Large and medium format digital cameras.

Be wary of digital cameras that claim capabilities that they lack. Watch out for cameras that are sold on their low price. You can easily waste money by being lulled in by slick advertising.

Recently I have seen a variety of digital cameras being offered as "studio" cameras, as though the camera was capable of professional quality in a photo studio.

The severe problem with many of these offerings is that the camera itself lacks adequate viewing systems or other key features that are necessary to facilitate the photography. The camera itself may function, but using it may be a pain. The Leaf Lumina is the best example of a bad choice of digital camera. Fortunately it was withdrawn from the marketplace but other equally awful cameras have appeared from other companies.

Leaf aptus medium format digital cameras
Leaf Aptus, medium format digital camera.

If you intend to do studio photography, then use a studio camera, either a scan back (Better Light, PhaseOne) or any of the industry standard digital backs (such as the new improved professional Leaf for Sinar Bron). Check out the range of products sold by respectable companies such as Calumet Photographic. A nationwide company of this level cannot afford to sell a dud.

ColorCrisp (Imacon) Carnival professional quality
Creo Various professional quality
Sinar Bron various, fit on a large format Sinar back but the image capture area is not large format professional quality

35mm digital cameras of the earlier generation (such as most of the Kodak digital cameras) proved distinctly unsatisfactory. Avoid such older models and go for the newer technology. All kinds of new digital cameras are now coming on the market.

If you are at the beginning stage, then get a camera which does not JPEG the images. You cannot do much experimentation with a JPEGed image because every time you save the image it crunches the file down further in size. At the end your file is effectively destroyed.

If you are doing snapshots of your family on the weekend virtually any megapixel digital camera will do. You can go to a variety of informative web sites for entry-level consumer cameras. Since so many good web sites already exist for economy digital cameras already exist, we have decided to stick to the high-end and professional digital cameras, which means medium format or 4x5 large format.

Design updated June 24, 2008.