Announcing the Hasselblad X1D-50c: medium format mirrorless is here.

X1D_Front34_B_Grey_v011_g copy

The teaser said game changer; those fighting words have been used before and left something wanting. I think now that the dust has somewhat settled after the X1D announcement, clearer heads may prevail in the analysis. For those who missed it: Hasselblad have just announced a 50MP medium format (44x33mm) mirrorless camera with a 2.36MP EVF, new lenses and full back compatibility with existing H system lenses, at a price point that’s bringing the fight to Pentax and making 35mm DSLRs look physically bloated.

It’s now time for a little of my customary analysis, and in a few weeks, an extended shooting report.

The solo camera images say little, but this I think says it all:

camera scales

These are cameras whose sizes and prices we recognise. The X1D’s image quality is not an unknown: it houses the same sensor, processor and imaging pipeline as the H6D: i.e. the best available, bar the 100MP sensor.

X1D_Side_Grey_v006_g copy

This says more: it’s not a very thick camera at all. What’s interesting is the flange distance is short enough to permit both adaptation for other lenses – from pretty much every system – and that this much reduction has taken place at all. Effectively, what we’re looking at is a H6D-50 that’s been repackaged into something much, much smaller. Granted, we’ve lost several things like a PDAF autofocus system, top panel LCD, interchangeable backs, optical finder and some sync ports, but for most people: this is welcome, given the camera has also now lost approximately half the weight. The X1D is a featherweight 725g without a lens, which makes it lighter than the Nikon D750 – and not much heavier than a Leica Q.



Note: MTF measurements at the usual 10/30/40 lp/mm.

You’d think there’d be some optical compromises: there don’t appear to be. As you can see from the published MTF charts, we’re looking at a couple of world class autofocus lenses here for the launch; the 90mm looks especially impressive. Distortion is a little on the high side, but appears correctable in software. I think compromising lens speed in exchange for size is a smart decision in this case; the missing mirror means that minimum shutter speeds before camera shake kicks in are significantly lower. And the leaf shutters in the lenses will still hit 1/2000s and offer full sync at that speed, with the same 1-million shot MTBF and warranty as the new H system lenses (probably the same physical shutter units). There’s also a Nikon TTL compatible hotshoe (see DPR’s shot of the hotshoe itself for confirmation here). To fill out the rest of the lens line, the camera is fully compatible with the H system lenses – in fact, the contact pins look the same and I suspect the adaptor will just be a tube with extended electrical contacts. It remains to be seen whether the native XCD lenses are highly telecentric or the sensor itself has an offset microlens array. Finally, a 30mm is planned for Photokina.

Before anybody asks again in the comments, the body contains no shutter. This means whilst the flange distance is very short and some 35mm lenses may well cover the format, they will only be usable if a) there is an electronic shutter implemented in firmware – that has yet to be confirmed, and b) some enterprising third party gets out the lathes.

X1D_Front_sensor_White_v005 copy

Interestingly, there are both square and 2.6:1 internal crop options, satisfying both those yearning for the V and Xpan cameras (the original Xpan recorded 24x65mm; this will do presumably 44x16mm to preserve the aspect ratio). Personally, I’d just shoot with the full area and crop later, but it does make for an interesting compositional option to have these natively represented in the viewfinder. One hopes the camera saves the entire file and just tags a crop for later adjustment flexibility if we want to shift the crop up or down to gain some perspective control – assuming you’re not using the HTS 1.5x attachment to begin with. Other feature highlights include built in GPS and wifi, which will allow full control of the camera via the same iPhone and iPad app as used by the existing H cameras. It operates the same under tethering (USB-C) as the H6D. There are also dual SD slots, plus 1080P25 video recording – again, identical to the H6D-50c. The battery is actually of a higher capacity than the H system cameras – 3200mAh vs 2900mAh; my experience with live view on the H5 suggests about two hours per battery is normal, closer to three with the more power-efficient H6. I’d expect about the same with the X1D, which suggests two batteries will get you through a day or more if you cycle power between shots.

X1D_Rear_White copy

Design-wise, the camera resembles nothing so much as a clear descendant of the V-system SWC cameras (sans film back) and the H6D; look closely and the lineage is clearly visible in the metal-edged square design with black infill and the hump to conceal (then) the folding waist level finder. The back control UI is all H6D, however. Buttons, menus and touch panel carry over from the H6D. Notably, both metal body and lenses are weather sealed. Personally, as a V shooter – it hits all the right buttons in a good way; there’s lineage here, there’s modernity, there’s a clever attempt to clean up and reduce the external interface to the essentials and nothing more. It looks like nothing else on the market at the moment – frankly, a refreshing piece of industrial design that avoids increasing complexity for the sake of it. Of course, until I get to shoot with one I won’t be able to say if it hits the mark. But it does appear that the design choices and compromises have been sensible ones, and this bodes well.

A4517979 copy
Lineage: SWC without film back, but with added grip.

The biggest question of all is what this bodes for the rest of the industry. A EUR 7,900 camera body and ~EUR 2,000 lenses are not cheap by any means, but remember that we are now facing significant price inflation in 35mm cameras anyway (as this earlier article shows). The professional Canikon bodies are not much cheaper than this, and are nowhere close in terms of image quality. The Leica SL is similarly priced, and once again, nowhere close in terms of image quality. Lenses are more expensive, too. None of these cameras have leaf shutters or sync to 1/2000s. Surprisingly, the Pentax 645Z wasn’t as disruptive as anybody expected other than outside Japan; perhaps because it filled a niche that wasn’t previously addressed at all, and lacked some critical features that have traditionally been the USPs of medium format (system incompleteness, slow flash sync) it wasn’t really a threat to the main medium format manufacturers, either.

X1D_Topview_Grey_007 copy

I think X1D is different, though. Mainly because it now becomes part of a much larger system; it brings the same image quality we already know and value to a much lower price point and more easily manageable size; and on top of that, seems to extend the envelope a bit – no mirror slap, (hopefully) a future electronic shutter and 12.8k and 25.6k ISO ranges over its H5D/H6D brethren might well buy us a couple of stops in practice (I believe there’s auto-ISO functionality too, finally – if the preview video is anything to go by). On top of that, it’s a ground-up design that actually addresses the critical needs of the photographer – and doesn’t add anything beyond that. Whilst my preference is for a good optical finder because it’s much easier to see in low light and doesn’t ruin your night vision, an EVF* is really the only solution for this physical size and format. I actually think the biggest casualties of the X1D’s market cannibalization aren’t going to be Leica, Phase One or the 35mm boys – it’s going to be Hasselblad themselves. Serious amateurs and high end 35mm shooters will probably add the X1D rather than replace something with it – I don’t think the native X system in itself is anywhere near complete enough (nor will it be in the immediate short term) to be a complete replacement, and the H system is still very much professionally priced and sized.

*A comment on the EVF: many have stated in the comments it appears under specced; I suspect the limitations are exclusivity of the higher resolution panels (so far, only Leica is using them) and that this sensor does not output more than XGA LV – neither the Pentax nor Phase One nor Hasselblad’s own H5/6 have more resolution that that in LV.

The casualties are likely to be the H5D-50c and H6D-50c, and perhaps to a lesser extent, the CFV. It’s also important to address one question that’s been going around the web: during the launch, CEO Perry Oosting said categorically it is a 100% unique to Hasselblad body and lenses (explicitly stated: not a rebranded Sony or Fuji, so we’ll not see a cheaper variant from one of those companies in future, but this doesn’t rule out their own competitors); the body is made in Sweden by Hasselblad with lenses made in Japan by Nittoh. In economic terms, I don’t see how there’s room in the pricing structure/margin for cheaper option by an OEM manufacturer: the sensor component alone is in the US$4k range.

In real terms, the same benchmark image quality performance as the H5D/6D-50c is now on offer for a third of the cost and physical size of the H6D, with the same or potentially greater compatibility. The one big question remaining is LV fluidity and AF speed (which is linked to LV frame rates, since the camera cannot recalculate AF position until it has a new frame to compare to the previous one – no matter how fast the lens’ motor). I certainly plan to add one to serve as the second/spare body instead of carrying around two H cameras. In fact, unless I need the 100MP H6D-100c – I think this may well land up being the primary body. Still, better to cannibalise one’s own lunch than have it eaten for you. If I were Hasselblad I’d have picked a different name (X1D is far too similar to Leica’s earlier X1) and perhaps added a wide to the launch lens lineup. The H6D-50c may well have been stillborn unless the development costs were mostly covered by the 100MP version – which I suspect they are, since all three cameras (X1D, both H6s) share the same architecture and platform. But I suspect that a lot of potential H5D and H6D buyers will be going X1D instead. All in all though, this is definitely a new step for medium format, and at least something technological innovative; the industry quite desperately needs a kick in the pants like this. There’s bound to be some pain and attrition: better to be the leader than scrambling later.

Coda: It’s interesting that half of the comments around the web and here are of the ‘I get it’ type and the other half are ‘I don’t get it’ type. So long as there are enough ‘I get its’ to keep the company in business and challenging the others, that’s a good thing. I doubt Sony will bother making one if they don’t see the demand, and I doubt Hasselblad will be pressured to respond and fix the uncompetitive aspects without it. If nobody made one then H and P1 could both go on charging 25k for a 50MP MF body with the same sensor. So, even if it personally doesn’t fit your needs – it’s a good thing it exists.

I expect to have an X1D and lenses in my hands very soon for extended evaluation; an in-depth shooting report will follow in due course. In the meantime, I will of course endeavour to answer any questions in the comments to the best of my ability – but please note that Hasselblad’s commercial, marketing and engineering choices are far outside my responsibility…  MT

The Hasselblad X1D camera and lenses are available to pre-order here from B&H. I do get a small referral fee from sales, which helps to pay for site bandwidth and hosting costs. More info is here on the Hasselblad site. There’ll also be a special bag made in collaboration with Billingham. Hasselblad says demos will be available end-July, with first deliveries beginning end-August.


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  1. It appears there is a single focus point, at release just placed in the centre, though moveable in later firmware (and given the lack of other buttons, I assume only via the touch screen??) Given there is no “true focus” technology here, I see a challenge using it for demanding and dynamic portrait work unfortunately. Or could we hope for face / eye detection??

    Am I missing something?

    Other than that, a highly desirable camera, at an amazing price point.

    • If you can move the focus point around by dragging the touch screen, then I don’t see the need for true focus – and this method works very well in cameras I’ve shot that have it (eg the Nikon D5500 and Panasonic GM5). It of course remains to be seen how exactly the focusing system has been implemented here…

  2. Ming,
    Sigma has announced the pricing of their new Quattro SD cameras: $799 for the body and $999 for body with 30mm f/1.4 DC HSM lens. And now that’s quite an incredibly competitive price!

    • Yes it is. But fundamentally, it’s got to compete with APSC mirrorless whilst carrying the usual Sigma quirks – speed, workflow, high ISO limitations etc…

  3. Ming, at this price point can Hasselblad drive sales of Sony A7Rii and the professional Canikon DSLRs towards XD-50C?

    • For those users who can tell the difference and have felt something missing, yes. For most, no – you can see that yourself in the comments here. A lot of people think the A7RII is the messiah and sliced bread 🙂

      • A7rii is uninspiring but XD-50C seems to be a different beast – like what iPhone was to mobile phone market dominated by Nokia feature phones. Look where Nokia is today!

        • I suspect if we go back 9 years, we’ll find the iPhone had similar detractors…who are now all using iPhones or iPhone design derivatives…

          • Precisely! The price difference is no doubt substantial but certainly not intimidating to deter early adopters. When clients start demanding the use X1D-50C it will be fun.

            • I think the days of clients demanding specific hardware are actually much less than they used to be, simply because the overall standard of capture has gone up across the board – but output hasn’t, so we can print double truck just fine with M4/3 most of the time (assuming perfect pixels). That’s not to say medium format isn’t a differentiator, but it isn’t the exclusion filter it used to be.

              • Do you not think there’s more than a bit of (misplaced and unnecessary) ingratitude creeping in in respect of Sony?
                The A7r2 is not perfect – nothing is in this life – but at least Sony appear to be listening to their customers and not resting on their laurels as, to a massive extent, have been, and appear to continue to be, the two dinosaurs of the prosumer sector of the industry. The A7r2 is a different beast from its immediate predecessor, the A7r – vastly improved in many, many respects – and has given many people an entry into a level of imaging potential which was previously beyond their means.
                Sony, and the others in the mirrorless brigade, have probably been the catalyst and kick up the backside which has shaken what was a beast in danger of extinction (Hasselblad) out of its lethargy and into the 21st century. We should all be thankful for that and the competitive choice it gives us – and let’s not forget who supplies Hasselblad with its sensors (and probably help with other matters also).
                Before anyone jumps down my throat, I must stress that I am not a Sony fanboy – nor am I a fanboy of any manufacturer, as a system must do a job for me or it is quickly dispensed with. I have owned and used extensively many camera systems, from both the pre digital and digital eras and take my hat off to Sony for the part they have played in the digital revolution.

