Hasselblad X1D

And it finally happened. At last, removal of the mirror had to hit medium format.

After hybrids and compact cameras and mirrorless dslr, the time has come for the high end equipment. First of all, this kind of camera came from Hasselblad. Their new model X1D breaks some conventions, not only when it comes to design but also to the price, which makes it more affordable for a wider range of photographers. I know that for  most users the price is simply high but compared to other Hassel cameras it is quite attractive as it’s priced just a little bit higher than flagship models of Canon and Nikon.

But what do we gain by switching to a bigger sensor when full frame cameras have similar resolution?

Who needs this mirror anyway? I just don’t know. Most of the time it just adds extra weight and affects the size of a camera and it doesn’t make any difference to work in studio for example, where screen lag doesn’t matter.

Can a mirrorless camera be pro?

I, like most of professional photographers, preferred an optical viewfinder. It was until few years ago I discovered Fujifilm X-pro1, which is still my favourite camera. Working with hybrid viewfinder is best compromise, and after little while I stopped noticing that I use digital viewfinder. So why not?

Of course there is a lag on the  screen, so it is still difficult to take action shots. But Hasselblad never was a sport camera.

Main Features:

51MP - Medium format CMOS Sensor

  • ISO 100 - 25600
  • 3″ Fixed Type Screen
  • 2360k dot Electronic viewfinder
  • 2.3 fps continuous shooting
  • 1920 x 1080 video resolution
  • Built-in Wireless
  • Built-in GPS
  • 725g. 150 x 98 x 71 mm
  • Weather Sealed Body
 

My expectations

I don’t want to start a discussion about why it’s great to have medium format, because it’s just super, period. What is most important for me from all of these specs is the dynamic range, here it is 14 f-stops, which is really impressive and practically unachieveable by cameras from full frame stable. It gives huge possibilities in postproduction, where access to such a huge data in shadows and lights opens many new doors.

What I’d love to get from this camera? It is truefocus system from other Hasselblad cameras.

When we shoot we lock our focus on some point and then we reframe. Truefocus algorithm checks how we moved our camera during framing and then it adjusts focus, thanks to that we always have pin sharp images. It is very important with high resolution matrix. I does look very bad when, for example, eyelashes are sharp and not the actual eye. It is very noticeable with this kind of sensors.

Price is £6000. It is not a lot but is it worth to spend extra dollars for THIS camera?

— Gilbert K. Chesterton

Summary

In my opinion it is at last camera that is very interesting, but after previous false starts from Hasselblad, during their changing directions of development I’m worried that it will turn out to be  another fiasco. What if the medium format sensor is hidden away inside the case that won’t let use it to the full of its potential.

I hope it’s not Ford Fiesta with six-litre engine, sounds good but doesn’t drive very well.

I hope that they drew conclusions from their previous lessons and that they created something we all dreamed about, a more affordable version of it’s bigger brother. Well time will show, let’s hope it takes great pictures.

Photo of X1D next to different cameras