Hasselblad X1D review: 50 million astonishing pixels (2022)

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There’s a class of cameras designed almost exclusively for studio use. Expensive, hulking things, they live their lives on tripods, churning out exquisite portraits and other specialist photography for truly committed professionals. Hasselblad makes such cameras, and its flagship H6D is an archetypal example, costing $33,000 without a lens, but producing epic 100-megapixel shots. It’s those grand extremes of resolution, courtesy of an extra-large medium format sensor, that attract photographers to spend five figures on a camera they can’t take everywhere with them.

The $8,000 Hasselblad X1D is another expensive medium format camera (you can’t buy a lens for it for less than $2,000), but it breaks with convention by actually being portable. It takes the 50-megapixel sensor previously inside the H6D and streamlines everything around it to produce a device that’s no larger or heavier than a regular DSLR. I’ve been testing the X1D for the past two months, and over that time, I’ve grown increasingly appreciative of what a technical achievement it is. This camera is bigger and more demanding than most, but it’s also far smaller and easier to operate than anything else with a sensor of its size.

Hasselblad X1D review: 50 million astonishing pixels (1)

Before my review of the X1D, I visited Hasselblad’s headquarters in Gothenburg, Sweden, and witnessed for myself the assembly process for all of its cameras. It’s meticulous. A lot of the work is done by hand, there are multiple verification steps to ensure a consistent standard of quality, and each camera is calibrated to match the color reproduction of Hasselblad’s best. The same people who build and repair the mighty H6D are now working on the X1D, and after my time observing their work, I can say I’d feel in safe hands trusting them to build a camera for me.

I’m also delighted by the Hasselblad X1D’s designers, who have done some things that feel utterly obvious in hindsight, but which other camera companies have yet to copy. Let’s start with the mode dial on the top right: it sits flush with the milled-aluminum top of the X1D when not in use, but pops up when you press it in and has a nice and easy rotation. Most cameras just leave this dial free to rotate, resulting in accidental mode switches, or the ones that lock it down do so with really awkward and finicky mechanisms. Adjusting modes on the X1D, on the other hand, is downright pleasurable.

The battery is another highlight for me. Its compartment lacks the usual flap, but there’s no chance for the battery to fall out accidentally. To extract the battery, you slide a little lever and it falls out about half an inch: you then have to push the battery back in to fully release it. Like the mode dial, this is a tactile delight that really conveys a sense of thoughtful design. Even without a flap, Hasselblad has made this compartment weather-sealed by running a thin strip of rubber along the edge of each battery. Having shot for a couple of hours in the Swedish rain in December, I can confirm that this camera handles inclement weather well.

As far as size goes, the X1D is most comparable to the Canon T7i. It is substantially taller and bulkier than the slick mirrorless portable shooters on the market today, but if you’re already using a DSLR, it won’t feel any heavier or more awkward to handle. It might even be easier to use, owing to its ergonomically shaped right-hand grip.

Hasselblad X1D review: 50 million astonishing pixels (2)
(Video) HASSELBLAD X1D review :: how DEEP are these MEDIUM FORMAT pixels?

The other big design decision that Hasselblad made with the X1D is to shamelessly copy the touchscreen interface from modern smartphones. The company told me as much during my visit, and it’s obvious to see the moment you pick up the camera. Navigating image previews is done via familiar swipe and pinch-to-zoom gestures, and the menu of options is stripped down to the essentials, accessible via large, finger-friendly icons. It’s a breath of fresh air for anyone who’s had to wrestle with the unnecessary complexity of Sony, Nikon, or Canon camera menus.

It’s not all glorious good news, though. Having grown used to Fujifilm’s excellent X-T20, I miss the direct physical controls that that camera provides. Diving into a touchscreen menu will never be as immediate or intuitive as having actual buttons, and the X1D is thus clumsier to adjust on the fly.

Then again, it’s not like you’re going to be rushing anywhere when using this camera. Shooting with the Hasselblad X1D is an exercise in patience. Powering it up takes a luxurious eight seconds, which is long enough to guarantee that you’ll miss any fleeting moment you might have wanted to capture. Taking a photo is also a very slow process: the autofocus is slow, the shutter release is slow, and the processing after capture is slow. These are all compromises inherent in shooting with a medium format sensor (which produces vast 90MB RAW files). So, in short: this is a terrible camera for trying to capture sports, hyperactive kids, or serendipitous moments in the street.

