I have been playing with my DSLR for quite a while and just wondered what all the Digital Medium format talk was all about. So much so I've been wanting to switch to MF for quite some time because I read that it would blow my socks off at how fantastic they are. So I popped down to my local store to try them out.
I was quite surprised that my DSLR was not as bad as I thought and if anything did quite a good job keeping up with the bigger cameras.
Here is a link - www.bright.vg/HB_vs_Canon - to the tests (very unscientific and amateurish) but it may help some others who feel the same way I did.
The cameras used were:-
H4D-31 with a 50mm HCII lens
Canon 5Dmkii - Mine. With either the 85mm f1.2L fitted.
503CW, CFV50, 50mm CF lens
For those who like to read the end of the book first, my conclusion from my crappy test is the only thing I could differentiate between all three cameras/processors was the resolution.
For me everything can be fiddled with in Lightroom/Phocus/editing program to get the shot you want so I needed to see what the camera did in the hands of an Amateur like me and if I liked them enough to switch.
They all showed grain, they nearly all had colour noise (the CFV50 was the worst offender) and they all looked quite similar. Though the colour rendition of the Canon straight from the camera did appear to be the best and most accurate to what I was looking at.
Things my DSLR can do that the medium formats I tested can't:-
1/ Live view, Remote Live view with iPhone (without the need for a computer attached to the camera)
2/ Video (Not that I use it much but according to all the pundits Video is the new still)
3/ Tilt/Shift. Well, OK. the H4D can to tilt shift but you have to have an adapter. Well OK. the CFV50 can do tilt shift with a technical camera.
Things the Digital Medium formats can do that the DLSR I tested can't:-
2/ Shoot film and Digital from the same body with different backs.
3/ Big bigger than the DSLR.
I'd be interested to know what you think.
I didn't like the H4D as it was lens heavy. The back end felt light and the lens felt like a lead weight. Plus there was all the fiddling, poking of all the buttons. Erggh.
I loved the 503CW combo as it was weighted in the centre, I love the feel and simplicity of it. It felt like I was interacting with it.
The Canon 5Dmkii is my friend and closest thing to being my right arm (I am right handed) plus it's idiot proof. Yes I am an idiot.
As for my decision to switch to Digital Medium Format, well that's not happening anytime soon not because I can't afford it (I can easily sell my kidney if I want to) it's because my camera is actually very good and so are the lenses. Yes I am losing out on 10-30 mega pixels of resolution and the chance to look cool as Steve McQueen in the great Escape but my exercise was to find out whether Digital medium formats was for me. At this moment in time. No.
My compromise. I'll buy a Hasselblad 500cm with an 80mm Lens and shoot film in a whole lot of 6x6 B&W goodness and maybe get a Rolleiflex 3.5f too.
Who the hell am I?
Well, I'm an Amateur Photographer who likes to shoot pictures. If people like them then that's all good.
If your interested in seeing what I've do to date with my Canon 5dMkii the here's the link.http://www.redbubble.com/people/redtree