RhinoCam Turns Your Sony NEX Into a Digital Medium Format Back


Fotodiox has announced a new mount system called the RhinoCam that turns a Sony NEX mirrorless camera into a digital back for 645 medium format photography. The kit allows NEX owners to shoot with classic medium format camera lenses to capture 140+ megapixel photos.


Photos resulting from the RhinoCam are equivalent to those captured with a sensor three times larger than a 35mm full frame sensor. This could be useful for photographers in certain fields (e.g. landscape, commercial, architecture) who would like ultra-high-res photos for a fraction of traditional costs.

How RhinoCam resolution stacks up against other camera systems.

How RhinoCam resolution stacks up against other camera systems.

Here’s how the system works. First, it connects a NEX camera with a Pentax 645, Mamiya 645, or Hasselblad V medium format lens.

The photographer then looks through the built in Composition Screen to preview their shot. During the capture process, the camera is moved around on a moving platform while the lens remains fixed. The RhinoCam guides the NEX to a number of fixed positions for precisely positioned exposures.

Instead of shooting one high-res photo with one large sensor, RhinoCam lets you turn many lower-res photos shot with a smaller sensor into a high-res photo.

Instead of shooting one high-res photo with one large sensor, RhinoCam lets you turn many lower-res photos shot with a smaller sensor into a high-res photo.

Once the photographs are captured, the photographer can use a number of photo stitching programs (e.g. Photoshop) to create the final ultra-high-res photo. Since the exposures were all created along a linear plane, flat-stitching can be used with minimal distortion in the final result.

The RhinoCam system is available now for $500 through the Fotodiox website.

  • Carsten Schlipf

    What? It’s April fools day already?

  • chubbs

    I have one of these already. But it isn’t called a Rhinocam. It’s called “putting my camera on a tripod and taking multiple pictures”. I didn’t pay $500 for it.

  • Laury

    A stitch is a stitch. Might as well buy Autopano…

  • Zos Xavius

    This is on the same plane. No distortion. Also you gain the superior resolution of the taking glass as well as getting even better dof control. A pano tripod can’t compete with this for projection imo.

  • SpaceMan

    But why stop there, why not ask people to take 100s of photos, stitch them and call Super Ultra Mega Large Format for measly $500

  • Guest

    Are there any Pentax 645 cameras with removable backs?

  • mastaga

    nonsense…. but im sure there are some morons who will buy it.

  • josteinr

    The thing is most DMF has way better colour reproduction and bit-depth, while this has the same lousy 12/14-bit sensor found in most other DSLRs. It’s a nice way to use some really fantastic glass though, but you won’t match the DMF cameras with this. If you want to shoot MF or even LF then film is still the most economic solution for most of us. A good MF kit will run you less than $500, and you’ll have some left over cash for film and processing

  • Guest

    You can’t be serious. Calling this a medium format digital back or even saying that it’s just as good is dumb. Just because it can shoot through a mf lens doesn’t make it a mf camera… regardless of image size.

  • Brisguuy

    Most posters here did not read the article carefully, or, do not understand photography. I for one, am considering purchasing the product (and I don’t have to have a medium format camera – just the quality MF lens).

  • Miklos Andrassy

    Perfect setup for street photography. :D

  • I can read and think

    For brainless/blind people who think they can do this “stictching” thing on their own, think again.

    Now you see how stupid you were.

  • G

    You could, but that wouldn’t be the same. Each of the shots with this setup is part of one image circle made by a lens meant for covering medium format. So you’re not stitching together the ‘not so perfect edges’ of a FF or crop lens.

  • BongoLosAngeles

    I’m not entirely sure you read the article.

  • BongoLosAngeles

    Actually, this isn’t true. MF film can’t keep up with current technology sensors. I did a direct comparison using 220 film versus a Canon 1D MK4. I had the film professionally processed and drum scanned by a service bureau. Then I compared the exact same shot — same ISO, same aperture, same shutter speed, same subject at the same moment. Resolution detail of the 220 couldn’t come close to the 1D.

  • BongoLosAngeles

    This would actually work if you increased the distance between the lens and this rig. Move it back 10″ with a bellows, then have a stepped system where you could create a 15×15 position rig. That would be amazing.

