Photographer and Technical Expert Karl Taylor Puts Medium Format and 35mm Format Camera Technology to the Test

Founded in 1941, Hasselblad cameras have been used by the world’s finest photographers to capture some of history’s most defining images, including the first landing on the Moon. With a combination of technological innovation, uncompromising image quality, and Swedish craftsmanship, Hasselblad has made its mark as the leading manufacturer of digital medium format cameras and lenses. As the trusted tool by professional photographers around the world, Hasselblad continues to produce the finest medium format photography equipment on the market.

With a flurry of technical jargon and constantly evolving technologies, the advantages of medium format can sometimes become lost, especially compared to 35mm format cameras. Medium format refers to the active image area, be it film or digital, with anything larger than the 24x36mm dimensions of 35mm film, also known as 35mm format, and smaller than the 4x5 inch, or large format, image area. Hasselblad’s large sensors mean a higher pixel count and a larger pixel size. With larger pixels, more light is recorded, enabling the sensor to provide better light gathering power. Combining this light gathering power, the sensor’s very low noise level and Hasselblad’s world-renowned image processing delivers an immense dynamic range, producing the stunning, life-like image quality of Hasselblad medium format files. To illustrate a comparison, Hasselblad’s 50MP CMOS sensor delivers a pixel size of 5.3 microns and the H6D-100c’s 100MP sensor delivers a pixel size of 4.6 microns; compared with Hasselblad’s 50MP CMOS sensor, a similar resolution 35mm format camera would have a pixel size of around 4.14 microns, giving the Hasselblad a 64% increase in light gathering power. When it comes to the best image quality, there is no room for compromise.

In a new set of comparative videos made by Hasselblad, photographer Karl Taylor shows the differences between 35mm format and medium format along with the advantages of the latter in an unbiased manner. As one of the best photographers in the business with over 20 years of experience and technical expertise, Karl takes the viewer through clear explanations where he compares shooting with the Hasselblad H6D-100c and the leading 35mm format camera. Four different scenarios are used to put these two cameras and their sensors to the test, including outdoor scenes with a sunset and a sunrise plus a classic studio environment where portraiture and depth of field are examined. Giving a fair chance to each camera system, Karl’s technical eye consistently found the Hasselblad medium format image as the best in test, commenting, “The medium format image has a lot more bite and a lot more contrast, a lot more richness, but again it comes down to that smoothness of transition of tonal range that is afforded by the larger sensor.”

All videos are available here.

Learn more about Hasselblad medium format advantages here: