Medium Format Digital Photography

One thing that sets us apart from many other photographers in Malaysia is our use of medium format digital cameras. They are EXPENSIVE and usually require specialized equipment to get the most out of them. We use several of them, and bring them out when the assignment calls for them.

They have a massive advantage over normal DSLRs or mirrorless cameras because their sensors are much bigger and capture much more detail.

First lets introduce you to one of them.

Below you can see the Cambo technical camera. It certainly doesn’t look like your typical Canon, Nikon or Sony.

Medium Format Digital Camera with tilt shift feature
One of the Medium Format Digital Cameras we use

This is set up on a wooden large format camera tripod because we were using on the busy streets of Kuala Lumpur and we had to deaden the vibrations of passing cars and pedestrian traffic. We were the third, and last option for this building shoot. The brief was that a certain company needed photos of their worldwide offices in a certain size to submit to a marketing agency in New York. The first person to shoot it used a high end Canon DSLR. Their photos were rejected as they did not have enough detail. A second photographer was engaged and shot with a professional Nikon. They did a great job however the resolution was still too low. We were the last option and breezed in.  Please note the following photo was NOT part of the final set of images submitted. We were still looking for the best angle and awaiting the sun to get into the best position. However it adequately shows how much detail there is in the photo.

Medium Format digital camera photo
A building we needed to shoot for an agency in New York. Note the white box.

Wait for it. Prepare to be blown away.

incredible detail with a medium format digital camera
Zoomed in detail of the white box area

Now lets have a look at a photo taken with the very affordable Fujifilm GFX system. I have the zoomed in crop and the original side by side for this one

Fujifilm Medium Format Camera showing impressive detail
A zoom in of the image on the right says it all

Lastly lets look at a large corporate event group shot. This one is like shooting fish in a barrel sadly. Same company, with photos taken in 2 consecutive years while on their annua meeting. The earlier 2009/2010 photos were taken on a Canon DSLR by another company (definitely not by us), while the following years (2010/2011) were taken by us using a PHASE ONE  camera.

Firstly the 2 actual photos together, and then the zoom ins.

company group photo
Taken with a typical Digital SLR
Company group photo with a Medium format camera
A Medium Format Digital Camera captures a huge amount of detail
The resolution of a typical DSLR might be said to be “adequate”
Medium Format Digital Camera vs DSLR
Zoomed in to a similar level

I don’t believe I need to elaborate on the quality difference.

One thing I will say is that you DON’T need a medium format camera to take great photos. It is a tool that is there for when you really need to get a photo that captures a huge amount of detail. School Photography with a thousand students, or a Synod or business meeting with 200+ delegates, all of these will definitely benefit from a medium format photo. If you need one drop me a line and we will be happy to help.

Property of Grant Corban Photography Sdn Bhd (666138-V)