10 Best Medium Format Printers
Last Updated July, 2021
What is Medium Format in photography?
Before the rise of digital photography, things had become much less standard. There were countless films of different sizes that you could shoot with cameras from many different manufacturers.
Apart from smartphones, there are three main camera manufacturers these days (Canon, Nikon and Sony) and two main camera sizes: APS-C crop sensors and full-frame sensors. Other older variations, such as the medium format, have been pulled back to their expert use of margins. But what are they doing?
Medium Format Photography :
Medium format photography traditionally uses 120 film sizes. It is significantly larger than 35mm film size, which is the foundation of modern digital photography. Similarly, medium format digital photography uses a sensor larger than the 35mm full frame standard.
The full-frame sensor is roughly the same size as a single frame of 35mm film (36mm x 24mm), and older lenses can often work on newer cameras.
There is more variety in medium format photography. The 120 size film used was 60mm wide, but exposures can be shot with a variety of different aspect ratios, such as 1: 1 (for roughly 60mm x 60mm exposure) or 1.2: 1 (for roughly 60mm x 72mm exposure). There are still some of the same variations with the digital media format. You can get sensors in sizes such as 54mm x 44mm or 44mm x33mm.
Although there are some special digital medium format cameras such as the PhaseOne XF, due to how medium format film cameras are designed, you can easily convert them to a digital camera with "digital back". It's just a digital sensor placed where the film holder traditionally goes. You can take a Hasselblad like the one used in the Apollo missions from the 70s and turn it into a modern digital camera.
What is the Advantage of Medium Format Camera?
Whether it's film or digital, medium format cameras have one big advantage over 35mm cameras: image quality.
Since the sensor is so large, manufacturers can add more megapixels (up to 100MP in some cases!) without photosites on any small sensor as it will be a full frame camera. They can use larger photosites and have a higher resolution image. For example, the 50MP Haselblad sensor is about 70% larger than a 50MP full frame sensor found in Canon 5DS. With a medium format camera, you basically get bigger, better photos.
Images on a medium format camera look slightly different than on a full-frame or crop sensor camera. This is mainly about having a wider field of view than a DSLR would achieve on the same length lens. While you have the field of view of wide-angle lenses, you can take advantage of a long lens (shallow depth of field, background compression, minimal distortion). See how shallow the depth of field in the photo above is despite its wide angle. Such a photo is impossible on a DSLR.
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