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Wednesday, 20 July 2022


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I'd go with the medium format because:

A. I have a complete full frame system that I rarely use because I have a complete APSC system that is more than good enough for most things. So...

B. If I were to need to tolerate the increased weight and size, I'd like to be rewarded for the effort to a greater extent than what full frame would deliver.

C. Because the photos that you show indicate the medium format model is a Fujifilm, and my APSC system is Fujifilm, there would be a lot more crossover, such as menus and film simulations.

Neither. They would be utterly wasted on me. I doubt if I’d use them at all; they would be ornaments in my cupboard.

Why? Firstly, for the type of photography I do the resulting system would just be too big and heavy for me; I haven’t even touched my Canon 90D + Sigma 17-70 for a year or more. Secondly, either would be wasted on me - i don’t have the ability to get the results they could produce nor, to be utterly honest, the desire. I have thousands of really mediocre landscapes taken when I had a 5DIV and some ‘L’ lenses. Technically, they’re great; artistically (apart from a handful) they’re poor.

More and more, I like my iPhone - that’s the camera I use. My ambitions have diminished. And…. I think that I may finally be preferring to enjoy all the marvellous places I visit without trying to take pictures of them. Enjoying the moment is more and more my preference - I have far fewer moments to come than I have already had.

The GFX-100S, without a moment's hesitation. Even though Fuji doesn't currently meet the "Mike Johnston criterion," namely, offer all the focal length GF lenses I'd like for it.

Why medium-format digital? Because the "grand western landscape" is my thing, and dealing with dust on 105 MP Epson V-850 scans of my 8x10 negatives is a drag.

To be honest, I'm not dissatisfied with prints up to approximately 8x10 from my Nikon D810 + Sigma Art lenses. However, even at around 11x14, the difference between those 36 MP captures and scans from the 8x10 is visible to me.

if we forget the money then the Fuji
Don't know just feels better

No contest! I’ll take the high-megapixel, full-frame sensor camera every time! For me it’s all about the range of lenses available (hence Nikon or Canon) and the ergonomics (hence Nikon). And give me a larger body, with a vertical grip (integral or optional), so that it fits my hands, and so it balances well with long, fast glass. In other words, I’ll have the Nikon D850 and/or the Nikon Z9.

I'm a medium and large format *film* user, so one aspect of me wants to reflexively say medium format. But I really have no need for a 47MP digital file, much less 102MP. I don't shoot LF to print big, I make 5x7 contact prints that look lovely on 8x10 paper.

So my bottom-line answer is "neither". My desired digital camera is around 20MP and APS-C or maybe micro 4/3.


I'm still trying to figure out why I have "a high-megapixel FF camera", Sony A7R II. I guess 42 MP is supposed to be an upgrade from the 24 of my A7 II, but I've yet to see any real benefit.

24 MP is plenty for 16x20 prints, and only a very, very few of my photos end up that large.

I'm rather the antithesis of the paper thin DoF crowd, so all a bigger sensor means to me is larger, heavier, more expensive lenses for the same AoVs.

As the owner of a Canon 5D4 and an EOS R, a full frame is my first choice. I tried two medium format cameras from 2 manufacturers; both were unresponsive and cumbersome; the UI and UX were far from stellar. In all fairness, medium format cameras are specialized, not general purpose.

Ideally the Fujifilm GFX 100s with a complete set of PC Nikkors.  To me the best of both worlds. Actually/amazingly there is an adapter to use PC Nikkors on a GFX body, BUT one loses a lot of the movements because the adapter cuts off the image.

I'd take the Fuji GFX 100s with the G32-64/4. No need for other lenses as I would crop inside the frame, and not zoom with my feet. Yup, I'd waste a lot of pixels and become lazy. That'd be my reasoning. One camera, one lens.

I'm an action shooter, a candid shooter, an in-the-dark shooter, a telephoto shooter. I don't have markets for 4x6 foot prints.

