Choosing a format

Tintern Abbey – shot with a Nikon V1 while walking to find a good place to shoot with my large format camera.

I am going to publish an article I wrote about full frame 35mm and medium format soon but first I thought I would instead of arguing which is best show how the formats can live together.

Nikon V1 10mm f/2.8

First micro formats, smaller then MicroFourThirds.

This will be like the little Pentax system, Nikon’s short lived Series 1 experiment (which I liked), and just about every modern phone. The top two pictures were taken with them.

It means small cameras, small lens, lots of depth of field and a camera you can always carry with you to get the shot. I expect unless someone releases something like a pro version of my V1 then this type of camera is going to become our phones and the rest will disappear.

Olympus OM10 Micro Four Thirds

This is a truly useful format as all the pictures coming from phones prove.

What is the best camera, the camera you have with you.

Now we get to Micro Four Thirds. For many this is the best compromise, we still get small cameras and lens, but true system cameras. With a Micro Four Thirds Camera over the shoulder who needs anything more, and if you do a full frame 35mm would make an excellent companion.

Nikon D200

Now for DX cropped 35mm.

Some would say the perfect compromise. While bigger lens, you get more reach then full frame 35mm but still some of the smallness that a cropped sensor brings.

I have used a pair of Nikon D200’s with there DX 1.5 cropped sensor for many years, shooting event photography, weddings, wildlife, studio portraits, fashion, glamour and art nude. A true allrounder.

Now we get to where all the arguments start. Full Frame 35mm.

Good depth of field control, excellent system choice, the perfect all rounder some would counter to the DX cropped crowd. With modern 35mm digital now hitting 60 mega pixels, who needs medium or large format, and with small mirrorless bodies from Sony, Canon and Nikon you can have a small camera too. The downside is; this is 35mm full frame, the glass is not going to be small, unless your talking slow lens, or none autofocus.

Jasmine in Red

If your willing to carry the glass its hard to beat today. It could be your only camera system, or partner it with Micro Four Thirds when you need to travel light.

So now for the big boys. Medium format.

Hasselblad Fuji RDP100

Now cameras like the Fuji GFX and the Hasselblad X1D the new mirrorless cameras one can argue are easy light and portable cameras, but most need a tripod and care with setup.

Large Format 5 x 4

For any one with a mirrorless medium format then 35mm as a second camera does not make sense. A DX body for when you need something smaller and more portable does make a lot of sense.

Its when you think about what formats make good companions, you get why Fuji are only concentrating DX crop and MF crop. They make good bedfellow.

If you wanted just one camera system what would it be.

If you wanted two what would make good companions.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply