Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Joys of medium format cameras

We all love the tale of David vs Goliath, where the underdog trumps the favourite against all odds. The truth in life is - size does matter. The bigger is usually the better option. Try driving a Mini on the road with Landrovers and Hummers all around you, or get into a gun fight armed with a pistol against a sub-machine gun - you get the picture.

In photography, the smaller cameras are more agile, as in all our examples. But in terms of sheer power, nothing quite beats a larger format camera, ceteris paribus. The larger the film area (or sensor size), the cleaner the image and the better the enlargements will be. Traditionally, a lot of commercial images used for billboards or posters are shot on medium or large format cameras, and even with today's pow-wow 35mm DSLRs excellent image quality, some of the professionals still opt for medium format cameras to deliver that extra edge, especially in controlled environment shooting where speed is not of essence.

Apart from sheer quality, one of the fun aspects of shooting medium format cameras is the joy of handling something mechanical. Unlike the DSLRs, the majority of medium format cameras still shoot on film (since digital backs are still prohibitively expensive for the hobbyists). That only adds to the joy of loading film (assuming you come from the film-era like me), which is a more tactile approach than loading a CF card into my DSLR. Furthermore, a lot of the medium format cameras are mechanical machines that click and clunk, quite unlike the zip and whirl of the electronic cameras today.

Need more convincing to try medium format cameras? Well... how about the fact that a lot of medium format gears are very affordable now compared to a decade ago, and you can get a good camera and lens for less than 500 bucks? And once you have a taste of the heavenly experience of viewing a medium format slide on a light-box, you'd want to run out to get a few more rolls of film!

So be sure to discover more about medium format cameras here at

Have fun!

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