What is a Medium-Format Digital Camera?

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Updated July 26, 2022

At some point in your photography career, you’re going to wonder, “What is a medium-format digital camera?” Knowledge is power, and understanding your options for modern cameras will help you join the ranks of professional photographers.


  • Medium format photography is best for those looking for affordable options who want a wide range of colors, better pixel count, shallower depth, and film simulation modes.
  • While there are options other than a high-end medium format camera, you’ll find that even the lower-end medium format options tend to be expensive.
  • If you need a lightweight body for your camera, then digital medium format cameras shouldn’t be your first choice. Their larger image sensor translates to a bulkier body.

Digital photography is a science as it is an art form, and capturing excellent image quality requires you to understand the equipment you work with thoroughly.

The best digital camera is the one that fits your individual needs as a photographer. You’ll need one that permits you to format a memory card, one that produces RAW images on the camera, and a digital camera with great photo size. Today, we’ll help you figure out if this format is suitable for your chosen aesthetic.

Insider Tip

Investing in an interchangeable lens camera opens you up to far more options, like being able to produce imagery for commercial photography, as well as action photography.

What is Medium Format in Digital Cameras?

From the Fujifilm GFX to the Canon Mark III camera body, photographers have a dizzying array of options. The topic today is perhaps the most versatile option of the frame cameras.

Back in the days of film, especially in the late 1990s, photographers popularly used them for weddings because their depth of field assists you in capturing a magical, shallower depth. Combine this with their autofocus lenses, and you have a perfect combination of shallow depth and film format. Speaking of format, you might want to know the two most common digital camera file storage formats.

They’re also thought to be the most fun to use and fantastic for maintaining image cleanliness and integrity. If you’ve decided you need to look at full-frame digital cameras instead, try asking, “What is a good digital SLR camera?

Characteristics of Medium Format Cameras

There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a medium format sensor. Unlike a full-frame camera, medium format film cameras can produce far better tonal range in their RAW images. This makes them a dream for those applying the tenants of color science in their work.

On the other hand, their image sensor is much larger. If you need a lightweight body, digital medium format cameras are not the best option. Our article, “What is a mirrorless digital camera?” will help you make a better choice.

Benefits of Medium Format Cameras

There are plenty of benefits to be found with these cameras:

  • They’re able to use autofocus lenses for easier
  • Medium format images maintain image cleanliness in print
  • They provide fantastic, shallow depth for portraits

Disadvantages of Medium Format Cameras

You can associate the following drawbacks with these cameras:

  • Their larger sensor size translates to a bulkier body
  • You’ll need to use a tripod for body image stabilization
  • Medium format photography is more expensive to get into


Make sure that you’re always using RAW files when shooting. RAW files are standard for photography because JPG causes you to lose both color and quality in your digital image.


Which camera provides the most exceptional image quality?

When it comes to producing professional-level image quality, there are plenty of options on the market. Here are a few models:

  • Fujifilm GFX 50R
  • Canon Mark III Camera Body
  • Fujifilm X-T30 II

What does dynamic range mean in photography?

Dynamic range is the contrast ratio you find between the darkest and the lightest tones in your image. Understanding this concept is critical in ensuring your images follow the conditions color science lays out.

What is the depth of field in photography?

Another crucial aspect for amateur photographers to understand is the depth of field. This refers to how much focus there is in front of and behind the subject of your stunning images. This concept is most important for portrait and landscape photography, where the depth of field assists you greatly.

Is a 35mm full-frame sensor a good option for me?

That depends on the type of photography you’re looking to get into. If you’re on a budget and not looking to produce compelling lifestyle images or sell your work, they work fine to start.

STAT: Mirrorless cameras are gaining record market shares, leaving DSLR cameras behind. (source)

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