                • If you think A7rii is good enough for your work, who am I to question it? If I find it uninspiring do I owe you or Sony an apology? Sorry
                  brand loyalty is not a religion to me.

                  • You’ve misread me – my principal system is Leica S.
                    I merely commented that quite a bit of the catalyst for change has come from Sony and, while not meaning that their equipment should be purchased out of gratitude (how silly would that be..!!), the part they’ve played and, no doubt, will continue to play, is worthy of recognition.

                    • Yes of course Sony’s contribution is great. So was Nokia’s contribution to mobile phone. Yet a lot of us switched to iPhone.

                    • And, in the meantime, many have switched to Samsung and other phone manufacturers.
                      I think your analogy may be capable of being considered to be a bit tenuous.

                    • But that’s precisely my point: even today’s Samsung design gestalt is a derivative of the iPhone: large multitouch screen and one button. Witness the number of lawsuits for design infringement between the two companies…

                    • IAll the points you make about Sony is the reason why I look forward to see a Sony mirrorless medium format camera at 2/3 price of Hasselblad. 🙂

                    • Stranger things have happened, James.
                      Who would really have thought, even as little as 5 years ago, that photography would be where it is today?

                    • We are in a strange paradox: visual saturation and therefore more demand for content (and differentiated content) but lower value for quality. I for one can’t figure it out.

                    • It’s called the “Age of the Internet, Facebook and Twitter”, Ming, where everyone is an “expert”, even although they have no real pedigree, nor the talent to hold themselves out as such.

                    • Yet they are the ones holding the purse strings – I encounter this more and more. Art directors who can’t direct, creative directors who aren’t creative. How do these people get work? The mind boggles.

                    • Err…I don’t mind paying the extra third for something that works as it should…

                  • Nor is it for me. I use whatever works, and the A7RII most certainly did not. It locked up, threw inexplicable errors, and the local ‘pro’ service organization were completely unhelpful.

                • I should should be grateful for handing over $3000 for a camera that doesn’t work properly, has no support and I have to buy another one to hopefully fix some of the problems? Surely you jest. I certainly hope others’ experiences weren’t like mine, but I’ve read far too many to rule out random sample error – unless necessary tolerances are really that tight and QC really that bad.

                  • I think you may have also mid-read my comments, Ming.

                    • If I read you correctly Bob you’re suggesting that we should be more grateful to Sony for their innovations in mirrorless. However, I think that is unnecessary purely because it’s business. Sony initially tried to compete with the big boys with the Alpha line, which they quickly realised was impossible due to Canikon being too deeply entrenched in the DSLR domain. They hardly made a dent. They weren’t the first to mirrorless, but they correctly recognised that mirrorless was going to be their big break, which was correct.

                      I could make the analogy with iPhone also. How many people with Samsung/LG/etc Android phones care that their phones owed something to Apple? Even the ones that have no affinity with any brand would probably go straight back to their phone screens if you posed this question. And this situation definitely parallels that of Sony’s situation, when Apple also had to make a clean break due to trying to enter a market with deeply entrenched players eg Nokia/Ericsson.

                      In short, it’s all just business, and there are no hard feelings/soft feelings either way. Sony had to innovate and it paid off much as it did for Apple, but in a few years someone else will be there to take the innovation crown away from them, and the cycle continues. Certainly it doesn’t mean that Ming should go easy on them just because they dared to do something different.

                    • Sony has proven in the past that they’re very willing and quick to drop business lines that are going south. This is not what you want in a long term investment like a professional camera system…it also means they’re far less likely to invest in the required support infrastructure required to deliver a level of service comparable to the other players. Malaysia is a good example: three week turnaround (if you’re lucky, I’ve heard worse) for simple repairs done within the country. Heaven forbid if it has to go to Singapore or Japan.

                    • I can’t comment, Ming, as, unlike my experiences of a few years ago with Hasselblad, I’ve not yet had occasion to send a piece of equipment back to Sony for repair, although, given the fragility of today’s equipment, I’ve no doubt it will happen.
                      I share your concerns about Sony’s longevity in the camera, if not sensor, market. Having been in business myself for several decades, I fully understand the need to identify loss makers and dead end lines as soon as possible and remove them from the business model before they turn gangrenous and, for that reason, for as long as I am able to, I will keep two horses in my stable – Leica S and Sony.

                    • I actually have serious concerns about the longevity of ALL cameras today. Partially because the underlying hardware is pretty similar across the board – common sensors, chip architecture (nobody makes their own ram buffers etc) and just simple obsolescence for commercial reasons. I don’t have any modern working cameras that have lasted over five years; at that point many simply became uneconomical to repair or unsupported. Some are worse than others – I’ve had Nikons that just needed new shutters, and I’ve had others with sensors or lens mechanisms that have packed in – or worse, anomalous electronic faults that can’t be diagnosed or repaired cleanly.

                      My take on the whole thing is a) buy what works; b) temper that with return on investment if you’re a pro or your comfort level if you’re an amateur, and c) presence of local support. I understand that Leica support is fantastic in Europe; it’s a disaster here. If I relied on those things for my income, I’d be stuffed if my cameras had to go back for a month or more at a time – and every Leica I’ve used has now developed a fault of some kind, which is rather worrying. Let’s not even talk about Sony…I’ve never seen any other brand give ‘invalid battery’ errors and subsequently shut down – with their own original and very expensive batteries, no less!

                    • Not “grateful” but recognising the part Sony have played, and I hope continue to play, in digital imaging, regardless of the reasons. I doubt whether the new Hasselblad camera would exist at all without the involvement of Sony.

                    • I’d go further to say that MF would probably be dead without them: there’d be no new sensors!

                • Michael Demeyer says:

                  Well stated, Bob.

  4. Jim Suojanen says:

    Apologies if you answered this, but an amazing # of comments; couldn’t read them all. Any chance this might be adaptable to my Arcbody? (or vice versa?)

    • Nope, flange distance issues. I think you’d want a CFV-50c for that…same sensor, too. And bound to be some used ones on the market after this announcement…

  5. Talking about size comparison, it would be nice to see H6D in one hand and X1D in another, both with same focal lens of course. And why no up tilting LCD? After all first Hassies were ground glass babies.

    • Tilting LCD would have increased thickness. I’ll do the size comparison once I get my hands on one, but I suspect a) cross section is the same but b) 80% of the depth is missing 🙂

  6. Wow! I might just replace my Leica S for this camera

  7. Props to Hassey for this! It’s a great design for a mirrorless medium format camera, and brings new technology to the segment, along with a nice, simple, elegant design. If they did design, engineer, and build this themselves, then good for them!

    They also needed a product like this to help erase the Lunar and Stellar misfires that were hurting their reputation.

    Hopefully this camera offers additional horsepower that will enable it to shoot faster than previous medium format cameras. That would make it all the more useful in the field, particularly given its increased portability.

    As to Fujifilm, the speculation on the web was obviously erroneous (I, too, fell into this camp and thought the X1D a likely collaboration with Fuji). Meanwhile, Fuji will are said to be announcing a new medium format system at Photokina in September, and rumors suggest it will also be mirrorless. So it looks as though we’re seeing a new segment being created here … albeit at the higher end of the spectrum (where I think the profits are likely to be going forward).

    • I actually don’t know to what degree the previous reputation has been erased: look at the assumption (and worse, insistence by people with no reliable sources) that even this is a Sony/Fuji. The simple truth is there is no margin left around the component and labor cost to pay a third party royalties; the price is just too low for that.

      The H6 on which it’s based shoots pretty fast, and faster than the H5 – which I’ve never encountered a buffer issue with, though one has to wait to review and magnify etc (but no longer than an A7RII). The H6 is almost instant if you use the 500mb+ CFAST cards.

      • I thought Thom Hogan’s remarks made a lot of sense >>

        “Suddenly in medium format the Pentax 645D has a competitor in price, and one that is smaller and lighter. Suddenly full frame shooters are wondering whether they want a bigger sensor. Hasselblad has managed to make a high-end body that is desirable, at least at this early stage before anyone really has had a chance to shoot with it and discover its liabilities, if any.”

        If nothing else, this does shake up the market a little bit. One wonders how closely Nikon/Canon are paying attention (DSLRs, for all their maturity and capability, are looking a bit long in the tooth now). Certainly Sony must be a little nervous about how the X1D will impact A7rII sales (despite the higher price).

  8. A hands on video with the camera here from newsshooter, some spec on it’s video output mentioned, but it is not meant for that of course, I think the UI is great reminds me a of the blackmagic pocket camera interface, but this is on a different level. I;m still a skeptic despite the statements made, I think there may be more sony in this camera then what is let out. would I love to try it yes yes yes, but I have only ever had the cheaper gear and this is most certainly out of my reach.

  9. Hi Ming,

    Great review on a beautiful looking camera. Just a small correction – the new H series batteries are also 3200mAh, at least my H6D-50c battery is.


    • They may have changed that with the final versions – mine is a final preproduction prototype and it’s possible they didn’t have final batteries ready when I got it. I just checked again and it has the same 2900mAh battery as my H5…

  10. “The professional Canikon bodies are not much cheaper than this, and are nowhere close in terms of image quality.”

    I take issue with this comment. First, you can’t really compare the top end bodies of Nikon and Canon (D5/1Dx). While they approach the cost of the X1D (though still significantly less) they are targeted at a completely different market. One could argue that they take vastly better photos than the X1D since they capture *more* photos. With the X1D you are almost guaranteed to miss shots when shooting sports, racing, birds, etc. I guarantee you won’t see any of the X1D cameras at the end of the 100m dash in Rio.

    If you compare the X1D to the high megapixel cams from Sony/Canon/Nikon (A7R2, 5DS R, D810) then those offer better IQ compared to their big body cousins and cost FAR less than the X1D (about 1/3 of the price). I don’t think anyone would argue that the X1D can create a higher quality image compared to a D810, but there is certainly a huge cost difference between the systems. Also, the Hassy platform doesn’t come anywhere near the lens selection of CaNikon, so again one could argue that the 35mm cams can take vastly better photos than the X1D. Example, African safari using a D810 and 800mm lens, does Hasselblad have anything that can compete?

    So there are multiple scenarios where a D810 or D5 with a good lens will drastically outperform the X1D. In the right situation though, the X1D can and will produce superior results, but you pay dearly for it.

    • Higher FPS isn’t better. Spray and pray doesn’t beat critical timing, sorry.

      Diminishing returns is always going to result in higher cost – it’s up to the user to decide how deep their wallets are and where the threshold for ‘I can’t tell/deploy the difference’ kicks in. Yes, there are edge cases which the H system doesn’t cover – superteles, for instance – but your argument is somewhat unfair as none of the Canikons will sync to 1/2000s, nor is there anything comparable to the HTS which brings movements to almost every lens (without having to carry or buy another lens in that focal length) plus is able to report and thus repeat movements to 0.1mm or 0.1degree.

      Both the supertele and sync/ tilt shift case are rather niche, though. You could also argue that under most conditions the teles are used, you wouldn’t be able to extract more image quality anyway for whatever reason (usually high ISOs).

  11. Thanks for sharing this, it looks like a great camera. Will the HTS 1.5 adapter be compatible with the X1D?

    Is there any talk about either native PC/TS lenses or a smaller version of the HTS specifically for the X1D? Seems like the shorter flange distance might not require as much magnification in the adapter, although of course image circle would still be an issue.

    • The HTS is compatible with the X1D.

      I doubt there’ll be additional PC/TS lenses since an almost-native solution already exists and it’s a pretty specialised piece of equipment, though we never know…

  12. 9k$ is a very good price – for Hasselblad too.

    This camera has no moving parts (besides the mode dial and the battery)!

    What do you need to produce this camera?
    the sensor for 4k$ (as you speculated yesterday here)
    the finder
    the display
    the processor
    no shutter!
    and a body(box) for all this and the lens mount (may even be printed a few years from now)
    and the firmware (the sensor is not new to Hasselblad)

    comparing this with the Pentax 645Z for today about 8k€ (incl. VAT in Germany) with a mirror box, shutter, flexible display… and the same sensor! (it must be less than 4k$ ?)

    Hasselblad should be able to make money with the X1D and stay with us for the next years.

    ‘Handmade in Sweden’ ??
    The CEO mentioned, that it was manufactured in Sweden, he did not say ‘made at Hasselblad’?

    • R&D is a huge hidden cost and depends much on manpower/labor costs. See the cost of living in Sweden and understand the gap, I think. I suspect this was amortised together with the H6 since they use the same UI, imaging engine and electronic platform; Pentax will have done the same with their normal K-series cameras (the 645Z’s menus, AF system etc. are identical to their K-cameras too).

      As for production – they did mention the facility was at Hasselblad and opened to journalists to tour. So, my guess is they wouldn’t do this without actually making cameras there since it would be pretty bad for reputation if otherwise…

  13. what is the standard lens for X1D?

