As amateur and professional photographers alike are well aware, camera gear is expensive. That’s why we always recommend pricing your work accordingly. Make sure you have the best photography insurance and protect your work from theft using a service like Pixsy. Let’s put practicalities aside for a moment and take a look at some of the world’s most expensive cameras. Daydreaming is good for creativity!

1. Leica 0-series no. 122 – the most expensive camera ever!

In 2018, a super rare 1923 Leica sold to a private collector for an eye-watering $2.97M at Vienna’s renowned WestLicht auction house. According to WestLicht, a small batch of 25 of such cameras were produced, and only three of those are confirmed to be in ‘original condition’ today.  Leica majority owner and chairman of the board, Andreas Kaufmann, noted that the sale represented “the ongoing and ever-growing myth of the Leica brand.”

By WestLicht Photographica Auction

2. Phase One XF IQ4

Long a performance powerhouse, Phase One has recently released its XF IQ4, with a price tag of around $50,000, depending on the setup. A range of three medium format models (standard, Trichromatic and Achromatic) that leverage on the brand’s new Infinity Platform, the cameras feature built-in image processing and functionality that expands on traditional limitations of dynamic range. Another key feature of the Phase One range is its modular, open-platform approach, which makes the hardware futureproof in an era of rapid innovation. 

Photo by Paul Reiffer // courtesy Phase one

3. Hasselblad H6D-400C MS

This model’s magic is in its sensor-shift technology, which can combine up to six exposures to create single images of 400MP. One of the only companies to produce multi-shot medium format cameras, Hasselblad’s H6D-400C answers growing demand from the cultural heritage sector, which increasingly uses the tech for art reproduction and to document artwork in museums across the world. One of these will set you back a cool $47,995.

Photo courtesy Hassellblad

4 . Panoscan MK-3 Panoramic

A stalwart on many a list of the world’s most expensive cameras, the Panoscan MK-3 Panoramic is unique among birds-eye view photography equipment for its capacity to rapidly scan 360-degree photos in one shot, requiring zero stitching. Use it to create standard flat panoramas or even make virtual reality movies using VR players. All you’ll need is the know-how and a spare $40,000 for the camera.

5. Mamiya Leaf Credo 80MP Digital Back

This piece of gear has been around for a few years now. It’s staying power is a testament to its advanced technology and usability. Its standout features include high-res Live View functionality, a wide viewing angle and a bi-directional spirit level. Built according to an open platform philosophy, the digital back is compatible with a range of medium format cameras in addition to Mamiya Leaf, and comes at a cost of $36,000.

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You might also be interested in our list of 7 of the most expensive lenses ever.