DJ72

Is it worth thinking about a medium format camera?

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Hello All.

 

I haven't posted in here for a good while (been busy creating content for Alamy!) Still no purchases yet, but that's not really a problem for me.

 

I have a question regarding medium format cameras. I have lately been taking a lot of pictures of architecture or other inanimate objects that I can spend a lot of time setting up. I am using my trusty Sony RX100M3 (kindly recommended to me by Mark Chapman who then patiently walked me through how to get the best out if it) for these and I'm  happy with the results. However ...

 

I cant get away from thinking that a larger sensor would do my images better justice. And as for the pictures I refer to (where I can take my time to configure) I was pondering that with a larger sensor, why not go for a medium format camera to increase pixel size and dynamic range? 

 

My budget isn't unlimited however, so if my thinking above is justified (open to suggestions!) then the next question would be, What second hand options are there for me? 

 

I am an absolute beginner when it comes to understanding medium format, but working with the Sony's 1 inch sensor I think my pictures deserve a better image quality. 

(To all the RX100 fans out there, I adore my little Sony and it is the perfect camera for many things....but with my new interest I cant help thinking I need a different camera).

 

Thank you,

David. 

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Posted (edited)

Big leap from a 1 " sensor to medium format -  a full frame 35mm sensor will give you over four times the area ...

http://photoseek.com/2013/compare-digital-camera-sensor-sizes-full-frame-35mm-aps-c-micro-four-thirds-1-inch-type/

There are some stunning medium format digi's around, but you'll be unlikely to regain the massive cost without really substantial sales ....

Edited by TeeCee

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1 minute ago, TeeCee said:

Big leap from a 1 " sensor to medium format, a full frame 35mm sensor will give you over four times the area ...

http://photoseek.com/2013/compare-digital-camera-sensor-sizes-full-frame-35mm-aps-c-micro-four-thirds-1-inch-type/

There are some stunning medium format digi's around, but you'll be unlikely to regain the massive cost without really substantial sales ....

 

+1 With standard full frame camera (35mm equiv) you will have all you need for architecture/still life/closeups etc.

 

Allan

 

 

  • Upvote 1

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Hi Allan thank you for the tip.

 

I have been quietly coveting the Fujifilm X100F which is full frame....do you think a full frame would suffice for what I am talking about?

I am not a pro and dont take pictures for money.

 

Thanks

David,

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DJ72 said:

Hi Allan thank you for the tip.

 

I have been quietly coveting the Fujifilm X100F which is full frame....do you think a full frame would suffice for what I am talking about?

I am not a pro and dont take pictures for money.

 

Thanks

David,

David, full frame 35mm sensors will provide stunning quality, far better than you're currently getting, and you'll have the widest choice of lenses available. They'll also give you useable images at high ISO ratings, where most small sensors begin to lose ground rapidly.

File size above and beyond around 20 megapixel (so around and about 60 mb file size opened) isn't that big a deal, unless you have a ready made market for extremely high quality images - the physical size of the sensor lends far more to the quality of the result than the pixel count.

In the end, it's down to you to make the decision between spending cash and making cash - you need to sell a lot of pictures these days to cover the cost of a decent 35mm full frame DSLR kit. (Quick calculation of my day to day camera bag - new cost - over £5K). Medium format, at a guess, quadruple that cost...???

Tony

Edited by TeeCee

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, DJ72 said:

Hi Allan thank you for the tip.

 

I have been quietly coveting the Fujifilm X100F which is full frame....do you think a full frame would suffice for what I am talking about?

I am not a pro and dont take pictures for money.

 

Thanks

David,

 

The X100f is APS-C, about half the area of full frame (35mm sized image) and has a fixed focal length lens. But the sensor is about twice as large as your RX100. If you are shooting setups I would be inclined to go for an interchangeable lens camera (I use Fuji X cameras, switched from full-frame Canon) and there are many s/h cameras from Canon, Nikon, Fuji, and others that would be a big step forward for you and much more versatile than the X100F. Then rather than replacing cameras when needs change you can get by with just a new lens.

 

The X100 series are great cameras (I have X100T) but for most purposes I use an interchangeable lens X-T2. You could get a good used X-T1, I still use mine as a 2nd body, and a couple of lens (say the 18-55 and perhaps the 60mm f2.4, depends on the nature of your setups) for the price of even a s/h X100F.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
typo

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Ah , yes, sorry, I knew the X100f was APS-C, not sure why I promoted it to full frame. So the X-T1 also has the same sensor (APS-C)? I wanted, if I was going to totally replace my Sony, to avoid using DSLR set up.

 

Would the XT1/2 be considered superior to the X100F due to interchangeable lens and faster AF? The X100F really appealed to me for its compactness and larger sensor. Worried the XT1/2 would be too big....