  14. Kristian Wannebo says:

    Off topic ( apologies! ).

    Just found this in a note in Dpreview.
    Might interest many of the readers…

    ( Just thought it might make a good pause in the tech talk. 🙂

  15. Hi Ming! What about the lens? Outsourcing with an OEM manufacturer in Japan is not the same thing as a partnership with companies like Zeiss and Fuji. Lack a bit of pedigree and the lenses tend to be an Achilles heel in new systems.

  16. Ming just a follow up question: do you think a company like TAMRON would produce a VC (Vibration Compensation) lens for the X1D- seeing that there is a need for it? especially with the anticipated popularity of this groundbreaking camera body? Thanks again !

    • Who knows? If the demand is there, any company will make anything. Ultimately, this is all a business…and returns must justify investment.

      • Yes, of course. IF either Tamron, Sigma or Tokina can make image stabilized lenses successfully for the X1D, that works well it will be a windfall. Thank you so much for answering questions and putting my mind at ease. i’m sure more people covet the X1D even more because of it. More power!

  17. The problem with those MTF curves is that they don’t tell you waht tje line pair value for the plots are making them completely meaningless. That information needs to be on those graphs to make any judgement whatsoever.

  18. Ming,

    Has there been any clarification as to whether the lenses themselves are weather sealed?

    Thank you,


  19. Hi Ming! I would like to congratulate you on your blog. I’ve been reading it for quite a while now and appreciate how you’ve shared your knowledge and experience. For me the Hasselblad X1D has completely blown my mind. I’m a long time Canon user who is just considering a move up to Medium Format. For some time now that has been the Pentax 645Z because of ruggedness and portability. Now with the X1D’s size/footprint and price point that’s completely blown out of the water.

    My one concern though is the lack of any kind of image stabilization. In Canon, I’ve relied on that side of their technology and i can’t imagine working without it as i shoot a lot of events, concerts, stage productions in low light. And i have seen your suggestion that the H5D may be better in low light. For me however in terms of size, ergonomics and price, its not an option. I’ve also read your very well written blog on Reportage with the H5D which i really appreciate.

    SO FINALLY my questions are: 1. Assuming the X1D will not have image stabilized lenses or in body I.S., what would be your solution / suggestion? You’ve mentioned here in the comments that minimum shutter would not be so high since it is mirrorless. Could you elaborate on that? 2. Given your experience with the H5D and H6D do you believe the ISO 3200, 6400, 12800 will be acceptable? 3. DO you think Hasselblad will come up with image stabilized lenses for the X series in the future?

    Thank you so much in advance and hoping for your immediate response.
    I’m grateful and proud of your work as a South East Asian neighbor here in the Philippines!
    Maybe you can visit us in the future? Or share your pics from your trips here.
    Thank you, Salamat!

    • Thanks.
      1. You’ve got a lot less shutter vibration because it uses a leaf shutter that closes radially (i.e. no net impulse on firing) as opposed to a focal plane one (both curtains move in the same direction, net impulse usually downwards) AND no mirror to slap. In practice, this gains you quite a bit – my experience with the Leica Q (also leaf shutter) with its IS system off suggests a stop or two for critical sharpness compared to an SLR setup. IS is a mixed bag: below a certain resolution it’s great, above it, you often see degradation caused by the moving elements because it’s impossible to keep critical alignment. Almost all lenses I’ve used perform differently in horizontal vs vertical orientation because the gyros and suspension systems are optimised for panning in one axis – it gets more obvious as resolution increases, to the point that I switch it off if I can’t avoid it entirely for the D810. It would also make the lenses quite a bit bigger – look at the size of the Pentax 90/2.8 SR Macro for 645…

      2. I shoot at 6400 now with no hesitation, and often underexpose a stop and push it in post if I need more shutter speed. Even so, color and dynamic range are significantly better than my FF cameras. In short, no problem.

      3. Unlikely for reasons mentioned above. I was told unofficially that size and avoiding the introduction more moving parts/ tolerances were the reason for excluding it. It would hardly make sense to chase ultimate image quality everywhere else then introduce potential decentering on one of the lens elements…

  20. Hi Ming! What is your opinion about the new lenses? I think odd Hasselblad outsource production to a Japanese OEM company. Definitely does not have the same pedegree of a Zeiss or Fuji.

    • I reserve comment until I’ve shot with them; the measured MTF charts look positive, though that says little about the actual rendition.

      It might be worth noting that Zeiss lenses are almost entirely outsourced to Cosina, and some others to another third party – and Fuji doesn’t make all of theirs, either. If the Otuses were made in Germany, I was told nobody would be able to afford them because they’d have to be sold at 2-3x the cost! The contract manufacturer in this case – Nittoh – doesn’t have its own brand, but no less experience.

  21. Georges De Vos says:

    Good evening Ming,

    I can only voice the applaus from other commenters. Great move by Hasselblad. It will be a great complement to my H4D-40. The time of re-badging is finally behind us with the new CEO. What a difference one man can make!

    Great article. Very good insights and experience, Can’t wait to read the hands-on test. Two questions :

    1. What is an e-shutter?
    2. Can they later improve the EVP via a firmware update? This is the only negative in my view. Since their clients are 100% OVP, they want the best EVP to adapt the new baby. Let’s see how it is in real life tests.

    • 1. Electronic shutter – i.e. sensor turns on and off to control exposure rather than mechanically exposing and hiding it.
      2. I assume you mean EVF – no, that’s a physical limitation of the LCD panel used. I suspect the limitation is not the panel availability so much as that sensor being unable to readout LV at higher resolutions. Everybody else who uses it is also constrained to XGA resolution for LV.

  22. This looks great – slim, light, clean design, a trusted interface, great sensor, and great lenses.
    What would make it even more interesting is a collapsible MF lens (40mm f2/2.8 equivalent) to put it in that Mamiya 6, Plaubel Makina class of MF compacts, which are very convenient to have as casual travel cameras with excellent IQ. Back to front flatness is for me the most important dimension for portability and one of the reasons why I love the Fuji X100s so much. This as a more portable MF with the options to use other lenses in other circumstances would be just brilliant.

    • I think tele centricity constraints and interaction with digital sensors and very acute ray angles limit how short the lenses can be, plus anything extending and collapsing adds one more dimension to potentially get out of alignment – I’ll live with that extra inch or so, otherwise why bother chasing MF image quality? 🙂

  23. stanis riccadonna zolczynski says:

    Super nice idea, at a price of course. Pity Ricoh didn`t gamble on MF GR. So, Hassy, a kind of collapsible lens ( a Plaubel Makina strut solution?), if not a downright pancake ( I know, telecenricity, FL distance and so on, a though a pinhole would be a nice option:-) ) .Anyway, the race for MF mirrorless is on, hurray.

    • In the long run it only means more options for the rest of us – assuming there’s a big enough market to justify entry for others beyond the obvious competitors in the first place, of course.

  24. rjllane says:

    Hello Ming.

    Thank-you for a measured and insightful analysis of the release information. You were my first choice as a 3rd part source of information, knowing that I would not be dished up a re-hash or cut-and-paste of the press release, nor an article with just a handful of vacuous comments. Instead, you supplied a considered view, one based on experience with Hasselblad products. However, you have not be a used to the exclusion of other cameras – you appear to chose tools that meet your technical and aesthetic requirements, free from external influence.

    So as not to be unduly influenced in my views by the commentary, I have gone straight from your article to the data sheet. Overwhelmingly, I think that I belong to the group that “gets it”.

    These are some of my thoughts and highlights …
    – 2 additional IOS speeds over the CFV-50c will be very welcome for my low light needs (12,800 and 25,600).
    – Likewise, the doubling of the maximum exposure time over my CFV-50c for night sky shots (30 to 60 minutes).
    – GPS – often missing on cameras, making it very tedious to have to locate the image on a map in Lightroom (or similar) and add it to the metadata.
    – Touch screen – so much quicker and more natural for an interface
    – Very clean UI and menu system (by appearances and by analogy with the reviews for the H6D).
    – Gorgeous design – clean and distinctive – thank you for including that very clever and useful comparison of the X1D-50c body with some of its “competitors” – these other bodies are not objects that would bring a smile to my face were I just to hold them – I cannot hold back a smile when I saw the X1D-50C design.
    – A very attractive price point.

    Q: Is there a definitive statement from Hasselblad on the compatibility and use of H-series lenses with this camera?
    – There isn’t anything about this on the data sheet.

    Q: What does “weather sealed” mean? You indicated that both the body and the lenses have this property. Is this a complete “seal”, not some meaningless property that might be termed “weather resistance”?

    Q: Are there production / supply issues? cf. H6D issues?
    – I would think that there might be a number of H6D order cancellations as customers jump across to the X1D instead.

    Q: Now a question from left field, I wonder what would allow it to qualify for “Handmade in Sweden”?

    🙂 … MomentsForZen (Richard)

    • The only reason I considered Hasselblad’s ambassador offer was because they were the only company to recognise that exclusivity = unprofessionalism when your access to the right tool is restricted, and their company does not make the right tool. Ironically, I’ve landed up seldom using other tools, but that’s besides the point.

      1. Additional ISOs are probably no different to underexpose and push later. I already do that at a pinch under very tough conditions. One stop (12.8k) is fine, two is pushing it.

      2. H6 also goes to 60min.

      3. I’ve actually never bothered with GPS; I prefer not to use it because it drains the battery – but I can understand how it might be useful for some.

      4. I thought I mentioned this in the analysis – H series lenses are full compatible with an adaptor (basically a tube with electrical pins to make the connections, the communication bus is the same) – including the HTS.

      5. Don’t know what ‘weather sealed’ means. Let’s say that the conditions I frequently shoot under will test this…and judging from photos of the gaskets, I’m expecting something similar to the D810. Note that the H lenses are NOT sealed though, and a system is of course only as good as its weakest link.

      6. No idea. Sony is being very coy about whether their sensor factory is back up to speed yet, but I know that all of the brands using their sensors are suffering serious backlogs. Even FX Nikons are in short supply in Malaysia now, which has never been the case.

      7. They’ve been at pains to state that design, assembly and final QC are all performed in Sweden. I suppose this qualifies, even if the components are not made by them personally (it makes no economic sense to do so). Their openness to journalists to tour the production facility suggests that there’s no slight of hand going on here, but without having seen it myself (unlike at my visit to Sigma where Kazuto-san was at pains to show me the moulds that made the tools that made the dies for making screws (!!) – or Zeiss, where I was showed how the blanks and helicoids arrived in kit form for the cine lenses and final adjustment and assembly was the main value add in Germany – I cannot make claims or defenses one way or another not having been to Sweden. 🙂

      For what it’s worth, a new release of course doesn’t invalidate the capabilities of its predecessors. My main workhorse is still the previous H5D-50c, believe it or not – even though I have a H6D-50c here also. Not for any reason against the H6, but more to do with my own personal muscle memory, familiarity, and some irrational sentiment.

      • rjllane says:

        Thank-you, Ming. This must have been both an exciting and draining 24 hours for you. Your attention to this thread is beyond comprehensive – your ability to keep up with it and still be able to write clearly and patiently … my eternal admiration.

        4. Yes, you mentioned the H-series compatibility – but you did not indicate how you knew this. What was your source? I couldn’t find any mention of it on the Hasselblad site.

        5. Yes, I think that you know what rain is. Being from Australia, I think that I could test the dust sealing – water not much of a problem where I am.

        And I have the same attitude as you do to one’s existing gear. I shall go out with my 500C/M, CFV-50c and V lenses tomorrow, and they will still perform just as well, and still feel as marvelous in my hands. The quality and the experience will be in no way devalued by the X1D-50c or any other camera in the world.

        🙂 … MomentsForZen (Richard)

        • Yes, for reasons other than you might think, though – and not related to the launch.

          H lenses: It’s in the briefing pack I’ve got (notice how I’m also the only one with lens MTF charts) and what has been confirmed by Ove (product design head). There’s also a H-X adaptor listed along with other spare parts like batteries, strap etc.

  25. Frank R. says:

    Did I overread it or isn´t there anything said about the autofocus? How many points does it have and how fast is it? My Pentax 645Z is the reference with a not too good system but the best of all medium format-cameras. What about the Hassi?

    • Nothing said as yet because I’ve not shot one in the field, nor is firmware final – so speeds and configuration can still vary since it uses a CDAF system off the imaging sensor itself. Having shot with the P645Z and the H6, I’d give the edge in speed to the H6. The H5 is about on par. Yes, the P645Z has more points, but they’re all in the middle – there’s no compensation for edge subject parallax as with the H-bodies, limiting usefulness.

      • Thanks Ming.
        That reminds me to ask… is the Hasselblad True Focus likely to end up in the X1D also? Or is that an expectation too far?
        I couldn’t see it mentioned in any of the published specs.
        It may be that on-sensor contrast autofocus obviates the need for True Focus (focus & recompose).
        Perhaps these are all questions that need to wait for use and proper review.

