Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Erik Kaffehr
Erik Kaffehr Veteran Member • Posts: 5,678
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Satyaa wrote:

Hi. Photography is my hobby. I currently use a D810 with 24-70/2.8 and D7200 with 70-200/2.8. I never traveled anywhere without a DSLR and a deccent lens in the past 15 years! Before that it was a compact camera or a flim SLR.

With my background (MORE BELOW) and a desire to try MF, what are the pitfalls I should be aware of? I would hate to get something only to fail and return it or sell it later for a loss.

I have been bitten by the GFX100S bug. Something about its form and controls is very enticing. I don't know what to expect. Hence, my post. Is MF camera a bad idea for hobby? Is it only for professional studio work?

I know that it's going to be heavy, something I wanted to avoid going forward (hence the Z choice, see below). I don't need the 100MP. I know that its AF won't be like D810 or D7200 for action and that's not my intent either. I hardly print anything, leave alone anything big. I shoot mostly handheld with VR lenses, not great technique for good landsccape shooting.

Am I aiming for more than I can handle? Should I really give up this thought and focus on something else? Or, is there something I should do to be ready before I spend on a MF camera like this?


Going back years, I was shooting landscape and nature for hobby when my wife pushed me into including 'people' in my shots. It led to some free work for charity events. My wildlife shooting is mostly the birds in the backyard.

For last two years before the pandemic, I was shooting for charity events, concerts, etc. Shot almost nothing during the pandemic, other than my new cat at home(!) and tinkering with an F3 film camera. Z7 II with a 35mm lens has been on my shopping list for past few months.

I am planning to get out this summer and shoot some landscapes and nature. The D810 I have is sufficient for the purpose. I know that I don't "need" something else, not even the Z, BUT the idea is tempting.



Something seldom discussed is that a mirrorless system will yield much accurate focus than a DSLR, due to:

  • The actual sensor is used for focusing.
  • Mirrorless focusing often uses CDAF, which is slow but accurate.
  • CDAF allows for focusing stopped down, that handles focus shift.

That applies to most mirrorless. It also means that some focusing methods are more accurate than others.

The benefits of MFD are essentially having more pixels. The GFX 100/100S has the same size of pixels as the Sony A7rIV. The major difference is that the GFX 100 has more of them.

GFX 100 models have phase detection AF (PDAF) which is fast and accurate when combined with CDAF (Contrast Detecting AF). GFX 50 models have only CDAD, which is slow but accurate.

It seems that both the Fujifilm GF system and the Hasselblad X1D system offers great lenses. Looking at the lens diagrams, it is quite obvious there is a huge design effort.

But, the same applies to modern 24x36 mm lenses.

It seems that most GF buyers are very happy, but there are also plenty of GF systems on EBay:

From where I stand, the reason to buy into MFD is improved image quality.

  • 29% more detail
  • Same SNR/DR at 168 ISO as 24x36 at 100 ISO
  • To some extent, better lenses

I have been shooting MFD from 2013 to 2015, still doing it now but perhaps 2% of my shooting only. So, I don't think the size difference alone matters, in the sense larger sensor yields better images.

Back in 2013, there was a difference in sensor resolution, but 24 MP on 24x36 mm was quite enough for all my needs.

Best regards


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Erik Kaffehr
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