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The best medium format cameras

Medium format cameras are the imaging tools of choice for professional and enthusiast photographers who are looking for ultimate image quality. MF cameras are equipped with sensors that are substantially bigger than those found on full-frame cameras (or 35mm film). These large sensors make it possible to provide very high resolution, wide dynamic range, and a very well refined color balance. MF cameras used to be relatively bulky and, hence, predestined to be used in static settings, such as for studio or landscape photography, but several manufacturers have recently released models that are relatively compact and easier to take along than their predecessors.

medium format
MF sensor (Fujifilm) vs film slide

There is a wide and growing choice of medium format cameras on the market. It is not easy to decide which one is best. Indeed, what does it really mean to look for the best medium format? The camera that offers the best imaging experience? The one with the highest sensor resolution? The one that is most portable? The medium format camera that does not break the bank? The answers to these questions come down to personal preference, but hopefully the listings below will prove to be useful for your camera decision process.

The highest rated medium format cameras

Top Elo
Camera with highest Elo: Fujifilm GFX 100S

The Camera Elo represents a comprehensive rating that takes the body, sensor and feature characteristics of digital cameras into account. It is based on the outcomes of thousands of pair-wise comparisons undertaken via the CAM-parator app.

The Fujifilm GFX 100S is currently the top-ranked medium format camera with a Camera Elo of 3115, followed in second place by the Fujifilm GFX 50S II with a rating of 3081. The table below lists the 10 highest ranked medium format cameras in descending order of their Elo. It also reports the cameras' DXO Mark sensor quality score, which can be taken as indicators of pure image quality. For both the Camera Elo and the DXO score, higher values represent better performance.

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The Cameras with the Highest Elo
    Camera
Model
Lens
Type
Camera
Elo
DXO
Score
Camera
Type
Resolution
(MP)
Video
Format
Camera
Launch
Launch
Price (USD)
Street
Price
1.
 
Fujifilm GFX 100SFujifilm G 3115100 Mirrorless 101.84K/30p Jan 2021 5,999 i
2.
 
Fujifilm GFX 50S IIFujifilm G 3081100 Mirrorless 51.11080/30p Sep 2021 3,999 i
3.
 
Hasselblad X1D IIHasselblad XCD 301899 Mirrorless 51.3- Jun 2019 5,750 i
4.
 
Fujifilm GFX 100Fujifilm G 299599 Mirrorless 101.84K/30p May 2019 9,999 i
5.
 
Fujifilm GFX 50RFujifilm G 287098 Mirrorless 51.11080/30p Sep 2018 4,499 i
6.
 
Fujifilm GFX 50SFujifilm G 266896 Mirrorless 51.11080/30p Sep 2016 6,499i
7.
 
Leica S3Leica S 263598 DSLR 64.04K/24p Sep 2018 18,995 i
8.
 
Hasselblad X1DHasselblad XCD 2354102 Mirrorless 51.31080/25p Jun 2016 8,995i
9.
 
Leica S Typ 007Leica S 226693 DSLR 37.54K/24p Sep 2014 24,490i
10.
 
Pentax 645ZPentax 645 2108101 DSLR 51.11080/60i Apr 2014 8,499 i
Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

You can access more detail on the listed cameras by clicking on the camera's name. Alternatively, you can compare two medium format cameras using the search boxes below. Just enter two model names into the input fields and you will promptly be taken to a respective comparison.

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    The highest resolution medium format cameras

    Perhaps your primary aim is to capture images with great detail, for example in landscape photography, or to have the ability to crop images heavily in post processing while still maintaining good image quality. In this case, the best medium format camera might be the one with the highest sensor resolution. The following table lists the 10 medium format cameras with the highest megapixel count. Again, clicking on the camera's name will reveal further detail.

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    The Cameras with the Highest Resolution
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Camera
    Type
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 100SFujifilm G 101.8 3115100 Mirrorless4K/30p Jan 2021 5,999 i
    2.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 100Fujifilm G 101.8 299599 Mirrorless4K/30p May 2019 9,999 i
    3.
     
    Leica S3Leica S 64.0 263598 DSLR4K/24p Sep 2018 18,995 i
    4.
     
    Hasselblad X1D IIHasselblad XCD 51.3 301899 Mirrorless- Jun 2019 5,750 i
    5.
     
    Hasselblad X1DHasselblad XCD 51.3 2354102 Mirrorless1080/25p Jun 2016 8,995i
    6.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 50S IIFujifilm G 51.1 3081100 Mirrorless1080/30p Sep 2021 3,999 i
    7.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 50RFujifilm G 51.1 287098 Mirrorless1080/30p Sep 2018 4,499 i
    8.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 50SFujifilm G 51.1 266896 Mirrorless1080/30p Sep 2016 6,499i
    9.
     
