Hasselblad X1D-50c Review | Mirrorless Medium-Format Digital camera

Hasselblad X1D-50c

MSRP $8,995.00

“The compact Hasselblad X1D is a recreation changer on this planet of medium-format footage.”


  • Very successfully made
  • Superb 50MP medium-format footage
  • Comparatively compact and conveyable
  • Leaf shutter + digital shutter
  • Good contact interface


  • Sluggish autofocus
  • Poor battery life
  • Additional bodily controls will be good

When Hasselblad unveiled the X1D-50c mirrorless camera, it wasn’t solely a radical new path for the storied camera agency. For the whole medium-format sector, it represented a departure away from huge and complex cameras, in favor of streamlined, transportable gadgets. It might be primarily probably the most important switch in the direction of modernization that the format has taken as a result of the primary medium-format digital backs, nevertheless it stays true to Hasselblad’s coronary coronary heart and soul of very good craftsmanship and fantastic image prime quality. This isn’t to point that customary digital medium-format cameras are going away — faraway from it, for causes we’ll speak about below — nevertheless prospects of such cameras now have an selection that’s less complicated to take with them on location, and every portrait and panorama photographers have trigger to be smitten by it.

The X1D has understandably generated a wide range of hype (it was the first of its kind, in any case, adopted shortly by the Fujifilm GFX 50S), establishing curiosity that goes far previous the comparatively slim viewers of established medium-format shooters. Nonetheless, whereas it does appear to democratize the format to some extent, it stays a far cry from a medium-format camera for the heaps. Nonetheless, we’re completely happy to see that Hasselblad has devoted itself to this new system, together with fairly a couple of choices since launch by means of firmware updates and releasing a lot of new lenses which have drastically improved the X1D’s capabilities.

Extreme tech and handmade

As a modest, nevertheless proud engraving states on the very best of the camera, the X1D is handmade in Sweden. After seeing it in images, we knew it regarded stunning nevertheless weren’t sure how cozy it is perhaps in exact use. Our earlier experience with medium-format cameras had left us with the impression that such machines are best used atop sturdy tripods. Nonetheless, after spending some time with the X1D, we absolutely fell in love with the design. The grip feels fantastic, and even though the camera is fairly huge (compared with smaller-format mirrorless fashions) it is nonetheless pretty simple to hold in a single hand – nothing like the massive, mirror-based medium-format fashions.

Beneath the H emblem on the aspect of the camera you’ll uncover twin SD memory card slots. There’s moreover a singular battery that locks in place with no battery door. A change on the underside of the camera partially releases the battery and likewise you give it a fragile push to unlock it and take away it the rest of one of the simplest ways. A rubber gasket encircling the battery itself permits the camera to be environmentally sealed whatever the dearth of a battery door. Hasselblad knowledgeable us this was achieved to reinforce complete sturdiness, as there’s no plastic door which will break off. We kind of assume they did it merely to be cool, nevertheless each methodology, we’ll take it.

The physique moreover has a splendidly balanced weight when paired with one among many prime lenses (we examined the 45mm f/3.5 and 90mm f/3.2). That’s nonetheless a fairly heavy camera, nevertheless every ounce of weight feels intentional. Hasselblad clearly put important care into making the X1D actually really feel good to utilize handheld, one factor that has not always been a priority for various medium-format cameras.

The X1D is a radical new path for Hasselblad and the whole medium-format sector.

The three-inch touchscreen LCD seems good, and the particular person interface is apparent and simple. The camera is surprisingly simple to utilize due to that touchscreen, although the minimalistic administration format did go away us wishing for a lot of additional bodily buttons. Particularly, a highlight stage selector would have been very welcome. (After our review, Hasselblad launched a firmware exchange that added contact pad AF efficiency, which lets you drag your finger on the show whereas making an attempt by the use of the viewfinder to maneuver the primary focus stage.) There are moreover some design oddities inside the interface; there is not a prompt methodology, for example, to know what the buttons to the aspect of show do with out pressing them to look out out.

From a usability standpoint, it’s somewhat little bit of a mixed bag. The compact measurement and easy-to-use touchscreen make this one of many essential approachable medium-format cameras available on the market, nevertheless it’s hampered by a gradual startup tempo and an autofocus system that relies on gradual (nevertheless appropriate) distinction detection. With a great deal of gentle, the primary focus tempo shouldn’t be lower than first charge — it’s merely lower than par with what we’ve come to anticipate from fashionable mirrorless cameras. Fortunately, focusing manually is sweet, with a lot of focus peaking colors that may allow you to out, and a quick double-tap on the show will amplify the image that may allow you to dial-in important focus.

