Medium Format Cameras

This is Why I’ll Never Invest in a Medium Format Camera

Let’s talk about the expensive rabbit hole of medium format.

Gareth Willey
Counter Arts
Published in
5 min readNov 24, 2022
Photo by Alexey Demidov.

It took me around ten years of having an APS-C camera before I switched to full frame.

I wasn’t interested in full frame for a long time. The only reason I saved up for one was because of what other photographers were telling me. Mainly photographers on the internet.

If I wanted to be a professional, and get that professional quality in my photos, I needed to upgrade to a Canon 5D Mark iii, apparently. I also needed a Canon L lens. Preferably the 50mm f1.2.

So I did. I had this feeling inside of me. The fear of missing out. It grew and grew until I finally caved.

I spent all the money I had at the time and even went into debt for the first time to fulfill a dream that wasn’t really mine.

At first, I thoroughly enjoyed the gear I had invested in. I could most definitely see the quality difference when zooming in—a sharpness and detail I’ve never seen before.

But, surprise, surprise, it never made me a better photographer. In the year or so that I had that setup, I took some of my best photos.

But 95% of them weren’t keepers at all. I was far too focused on the technical aspects—a lesson all photographers have to learn, of course.

Here We Are Once Again

Fast forward about four years, and I find myself in a similar dilemma. But this time, a lot more money is at stake.

I had always heard murmurs about these medium-format cameras. People had mentioned them to me, and sometimes I came across a YouTube video about them.

I started reading about them and got quite excited. But again, I couldn't afford even the cheapest version, let alone the expensive lenses that go with it. There was no way I was going into debt again.

But about a year ago, landscape photographer Gavin Smith was telling me about his setup while I interviewed him. He mentioned the camera he uses, which is a medium-format Pentax 67ii.



Gareth Willey
Counter Arts

Shit Talker • TED Talker • Yodeler