Falling prices mean it might not be too long before medium-format photography is back on the agenda for enthusiasts, but what can we expect from a digital medium-format camera?
Still Life Shoot
Angela Nicholson spent a day shooting still life and macro subjects with the H4D-40, and found herself wishing it was Live View-enabled
I opted to shoot still-life and macro subjects, which meant that the camera would be tripod-mounted throughout. This was a bonus for me: while the H4D-40’s battery creates a comfortable, ergonomically shaped grip, I find that with the 120mm f/4 macro lens mounted, the camera is too heavy to hold steadily to my eye for more than a few seconds at a time.
In the relatively low light of my naturally lit dining room, the H4D-40’s AF system struggled to focus consistently on the close-to dark cherries I selected to shoot. Fortunately, the HVD 90x viewfinder that is supplied in the kit provides a reasonably clear view of the subject.
As I was shooting at about waist-height, the optional waist-level finder might have been easier on my neck – but of course it is less than ideal with portrait-format images. There were also a few occasions when I found I needed a torch to provide a little extra illumination and I had to adjust the lens slightly in and out of focus to gradually find the sharpest point. It wasn’t long before I was longing for Live View technology; the magnified view of the subject would enable me to focus much quicker and more confidently.