Our preliminary impressions with using the AF system have been reserved, as we couldn’t resize them, making it troublesome to dial in pinpoint accuracy. Nonetheless, Hasselblad has since launched a firmware exchange that enabled AF stage resizing. Now you may select stage sizes of 4mm, 2.8mm, or 2mm. Each selection has a corresponding change inside the full number of on the market components, as successfully: 35 at 4mm, 63 at 2.8mm, and 117 at 2mm. Whereas Hasselblad isn’t selling any enhance in focus tempo, not lower than the amount and accuracy of focus components is now rather a lot nearer to totally different mirrorless cameras.

We moreover truly appreciated how huge the digital viewfinder is, nevertheless it suffers from a gradual refresh price. This probably acquired’t be an unlimited topic as this isn’t a camera that people is perhaps using to shoot high-speed movement, nevertheless it’s nonetheless an house with room for enchancment.

Daven Mathies/Digital Developments

Daven Mathies/Digital Developments

There have been moreover some occasional bugs, such as a result of the ISO present “over-animating” as if it have been shuffling by the use of a lot of stops as soon as we solely turned the wheel one click on on. Whole, these factors have been minor and intermittent, nevertheless have been ample to tug us out of the taking footage experience as soon as they occurred.

Using the Hasselblad Phocus Mobile app (nonetheless iOS-only as of January 2019), it’s moreover potential to handle the X1D from an iPhone or iPad. This works each by the use of a computer with a tethered camera, or to the X1D instantly by means of its built-in Wi-Fi. Some components of the interface don’t make for primarily probably the most refined particular person experience, nevertheless it labored successfully in our testing and effectivity was snappy (no pun meant). You can administration almost either side of the camera (even focus manually) and review, price, and share images from the app.

Medium format for a lot much less

On the inside, the Hasselblad X1D-50c makes use of the similar 51-megapixel sensor as a result of the H6D-50c. This isn’t gorgeous — almost every camera agency tries to utilize the similar sensor all through a lot of fashions — nevertheless whereas the H6D begins at a staggering $25,995, the X1D was merely $8,995 (physique solely) on the time of its launch. As of our most recent exchange to this review in January 2019, that worth has dropped to solely $6,495 due to a $2,500 on the spot rebate.

Focus tempo is first charge, nevertheless lower than par with what we anticipate from fashionable cameras.

Whereas the pixel rely alone isn’t uncontested by smaller-format cameras (the Canon EOS 5DSR moreover boasts a 50MP sensors), the X1D’s sensor is 70-percent larger than full physique (and a bit smaller than standard medium format). That additional flooring house means each pixel is bigger, serving to to gather additional gentle and improve choice, extreme ISO effectivity, and dynamic range. The reality is, Hasselblad claims 14 stops of dynamic range in full, making this an unbelievable sensor for panorama work.

Aside from the sensor, the rest of the camera’s specs aren’t exactly earth-shattering. Regular taking footage tempo tops out at 2.3 frames per second (fps), most mechanical shutter tempo is 1/2,000 of a second (additional on that below), and video is restricted to 1080p on the European PAL customary of 25 fps. (Yeah, we get it, no particular person’s purchasing for this camera for video, nevertheless nonetheless.)

The mechanical shutter tempo limitation would possibly appear to be harmful data for anyone coming from the APS-C or full physique world, nevertheless 1/2,000 of a second is certainly pretty good by medium-format necessities. That’s because of, traditionally, medium-format cameras have all used leaf shutters, and the X1D is not any utterly totally different. A leaf shutter is constructed into the lens, versus the in-body focal airplane shutters utilized in smaller-format DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Whereas focal airplane shutters might be sooner, usually topping out at 1/4,000 or 1/8,000 of a second, leaf shutters provide one distinctive profit: they’re going to sync with a flash at any shutter tempo. Focal airplane shutters, in distinction, can solely sync as a lot as 1/200 or 1/250 of a second, as at any tempo ahead of that they don’t expose the overall sensor on the same second.

