6 Digital Medium Format Cameras That Have Gone Mainstream

Medium Format cameras were for the upper crust in photography, but now, they’re within reach of many more photographers.

For many photographers, owning a Medium Format camera is the ultimate dream. For years, we’ve been wowed by magical Medium Format cameras. Still, unless you possessed your own bank, they were simply out of reach for the masses. Let’s not pretend that they still don’t cost a small fortune, because they do. But, they’re now more affordable than ever. In fact, there are several Medium Format cameras on the market that have gone mainstream due to their price points. After the break, we’ll take a quick look at digital Medium Format cameras that have shaken up the market.

Just a few short years ago, digital Medium Format cameras would easily set you back $10,000-20,000. No, that’s not an exaggeration. Even then, those prices would only buy you into the ‘entry-level’ models. Now, you can get digital Medium Format cameras that start at around $3,500, and you can get one of the most powerful cameras on the market for $9,999. Yes, we know, we’re talking about prices in the mid to high four figures here. Still, for what these cameras are, and what they can do, these prices are low! In fact, they are priced so well that many photographers have already made the jump from Full-Frame.

Captured with the Hasselblad X1D II

If you’re a photographer who makes money from selling prints, these cameras will pay for themselves quickly. A few of these cameras aren’t priced more than some of the latest Full-Frame cameras on the market. If you want to capture ultimate levels of detail and not incur the debt of a small nation, these are the Digital Medium Format cameras worth a look.

Presets to Consider

Medium format cameras are awesome. We know that so many of you are picking up cameras for the first time right now. Presets can help make things easy. That means you can apply them and get back out there shooting and doing what you love! Here are three presets we adore right now that are pretty affordable. They’re available at PhotoWhoa and cheaper with a membership.:

  • 1,500 Lightroom Presets and more for $29.00
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Pentax 645Z

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • The excellent high ISO performance
  • Out of this world dynamic range
  • Incredible detail can be captured
  • Despite its size, the camera is nice to hold

Cons

  • Only 27 autofocus point and they’re all in the center
  • Autofocusing is a slow affair which is limiting
  • This camera is huge and weighs a fair amount
  • No rear joystick

Buy now: Used from $3,499

Fujifilm GFX 50S

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Very fast and accurate autofocus in most situations
  • Very versatile RAW files
  • Extremely lightweight
  • Fujifilm FINALLY gave us second curtain sync for third party flashes
  • Fair battery life when shooting in just RAW
  • WiFi
  • Medium Format video is FANTASTIC
  • Detachable viewfinder
  • LCD screen that tilts and comes out
  • Simple interface if you’re used to Fujifilm’s cameras

Cons

  • Sometimes the face detection can do some weird things
  • 1/125th flash sync is unacceptable
  • A bit more noise than we’re typically used to seeing at ISO 400
  • If you’re used to Fujifilm’s controls, then some of this may be odd; like the placement of the focusing selector switch
  • Fujifilm could’ve knocked this out of the park with an X Trans sensor

Buy now: $5,499

Captured with the Fujifilm GFX 100

Pro Tip: These digital Medium Format cameras are ideal for landscape photography. The amount of detail their sensors can capture is impressive. The stunning depth of field that you can get can also help create ‘dreamlike’ images. However, having a camera is only half the story. If you want to know all there is to know about landscape photography, you should check out this guide. The Ultimate Landscape Course from Ian Plant will teach you how to scout for locations and compose, what accessories to use, and how to edit. The best part is it’s on sale for just $29!

Hasselblad 907X 50C

digital medium format

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Super small
  • Feels so good in the hand
  • Hasselblad’s menu system is great
  • Dual SD cards
  • Beautiful camera overall
  • The white balance tool is WONDERFUL
  • Weather sealing

Cons

  • We’d like a built-in hood-style magnifier for the screen
  • Autofocus is pretty slow in low light
  • Minimal weather sealing around the battery door/SD card port area
  • No face detection
  • Gets warm when photo walking, and the battery life is sort of disappointing
  • No multiple exposure mode
  • Really needs a top-down screen
  • No hot shoe. You need the grip for that
  • No Capture One integration. This needs to be fixed already
  • Phocus is still annoying to use, but it’s gotten a bit better
  • Pushing the shadows introduces more noise than we’d like

Buy now: $6,399

Fujifilm GFX 50R

digital medium format

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • Great image quality
  • Excellent high ISO output
  • High-speed sync with the Profoto Air system is a delight
  • Autofocus isn’t all that bad
  • Weather sealing is top-notch
  • Lightweight
  • Not that large overall
  • The ergonomics are very good

Cons

  • The autofocus could still use some revamps

Buy now: Used from $3,499

digital medium format
Captured with the GFX 50s

Pro Tip: These digital Medium Format cameras are fantastic for several types of photography. However, if you want to master all of them, you’ll need to arm yourself with knowledge. Once you’ve done that and you want help editing your images, you’ll need presets. With these two things in mind, you might want to become a Plus Member at Photowhoa. Photowhoa is home to some of the best tutorials and preset bundles around. Becoming a Plus member will allow you to save 20% on future purchases. You’ll also get six free photography bundles each year! Find out more about Plus Membership here.

The Hasselblad X1D II

digital medium format

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • It has a gorgeous design
  • The touchscreen is the best in the business
  • The user interface is, again, the best in the business
  • Image quality is simply stunning
  • Incredible build quality second to none
  • The resolution of the EVF and rear LCD are excellent
  • Great weather sealing

Cons

  • Only contrast detection for autofocus
  • Autofocusing in low light is not a thing
  • The autofocus on this camera is incredibly slow by modern standards, even in excellent lighting conditions
  • No eye or face detect, and no continuous focus modes
  • No rear joystick or thumbpad to choose focus points

Buy now: $5,750

Fujifilm GFX 100

digital medium format

Here are the pros and cons from our full review:

Pros

  • 102 amazing Megapixels
  • Under $10,000 for one of the most powerful Medium Format cameras on the market
  • It uses the same autofocus system as the X-T3
  • A gorgeous electronic viewfinder
  • The menu system is perhaps only second to Canon’s in terms of design
  • The image quality is simply jaw-dropping
  • Fantastic high ISO capabilities
  • Very good battery life
  • The top and rear LCD and OLED panels are easy to see and read in bright conditions

Cons

  • Quite possibly the worst ergonomics of any camera we’ve used
  • The thumb rest on the back is poorly designed
  • The body of the Fujifilm GFX 100 feels incredibly cheap
  • The buttons are mushy and have hardly any tactile feel
  • AF tracking was hit or miss, as was the eye AF
  • The touchscreen cannot be used to navigate the menu system
  • The grip is too shallow and does not provide a comfortable way to hold this 3lb camera
  • The vertical grip is untextured and incredibly slippery

Buy now: $9,999