Best medium format digital camera

Camera & Photo

The first-ever digital camera was initially designed in 1975 by Eastman Kodak engineer Steven Sasson. It weighed almost 10 pounds, required digital cassette tapes to record and was approximately the size of a modern printer.

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Which medium format digital cameras are best?

Whether you are an experienced professional photographer who wants to take their craft to the next level or someone just starting out and looking to invest in some of the best technology on the market, medium format digital cameras are ideal. Despite being highly expensive to even rent for the world’s best photographers a few years ago, some models have descended into the realms of relative affordability to create digital artworks of incredible clarity and salability. With an incredibly powerful and versatile unit like the Pentax 645Z (51 Megapixel) Medium Format Digital SLR Camera Body 3.2″ LCD Monitor Bundle as your main camera rig, you can enjoy some of the best medium format digital photography available without spending the same amount of money as a stainless steel Rolex.

What to know before you buy a medium format digital camera

Medium format digital cameras are incredibly pricey, even on sale

You may not be aware of this unless you happen to be interested in or regularly participate in professional-level photography. Still, it wasn’t all that long ago that the costs of even renting a medium format digital camera could start at the low five figures. While prices have gone down by quite a considerable amount in the intervening years, anyone who would like to get their hands on one of the best digital cameras in existence should expect to pay dearly for one.

Though other models of digital cameras can offer more when it comes to raw megapixels, it is worth noting that medium format digital cameras outperform all but the very best 35mm camera when it comes to certain aspects of digital photography. Said aspects include image bit depth, color rendering, base ISO performance and more, allowing medium format digital cameras to remain some of the most desirable and prized equipment on the market.

You get what you pay for with medium format digital cameras

While you should not purchase a piece of equipment over more practical uses like living expenses or rent, anyone who is already a photographic professional or wants to become a professional would be well-served to look at buying a medium format digital camera as a long term investment in your own career prospects. 

That said, to purchase just the body of a medium format digital camera, you could easily be looking at anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and that’s without additional equipment like a camera rear, extra battery packs, external displays, SD cards and much more. Though you rightly shouldn’t expect to purchase a medium format digital camera for anything close to a conventional bargain, there are advantages to spending your money on the right set of gear for digital photography.

What to look for in a quality medium format digital camera

The ability to record in formats like 4K, 8K and ultra-slow motion

While digital cameras remain one of the most popular tools for photographers of all skill levels, those interested in taking their craft to the next level by filming in the latest and greatest formats should consider purchasing a digital medium format digital camera. For example, any video content creator or professional cinematographer looking to produce their latest ultra slow-motion video will likely find such a camera nearly indispensable.

For those unfamiliar, a standard 1080p television only has 1920 by 1080 pixels, whereas a 4K monitor actually has 3,840 by 2,160 pixels or a four-fold increase. As such, 8k monitors offer a further four-fold increase over 4K, producing an astounding 7,680 by 4,320 pixels and offering unparalleled image quality. Though it may be a while before 8K monitors and images become an industry standard, investing in an 8k medium format digital camera could help future proof your photography for some considerable time.

Create digital artwork for conventional sales or consider going into NFTs 

While people are willing to pay almost excessive amounts of money for physical artworks such as portraits, sculptures and more, the physical reproduction of digital photographs can represent a somewhat more affordable means of acquiring or selling your art. It is well worth noting that if you choose to produce your digital photographs, you will need to purchase thousands of dollars in additional supplies and equipment.

However, recent developments in artwork have led to the rapid rise and popularity of Non-Fungible Tokens or NFTs, which represent sole ownership of digital images created via blockchain technology. Rather than purchasing an original artwork in a physical format that you hang on your wall, you can buy the NFT of an image that represents your exclusive ownership of the item in question, which is now effectively irreplaceable. Though there is some understandable skepticism over the longevity of the NFT market, those interested in creating and selling NFTs should strongly consider purchasing a medium format digital camera to facilitate their business activities.

Weather-resistant construction, incredible sensors and other features

If you’ve gone to the considerable time, trouble and expense of purchasing a new medium format digital camera, the very last thing you want is to end up with an extremely pricy 

How much you can expect to spend on a medium format digital camera

Depending on your desired features and any budgetary considerations, a quality medium format digital camera can easily cost anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 and often much more.

Medium format digital camera FAQ

What makes having a medium format digital camera so expensive?

A. There are many technological advantages granted by using a medium format digital camera, such as virtually picture-perfect color captures worthy of use in a professional advertising campaign. However, one of the primary advantages of owning such a camera is that it combines the functionality of both a long lens as well as a wide angle lens simultaneously in your photos.

Are medium format digital cameras that much better than 35mm cameras?

A. Absolutely. In addition to providing much greater technical quality in terms of the footage or image quality produced, images taken on medium format digital cameras can be increased in size without loss of resolution or reduction in clarity or color vibrancy.

What are the best medium format digital cameras to buy?

Top medium format digital camera

Pentax 645Z (51 Megapixel) Medium Format Digital SLR Camera Body 3.2" LCD Monitor Bundle

Pentax 645Z (51 Megapixel) Medium Format Digital SLR Camera Body 3.2″ LCD Monitor Bundle

What you need to know:  A versatile and powerful medium format digital camera bundle with some incredible gear.

What you’ll love: This unit includes a Pentax 645Z Medium Format Digital SLR Camera, a Li-ion battery D-Li90 (E), battery charger, strap, multiple eye covers, a LaCie 4TB Rugged Mini External Hard Drive, 256GB SD card, a 43.8mm by 32.8mm 51.4 Megapixel CMOS sensor and is capable of shooting stills or full movies in 4K HD.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit’s heavyweight and larger size than other similar cameras.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top medium format digital camera for the money

Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

Nikon D850 FX-Format Digital SLR Camera Body

What you need to know: This is an affordable medium format digital camera from one of the best manufacturers in the industry.

What you’ll love: This unit includes Nikon designed backside-illuminated or BSI full-frame image sensor without an optical low pass filter as well as focus shift shooting mode, a resolution of 45.7 Megapixels, up to 9 frames per second continuous shooting at full resolution, slow motion recording up to 120 FPS at 1080p and 4K Ultra HD video recording,

What you should consider: Some users have reported blurry images and being disappointed that the product is only a camera body.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Fujifilm GFX 100 102MP Medium Format Digital Camera (Body Only) Black

Fujifilm GFX 100 102MP Medium Format Digital Camera (Body Only) Black

What you need to know: A robust and lightweight medium format digital camera body with very impressive capabilities.

What you’ll love: This unit includes a strong and light frame made of magnesium alloy, which has been thoroughly weather-sealed, can operate in areas of extreme moisture, dust or chill without issues is the first FUJIFILM camera to feature an integrated design for Horizontal and Vertical Body Operation, multi-function monitor, 3.2-inch tilting LCD screen and much more.  

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with a lack of ergonomic design, including unlabeled buttons, insufficiently sized dials and other awkward controls.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Daniel Martin writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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