Hasselblad X1D 50c Review lens topDaven Mathies/Digital Developments

Daven Mathies/Digital Developments

The leaf shutter can be a key differentiator between the Hasselblad X1D and its closest competitor, the Fujifilm GFX, and for some prospects that alone may be properly definitely worth the distinction in worth. A leaf shutter is particularly useful for location portrait footage, as you might steadiness the photo voltaic with a flash whereas leaving your aperture giant open for a shallow depth of space. With a focal airplane shutter, you couldn’t do this with out using a high-speed-sync flash or inserting a neutral density (ND) filter in your lens, which then requires a additional extremely efficient flash and might in all probability decelerate your autofocus.

Due to post-launch firmware updates, the X1D can now get previous the shutter tempo limitation, nonetheless. Within the similar firmware exchange that expanded autofocus administration, Hasselblad moreover launched an digital shutter with a most shutter tempo of 1/10,000 of a second. It may moreover maintain open a bit longer, for an entire publicity time of 68 minutes for ultra-long exposures (the mechanical shutter is restricted to 60 minutes). Digital shutters have the extra benefit of being absolutely silent. This brings the X1D in line with Fujifilm and Part One, every of which provide digital shutters on the GFX-50s and XF IQ3 100, respectively, the one totally different medium-format cameras to take motion.

As with each digital shutter, Hasselblad warns that footage is perhaps matter to the distorting outcomes of rolling shutter, as a result of the sensor reads out one line of pixels at a time. This may increasingly render vertical traces as diagonals if the subject or the camera is shifting too shortly. So whereas the camera can now hit a fast shutter tempo, it acquired’t be useful for taking footage fast-moving subjects most often. Within the occasion you intend to utilize the digital shutter, Hasselblad recommends inserting the camera on a tripod and taking footage stationary subjects.

The other potential benefit of the digital shutter is that it’d open up the X1D to all sorts of legacy lenses. It wouldn’t be succesful to toggle the leaf shutters on such lenses, nevertheless due to the digital shutter, it wouldn’t must. Solely older lenses with bodily aperture controls would work, and it’ll in all probability rely on third-party adapters, nevertheless such merchandise would not be troublesome to manufacture as they is perhaps simple “dumb” adapters with out electronics.

The obligatory comparability to full physique

As a high-end mirrorless camera, people are naturally drawing comparisons between the Hasselblad X1D and Sony’s line of full-frame mirrorless fashions, significantly the 42MP A7R Mark II. Sony did a unbelievable job of democratizing 35mm sensors with its A7 assortment, nevertheless the X1D should not be attempting to do pretty the similar issue. The worth stays an issue: $9,000 is prone to be “low-cost” for medium format, nevertheless you’ll buy three A7R Mark IIs for that — and the A7R Mark II is not any slouch. It’s a robust nonetheless camera and a very succesful 4K video camera rolled into one, with image prime quality that more-or-less rivals that of the X1D on every metric.

The X1D, subsequently, should not be the medium-format camera for the rest of us. It is nonetheless a medium-format camera for, successfully, medium-format photographers, those who have labored with leaf shutters, huge RAW data, and comparable physique sizes. It makes primarily probably the most sense to current Hasselblad H-system owners, who can adapt all of their current lenses to the X1D. It’s often a compelling choice for patrons of older Hasselblad strategies who want to enhance. On this case, they’re going to in all probability save tons of of {{dollars}} by going with the X1D over, say, an H6D.

  • 2.
    A big-angle lens takes in an enormous space of view.

Nevertheless the X1D is unlikely to woo any full-frame shooters. It lacks the effectivity of latest mirrorless and DSLR cameras from the likes of Sony, Canon, and Nikon. Furthermore, the image prime quality distinction merely acquired’t be appreciated by most. Usually, people contemplate three points with regard to greater sensors: elevated choice, greater low-light effectivity, and additional depth-of-field administration (meaning, an even bigger sensor can get hold of a shallower depth of space on the same field-of-view and aperture). Nonetheless, all of these things moreover rely on the lens that is in entrance of the sensor, and inside the circumstances of low-light performance and depth of space, these rely on the utmost aperture of a lens.

Of the 4 native XCD lenses that Hasselblad had initially launched for the X1D, none have an aperture ahead of f/3.2. That is roughly equal to f/2.5 on a full-frame camera, nevertheless rather a lot sooner lenses can be found for full-frame strategies, which left the X1D lacking. That changed with the introduction of the XCD 80mm f/1.9 in 2018, which lastly gave X1D the large-aperture portrait lens it deserved. Nonetheless, from the light-gathering standpoint, it doesn’t beat what’s on the market on full physique — and for the value of an X1D and a single lens, you’ll assemble out a complete full-frame mirrorless gear.

