medium format

Medium format originally signified cameras using 120 or 220 film (typically 6×6 cm, but also 6×45 or 6×7, 6×8 or 6×9), but today is used to denote anything larger than ‘full-frame’.

The actual difference between digital medium format and film-age medium format can be seen by comparing the actual size of various film/sensors with classic (6×6) medium format:

  • MFT has 6,2 %,
  • APS-C has 11%,
  • ‘Full-frame’ has 24%, and
  • digital medium format* has  40% of the area of 6×6 medium format.

In the later days of film, medium format was used by professionals and enthusiasts, due to its larger film area, leading to both narrower depth-of field and higher overall resolution. Earlier on (before the SLR), many amateur box cameras also used medium format film.

Due to the (typically) square format produced by early medium format cameras, many still associate the square photograph with professional photography.

* Fujifilm G used as example.

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