There's been a lot of discussions lately on technical cameras and some questions regarding the differences between the WDS and RS-1000. While I did my research into the two and choose the RS-1000 I nevertheless actually had never held a WDS in my hot little hands. Chris at Capture Integration was originally going to send me a WDS for testing last year however sent a RS-1000 due to s rental scheduling conflict.
Very well built however I was expecting this. The other consideration is this body is from Capture Integration's rental fleet they've been good enough to loan me and while it's been a rental there's little if any evidence of hard use.
I like the wooden handle (a lot). Not too sure why other than it just looks "neat" and feels very good in my hand. Cambo shows optional wooden handgrips for the RS-1000 however I haven't actually seen any.
I have no proof other than watching Michael Reichmann on one of his videos however I feel you could very easily shoot this handheld. To paraphrase Mr. Reichmann, "Worlds Most Expensive Digital Point-&-Shoot".
The thing is a beast when compared to the RS-1000. While I haven't (as yet) placed them side by side I have been working with the RS-1000 since October and have developed a feel for how it feels. The WDS is physically larger and weighs more - how much more I don't yet know but once I find out I'll tell.
Jury is out on the lens retention; the WDS while larger only has one moveable bar while the RS-1000 though smaller has two. It appears that it would be slightly easier to change lens on a WDS because of the one bar I still believe in Murphy's Law and like the system the RS-1000 has; guess I'm a belt and suspenders guy after all.
I don't know how the difference in movements will affect my shooting style but plan to find out shortly and will report on that.
The WDS has very large knobs for movements; I wouldn't be surprised if these came in handy in cold weather when gloves are needed. That said I did shoot my RS-1000 in knee deep snow using gloves and had little problem with precise movements.
Speaking of precise movements. My very first thought upon unpacking this was I did not like (as in no way in hell) what I thought was a lack of witness marks on the front for rise and fall. It wasn't until I put a lens on did I see how the little white mark on the lensboard acts as the witness mark. So now I feel better and have stepped away from the edge.
This brings me to the final thought. Unless I missed them, I can find no witness marks on the rear of the body. The RS-1000 has these and they do come in handy. Image sitting on the edge of a 1000' drop where you want to take multiple images for a panorama or in-your-face multiple row/column image. I can (and have done just that) with the RS-1000. It "appears" that I will have to actually see the face of the WDS to ensure I have the proper amount of movement; this means I either have to turn the camera to face me each time I want to do a movement - which can be the kiss of death - or I somehow have to lean over and hope to see what I'm doing.
So - this is my initial subjective impressions. I'll be going out shortly to start testing it in the field here near home then more in Sedona next week.
I almost forgot to mention the tripod mount. I might have a spare plate laying around that I will think about putting on, in the meantime I need to mount this sidewise on my Novoflex this defeating it purpose of fine focusing. Just a little weird.