  • uksnapper

    are not all the pentax 645 cameras fitted with removable backs ?

  • Cameron Knight

    Of course you’re Holga scan isn’t going to hold up against a Canon 1D MK4. Seriously, were you shooting that 220 in a Hassy or in your grandpa’s old folding camera? Secondly, what film were you using? Expired Delta 3200 or some crap Lomo film might have some trouble competing, but fresh Ektar that’s been focused correctly will. And lastly, THE GUY DIDN’T SAY IT WAS BETTER. He said that film is the most economical for most of us. You can get a great medium format camera and a enough film to last most of us five years for the cost of Canon 1D MK4. Shut it.

  • uksnapper

    Big does not imply better.
    If the sensor used for the multiple exposure will not produce file quality that say a £20,000 digital back does then the money you spend is wasted.
    It should however not be sniffed at,many high end repro houses would welcome the images produced if they are fit for purpose,and that boys and girls is the final arbiter !

  • snapshot1

    Guest is correct. The title of this article is, “RhinoCam Turns Your Sony NEX Into a Digital Medium Format Back” which is not what’s happening here. It’s a great idea for a product, but it doesn’t turn the NEX into a medium format camera. Instead it gives you the opportunity to take advantage of a medium format len’s real estate through taking multiple images that have to then be stitched together.

  • snapshot1

    Actually you would have to examine prints from each of these. Film was made and meant for printing, not scanning. When you get into the 30×40 range of print, I guarantee you would see the difference between 220 shot in a proper camera and 1D MK4 print.

  • PDP

    I do architectural work professionally and this is appealing. I don’t know what all of the fuss is about. I just wish it had a bellows for swing and shift.

  • josteinr

    I’m not saying film is better in every respect and I certainly know its limitations. If you don’t print yourself on quality paper there isn’t that much to gain from shooting film, other than colour reproduction which is still hard to match with “full-frame” DSLRs, which was the whole point of my post. DMF cameras mostly have 16-bit sensors which does a way better job at reproducing the original colours and not have half of the subjects face appear gray-ish like say the Canon 5DII which one of my clients use. Also it’s not necessarily about resolution but sensor/film size. I.E My old D300 had the same resolution as my current D700

  • polkdadotcat

    surley you would loose the colour information aswell? What i mean is taking multiple shots might be higher resolution because of the medium format lens, but the sensor for each shot is still smaller so it still wouldn’t be as high quality as using a medium format. Feel free to correct me if i’m wrong, I could be misunderstanding this.

  • Idiot

    This is a stupid idea, it states that it guides your NEX into position to take the photos; HOW has no one realised or commented upon the fact that it would require the same lighting&exposure for all 8 photos which is impossible.

    Imagine asking a model to sit still for a picture and then hold it for another 7 whilst you adjust the camera(which doesn’t look easy I might add) I don’t think so. Even if it was used outside, you’d have half cars / half empty space, it requires you to be in complete control of the environment. Unless you’re god I don’t see this working for you.

  • G

    It only uses the lens anyway, so technically this isn’t a digital back. It’s more like a very odd adapter thing-a-ma-jig.

  • KH

    It also has a lot to do with what lens you use, and as already stated, what type of film.

  • Josh von Staudach

    All comments are based on all aspects behind the glass. But who says, any MF lens would be good enough for the job? If you take an old lens, it wasn’t at all constructed for such high resolution. High resolution gives you a very close look at unsharp edges and chromatic aberration. Todays DMF backs above 50MP require the newest and costly lenses around $5000. If you get hold of such lenses, why should you pack a NEX behind them? Rent a back ;-) The rhino concept is senseless in any way!

  • BongoLosAngeles

    Wow… Angry.

  • BongoLosAngeles

    True… I think a lot is lost in the scan. I used to shoot on a Mamiya in the 90’s and was always frustrated with the detail of a scan versus a true print.

  • BongoLosAngeles

    And to bring tempers back from the stratosphere, I was simply stating that modern digital sensors that aren’t even full-frame (the 1D is APS-H) can give medium format a run for it’s money in resolution. And by resolution, I’m not talking about pixel count, I’m talking about the term as it’s been used by us old-timers who shot professionally before digital was even invented — the amount of detail crammed into the surface space of the negative or digital file.

