It wasn’t long ago that digital medium format was a mythic beast, out of reach for all but those who were wealthy enough to drop as much cash as they would for a new car on a new camera or photographers who were shooting jobs where they could bill the client for expensive rentals.

With the advent of more affordable medium format camera systems like the Fuji GFX 50S and Pentax 645Z putting medium format into the hands of more photographers, whether or not digital medium format is truly ‘better’ than a full frame DSLR or mirrorless camera becomes an important question for those who may be torn between the two.

Architecture photographer Usman Dawood has made an 18-minute comparison video to help photographers who may be on the fence see the real-world capabilities of the different camera types, comparing a 100mp Phase One camera to Canon 5DSR and a Sony A7RII. He has taken all of these cameras into the field and done controlled testing in an architecture environment, enlisting the help of Phase One specialists in order to make sure that everything on the medium format end is as good as it possibly can be for comparison purposes.

In the video, Dawood takes you on a pixel-peeping journey, comparing optics, resolution, and performance. Spoiler alert: the most expensive gear isn’t always the best. Check out the video to see the whole breakdown and conclusions.


For our readers who have experience with digital medium format, DSLR, and mirrorless cameras, which do you prefer and why? Or do you feel that there are situations where each excels over the the others?

Via: fstoppers