas Hellmuth's thematic reports on large format digital color printers now available

Reviews of large format printers most appropriate for signs, posters, banners including POP, both inside and outside: Encad vs HP, Roland, etc
Large format printers 24" and above for fine art giclee prints, for first-time users, intermediate, and experienced users as well
Large format printers 24" and above for top quality digital photo prints, museum-quality exhibit prints, for newbies to pro
Which scanners are best for scanning negatives, slides for large format printing of photo-realistic quality; what overhead repro-stand scanners are best for digitizing the actual artwork for large format printing; what large format digital scan back systems are best for digitizing paintings or 3-D artwork (all high end) for fine art giclee printing. This report covers only professional equipment: no entry-level, no cheap home scanners; nonetheless, this and all other reports are written for the first-time buyer, for newcomers to digital imaging as well as for pros who want better equipment.
Large format digital printers for textiles, direct printing on textiles as well as heat transfer with normal inks (no need for dye sublimation inks)
For dye sublimation heat transfer onto textiles, metal, wood, plastic, ceramics, metal and other treated surfaces
Plotters and color inkjet plotters for CAD, GIS, aerial maps, 3-D graphic design, engineering or architectural drawings, etc.
Large format printers appropriate for a college or university art or photography department, for a museum, repro shop,
Helpful list of media and inks for signs, posters, banners; helpful list of media and inks for fine art giclee or photo-realistic museum prints.
Quick-start help for first time buyers, list of the best RIPs; hints for what accessories you need; list of where you can get books and training

Large Format Cameras
Arca Swiss
Betterlight
Calumet

Cambo Ultima
Color crisp
Dicomed field pro
Sinar-Bron
Wisner
Recommended cameras
Recommended Best Buy
Trade shows
The prototype made by Michael Collette does seamless panoramas and turntable rollouts.

gateway to information about different options in photo studio lighting

 

 
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Updated April 30, 1998, edited June 21, 1999; links added July 4, 1999; April 19, 2000 and Mar.2002; last updated July 20, 2001;
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