Most expensive camera Hasselblad-H6D-400C-MS

The Most Expensive Camera in the World

Last Updated on January 4, 2023 | In Photography Equipment by Stefano Caioni 9 Comments

The most expensive camera in the world is a Leica 0-series from 1923. It sold for a jaw-dropping $2.97M. I’ll tell you more about it in a second.

I was writing about the best cameras for under $300, which I listed in another post. While writing, for some reason, I googled, “what is the most expensive camera ever?” And that’s how I started my research.

I’m a tech nerd, and I’m in love with beautifully designed and high-end technology pieces. I like to read their spec, understand their value and why they cost so much. In this article, you’ll find a list of some of the most expensive cameras that would make anyone flinch.

The Most Expensive Camera Ever Leica 0-series no. 122 Price $2.97M

This camera is not exactly something you can buy, and I’m listing it for the most curious out there. It’s a rare camera for collection and not something that has real commercial use. The most expensive camera in the world is the Leica 0-series no. 122 and it sold for a world-record $2.97M in 2018 at a Leica auction in Vienna, becoming the most expensive camera ever.

the most expensive camera in the world Leica 0-series no. 122
Image: Westlicht Auctions

It’s part of a batch of 25 test cameras produced in 1923 and only 3 are in original conditions as of today.

Video: Leica 0-Series No. 122

In this short video uploaded by WestLicht Camera Auction you can see some of the cameras sold at the 32nd Camera auction in Vienna.

Most Expensive Camera: Top Three Vintage Cameras

1. Leica 0-series no. 122 Price $2,970,000

As described above the Leica 0-series is the most expensive vintage camera ever sold.

Leica 0-Series No. 122 Details:

  • Price:
    • USD 2,976,000
    • Euro 2,400,000
    • GBP 2,000,000
  • Sold at: WestLicht Camera Auction
  • Starting price: $444,000 USD
  • Bought by: Private collector from Asia
  • Year production: 1923
  • Previous record: Leica No. 116 sold for $2,160,000 USD

2. Leica M3D-2 Black Paint, Price $2,000,000

most expensive camera Leica M3D-2

The M3D-2 was manufactured for war photojournalist David Douglas Duncan. He was famous for his war photos in Korea, Vietnam, and for his work with his friend Pablo Picasso. Only four types of the Leica M3D existed, all produced for David Douglas Duncan. The camera was sold at Westlicht Auction for over USD 2,000,000.

3. Leica Luxus 1, Price $1,300,000

most expensive camera Leica Luxus i

This example of Leica Luxus 1, dating from circa 1930, auctioned for the massive price of $1,300,000 at the WestLicht Auction in 2012. The reasons for the astronomical price are the rarity of the camera (only 95 examples were produced between 1929 and 1930) and the original gold plating and lizard skin body.

Most Expensive Camera: Medium Format High-End

1. Phase One XF IQ4 150MP Camera System Price $55,000

In the medium format realm, Phase ONE XF IQ4 is the most expensive camera on the planet. The full-frame medium sensor delivers an incredible 151MP file in astonishing detail.

Key features:

  • 151 Megapixels Backside Illuminated Sensor (BSI)
  • Built on Infinity Platform
  • Long Exposure 60 minutes
  • Output Image 120.26 x 90.19 cm (300DPI)
  • ISO 50 – 25600 (preliminary)
  • Tethering Ethernet, USB-C, Wireless
  • Wi-Fi, USB-C, and Built-in GPS

2. Hasselblad H6D-400C MS Price $47,995.00

most expensive camera: medium format Hasselblad H6D-400C MS

The Hasselblad H6D-400c offers 400 million pixels, which are undeniably the highest count in the industry. With such a powerful camera, one can capture even the finest details in an image.

Key features:

  • 400 Megapixels 53.4 x 40.0mm CMOS Sensor
  • Multi-Shot Capture 4- or 6 Shot Modes
  • 920k-dot touchscreen display
  • Auto and manual focus
  • ISO 64 to 12,800
  • UHD 4K and Full HD video quality
  • Wi-Fi, USB-C, and Built-in GPS

3. Panoscan MK-3 Panoramic $40,000.00

The Panoscan Mark III MK-3 is able to scan a 360 degree image in one single shot. This $40,000.00 piece of technology is among the top most expensive cameras ever and it’s used to produce standard flat panoramas or 360 degree images for virtual reality players.

This camera is mainly used by military and police forces to reproduce high-quality 360-degree scans.

4. Hasselblad H6D-100c Medium Format DSLR Price $32,995.00

most expensive camera Hasselblad H6D-100c Medium Format

The Hasselblad H6D-100c is an upgrade of the H6D-50c. Instead of offering 50 megapixels, the camera comes with a 100 Megapixels CMOS sensor that allows you to explore your imagination, for sharper, better quality images.

