Major firmware updates for X1D and H6D

You asked…we listened. V1.21 brings quite a few extra features, and is available immediately for download here. The changelog of major items is as follows:

For the X1D:

  • AF support is now present for all HC lenses (except the 120 macro) – firmware is lodged under individual lenses on the download site
  • Interval timer
  • Bracketing
  • Manual eyedropper WB tool
  • Auto ISO shutter speed limits (with both 1/fl multiple and 1/shutter speed options, of course)
  • Custom button options now include interval timer, manual WB, bracketing etc.
  • Long press of the AF-D button during playback goes to 100% actual pixel view at the focus point
  • During EVF playback, the rear display acts as a touchpad to scroll/browse images
  • During rear screen playback, LV now starts immediately when switching to the EVF to reduce capture time.
  • Tethered image import for Phocus over USB

For the H6D (all three versions):

  • Manual eyedropper WB tool
  • Setting profiles
  • Tethered image import for Phocus over USB
  • Audio notifications – H4/5 users will remember this as confirmations that an image is shot, camera ready, over/underexposure etc. in addition to the usual focus beeps
  • Long press of the True Focus button during playback to go to 100% actual pixel view
  • Use of rear screen as touchpad for browse/scroll when a HDMI monitor is connected

I think you’ll agree this is a solid set of additions – auto ISO limits, playback functions and manual WB are particularly useful. Lastly, yes, I am testing an XCD 21mm at the moment… MT

Comments

  1. Any plans to add focus stacking support to X1D? I’m a little surprised Hasselblad chose to prioritize exposure bracketing over focus bracketing considering the X1D’s dynamic range and the relative ease by which exposure bracketing can be manually achieved over focus bracketing. IMO, this and lack of wired remote a the biggest misses for X1D considering how well suited it is for landscapes.

    I love the X1D, including how much lighter and stealthier is is relative to the GFX — a bystander at recent shoot asked me if it was a Sony, whereas people act as if though I’m pulling out a cannon when shooting with the GFX — but lack of focus stacking may be the deciding factor that keeps me staying with my GFX.

    Thanks for the great articles. I’m a fan!

    • More people asked for bracketing than stacking (don’t ask me why, I’ve never used bracketing even in the early days of digital – it was no worse than slide film)!

  2. Any plans to add focus bracketing? IMO, this is far more valuable than exposure bracketing considering X1D’s dynamic range and the relative ease by which exposure bracketing can be manually performed relative to focus bracketing. I think this and wired shutter release are the biggest misses for X1D considering how well suited it is to landscapes. Other than that, the camera is near perfect for me and I like how much lighter and stealthy it is relative to GFX, but lack of focus stacking might be the the tie breaker the forces my hand to stick with my GFX.

    Thanks for all your great articles! I’m a fan.

    • No plans for this generation. We aim to keep the camera simple rather than an overload of features that might get in the way at critical times…there is no way to streamline the control UI but leave everything easily accessible.

      • (You can delete my other post — I thought it was lost because posted prior to logging on.)

        Thanks for the quick response. I agree w/ philosophy of not overloading the camera with features, but I find it interesting that Hasselblad chose to prioritize exposure over focus bracketing for reasons stated. As a landscape shooter I would love this feature, and X1D is particularly well suited to landscape unlike some other types of photography.

        Regardless, I think the X1D is grossly underrated in reviews and my initial impression has me largely preferring it over my GFX. The build quality is second to none, it’s much lighter and stealthier, and the colors right out of the camera are breathtaking. Plus, I have a fully supported and fully featured software what works in Phocus unlike needing to hack together a solution for GFX with Capture One / Lightroom, Iridient etc.

        • Given most landscapes are either near-far in structure (shoot with wide) or distant (shoot tele) and stopping down covers adequate DOF…it seems focus bracketing would overcomplicate things? I have not personally encountered any landscape subjects where I ran out of DOF – but perhaps I shoot differently to most…

          GFX vs X1D: it might be colour, it might be tactility, or dare I say it: it might be simplicity and lack of overcomplication? 😉

          • For a lot of landscapes I humbly agree, but there are landscape composition scenarios involving objects near in foreground (like a rock, flower(s), driftwood, etc.) where stopping down is not enough. I can make it work since DOF is large w/ UWA so only requires a few stacked photos but it’s a big nice-to-have for me. Thanks again for your comments back.

  3. mauritsbosphotography says:

    Hi Ming Thein,

    This probably has been discussed before but I would like to indicate once more that an invaluable and long awaited change in my opinion should be an auto iso mode in manual mode. Any chance you can plug this (once more) for addition in the next update?