That doesn’t suggest the X1D is with out benefits, nevertheless these benefits is perhaps most appreciated by current medium-format shooters. Clients of full-frame cameras looking for a dramatic leap in image prime quality or effectivity needn’t apply; pixel-peepers will spot the enhancements, nevertheless the worth distinction merely isn’t worth it.

Fortunately, Hasselblad has continued in order so as to add choices to the X1D prolonged into its life cycle which have made it additional aggressive. Firmware mannequin 1.22, launched in January 2019, added an option to set a shutter launch delay when bracketing prolonged exposures, together with a lot of customization selections and improved autofocus when using tailor-made H system lenses and gear. Earlier firmware updates has moreover added an intervalometer function for taking footage time-lapse sequences, publicity bracketing, and the flexibleness to set a shutter tempo prohibit when using automated ISO, program, or full auto modes. All of these refinements help ship the X1D as a lot as par, nevertheless its advantages acquired’t make up for its gradual tempo or extreme worth for lots of photographers.

Image prime quality

Hasselblad rightly assumes that medium-format shooters are in it for image prime quality above all else, and thus all nevertheless forces prospects to shoot in RAW. Whereas in-camera JPEG taking footage is an selection, the JPEGs are often not full choice and are meant to be used merely as previews. The RAW data, nonetheless, are beastly. At 16 bits, they weigh in at 110 megabytes and are loaded with dynamic range and aspect.

In our experience, footage have been perhaps a tad too neutral for our tastes correct out of the camera, and auto white steadiness usually skewed in the direction of the cool aspect. This solely truly impacts the way in which you see images on the camera’s LCD, nonetheless. No particular person taking footage with an X1D goes to position one thing out for public consumption until it has been processed. In every Hasselblad’s Phocus RAW processor and Adobe Lightroom, we found the data to be extraordinarily malleable. The broad dynamic range made it simple to recuperate aspect from highlights and shadows, nevertheless it’s onerous to say whether or not or not it was significantly greater than the easiest full-frame cameras. (Sensor-testing company DxOMark gave the X1D its highest-ever ranking, for what it’s worth.)

Extreme ISO noise ranges are moreover fantastic. The X1D is in league with the easiest full-frame sensors available on the market, no matter having additional choice than most. Historically, digital medium-format cameras haven’t been good extreme ISO performers, nevertheless the switch to CMOS sensors seems to have modified that. We shot as extreme as ISO 6,400 with very usable outcomes, nevertheless do you have to don’t need the overall 50 megapixels, you have to be succesful to push successfully previous that and nonetheless come out with clear footage at decreased sizes.

Curiously, Hasselblad limits the utmost ISO to 25,600, nevertheless Pentax was far a lot much less modest with its specs on the 645z, proclaiming a most ISO of 204,800 for the same sensor. The Fujifilm GFX 50s is obtainable in a stop lower at 102,400. In reality, noise is determined by totally different elements than the sensor alone — such as a result of the processor and associated circuitry — nevertheless extreme ISO rankings are moreover usually little higher than a promoting and advertising and marketing stunt. Hasselblad seems to be additional reserved than Pentax and Fujifilm on this regard. (The older Hasselblad H5D-50c, moreover constructed on the similar sensor, had a excessive ISO of merely 6,400).

The beastly RAW data weigh in at 110MB, nevertheless are loaded with aspect.

Within the occasion you’re coming from the full-frame world, don’t let the X1D’s comparatively low ISO prohibit fool you: Whereas it is probably not as insanely extreme as a result of the Nikon D5 — which maxes out at ISO three million — real-world noise effectivity is neck-and-neck at equal ISO settings, significantly whenever you normalize the 50MP Hasselblad data all the way in which right down to match these from the 20MP Nikon.

Practically pretty much as good as a result of the sensor is, exact low-light effectivity is restricted by the comparatively gradual XCD lenses. Save for the 80mm f/1.9, there merely aren’t many lenses geared for low-light footage. Furthermore, the X1D’s contrast-detection autofocus acquired’t do you any favors in dimly lit scenes, as we discovered whereas taking footage in a darkish dive bar with 80mm. Nonetheless, when you may have persistence, the outcomes are good.

