If money is of little concern and cameras are what you're interested in, then let us guide you through the realm of exotic and super-expensive cameras.
If you're a professional photographer, then it's likely that you'll want to purchase a camera that fits your work-based requirements. For a great number of photographers, brands such as Canon, Nikon, and Sony will probably have something that will fit your needs. However, if money is no object and you want a camera that you can use for your work but also show off with, then this guide is just the one for you.
Best Cameras Below $10,000
Hasselblad 907X 50C
Sensor Type: 43.8 x 32.9 mm (medium format)
Resolution: 50 megapixels
Lens mount: Hasselblad X Mount
Screen: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LCD, 2,400,000 dots
Max burst speed: 2.7 fps
The Hasselblad 907X is arguably the most beautiful medium format camera currently on the market. The design of this camera takes inspiration from the much-loved 500 series Hasselblad cameras that were produced during the film era. The leatherette finish, solid metal construction, and compact design make it more than just a camera. It's a work of art, not to mention the fact that it may be the smallest medium format camera on the market.
For those of you interested in more than the aesthetics, this camera produces stunning results. The large sensor in this camera captures an incredible amount of data, making it a post-production dream. And for those that want perfect images straight out of the camera, the Hasselblad 907X is known for its amazing color rendition.
Despite being the least expensive option on this list, the Hasselblad 907X is not a compromise.
Produces some of the best-looking colors from any camera system.
A high-resolution sensor produces incredible detail.
The best menu system of any camera produced so far.
Compatible with a wide range of lenses, including both current and older film-era lenses.
The price point doesn't offer the same bragging rights as other cameras on this list.
Sensor Type: 24 x 36 mm (full frame) CMOS
Resolution: 40 megapixels
Lens mount: Leica M
Screen: 3.0-inch fixed touchscreen LCD, 1,036,800 dots
Focus System: Manual focus only
Leica has become synonymous with luxury. To some extent, Leica M series cameras could be considered a kind of jewelry. This is not to say that they're not capable as cameras, because the Leica M10-R is utterly brilliant. With its 40-megapixel sensor and incredible ability at rendering colors, it's difficult to be disappointed with it.
Also, the camera feels like a piece of art in the hand. The solid brass construction, along with the leather and glass, emanate quality. Leica M series cameras are a piece of history that have continued within the photography industry. If you have the funds available, it would be foolish not to have at least one M series camera in your collection.
It's a Leica.
A wonderfully satisfying camera to shoot with.
Small and compact design.
Does not compromise on image quality.
The steep learning curve for those that are not experienced with manual focus cameras.
Still only pocket change for some.
Fujifilm GFX 100
Sensor Type: 43.8 x 32.9 mm (medium format) CMOS
Resolution: 102 megapixels
Lens mount: Fujifilm G
Screen: 3.2-inch tilting touchscreen LCD, 2,360,000 dots
The Fujifilm GFX 100 is probably the best medium format camera currently on the market. It's the first-ever medium format camera with phase-detect autofocus and built-in sensor stabilization. It's without a doubt the most sensible camera to purchase if you want something that costs a lot of money but can also produce the goods. Of course, if you're planning on being sensible, then the Fujifilm GFX 100S is probably a better option.
Then again, luxury is rarely about being practical. And also, who wants to spend $4,000 less for something that's almost as good, only to forgo all of the bragging rights an almost $10,000 camera brings.
Probably the most capable and practical camera on this list.
Feature-packed and produces incredible results.
Seriously, this camera is brilliant!
Probably too practical and capable for it to be considered a luxury.
A poor person's Hasselblad.
Best Cameras Above $10,000
Leica S3 Medium Format DSLR
Sensor Type: 30 x 45 mm (medium format) CMOS
Resolution: 64 megapixels
Lens mount: Leica S
Screen: 3.0-inch fixed LCD, 921,600 dots
With the Leica S3, we can start to look at properly expensive cameras. At almost $20,000, the Leica S3 will give you that "look down your nose" attitude when you look at most other camera systems. Its medium format sensor offers a good deal of resolution and helps to produce beautiful results. It may not be as pretty as the Leica M10-R, but then, this is more of a powerhouse camera.
Of course, one could make the argument that the Fujifilm GFX 100 is a superior camera. However, the Leica S3 costs more money, so that means it's better, right?
Once again, it's a Leica!
Super-extra bragging rights.
Not as aesthetically pleasing as the Leica M10-R.
Sensor Type: 53.4 x 40 mm (medium format) CMOS
Resolution: 100 megapixels
Lens mount: Hasselblad H
Screen: 3.0-inch fixed touchscreen LCD, 920,000 dots
The Hasselblad H6D 100c is the first camera on this list that some consider being a "proper" medium format. The sensor in this camera is huge in comparison to most digital cameras. This is also one of the reasons it's so expensive. The H6D 100c is what real photographers should be shooting with. Anything less than this is not even worth looking at.
