Updated September 18, 2020 by Christopher Thomas

The 7 Best Medium Format Cameras

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This wiki has been updated 12 times since it was first published in September of 2020. Whether you're a photography professional or a dedicated hobbyist, medium format is a great way to step up your practice and take image quality above and beyond that of full-frame SLR cameras. Even in the digital age, heavy hitters from classic manufacturers consistently steal the show, and more models are incorporating the conveniences of shooting with a DSLR or 35mm-style. When users buy our independently chosen editorial choices, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.

1. Fujifilm GFX 100

2. Hasselblad X1D II 50C

3. Fujifilm GFX 50R

Editor's Notes

September 16, 2020:

As medium format photography has found its feet in the digital world, many professionally skewed models have risen to the top, which is predictable given the format's existing fanbase. But the pro-sumer crossover is picking up, and many of the models listed here reflect that. Nearly every photographer, amateur or superstar, has already got a DSLR in their bag of tricks, and "full-frame" has become a household term these days. The next logical step in a digital photography practice is a medium format sensor.

The old guard--Hasselblad, Leica, Mamiya (by way of Phase One)--holds down the game when it comes to sheer power, precision and design. For a professional photographer with a forgiving (or perhaps demanding) budget, there are certain standards that can't be compromised. For such purposes, one wouldn't blink an eye at a Hasselblad H6D-100C or a Phase One XF IQ4.

But Fuji is gaining on them, building up a commendable range of options with regards to both function and pricing. When you compare price to quality to versatility, Fuji's running circles around the old school manufacturers: they've got the landscape photographer covered with the Fujifilm GFX 50S, the high-energy street shooter with the Fujifilm GFX 50R, and the everywhere-in-between pro photographer with the Fujifilm GFX 100. Also, Pentax is poised to catch up with the rest of the gang, if at a slightly slower pace--and at their price points, you might even forget about that slower pace.

Digital medium format is still a developing market, and it's fascinating to see such a range of options spread over relatively few distinct models. Photography is an ever more accessible field, so it will be exciting to see what comes next, as more esoteric products and practices approach the consumer market.

Special Honors

Phase One XF IQ4 Developed in collaboration with medium format veteran Mamiya, the modular Phase One XF IQ4 Camera System is designed to be upgradable over the lifetime of the camera, as new features and improvements are introduced. Considering the price, which could afford you a luxury car, that may seem like the least they could offer, but this kit is the cream of the crop. Its huge 150-megapixel sensor delivers unparalleled detail, and its Seismographic Vibration Delay is essentially the most precise image stabilization feature on the market. phaseone.com

Leica S3 The most recent medium format iteration from the celebrated German manufacturer, this camera tops many other models in headline resolution with an impressive 64-megapixel, 30x45mm sensor, and features 4K video capture. Its ergonomic dust- and splash-resistant body, a sporty adaptation channeling their classic rangefinder line, will appeal to Leica's street photographer fan base. leica-camera.com

4. Fujifilm GFX 50S

5. Hasselblad H6D-100C

6. Pentax 645Z

7. Pentax 645D


Christopher Thomas
Last updated on September 18, 2020 by Christopher Thomas

Building PCs, remodeling, and cooking since he was young, quasi-renowned trumpeter Christopher Thomas traveled the USA performing at and organizing shows from an early age. His work experiences led him to open a catering company, eventually becoming a sous chef in several fine LA restaurants. He enjoys all sorts of barely necessary gadgets, specialty computing, cutting-edge video games, and modern social policy. He has given talks on debunking pseudoscience, the Dunning-Kruger effect, culinary technique, and traveling. After two decades of product and market research, Chris has a keen sense of what people want to know and how to explain it clearly. He delights in parsing complex subjects for anyone who will listen -- because teaching is the best way to ensure that you understand things yourself.


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