    Pentax 645ZPentax 645 51.1 2108101 DSLR1080/60i Apr 2014 8,499 i
    10.
     
    Pentax 645DPentax 645 39.5 162482 DSLR- Mar 2010 9,995i
    Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

    The most portable medium format cameras

    A well-known proverb states that the best camera is the one that you have with you. As such, a smaller and lighter camera will likely get more use than a bulkier and heavier model. The table below lists the 10 lightest medium format cameras in ascending order of their weight.

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    The Lightest Models
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    Type
    Camera
    Weight
    Camera
    Size
    Camera
    Elo
    Camera
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Camera
    Launch
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Hasselblad X1DHasselblad XCD 725 g 150 x 98 x 71 g 2354 Mirrorless 51.3 Jun 2016 8,995i
    2.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 50SFujifilm G 740 g 148 x 94 x 91 g 2668 Mirrorless 51.1 Sep 2016 6,499i
    3.
     
    Hasselblad X1D IIHasselblad XCD 766 g 148 x 97 x 70 g 3018 Mirrorless 51.3 Jun 2019 5,750 i
    4.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 50RFujifilm G 775 g 161 x 97 x 66 g 2870 Mirrorless 51.1 Sep 2018 4,499 i
    5.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 100SFujifilm G 900 g 150 x 104 x 87 g 3115 Mirrorless 101.8 Jan 2021 5,999 i
    6.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 50S IIFujifilm G 900 g 150 x 104 x 87 g 3081 Mirrorless 51.1 Sep 2021 3,999 i
    7.
     
    Leica S3Leica S 1260 g 160 x 120 x 80 g 2635 DSLR 64.0 Sep 2018 18,995 i
    8.
     
    Leica S Typ 007Leica S 1260 g 160 x 120 x 80 g 2266 DSLR 37.5 Sep 2014 24,490i
    9.
     
    Leica S-E Typ 006Leica S 1260 g 160 x 120 x 80 g 1981 DSLR 37.5 Sep 2014 16,900i
    10.
     
    Leica S Typ 006Leica S 1260 g 160 x 120 x 80 g 1719 DSLR 37.5 Sep 2012 21,950i

    The most affordable medium format cameras

    A camera is only as good as the lens that is placed in front of its sensor. Thus, the best medium format is one that leaves room enough in the budget to purchase a high quality lens to go with it. More generally, budgetary considerations are almost always important when deciding on a camera purchase, so that the following listing should be of interest. It displays the 10 least expensive medium format cameras in ascending order of their launch prices (camera only). The latter provide a good idea on the market position of the cameras, but it is often worthwhile to check the current pricing, as all except the most recent models might be available at discounts or as great deals on the pre-owned market.

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    The Least Expensive Models
        Camera
    Model
    Lens
    Mount
    Launch
    Price (USD)
    Camera
    Elo
    DXO
    Score
    Camera
    Type
    Resolution
    (MP)
    Video
    Format
    Camera
    Launch
    Street
    Price
    1.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 50S IIFujifilm G 3,999 3081100 Mirrorless 51.11080/30p Sep 2021 i
    2.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 50RFujifilm G 4,499 287098 Mirrorless 51.11080/30p Sep 2018 i
    3.
     
    Hasselblad X1D IIHasselblad XCD 5,750 301899 Mirrorless 51.3- Jun 2019 i
    4.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 100SFujifilm G 5,999 3115100 Mirrorless 101.84K/30p Jan 2021 i
    5.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 50SFujifilm G 6,499 266896 Mirrorless 51.11080/30p Sep 2016i
    6.
     
    Pentax 645ZPentax 645 8,499 2108101 DSLR 51.11080/60i Apr 2014 i
    7.
     
    Hasselblad X1DHasselblad XCD 8,995 2354102 Mirrorless 51.31080/25p Jun 2016i
    8.
     
    Pentax 645DPentax 645 9,995 162482 DSLR 39.5- Mar 2010i
    9.
     
    Fujifilm GFX 100Fujifilm G 9,999 299599 Mirrorless 101.84K/30p May 2019 i
    10.
     
    Leica S-E Typ 006Leica S 16,900 198193 DSLR 37.5- Sep 2014i
    Note: DXO values in italics represent estimates based on sensor size and age.

    Further Reading

    Additional information on the calculation of the Camera Elo can be found on a respective Elo methodology page. Moreover, there are other rankings of cameras by category that might be of interest:

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