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Pentax 645Z

Medium Format vs Full Frame Considerations

The choice of a medium format camera carries with it some assumptions that aren’t necessarily true. Let’s go over them.

The medium format look

The “look” of medium format images vs 35mm DSLR images is often cited as a reason to shoot medium format. But with respect to geometric parameters of optics there is no difference attributable to format size in the “look” of an image. There are aspects of focal length involved, but lens design exerts a rather large influence: the Zeiss Otus 55/1.4 APO-Distagon draws like a medium format lens. See the in-depth discussion in Format-Equivalent Depth of Field and F-Stop in MSI.

Aspect ratio

The Pentax 645Z uses a 4:3 aspect ratio, versus 3:2 for a DSLR. That in itself might be a key factor for some shooters (one way or another). A photographer who “sees” in 4:3 will have to crop the DSLR; a photographer who prefers 3:2 will have to crop the 4:3 image!

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Diglloyd Medium Format covers medium format camera systems, including the Hasselblad X1D and Fujifilm GFX.

These systems are hugely expensive, so make the right choice for your own needs (full frame vs medium format).

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