  26. Good job and really looking forward to your hands on analysis.

  27. Some here see the lack of a focal plane shutter as an advantage. I look at it as a disadvantage since I do not believe that third party lens manufacturers like Zeiss or Voigtlander would give us small manual focus lenses for the X1D with central shutter. Whether the unconfirmed coming electronic shutter will work well is another unknown quantity as of today. Nevertheless, this Hassy is spectacular and I would be very happy with such a camera and the 45mm only. Good infos as always here, thanks Ming!

  28. A few things work to my advantage here — it’s going to take me a solid 9-10 months to save for the X1D. Manufacturing constraints should be eased by then, e-shutter and various firmware issues addressed, and Pentax, Sony et al may have attractive, cheaper alternatives shipping by Q2 2017. 😀

  29. fantastica voglio saperne di più

  30. Any idea how weather sealing compares to Leica S and/or Leica SL bodies and native lenses?

    Are the compatible H series lenses sealed?

    • No idea. They haven’t specified sealing to what degree. H lenses are not sealed, though I’ve not personally had issues in light rain.

  31. Hi Ming, I am new to your insightful site. Love your all thoughts, but not necessary agreed to all.

    I have been a Leica digital users for years and keep changing expensive Leica digital bodies along the way.

    While expecting a new M this fall, recently I had a strong feeling stop buying Leica digital body anymore (which technically obviously lack behind) and think to buy a film Leica body(MP or MA) and use A7 series if I want to shoot leica lens in digital.

    Until I see your post on X1D, it completely change my Leica-mind. It couldn’t be better if I could put my Leica lens on Hass MF and I dream of shooting my Leica lens on Hass MF in Square Format! It reminds me my old lovely Rolleiflex. (I know there will be issues like dark corners or things like that….)

    If there is a electronic shutter in the spec now, I have already pre-ordered it NOW and sold my A7 series. Thanks for your information.

  32. Time for Leica to come forward with the SL II with the S007 sensor and mount.

  33. The lack of a focal plane shutter opens some interesting possibilities for focal reducers too, probably enough room to fit a small motor to trigger a V-mount lens. Definitely more affordable than a ‘real’ 6×6 back would be at this point. Interested to see how quickly they can pump out native wide and tele lenses. I LOVE that it has a gps built in, they definitely listened to a landscape shooter or two there.

    • No need the motor – the solenoid used in the CF-H adaptor would work, too. And actually that aforementioned adaptor should also work on the X1D via the H adaptor…

    • A focal reducer? Woo, imagining a focal reducer for Pentax 67 lenses…

  34. Excellent observations! Though I don’t have a need for MF, it’s nice to see Hassy releasing something like this and looks like between Leica SL and this, unless you have specific reasons to get the Leica, I guess most will just go to Hassy.

    I share similar views regarding the name but I guessed they had to use X cause of X-Pan.

    Since Hassy CEO mentioned about how this camera will open up new platforms and etc. I hope they’ll be more ambitious as when it comes to software related enhancements. Like what Sony is trying to do with their PlayMemories Apps (though admittedly, I hate their UX).

    All in all, looks like it’ll be a great camera and I do wonder when and will PhaseOne respond to this.

    • The specific reason is brand cachet. A lot of people buy for the perceived image and recognition, not the tool…and there Hasselblad will always lose to Leica.

      Sony’s App store is so they can charge you more for features that should be standard, like an intervalometer. They just issued a warning specifically against using third party apps. Go figure…

  35. Any thoughts on likely start up time, autofocus speed, and image write time? I’m assuming they will all be slow but very happy to find out I’m wrong 😉

    • Sorry, not yet, FW has not been finalised.

    • Kind of curious about how you view the new lens choices. I was expecting the equivalent of a 35mm focal length, and clearly we’ll have that with the 45 lens, but I’m not sure what to do with the new 90mm that equates to a 70mm focal length on 35mm format. It seems too long for a “normal” lens, and a bit short for a portrait lens. I don’t want to make a mistake and get the wrong lenses, especially if there will be adaptors coming to accommodate other lenses/brands, but I’m not sure how useful the 90mm length will be. The MTF charts of the 90 are very impressive, but if the focal length equivalent doesn’t work, is it worth only starting with the new 45? That at least gives you a 35mm focal length equivalent, which can be useful for landscape and what traditionally was a “street photography” perspective. It seems more useful to me than the 70mm focal length equivalent of the new 90. Your thoughts?

      By the way, I assume that if we use the link from your site to place an order you’ll get some credit. Is that correct? Your work is very valuable to me and I want to be sure that I’m supporting you as much as I can.

      Thanks for all your expertise and help.

      • I actually find it easier to think of the properties of a lens in terms of 35mm: a 28 renders like a 28 (i.e. with same DOF and perspective properties) regardless of whether it’s equivalent to a 42mm AOV on APS-C, 28mm on FF, or 21mm on 44×33. I find I’m comfortable with the rendition, not so much the angle of view: so even though 21mm is too wide for me on FF, 28mm on 44×33 isn’t. I’m not comfortable with 35mm on FF, or 35mm on 44×33 even though it has a 28-e AOV. Theoretically, 50mm on 44×33 is about 38mm, which is close enough to 35mm that I shouldn’t like it – but quite the opposite; it’s my most-used lens.

        In short: think of the 45 as a 45, and the 90 as a 90. You’ll move your feet accordingly to adjust. So, as counterintuitive as it seems, if you like 45 and 90 actual mm in your usual format, you’ll probably be fine with it here. Personally, this means the 90mm is more useful to me as I’ve always found the 85mm range to be very instinctive and 45 a touch short, but I’m fairly confident I could adapt.

        I do believe the pre-order links are working now (have also added links for the lenses), and yes, I get a percent or two from the sale – thank you for the support 🙂

  36. dlqdprn says:

    I’ve read a lot of comments, and have only one thought, which I have not read about yet. I think that grip is brilliant. A forward and backward grip makes so much sense, something that you need to hand hold a camera of these proportions, and something only available on MF cameras… I wish more people paid more attention to this.

    Now, as to ever holding one, maybe in 10 years when I get closer to retirement, this make so much more sense than a Leica SL. If I have to have a big lens, I want a big sensor too.

    • It’s similar to the grip design on the H cameras, which I think is amongst the most comfortable I’ve held (to my hands, anyway).

    • Good point. The grip is a powerfully important aspect of system ergonomics.
      It’s actually ergonomics that make me a little wary of the touch screen controls, though. The only way to really know if it’s fantastic or dreadful is to use it and either fall in love or be annoyed!

  37. It’s nice to see a new groundbreaking product, but I have my doubts (probably because I’m not the target Hasselblad had in mind ;-))

    It will undoubtedly have a great image quality, but it has to be seen how good the ergonomic is (how can I change the ISO, focus point, metering without digging into menu?). I like minimalism, but it can be really nasty.

    As far as the price is concerned, you compared it with Canikon pro bodies, but that bodies are really in a different league. Would you compare the x1d vs D5/1Dx as far as AF speed & accuracy, fps and high-ISO noise and DR are concerned? It’s like comparing a Bentley Flying Spur and a Ferrari 458 Italia only for their ride quality, because they are similarly priced, without taking into account the other specs 😉

    When you compare the x1d with the D810/5Ds you quickly realise that you can buy a body and 2 Otii for that price. And the Zeiss are much better lenses that the Hasselblad offers (have you noticed the vignetting at f/8?).

    Kind regards,

    • I’m not sure my math is correct, but if it is I calculate that given the sensor size the new 45/90 lens choices translate to a 35mm equivalent of 35 and 70, and the f/3.2 and f/3.5 calculate to an equivalent depth of field of f/2.8 and f/2.5 for the new Hasselblad lenses. The 45 seems fine, near enough to a 35mm focal length, but the 90 seems a bit oddly sized. It’s too long for a “traditional” 50mm equivalent, and too short for a portrait lens. Am I calculating this correctly? I tend to agree with the prior poster about the D810/Otus combo at a similar price point to the Hasselblad, but if Ming has trouble focusing the Otus lenses on a D810 I’m pretty sure my senior citizen eyesight will have even more problems getting accurate focus. One way or another there will be some compromise, but it’s a nice problem to have.

    • The ergonomic is really a subjective, if the X1D has buttons all over it to control focus point, metering etc. there will be other folks complaining about it. One camera can’t meet the expectations of everyone.

      To me the external controls seem sufficient: there are front and back dials that can be used to control aperture shutter in manual mode, or exp comp in A or S mode. There are buttons to control exp lock, AF/MF toggle, WB/ISO. The only thing (to my liking) missing seems to be direct AF point control, I imagine you’d have to control it via the touch screen.

      Looking forward to see some reviews on the AF performance, battery life and lens quality.

    • There are dedicated buttons for ISO/WB etc. on the top plate. Press one and turn the dial, like any DSLR. UI is the same as the H6, which has shortcut positions for everything else on the back touch screen. One button – no menu digging at all.

      The X1D will beat the D5/1DX on DR, high ISO noise and color accuracy. My H5 already does, and it uses an earlier iteration the same sensor.

      I still don’t think the Otus/D810 combination beats this sensor; I know, because I own and have shot extensively with both. I still go with the larger sensor given the choice. There are inherent physical limitations to smaller pixels.

  38. Personally, I do not like the haptics. As a hobby photograph I rather choose the iconic classic Hasselblads – film or digital. A modern professional camera btw. should have APIs for 3rd party developers. This Hasselblad looks like the Japanese tour guide medium format cameras – who will buy it? I wish Hasselblad luck and hope they can find a profitable niche with this one and successors.

    • I think it’s unfair to judge without having shot with one.

      Cameraphones and Sony are the only ones with third party APIs: the former is its own ecosystem to try to make up for the shortcomings of the native hardware/software, and the latter has no ecosystem at all – only warnings that third party apps may void warranty and damage the camera, and first party ones will cost you. Sorry, but charging you $5 for an intervalometer on a $3000 camera is rather petty and definitely not the thing we should be supporting…

      • Good point – I will have to actually hold it in my hands. Magic Lantern or Axiom is more what I had in mind in regard to firmware/API.

    • Charles says:

      The old V system will always be an icon of beauty and design, yet that ought not mean that the modern mirrorless needs to retain the same flange distance and box shape.
      As Ming as inferred in the article above, the X1D rather reminds me of the 500 SWC. It just loses the film back and has a well-designed grip added.
      It seems to me that Hasselblad very self-consciously took inspiration from the V system design, adapting it to mirrorless but not slavishly so, and doing a rather good job at the compromise.
      As someone who shoots with the wonderful Hasselblad 203FE, I think there’s a place for two beautiful designs in this world…

  39. Very impressive. For once, many wishlist-ticks appear to have been ticked. Compatibility with tilt-shift seems pretty critical.
    Thanks to Ming for the detailed discussion. Interesting times!

  40. Robert E Good says:

    Are you anticipating being able to shoot it hand held in good light?

    • I can shoot the H6 handheld in poor (ISO 6400+) light. I would imagine if anything without the mirror slap this should have an even greater shooting envelope.

  41. SF Murph says:

    It looks like the lenses are made by Nittoh (formerly “Nitto Kogaku K.K.”). Website here:

  42. Ming,

    With only 1.7 x larger sensor area than a full frame sensor, can this camera give significantly better results than D810 or K-1? And pixel density is almost same as D810.

    • It’s the same sensor as the H5D-50c and H6D-50c. I would expect image quality to be the same, and yes, after ~20,000 frames with these cameras and ~60,000 with a D810, it’s significantly better than a D810 – especially once you get above base ISO.

  43. At such a light weight I would assume that one could get away with some of the lighter tripod and head options, the idea of being able to use c/y Zeiss glass if an electronic shutter is implemented well , is also exciting. Be sure to test the weather sealing like you did on the OMD 1 would you 😀.

  44. Hi Ming, good info above. Looking forward to your hands on review. Shooting with a 5 years old PhasOne 645 DF IQ160 myself lf I’m particularely interested in how fast and accurate the focus in low light situations is. It can be a challange with the P1 but it is even much worse with my Sony a7rII mirrorless cam. With the Sony in low light conditions I often have to try 2-3 times before the cam can actually focus on the subject.

    • I had similar experiences with the Sony and abandoned it after six months. AF is also my concern: if it’s fast enough, this’ll be great. If not, I’ll stick to my H cameras.

  45. Fascinating development. I look forward to your full review.

  46. plevyadophy says:

    My initial thoughts

    I haven’t as yet read Ming’s thoughts on the subject, and have had only a cursory glance at the email circular that I was sent by Hasselblad re this camera.

    But my initial thoughts are one of disappointment.

    Disappointment that the sensor is so puny; and yes that sensor is puny if you attach the “medium format” label to it (it’s really the Canon 1D APS-H camera of the MF world).

