While many are looking for high-resolution cameras on the market, it is important to know that the sensor size also plays a huge role in the quality of the pixels. With this, if you’re really looking for the best high-resolution cameras, consider the two: huge sensors and abundant megapixels.
With this, we would definitely suggest the biggest size of the sensor possible, the medium format which comes around 43.8×32.9 mm to 53.7×40.2 mm. One example is the Fujifilm GFX 100S and Fujifilm GFX 100 which can offer you an astounding 102 MP resolution. Nonetheless, as you would expect, medium format cameras can be expensive. This is why full-frame cameras commonly steal the spotlight as the most affordable high-resolution camera option for consumers.
There are of course other options that can dethrone the ones mentioned above when it comes to the number of megapixels such as those that are custom-made and industrial-type cameras. However, even the Hasselblad H6D-400C Multi-Shot mode that can deliver 400 MP stills and the Phase One XF IQ4 with 151 MP resolution can’t be easily purchased though both are considered commercial cameras. With this, we would be dealing with the units that can be easily accessed on market.
To get more ideas about the best high-resolution cameras available on the market, we rounded up the five best picks for you today. Tested and compared by our in-house expert and SolidSmach Photography Editor Evangeline Summers, we offer you our best insights about each item we prepared for you below.
1. Fujifilm GFX 100S
“It is a medium format mirrorless camera that comes with a 102 MP BSI-CMOS medium format sensor measuring 43.8 x 32.9 mm,” said Summers. “Nonetheless, despite having the same big sensor of GFX 100, Fujifilm decided to fashion it with a relatively compact body compared to other medium format cameras on the market. It also inherited a lot of things from GFX 100 such as the max shutter speed, sync speed, and more.”
Further, despite this aggressive move of the brand to cramp everything in a small shell, its in-body image stabilization stays untouched. As a matter of fact, it is even improved since it now comes with 6 stops of correction while GFX 100 has 5.5 stops.
It also comes with the same 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen. This lets you shoot 4K videos at 30fps with ease since the screen can be adjusted. Truly helpful for awkward angles of shots. This gives you one capable medium format camera perfect for detailed photography projects. Fujifilm even added a new Film Simulation mode which is the Nostalgic Neg. With this new feature, you won’t just have 100 MP images that you can crop without losing too many details; you’ll also enjoy its new ability to play with the saturation and highlights of stills.
Moreover, the AF system of GFX 100S is relatively good. It isn’t as great as the autofocus system of Canon but if you would just focus it on a single subject, the autofocus isn’t a problem. In relation to that, it isn’t one of those sports and wildlife cameras. Instead, it can excel more on still life, portraits, and landscapes which are the common realms of medium format cameras.
2. Hasselblad H6D-100C
4K at 30fps
Hasselblad H6D comes in different forms. There is the H6D-50C, H6D-100C, and the H6D-400C. And while finding the last on the market can be tedious, H6D-100C can be easily purchased almost anywhere.
It offers a medium format sensor with 100 MP resolution. But what really helps it further establish its reputation among professionals is its unmatched 4K video capability. The intriguing thing about it is that 100C employs the full sensor area when capturing videos, resulting in shots with excellent shallow depth-of-field. Further, 100C comes with 15 stops of dynamic range.
Also, compared to the previous models of the brand, H6D-100C comes with a huge set of new developments including fresh top shutter speeds, a new range of HC lenses, and new connection ports. Even the rear screen gets improvement as it can now bring livelier colors while keeping the details crisp and sharp.
3. Sony A1
8K at 30fps
Sony A1 is probably one of the best cameras with an all-in-one package every photographer is looking for. All the specs you probably need can be found here which makes it a versatile camera for pros. Name it - video, speed, and details - and it will certainly deliver. It wrapped up everything in one body, giving you an all-rounder on the market.
“It comes with a 50.1 MP full-frame EXMOR RS CMOS back-illuminated sensor which will assure you that you have great quality stills and videos,” said Summers. “You can capture a decent amount of detail for night shots with this. Also, besides the amazing 50.1 MP capability, users also have the option for Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode which even improves your resolution up to 199 MP.”
Further, it offers a max 8K video resolution just like the mighty Canon EOS R5. But unlike it, A1 will give you more favorable liberty in your films since it doesn’t suffer from the old issue of cameras easily heating up at 8K resolution. Compared to EOS R5, A1 can last up to 30 minutes of 8K recording; thanks to its passive heat dissipation system. Also, its ability to shoot 4K at 120fps is an alluring detail.
The AF system of A1 also hits the subject with a bull’s eye precision. Thanks to the 759-point phase-detect AF that covers at least 92% of the frame, it can comfortably track subjects. Keep in mind, however, that A1 has specific settings you must set to prioritize your specific subject. This includes the ‘Bird’ and ‘Human’ options. Hence, with the right settings between the human, animal, and bird eye-detection, it will automatically follow the moving subject on the frame.
