Get a Medium Format Camera for Under $1,000
If you’ve been pining for a medium format camera but could never convince yourself to spend thousands and thousands of dollars for one, this is the article for you.
Obviously a cheap medium format camera doesn’t really exist, especially if you’re trying to purchase a new one. But, if you dig like we just did, you can find a medium format camera less than a decade old for less than $1,000.
We’re talking about the Phase One 645DF+ camera. It came out in 2012 with the pretty price tag of nearly $6,000. Thankfully, that price has dropped significantly since then, but I would argue that the Phase One 645DF+ features still make this a good medium format camera for photographers today. I will be comparing the Phase One 645DF+ with its predecessor, the Phase One 645DF, a few times throughout this article so it may be helpful for you to at least understand a little bit about this camera model as well before you start reading.
Let’s dive into our full Phase One 645DF+ review to see if this may be the medium format camera for you.
Phase One 645DF+ Specs
Obviously the Phase One 645DF+ specs are a little outdated if you were to compare them with a modern medium format camera, but we aren’t! We are arguing that you can’t get specs like these in any other medium format camera at this price point.
This medium format camera comes with a TTL phase-detection auto focus, a shutter speed of 1/4000 second-60 minutes, and a continuous shooting speed of 2fps.
And, just so you know you read that spec correctly, this camera does have a 60 minute shutter speed setting. The maximum shutter speed will work with an external flash.
The Phase One 645DF+ was an update to the earlier released Phase One 645DF. One of the biggest differences between these two models is that the Phase One 645DF+ comes with a lithium-ion battery that takes 10,000 photos.
Phase One 645DF+ Body & Design
This camera is built ruggedly. It is clear to anyone who gets their hands on it that this camera was made strictly for high-end professional photographers working with a high volume of clients and photos.
When you use the Phase One IQ180 back, the weight distribution of the camera is definitely changed because it makes the rear end of the camera much heavier, but this is helpful for shooting with a tripod.
Importantly, this body is built so that you can use any third-party backs, thanks to the open design.
As can be expected with a medium format camera, this Phase One model definitely isn’t intuitive. However, if you’re interested in purchasing this camera body in the first place then chances are you know what you’re doing.
If you are familiar with the Phase One 645DF, then the Phase One 645DF+ looks absolutely identical. All of its upgrades are on the interior of the camera.
Phase One 645DF+ Build & Handling
When it comes to the Phase One 645DF+ build, this medium format camera is hefty. It weighs 35 oz without the batteries and measures 6 x 5 x 7.2 inches. The Phase One 645DF+ design is reminiscent of earlier versions of medium format cameras in that the creators clearly did not care to make a small or lightweight model.
When it comes to the Phase One 645DF+ handling, this medium format camera is one of the best. The buttons come with a click membrane which allow you to shoot in cold weather much better. It also just gives this camera an old-fashioned feel, which a lot of photographers crave.
The Mode dial comes with three positions for custom functions, C1, C2 and C3. However, you shouldn’t expect a center button lock since this model of the camera no longer has one.
Along the same lines, you can actually set all of the custom settings on this camera from the back screen, so you don’t actually need to use the LCD located on the top of the camera. This makes navigating the menu on this camera so much simpler.
The viewfinder on this camera was also improved. The rubber eyecup does a much better job of blocking light than it did with the original Phase One 645DF.
One of the biggest selling points of this camera is its line of leaf shutter lenses that were created alongside Schneider. There are three different Schneider lenses, a 55mm, a 80mm and a 110mm f/2.8. More lenses always make for a better shooting experience, especially when those lenses were created by one of the world’s best lens creators.
Phase One 645DF+ Price
The Phase One 645DF+ price was pretty astronomical when it first came out, but this camera is now approaching a decade of age and has definitely been replaced by better options. As such, a lot of people are getting rid of their Phase One 645DF+ in favor of newer models.
This is great news for people looking to steal a great deal on a medium format camera.
This model is available on MPB starting at $920. While this medium format camera is getting
Right now, each Phase One 645DF+ available on MPB is in excellent condition, which means they come with only the slightest signs of use. Depending upon the model you choose, you could even purchase a camera in its original packaging.
Plus, we love shopping on MPB because you can trade in your old equipment and use that money towards the price of your brand new medium format camera (or really any other camera equipment that you’re needing right now). It’s especially helpful considering, even at less than $1,000, this camera is something you’ll need to budget for.
You can learn more about why we shop MPB in the learn more link below.