New Accessory from Fotodiox Puts a 645 Medium Format Back on Sony NEX

New Accessory from Fotodiox Puts a 645 Medium Format Back on Sony NEX

This is a pretty crazy concept, but Fotodiox has just announced an adapter that puts the power of a full-size 645 medium format back into the hands of virtually any photographer utilizing the Sony NEX camera sensor. Called the RhinoCam, it enables photographers at any level to capture the dramatic detail and sharpness only available with a sensor three times larger than even a high-end full-frame 35mm sensor. The first release from Fotodiox’s new Vizelex line of premium high-end camera systems and adapaters, the RhinoCam delivers 140+ megapixel images while offering photographers their choice of low-cost sensor options and classic lenses.



Capable of creating the dramatic panoramic and full 645 medium format images previously reserved for photographers working with expensive medium format back cameras, RhinoCam is ideal for landscape, commercial and architectural photographers seeking remarkably high resolution at a fraction of the cost. Via an interchangeable lens mount, RhinoCam couples either a Pentax 645, Mamiya 645, or Hasselblad V medium format lens with a Sony NEX series camera. The built-in Composition Screen enables photographers to preview the composed shot. The lens remains firmly in place while the RhinoCam’s moving platform positions the NEX sensor for multiple precisely-positioned exposures. RhinoCam also mounts directly onto a 4x5 board to open up additional possibilities with wider angle lenses, tilt shifts, bellows systems and more.

Buck 500PX
Wrigley 500PX


After the capture process, it takes seconds to merge the multiple exposures into one larger images using automated stitching functionality built into recent versions of Adobe Photoshop and other software offerings. RhinoCam images are finalized using the more accurate flat stitching method, avoiding the perspective errors and curvilinear distortion present in images joined via spherical stitching often found with motorized systems that move both camera body and lens. The result is a panorama or 645 medium format photograph that is well over four times the normal resolution of a high-end full-frame 35mm camera sensor. The finished result using a Sony NEX-7 is a 140+ megapixel image with incredible detail and sharpness.



Fotodiox touts the RhinoCam features as including:

  • Compact and lightweight construction ideal for backpack photographers who would otherwise need to transport much heavier gear to photograph large vistas
  • Connects a low cost camera sensor with a medium format lens for astonishing medium format photography at a fraction of the normal price
  • Preview the composed image before taking the first shot with the built in Composition Screen
  • Mount a modern camera sensor onto 4x5 equipment using the RhinoCam system
  • Multiple exposures are in a linear array, perfect for flat-stitching to reduce distortion errors inherent in spherical stitching


RhinoCam is currently compatible with all Sony NEX mount cameras and the following interchangeable lens mounts: Pentax 645, Mamiya 645, and Hasselblad V. The RhinoCam precision system is priced at $500 and is available today. What do you think? Would you buy one? Let us know in the comments below.

Jaron Schneider's picture

Jaron Schneider is an Fstoppers Contributor and an internationally published writer and cinematographer from San Francisco, California. His clients include Maurice Lacroix, HD Supply, SmugMug, the USAF Thunderbirds and a host of industry professionals.

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what's the difference between this and a gigapan?  Obviously they function differently, but are the results pretty much the same?

If I understand things correctly the main difference would be that this utilizes the lenses from medium format cameras which (might) have better sharpness than their 35 mm equivalent.

Just because you have more pixels doesn't make those pixels sharp.

I wonder if this can be mounted on a Sinar 5x4 camera ? The information is not clear.

I think it's only for a Sony NEX right now. I think the plan is to expand to other cameras.

lol, you do not understand the question

with the name Schneider you'd think he'd get it hahahah

 It can be mounted to any 4x5 with the Graflok connection.

I doubt that medium format lenses offer better sharpness than their 35mm equivalents. The smaller 35mm has always placed a higher demand on the lenses and the optical engineers have typically risen to the challenge.

Schneider, Fujinon and Rodenstock typically dick all over any 35mm offering.

As so often comes the question : Why would I need that sort of image ? Either I want to make a wide angle shot or a tele shot. 140MB takes even on a powerful PC quite some time to apply all sorts of manipulations.
In my opinion this is a toy for the typical pixel peeper.

Detail. Distortion. Enlargement potential.

Isn't it just four pictures stitched together...

Name of the article is misleading, you are mounting a medium format LENS onto a Sony NEX.

The title is extremely misleading. The NEX is being used in place of a digital back. It doesn't have a digital back mounted on it! Even if that were possible, why would someone spend $10,000 - $40,000 on a digital back and use Sony NEX glass with it??? That's like putting a Yugo engine in a Lambo.

What this is doing is using the NEX sensor to multiply sample a single image plane. Those multiple samples are then stitched back together and there is no distortion to worry about. Using a gigapan the stitching is of multiple images, each with their own distortion. It is a good idea but not suitable for moving subjects.They say there is a 5x4 back for it, which is cool. It should be relatively straightforward to do a similar thing for large format though the flange to sensor distance would rule out using wideangle lenses (such as a 90mm or wider on 5x4) as the sensor would need to be too close to the lens and the angles may be blocked by the edge of the camera mirror box.

It should be possible to replicate this with an arduino, a few stepper motors and screw threads and a bit of light engineering for under $100, but the finished product is probably much nicer and also worth the money if you need images like that.

So how long does it take to do one exposure?

A regular panorama is so much easier/simpler/cheaper/faster... And as far as I understand does almost the exact same thing.
I mean, you could use a regular adaptor for a medium format lens and then shoot a regular panorama with it, should be roughly the same, minus the composition screen.

Will probably be liked by some people but it's not for me.

It's not the exact same thing, though. With a panorama, you're moving the lens - with this, you're moving the sensor. It's like a glorified (and extremely cheap) T/S lens from Schneider.

You can sort of do this hack w/ a tilt shift lens, but not to this concept.
Can't believe Fotodiox wants $500 for it...their gear used to be so cheap :-(

There are lots of questions from several people.  I think Fstoppers should ask the RhinoCam people to answer some questions and provide some technical information.

I can see the value in this camera movement.  It is identical to what you will find using a digital back on a View Camera.

Also, let's see $500 for the movement, plus $1,000 for the Sony NEX7, plus $350 for a used lens get you to $1,850 or so, for a sorta, kinda Medium Format feel.

I wonder if you can get a bellows or T/S lens to work with this.  Lens movements are very important for the kind of work this camera is designed for. 

I'm assuming that this just holds the lens and allows the camera to shift? Haven't Cambo already done this with their X2 ..albeit in more of a field cam (vs tech cam) sort of fashion?

 I think this guy is out of business or almost out of business.  it was good technology when it was "new technology".  Unfortunately, and much to my chagrin, there has been little technology improvement for digital backs, for large format, which I sort of get, but still wish there was a current technology option.

I think the option I am looking at is a Linhof Techno with a Phase One Achromatic digital back.  Stupid expensive yes, but stupid good on image quality.  This is the only combo I have found that will get close to large format with current technology.

I like it!

Interesting concept. I had been toying of the idea of a sinar P3. The only thing about fotodiox is that if the build quality is as duff as all the 7 elinchrom fit soft boxes I have from them, then I dont think I would want to go there.

Interesting concept but one has to use lens designed for digital sensor to take full advantage of this system.