I am fascinated with cameras, small, old, new, classic and vintage… I simply like most of them! This has allowed me to collect cameras and use them depending on the job.
When the time allows, I may bring the Leica’s (my preferred daily camera is an M9-P) and a few prime lenses.
I have photographed weddings with my Nikons, with my Leica’s, film cameras and even with the MicroFourThirds LX100. It’s nice to have options but one must really know their gear, you never want to disappoint your clients by trying new gear in their photo-sessions.
We understand that a large format camera or cropped large format digital camera is going to have better results than a small point and shoot, but the question really is by how much? is this truly a night a day difference? this is the main purpose of this post… how much?
Look at the image below, it has crop lines of my most used digital cameras going from 12mp to 40mp. The very first thing I noticed was that the Hasselblad H4D, even being so old, it still manages to produced better images than any of the other cameras I own. With its 16 bits of color, it gives you better gradients and because of the 40mp you get a much bigger file in file size and dimensions allowing you to print at a larger size.
Can we see a difference in these results on the web, will the Hasselblad show its pure power? let’s see those side by side comparisons:
We must note that depth of field will vary because of the sensor size, meaning that at the same f/stop your background blur will vary depending on the camera system of choice. We can see that the LX100 has more depth of field while the Hasselblad has the shallowest depth of field, the background will go into a blur more rapidly. I still prefer the rendition of the Leica cameras, the color they produce is simply more vibrant straight from the DNG files while the LX100 has the poorest and most muted colors.
I’m also not super happy with the colors from the Nikon Z6 when comparing them to the Leica or Hasselblad. Remember, this H4D is generations behind these cameras, is about the age of the Leica M9-P with their CCD glory.
The following image will show you a better idea, open in a new browser for a 100% view.
Remember that the digital revolution started with professionals taking images with digital cameras that only had 6mp. Wedding photographers included.
So the question is, do we really need 100mp cameras? no, but it helps when you have more area to crop, more bit color and better ISO performance and the newest Hasselblad systems offer you this just like before, while other 35mm systems can almost still match what the big cameras produce and the story will continue.