The Best Medium Format Cameras To Buy Right Now

If you want to grow up with your photography, go for one of the Best Medium Format Cameras. This is the domain of those who want not only the highest possible resolution images but also the sharpest, most detailed and most accurate colors – perhaps because the images can be blown up as large as physically for commercial reasons – for use on a billboard, for example, or in a high-end advertising campaign, where the budget needed to own or rent one of these devices is less important.

Yes, in the past photography was medium-sized, at least as far as digital photography is concerned, prohibitively expensive, with cameras reaching tens of thousands of kilos. However, medium format is no longer limited to traditional high-end photographic brands that specialize in medium formats, such as Hasselblad and Phase One. Fujifilm christened a toe in digital medium format territory with the launch of its GFX mirrorless series and the inaugural 50S in 2017, supported in late 2018 with the addition of the GFX 50R and, in 2019, the promised GFX 100 Megapixels camera.

Similarly, Leica has a new medium format S3 camera on the road in 2019, updating its older S2 model. And then there is the Pentax 645Z, now a bit long in the tooth itself, but also worth considering. They all offer more affordable alternatives to the previous big beasts of the medium-imaging world.

Let us continue to explore the options for those who want to take medium-sized photos. In addition, we will try to find the best medium format cameras that you can buy.

Here are the Best Medium Format Cameras

Fujifilm GFX 50S

Fuji’s first foray into mirrorless medium format digital photography proved a bold move

  • Sensor: Medium format
  • Megapixels: 51.4MP
  • Lens mount: Fujifilm G mount
  • LCD: 3.2″ touchscreen, 2.36 million dots
  • Viewfinder: Hybrid (optical and electronic)
  • Max continuous shooting speed: 3fps
  • Max video resolution: 1920×1080 (Full HD)
  • User level: Professional

For a company that had built up its reputation as a supplier of stack-’em-high-and-sell-’em-cheap compact cameras in the last 20 years, the introduction of the medium format GFX came as a welcome surprise – although it is not an outright shock, as the company was already making progress in attracting more photo-enthusiastic/semi-professional viewers through its mirrorless X series.

Files with no less than 50 megapixels from a medium format sensor were now within reach of those (pros or otherwise) who could not offer an alternative to a Hasselblad, while the robust housing of the GFX 50S was made of weatherproof magnesium alloy construction.

Important features to note are the fact that the GFX 50S easily handles the large 117MB files that generate the sensor and resolution, while combining an eye-level viewfinder with a lifelike resolution of 3.69 million dots and a tilt 3.2-inch touchscreen on the back, as well as a small top plate window that displays the most important settings, ensures both ease of use and ease of use that ensures that the camera quickly becomes an extension of your own arm/eye.

Burst shots can be a modest 3fps, but then, like all mid-format cameras, this Fuji is all about delivering razor-sharp details, not about the quick response that is loved in sports by nature specialists. Overall, this is one of the best medium format cameras that you can buy.

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Hasselblad X1D-50c

Mirrorless medium format camera from traditionally the biggest, most important player in medium format photography

  • Sensor: Medium format
  • Megapixels: 50MP
  • Lens mount: Hasselblad X
  • LCD: 3.0″ touchscreen, 920K dots
  • Viewfinder: Electronic, 2.36 million dots
  • Max continuous shooting speed: 2.3fps
  • Max video resolution: 1920×1080 (Full HD)
  • User level: Professional

This relatively compact range from Hasselblad, which went according to its own standards and largely thanks to the mirrorless design, was a game-changer during the launch, with the headline-grabbing function of a 50-megapixel resolution, a performance recently combined with Fuji’s GFX series. The Hasselblad X1D-50c is also a medium format model and requires a little more attention and care than your standard camera for the user to be rewarded with dazzling, detailed images.

So this is not a camera to ‘bomb’ your subject, but rather a more thoughtful and thoughtful approach; the maximum burst recording speed is indeed a modest 2.3fps, which would not harm the average consumer DSLR. That said, we get a medium format option here in a shell that is barely bigger than a DSLR, albeit with a price tag that puts it out of reach of everyone except the most affluent enthusiasts and professionals.

We loved the electronic eye finder at eye level with its impressive resolution, which is provided alongside the rear screen and the minimum amount of physical controls at least concentrates the mind. In short, everything you need is here for amazing results. This is certainly one of the best medium format cameras in the world.

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Fujifilm GFX 50R

Fuji’s follow-up foray into mirrorless medium format digital photography

  • Sensor: Medium format
  • Megapixels: 51.4MP
  • Lens mount: Fujifilm G
  • LCD: 3.2″ touchscreen, 2.36 million dots
  • Viewfinder: 0.5″ OLED, 3.69 million dots
  • Max continuous shooting speed: 3fps
  • Max video resolution: 1920×1080 (Full HD)
  • User level: Professional

The ‘R’ in Fuji’s newest 50R model, first unveiled at the end of September 2018, stands for ‘Rangefinder’. Just like the 50S before, which stays within the range, the weather-resistant 50R has a 51.4-MP medium-sized image sensor. Fuji has however succeeded in making the 50R 25 mm slimmer this time and lighter with 145 g, the maker is the leader in the package when it comes to more and more portable, affordable and accessible medium-sized cameras. There many reasons that make it one of the best medium format cameras.

