Medium format cameras, which used to be only for film, are just now getting their start in the digital era. Brands such as Hasselblad and Fujifilm are pushing the medium format sensors to their limits and innovating in this space that allows the cost of entry to go down quite a bit. If you’re in the market for one of these digital medium format cameras, this article is for you!
We have selected the four best medium format digital cameras on the market and put them in the list below. Each comes with its own unique features, so pick the one that best suits your needs.
- If you’re looking for a great entry level medium format camera, the Pentax 645z is the one for you. It has great image quality and a very affordable price.
- The Hasselblad H6D-50c is a great choice if you want the best medium format out there. This is a very expensive camera, but it will allow you to take images that are unrivaled in this space.
- If you want an affordable medium format camera that feels like your normal DSLR, check out the Fujifilm GFX 50S. The body shape and size will be quite familiar to those crossing over from your normal APS-C sized sensor DSLR camera.
- If you want a Hasselblad camera, but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg, check out the Hasselblad X1D-50c. You get a ton of features that are in the other Hasselblad lineup, but at a price that rivals some more budget-friendly options.
Who Should Buy This?
If you’re a professional photographer looking to upgrade to a medium format camera for the first time, or if you simply want to retire some old gear, these cameras are perfect for you. They are all capable of taking extremely high quality images that would work in magazines and other print media, as well as any digital format.
These cameras are also great for hobby photographers who want to take their shots to the next level. If you’ve been using a mirrorless or DSLR camera for years and want to take the next step in photographic quality, go to a medium format camera. It will allow you to take all you have learned from your previous camera and turn that knowledge into breathtaking images on this new system.
Best Medium Format Digital Camera: What to Consider in 2020
Having a camera with a high megapixel count will get you the largest image possible. That means that as you resize your image to get it to where you need, it will be crystal-clear and extremely sharp. This is the main factor that most people look at when buying a digital camera, and should be noted for your medium format camera as well.
It’s extremely important to find a good medium format camera with a wide selection of lenses. While some medium format cameras don’t have but a handful of lenses available for their lens mount system, finding one with a nice range that also fits your budget is extremely important.
No matter what you buy, you have to pay attention to the cost. Medium format cameras are extremely expensive, but that price has come down considerably in recent years. Finding a camera for less than ten thousand dollars would have been nothing more than a dream a few years back. Now, they are much more affordable.
Always make cost your main priority and never go beyond your own budget. Once that’s done, prioritize your megapixel count, followed by the lens selection. While all the cameras here have at minimum a small range of lenses, getting a camera that can take a nice high-quality image is paramount.
Best Medium Format Digital Camera: Our Picks for 2020
1. Pentax 645z
Pentax has spent decades making high-quality cameras, and they only recently got into the medium format digital camera market. Their 645z is a shining example of a fantastic medium format camera that’s much more affordable than most of the competition. It proves you don’t have to take a second mortgage out on your home to capture amazing medium format images.
This camera features a sensor capable of 51.4 megapixels, giving you a ton of image for the price. The images out of this camera are stunning, and they give more expensive cameras a true run for their money. Just note that, as this weighs in at 3.42 pounds, it is on the heavier side.
- Megapixels: 51.4
- Weight: 3.42 lbs
Hasselblad is the name most people think of when talking about medium format photography. They’ve been making absolutely stunning medium format cameras for a long time, and the H6D-50c is a perfect example of how far they’ve come. This camera has everything you need to take the highest quality images imaginable.
This camera’s sensor can take massive, mind-blowing 50-megapixel images. They are both crisp and pristine, and provide the highest quality you’ll find on the current market. There is also a 100 megapixel version of this camera (H6D-100c), but it is much more expensive.
- Megapixels: 50
- Weight: 4.6 lbs
Fujifilm is known more for making great film than they are for their cameras. However, they have created an amazing entry level medium format digital camera in the GFX 50S. This model is chock full of features and takes pictures you would expect to come out of much more expensive models.
This model may look and feel like a conventional DSLR or big body mirrorless camera, but at five pounds you know it means business. The 51.4 megapixel sensor takes great images when combined with their X-Processor Pro image processing engine. When paired with high quality glass, this camera can take images that will leave you speechless.
- Megapixels: 51.4
- Weight: 5 lbs
The X1D-50c is the second Hasselblad camera on this list, but it’s a bit different than the other model. While it still has the name right on the front, this looks nothing like the big, chunky Hasselblad cameras of the past. It’s nice and slim, and has an extremely modern design.
The sensor here is 50 megapixels as well, and the body only weighs 1.6 pounds. That makes it the lightest camera on the list. It’s quite impressive how much they managed to fit inside the tiny body. Great for people who want performance without extra bulk.
- Megapixels: 50
- Weight: 1.6 lbs
Useful Tips and Resources
If you plan on buying a medium format camera, you’ll need a professional grade tripod to use it. That’s not optional. Always consider buying a great tripod when getting your camera. That will allow you to set up your camera, keep it stable, and prevent it from dropping during tough shots.
The other essential item for a medium format camera is a solid camera bag. You never want your camera to get damaged while moving it from shot to shot, and a flimsy bag might not cut it. Always get a good heavy-duty option that can resist an accidental bump or scrape.
No matter which medium format camera you choose from this list, it’s sure to have you taking high-quality pictures in no time. Each model is a great option for both professionals and those wanting to try the medium for the first time.
If you’re looking to jump into high-end photography with a medium format digital camera, you can’t go wrong with any of the ones in this guide.
Have you ever used a medium format camera? How was your experience? Let us know in the comments below!
Influenced by the startup culture in the Silicon Valley, Jessica loves building things from zero to one and is keen on following news related to the Big Five tech giants and many SaaS startups.