Therefore, the smaller sensor for me. I've even gone down from FF to Micro Four Thirds. This pays off in system weight and lens weight, also in fast lenses. And my "in the dark" is such that I don't have nearly as much trouble getting it as I did in 2005, the small sensor hurts that a little, but not seriously compared to all the benefits.

The only person I know at all well with a 100 megapixel camera -- it's in their phone. All the photographers I known are working with lower resolution than that.

Probably neither. The camera I want is m4/3rds, but with Nikon/Sony/Canon ergonomics and autofocus.

But if I were to choose between these two I'd go for the high megapixel 35mm-sized sensor.

Unlike film size, sensor size is not the main factor determining the resolution/sharpness/lack of noise/dynamic range/color performance of a camera system. There are a lot of other factors that play into this including the ergonomics of the camera itself and the usefulness and usability of the various automatic systems that you buy these cameras to take advantage of. The main players in the current full frame game all have decades of development experience with systems like this. The "medium format" systems are not developed to the same level. So you will be carrying a larger box that does not work as well, and harder to use. And after all that suffering it's not really even clear that the files you get out the other side will be all that much better. Even if on paper the bigger sensor should be better we all know that a highly tuned imaging pipeline in the back end counts for at least as much, and Sony/Nikon/Canon have, again, decades more experience with this.

I would say that if you want the ultimate carry a relatively small full frame mirrorless around and also a 4x5 and a really good scanner.

But really I want my Olympus OM-D, but with the AF system out of my Nikon Z.

Neither. My mirrorless EOS M-3 and OMD EM-5III are light and produce as good an image as I need. I can only print up to 13x19 and I have perfectly acceptable 6MP images printed that large. I looked at an EOS R when they first came out and it was just as heavy as my EOS 7D plus the lenses are much bigger/heavier/more expensive than the M series or the micro 4/3rds lenses. I am a hiker, I don't need all that weight, and my budget won't support the lenses.

I'm sure I could find much to like about a GFX100s or Hasselblad 907x, but my current FF pixel monster is a pretty good balance between size, weight, and can't-be-bothered-to-change.

Hi Mike, for these surveys where, maybe you can consider specifying if the hypothetical choice is between buying one of these cameras or getting one for free? Maybe one or the other is assumed, but I wasn't sure...

I haven't used—or even held!—either (a) or (b), but for what little it's worth, I wouldn't buy either. If it were a gift (and if it also came with a lens!) I'd pick the medium-format. But I'd probably use it intermittently for a couple of years and then sell it. I've learned from experience that my upper limit for a CWICOETJOI (camera which I'll carry often enough to justify owning it) is 1000g with lens.

I'd choose the high megapixel full frame camera from the brand I currently use. It much more cost effective for me, because it will work with my existing lenses. It would also be lighter and more versatile than any competing medium format camera. I'm a hobbyist and I need a general purpose camera system. A full frame camera is definitely the smart choice for me. Having said that, I would genuinely like to give a GFX-100 a spin.

Neither really.

A Leica Q2 would fit my needs and what I actually shoot much better.

In the days of film bigger was always better, at least as far as technical quality was concerned. So why did so many photographers use 35mm? Versatility that's why. If I could afford a Fuji medium-format as well as my apsc X-T3 I would buy one, but how can I get the equivalent of my 70-300, and can you imagine how big and heavy it would be. So so called medium-format (certainly the Fuji sensor and most others are smaller) is a specialised format.

If it could be about the size and weight of an old Leica CL, with 20 megapixels that don't get too noisy in subdued daylight indoors, that would be perfect for me.

But, to answer your question, a full frame camera which I would operate at ISO 200-1600 or so. My mind's eye can automatically picture the range of depth of field that produces in various situations through decades of practice with film, and that's what I'd be happiest with.

I have used both, but only the FF is truly versatile. If you enjoy focus stacking go for the larger format, otherwise forget it.