    Many thanks in advance and best regards

    • Yes, it’s been explained before – the sensor only works in 1/3 stop increments, but exposure can be adjusted in 1/6th if you have 1/2 and 1/3 on aperture/shutter or vice versa. We opted for consistency of exposure as very few people have asked for auto iso in M. It will be addressed when the hardware supports it, of course…

  4. Jared Willson says:

    MT,

    Thanks much for the hard work as you and the team continue to make improvements to the X1D. This is, indeed, a nice update. You said earlier in the comments, “LV histogram/ blinkies – we want to implement this in parallel with new imaging pipeline so they’re representative of raw capture, not JPEG preview settings. So, not anytime soon.” I’m not sure I understand what you mean… Does “new imaging pipeline” mean a different sensor? I assume so, but wondered if you could confirm that’s what you mean…

    Again, thanks to you and the team for producing a wonderful product. I can’t believe my MF system is actually smaller and lighter than my full frame camera!

    • There will always be a new product in development – and we are of course well aware of the existing sensor’s limitations. Technology advances and the reality is we have much more powerful processors and sensors better suited to live view today. The current sensor produces great images but was that was available during the X1D’s development – and is quite rudimentary in terms of live view ability; it was after all a 2013 design…

  5. James Ling says:

    AEB cannot be used in conjunction with self timer or interval timer; and it cannot be triggered by Phocus Mobile app. It’s essentially useless! We need a wired remote!

    It’s astounding that after over a year of getting this camera, we still cannot perform what is the most basic functionality of any commercially available semi-professional camera on the market.

    Ridiculous!

    • This is a bug – I’ll have them look into it. AEB isn’t something I use personally so I didn’t test this combination* but I can understand why it makes sense to use with the timer or remotely.

      *for moving subjects, there’s no second chances most of the time if you miss the shot, so you have to get exposure right first time; for static subjects, shoot, check histogram, correct, shoot – no need to randomly bracket

    • @James Ling, which cameras have you used that have this functionality where you can combine bracketing + timer? Genuine question, I have often though it’s limited to only be able to select *either* timer *or* bracketing, but this is the way it’s been setup on every camera I’ve ever used – admitedly most are low to mid end so maybe this is a high end feature only?
      @Ming, you can only check the histogram if you are already confident of how representative the in-camera histogram is of the final RAW file, and if that histogram is accurate. If it’s a new / unfamiliar / rarely used camera, and/or an imprecise historgram, and/or fairly extreme conditions, I frequently need to bracket and look at the files on the PC to decide whether it’s possible to use the brightest file or the highlights are unacceptably clipped and I need to use the next one….the Sigma dp1 quattro, for example, I felt like I had to bracket every 10th shot! But maybe you just have more experience in judging exposure 🙂

      • James Ling says:

        @JJ I use an infrared remote or the camera’s self timer to trigger AEB sequence on my Canon 5DS all the time. The interval timer feature can also be used with AEB, though admittedly I never needed to do an HDR time-lapse.

        The point of my original post was that as-is there is no way to trigger an AEB sequence on the X1D without touching the shutter button, since none of the Phocus mobile app, self timer, or interval timer works with AEB.

      • My D850 does bracketing + time, but again I admit I don’t use bracketing. If the exposure differential is so wide as to require two shots, you generally need a 3-4 stop separation anyway (giving about 18 or so clean stops total, which is more than enough for anything).

        Blinking highlight warnings are far more useful than the histogram in practice because you can only move the clipping point anyway – that is all changing exposure will do. So all you need to know is the file is exposed as far to the right as possible, which the overexposure warning tells you precisely… 🙂

  6. Bravo thanks.
    I understand from chats on other sites that it is no possible to have focus bracketing with the present system.
    Is it not possible to focus manually on two different distances and then automatically have a set of pictures taken at equal intervals between these two points? Of course the distance steps will not be equal, but still, this would allow focus stacking.
    I have been experimenting doing this by hand sticking a tape on the focus ring and marking different distances, quite a mess, not very conclusive so far.

    • Correct – focus bracketing is not possible at the moment. At very near distances you are always better off using a rail regardless of whether distance scales exist or not – this prevents focus breathing/ magnification changes. At farther distances, your focus stacking should be somewhat nonlinear to take into account DOF behaviour anyway.

  7. Steve Gombosi says:

    The more I use the X1D, the better I like it. It’s just a splendid little camera now.

