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  • Writer's picturePaper Birch Collective

Why You Need A Digital Medium Format Camera At Your Wedding

Life's most important memories should be captured with the most amazing image quality. If you want the highest quality images, you must shoot with medium format digital cameras!

What is a Medium Format Camera?

A medium format camera has a larger sensor than a full frame camera. Having a larger sensor produces higher resolution and better image quality because a larger sensor means more megapixels and more physical space for each pixel. With medium format cameras, you get images with outstanding high resolution and the best detail preservation.

Why Medium Format Cameras Matter?

When it comes to camera sensors, it really is "bigger the better!" So by that logic, digital medium format cameras are basically unbeatable when it comes to image quality and dynamic range (how much detail a camera can pull from light and dark areas). Put simply, medium format cameras matter because they produce images with the highest quality, resolution, detail preservation, and have industry-leading dynamic range.

If you want your wedding images with best detail, the extra dynamic range, and superior low light performance, medium format cameras are the way to go. As a photography team for weddings, engagements, and other important life events, we love using medium format digital cameras for capturing portraits because of the rich image quality and the great capability of shallow depth of field for intimate close ups.

Standard Full Frame Portrait VS. Medium Format Portrait:

Using standard full frame cameras and medium format cameras might look similar to the passing eye, but once you examine the details, you really start to see where the benefits of digital medium format arise. For these comparisons, we are using the Sony A7 IV with a Sigma 85mm F1.4 and a Fujifilm GFX 100s with a GF 63mm f/2.8 R WR.

Left: Full Frame with 33 Megapixels

Right: Digital Medium Format with 102 Megapixels

With similar framing, the images look great next to each other! However, when you zoom in and start to pixel-peep, you can clearly see that the digital medium format camera preserves much more detail. In fact, there is so much detail being pulled out of the massive 102-megapixel sensor that you could effectively enlarge this image to crazy sizes if you are a fan of large prints!

Let's take a look at another example:

Here, our target object is much smaller than the groom's boutonniere in the image above.

This amazing hairpiece is preserved in all its beauty even though it's a tad smaller in the medium format image on the right than the standard full frame on the left, relatively speaking.

Left: Full Frame with 33 Megapixels

Right: Digital Medium Format with 102 Megapixels

Low-light Performance

In addition to the better resolution, digital medium format cameras also have superior low light performance due to the sheer size of their sensors. Because the sensor is so humongous, the physical pixels can be engineered to be larger and therefore absorb more light giving the camera better low light performance.

Here is proof for how amazing medium format cameras are in low-light conditions. The possibilities are endless when you have a medium-format camera for night photography and astro-photography.

Astrophotography with medium format camera shot by Paper Birch Collective, Orange County Wedding Photo and Video Team

Now, I'll be the first to admit that this wasn't done straight in camera, but rather is a composite of multiple exposures. Furthermore, while this shot is also possible in a modern full frame camera (something with good bit depth), the sheer amount of light data that the Fujifilm GFX collects is so immense that I was able to put this together with just a couple minutes of tweaking.

For the Camera Nerds:

For those of you who are reading this to decide if they want to make the jump from a traditional full frame cameras to a digital medium format, there are some things that you need to know.

Yes, a digital medium format is very expensive and your options are quite limited (basically only to Fujifilm, Hasselblad, and Phase One). Yes, digital medium formats are super slow especially the Fujifilm because of its current software. However, shooting and editing a digital medium format session is quite rewarding if you are into data preservation or documentation work. Just be ready for ridiculously large file sizes!

Thanks for reading! We hope this blog is helpful. Still looking for a graduation photographer? Look no further! We offer the highest quality award-winning images, not to mention unlimited photos, all of which will be edited before being sent in full resolution.

Contact our team at Paper Birch Collective

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