Upsides of Digital Medium Format Photography
1. Enhanced appreciation for small things
Digital medium format photos look different– more interesting. Even photographing the most mundane subject-matter, the photos are rendered more interesting.
Thus when I’m shooting with a DMF (digital medium format) camera, I slow down, and find more appreciation in ‘beauty in the mundane‘.
2. Epic detail and ability to post-process photographs
I find when shooting in RAW on digital medium format, the RAW files are epic for post-processing into monochrome. You are able to make a more ‘painterly’ aesthetic (kind of reminds me of the monochrome photos that Sebastian Salgado was able to achieve in his ‘Genesis’ project). Or similar to the epic monochrome panoramic photos by Josef Koudelka (apparently he is shooting these photos with a modified digital-medium format Leica S camera).
3. Slowing down
When shooting with a DMF camera, you just end up shooting slower — which puts you into more of a zen-like trance when shooting photographs. You actually focus more on shooting photos to please yourself, than worrying so much about making photos to impress others.
I really like to photograph gritty textures. Digital medium format photography allows you to focus on capturing the maximum out of interesting textures you encounter.
If you love color photography and want the best possible colors, digital medium format sensors will extract more color fidelity from the scenes you photograph. No other digital sensor compares.
Downsides of Digital Medium Format Photography
1. Massive files
More megapixels, more problems. Even on a maxed-out 13” MacBook Pro, Lightroom is quite slow to handle large RAW files for digital medium format. Which means more wasted time on Lightroom to look through your photos to select them, as well as post-processing.
Furthermore, downside of increased file size (for storage purposes). Solution can be to regularly delete RAW files, and only keep exported JPEG images.
2. Too much detail
Digital medium format is tricky when photographing humans: it actually makes us look uglier (because it captures ALL of our physical imperfections, acne, wrinkles, skin blemishes).
Perhaps this is why Blu-Ray for porn hasn’t taken off (too much detail in pornography actually turns off people).
Fujifilm GFX 50R + 45mm f/2.8 Lens
It seems that at the moment the Fujifilm GFX 50R + 45mm f/2.8 lens is a game-changer for the digital medium format photography world. It is more affordable (around $4500 for the body + $1,000+ for the lens) than past $30,000+ digital medium format cameras, which will put this camera into more hands into more photographers.
Furthermore, the GFX 50R weighs only ~750 grams (super light for a digital medium format camera — it seems lighter than most full-frame DSLR cameras). This means it is truly an ‘everyday’ carry-around camera, which interests me:
How many more interesting photographs can we shoot of simple, everyday life, with an epic digital medium-format sensor?
The more photographs you can shoot of everyday mundane experiences, the better.
Questions I am curious about:
- What kind of new images are possible with digital medium format photography?
- How do photographers see the world differently when they’re shooting with a digital medium format camera?
- What are the downsides of having TOO MUCH detail in photographs? What aesthetic downsides are there to digital medium format photographs?
- When we get to the point when there are $5,000 digital large-format cameras, with infinite detail and quality — will that really help us as photographers?
- Why do we photographers want better image quality? What is the practical utility of it?
More turbo thoughts to come.
- Fujifilm GFX 50R and 45mm f/2.8 Lens First-Impressions Review
- Review of the Pentax 645Z and Digital Medium Format Photography
- 7 Reasons Why I Love Digital Medium-Format Photography
- My Experience Shooting Digital Medium Format in Street Photography
- My Experience Shooting my Friend’s Wedding on Digital Medium Format
- Why Digital Medium Format is the Future of Photography
- Is Digital Medium Format Worth It?
- 7 Lessons I’ve Learned Shooting Fashion For the First time on Digital Medium Format (PENTAX 645Z)