  • Norshan Nusi

    Are there removable back with all Pentax 645 cameras?

  • BongoLosAngeles

    Also… about the cost: A roll of professional 220 film, professionally processed, and a single exposure chosen for a proper drum scan will run around $50-60. That’s for ONE IMAGE. Add to that the $3,000 you will spend on a Hasselblad 503 and a Planar-T 80.

    Now consider a used 1D mk4 and an 85/1.4 at around $4,300. That’s 26 exposure’s difference.

    Or you could get a Mamiya 645 and a Sekor-C 80 for around $600. That lets you take and scan 75 images before you spend the same amount.

    Or you could just buy a 5D MK2 and the same 85/1.4 for around $1,500 and completely screw with the numbers. and have almost the exact same sensor performance as the 1D.

  • Brock

    Then don’t use it for models? There are tons of practical uses for this; like landscape.

  • Joshua Morrison

    We may have crashed their site…

  • E

    Fotodiox’s webpage is down at the moment so can’t check any high-res photos made with this “contraption” but judging from the sample pictures above the nex seems to suffer from horrible colour cast with this setup.

  • Sol

    why not just shoot 120 film…unless you are a reporter or something.. It’s for landscape anyways.

  • keru

    I was going to say “well, at least they didn’t call that : transform you nex into medium format digital back”, then i check the title again. This thing have some use but the title is misleading :)

  • Lee

    This is cool but there are obvious problems with this, as evidenced by looking at the cityscape example on their website; look to the right of the yellow schoolbus and you’ll see a nifty magic SUV that is half invisible!

  • chubbs

    I know. But again, my system doesn’t cost 500$ because I don’t have 500$.

  • Benny Wong

    yes i will buy it if it has the swing and shift funciton

  • Benny Wong

    its useful if you r shooting a landscape without people and cars…..

    but its really hard to find those location

  • Idiot

    So the wind or anything that may alter the landscape that you’re taking a picture of doesn’t exist? SURELY YOUR SUBJECT MATTER WILL NEVER FIT EXACTLY INTO ONE IF THE SIX FRAMES

  • zdjeciarz

    Cool idea but i see some serious issues. A lot of post production with this system. Conditions at least perfect to avoid ghosts (people moving) or clouds (changing expouser) Maybe studio for some pack shots or commercial use. I dont think it will work for anything but stills in controled enviroment

  • snappingsam

    Some of the comments show a basic lack of understanding of optics – for years people have used PC lenses with full shift left-right to make panoramas that join perfectly – if you turn a camera with regular fixed lens you might get bits that don’t line up because of the change of perspective. This unit will let you stitch and get perfect alignment as long as thing don’t move during the exposures. As such its not a perfect solution for everything – however for certain things its perfect.

    I personally have a great selection of little used hasselblad kit – and for me its a tool worth the effort.

  • Mansgame

    Just tell the birds to not fly, the wind to not blow, the water to not move, the clouds to stay still, the animals to stay still….nope this is just a toy for hipsters.

  • Mansgame

    That would only matter if the stitching software was dumb and didn’t account for that. If your plane is a little off, photoshop easily corrects it in software. with a 16 MP or 24 MP camera, it’s undetectable. And how is this superior?? This thing uses 2 lenses, one for the MF camera and oen for the little NEX. More chances for loss of quality.

  • Zos Xavius

    Doesn’t it only use one lens? Most large format adapters just place the sensor along the film plane. This avoids the problems with spherical projection (ie:distortion) and gives you rectilinear.

  • Shmaw Shank


    Unbelievable. Really? “Turns your Sony NEX into a digital medium format back?”

    Right. It is basically analog stitching that creates and image equal to a medium format SIZE image. It has none of the dynamic range, none of the color bit depth – by far the biggest reasons to use MF in the first place.

    So basically it turns your Sony NEX into a Nikon D800 with really good glass. Whoopdeeshit.

  • pretty_ugly_1

    I think the basic principle of this thing is to shift the attached NEX so it can captures larger image circle.