First showing of the new Scitex back at Seybold San Francisco
by John Henshall
The Scitex Leaf Volare is a new high-quality digital camera back for colour still life and studio photography. It couples to Sinarcam, Hasselblad, Mamiya or Fuji 645 and uses the same 24 x 36mm format 2048 x 3096 pixel (6 Megapixel) CCD -- made by Philips -- as the Dicomed LittleBigShot. Phase One and Sinar have also announced camera backs using this chip. Together, they show a major move away from the Loral Fairchild 2048 x 2048 chip, which was first used by Leaf in 1992.
The Volare is a three shot system for producing highly detailed still-life images of extremely high quality, achieved by reading red, green and blue information from the entire CCD and thus eliminating interpolation. The main eye catcher of this camera back is a purple lever which rotates the CCD to shoot either vertically or horizontally at the flick of a switch, eliminating the need to rotate the camera physically. This feature is known as 'Leaf VHtwist'. Another feature of the Volare is the Leaf Active Cooling System, which constantly adjusts the temperature of the CCD, helping to maintain clean, noise-free images in hot and sticky studios. Areas of the image may be magnified to full resolution and a new large graphical focus indicator in the software interface makes focussing from a distance much easier.
Leaf are big players with long experience at the top of the professional camera market. The $25,000 Volare should be another big success.
This article first appeared as "John Henshall's Chip Shop" in "The Photographer" magazine, October 1998.
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