World’s First Mirrorless Digital Medium Format Camera
This has been a wild year with product announcements from just about every camera maker. It’s a Photokina year and one has to wonder if there will be anything left to announce at Photokina. My sources tell me not too worry. Times are about to change again in the medium format marketplace. I received a call from Perry Oosting CEO of Hasselblad recently and he had some new and exciting information to share with me and Luminous-Landscape readers.
There were plenty of rumors and speculation on the Luminous-Landscape forum and Perry and I were discussing some of the wild ideas being presented. Some provided a bit of humor. Here is what is really coming and it looks to be a really nice camera in a long awaited form factor. Hasselblad has made a true mirrorless camera. This is not some blinged out third-party branded camera. This is a designed and made in Sweden original. Introducing the Hasselblad X1D. It’s the real deal!
Perry Oosting introduces the X1D at a live event in Göteborg, Sweden today
The Scandinavian design becomes quite evident as you look at this camera. It weighs 725g (25.6 oz. or 1.6 pounds). A newly designed easy to use menu system combined with a 50mp CMOS Sensor look to make this an exceptional camera. The camera will be introduced with a 45mm and a 90mm lens at launch with another lens to be announced at Photokina. It will have HD video capability and dual SD Card slots. There will be an adapter available for the wide range of already available H-Lenses.
Let’s cut right to the chase and talk about price. The camera body will be $7,900 EU (around $8955 USD). The 45mm lens will be $1900 EU ( $2154 USD). Other prices will be available at launch. Hasselblad even has a special Bellingham Camera Case for the X1D.
Some quick facts . . .
• Compact, lightweight (725g), highly portable and user-friendly medium format technology
• Large 50MP CMOS medium format sensor delivering up to 14 stops of dynamic range (43.8 x 32.9mm)
• New line of XCD lenses with integral central shutter; 45mm and 90mm available at launch
• Compatible with all 12 lenses and lens accessories from the Hasselblad professional H System (adapter required)
• Multiple image format options
• High quality XGA electronic viewfinder or high resolution rear display with touch functionality
• Wide range of shutter speeds: 60 minutes to 1/2000th sec. with full flash synchronisation throughout the range
• An ISO range from 100 to 25,600
• Dual SD card slots, GPS and Wi-Fi
• USB 3.0 Type-C connector, Mini HDMI, Audio In/Out
• Weather and dust sealings
• HD video
• Phocus 3.1 for simple and quick raw image processing. Adobe Photoshop® and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® compatible.
• Capture rate of 1.7 – 2.3 FPS
• 3 inch 920K rear touch screen with 24 bit color. Live view with high frame rate of 30 FPS
• Dimensions for the camera body 150.4 x 98.1 x 71.4 mm
• Exposure metering Center Weighted and Center Spot
• Auto Focus with contrast detection and instant manual override
• TTL Flash center weighted Nikon comparable hotshoe Adjustments of -3 to +3 EV
• Battery is 7.2 v dc 3200 mAh
When I sat down with Perry several months ago for our first interview I got a number of hints that Hasselblad was working hard on a number of new and exciting products. Looking at Perry’s background one would think that maybe a lot didn’t change at Hasselblad and that perhaps Hasselblad would be producing more blinged out cameras. Well, Perry made it a point to say that wasn’t the case and in just a few short months his team has been able to design and have ready for shipping this new form factor medium format camera.
Delivery of demo units will begin at the end of July and orders will be shipping in August. That’s pretty impressive as Perry had also mentioned Hasselblad wouldn’t announce a product that it was not in a position to ship. When talking to Perry about this camera he was quick to mention that the Hasselblad H6D 100MP camera had exceeded their sales expectations in a big way. Shipment of these cameras was delayed due to the earthquake in Japan that has affected all camera makers but will be resuming again in early July when they expect to catch up with their large list of backorders.
This camera has the potential to open up medium format photography to a new group of photographers. What landscape photographer wouldn’t want to have a compact camera system like this to carry along with a variety of lenses? Street photographers as well as lifestyle photographers will also find great use for this. Portrait and wedding photographers will find a competitive differential with a system like this. I wouldn’t be surprised to see this camera fly off the shelves.
Perry has promised that Luminous-Landscape would have a production system to work with when they become available. I’d love to take it on a trip and give a real hands on review and we may just be able to do that with somethings that we have planned in August.
I wouldn’t fool myself for a minute if I didn’t think that others weren’t working on similar camera systems. Rumors have been rampant from Fuji, Sony and Phase One and I wouldn’t be surprised to see Pentax also jump into the fray. Having had a lot of experience in medium format photography and the market in general I think that last few months should put to rest the phrase of “medium format being dead”. I have been hearing that for 16 plus years and medium format is actually stronger than ever before. Perhaps the crossover points of megapixels and sensor size is blurring but there is no question that medium format lives on stronger than ever.
It will be an interesting few months as we approach Photokina. Nick Devlin and I will be at Photokina reporting for Luminous-Landscape and as usual we will bring you daily reports. I think in the next 10 weeks we will also see more surprise announcements from a number of big players. I have said it before – it’s an exciting time to be a photographer. So many great cameras to choose from all producing superior image quality. One has to ask where we go from here. Good question, as I think back 20 years and would never have thought we would be where are today and I was a progressive thinker.
Thank you Hasselblad for pushing the envelope. I am anxious to get my hands on this camera and run it through its paces.
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