Landscape is my main genre, interested in the medium format, like the Fuji medium format option but deferring the decision until:
a. Current range of lens overlap too much, with too many gaps.
b. Internal engine not yet fast enough (eg synch speed) to support volume of data which needs to be pushed thru various data pipes. Maybe the engine from the H2S might work. Fuji can solve both of these issues and I will wait until they do.

Horse of course.

My Hasselblad 907x plus 40 is too heavy to bring to family holiday. The z7 plus 3 lens (leica mount nikon ais 28 f2 so have autofocus, a Japanese 50f1.4 m mount plus a leica 50f3.5 193x lens) is a bit less.

Ok family photo time, everyone get the iPhone out. I did as well. Then use the nikon take a bit more.

Z7 Photo ok. But after 2 days struggle I finally get a 2 megabyte version of the z7 photos via snap bridge, sent to files (as WhatsApp and messenger both not work even a few at a time), then to my friends and relatives. Should bring to family holiday my MacBook Pro, plug in the hub, get the card out and then …

iPhone photo sharing is the second they drove away …

Of course artistic picture you should use 8x10 …

I would buy whichever I could afford and came with a sensor plus processing system that 1) had Sony's technologies that allow nice, smooth, quiet noise floors and 2) 16bit Analog to Digital converters.

Why? The dynamic range of 14bit A/D sensors is equivalent between medium format and FF.

16bit A/D images, OTOH, offer subtle detail resolutions and image processing potential second to none. But they'd make my computers hate me. Image files would be absolutely enormous.

From what I read, Fuji's GFX100 and 100S cameras can be flipped from 14 to 16bits by menu-diving. But I'd rather not pay Fuji-kinds of prices (being retired, living on a fixed income, etc.).

Full frame (Nikon Z7) for me. Smaller, with more versatile (and compact and more affordable) lens choices than Fuji’s GFX system. The image quality is more than enough for the print sizes I use most, and the Z7 has the ability to shoot 5:4 which I like.

Occasionally I think that I should try a GFX camera but the cost isn’t worth the advantages to me.

if i were a younger fitter person with no back issues i would choose the medium format. since i shoot some wildlife and some landscape as well as 'walking about' in city and town (street) i have chosen to sell my a7rv and lenses and down weight to om-1.

i was considering an apsc but some of the longer lenses available doi not proved a suitable weight loss.

i do not think ill ever be an ansel or jay, just want to continue to do what i do.

I have pulled excellent 16x20 prints from a Nikon D70 with it's lovely CCD sensor. It is now retired and my main camera is a D7100 and the pictures look fine to me so I would probably pass on both FF and Medium format upgrade.
I'm 72. I don't need more cameras, I need more time.
Now if one of your options was a Leica S3 bought with someone elses money I would make a different choice but it would not a rational choice.

Surely I would choose the FF camera, wouldn't I? After all, the "experts" on the infamous D reviewing site preached for years that any format smaller than "FF" was amateur kid stuff, not capable of "professional" work. But medium format: that is a total waste of money, is for poseurs and rich dentists, does not have more megapixels, FF is more than enough for all photography, etc., etc.

[One of Hasselblad's advertising campaigns years ago was "Bigger is Better Up to a Point." Funny thing that the "point" happened to be 6x6 cm which is what all their cameras were. I pointed out that the "point" should really be 645 since most 6x6 shooters cropped, and that went over like a lead balloon. --Mike]

Not even MF. I’m still getting great results with my micro 4/3 system - currently the new OM1. I can shoot 80mp tripod mounted if I need it or 50mp handheld, using the hi res modes. I have had images from other Olympus models printed as large as 10’ x 17’ and 4’ x 6’. These cameras are lighter and more reasonably priced. So many people use “shooting FF only” as some sort of outdated badge of professionalism. For my work, I’d rather be able to easily shoot handheld 2-3 seconds and up to 6ish seconds if I take a deep breath than shoot larger files.

If you have not looked at it, the OM1 is really a big jump in performance and image quality. When you get through all of the specs to real use, the dynamic range is much better and the images have a special quality.

