Hasselblad X1D Review -- First Impressions

Hasselblad breaks new ground with mirrorless X1D

A couple of years ago, Sony made waves in the photography world when it shoehorned a full-frame, 35mm image sensor into a compact mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses. Hasselblad also weather and dust sealed the X1D, so it's adventure-friendly. Most medium format cameras, such as Hasselblad's own H6D are large and heavy and aren't easily transported outside of the studio. There's also a large 2.36-MP electronic viewfinder which can be used for composing shots and viewing settings changes. That's if you consider the sensor tucked inside of it: A 50-megapixel medium-format CMOS imager, a chip with roughly twice the surface area as the one found in a full-frame DSLR.

A Hasselblad medium format camera also costs about the same as the GDP of some smaller countries. The top of the camera includes a power button, mode dial (with three custom modes), the shutter release and two buttons (one for ISO/WB and the other for AF/MF). The smartphone-inspired user interface is navigated via a 3.0-inch touchscreen display.

With every camera being handmade in Sweden, the X1D is actually a special piece of hardware. Its benefit lies in providing more control over background blur and much larger pixels for a greater dynamic range; 14 stops, as with the other Hasselblads. The new lenses have integrated shutter mechanisms and can shoot up to 1/2000th of a second.

Weighing just 725g and including HD video, Wi-Fi and built-in Global Positioning System, the X1D is a trusted partner and ideal travel companion.

Along with the new camera system, Hasselblad is launching a new line of autofocus lenses which feature an integral central shutter and are created to bring out the resolving power of the X1D's 50-megapixel sensor.

As it's a medium format camera, the Hasselblad X1D won't exactly come cheap.

Regarding video mode, the video features aren't as revolutionary as the concept of the camera itself with the Hasselblad X1D offering only Full HD (1080p) video capture.

While it's not cheap, it's not almost as expensive as you might expect: $8,995 or £5,990 for the body, $11,300 with the XCD 45mm f3.5 lens or $14,000 with both the 45mm and XCD 90mm f4.5 lenses.

Fear not, however, as the entire twelve lens range of Hasselblad H lenses will be compatible with the Hasselblad X1D through the use of an optional H Lens Adapter (pricing and availability information for this adapter is not yet available).

The Hasselblad X1D is priced at 7,900 Euro / 8,995 United States dollars / 5,990 GBP. There is also a built-in Global Positioning System, but Hasselblad states that a firmware update will be required to enable it after the camera launches.

What does the Hasselblad X1D-50c mean for photographers?

. You'll initially be getting 45mm f3.5 and 90mm f4.0 glass.

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