50Mp Camera Images Compared

Our 50Mp Showcase was held on February 20th, where we gave attendees an opportunity to shoot with and compare some of the 50-Megapixel cameras currently on the market. Approximately 23 guests attended and had a opportunity to see and shoot with cameras from Canon, Pentax and Hasselblad. Hasselblad also brought out some beautiful Broncolor lighting as well. You can view photos of the event in our Facebook photo album. (You do “Like” us on Facebook, don’t you?) Thus far we’ve gotten great feedback on the event. We thank ASMP Dallas for their support as well, as they were our co-hosts for a very fun and enlightening (no pun intended) day.

The images below are comparison images of our studio still life setup. The comparison is not perfectly scientific, but as close as we could get to matching. (You can note that one camera was slightly higher than the others when shooting.) We aren’t analyzing differences in software, ergonomics, functions, and the like — as everyone will have different preferences, and that level of analysis would require much more “hands on” time to document. But you may note some differences between the images. No editing was performed on the images at all. Any photographer can further edit any of the RAW files to their liking, and adjust for color, shadow detail, highlight detail, and more. Our goal was to note the quality “straight out of camera.”

In each collage you’ll see the Hasselblad H5D-50c at left, the Pentax 645Z in the middle, and the Canon 5DS at right. You can click any image to download the full-size image of the triptych. The first image below is a vertical crop from a (larger) horizontal image. Each image after the first is a 100% crop from the original 50-Megapixel image file.

Overview image of our still life setup photographed with each of the 50Mp cameras

Click to download the full-size image file (2MB)


A 100% view of the white label

Click to download the full-size image file (2.2MB)


Closeup view of the bottle top

Click to download the full-size image file (1.7MB)


A 100% view of the black label

Click to download the full-size image file (2.1MB)


A 100% view of the flower colors

Click to download the full-size image file (2.3MB)


A 100% view of the knife and bread (texture)

Click to download the full-size image file (2.1MB)

Judge for yourself, and let us know your analysis in the comments below. And if you have experience with any of these cameras please feel free to share your thoughts! If you would like additional information please let us know and we’ll put you in contact with the reps for the different companies.

20 Replies to “50Mp Camera Images Compared”

    1. I love the Pentax’s contrast, but I see differences that could be relevant depending on what you shoot – people vs landscapes for example. More neutral colors (especially skin tones) and vivid colors are two different photography styles IMHO. So I think different tools for different jobs. 🙂

  1. Did you use the same lens on each camera, or different lenses in each case? Different manufacturers lenses would also have a potential effect on the resulting image.

    1. Each camera had a comparable lens – their own brand “normal” lens. I don’t recall exactly which was which. The Pentax probably had their 90mm macro, the Hasselblad may have had their 80mm. The Canon had a couple of lenses at different times, including their “standard” 24-70L. The goal was to have comparable lenses and perspectives.

  2. Why did all the Hasselblad images get taken from a higher angle than the Canon or Pentax? It changes the quality of the reflected light. This is a poor comparison, and hopefully not constructed to be misleading.

    1. Different people shot each, and we didn’t know they were at different heights until we received images after the event. We had a camera stand in place to allow all to be positioned the same (visible in the behind-the-scenes images on our Facebook page), but I believe someone handheld the Hasselblad and shot from just over the head on the camera stand. We weren’t rigidly scientific about the process, as we were focusing (no pun intended) more on allowing everyone to shoot with each camera.

  3. Sorry, but I don’t see any differences at all. I used Phase one P45+ before and it gave much much better quality than 35mm cameras. This post show how Canon camera is awesome with cheaper price compare to Pentax and Hasselblad. Also, the testing wasn’t even fare enough. Canon should’ve used Otus type lenses. Beside this issue, Canon provided almost same quality with medium format cameras. I assume that the testing was quite poor since the quality of medium format camera pics is worse than Phase one P45+ pics that I shot before. What a bad test shooting.

    1. Phase is comparable to the hasselblad and Pentax though the C1 software is unbeatable. Otus lenses will not change sensor shortcomings. The Canon blows whites earlier than medium format no matter what lens you slap on it, which is evident in landscape comparisons. In most cases, the Pentax offers the highest quality option; price dependent.

  4. There seem to be some substantial differences in depth of focus, meaning that some of the more interesting parts of the images can’t really be compared.

  5. Me parecen muy buenas las imágenes de la Pentax, pero hay una pequeña diferencia en los colores, eso se debe a la diferencia entre los 14 BIT de pa Pentax y los 16 de la Hasselblad, esto es para exigentes, la mayoría de los clientes no lo ven y la diferencia de precio inclina la balanza hacia la Pentax.

  6. Well, I have the 645Z and the files always astonish me. That said, it looks to me like there are exposure /lighting differences which may be favoring the Z in these images. The Blad and the Z seem close, close enough that any shooting differences could upset a direct comparison. Also, the Pentax 90 (which I don’t have, sadly) is reputed to be very, very good (and weatherproof!). Better than the Blad 80? Don’t know. Of course, on price of the 2 bodies there is no comparison.
    It does look like the Blad and the Z clearly outclass the Canon, but if one has a lot of Canon glass and flash equipment then the 5Ds could be the more logical choice.

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    1. The lighting is identical. Broncolor lighting was preset and didn’t move. One camera did indeed shoot from above the tripod, which we didn’t realize until after the fact. This was a hands-on demo with a couple of dozen people shooting their own shots, so we erred by allowing people to shoot each camera the way they wanted to shoot rather than limiting them to shooting only on the tripod. As mentioned, not scientific at all, but the goal was not a scientific test – it was to allow people to shoot all three cameras to make comparisons themselves. Sorry you couldn’t attend!

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