As you know, I recently made this choice. I bought a Nikon Z7II. I looked at the Fuji. Tried one out at at "Drink and Click" event before the plague shut everything down. I found the Fuji too big, too heavy and ponderous to use. Great files, though.

I tried out the Panasonic full-frame at the counter in my local camera store. Too heavy. The clerk then handed me a Nikon mirrorless and the difference in weight was very noticeable.

I've been using a Panasonic micro 4/3 system for some years now and I'm spoiled by the small size and light weight of those cameras and lenses. The Z7II is, of course, much larger and heavier, but I wanted the higher resolution for my current project.

A significant factor in choosing the Nikon is that, until I switched to micro 4/3 I had been a Nikon shooter since 1968. I have a cabinet full of Nikon glass and some specialty lenses in Nikon mount.

I've found that, for general use, the old Nikon glass is not the best choice for use on the Z7II. But I've had some success with the more weird glass, including a single-element soft-focus lens and some pinholes. I can imagine some situations where some of the other old glass might be useful, but for the most part I find the 24-120 f/4 lens in Z mount is what I need for more than 90% of what I shoot.

And the files are beautiful. Very sharp. Lots of room to play with them in post. So I'm happy with my choice. And I'm still using the micro 4/3 system for things where the high resolution isn't important.

If the micro 4/3 folks ever manage to produce a camera with a higher resolution sensor...something above 30MP...I'll probably buy it and add it to my kit.

Like many others, I've run the gamut, from Minox to 4x5 always assuming bigger is better, and it's true, up to a point. I've settled on FF high resolution (Sony A7RIV) and am currently quite happy. I've chased megapixels in the past but may have reached a stopping point. Maybe it's my old eyes, but I fail to see significant differences between FF and MF as currently configured. I rented the original GFX 50MP camera and loved the files but as others have said, I'm not a professional, I'm a wide ranging amateur. I photograph in the landscape, I'm an ARAT, "another rock another tree" as well as an occasional event photographer, and, of course there's family travel, and, of course, my beloved grandchildren. I like to photograph birds but do not often have the opportunity.

So, in a word, MF is too big, too heavy, too slow, too limited. The range of optics available in the Sony ecosystem is limited only by my willingness to spend money and carry the darn things. I can go from 1:1 macro, with my CV 110mm APO Lanthar, to 400mm, with lots in between, and that is plenty for me.

Re-reading the question, I am not sure Mike whether you are asking the question from a money-is-no-object point of view, or a what-fits-your-work-better point of view.

In the past, I was always the guy who said "yes" to learning about a new technical ability. That's more or less how I wound up with cameras in 4x5, 5x7, 8x10 and so on. So the natural impulse for me, given your choice above, would be to say, "MF, load me up!"

But it is hard to know what I would do with the extra MP in resolution at this point without a *lot* of other upgrades.

In the days of film and paper, once one hit the limitations on film size imposed by one's enlarger, there were always contact prints to be made: a lower tech solution to the increase in resolution offered by a much larger piece of film. Not everyone wanted to solve those problems, but it wasn't an order of magnitude more expensive to contact print 11x14s than it was 8x10s. Two or three times as expensive? Sure, due to the cost o the materials. And all it took was one look at Mapplethorpe's portraits or Avedon's hanging on a gallery wall, to know what you could do with an 8x10 if you did have an enlarger that could accommodate film size.

But going to a 50 or 100 MP file size, what would you do with all that resolution? And if my photo-godmother is dropping MF gear in my lap, is she also dropping a new computer, with more memory, a faster chip, a bigger monitor, and a LF printer and consumables into the mix? How much lunch is in this free lunch?

I guess if I "could have" the MF camera, I'd like to try it out. But I am struggling to see the differences between the FF I have now and what the MF camera would offer.

I use both m4/3 and mf4/3 cameras. I get benefits of both!

