It wasn’t too long ago when medium format cameras cost upward of $20,000 each! However, Pentax, and more recently, Fujifilm, went on the offensive with medium format cameras and they managed to bring the prices crashing down.
Now, you can buy both DSLR and mirrorless-based medium format cameras that cost well under $10,000. In fact, you can get your hands on medium format cameras for under $4,000!
Why should you buy medium format over similarly priced full-frame cameras? The use of a larger sensor in medium format cameras means more light gathering capabilities. More light gathering means more detail and more tonal range can be captured. You’ll also get more dynamic range, more depth of field, and higher flash sync speeds.
So, if you’re in the market for a camera that’s larger than full-frame, but you don’t want to use up your retirement savings, check out the affordable medium format cameras that we have listed below.
A work of art — Hasselblad X1D II 50c
The Hasselblad X1D II might not be perfect, but it’s a work of art. The camera is made from a single block of premium machined aluminum that just exudes class. The LCD and EVF are fantastic. Hasselblad uses the best touch-friendly menu system, which means the experience of using it is hard to beat.
The 50.1-megapixel sensor is brilliant and the way it renders colors when used with gorgeous Hasselblad lenses will make you weep. It’s not the fastest when it comes to autofocus, but wow, using this camera is just poetic. It’s an experience.
The OG affordable medium format camera — Pentax 645Z
The Pentax 645Z was a revolution when it was launched back in 2014. When it hit the shelves, it still carried a hefty price tag ($8500). However, it was so much cheaper than medium format cameras from Hasselblad and Phase One that cost upward of $25,000! These days, you can find the 645Z for under $5,000.
The Pentax 645Z uses a 51.4-megapixel sensor that has an Anti-Alias Filter-Less Design for maximum sharpness. It has a rugged magnesium alloy body that’s weather-sealed at 76 points. There’s a 3.2-inch 1037K dot tiltable air-gapless LCD, and it can fire at 3fps. Let’s also not forget the gorgeous Pentaprism viewfinder. It’s the oldest medium format camera listed here, but it’s still a stunner.
High resolution — Fujifilm GFX100 S
The GFX 100S might be the one of most expensive cameras on this list. However, it’s still incredibly affordable for a camera that features a 102-megapixel sensor. Images produced with this camera are breathtakingly beautiful.
This medium format camera features IBIS, Bluetooth and an autofocus system that rivals many leading full-frame cameras. You can shoot 4K video. It’s weather-sealed to the nines. It takes two UHS-II SD cards, and it just feels wonderful in the hand. When it comes to feature-packed medium format cameras that won’t break the bank, the Fujifilm GFX 100S is hard to beat.
A full-frame killer — Fujifilm GFX 50S II
Amazingly, the latest larger than full-frame camera from Fujifilm, the GFX 50S II, is one of the most affordable on this list. For just under $4,000 you can get a medium format camera with a 51.4-megapixel sensor, IBIS and a 3.69-million dot EVF!
Incredibly the camera also features a 117 point autofocus system, 19 gorgeous Fujifilm film simulations, dual SD card slots, a 3.2-inch tilting LCDand weather sealing! Fujifilm has really broken down the entry barrier to larger than full-frame cameras with this offering.
A retro inspired medium format camera — Hasselblad 907X
The Hasselblad 907x is a gorgeous retro-inspired camera that will make you weak at the knees. This 50-megapixel camera has 14 stops of dynamic range and offers 16-bit color depth. The Hasselblad 907X is unique in that it can use both Hasselblads digital back and any V system camera back from 1957 and on.
The digital back has a 3.2-inch, 2.4 million dot touch screen LCD. It takes two UHS-II SD cards, and you’ll find Wi-Fi and USB-C. The design and build of this camera are unlike many other digital cameras. You’ll forget about full-frame cameras in a heartbeat.