I’m not only willing to overlook the X1D’s slowness, I actually consider it an asset. This camera is different. Because I know I can’t thoughtlessly point it at something and grab a quick shot, it forces me to be more deliberate. My typical 16GB SD cards get saturated within 135 shots or so, and that makes me a little more precious about choosing my shots. If you’re wondering why enthusiasts today are turning the clock back and opting for film cameras, it’s a lot of the same reasons for why I like the Hasselblad X1D. We find the constraints helpful and even enjoyable. The double-click of the X1D’s shutter sound feels more ceremonious to me, and the long processing delay after it suggests that something worth waiting for is going on.

The photos from the Hasselblad X1D are, indeed, worth waiting for. Until the X1D, my impression of a higher megapixel count was that it came at the cost of image quality — because camera companies would just cram more (and smaller) pixels into the same space. The advantage of a medium format sensor, though, is that the X1D has massive pixels and a huge number of them, too. If you take the Google Pixel and Pixel 2 cameras, which have large pixels for a smartphone at around 1.5μm, as your example, consider how far superior the X1D is with its 5.3μm pixels. That’s how I can take the above handheld shot, using the $2,700 45mm Hasselblad XCD lens, and extract an extremely cropped (yet nearly perfect) water droplet out of it.

Hasselblad X1D review: 50 million astonishing pixels (5)

Hasselblad X1D review: 50 million astonishing pixels (6)

(Video) Digital 50 MegPixel Hasselblad X1D II in a small prairie town.

I have countless examples of such photos where the overall image looks nice and sharp, and then you zoom right in to full resolution and just lose your shit at how crisp it still is. Everything I know and have seen of cameras tells me that sharpness and detail should degrade at that level of magnification relative to the original shot, but because of the ridiculous 50-megapixel resolution, we’re still just looking at 100-percent crops. The Hasselblad X1D can do things that no other camera of its size and weight can even dream of. Fujifilm’s GFX uses the same Sony sensor as this Hasselblad, but it’s a giant and daunting piece of pro gear, whereas the X1D is straight up friendly to hold and behold.

It’s important to stress here that I’ve been using the X1D as a handheld portable camera, and I’m far from the steadiest photographer. Yet I was still able to produce photos with this camera that are full of extremely sharp, finely nuanced detail.

Hasselblad will tell you that its custom-designed Phocus software is the best way to process images shot with the X1D or any other Hasselblad camera because the software is intimately familiar with all the company’s bodies and lenses. While it’s true that Phocus does indeed work faster than Adobe Lightroom, I found it to be an unintuitive and frustrating tool. But if you put in the required time and effort to learn how to use it, I can see how this can raise the ceiling on image quality. There’s plenty of learning and adapting that one can expect to do with the X1D (or any other medium format camera) in order to make the most of it.

(Video) DPReview TV: Hasselblad X1D II 50C Review

Testing the X1D at higher sensitivity settings like ISO 6400 didn’t leave me quite as impressed as the rest of the camera’s imaging prowess. Graininess starts to show up at that setting (and even at ISO 3200 sometimes), and I wouldn’t really consider this a camera tuned for handling the most challenging lighting situations. Simpler and cheaper cameras (comparatively speaking!) like the Nikon D4 have impressed me more with their apparent ability to see in the dark. The X1D does have an expansive range of shutter speeds, going from 1/2000 of a second to a full 60 minutes, so you can still achieve most of what you want with it, even if its ISO performance is not the greatest. (Flash photographers will be happy to know that they can sync their strobes all the way up to 1/2000 of a second, thanks to the leaf shutter system inside each Hasselblad lens.)

Hasselblad X1D review: 50 million astonishing pixels (9)
Hasselblad X1D review: 50 million astonishing pixels (10)
Hasselblad X1D review: 50 million astonishing pixels (11)

One of the disturbing things I heard during my review period with the X1D is that previous reviewers had found issues and bugs in its software. I can’t say I experienced any such problems in the weeks I had the X1D to test. Hasselblad tells me it has been issuing firmware updates for this camera every three months, so I’m inclined to believe that whatever flaws it suffered from upon its release in 2016 have since been ironed out.