Any FF with 50+ MP and a solid adaption solution for my TS-E lenses. Which means the Canon Eos 5Ds that I currently use.

In future, perhaps the high MP Eos R, perhaps something else? I'm brand agnostic on cameras and have used Sony NEX and A7 series bodies too. Howver adapters, even expensive brand leaders, caused electronic issues too often.

I guess we are, and remain, what we were.

The business supported Nikon and Hasselblad (I write of film days - in my cycle, digital has only been amateur, post-retirement stuff), and two ventures into different brands of 6x7 were disasters for me.

Using that background experience, I’d have to pass on your generous offer because, unless it happened when I was asleep, there is no digital 6x6 ‘blad to be had.

As my personal point of view on what photography means to me has changed so much over recent years, I would now be perfectly happy to have but two lenses: a 180mm and a 250mm, for a square 6x6 format sensor. I realise, so damned late, that my true love, beneath it all, is faces and half-length portraits. There is no desire, no burning drive to cover all the angles: I just want to do the front cover shots! Those, today, are as much a fantasy as the digital 6x6 - but we can always keep right on dreamin’ - can’t we?

One of the things I least liked about my 135 format cameras was that format in verticals: too tall and narrow, but excellent in landscape mode. Go figure. 6x6 gave me better options when I wasn’t quite certain how the images were going to be used, and best of all, once on the tripod, I never had to turn the thing onto its side.

I really have no interest in medium format cameras these days. That is until a digital Rollei TLR in square format comes along.

Fat chance, huh?

I have a GFX camera, two Fuji APSC cameras, and a Leica Q2M. I recently sold my 50R and moved to a 50S Mk II. I do still photography so I would choose the GFX. I haven't owned a Full Frame camera since I sold my D700 a decade ago and outside of the Leica only because of it's B/W sensor, I would never buy another Full Frame camera. If I shot video I might go with a Full Frame camera but more likely I would go with something like the XH2S or a MFT camera. The GFX is just much better than a Full Frame camera for stills unless you are shooting things like wildlife or race cars or some kind of sporting event. It's the same reason I eventually stopped shooting 35mm film and moved to medium format long ago when I was shooting film. It's not just the resolution but the way the cameras render subjects. I do think GFX cameras are for very specific types of photography in the same way medium format was for film. For the things I would use the X Pro 3 or X100V for I can't see where a Full Frame camera is better. Those are used for specific things I don't use the GFX for. The Leica of course is very specialized. I guess if a person takes a bunch of different types of photos a Full Frame or APSC or MFT camera might be better.

Even at the end of the film era the bigger camera always had a better look in my opinion. I would love the digital equivalent of Yashica Mat 124g. Or better yet a Minolta Autocord. That new low end Hasslablad the rumored X2D looks just about right, I find a leaf shutter to be pretty much essential if I can’t drag along a 1200 watt second flash.

Or if I wasn’t so worried about breaking it, the Sony DSC-R1 is about perfect if it weren’t so slow.

I'd take the MF camera, but for reasons I can't fully justify. I remember how much more rich and smooth my negs and transparencies were when using 120 and 4x5 film as compared to 35mm. It has me biased towards larger formats except for wildlife and action. But the cost ...

I'd go for Medium Format. Then I would have "been there done that".

I have been contemplating the same, MF vs FF, especially given the Fuji GFX50 being so close in resolution to many FF options now... The other key thing to consider is that MF is 4:3 aspect ratio vs 3:2 so if one is preferred that can make quite a difference/loss of pixels to crop to the other...

...Conversely, if you like to shoot square format the MF 4:3 crop down to square gives almost twice the area of the FF 3:2 crop down to square so it seems that’s significant...

My medium format Zeiss Hasselblad F lenses are for approximately 60mm x 60mm film. For example, the Carl Zeiss Planar 110mm f/2 lens is terrific. When is digital going to catch up with affordable sensors of this actual medium format size?

