Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

Started Jul 30, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Alex Koloskov Regular Member • Posts: 206
Nikon D800E v.s Hasselblad H4D40: the end of medium format superiority?

I have not been for a while on DPReview forums, and i hope this test i did last week will be interesting for you guys.

Why to compare 35mm and medium format DSLRs? Because I like it, he-he:-) Took this shot before the test:

For many years Medium Format DLSRs were separated from 35mm DSLR cameras by a huge gap in image quality and resolution (besides a price of course), and this seems to be always like this: twice larger medium format sensors without AA (blur) filter did not leave any chances for 35 mm cameras to match the resolution and image quality.

I own an old Phase One P25+ medium format digital back on Hasselblad H1 camera, and I’ve seen a big advantage of this old digital back over to a much younger 35mm Canon 1Ds Mk III and 5D MKII cameras. Here are my in-depth review: Canon 1Ds Mark III vs. Hasselblad H4D50

However, with the new Nikon D800E everything might be changed: with 36 Megapixel sensor without AA filter (only in D800E model), this is first time when non expensive (D800E is not the top-of-the-line of Nikon cameras) 35mm DSLR can compete with medium format. Theoretically…

This is why I was so interesting in running this review-comparison between Nikon D800E and Hasselblad H4D40: Both has similar resolution sensors, both do not have AA filters. Other than a “scientific interest” in such test, I have my own very practical reason for it, because I am selling my old H1 with P25+ medium format bundle in order to get a replacement with more megapixels. In studio photography I do (especially liquid) 22 Mpx is way to low and does not provide a freedom of crop and extra resolutions I need.
So, the question I had in mind was this:

Will 36 Mpx Nikon D800E produce comparable image quality to a similar medium format system?

The full test is on

i do not want to re-post everything in here, as it will loose this very useful "before and after" functionality.

Enjoy the first part, let me know what do you think. Second part with overexposure tests will be posted in a day or two.


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Prove it!
Alex Koloskov

Canon EOS 5D Canon EOS-1Ds Canon EOS-1Ds Mark III Nikon D800E
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