It is half the price of its rival Hasselblad, for example. Indeed, its manufacturer threw this as a ‘super full-frame’ camera during the launch, positioning it against recent 35 mm sensor-based rivals from Canon, Sony, Nikon, etc. Against this, he connects himself by offering the world’s lightest medium-sized camera combination when coupled with Fuji’s compatible GF 50 mm f/3.5 lens, while fully compatible with Capture One software for professionals who enjoy shooting with a camera attached to a PC monitoring purpose.

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Fujifilm GFX 100

Forthcoming for 2019: a Fuji medium format camera with a huge 100MP resolution

  • Sensor: Medium format
  • Megapixels: 100MP
  • Lens mount: Fujifilm G
  • LCD: TBC
  • Viewfinder: TBC
  • Max continuous shooting speed: TBC
  • Max video resolution: 4K at 30fps
  • User level: Professional

The clue to the appeal of this – which we expect to go in June – is all in the name. This is not only the first 100-megapixel mirrorless model to be released this year – Fuji says it is on track to debut in the first half of 2019 – but we already know that image stabilization in the body will have a sensor phase detection autofocus system, plus offers 4K video recording at 30 fps, something that currently does not happen with the models with 50S or 50R medium formats. Overall, this is one of the best medium format cameras right now.

We also get an integrated vertical handle – something that we may see more often in 2019, while the overall dimensions and weight are promised to be roughly the same as those of a high-quality digital SLR camera. This level of specifications is of course not cheap; although it will be even cheaper than average size cameras from someone other than Fuji that would be normal. The creator estimated that the price would be around $10,000 + tax when it was first revealed on Photokina 2018.

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Leica S3

An evolution in medium format for the German premium camera brand, updating the long-in-the-tooth S2 model

  • Sensor: Medium format
  • Megapixels: 64MP
  • Lens mount: Leica S
  • LCD: 3″, 921,600 dots
  • Viewfinder: Pentaprism type with illuminated LCD bar
  • Max continuous shooting speed: 3fps
  • Max video resolution: 4K at 24fps
  • User level: Professional

Another new medium format model that arrives in 2019 – planned for spring, in fact – is the magnesium-built Leica S3, which is complete with dust and splash-proof, plus non-slip rubber reinforcement. Essentially the size of a conventional DSLR, when updating the Leica 37.5MP S2 from a decade ago, this latest iteration has a 64MP sensor with dimensions of 30×45 mm, which improves the Fuji 50S and 50R in terms of head resolution.

We also get cinema-quality 4K video quality with stereo sound via the built-in microphone or optional microphone and the burst mode for continuous shooting speeds up to 3 fps, which seems to become the standard for its class. Also important is a maximum ISO sensitivity of ISO 50,000, a Live View mode with a refresh rate of 60 fps on which a histogram can be imposed, a 3-inch monitor screen and a built-in electronic spirit level for reaching a straight horizon.

While the pricing had yet to be determined at the time of writing, with this as a Leica we can bet that it will arrive with a luxury price tag that matches. This will be a great addition to our list of best medium format cameras.

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Pentax 645Z

Coming on like a supersized version of its K-series DSLRs, but with a medium format sensor, this is one of the more affordable medium format models

  • Sensor: Medium format
  • Megapixels: 51MP
  • Lens mount: Pentax 645AF2
  • LCD: 3.2″, 1,037,000 dots
  • Viewfinder: Prism type
  • Max continuous shooting speed: 3fps
  • Max video resolution: Full HD at 30fps
  • User level: Professional

Four years old at the time of writing, which is relatively old for a digital camera, there will be deals on the Pentax 645Z, revolutionary for its time. As expected, this model of the once-famous brand is solidly built and weatherproof, but also easy to use – thanks to a tilting 3.2-inch LCD monitor – and an affordable end of the market for medium-sized cameras. In addition, the images are, as expected, fantastic in terms of the huge amounts of detail delivered. The 645Z, which replaces the older Pentax 645D, has a Sony CMOS sensor in the heart and has a resolution of 40 to 51 million pixels.

The maximum recording speed is again a modest sounding, but in fact a standard problem for its class 3fps, for a maximum of 10 unprocessed images or 30 highest quality JPEGs. These are written to two slots suitable for SD cards. With the same AF system as in the K-3 from Pentax, the camera has 27 AF points, 25 of which are the more sensitive cross-type, making it capable of working enough to the equivalent of -3EV. Overall, this is one of the best medium format cameras right now.

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