Choosing Medium Format Digital Cameras
Medium format digital cameras are well-suited for portraits, studio, and landscape photography where their high definition and excellent image quality produce stunning images. A medium format digital camera has a large sensor that's at least the size as that of 120 size film (44 x 33 millimeters) or larger, and an aspect ratio of 1.33 compared to the 1.5 found in other digital cameras.
Benefits of Medium Format Digital Cameras
The primary benefit lies in the sensor size. The increased size means pixels are not as closely spaced, and are larger than those on other cameras. This increases light-gathering capability, which gives a much higher dynamic range compared to DSLRs. Additionally, the higher pixel count means more detail is captured.
Lenses are larger in diameter, which produces a shallow depth of field that's ideal for portraits. Additionally, the large sensor sizes mean light diffraction problems experienced on smaller formats are almost entirely eliminated, and photographers close lenses down to very small apertures for extremely sharp images.
Basic Components of Medium Format Digital Cameras
Cameras such as the Hasselblad H Series camera retains the traditional format of older film cameras in that they have a camera body, a detachable camera back, and a detachable lens. Most controls are on the body, and many cameras use a shutter mounted inside the lens. In some instances, a film camera back can be used in place of the digital unit.
Some manufacturers supply digital camera backs that fit camera bodies from other manufacturers, increasing the variety of photographic options.
What is a Medium Format Camera?
While traditional medium format cameras are relatively bulky, a medium format mirrorless digital camera does away with the mirror and the removable back, to produce a compact medium format technical camera that's almost the same size and weight as a full-frame SLR. These cameras have the same type of sensors as traditional medium format cameras, and thus retain the fundamental advantages of better picture quality and greater dynamic range. Thanks to a more compact design, mirrorless cameras use smaller lenses than full-size medium format cameras. Like a conventional mirrorless camera, these cameras use digital viewfinders.
Medium Format DSLR Cameras
Another type of medium format digital camera is one based on the design of a full-framed DSLR. These cameras retain the advantages of an optical viewfinder but, because they don't usually have interchangeable backs, are more compact. Of this type, popular brands include Leica, Mamiya, and Hasselblad medium format cameras.
Digital medium format cameras are slowly attracting the attention of professional photographers who seek to produce high-quality images. While the physical size of full-size medium format cameras means a tripod is a necessity, the smaller and lighter mirrorless and SLR models are as usable as conventional full-frame SLRs.