The medium format camera has taken over again and become the pinnacle of photography for most professionals. A medium format camera uses 120mm film, which offers superior quality over the standard 35mm film camera.
The reason behind the increased popularity of medium format digital cameras is their ability to accurately capture color and sharp details in the image. The highest resolution quality images used for high-end advertising and commercial purposes are often shot with medium format cameras. The reason for the quality images is partly because of the film. Who makes the best medium format camera film? We recommend Fujichrome Provia or Kodak Ektar.
A few years back, medium format cameras were very pricey, but today many brands have launched their own medium format digital cameras against the popular Hasselblad and Phase One cameras, which is why they have to significantly lower their camera prices.
To help you get started on your medium format journey we have decided to put together a list of some of the best medium format cameras. let’s take a look at these amazing cameras and their features.
Best Medium Format Cameras Reviewed
Our best medium format cameras are reviewed in detail below, but include:
- Best overall compact medium format camera: Hasselblad X1D-50c
- Best medium format camera for high-resolution images: Pentax 645C
- Best Fujifilm: Fujifilm GFX 50s
- Best Leica: Leica S2
- Best Budget Medium Format Camera: Hasselblad H6D-400c
Hasselblad introduced the world’s first medium format camera, the Hasselblad X1D-50c. It’s lightweight and has a compact design. Handling is great and the camera feels reliable. It features a 50-megapixel CMOS sensor that delivers images with natural colors and great detail.
The camera is great for shooting landscapes with many details and significant brightness differences. It also captures amazing portraits. However, the X1D-50c lacks image stabilization and speed. Its autofocus performance and quality of JPEGs aren’t perfect.
2. Pentax 645Z
The Pentax 645Z proves to be a perfect medium format camera for you if you are often in need of producing extra-large prints or images with extremely high detail. The camera delivers impressively high-resolution images with its 51-megapixel Sony CMOS sensor.
Due to its high dynamic range and color sensitivity, the 645Z is perfectly suitable for capturing landscapes and portraits. It also includes two SDHC slots to store maximum data in the cards.
The maximum continuous shooting speed stands at three frames per second, which is fine for a medium format camera. It has been equipped with the same AF system as found in Pentax’s own K-3, meaning it features 27 AF points. The only worry about the camera is that the Pentax is very slow at upgrades and you won’t know what lenses might come in the future.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S boasts a whopping 51.4-megapixel sensor that delivers stunning image quality. It captures objects in images with great detail and bright and vibrant colors. Thanks to the Fujifilm, this medium format camera is now within reach of those who couldn’t alternatively afford a more expensive camera.
The GFX 50S features weather-sealed magnesium alloy construction. It can easily process the massive 117 MB files that its sensor generates. At the rear, you get a tilting 3.2-inch touchscreen and a hybrid viewfinder with 3.69 million dots of resolution. The camera has a maximum continuous shooting speed of three frames per second.
4. Pentax 645D
The Pentax 645D is one of the most affordable medium format cameras. It delivers clear images with significant details and a very low level of noise. Color rendering in images also looks excellent.
The 645D makes use of a 40-megapixel sensor. Its autofocus is reliable and battery is capacious enough to keep it running for several days. Its body is moisture resistant that allows you to shoot outdoors without any problem. This medium format camera can be ideal for landscape and wildlife photographers.
5. Leica S2
The Leica S2 is a medium format camera that is equipped with a 37.5-megapixel 30x45mm Kodak photosensitive CCD sensor, which is 55 percent larger than the full-frame sensor.
Image quality of the S2 is amazing. Its AF is good but not superfast, however, the intended purpose of the camera is to capture portraits and landscapes, and here the AF works quite well. On the back, there is a three-inch LCD, which has a 460k-dot resolution. It’s nice and bright with great color.
Phase One and the Mamiya were the two companies that collaborated with each other to release this medium format camera, so you will find this product with both names.
The 645DF+ produces incredibly sharp images with the 80-megapixel IQ180 digital back. Its autofocus sensitivity is another thing that impresses a lot, as it can accurately focus on very low contrast subjects even in a very dimly lit environment. This medium format camera can be an ideal choice for photojournalism and street photography.
It’s another high-end medium format camera from Hasselblad. It needs an investment of tens of thousands and is certainly not the medium format camera that an entry-level photographer should consider.
The H6D-400c employs a 100-megapixel CMOS sensor, having a maximum effective resolution of 400 megapixels, which can be achieved via multi-shot image capture. In the process of image capture, the sensor is moved one pixel at a time for the first four shots to achieve real color data. The sensor captures red, green and blue color information before it returns back to its starting point. You will have to use computer in order to shoot with this high-end medium format camera.
Picking the Right Medium Format Camera for You
Picking a medium format digital camera cannot be easy given the many options and a similar set of features available in a very saturated market. However, if you are planning on purchasing a medium format camera, we have put together a list of cameras that both beginners and professional medium format photographers can consider.