Art is all about passion.Yet few forms of art engender as much passion as photography. Photographers are not only passionate about their work, they are almost obsessively passionate about their equipment and their methodology.This passion leads to heated discussions about many topics. One such topic is the use of DSLRs versus larger-format digital cameras.Therefore, I thought it would be very interesting to compare a top DSLR with a top medium-format digital outfit, as well as with a top digital view-camera system.
The purpose of this article is not to test every single DSLR, every single lens, every view camera, and every medium-format digital back on the market, but rather to take some representative examples to see if they lead to important or interesting findings. Also, rather than shooting test charts under laboratory conditions, I opted for the more practical approach of shooting mostly under real-world conditions.
I selected several state-of-the-art outfits for this comparison:
• A Canon 1Ds MK II body with Canon “L” lenses (see A at the top of this page). I will refer to this outfit as the “Canon.”
• A Hasselblad H3 with a 39MP Hasselblad digital back and Hasselblad lenses (B). I will refer to this outfit as the “H3.”
• A Hasselblad H2 (D) with PhaseOne P45+ digital back (C) and Hasselblad lenses. I will refer to this outfit as the “H2.”
• A Linhof M679 CS view camera with PhaseOne P45+ digital back and Rodenstock HR lenses (E). I will refer to this outfit as the “Linhof.”
These outfits are the Digital Giants.