Thursday, 4 May 2017

Do I really need a Fuji GFX medium format camera?

A good question. Let us put the price beside and pretend you have enough money to buy every Fuji camera out there. Would you buy the GFX? It has a resolution of 50 megapixels and you can do different shots with a different depth of field and less noise etc. I know that there are some reasons to gain more resolution when it comes to product photography or fashion photography. But keep in mind that you can archive medium format like results for many occasions by using today's panorama algorithms.

35mm f8.0 / 50 megapixels by combining two images free hand - works even with street shots
Just think out of the box. Aim your camera at a subject and think about the possibilities in post production. The next image was taken in London at the Barbican Centre (a nice socialist looking urban landscape) and I had my 35mm attached to my XPRO2. A wide angle lens was not at hand and I wanted more resolution so I can crop the images and print it on a larger scale.

Barbican Centre London

I took four shots free-hand and did some minor adjustments later in Lightroom. Keep in mind that the shot preserves the focal length of the lens. With a wide angle lens the buildings would look more far away from each other, but with the 35mm they look like I wanted them to. I use this simple method a lot and since Lightroom introduced their super duper easy way of creating panoramas with two clicks, it is easy as 1-2-3. And don't forget that Lighroom creates a DNG file out of your images that can be edited like the single raw files (also preserving your camera profiles etc.).

and another street shot with my 35mm made of two images

Just think of the many possibilities you have with the combination of your camera and a nice little algorithm that can combine two or more images in seconds. I will now repeat the question the whole article is based on. Do you need a medium format camera only for the sensor size and resolution?

But there are limits to this method: you can't combine images where things are moving in more than one of the images. The images above are have at least one image with moving subjects.

So there is a need for a real medium format camera, but maybe you don't do this kind of shots often and enjoy the power of more resolution by keeping the focal length without paying over 10.000 dollars for a GFX that is also a bit bulkier than your APS-C camera. For me this method is extending my possibilities  and easy to use. I use it often and think about it every time I compose a shot. Maybe your photographic workflow can also benefit from this way of combining images. Just think about it.

Cheers,

Nils

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