 

I know I started this thread talking about medium format which are of course not compact at all, but my thinking was to use that solely for specific shots (and keep the Sny for everything else) But it seems people are mentioning the cost so I am now thinking about replacing the Sony...I know i will have to sacrifice size if i want to progress, but i want to avoid humping a huge set up around with me. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
17 minutes ago, DJ72 said:

Ah , yes, sorry, I knew the X100f was APS-C, not sure why I promoted it to full frame. So the X-T1 also has the same sensor (APS-C)? I wanted, if I was going to totally replace my Sony, to avoid using DSLR set up.

 

Would the XT1/2 be considered superior to the X100F due to interchangeable lens and faster AF? The X100F really appealed to me for its compactness and larger sensor. Worried the XT1/2 would be too big....

 

I know I started this thread talking about medium format which are of course not compact at all, but my thinking was to use that solely for specific shots (and keep the Sny for everything else) But it seems people are mentioning the cost so I am now thinking about replacing the Sony...I know i will have to sacrifice size if i want to progress, but i want to avoid humping a huge set up around with me. 

 

 

 

The X-T1 is 16Mpixel (the X-T2 is 24) but a good body is only about £400 rather tha £1000 or so for even a used X100F so leaves room for a couple of lens. It is more than enough for Alamy, and good sized prints - say 18x12in, bigger at a push if not beingf viewed close-up. Actually you might do even better with an X-E1/2/2s - essentially same sensor as the X-T1 and a smaller body, probably cheaper as well. The X-E2 is probably the sweet spot second-hand as with the latest firmware it supposedly much the same as the X-E2s just without some of the ergonomic hardware improvements. Also look at the Fuji (and others) refurbished offerings, they have a 12 month guarante, I have been happy with both Fuji and Canon refurbished kit from their own shops.

 

I switched to Fuji X with an X-E1 originally (as others have done) to reduce the bulk and weight of my full-frame pro Canon kit (I am not getting younger :( ) and I have been delighted - it is compact and quiet and the quality is high, in many respects better than my previous generation top-end Canons. Others have happily made similar switch to Sony, Olympus and even Panasonic (latter 2 have slightly smaller sensor) for similar reasons.

Edited by Martin P Wilson

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thank you for the further info regarding the Fuji options. I suppose I might consider going mirrorless (Sony A7 etc) if I wanted fill frame and needed things to be lighter / smaller than DLSR.

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Posted (edited)

Bear in mind that if you do go up in size to APSC or Full Frame in order to improve image quality, then focusing, lens quality and technique become more critical. I used to have a Canon 550D APSC with some pretty good zoom lenses (10-22mm and 18-135mm).  But in general the image quality wasn't as good (and nowhere near as consistent) as I now get from my Sony RX100 or Lumix G5. Yes the noise was lower at higher ISO, and I could control the depth of field more precisely , but the lens quality and focussing inconsistency (compared to mirrorless) often left me disappointed. If you're really chasing quality with APSC or full frame on a budget then consider using prime lenses. 

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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6 hours ago, DJ72 said:

Hello All.

 

I haven't posted in here for a good while (been busy creating content for Alamy!) Still no purchases yet, but that's not really a problem for me.

 

I have a question regarding medium format cameras. I have lately been taking a lot of pictures of architecture or other inanimate objects that I can spend a lot of time setting up. I am using my trusty Sony RX100M3 (kindly recommended to me by Mark Chapman who then patiently walked me through how to get the best out if it) for these and I'm  happy with the results. However ...

 

I cant get away from thinking that a larger sensor would do my images better justice. And as for the pictures I refer to (where I can take my time to configure) I was pondering that with a larger sensor, why not go for a medium format camera to increase pixel size and dynamic range? 

 

My budget isn't unlimited however, so if my thinking above is justified (open to suggestions!) then the next question would be, What second hand options are there for me? 

 

I am an absolute beginner when it comes to understanding medium format, but working with the Sony's 1 inch sensor I think my pictures deserve a better image quality. 

(To all the RX100 fans out there, I adore my little Sony and it is the perfect camera for many things....but with my new interest I cant help thinking I need a different camera).

 

Thank you,

David. 

 

I would start with renting one for the weekend.

 

wim

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Posted (edited)

You might want to check out the Sony a6000. There are some good deals on them out there, new and used. I'm still using its predecessor, the NEX-6, and have been very happy with it.

 

Review of the a6000 here. Lots more to be found.

 

 

Edited by John Mitchell
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4 hours ago, DJ72 said:

thank you for the further info regarding the Fuji options. I suppose I might consider going mirrorless (Sony A7 etc) if I wanted fill frame and needed things to be lighter / smaller than DLSR.

 

The mirrorless FF camera is smaller and a bit lighter, but the lenses have to cover the full frame and they are both heavy and expensive.

