Medium format digital cameras used to be large, “clunky”, and very cost-prohibitive. Fortunately, that is no longer the case! Recent innovations in medium format technology have yielded more powerful, versatile, and affordable options. In fact, some of the most affordable options cost less than some of the flagship full-frame digital cameras, and are approximately just as portable!
In this light, we’re going to discuss the best medium format cameras that you can choose from for an incredible photography experience at an affordable price.
What is a Medium Format Camera?
Medium format digital cameras are popular for commercial, editorial, fashion, and landscape photography, among other things, because of their highly accurate color reproduction, impressive dynamic range, and unparalleled overall high-quality images.
A medium format digital camera is based on the “120” roll film size, but often has slightly smaller (43.8 x 32.9mm) physical sensor dimensions. (A full-frame sensor, which is based on the 35mm roll film size, is 35.9 x 23.9mm.)
Best Medium Format Digital Cameras in 2021
It comes as no surprise that Fujifilm has earned a top position on this list. Having established themselves as a powerhouse brand in photography, Fujifilm has a history of developing innovative new camera technology. Their work with medium format cameras makes no exception.
The Fujifilm GFX 50S II combines portability, performance, and affordability that both professionals and serious hobbyists can enjoy. (NOTE: The GFX 50S II is so new, it may not yet be in stock!)
- Incredible price: $3,999
- Superior build quality, weather-sealed construction
- Lots of physical controls to customize functionality
- Reliable AF system and decent burst rate speed
- Responsive and flexible touchscreen
- Excellent image quality
- USB 3.0 capacity
- Dual card slots
- Microphone and headphone jacks available
- Autofocus system inherited from the previous generation
- Video specs are not ideal for professional use
- Mediocre battery life
The Hasselblad brand is currently making waves in medium format digital photography for its stunning innovations and classic styling. Anyone who remembers the “Hassy” 500-series film back cameras will love this latest design!
If you want to capture images for commercial or other high-end use, using a modular-style camera, the Hasselblad 907X 50C is something to look at.
- Affordable for a modular system camera ($6,399)
- Easy-to-assemble and easy-to-use
- The CFV II 50C fits the 500CM version
- Utilizes the same lenses as X1D II 50C
- Innumerable other lenses can be adapted
- Slow and noisy autofocus
- Difficult to see the LCD screen under bright light
Considered to be the best overall, the Fujifilm GFX 100S is a successor to the Fujifilm GFX 50S and the GFX 100, depending on how you look at it. At a glance, the GFX100S, like the GFX 50S II, can be likened to a full-frame mirrorless camera. However, its 102-megapixel BSI-CMOS medium format sensor breaks the camera away from its competition, both full-frame and (most) other medium format cameras.
- Stunning images and superb body build
- Compact size and light weight
- Affordable for its images and performance
- Suitable for video/film
- Limited image stabilization
- EVF could be better
- Slow shooting speed
High prices used to prohibit most photographers from considering medium format cameras, but companies like Pentax have been changing the game for a long time. For a medium format camera that performs adequately and provides excellent shots, the Pentax 645Z makes a great contender.
Although the Pentax 645Z revolutionized the medium format camera scene seven years ago, this old-timer still stands as a viable choice, especially when considering the used market.
- Incredible, ground-breaking image quality
- Decent battery life
- Superb weather sealing and build quality
- Easy-to-use viewfinder and screen combo
- Tilting Live View enabled
- Large sensor with big pixel count
- USB 3.0 capacity with microphone jack
- Weighs around 1.5 kilo without lens
- Enormous size
- No headphone jack
- No touchscreen
- Sluggish autofocus
Are you a Leica enthusiast searching for a medium format camera that can capture amazing photographs? If yes, then you’re going to love the Leica S3.
It’s the size of a conventional DSLR and has an optical viewfinder, and it integrates a 64 megapixel-sensor that puts this camera slightly ahead of Fujifilm 50-megapixel competitors. That is, if you want an optical viewfinder and have nearly $20K to spend on the body alone!
- High resolution
- Excellent image quality
- Superb build quality (dust and splash-resistant)
- Compatible with both focal-plane and leaf shutters
- More expensive than most competitors
- Moderately slow shooting speed
Conclusion | Best Medium Format Digital Cameras
Professionals who engage in commercial photography, editorial/fashion photography, or even landscape or other types of photography where sheer resolution and overall image quality is extremely important, we hope you saw something that caught your eye! You can absolutely benefit from the selection above, if you find an overall system (including the right lenses!) that fits your photography needs.
Medium format photographs in general can produce a unique perspective, higher quality images, and the functionality of the cameras is finally becoming extremely versatile. We hope you enjoyed our list of best medium format digital cameras! If you think we missed out on your personal favorite, let us know in the comments below.