Key features:

  • 100 Megapixels CMOS Sensor
  • 16-Bit Color 15-Stop Dynamic Range
  • 100 to 12,800 ISO sensitivity
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • 1.5 fps continuous shooting
  • Auto and manual focus
  • 4K UHD video quality
  • High-speed Wi-Fi connectivity

5. Hasselblad H6D-50c Medium Format DSLR Price $14,995.00

most expensive camera Hasselblad H6D-50c Medium Format

The Hasselblad H6D-50c is a quality camera that every professional photographer must-have. From its weight to its overall look, this camera promises to deliver stunning images beyond expectations.

Key features:

  • 50 Megapixels CMOS Sensor
  • 16-Bit Color 14-Stop Dynamic Range
  • 100 to 6,400 ISO sensitivity
  • Electronic viewfinder
  • 2.3 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K UHD video quality
  • 30 fps Full HD 1080p RAW video
  • Wi-Fi connectivity

6. Leica S Typ 007 Medium Format Price $22,000.00

The Leica S body itself costs more than $20,000. This 37.5-megapixel jewel of engineering by the Swiss manufacturer is a medium format camera with a slightly smaller sensor than normal. Characteristic that helps keeping the price “low” if compared to the most expensive Hasselblad cameras.

Key features:

  • 37.5 Megapixels CMOS Sensor
  • ISO sensitivity up to 12,500
  • Extreme quality build weather sealed
  • Superfast Maestro II processor 3.5 fps
  • Cine 4k standard video footage

7. Hasselblad X1D-50c Digital Medium Format Mirrorless Price $7,995.00

most expensive camera Hasselblad X1D-50c

The Hasselblad X1D-50c boasts of a bigger sensor than any other camera within its class, consequently translating to larger photosites and a wider, dynamic range. 

Key features:

  • 50 Megapixels Medium Format Sensor
  • 3.69 MD OLED electronic viewfinder
  • 2.7 fps continuous shooting rate
  • 2.36-million dot touch rear display
  • ISO 100 to 25,600
  • 60 fps live view refresh rate
  • Wi-Fi, USB-C and Built-in GPS

8. Pentax 645z Medium Format Price $6,596.00

The Pentax 645z is the perfect choice for medium-format photographers. The camera is comparatively larger than a typical DSLR, and it comes with a Sony CMOS sensor for excellent image quality.

Key features:

  • 51.4 Megapixels CMOS sensor
  • Optical/LCD eye-level viewfinder
  • TTL: phase-matching autofocus
  • ISO 100 – 204800
  • 3 fps full-resolution continuous burst mode
  • Distortion correction
  • 4K Full HD

Most Expensive Camera: Professional High-End Summary Table

Most Expensive Camera: Professional High-End

Olympus OM-D E-M1X Price $2,999.00

The Micro Four Thirds Olympus OM-D E-M1X offers excellent handling in both portrait and landscape orientations. Moreover, it boasts of a highly responsive touchscreen and speedy autofocus, for great image quality.

Key features:

  • 20.4MP Live MOS Four Thirds sensor
  • 5-axis sensor-shift image stabilization
  • 3.0-inch vari-angle monitor
  • Eye-level electronic viewfinder
  • 15-60fps burst shooting
  • 121-point High-speed imager Autofocus
  • 4K quality video
  • Bluetooth + Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Battery life: 870 shots

Sony a7R IV Full-Frame Mirrorless Price $3,498.00

The Sony a7R IV camera offers outstanding imaging capability, coupled with high-speed performance, for the ultimate power, precision, and flexibility required for professional shooting needs.

Key features:

  • 61 Megapixels
  • 35-mm full-frame back-illuminated R CMOS sensor
  • 5-axis stabilization
  • Fast Hybrid AutoFocus with 567 phase-detection points
  • 10fps High-speed continuous shooting
  • High-res 6 million dot electronic viewfinder
  • 4K HDR video quality S Log
  • Built-in 5 GHz WI-Fi

Sony a9 Full-Frame Mirrorless Price $3,998.00

The Sony a9 is a fast hybrid AF digital camera renowned for its game-changing image sensor and photographic speed.

Key features:

  • 24.2 Megapixel 35-mm CMOS sensor
  • 5-axis image stabilization
  • Standard ISO 100-51200, Expandable to 50-204800
  • 20fps high-speed continuous shooting
  • Anti-distortion electronic shutter
  • BIONZ X enhanced-speed image processor
  • High-resolution 4K video quality
  • Built-in WI-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC

Nikon D5 Price $6,596.95

The Nikon D5 is an FX-format DSLR camera that exhibits massive advancements in sensor technology, metering, autofocus and image processing. The camera boasts of precise AF detection, tracking, and high-speed continuous shooting for better image quality. 

Key features:

  • 20.8 Megapixels FX-format CMOS sensor
  • Optical/LCD eye-level pentaprism viewfinder
  • 12 fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 100 t0 102,400
  • 4K UHD video quality

Nikon Z6 Price $2,596.00

The Z6 is an upgrade of Nikon’s DSLR cameras. The camera features a fast and silent Live View autofocus, in-body stabilization and a 10-bit N-log output for grading flexibility and extra quality.