    Secondly, by making this cam with such a puny sensor they have in essence legitimized a potential rival. And the rival I am referring to is Leica. Leica, when they first introduced the Leica S1, didn’t have a clue as to how to position the product. They first started comparing it to the likes of the Canon and Nikon pro bodies, then they referred to it as the Leica Pro System, indicating that they had opened up a new market segment, and (I suspect as result of a lot of ridicule at the time) they have now mostly settled on referring to their S cams as medium format (although they do at times refer to it as the S System or Pro).

    Leica were in essence on their own, a wild card.

    Even, Pentax who have used a small sensor in their “medium format” cam, have used a body that suggests that they have an ambition to one day employ a bigger sensor.

    By also using a small sensor in appears to be a new system, Hassy have given support to Leica’s decision and so have now added a new competitor. And one could argue they have also added Canon and Nikon to the list of competitors given that some may not see the need to jump from their current 35mm sensors if what they are getting isn’t much bigger in sensor real estate and is “good enough”.

    If this new cam is intended to keep users in the Hassy camp, so that they have a proper MF cam, dispense with their Canon and Nikon bodies, and also have a small sensor Hassy cam then this might well be a great move by Hassy. But only if the cam can perform; thus, If the refresh rate of the live view on this new cam is as poor as the one I have seen on the H6D live view implementation then this camera is a fail in my view (the refresh rate of the H6D is light years better than what Hassy had before but if live view is the only method of engaging with the scene it needs to be a lot better than that employed on the H6D). To be any good, the refresh rate needs to be running at a MINIMUM of 60 fps, and quite frankly even that ain’t too great (with the Hassy name attached to it, it really ought to running at 90fps or 120fps no matter how hard it is to achieve such performance with a bigger sensor; I can get that viewing performance from micro Four Thirds)

    Those are my preliminary thoughts.

    I am busy at present so I will come back after I have had a chance to look at this thing a bit more.

    One thing I do like though, is the aesthetics of the camera.

    Regards all,

    till later.


    • Sadly, I can only agree with your comments.
      Surely, full frame mirrorless, especially with the prospect of a new, much higher resolution Sony Pro grade camera, is the more sensible bet? With the backing of Zeiss and with the new G Master lenses, which give more than a clue to Sony’s intentions, why would you invest so much money in a niche, and underdeveloped product in terms of native lenses, which I doubt will give “real world” results which are noticeably better than even the current top Sony offering?

      • I can think of several reasons. Diffraction limits, cooked raw files, terrible battery life, confusing ergonomics, poor balance with lenses that actually can resolve the sensor, a company that has no longevity or pro support (whatever happened to Sony phones and computers?)…and the underlying cost of components means it isn’t going to be much cheaper.

        • Thanks Ming but my experiences of both Hasselblad equipment and Sony equipment are totally different from yours. I had no choice other than to rid myself of my H4D in 2011 because of the complete unreliability of the system (camera continually crashing with “lens connection” issues) – an unreliability experienced by quite a few fellow owners I knew at the time, all of whom, to my knowledge, are, as a result, no longer Hasselblad users – and the treatment from Hasselblad’s customer service department which was completely arrogant and dismissive, to the point of not even responding to a couple of very polite letters I wrote on the subject.
          Perhaps things have changed but, if that’s a mark of “longevity” or “pro support”, then you can keep it.
          Kind regards,

          • I don’t blame you at all, and I think if the positions were reversed I’d have done the same. My Sony experience is like your Hasselblad one – I think you can understand why I’m not hot on that brand at all. Unfortunately as much as both companies want to have a consistently high standard of service internationally, it’s very much down to the people implementing it. I don’t know which part of the world you’re in, but I wonder if that contributed to it.

            • I’m from the UK, Ming, and I was dealing directly with the then senior executive of the worldwide company. As you say, it’s all down to people and I think he was under severe pressure at the time from his investors. That’s no excuse for poor customer service but one can understand why he had bigger Fish to fry. At least with Sony, one expects the worst and, in many ways, as a result, can only be pleasantly surprised. My experience of a more obvious counterpoint to Hasselblad, Leica, is completely different – assistance and service from their UK operation have been first rate and nothing seems to be too much, thereby highlighting how poor Hasselblad were.

              • Ouch. I would like to believe this has changed, of course.

                I don’t know if expecting the worst by default is better 😛

                As for Leica, my Q has been gone for a month. No word of when its return might be. I had an M9 that started corrupting cards and they blamed me for user error. I wouldn’t say this is particularly good, either.

                • Nor would I – as stated, although much of it’s down to people, there does seem to be a corporate tendency nowadays to bury ones mistakes and not admit errors or weaknesses. It’s a very childish trait and, in my decades of experience of business, one which will, ultimately, lead to business failure as trust flies out the window and self delusion creeps in with the inevitable consequence that improvements are not made.

  47. Looks great. But quite interesting how you have made the sensor look incredibly huge compared to the D810 and A7x. The 44 x 33 sensor is only 8 mm wider and 9 mm taller than those FF sensors. Anyway, congratulations to Hasselblad for creating something new.

    • A 44 x 33 sensor is 1.68 larger than a 36 x 24 sensor. This is why it looks so huge. There’s a bigger difference here than between full-frame and APS-C sensors.

    • Anders I don’t see any Sony there and I guess what we are looking at on the 810 is the mirror.

    • When you say “only 8mm wider and 9mm taller” you realize that means it’s got a full 70% more surface area? I don’t think Ming has “made” it look that way. I think that’s the size it is…

    • It isn’t incredibly huge, but in practice, there’s another stop of dynamic range at base, more at elevated ISOs and significantly better color. I think the DXO tests show the D810 falls off quite considerably at higher ISOs – DR is perhaps 8-9 stops at ISO 800, but it’s still 11+ for the 645Z (same sensor).

  48. Curtis Mack Polk says:

    Hasselblad has got their mojo back.

  49. I didn’t realise that it has no FPS and rely solely on the lens shutter…
    This is really a bummer. I mean it could have been more, but i think they really don’t have the money to develop the larger film/sensor plane shutter system and also they really want to sell their own lens…

    Bummer, really. Also the CDAF…
    Other than size, I don’t see it being that revolutionary at all!

  50. Ming, any rumors of a Phase One competitor? As a Mamiya 7 owner, I’m still hoping for a digital 7 or perhaps just a lens adapter. The size of this camera looks tiny compared to the 7. Can’t wait for your extended review.

    • Not that I know of, but Phase One has never replied a single email I’ve sent them – even as a prospective customer in 2013. So, for all we know, it might be launched tomorrow 🙂

  51. Viva la revolucion!

  52. One question, there shouldn’t be any problem using H adapter and HTS with it?

    • I was told full compatibility including HTS and teleconverters.

      • thank you, it’s getting better and better… still not sure if i should sell V system and just use H going forward or keep V lenses.. hmm

        • Tough call. There are no V lenses that are really wide enough, and honestly, having used more of the H lenses more extensively – I think even the best of the V lenses with perhaps the exception of the Superachromats get left behind by the new glass in sheer resolving power and chromatic aberration/ distortion control. I did a direct A-B comparison between my CF 4/50FLE – which I consider to be one of the better lenses in the V system – and the HC 3.5/50II, and I was surprised the H lens had much better CA control, and comparable separation. Same case with the CF 4/150, which I also consider to be excellent, and the HC 3.2/150 N – the H lens is again much better at larger apertures, 1/2 stop faster and with a 1/2000s max shutter. Rendering style is a little different, though. Of course, there is a massive price difference, but you do get AF…

          • Thank you Ming, really appreciate your answers. The rendering is a big one for me. I love the way 150 renders and 50 FLE is my most used lens on V. I’ve never used H system, maybe it’s time for me to rent one.

            • Whilst the H 50 and 150 rendering is different, it is equally pleasant. I can’t say I prefer one over the other, but I do like the edge to edge consistency of the H 50 over the 50 FLE and the lack of lateral CA of the H 150 over the CF 150…

  53. Andreas Meulenbroek says:

    For it to be a true “digital” replacement of my 903SWC, a 22/24 mm. lens has to be introduced…… soon. Would have been nice to have one at the launch and show the heritage of the SWC. The upcoming 30 mm. is nice but not enough.

    My compliments to Hassie for this brave step, looking to the future.

    • There’s already an excellent 24mm in the H system; it’s been one of my workhorses for the past few months.

      • Andreas Meulenbroek says:

        True, but 22 mm. will be comparable to the Biogon 38 mm. (21 mm. eq), thats the FoV I am loving so much and also size does matter!
        Besides the 24 mm. HCD is more than twice the price point of an expected XCD-lens

        • Well, the 24mm does actually cover full 645 (making it something like 14mm, I think) and it has to be telecentric plus long-flange, which is a very different challenge to the XCD lens. Who knows, eventually I’m sure they’ll fill out the lens lineup…a short tele in the 150 range, a superwide, a fast portrait lens and a mid zoom would do it.

          • Andreas Meulenbroek says:

            I was referring to the square format of the SWC, so 22 mm. for the current sensor size of the X1D is the way to go. I assume there is a square format viewing in the EVF, but I prefer to do the crops of the RAW-file myself in post.

            I know that there is a challenge with UWA lenses for this size of sensor, but now it is mirrorless, this should be possible…..

          • YEs there will be more lenses coming for sure.

  54. Aldo Murillo says:

    Any word on true focus? It’s my H system favourite feature.

    Thought some of your readers would be interested in this link. Robert White was for many years one of the leading retailers for Hasselblad, Leica, Nikon and Ebony in the UK. I used to make regular trips over the last 20 years or more to test/buy gear from him. I’m sure he’ll be missed by many.

    • I had no idea – bought stuff from them too while I was in the UK. RIP!

    • plevyadophy says:

      Sad, very sad.


      His is the only high end camera shop in London that I have not visited.

      • Terry B says:

        That’s probably because he is based in Poole, Dorset.

        • Plevyadophy says:

          Yes indeed he is. i was thinking of the other high end cam place near Pall Mall.

          I also recall recently the major con where a van load of expensive gear was stolen from them. That was Robert White right?

  56. If the H series lenses will work on the X1D should we consider buying those instead of the new X1D line of lenses? There seems to be a sale at BH for the H series lenses, and the selection is wider than for the new lenses.

    • Remember that size becomes largish again, because the adaptor has to bring the flange distance out to match the H lenses. But the smaller ones would certainly be a good pairing – thinking of the 24, 28, 80 and 100mm specifically. I don’t think the body will balance well with the 35-90 (which is already a monster on the H bodies) or 210 and 300 and the 150-sized lenses (150, 120, 50) will probably be borderline.

  57. Mosswings says:

    Well, I will say this – this is a mirrorless MF camera at last harmonizes the size of a minimal camera body to the size of the average hand. And the grip depth itself appears adequate to handle the lenses that will mount to this body.

    DSLRs might be a bit “bloated”, but mostly in the respect that they have a mirror box in them. You can make a really tiny DX or FX mirrorless body, like Sony and others have done, but you’ll find that it’s difficult to work (and occasionally overheats). The Sony A7 series is fairly small, but comparable in size to the X1D; like a D750, or a D500…these are cameras that try to be comfortable to use rather than tiny.

    Certainly not something I’d buy, but at least a far more relevant product introduction than the fashion statements Hassy got distracted by over the last 10 years.

    • I think there’s definitely a minimum comfortable size, and that increases as lens sizes increase because you need the leverage and weight to counterbalance. The H bodies are heavy, but well balanced because the grip is at the midpoint in weight for most lenses and very ergonomic.

  58. I tried the link to BH – it’s not working, at least here in the US. I called them and they don’t have the camera or the lenses in their system as of now. I asked when they would be available for pre-order and they didn’t have an answer. They seemed unaware of the new camera/lenses. I also called yesterday to see if I could place and early reservation, and they didn’t have the new camera/lens information available then either. Seems very strange.

  59. Exactly what my suspicions are! Now I don’t see any reason to go for a much more expensive H-series instead of this, is there any (apart from lens not being native, maybe no true shot ?)

  60. This is a remarkable feat of engineering. I look forward to your upcoming images. “All reference bears report for duty!” 😉

  61. Hi Ming, thank you for your followup to the webcast. Good info here. BTW, the B&H link doesn’t work yet.
    No wonder the Hasselblad rep emailed me yesterday about an H5D deal!

    • Nope, probably because there’s no product page – just wanted to get it in anyway.

      The H5D is still a good deal because it has one of the best optical finders anywhere, and the premium probably isn’t that much over the X1D now. Image quality is identical. If you shoot a lot in low light, the EVF may be problematic – and the H5D the way to go.

  62. Very interesting, but a big no go for me due to the EVF. I’ll stick to medium format film and have a close eye on what Pentax will do with the new 645 camera soon.

    • There will always be a reason to keep normal optical finders around, no matter how good the EVF gets. I plan to retain at least one H camera for this.

      • I just don’t get it with EVF’s. To me it’s the same as looking at a concert at the back of your phone screen or just being there live and experience the actual show. Personally there is no connection with my subject when using an EVF.
        But I realize I am a minority with this.