 

I have a Canon FF camera and a Sony a6500, and, while I do like the look of the FF images, the camera that sees giant's share of the work for stock is the a6500, it's just so much more convenient to carry around. You don't essentially need a FF camera for stock. If you want the pleasure of ownership then maybe a used FF camera would satisfy you without  breaking the bank.  My Canon 5DII  produces very nice results at low ISO, although the sensor is lagging behind the latest designs.

 

As John has suggested, the a6000 looks very good value at present. Sadly the standard 16-50 lens, while adequate for stock ( I've sold photos taken with it and never had a QC failure using it)  doesn't cut the mustard for me and the camera deserves better,  you might consider pairing that camera with alternative glass.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

The a6000 with this lens (discussed in another thread) might be a really nice combo.

 

I'm thinking about this combination myself, but it's tough to justify upgrade whims given today's image prices. It can take a very long time to pay for them. In fact, I imagine that some new contributors who go out and buy very expensive equipment will probably never manage to recover their costs.

Edited by John Mitchell

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Short answer. If you're mainly shooting for Alamy, NO WAY. If you have anything close to the money required for MF you'd be better off spending it on a decent full-frame (old 35mm) camera.

In the current condition I can't see that you'd justify the cost of a MF camera unless you have some top level corporate clients.

Looking at your images I can't see why you'd need a MF camera - the subjects here on Alamy look made for a faster DSLR type set-up.

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This is off-topic, but you need to add more details to your captions and keywords. You've got some interesting images. However, as it stands, buyers are going to have difficulty finding many of them. Good luck.

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You need to have very specific reasons to go up to Medium Format. Same as back in the film days the costs are very high and you need to be sure that you are going to get them back (unless you are a hobbyist with deep pockets). Go to your local camera shop and see if they will rent or lend you a full frame. My D750 blows me away even after I have ben using it for 3 years. I don't dare look at reviews of the D850, I know the cravings will start. If you go FF, you get fantastic quality (with top notch lenses of course) that you can easily carry around when you go out. 

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Also, have a look at this month's Monthly Challenge. Mine is the first reply - the photo of my wife yawning while reading a story is what you can do with Full frame ISO6400. Just an auto everything grab shot. 

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The Sonly a7 original model is now on sale for under $900 in the US.  I'll probably upgrade eventually to an a7III ($2K US) but if you're shooting architecture and interiors with relatively still  models, it's still a fine camera.  The a6000 is also a fine camera.  My go to lens for that isn't cheap -- the Sony/Zeiss 24mm f/1.8.   I take the a6000 on the street and on trips more than the a7 Sonys I have.  

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If money were no object:

 

https://www.wexphotovideo.com/search/?q=Hasselblad+H6D-400c+MS&search_type=All

 

and the quoted price doesn't include a lens!

 

17 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

I used to have a Canon 550D APSC with some pretty good zoom lenses (10-22mm and 18-135mm)

 

Thats what I presently have (using a Canon 70D) and would agree with you in the main. I find the 18-135 can be a bit soft at the edges at full zoom, and the 10-22 similarly at 10mm. That said, almost all my pictures on Alamy were taken with the 18-135, some of them at full zoom, and there are one of two taken at 10mm on the 10-22 as well. I guess its just a case of making the best use of what I've got, and being mindful of its limitations. One day I'll have a full frame and a couple of "L" series lenses to go with it, but that's not in current budget :(

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1 hour ago, Richard Laidler said:

If money were no object:

 

https://www.wexphotovideo.com/search/?q=Hasselblad+H6D-400c+MS&search_type=All

 

and the quoted price doesn't include a lens!

 

From the same vendor: Fuji GFX 50S - only 5999 body only.

And it's Hasselblad rival, the X1D-50C - only 8388 body only.

Lots of comparisons and shootouts between the 50Mpx Canon; the 42Mpx Sony's and various medium format cameras. And then of course lots of discussions about the outcomes.

 

As I said: just rent one. Then you'll know the difference and whether or when you'll need one.

 

wim

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2 hours ago, wiskerke said:

As I said: just rent one. Then you'll know the difference and whether or when you'll need one.

 

Chuckle - no I don't need one! The only reason I remember that particular camera is seeing it on Wex's email newsletter and out of curiosity clicking the details. Long time ago I had a lovely medium format 6x6 roll film camera (Mamiya C220) which produced far better transparencies than my 35mm (a Canon A1) for all its sophistication.

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wow thank you to all for the responses, more than I could have hoped for.

I will check out the Sony a6300, though I can see some pretty decent deals on the Fuji x100T second hand that would bump up my sensor credibility but retain some portability.

Thank you for the tips about adding tags to my images, I know I am rubbish at that.

I will look into renting one, that makes perfect sense to me as well.

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