Key features:

  • 24.5 Megapixels full-frame CMOS sensor
  • 3.2-inch tilt-angle touchscreen
  • 12fps burst shooting
  • 273-point Autofocus
  • 4K video quality
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity
  • Battery life: 310 shots

Nikon D850 Price $3,096.95

The Nikon D850 is ideal for sports and action photography, thanks to its high-speed data capture and high resolution.

Key features:

  • 45.7 Megapixels
  • 35.9 mm x 23.9 mm FX-format sensor
  • 7 fps continuous shooting
  • ISO 64-25,600 expandable to 102,400
  • 4K UHD video quality 160/30 fps
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi functionality and GPS
  • Battery life: 1,840 shots

Canon 5D Mark IV Price $2,999.00

The Canon 5D Mark IV needs no introductions, given that it is one of the most recognizable digital cameras. It comes with dozens of features engineered to perform in every situation. 

Key features:

  • 30.4 Megapixels
  • Electronic viewfinder with an image sensor
  • Autofocus with face detection and tracking
  • ISO 150,000
  • 7 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K EOS Video quality
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC support
  • Battery life: 900 shots

Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Price $6,499.00

Image Courtesy Canon USA

The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III is the new DSLR monster from Canon. Designed for action photography it takes autofocus speed to a completely new level.

Key features:

  • 20.1 Megapixels CMOS Sensor
  • DIGIC X image processor
  • Autofocus with 191-point AF system Head Detection and tracking
  • ISO 100-102400
  • 20 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K 60fps Video quality
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and NFC support
  • Battery life: 2850 shots (viewfinder)

Leica CL Price $2,950.00

The Leica CL is the ideal camera for street photography, thanks to its excellent build quality and unique technical features. The camera consists of fine-grain leather, a magnesium chassis, aluminum black anodized top, and bottom plates.

Key features:

  • 24 Megapixel
  • 23.6mm x 15.7mm APS-C CMOS sensor
  • 100-50,000 ISO Sensitivity
  • 3-inch 1.04M-dot touchscreen
  • 10 fps continuous shooting
  • 4K/30p and 1080/60p video quality
  • Built-in Wi-Fi

Leica Q Price $4,399.00

Leica Q is quite popular among wedding photographers. This is mainly because it has stunning image quality, fast and accurate autofocus, and great low light performance. Moreover, it offers excellent handling, thanks to its compact, lightweight design.

Key features:

  • 24 Megapixel
  • 36.0mm x 24.0mm CMOS sensor
  • 100-50,000 ISO Sensitivity
  • EVF/LCD viewfinder
  • Contrast-detect AutoFocus
  • 10 fps burst shooting mode
  • 1920×1080 (60p/30p) video resolution
  • Built-in Wi-Fi smartphone connectivity

Leica 10770 M Price $5,895.00

The Leica 10770M still ranks highly as one of the most expensive cameras, despite the fact that the camera is no longer available for production.

Key features:

  • 24 Megapixel
  • 23.9mm x 35.8mm CMOS sensor
  • Leica Maestro image processor
  • ISO 100 to 6400
  • A 3.0-inch 920K-dot LCD touchscreen
  • 3 fps continuous shooting
  • Manual focus only
  • Full HD 1080p Video quality

Leica 24 SL Type 601 Price $5,995.00

The Leica 24 SL Type 601 is a premium camera that has a high level of build quality, weather sealing, a high-resolution viewfinder and effective controls for various shooting needs.

Key features:

  • 24 Megapixels
  • 36mm x 24mm CMOS sensor
  • ISO 50-50,000
  • 3.0-inch 1,040,000-dot touch screen
  • 11 fps burst shooting mode
  • 4K video quality
  • Built-in Wi-Fi and GPS

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  1. Monstro 8k vv from Red digital cinema is most expensive camera for 2019 till date. It costs whopping $54,500

    1. Author

      Thank you, but the primary use of a Red camera is actually video and not photography 😉

  2. This is really awesome review and the way you explain is really great.

    1. Author

      Thank you Alfredo! I really appreciate it.

    2. Thanks for the research. Just like you have always wondered this question, ps I sure know what I’d do with 2.97 mil sure as hell would not buy that camera!
      (the price will never make one a better photographer! no matter who made what camera.)

      1. Author

        Hey Matt, thanks! Yep, I wouldn’t buy it either. In the case of the Leica 0-series no. 122 it’s merely for collection but in general, I too think that high-priced camera is not necessarily equal to taking great photos. The photographer always makes the difference.

  3. Wonderful information, thanks a lot for sharing the kind of content with us. Your blog gives the best and the most interesting information about most expensive cameras. I wonder if we can gather such practical information about it, a great post definitely to come across.

    1. Author

      Thank you Andrei. That would be a great idea, I hope one day I can get my hands on one of those expensive cameras and make a full review!

  4. I’m kind of surprised that the Canon 1DX III went to market. It has to be the last of the pro DSLRs from Canon surely. I have just bought a Canon R5. I’m hoping that Canon have an R1 in the pipeline down the road, that would be interesting!

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