        • I much prefer an optical finder too, but only if it’s a good one. There are technical limitations in keeping the thing small, though: no way to have an optical finder here (other than a non-TTL hotshoe thingy, which you’re free to add, Alpa or Leica-style).

      • I have a personal argument for the EVF:
        my eyes are very bad (less than 80% and 20%) and for me and many others with similar problems the EVF is THE solution. I have no chance to focus on a OVF and therefore no chance to use a DSLR or the H and V Series.
        Focus peaking and focus loupe are great for me (and many others) and I hope, that the X1D offers good solutions.

  63. bill walter says:

    Ming… I just want to make sure I understand this correctly. Would I be right in thinking you could actually adopt your Zeiss 28mm f2 or your Nikon 58mm 1.2 for use on this camera?

    • Only if the camera body has an e-shutter, and I don’t see why I’d want to adapt those particular two lenses – I don’t think they have adequate resolving power or image circle.

  64. Would you replace your Leica Q with this camera? Curious because I have one myself and the thought has crossed my mind…

    • Already asked and answered: yes. But it isn’t the same price point at all…

      • It isn’t but it offers so much more potential… Think I might sell mine too. And maybe the H5D-50C.

        • If you’ve already got the H5, I’d keep it, unless you really need the size reduction. Image quality is identical, and the H5 is a known quantity – it didn’t suddenly get worse after the X1D launch…

          • Ok, you are making me feel better because I just bought the H5D when it was reduced after the H6D announcement. The portability, extra ISO capability and video potential are tempting though. On the other hand, the H5D provides a future upgrade path to the H6D which is awesome. I look forward to your X1D review!

            • Ironically, I think the choice between X1D and H6D is much clearer: X1D. H5D and X1D are close enough in price that what you shoot would probably swing it one way or the other – if you work in low light or use longer/larger lenses, then the H5 is a better choice. Travel and one or two? X1D. In an ideal world of course, we’d have a H6-100 and the X1D…

              • Really? The H5D is better for low light? The X1D ISO goes to 25600 while the H5 only goes to 6400.

                • Re-read what I wrote carefully. It’s not the ISO setting, it’s the finder. In very low light, you’ll lose your night vision by staring at what is essentially a small TV screen. This is not a problem with an optical finder since it’s always going to be dimmer than the actual scene because of light loss due to diffusion of the focusing screen.

                  The cameras are ISO invariant (at least my H5 and H6 are). You could shoot at 6400 and underexpose a stop or two and push afterwards for essentially the same sensitivity – unless they’ve made some big changes to the way the imaging pipeline works, which I doubt since it’s shared with the H6.

  65. Would there be adapters for e.g. Contax 645 lenses?

  66. Frank Xia says:

    0.8 “crop” factor is half stop bigger than FF 35mm. If IQ improvement from FF to APS-C, which is one stop, gives any guidance, I cannot understand how X1D is much better than FF.

    • I’ve spent the last six months shooting exclusively with a 44×33 MF camera. There’s a difference. I can see it, my clients can see it. You can’t see it at web size or if your shot discipline isn’t already maximising the potential of your 35mm camera. It has nothing to do with 0.8x being half a stop: the pixel size is quite a bit larger, too. Remember also that the non-light collecting circuitry takes up a significant amount of space on the photo site, so a 1-2um increase in pitch is more than you might think.

      • I’d love to see side-by-side shots comparing the FF vs MF aesthetic. A while back you compared the d800 to the leica S. Anything similar out now? I was under the impression that the D810 with an Otus should be able to match or top the equivalent focal length MF. Is it the color depth that makes the difference?

        • Sorry, but there’s not much point with web output. You see it in printing and DR of full size files.

          An Otus will out resolve most MF lenses, but by the time you hit f4-5.6, differences start to be minimal.

      • plevyadophy says:

        Hi Ming,

        What you say might well be irrelevant for a great many people.

        If YOU can see it and YOUR client can see it, great buy into it.

        The problem is that the difference may not be great enough for it to be OBVIOUS to people other than a select few. And therein lies the problem.

        Me, I would add sensor size to the shooting envelope equation (I just love that phrase you invented by the way). For some disciplines you simply cannot extract/squeeze out that last nth degree of system performance. You tend to shoot static stuff, so it is quite easy for you to have great shot discipline. If you are shooting a more fast paced fluid discipline there is bound to be some “slop” in your shot discipline (think weddings, maybe fast paced wedding shoots, and even prima dona celebs with their “you only have five minutes” bull). In such cases you need that extra sensor size to give you the obvious difference. A huge sensor with it’s CLEAR difference in rendering is going to be vastly superior for such shooters than working with the puny 44 x 33 “medium format DX” sensors; they may feel that the difference they get with MF DX just ain’t worth the bother if they have to strain to see the difference.

        The problem, if one can call it that, is that this new cam, just like the Leica S, is going to invite a more “shoot from the hip” approach to shooting by virtue of its handy little size. And unfortunately, it’s then gonna not be able to give one the difference one has paid for.

        It’s the reason why I have never like that puny size. I find it too restrictive as I will have to be very anal about shot discipline to make the camera worth while; a huge sensor with it’s clear difference makes it much easier to see what one has paid for.

        But on the other hand I guess, one could think of it like having a powerful car. One doesn’t always drive at full throttle but it’s nice to know the power is there if one needs or wants it.

        I would like to see Hassy be really brave and introduce a mirrorless H System camera with full sized sensor. Now THAT would be something.

        Even though I am not overly keen on this sensor size, I do kinda like this camera and am surprised and mightily impressed that it was Hassy who first brought mirrorless large-ish sensor cameras to market (I had always thought that Phase One or Pentax would beat them to it).



        • It’s not a product for everybody. No product is. What’s wrong with choice – and if the operator is the weak link, well, at least that’s less forum trolling we’ll read about blaming equipment. But I’m sure there’ll always be something to complain about.

          It’s interesting that half of the comments are ‘I get it’ and the other half are ‘I don’t get it’. So long as there are enough ‘I get its’ to keep the company in business and challenging the others, that’s a good thing. I doubt Sony will bother making one if they don’t see the demand, and I doubt Hasselblad will be pressured to respond and fix the uncompetitive aspects without it. If nobody made one then H and P1 could both go on charging 25k for a 50MP MF body with the same sensor. So, even if it personally doesn’t fit your needs – it’s a good thing it exists.

  67. congratulations to Hasselblad!
    An interesting new and innovative toy.

    The price and weight is impressive low and I have to think about selling my Leica M Monochrome and lenses for this X1D.
    And check the prices for the H lenses and hope, they don’t let us wait too long for an adapter.

    Ming, you mentioned the Otus, I had the same idea.
    And I was thinking of a Canon adapter and using the Canon 17mm TS-E – and still have some room for shifting.
    But without a shutter (if I understand it right???) you can not adapt any SLR lenses like Otus??

    And one more. When the Leica M9 came out, I wrote in a forum, I would like this camera with a monochrome sensor – and got one 3 years later.

    How about a X1D Monochrome for the old fashioned Hasselblad B&W shooters?
    Just dreaming 🙂

    • Let’s see if there’s an electronic shutter in a future firmware update…

      • Michael Demeyer says:


        Don’t electronic shutters typically have very slow line scan rates, causing all kinds of issues for primary use (commonly referred to as “rolling shutter” issues)? Or are there known solutions for those issues that might make that a viable possibility?


        • Hard to say – depends on the sensor architecture. There are cameras that have global shutter or very fast readout, too. I can only hope that given the cameras now shoot video too, either of the former may be a possibility.

      • Given the short flange distance the possibility of some kind of adapter with a shutter in it (like the Alpa FPS or the Hcam but just really an electronically controlled shutter in an adapter) would be opened up.

        This looks very exciting as far as using with a Cambo Actus or similar type of system. Or the HTS. In theory they could do an HTS adapter (H to X) without the 1.5 lens factor because of the short flange distance? Correct me if I am wrong.

        • In theory, yes – though the 1.5x lens factor is also to expand the effective image circle of the lens to allow greater movements, too.

          • True. But non H lenses designed for 6 x 6, 6 x 7 and up should have plenty of image circle on the 44 x 33 sensor. It’s all manual focus in the TS realm anyway so a simple mechanical adapter would work — as long as the camera has an electronic shutter, or the TS adapter had a shutter in it … heaps of possibilities that I’ve been working against with my Canon and it’s mirror box limitations.

            • Or of course an adapter to put it on the back of a Hasselblad arc body and something like the split trigger cable release system that’s needed to wake a non compatible digital back on a tech camera (something like Kapture group cable release I think?).

              You must be some kind of machine reading all of these comments

              • I think they’d tell you the HTS and the new lenses are a better solution optically; having used both I’d be inclined to agree.

            • True. I don’t know if the edges of those older lenses would hold up to the newer sensor, though. Even in the middle (optimum) part of the image circle, the older lenses don’t all hold necessarily hold up to.

              • Aside from older lenses, even just to use the Actus style setup with modern digital tech camera lenses — the lenses are pricey in comparison, but the overall package is much more accessible without having to buy an IQ250 or similar. And it has the benefit of taking lenses directly and being nice and compact: more so than a 35 mm SLR from the looks.

                • You could use any of the existing Arca cameras with Copal 1/0 lens boards (I think, need to check) and any Hassy back – including the CFV-50c, which is probably the best/cheapest for this purpose. Having any sort of mount throat – no matter how short – is going to limit movements due to mechanical vignetting.

                  • Of course. You are right, but compared to the mount throat with 35 mm SLRs it’s a lot less — and then there is the benefit of having the larger sensor, and a self contained camera as well (I’m guessing this has focus peaking or some other focus aid so it makes manual focus more viable again). A digital back is ideal but has it’s own compromises.

                  • I had another look at the CFV-50c and the other issues that stack in favour of the X1D are firewire tethering, one card slot, and no metering, unless using a body with metering. And it doesn’t rotate to portrait format on the 500 series cameras — a bit of an issue when using a waist level finder. I guess it would work fine on a Mamiya RZ67 …

                    • Good points. That said, I’ve not had issues with FW since I never shoot tethered, and so far – still use one card slot anyway 😛

  68. Alex Carnes says:

    It’s certainly nice and neat, and it’ll no doubt be of interest to a lot of photographers – including me! I have my doubts about that very short flange distance, however, especially with such a huge sensor. I found it to be quite a problem with the Sony A7 series – the difficulty seems to arise from strong vignetting caused by the odd and spreading ray angles towards the edges of the frame, and the necessary software correction causes ‘onion ring’ patterns if ever you have cause to darken a colour channel (e.g., pulling the blue channel to darken the sky in black and white conversion); I’m sure Sony’s crackpot RAW format doesn’t help, but still! And you’re scuppered for contra jour shooting too due to the lens-sensor reflections which seem to afflict all mirrorless cameras.

    Still, someone was always going to build a small mirrorless ILC with a medium format sensor in it, but I never thought it’d be Hasselblad, so quodos to them and hope it does well for them! Very much looking forward to your review.

    • I think a lot of what you’re seeing (and I saw too) has to do with tonal compression from lossy raw. It mostly went away after they offered uncompressed, but there’s still something odd going on in hardware that makes things not fully lossy.

      • Alex Carnes says:

        I’m sure you’re right. No doubt Hasselblad’s engineers took good note of the problems with the Sony system and tried to avoid them!

  69. Ming, since you have immersed yourself in both the 50c platform and 35mm in the recent past, this may be a good time (in comments, or maybe in a separate post) to elaborate for your readers from a practical image quality perspective only (resolution, dynamic range, DOF, etc.) what the X1D platform provides versus for the latest 35mm full frame. Many of us who read your blog are Leica (with summilux) or 35mm full frame (D810 + Zeiss) shooters and are intrigued by the possibility now of moving up to compact medium format.

    Without regards to anything hardware related (except for the difference too in moving from f/1.4 to f/3.2 maximum aperture, what can we expect in terms of how the rendering of such a system would change the look of our images?

    Thank you,


    • Firstly, color and dynamic range. I don’t have to profile any of my Hasselblads: they’re correct and accurate out of the box. 16bit RAW and large pixels means in practice another stop of DR over the already good Nikon at base ISO, and even more as you go up the sensitivity scale. Resolution (obviously, though less of a compelling reason).

      Lens speed: rendering is highly lens dependent, and I can’t say yet without having thoroughly evaluated them first. But there is a 100/2.2 for the H system…

      • Large pixels allow Hasselblad to use a stronger color filter array and it is those string CFA’s which produce that “out of box” color accuracy and better tonal range. Nikon’s high density and high ISO cameras (D810, D800, D7200, D5, D500) all use weakened CFA’s whose hardware-induced color inaccuracies are then somewhat compensated for via RAW color transforms in silico. The fact that the color inaccuracies can’t completely be compensated for under all lighting requires the color profiling. Tonal range is reduced either way no matter how much color profiling is done as weak CFA’s are less sensitive to tonal gradation.