    From the MTF data, the 21mm looks like a real gem – I think we’ll see a lot of SWCs hitting the used market as a result of its introduction. I just purchased a 30mm, so I’m afraid I’ve exhausted my acquisition budget for the time being (alas!). I’ll probably fill the gap between the 30 and the 90 (probably with the zoom) before I go wider.

    Since the lenses don’t have distance scales (and as a long-time V-series shooter that’s really quite unnerving for me), I’d like to see a “distance” display somewhere. Hyperfocal/DOF would be nice, but only if the acceptable CoC diameter is configurable. Distance at the very least – it must be available since it’s in the EXIF data. I think people who shoot star trails would like a way to “set the lens at infinity”, and this would provide that as a side benefit. That’s really it for me as far as firmware is concerned.

    My other desires are all strictly hardware related: wired release, extension tubes (maybe even a bellows at some point), and a V-series adapter from Hasselblad that actually lets me get to the CF/C shutter and use flash (obviously some firmware changes are necessary to support that).

    I have a specific use for that last one that involves an auto bellows, way too many extension tubes, the old Hasselblad microscope shutter, and some older high-magnification macro lenses (Zeiss Luminars and Leitz Photars). The V-series was a lot more flexible in some ways than its successors have been. Being able to make full use of the Apotessar would be nice, too.

    • Pretty sure I’ve explained this before, but due to the nature of CDAF and MF overrides, there’s no precise way to determine distance *that doesn’t fall under an existing patent* – and that imprecision may be outside the DOF that would otherwise mask this (on smaller formats, for instance). In short: we’re working on it.

      You can use an iPhone or iPad as a remote release with full control and much larger preview screen (in the case of the latter).

      A V adaptor that allows use of the C shutter requires significant mechanical components – the V lenses are entirely mechanical and the firing sequence must be synchronised AND the shutter recocked afterwards. The CF-H adaptor is both rather complicated and very expensive for this reason; the cost of a similar product for X doesn’t make sense given the size of the market.

  8. Is there a way to determine by HC lens serial number whether it will be compatible with HC/HCD firmware version 19.0.3? The release notes say:
    “Please note that the HC/HCD Lens must have firmware 18.0.0 or later. Lenses with older firmware have hardware that cannot be updated with this firmware. They can only be used with manual focus on the X1D.”
    I was surprised, for example, that my HC 300 updated successfully and now has AF with the XH adapter, but my HC 210 is not compatible with the update. If I shop for a more recent used HC 210, can I determine before the purchase, using the serial number, whether it will accept the latest firmware?

  9. Michael Pichmann says:

    Hello MT, it would be nice to have the possibility to create and edit ITPC data for copyright information. And what about a black and white modus on display/EVF? Are there any plans for a selection lossless/lossless compressed files? Plus live-histogram and my X1D would have everything I need.

    • There are useful core features which we need because they change things at time of capture and cannot be influenced afterwards, and stuff that just turns into menu bloat – IPTC editing can be done much more easily on a computer. B&W modes would require a whole chunk of options for JPEG processing, which defeats the point of image quality as a priority (which is the reason you go to the cost and compromises of medium format) – a computer gives you much more flexibility, higher conversion quality and more processing options. Uncompressed files are faster to write, and storage is cheap.

      The histogram we’re working on, but there is at least an overexposure warning (which I personally find is all you need in practice). Sensible compromises/ choices, else we land up with a camera that’s loaded like the kitchen sink and equally confusing to use (ahem, Sony)…

      • “…else we land up with a camera that’s loaded like the kitchen sink and equally confusing to use (ahem, Sony)…”
        Amen, brother!

      • Norbert says:

        Totally agree with the kitchen sink argument. Also, the icon system is very nice and I enjoy it most of the time.

        Nevertheless, I want to make a constructive comment here, because I feel, HB is in big danger to make the same mistake as Sony and others made before. Why? Because some of the icons already became subfolders with a lot of hidden functions. The nice thing about icons is that you can select them to your favorite menu in order to access them quickly, right? But if the icon is a subfolder, the favorite menu does not help you anymore as the function keeps hidden in a subfolder.

        I find myself regularly seeking a function but do not remember behind which icon it is hidden: example: activate the electronic shutter. No icon for that, ahh it is hidden in the “exposure” icon, or was it configuration? Another example: want to change the ISO automatic range. No icon for that. Where was it again? “Exposure” icon, no, ahh, “configuration” icon, together with a wild selection of other functions like quick adjust or shutter speed limit. Another example: want to change the liveview zoom from 100% to 50%. Where was it again? Must be in the “MF” icon together withe the option zoom. Ahh, no it is within “monitor”.

