Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Satyaa Veteran Member • Posts: 4,310
Reply 2: Why GFX100s

I see many hi-res MF photos online on my large 4K monitor and they wow me. There are some incredible photos from members on this forum. I want to add that wow factor to my photos, while also enjoying the process of taking them. When I see a similar landscape shot with my D7200 and D810, the latter looks distinctly better. I can't explain what it is, in tecnical terms. This is from casual observation and not a controlled test shooting at the same time with comparable focal lengths, apertures and ISO settings. Based on that casual observation, I hoped for a similar improvement moving up to a MF sensor. That's where it started.

I read a lot online over the years, about the two 645 versions from Pentax, X1D, 50s and 100s. With GFX100s, I felt for the first time that a substantial camera is available at a price I could afford as a hobbyst. Of course, the term affordable is only relative to other MF cameras, and still a bit of a stretch in absolute terms.

what I liked in the GFX100S were: a conventional design, the size (not a lot bigger/heavier than D810); IBIS; improved AF; primes like the 50/45/110, and the resolution. At the small price difference if buying new, I did not like 50s for its lower resolution, lower raw bit depth, only CDAF, an awkward LCD bump and no IBIS.

For IQ factors, the 50s has similar pixel density as D810 (36 * 1.7) while the 100s exceeds the D7200's (24 * 2.25 * 1.7). Both of them have enough resolution for a large 8K display and more. If shooting with the GFX100s, I would prefer to shoot wider (say 23mm lens instead of the 45mm) and have the opportunity to zoom in for detail while viewing, as opposed to cropping. The difference between 14 and 16-bit depth doesn't matter to most people, especially when converted to JPEG. I have started saving all my processed images in the last three years as HEIF and it supports up to 16-bit. I just like it.

As I read all responses and questions here, they are helping me think through the cost vs benefit.

First, the budget will be huge. Not something I can spend at once. A good point was made that after I spend lot of money on new gear, what happens if I don't feel the connection? That was always my concern; I would hate to buy and return. So, I am trying to think through what would make me  not like it. The biggest thing at this point seems to be the shooting experience. It should be more like a DSLR and less like my FZ2500.

Second, I will need more processing power + storage for the photos. When I'm processing a set of D7200 images vs. D810 images, I see the difference. The 50s files will have an advantage, over the 100s files.

One suggestion I liked was to shoot with a rented MF and my D810 side-by-side in the same situation. That's a good idea. I can compare the results on both my 4K monitor and the larger 4K TV. I'll need to compare 16-bit HEIF and not downgraded 8-bit JPEG. It was also pointed out that renting may not be cheap. I will look into that. I may just rent it for a long weekend.

When I started debating this, I was 50/50 on whether to buy one, but now I'm almost certain of "not until I've tried it first". I'll look into renting options and also used 50s options. I'll buy only when I'm sure.

Thanks again for all the inputs.

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