The best medium format cameras

Top 10Best for videoVloggingSports photography
Cameras (1 - 5)
Fujifilm GFX100Fujifilm GFX 50RHasselblad X1D-50cLeica S (TYP 007)Leica S3Hasselblad X1DPentax 645ZPentax 645DMamiya ZD BackHasselblad H4D 200MS
Image
Fujifilm GFX100
Fujifilm GFX 50R
Hasselblad X1D-50c
Leica S (TYP 007)
Leica S3
Hasselblad X1D
Pentax 645Z
Pentax 645D
Mamiya ZD Back
Hasselblad H4D 200MS
Best price
Best price
Megapixels (main camera)The number of megapixels determines the resolution of the images captured with the main camera. A higher megapixel count means that the camera is capable of capturing more details. However, the megapixel count is not the only important element determining the quality of an image.
Megapixels (main camera)The number of megapixels determines the resolution of the images captured with the main camera. A higher megapixel count means that the camera is capable of capturing more details. However, the megapixel count is not the only important element determining the quality of an image.102MP
51.4MP
50MP
37.5MP
64MP
50MP
51.4MP
40MP
22MP
50MP
Sensor sizeThe larger the sensor the more light the sensor captures yielding in better image quality.
Sensor sizeThe larger the sensor the more light the sensor captures yielding in better image quality.44 x 33mm
44 x 33mm
44 x 33mm
45 x 30mm
45 x 30mm
43.8 x 32.9mm
43.8 x 32.8mm
44 x 33mm
46 x 38mm
49.1 x 36.7mm
Focus pointsThe more focus points the more flexibility in picking which part of the scene to focus on. They also give the image sensor a better probability in identifying the right area of the scene to focus on in more automatic modes.
Focus pointsThe more focus points the more flexibility in picking which part of the scene to focus on. They also give the image sensor a better probability in identifying the right area of the scene to focus on in more automatic modes.425
117
N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.27
11
3
N.A.
Maximum light sensitivityWith a higher light sensitivity (ISO level), the sensor absorbs more light. This can be used to capture moving objects using a fast shutter speed, or to take images in low light without using a flash.
Maximum light sensitivityWith a higher light sensitivity (ISO level), the sensor absorbs more light. This can be used to capture moving objects using a fast shutter speed, or to take images in low light without using a flash.102400 ISO
102400 ISO
25600 ISO
12500 ISO
50000 ISO
25600 ISO
204800 ISO
1600 ISO
400 ISO
800 ISO
Video recording (main camera)The maximum resolution available for videos shot with the main camera. Although it may be possible to choose among other frame rates, those recordings usually have lower resolutions.
Video recording (main camera)The maximum resolution available for videos shot with the main camera. Although it may be possible to choose among other frame rates, those recordings usually have lower resolutions.2160 x 30fps
1080 x 30fps
1080 x 25fps
2160 x 24fps
2160 x 24fps
1080 x 25fps
1080 x 60fps
N.A.N.A.N.A.
Sensor shift stabilizationWith sensor shift, the image sensor (rather than the lens) moves to counterbalance any vibration of the camera. This means the image will be stabilised regardless of what lens is being used.
Sensor shift stabilizationWith sensor shift, the image sensor (rather than the lens) moves to counterbalance any vibration of the camera. This means the image will be stabilised regardless of what lens is being used.
Battery life (CIPA)CIPA is an independent, standard measurement that determines how many shots a camera can take before the battery dies.
Battery life (CIPA)CIPA is an independent, standard measurement that determines how many shots a camera can take before the battery dies.800shots
400shots
N.A.N.A.N.A.N.A.650shots
800shots
N.A.N.A.
Weather-sealed (splashproof)The device is protected with extra seals to prevent failures caused by dust, raindrops, and water splashes.
Weather-sealed (splashproof)The device is protected with extra seals to prevent failures caused by dust, raindrops, and water splashes.

If you’re venturing into the land of professional photography, it’s inevitable that you’ll encounter medium format photography at one point during your career. Fashion and landscape photographers and especially those interested in shooting high-resolution creative ads that’ll be plastered all over billboards will need to become familiar with this format and the cameras that support it.

What is a medium format camera?

Originally, the medium format in photography was one of the three major formats of film photography. Small, medium, and large formats referred to the different sizes of the physical film used to shoot for each format. Today, we still use similar terms when we refer to a “full-frame camera,” for example. Full-frame digital cameras have sensors that mimic the size of a 35mm frame of traditional film. Medium format digital cameras, however, have larger sensors that can take higher-quality photos with more depth and that retain more detail.

When does a medium format camera make sense?

Medium format cameras are known for producing extremely high-quality images in stunning detail and vivid color. Therefore, they’re often used in fashion and advertising, but you’ll also find it helpful to shoot with a medium format camera if you’re taking studio portraits or are interested in landscape photography. These types of cameras allow for an expanded depth of field, which is especially helpful in landscape and travel photography.

Medium format digital cameras

While the term initially came from film cameras (and you can still purchase them today), medium format digital cameras do exist. They’ll come with a higher price tag, but it pays off in terms of quality and features. The Fujifilm GFX 50S, for example, has a resolution of a whopping 51.4 megapixels and a 43.8 x 32.9mm CMOS sensor. The Pentax 645Z is another example of a digital medium format camera with a large sensor.

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