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Hasseblad joins the mirrorless brigade with the X1D

Create: 06/28/2016 - 21:36
Hasselblad X1D

HIGHLIGHTS

  • First mirrorless medium-format camera system
  • Has electronic viewfinder and Live View 3.0-inch LCD monitor
  • New line of XCD lenses

No doubt about it – the mirrorless camera segment is where most of the new, exciting products have been released.

The latest player in that arena is an unlikely one: Hasselblad.

Last week, it announced the X1D. Its body shape screams APS-C, but in fact it’s a medium format mirrorless camera with a 50-MP CMOS sensor.

On paper, there is much to like about the X1D.

 

  • Dual SD memory-card slots
  • Touch-enabled fixed 3.0-inch LCD with Live View, as well as an electronic viewfinder
  • Full HD video
  • USB 3.0 Type C connectivity for fast transfer of images and videos

This is not a high-speed camera. The frame rate tops out at 1.7-2.3 frames per second.

As you might expect from a 50-MP 43.8 x 32.9mm sensor, the file sizes can be large. RAW files are about 65MB.

The dual SD memory card slots are configurable. The camera can write RAW or JPG simultaneously to both slots or write to one card until it fills and then switch to the other. The X1D also can be set up so that it writes RAW files to one card and JPG to the other.

The CMOS sensor has an ISO range of 100-25,600.

When reviewing files, the photographer can use smartphone-style gestures, such as swipe and pinch to zoom in on the photo.

Curiously, the camera is fitted with a Nikon hot shoe, which means that the X1D should be able to use Nikon’s series of Speedlights.

For the system, Hasselblad is releasing a new line of XCD lenses, which have integrated lens shutters. Flash synchronization is available at all speeds from 60 minutes to 1/2,000. The two announced autofocus lenses:

  • f/3.5 45mm (standard lens), US$2,295 - this is a wide-angle lens that provides a 35mm field of view (in terms of full-frame 35mm)
  • f/3.2 90mm (portrait lens), US$2,695 - this is a short telephoto lens that provies a 71mm field of view (in terms of full-frame 35mm) 

Hasselblad says the X1D body is "hand made" in Sweden, while the lenses are designed in Sweden and made in Japan. A close look at the lenses shows that there are no external rings for selecting shutter speeds, meaning that speeds are controlled electronically through the X1D body. There also is no aperture ring, which is common with many digital cameras.

H system lenses can be used with an adapter. No word on whether other adapters will be available to allow the use of lenses from other medium-format systems.

The body is reasonably sized at 5.9 x 3.9 x 2.8 inches (150.4 x 98.1 x 71.4mm). Hasselblad describes it as being roughly the size of a medium format rangefinder. The X1D body with its 3,200 maH lithium-ion battery weighs 26 ounces (725 grams).

The camera is expected to begin shipping in the late July 2016 and will cost US$8,995.

About the Author

Mike Elek is a longtime journalist and was one of the original editors for The Wall Street Journal Online. He also has worked as a reporter and editor in Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Vineland, N.J.; Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; New York City; and Hong Kong. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran. He shoots with film and digital cameras.