GFX 100s for me, especially it is reported that the IBIS works well enough for it to be reliably usable without a tripod notwithstanding the 100 megapixels. I'm presently in love with resolution, since I've been exhibiting and selling a bit recently and large prints seem to be where the demand is; although my costs are much higher (especially because I have to outsource the printing and framing), my margins are correspondingly greater. Where people hang 2 meter wide prints is a mystery to me, but not my problem!

Full-frame aka 35mm equivalent, definitely. There is a much wider variety of lenses available.

Neither of them.

But if Hasselblad actually produced a version of the
V1D concept camera (and I had enough money), I might be tempted.

Otherwise I'll stick to my APS-C kit.

I subscribe to the John Krill Resolution.

[John Krill's resolution is, "I think I will sell the Medium Format camera gear and go to Paris. It always seems that Paris turns out to be the best choice." --Ed.]

I would choose the Hasselblad X1D system. It has the same aspect ratio as my existing m43 system, which I prefer over 3/2. Also the leaf shutter lenses would allow full strobe power at high shutter speeds, which helps the direction I'm currently heading, photographically speaking.

Thom Hogan recently had a post about thinking and non-thinking photographers (apologies if I'm getting his classification labels wrong). I happily fall into the non-thinking category and want my camera to do lots of the thinking for me. I accept the trade-offs and am very lazy. I don't think Thom was being judgmental about either option.

That said, as a long time 4/3s then m4/3 user, neither FF nor MF appeal to me. For me, they seem to be both more work, and less convenient to bring, and solve problems (e.g. pixel count/bit depth/speed etc) that I'm not suffering.

Sometimes I entertain lotto winnings fantasies. I don't think having unlimited funds would change my answer. A few months ago, I noticed I had accumulated a fair bit of cash in my savings, so although I could have gotten an expensive camera, I just don't need what the expensive cameras offer. So I funded my IRA to the annual maximum (I already contribute the max to my workplace retirement plan). Coincidentally, the same lotto FU money musings lead me to think about replacing my car, but with something modestly more upscale, but not egregiously so. I just can't see myself in an exotic. But Mercedes makes a station wagon I could see myself in...

A few months ago, I got an email from Olympus touting a refurbished goods sale and picked up an E-M1mk2 for $450. What I received looks like NOS. Hard to think I'd enjoy a FF or MF camera more.

I do enjoy the pictures my Pixel 6 Pro is able to produce. The latest phones have cameras that can produce really excellent results in conditions that are difficult right up to the point when they can't. Most of my shots are with my phone lately.


Neither, thank you. Medium format film: Bronica, Rolleiflex or Zeiss Nettar folder. 35mm full frame film ;-) Olympus OM1 or OM2 will do nicely.

Hummmmm. I've already got m4/3, emd5ii and a respectable group of lenses, and in fact, a D3 and sufficient lenses. So the choice is actually harder. Sure, I want the mf future, who in their right mind doesn't. I still grasp tightly onto the Hasselblad 500cm that I frequently used in business pre retirement. Still would, if competent affordable film processing and scanning was available.
But then the little guy dressed in black that sits on my shoulder says, "you wont like it. It will be heavier, and there will be too many knobs and buttons."
Less thinking about cameras, more cigars and scotch in my future!!.

I’m late to the discussion, but it would be a high megapixel 24x36mm sensor for me. I’ve shot with medium format film and love the idea of 33x44mm digital, but my (landscape) work is sometimes accessed via hiking or backpacking and also such that tilt-shift lenses are very helpful at times. Both argue in favor of a 24x36mm system, and I’m happy with Sony’s system. I need time to shoot more than I need new gear.

A note to Ken Bennett: You don't need to drop $20K on a GFX system in retirement. Inexpensive adapters from Fotodiox and Kipon allow Pentax 645 and Mamiya 645 lenses to be used easily on the GFX cameras. The Pentax-A 645 35mm, 75mm, 120 Macro and 300mm are all acknowledged as quality lenses at bargain prices.

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