The images this camera produces have a certain magical look to them that simply isn't possible to produce with anything else. The "medium format look" is pretty much synonymous with Hasselblad, and the H6D is the current flagship.
The colors from this camera are in a completely different league.
Seriously, the colors from this camera are incredible!
100 megapixels is so outdated.
Phase One XT IQ4 150MP
Sensor Type: 53.4 x 40 mm (medium format) CMOS BSI
Resolution: 151 megapixels
Lens mount: XT/XF
Screen: 3.2-inch multi-touch display
We finally arrive at the current most expensive commercially available camera on the market. The Phase One XT IQ4 150 MP is the highest resolution medium format camera. More resolution is often better, and Phase One sits in its own league.
The XT camera system is unique in how it operates. It's predominantly built for architectural work or for photographers that wish to have better control over perspective. This camera system truly is something for the elite photographer.
Purchasing this camera immediately makes you a real photographer.
Looks a bit weird.
well, I will take 2 or each, thank you.
I have 3 Phase One (same model above). I leave 1 in the front seat of my car in case I need it. Another I keep in my checked suit case when I fly, especially on multi-leg flights. The third I keep around my neck especially when I'm, street photography, walking late a night downtown. ;-)
I generally store one on my super yacht, and one on my private jet. But whatever works for you.
Yea right? I mean who the hell lugs a camera around their neck? And walks on streets? That's what plebeians are for.
Rolleiflex HY6 Mod.2 with 6x6 magazine + Rollei PQ Planar 110mm f/2 + Hasselblad Flextight X5 for beginning.
And the point was?
Your link is broken.
lol, that brought a smile to my face! "Purchasing this camera immediately makes you a real photographer. " PMSL
I have the Phase one as my EDC for selfies and my food shots for IG.
Last time I shot a selfie with a Phase One back was ages ago (before XT was even on the drawing board), and was with an Alpa camera. Maybe it is time to take out 2 XTs so it is a proper selfie. :P
PS: I work for PO, so I didn't buy the camera with my own money, just loaned
I noticed the Ken Rockwell-style snark. Nice. :)
Tongue in cheek...
Loved it :)
I run into many great photographers who use Leica cameras and I can assure you that they are not super rich. They make great use of these cameras and make a living from photography. I do not see the point to this article.
That's because you identify with the working man, a bad attitude among us filthy rich types.
Ever so slightly tongue-in-cheek here. Saying that, 'It's a Leica' should never be on anyone's list of reasons to buy one, even if it wasn't meant to be that serious. It's too pretentious to even be remotely amusing.
The Phase one xt is a tricky thing to use, pretty much tripod only. The Rodenstock lenses are stunning, i have been lusting over upgrading my alpa 12tc to a xt with a Rodenstock 35mm. Can't justify it until i can go travelling again :-)
Phase One doesn't offer the 35 in X-Shutter. You need to either pick up the 32mm - which provides larger IC and better overall sharpness, or go to Cambo, they can retrofit this lens with an X-Shutter - but it doesn't really make sense to be honest, as it has a very small 70mm IC, so no shift is possible with that lens, so I suggest to go with the 32.
ah yes i meant the 32mm :-)
Thanks for the refreshing article unlike those others which repeat the A7’s that we are already so familiar with.
You chose the wrong 907x. You don't want that ordinary 907x that plebes can purchase. You want the $15000 limited edition 907x with the gray lens.
Bur of course. This, folks, is a man of taste and refinement, welcome at our club anytime..
Beautiful devices, all of them. I would want some custom bling with the one at that $59k price point. 3-D holographic heads-up fully articulating open air projection menu system. Or a free diamond-studded leather carrying strap. Maybe OnStar. Excuse me, sir. Our sensors indicate that your wallet has experienced a crash. Would you like me to dial 911?
I think you forgot the "Humor" tag.
Nah - super rich would just have their own photographer, like they have their own driver, their own chef, their own stylist etc
Wonderful article, that even though it was ment to be humorish, makes you realize, that there are actually people out there, that use these cameras, and cameras like them, to take pictures.
You don't always need 10fps with autofocus, thirty deferent 35mm lenses or a bag full of f/1.2s or an articulating screen to take great pictures.
Photography is (can be) a creative proces that can be done with the most barebone of cameras.
I feel like a lot of people might benefit from learning, how to be more humble about their equipment.
It would never get old.
On a humorless note though …
Among all the ultra gear I might like s3 the most, sadly I do not see it being developed further: it would benefit from (a BSI or global shutter - full mirrorless transition tech) and a better rear screen preferably with some form of articulation and a new glass versions…