        It is beyond me why there is a icon with the name “configuration” at all. Icons should describe clear functions (eg. ISO range, electronic or mechanical shutter, etc.), not hide functions within submenus like Sony and Olympus.

        In the case of the X1D, most of the time icons describe such functions, but not in these subfolder kind of icons (“configuration” and “exposure” are the worst ones). You should really disaggregate these subfolders and permit more than 9 icons in the favorite menu (scroll down, second page). This would ease things considerably.

        • Point taken, and menu architecture simplification is something we have already been working on for the the major software generation – apparently it turns out t isn’t quite so simple to change it in this one.

  10. Is Hasselblad going to expand its rental service? Especially in places like here (Eastern Europe) it’s simply not affordable to own, but I could imagine renting it out few times a year at the prices posted on the website.

  11. Hi MT,
    Massive update – thanks.
    The manual for the H6D says that there is no way to rename the custom profiles. Is there plan somewhere along the way to enable this feature?

  12. Ettore says:

    Thanks Ming
    Thats am amazing update!!
    Any news on the 65mm??
    I am really dying having a standard all around lens on my X1D
    and I am actually surprises its taking so long

    Thank you

  13. THANK YOU to the entire Hasselblad team for listening and caring about us, the passionate user-base! I cant wait to try out the Bracketing feature. If I only knew how to turn it on? Is there any instructions out there on how to turn on exposure Bracketing? Thanks!

  14. pollywag says:

    I know it’s an esoteric request but any chance of getting an “invert image” option for live view? Either EVF or rear screen would be fine – I miss composing upside down like on my 4×5.

    As far as I know no manufacturers offer this option and it should be easy to implement. I know it’s definitely not a priority however!

  15. Very helpful firmware update, Ming. Almost there. Still a few desirable features are missing. Live view histogram and blinkies. Auto iso in Manual Exposure. Automated selection of hyperfocal focus point for selected aperture. Automated focus bracketing sequence.
    Any idea when the 135mm lens will appear? I noticed that Lightroom now includes lens profiles for all of the new XCD lenses except for the 80.
    Regards.

    • LV histogram/ blinkies – we want to implement this in parallel with new imaging pipeline so they’re representative of raw capture, not JPEG preview settings. So, not anytime soon.

      Auto ISO in manual – I explained on your post in the X1D FB group that this sensor generation can only be adjusted in 1/3 stop increments, but aperture/shutter can be 1, 1/2 or 1/3 – which means you may land up with a 1/6th stop mismatch. There would be more complaints of inconsistent exposure than requests so far for auto-ISO in manual, so we picked the lesser evil…

      Hyperfocal for a given aperture – this requires precise information on the currently focused distance, which is not possible with CDAF lenses. It’s adequate on smaller formats as DOF covers errors, but not with MF – at least not with the current generation of position sensors. In practice unless on a wide, this is likely to be close to infinity anyway.

      135mm – prototypes in testing now…

      • Thanks for that explanation. Auto ISO in manual mode is the one feature that I would argue is worth the downside of “complaints of inconsistent exposure”. Unlike LV histogram/blinkies and hyperfocal for a given aperture, it’s a feature that can be implemented in firmware with the current camera design and can give the photographer an option to use it or not. I requested this feature in a message to Ove Bengtsson over a year ago and got this reply:
        “We had this in the early testing of the Auto-ISO function, but quite many said it was confusing. It might come back.”
        I hope it comes back.

      • Howard Cubell says:

        Thanks, Ming, for the very clear explanation of HB’s position on these features. At the X1D FB page, I addressed your point about the potential exposure inconsistencies. While the LV histogram and blinkies are not ideal if they work off of a JPEG preview, I am curious why HB doesn’t include them. It’s better than not having them at all. There are post-exposure blinkies with the X1D and they presumably are working off of the JPEG preview. I also assume that the GFX uses JPEG previews, as do most other cameras with LV.
        Lots of speculation about an X2D, but I sure hope that HB preserves the form factor of the X1D. It’s a major part of what makes it so special.

  16. Marco Guercini says:

    Hi Ming! I agree with you, this FW update is a solid set of additions, especially bracketing, a function which I was awaiting for since I bought the X1d.
    I am a landscape and an interior photographer, I hope the XCD 21mm (and something around 62 mm to fill the gap between the 45 and 90mm) will be released soon.
    In the meanwhile…good job! Keep it up
    Best Regards

  17. Rene Sterental says:

    Bravo!

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