        • That would make sense.

        • That is an interesting theory with interesting implications. The 24MP FF cameras have similar pixel pitches to the X1D, so in theory they can use a better CFA. Do they have better color response? The Sony A7S should also have 4x the pixel area, so its CFA could be made better too. I honestly don’t know the answers to these questions.

          • I think the problem is separating out what the CFA is doing from what the processing engine is doing – you simply can’t, and consequently it’s impossible to tell what the origin of the difference is.

  70. That X-Pro 2 size comparison is pretty striking.

    (Although that one ia closer to my price range)

  71. I do not view this as a game changer, more a me-firster. We knew something like this was coming. Hasselblad is first to the trough. I think we will see a Fuji and a Sony – perhaps even by the end of the year. I could see a Sony with the 100mp sensor. As a Pentax Z user, what impresses me is the price – almost not a Hasselblad price. Perhaps they are starting to recognize that volume is better than niche(what a stellar idea), that they are no longer made by Swedish elves.

    • Isn’t that the definition of a game changer? The iPhone was that precisely because it was first, and everybody followed.

      • Film enthusiast says:

        In my opinion this is not a game changer. That was D810 (first high res dslr with great iq), Alpha 7R (first full frame mirorrless, a possibility to use almost every lens ever produced, great features, etc) and 645Z which is the first modern MF camera.
        iPhone is not first by no means… Let the hype, marketing and PR aside.
        I would like to see digital Mamiya 7, or some Fujifilm film MF cameras. That would be great, and price will not be premium, for sure.
        All the best

        • Mamiya got bought out by Phase One. That will be expensive, if it happens. Film MF? How is that a game changer? D810’s 50% more pixels than the 1DSIII make it a game changer? A rangefinder is old technology that requires high production costs because of precision and frequent adjustment because of drifting through wear of mechanical parts. What changes the game here is you’re basically getting flagship performance at 30% of the cost last month. Not the components, not the arrangement of them. It’s accessibility.

      • plevyadophy says:


        The iPhone was the first what?
        Certainly not smartphone (that accolade goes to Nokia), an def not first smartphone touch screen phone (that I think,is Ericssons boast).

        • It’s the first one of that type that was a) smoothly integrated and b) captured the mass imagination enough to sell. That forced every other phone since into the same design paradigm to be competitive. That’s a game changer.

  72. Martin Fritter says:

    Very happy to see Hasselblad doing this. Fantastic concept. Amazed they could pull this off. How big is the digital medium format market anyway? Btw, reminds me of the Mamiya 6/7 in terms of form factor. The Nikon speedlight touch is a very clever move.

    • Last estimates I heard were in the ~15,000 cameras per year region – but that was with $25,000+ bodies. At 7k? Who knows. Nikon and Canon sell tens of thousands of D5s and 1DXIIs every month; Pentax sold tens of thousands of 645Zs in Japan alone, and who knows how many Ms Leica sells – all around the same price. I suspect it’s exponentially larger than the old domain.

      • Martin Fritter says:

        I had no idea D5 et. al. sold at that rate. In any case, good for medium format. I think it’s a sign of health for the camera business and photography in general, especially in the day of the smart phone.

        • I was surprised too when I saw the numbers. I think what we’re seeing in the industry is a divergence: the very high end is doing just fine, middle to upper okay, and everything else is suffering.

  73. Xpanded says:

    Dear Hasselblad in reading. Instead of jumping on the X-naming convention, may I suggest you rename it “Kalle” or “Frida”?

  74. Looks very interesting. I know it’s a new mount that will use an adapter for H series lenses, but any word on whether V series lenses can be adapted albeit with manual focus? Looking forward to the full review!

    • There’s a V-H adaptor, and will be a H-X adaptor. I believe they can be used in combination – which is something I plan to test as I’ve got both adaptors an V lenses.

      • Would be interesting to see if there will be adapters for the other MF systems eg Pentax 67, Mamiya 645, 67, RF 67, Contax 645, etc. That would definitely turn this into a cult camera for adapter lovers like the Sony A7.

        • As has been said before, only viable if there is an electronic shutter firmware. The camera body itself has no shutter.

          • Aardappel says:

            Mamiya 7 lenses have leaf shutters, but the flange distance may not fit, and how to activate a non-Hassy shutter? If it would work, then the Rollei 6000 lenses might have an afterlife. But is this realistic?

      • Thanks for the reply – I have a fairly complete V system, two bodies and four lenses, and this seems a suitable alternative to buying a digital back (if it works).

  75. Bettina says:

    Would you replace your Leica Q with this?

  76. Hope to see some type of adapter for the older Xpan lenses. They are really considered MF lenses with a larger image circle. Of course and adapter would have to have shutter, I believe….

    • I don’t know if this would make sense given we will have an identical 30-45-90 combo by Photokina; there may not be space to put an adaptor in given the even shorter flange distance of the Xpan, and it was designed to work with very acute ray angles – since film is nowhere near as sensitive to that as digital.

  77. Kristian Wannebo says:

    “..a good optical finder because it’s much easier to see in low light and doesn’t ruin your night vision..”

    How about a FW upgrade for an EVF monochrome view in that yellowish colour of those streetlamps so kind to our night vision? (Probably only useful with AF..)

    • I think this would drive me mad…

    • If you want to avoid ruining dark adaptation, suggest using red, not yellow for the monochrome display. Radiologists used to use red goggles between fluoroscopic examinations (no longer necessary since the invention of bright electronic displays). Astronomers and pilots flying at night use red flashlights.

      • The only problem with red is greatly reduced perceived contrast – which in turn makes focusing tricky…actually, there’s no reason why you could’t tape a red gel over the eyecup for night work. I might try that actually.

        • With many cameras, there is a flat protective glass filter screwed into the rear of the viewfinder, which can be replaced with a diopter lens if your vision requires. Could temporarily remove this filter to put an easy to damage red gel under the glass where it would be protected. If doing a lot of night shooting and find the red viewfinder filter works well, could replace the clear glass in a viewfinder screw-in with red filter glass, instead of using the easy to damage red gel material. Of course, the camera rear LCD display also needs to be off, covered, or red filtered to avoid ruining dark adaptation, must use only red flashlights, and must avoid automobile headlights.

      • CAUTION! Ran across a strange Associated Press story — not sure if believable, but might be an important warning to know about, if true. The article says that temporary blindness can result from looking at a bright screen with only one eye in the dark. Don’t know if using an EVF in the dark is the same as looking at a smartphone screen with one eye in the dark with the view of the other eye blocked, which is what is claimed to have caused temporary blindness. (Just passing along this link without any conclusion as to whether this latest warning is for real or not, taking into account that half of even scientific studies are not reproducible.)

        • Well, having done the same on several occasions, usually whilst still half asleep – it certainly significantly impairs vision, but it doesn’t make you blind…

          • Found the original report about transient monocular blindness in the New England Journal of Medicine. Now I understand what this is about. I’ve experienced this myself many times when I need to maintain dark adaptation in my telescope viewing dominant eye which I keep closed using just the other eye open when I can’t avoid exposure to bright light. It’s just the weird but completely normal sensation when one eye is dark adapted and the other eye is not. Neither eye is actually blind, just having different light sensitivity. This goes away over a few minutes with both eyes open exposed to the same light level as they re-adapt. Apparently the two patients that are the subject of the NEJM report didn’t understand what they were experiencing and were concerned.

            • Thanks for clarifying. Yes, that’s the same thing I experience – both with the one eyed phone thing at night, and often with an EVF and very dark situations. Keeping both eyes open doesn’t help here, though it can do with an optical finder.

  78. Brett Patching says:

    Just check this Ming: “Lineage: SWC without film back, but with added grip.”

    • Design lineage. I don’t see what’s wrong with that statement? It looks like an SWC without the film back. At least I see it…

      • I agree, strikingly so. It’s a beautiful and thoughtful contemporary design.

        • It looks uncannily like the Fuji GA645ZI which I had in the early 2000’s – 645 film, autofocus, electronic viewfinder (basic I have to admit), motorised film advance and, from memory, a lovely little 32mm to 56mm, or so, collapsing zoom lens. Perfect for outdoor pursuits. Some things don’t really seem to have changed much in 15 years..!!
          Come on Hasselblad, where’s the 30-90mm f4 zoom lens for the outdoor fraternity?

          • It exists, but I think you don’t really want that 30-90, because the only two zooms made for MF in that range are both massive – the Leica S 30-90 and the Hassy H 35-90. Owning the latter myself, I can honestly say it would completely destroy the balance of the X1D – it’s about the size and weight of a 70-200/2.8 for 35mm. It’s on the very edge of what’s manageable/ comfortable even on the H system.

            • I own the Leica S 30-90mm lens and did own the Hasselblad 35-90mm when I had that system. The Leica is much higher quality optically and quite a bit more robust and, compared to the primes for the S system, which average about 1,050 g in weight, it is only a couple of hundred g heavier and not significantly longer. Based on that lens, I’ll change my plea to Hasselblad to a 30-90mm zoom with a variable f4-f5.6 aperture….!!!! 😀😀😀😀😀

              • Not sure about robust, but I think there is definitely some sample variation – I’ve used a dog rental 35-90 that was a disaster optically and mechanically, but all of the shooters I speak to swear by theirs – and my own lens fortunately seems to be in the latter category. It obviously isn’t going to be as good as the primes, but I don’t think it gives up much if you’re working stopped down…

                Having only used the S 30-90 on one occasion, the impression it left was much the same: the primes are better, but it’s a pretty darn impressive zoom. The size didn’t balance so well on the S for me – I miss that back thumb hook to stop the camera torquing out and exerting a lot of force on the lower/smaller fingers of your right hand.

      • well, there is a film back on the photo.

  79. Just to add – I think this will signal the death of the 35mm camera in some sectors of the industry.

    • Me too.

    • Film enthusiast says:

      The same was said in 2013, when Sony announce Alpha 7 system. DSLR is still the most cost effective and most profitable for majority of working professionals. I am not count wealthy amateurs. Simply said, Canikon system is convincingly the most completed system. Not any MF system come even close. Ultra wide, Superb telephotos, Fisheye, Speedlights, overall speed, build quality and ergonomics etc. And great Auto Focus to sum it up.

      I do not know where You live, but in these times of deep crisis spending considerably more than 10.000€ on camera sounds unreal to majority in Europe. Most people have a car lot cheaper than that.
      Most can not afford 5D Mark III, and You are predicting death of 35mm. No offense. 😉
      All the best

  80. Said AZIZI says:

    * “Still, better to cannibalise one’s own lunch than have it eaten for you.” Canon and Nikon for sure need to contemplate this fact when it comes to 35mm field.

    If i was Hasselblad CEO, in addition to this medium format mirrorless, i will make sure to introduce a Full Frame mirrorless system into the market as well. With only Sony and Leica in the market yet, there is still enough time for it because it is clearly the future… so why not book a place from now to be a major camera manufacturer in the years to come ?

    • They could drop in a smaller sensor and a universal mount on the same platform and do that with minimal investment. But what do I know about business, I’m just a photographer. 🙂

      • Said AZIZI says:

        @Ming Sharing E-mount with Sony and let them use the X1D mount in return seems very viable to me…

        @Paul The future for deep pocket of course, the 35mm however is the future for sub 44×33.

    • I don’t think they need to – I think this is the future. The sensor size is nicely optimised for max quality and compact form.

      • rjllane says:

        I concur. To be honest, this is a “super-FF” camera rather than a traditional MF – it is the direction that people will go to when FF is just not enough for them. My mental picture of MF is bigger.

        The term MF applied to digital cameras with this 44 x 33 mm sensor has troubled me. When I grew up, I thought of MF starting with 6 x 6 cm. A camera with a 44 x 33 mm sensor seems closer to FF tan MF.

        The magic here is that this “super-FF” camera is no bigger than a FF camera. That will sit well in the market.

        🙂 … MomentsForZen (Richard)

    • Mats Alm says:

      Remeber that these cameras are handbuild and the quality constantly checked in each step. This is very diffrent to how Sony and Nikon build cameras. It would be against Hasselblads core DNA to go in that direction.
      Hasselblad is a luxary brand among camera manufaturers and they will stay in that segment.
      All mediumformat manufacturers need to get the volume up to make the sensors cheaper. The high cost of the sensor is mainly due to the very small volumes. The whole mediumformat market is less then 20 000 cameras per year.
      I think that Hasselblad have started a important change that will make mediumformat more realistic for the passionate amateur. They have reduced the price for h5D to half of what it used to be. Now they launch a camera with stunning quality in an envelope similar to a advanced dSLR..
      I really wish Perry Ooostings and Hasselblad success. Under his leadership they have made a comeback that is really remarkable.