4. Sony A7R IV
4K at 30fps
If you’re after the resolution of the camera, Sony A7R Mark IV will impress you with its 61 megapixels that are considered the highest resolution in any Sony camera model. This allows the production of 240 MP stills using the Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode that merges images.
“Besides the overwhelming resolution of the Sony A7R Mark IV,” said Summers, “it also comes with other great details you can appreciate including the 10 FPS continuous shooting, Real-Time AF tracking in movie mode, 325 contrast AF points, and 567 phase-detection AF points covering more than 70 percent of the image area.”
The added weather resistance capability of the cam is also something to appreciate. Most of all, we love its 5.76M-dot EVF, built-in 5-axis image stabilization, and dual UHS-II card slots which are being sought by a lot of professional photographers nowadays. It also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and NFC, giving you various options for file transfer. It also comes with better grip which is usually an issue in the past A7 series models. Also, it comes with improved controls such as a lock-capable EV compensation dial and the bigger On/Off buttons.
Moreover, Sony A7R Mark IV has a great dynamic range (15 stops) and is capable of producing JPEG images with colors that are natural. This makes it a true master if your intention is just to produce great stills with ample details and realistic colors. It is heart-breaking, however, that despite its bragging high-resolution capability, it is still stuck at 4K videos at 30fps max. This explains why we decided to place it at this rank but given the beauty it can create in stills, we say that it remains a big competition among other mirrorless cameras on the market.
5. Fujifilm GFX 50R
If you want the most affordable medium format camera on the market and get more functions than what Hasselblad can offer, Fujifilm has something for you: The GFX 50R.
According to Summers, GFX 50R’s sensor isn’t the full-sized medium format sensor you would expect it to be which explains why it costs lower than others. Nonetheless, it is at least 60% larger than a full-frame sensor and it is huge enough to cater to 51.4 million pixels.
“With this, you can still expect high-res shots with millions and millions of pixels that are ready for large printouts. Even in low-light conditions, the GFX 50R retains details pretty well. As for the RAW files, you can expect copious information that you can pull up and revive. All the time, it won’t fail to deliver sharp images.”
On the other hand, it has a burst rate of 3fps and a 13-shot compressed RAW buffer capacity. It might be a total flop if you would compare it to other cameras aimed at the sports or wildlife category; however, GFX 50R is a medium format camera with a high-resolution capacity.
“Medium format units are not specifically built for speed; they are built for resolution and quality. With this, experiencing this much frame rate and the buffer is just a spec of a sacrifice compared to the quality of stills you could capture. After all, it can still offer you an unlimited JPEG shooting experience,” Summers added.
Its body doesn’t offer any stabilization feature; however, it can be remedied with a lens with an optical stabilizer. The 3.2” tilting touchscreen LCD is bright and very effective for touch-focus function. It employs contrast AF technology which is, apparently, not the best. Yet, the AF points are well distributed across the frame which gives you reliable precision.
Best High-resolution Cameras - Buyer's Guide
When looking for a high-resolution camera, resolution and sensor size should be considered equally. It is not always about the total number of megapixels. In the same way, it is not always about the size of the sensor. Nonetheless, if you have the capacity to purchase a big-sensor camera, it will be better as the size of the sensor affects the quality of pixels, low-light performance, dynamic range, and more.
Commonly, high-resolution cameras can’t offer high-speed performance in capturing consecutive images in burst shooting. This is why continuous shooting speed often suffers when you pick high-resolution cameras. With this, if speed matters a lot to you, you might want to consider full-frame options as they have better speed than medium format models.
Though you can always go manual, more and more photographers nowadays are seeing the benefit of a fast autofocus system. With such a system, you can focus more on other tasks such as composing your shots at unique angles.
Most high-resolution cameras can shoot 4K videos. After all, it is gradually starting to be the new standard now in the camera category. Nonetheless, the resolution of the video isn’t the only thing you should consider if you want to secure the best video; frame rates matter, too. In this case, try checking our best cameras for video.
Best High-resolution Cameras - FAQs
While megapixels reflect the measurement of your stills, a large number of megapixels doesn’t always mean high-quality images. The size of the sensor also dictates what you will get in terms of quality and information in low-light conditions. Keep in mind that the larger the sensor, the larger the photosites tend to be.
Since the medium format sensor is bigger, it can do better than a full-frame sensor. This will give you better noise handling, dynamic range, low-light performance, and pixel quality.
Besides offering more megapixels, medium format cameras have big lenses which can assure you the best quality of stills. With such a large lens, you can experience the effect of both wide and long lenses. This will deliver not just rich details but will also allow shallow depth of field, background compression, and a wider field of view.
Sports photography needs a fast camera with an excellent AF system, burst mode, and buffer capacity. However, a standard medium format camera usually lacks all of them. This is due to the fact that medium format cameras are made to excel in image details, not in speed.
Full-frame sensors are much better compared to APS-C sensors for low-light photography. Since the pixels on full-frame sensors are bigger, they generate intricate details and have a better image quality than an APS-C sensor.