As for the lens prime quality, every lens now we have now examined on the X1D has carried out successfully, nevertheless some might be harder to utilize. Within the occasion you’re concerned about important focus and pixel-level aspect, taking footage handheld with a 50MP sensor isn’t exactly a recipe for achievement; switch only a bit bit after locking focus, and likewise you might uncover your matter now falls exterior the depth of space. It’s a great suggestion to utilize a tripod each time potential, or stick with smaller f-stops when working handheld.

Motion blur is one different disadvantage. As a result of the X1D seems geared in the direction of handheld taking footage, that’s in all probability an issue many photographers will encounter. As always, use a tripod when you might; and when you might’t, successfully, take a lot of footage.

One ultimate factor we should always all the time level out is that the X1D does not comprise a self-cleaning sensor, so mud spots are widespread. Have a bulb blower and some sensor swabs useful, as conserving mud off that huge sensor when altering lenses is almost inconceivable.

Assure knowledge

The Hasselblad X1D is roofed for a interval of 1 yr or 100,000 exposures, whichever comes first. XCD lenses are moreover coated for one yr.

Our Take

The Hasselblad X1D represents a model new path for the company, and one to which it stays devoted by bettering the camera frequently by means of new firmware. It does a commendable job of blending medium-format image prime quality and leaf shutter flexibility in a transportable (and relatively cheap) bundle deal. It can make an unbelievable second camera for a high-end studio photographer, or a wonderful first medium-format camera for any individual who has been prepared for one of the best time to leap into the game.

Whereas we initially felt letdown by the dearth of lenses, 2018 seen the introduction of 4 new fashions, along with Hasselblad’s widest-ever (XCD 21mm f/4), longest-ever (XCD 135mm f/2.8), and fastest-ever (XCD 80mm f/1.9). Moreover, now that the camera has digital shutter performance, hopefully it acquired’t be prolonged sooner than we see adapters for legacy lenses from different producers.

Even with the current discounted worth of $6,495 (a monetary financial savings of $2,500), the X1D might be going nonetheless too pricey to draw full-frame shooters away from Canon, Nikon, and Sony — nevertheless it may cease some medium-format shooters from dropping all the way in which right down to full physique. It is a important product for the high-end footage world; medium-format photographers merely haven’t had a camera like this sooner than, and we anticipate many is perhaps proud of it.

Is there a higher numerous?

This depends completely on the sort of photographer you are. For medium-format shooters — considerably prospects of Hasselblad’s H-system who can adapt their current lenses — the Hasselblad X1D represents a compelling numerous to cumbersome and cumbersome cameras. It is considerably cheaper whereas nonetheless offering a well-recognized particular person experience and equal image prime quality. Within the occasion you don’t desire a leaf shutter, nonetheless, the Fujifilm GFX 50s supplies the similar sensor for even a lot much less money, although it is every bigger and heavier than the Hasselblad.

As regards to the frequent fanatic or expert photographer, it merely makes additional sense to stick with full physique. The most effective full-frame sensors available on the market produce image prime quality that is nevertheless a smidgeon behind the X1D, and they also do it for a fraction of the value. What’s additional, the X1D’s operational tempo merely isn’t as a lot as par with totally different fashionable mirrorless cameras (or DSLRs, for that matter). The Sony A7R Mark II is a stellar performer at spherical $3,000, and any image prime quality distinction between it and the X1D will be negligible to all nevertheless primarily probably the most discerning photographers.

How prolonged will it ultimate?

It’s handmade in Sweden; what additional would you want? Considerably, though, this camera is a stunning occasion of high-end craftsmanship. We anticipate it’s going to ultimate a very very very long time, although it might need been good to see an prolonged assure interval given the worth.

What’s additional, in January 2019, over 2 years as a result of the X1D’s launch, Hasselblad continues to breathe new life into the camera by means of firmware updates. Firmware mannequin 1.22 has added fairly a couple of choices, along with the flexibleness to rearrange the order of icons on the touchscreen by drag-and-drop. For additional knowledge, see Hasselblad’s firmware exchange internet web page.

Should you buy it?

Most of us shouldn’t. Our $9,000 might be going greater spent on a full-frame mirrorless system that options a couple of lenses. Nonetheless, do you have to or your enterprise is in need of the very best image prime quality you’ll get in a transportable kind problem, then sure, go for it. The Hasselblad X1D is a succesful machine in one of the best fingers, and do you have to’ve made it this far in our review, then these fingers might merely be yours.

This review has been updated to cowl firmware updates by the use of mannequin 1.22, launched in January 2019, along with new lenses launched in 2018.

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