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When film ruled, commercial photographers preferred medium format cameras. With negatives many times the size of 35mm, medium format cameras provided far more flexibility than large format and superior quality to 35mm.
Well, medium format is alive and well in the digital world, thank you very much.
While most of the big digital news has focused on the megapixel race among digital SLRs, digital medium format cameras have been doing what medium format does best - kicking butt with unmatchable image quality.
Take the Hasselblad H3DII-31, for example. While a "full-frame" DSLR sensor is 24mm x 36mm, this low-end Hasselblad sports a 31 MP sensor that measures in at 33mm x 44mm. That's 68% more real estate than in the best DSLRs. And Hasselblad's H series cameras go up to an astounding 50 MP - twice the resolution of full-frame DSLRs.
Of course, digital dominance comes at a price. The H3DII-31 sells for about $18,000 with an 80 mm lens. And even the budget-priced Mamiya 645ZD will set you back $10,000 with an 80 mm lens.
But if you're looking for killer image quality, medium format still rules.