In spite of coming with a generous 3,200mAh battery, the Hasselblad X1D is really quite poor in terms of endurance. Depending on how much I use the rear screen to compose photos — I prefer the very good electronic viewfinder — or check results, I can drain a full battery in as little as 150 shots. That makes it an absolute necessity to get at least one extra battery, preferably two, which cost $130 each.

Hasselblad X1D review: 50 million astonishing pixels (12)
(Video) Hasselblad's medium format X1D mirrorless camera

With all the various burdens of owning a Hasselblad X1D, I realize I’m recommending this camera to a very particular and narrow demographic. Who, other than professionals determined to take their medium format shooting out of the studio, is the X1D for?

The answer really isn’t the traditional camera enthusiast. Sports and nighttime photography fans are better served by high-end alternatives from Sony and Nikon. If you just want to be a hipster with an expensive and superlative camera, Leica has a whole range of those to sell you. And yet, the camera I lust after now is exactly this X1D, even while it’s heavier, sometimes clumsier, and consistently slower than most other cameras.

The Hasselblad X1D difference is in its headline feature: that enormous medium format sensor and the unbelievable freedom that its 50-megapixel resolution affords. Yes, the price is stratospheric, but so is the performance. Because of its portable design and extraordinary sharpness, I can be confident the time and money (if I had it) I invest in shooting with the X1D will be repaid. That’s not something I can say of every camera.

In onze review van de Hasselblad X1D middenformaat camera komen we erachter hoe ver je met 50 megapixels precies komt.

Deze camera is groter en veeleisender dan de meeste, maar hij is ook veel kleiner en gemakkelijker te bedienen dan al het andere met een sensor van dit formaat.. Dit zijn allemaal compromissen die inherent zijn aan fotograferen met een middenformaat sensor (die enorme RAW-bestanden van 90 MB produceert).. Deze camera is anders .. Er is genoeg te leren en aan te passen dat je kunt verwachten met de X1D (of een andere middenformaat camera) om er het beste uit te halen.. Ik kan niet zeggen dat ik dergelijke problemen heb ondervonden in de weken dat ik de X1D had om te testen.. Vanwege het draagbare ontwerp en de buitengewone scherpte, kan ik er zeker van zijn dat de tijd en het geld (als ik het had) die ik investeer in het fotograferen met de X1D zal worden terugbetaald.. Dat kan ik niet van elke camera zeggen.

Hasselblad — the legendary manufacturer famed for supplying the camera that documented the Apollo moon landing missions — is renowned for high-end, expensive, medium-format cameras. But in a sign of shifting times, the iconic Swedish company has been acquired by the Chinese aerial drone manufacturer DJI, and together they’re bringing more competitively-priced digital options to [...]

The mirrorless Hasselblad X1D-50c features a “cropped” medium-format 50Mp 43.8 x 32.9mm CMOS sensor.. At base ISO, the X1D-50c offers outstanding color depth ( Portrait score ) of 26.2 bits and a dynamic range ( Landscape score ) of 14.8 EV .. While the camera offers sensitivity settings as high as ISO 25,600, the top “true” ISO value the sensor offers is ISO 3200.. Similarly, the X1D-50c’s dynamic range (Landscape score) of 14.8 EV is comparable to the best-performing full-frame sensors we’ve tested — the Nikon D850 and D810 , which achieve the same score at base ISO.. For more detail about sensor performance, our in-depth analysis takes a closer look at the Hasselblad X1D-50c compared to the highest-scoring Nikon D850 and Sony A7R II full-frame sensors.. The Hasselblad X1D-50c and Nikon D850 offer effectively the same dynamic range at all ISO sensitivities.. Both offer around a one-stop advantage over the Sony A7R II at base ISO (14.81 EV compared to 13.89 EV), but the gap narrows as sensitivity is increased, with comparable results between ISO 800 to 3200 for all three sensors.. For “normalized” print results, the X1D-50c exceeds the stated 14 stops of dynamic range that Hasselblad claims, measuring 14.81 EV, which matches the Nikon D850 and offers around one stop better dynamic range than the Sony A7R II at base ISO.Those scores are for Print results, however, where resolution is “normalized” to an 8Mp 12×8-inch print at 300ppi.. We can see that at base ISO, the X1D-50c achieves a score of 13.55 EV, which comes very close to the 14 stops of dynamic range Hasselblad claims for the 16-bit color definition potential of the sensor.. As such, it’s the highest Low-Light ISO score we’ve recorded, and for Print results, we can see that the larger sensor surface area on the X1D-50c gives it a slight edge over the full-frame Nikon D850 and Sony A7R II.. The X1D-50c provides slightly higher DB values at all ISO sensitivity settings for normalized print results, differentiating it from the top-performing, high-resolution full-frame sensors in the Nikon D850 and the Sony A7R II.. At 102 points overall, it also achieves either the best, or very close to the best results for both color depth and dynamic range.. That said, while its image quality is up there with the best, it’s not significantly better than other super high-resolution full-frame sensors, such as the Nikon D850 DSLR or the Sony A7R II, except in low light.

