What comprises a medium format system?

The versatility of medium format is the separation of the digital back which contains the sensor, the camera body and viewfinder, and of course the lens. 

People who are unfamiliar with medium format often ask, why is it called a digital back? Before digital came along you could place different backs on your camera containing your preferred film, and this was called a film-back.

The separation of the individual components make for more manageable upgrade cycles, and a digital back can be put to work in multiple set-ups. For example when autofocus, metering, and advanced features are needed you can use a digital back on an SLR format camera like the Phase One XF. Alternatively a digital back can be mounted on a view or technical camera where you can use mechanical movements for stitching, perspective, or focus plane control.

To learn more about the history and development of digital medium format read our blog post.