      • Film enthusiast says:

        “Hasselblad is a luxary brand”
        Luxury brand made by Fuji. 😉 (gx645af and Fujinon lenses). I do not care about “luxury” and other snobby phrases. I want camera for photographers, not for wealthy arrogant amateurs. The Mamiya 7 digital would be the best choice for both world, and without “premium” taxes.
        All the best

        • It’ll have a Phase One tax. They are the most expensive camera brand, period, and bought over Mamiya. I wouldn’t hold my breath for value or bargains.

        • Actually the GX645AF was made in Sweden and re-badged as a Fuji. The HC lenses are designed in Sweden and built by Fujinon with Swedish made shutters.

        • Charles says:

          “Enthusiast”, for you the Hasselblad brand means arrogant, rank amateurism of non-photographers?
          Seems a bit of an extreme attitude towards the company that invented the V, H and now X(D) systems.
          It is the “luxury” branding of the Stellar and Lunar disasters that Hasselblad is explicitly disowning. They have made a conscious effort here is revisit their design roots in the V system, and are aiming its at both professionals and other “enthusiasts”.
          It is a pretty long stretch to claim that this camera system is just empty luxury and not the makings of a great photographic tool. There is a reason why photographers are interested, and it’s not because of styling or exclusivity.

          • I’d say if anything they’ve done everything they could to make it less exclusive and more accessible than anything digital they’ve made previously…

  81. Amirali says:

    725gr , my god , what a time to be alive !
    Now if zeiss manage to make some fast manual lenses for this mount that would be even more great !

  82. Really impressive. And my GAS for the anticipated Sigma mirrorless system is gone.

  83. I am truly excited for this. Congrats to Hasselblad they are back in the game. For me the two available lenses are wanting though and this will stop me buying – There should be a 70mm f2. also, I can’t help but feel there should have been a focal plane shutter which knocks out adaptability. If I could have adapted a fast standard to this I would have bought straight away. Not to take away though, from what is a total game changer – Medium Format in the size of a Leica M. Never thought it would be possible.

    • The system is just beginning. More lenses will come, including a 30mm at Photokina. The H system lenses are compatible with an adaptor. The FP shutter was eliminated to minimise degradation due to camera shake, and faster flash sync.

      • Cheers Ming. Yes, I think it’s best in the long run. I just hope they produce the lenses I need for it. Kinda frustrating at this point.

    • Charles says:

      I wonder if an electronic shutter would just be a firmware upgrade, or whether that’s something reserved for Mark II hardware in a couple of years.
      It seems to me that an electronic shutter would be essential to bring the “best of mirrorless” functionality to this camera. After all, lens adaptability is one of the great attractions of mirrorless.

  84. How neat! Sure, it’s way above my means but, and this is me speaking with zero MF experience (but owning both an a6000 and D7100), an EVF with what-you-see-is-what-you-get, and presumably an in-EVF histogram, will make it a faster learning experience for me to rent and shoot than trying to use an OVF. I’m excited to rent this, assuming it’s available for rent at some point in the future. I could rent a 645D or 645Z now but I think this would be more appealing, even if more money.

    Ming – it looks like the mode dial is sunk into the body. How odd! How would you turn that, finger tips? I don’t know what M versus MQ is either, do you know?

    • Press the mode dial to pop it up to unlock it from accidental changes. Not sure what MQ is either; I can only hope it’s e-shutter mode 🙂

      • I love it! How clever. The little buttons on my D7100 drives me nuts. I have fairly small hands for a grown man and they’re irritating. thank you Ming.

  85. Michael Matthews says:

    Well, if it were possible I’d take back my earlier snide reference to the Lunar. (Although I still think it would be a good idea to quietly buy back the remaining inventory from retailers and landfill them.) This new camera has an extremely impressive design aesthetic. And it’s reasonable to assume the logic and execution of the technical design will measure up. Can’t say I’d ever be able to afford one, but it’s a nice item for the Lotto dream shelf. Just look at the real estate devoted to the base of the right thumb — that alone is a functional design triumph.

  86. Gregorio Donikian says:

    Finally Hasselblad is back !!

  87. William says:

    The camera size comparison and the thickness is what really impressed me considering what the specs state

    • You’re almost left wondering where the rest of the camera is…

      • rjllane says:

        The rest of the camera? It is packaged with great skill and ingenuity into the lens – each and every lens, unfortunately as far as price is concerned. The wizardry to place the various mechanisms into a cylindrical annulus around the light path is astounding. The back is only there to host the sensor, the screen, and the battery – oh, and as a grip to give the photographer something to hold onto.

        🙂 … MomentsForZen (Richard)

  88. Gary Morris says:

    As with the Leica SL, this appears to be a platform not only for native lenses but adapting other’s lenses. Leica SL adapters thus far offer only manual focus (the S to SL adapter is now announced but not yet available for purchase; it will provide auto focus of S lenses on the SL… ditto for Canon lenses with another 3rd party adapter). Manual focus is fine, given the 4K viewfinder.

    Due to the large image circle, adapting 35mm lenses to this body will result in some sort of crop-mode shooting. Probably not so bad if someone who owns a bunch of Canon or Nikon lenses could bring those lenses forward to use along with body-specific lenses.

    As a non-professional shooter, I view mirrorless cameras such as the SL and now this body as exciting developments providing someone with the ability to adapt cream-of-the-crop lenses to an essentially one-size-fits-all body. Cool times, indeed.

    I’ll look forward to your comprehensive analysis. The only spec that looks a little dated is the 2K viewfinder.

  89. any ideas how long does the battery last?

    • I’ve got 7.2V/3200mAh in my spec sheet. For comparison, my H batteries are only 2900mAh. I can run live view for a good two hours or so continuously off one of those – probably more if you cycle power. My guess? Two batteries for one day.

      • How does it charge? If that USB-C port can carry a charge, then external battery banks might be an option.

        • I would imagine externally. The USB-C port can power the H6, so it may well be the same in this case since the electronic platform is the same. Regardless, it’s a far cry from the 1050mAh batteries in say the A7RII…

        • The battery has to be removed to charge.

          • It appears to use the same ejection mechanism (for a complete seal around the outside, and to maximise cell volume) as the Leica S, SL and T.

    • 3200 mAH. For context, my Fuji X-T10’s battery is 1280mAH.

      • I don’t think it’s a fair comparison… look at the sensor size difference 🙂

  90. Nikon TTL shoe?! I have so many questions! Will it work with Nikon’s new radio TTL system? How about third parties? Will Hasselblad be making first-party flash accessories, and will they be Nikon-compatible too?

  91. Terry B says:

    A game changer? Well, perhaps not exactly, but a game mover? Definitely. This is priced above my means and needs, now I’ve nothing to get jealous about. What did surprise me is the spec of the EVF. Matters may have improved in what it is like to look through, but the resolution has been around since Sony introduced their add-on for the 5N and built in Nex 7. Surely, at this price level, professionals would expect better?

    • Think about it this way: it’s got the flagship’s guts stuffed into it at one third the price, and one fifth the price of the equivalent Phase One. That’s why it’s a game changer – as if Sony launched the A7R, but at say $500.

      I suspect the limitation on the EVF is panel exclusivity AND that nobody using that 50MP sensor has more than XGA out LV. There would then be no point for a higher resolution panel anyway.

  92. Charles says:

    Stunning achievement by Hasselblad. These will be difficult to get hold of for the first year or so!

    I do worry about f/3.5-ish lenses, though. I use f/2 and f/2.8 on my old V system… Still, there are always trade-offs and portability is clearly the watchword here.

    I note that the body is only 45 grams heavier than the Leica M 240, which is astonishing. It would be great to know the weights of the lenses.

    • I think so too – and not just because of production constraints, but one wonders if Sony has production capability for the sensors back up to full steam yet.

      Sorry, no weight info for the lenses yet – but I doubt they’ll be heavier than 300-400g though; look at how the camera tipped forward very slowly when Perry put it on the table.

      • Aardappel says:

        The 45mm lens reportedly has a weight of 475 g, the 90mm has not been stated yet afaik.

        • I have different numbers here, but the spec sheets are not final – so that may well be the case. It may also include the hood (Hasselblad hoods are metal, and seem to be good for at least 100g each – at least on my H lenses).

  93. Ming,
    Are there plans for other lens adapters such as Mamiya 645, or possibly 35mm with crop mode?

    • Not as far as I know, but wouldn’t it be nice if we had e-shutter in a future FW? That would mean usability for a whole load of lenses with longer flange distances…Otuses, anybody? 🙂

      • Sure, Otus’ would be perfect. Perhaps a crop mode of 33×33 with 35mm lenses, square eliminates the need to rotate the camera for vertical. To implement this Hasselblad needs to think outiside the box 🙂

  94. I’d love to see an adapter for my Bronica RF645 lens set!

    • Does it have a leaf shutter built in? Highly doubtful though as if anything they’d probably build a V system adaptor next after the H adaptor.

      • Hi, that’s what I was going to ask, in theory you could use V to H and then H adaptor, or not?
        Another question, and this is the one which really is puzzling, speed of AF probably won’t be that great or is it not fair to speculate and assume that since it’s contrast detection based it would be bad? Live you seems to be only 30fps (according to data sheet).

        • Yes, you could – though I don’t know if this will work.

          No idea what AF speed is like yet. Firmware is not final, and remember the LV-only Leica Q is one of the fastest cameras – period. I doubt LV is 30fps; the H6 is much better than that in practice.

      • The Bronica RF645 lenses are leaf shutter lenses. I’m sure Hass won’t make such an adapter, but maybe a third party???? Or maybe the mechanics won’t be possible. Anyway, I’m really excited for this camera! : )

        • I tried to figure out a way to make a triggering adaptor for Hasselblad V leaf shutter lenses for the P645 to increase flash sync, but there was no easy way to do it without significant engineering and some electronics to sync lens and FP shutters via the flash sync port…it’s a mess, to put it plainly. Subsequently taking a peak inside Hasselblad’s own V-H adaptor confirms that.

          From a commercial standpoint, it’s almost unheard of for a brand to make adaptors for a third party’s lenses especially if they have their own legacy system; that’s tantamount to admitting that your own product is not up to scratch…

  95. And one last question Ming – you mentioned previously that you thought it was “twice as interesting as expectations” or something to that effect…….. why? Just curious.

  96. Any idea on why the EVF is not a bit higher resolution? Do you know what refresh rate is? A little surprising that at least it’s not the resolution of the Leica SL…..

  97. 44x33mm is a medium format as a SUV is a BUS.

    • What’s really interesting to me isn’t that the sensor is only 44×33 — they have to use what’s in the market after all — it’s that the mount looks to be VERY snug around that sensor. That means that it won’t be able to scale up to a real 645-sized or larger sensor in the future.

      • Everything would have to be bigger for full 645, and we bump into limitations around tele centricity and laws of physics and optics. It’s a good compromise, I think, and one that leaves the full 645 sensor to be the domain of the H system.

        • True, just interesting that Hasselblad would take the current state of sensor size and lock in around it. I wonder if anyone will start making Speedbooster-style adapters…

          • I’ve been told by several parties in the industry and sensor design line that the next steps up in terms of tessellation to a standard 6″ wafer (for efficient of production) are 44×33 and 645, so it’s likely this size will be around for a while.

        • Jonathan says:

          Indeed Minh, to me 33x44mm actually makes sense not just in terms of price but because it offers the greatest size saving, The other options to use this same sensor with the H-system, Phase One and Pentax all use a flange distance designed for larger sensors and film, hence the size saving with this camera is MUCH larger than it is with a 35mm sized mirriorless relative to DSLR’s, your talking half the weight and less than half the depth.

          On that subject I wonder whether that hasn’t been one of the issue for Pentax with the 645z?if they were targeting former FF digital users looking to move up in sensor size they were also forcing them to move up significantly in size and weight where as this camera is very much in the size/weight range of a smaller FF DSLR. I would imagine the price of the 30mm lens might be a big issue as well, Pentax’s new ultra wide options were all rather expensive which likely held back a lot of take up from landscape shooters.

          • There’s a cutaway of the 645Z that shows a huge amount of empty space inside – both inside the mirror box, which as you point out is designed for full 645, and a void behind the sensor which is presumably for cooling. I can’t help feel that the camera could have been made at least 50% thinner; even the total mount-to-LCD distance on the H cameras is shorter, and they’re also designed for full 645. All of the new Pentax lenses are in the US4-5k range, i.e. comparable to H and P1 – but they lack leaf shutters, and the 25mm was pretty mediocre. The 28-45 is a lot better from what I hear, however. As for H: the 24 and 28mm lenses are much, much smaller, and optically excellent. I have and use both.

  98. Headed straight here from the Launch. Good job and really looking forward to your hands on analysis. Exciting times!


  1. […] camera with a 2.36MP EVF and a body that makes good old 35mm DSLRs “look bloated,” as Ming Thein writes. The X1D (specs) gets new lenses, is fully back-compatible with all 12 existing H system […]

  2. […] coverage: Ming Thein, WexUK, Luminous Landscape, […]

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