<p><a href="https://youtu.be/zvRk6ZE_5PU"></a></p> <h2>X1D II 50C von Hasselblad - Leistungsstarke, spiegellose Kamera im Mittelformat</h2> <ul> <li>43.8 x 32.9 mm Sensor</li> <li>3,6-Zoll-Touch-Display</li> <li>Schnell startklar</li> <li>Integriert

Die aufgerüstete elektronische Plattform des X1D II 50C umfasst ein brillantes 3,6-Zoll-Touch-Display mit 2,36 Millionen Bildpunkten und einen verbesserten elektronischen OLED-Sucher (EVF) mit 3,69 Millionen Dotsanda (0,87-fache Vergrößerung), beide mit einer höheren Auflösung und einer schnelleren Auflösung Aktualisierungsrate der Live-Ansicht und eine noch schnellere und intuitivere Steuerung der Benutzeroberfläche.. Die Auslöseverzögerung und die Verdunkelungszeit zwischen den Bildern wurden reduziert, und die Startzeit hat sich gegenüber der ersten Generation fast halbiert.Die integrierte WLAN- und USB-C-Verbindung ermöglicht einen portablen Workflow im Mittelformat mit Phocus Mobile 2, mit dem der Fotograf Zeichnungs- und JPEG-Dateien in voller Qualität direkt vom X1D II 50C auf sein iPadPro übertragen und diese bearbeiten kann.. Mit der X1D II 50C kann der Fotograf die Schönheit des Mittelformats aus dem Studio mitnehmen und die Welt um sich herum mit Hasselblads bekannter, atemberaubender Bildqualität einfangen.. Mit der X1D II 50C, die leicht und tragbar ist, kannst Du die Leistung des Mittelformats in einer Kompaktheit nutzen, die kleiner ist als die der meisten 35-mm-Vollformatkameras.. Das brillante 3,6-Zoll-Touch-Display mit 2,36 Millionen Punkten und der verbesserte 3,69-Millionen-Punkt-OLED-EVF des X1D II 50C wurden mit höherer Auflösung aktualisiert, um eine genauere Bewertung von Bildern nach der Aufnahme zu ermöglichen.. Mit einer kürzeren Startzeit, einer Live-Ansicht mit einer schnelleren Bildwiederholrate von 60 fps und einer kürzeren Zeitspanne für Verschluss und Blackout zwischen den Bildern sorgt die X1D II 50C für ein noch flüssigeres Benutzererlebnis.. Der X1D II 50C übernimmt das preisgekrönte Design der ersten Generation und setzt Hasselblads Tradition der Verschmelzung von Form und Funktion nahtlos fort, um ein reibungsloses Handling zu gewährleisten.


1. Hasselblad X1D: 50 Megapixels, Medium Format, $9K
(Tony & Chelsea Northrup)
2. Hasselblad X series digital cameras - X1D & X1DII 50c. Understanding Hasselblad's design philosophy.
(Jonathan Harris at Worldwide Camera Exchange)
3. Hasselblad X1D ii 50c review: I was surprised by it!
4. $10,000 Camera For Street Photography
(Evan Ranft)
5. Hasselblad X1D-50c: Full Review
(Adam Welch - Photographist)
6. Hasselblad H6D-100c Review - Shooting Medium-Format Video

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