new Hasselblad H1, designed to combine maximum features and maximum ease of
use, is the centerpiece of the company's first new medium-format system in 45
years. The H1 is the second joint venture with Fuji Film Group following in
the footsteps of the successful 35mm Xpan Panoramic camera.
Hasselblad cameras have been the tools of choice for discerning photographers
the world over for over half a century. The company's founder Victor Hasselblad
worked closely with such photographers as Ansel Adams to perfect the design
of the early Hasselblad cameras. This tradition has resurfaced during the development
of the new H1 camera, says Gran Bernhoff, President and CEO of Victor
Hasselblad AB. "The new H1, perhaps more than any other camera on the market
today, was designed to integrate seamlessly with today's professional photographers
and the way they work. We took great pains at every stage of the camera's design
to ensure that the H1 would be a creative tool, not a hindrance to the photographer's
creativity," states Bernhoff. "We used working professionals as test
photographers during the prototype stage, incorporating their ideas and feedback
into our thinking around this new product. The result, the H1, is truly a photographer's
camera." "This marks Hasselblads first foray into the 645 world,"
adds Lars Pappila, Vice President, R&D, "and it's a strong one. The
H1 features an incredibly fast and accurate autofocus system, a precision metering
system, and true cross-platform capability, using either digital backs or film.
In addition," continues Pappila, "the H1's unique operating system
and interface allow the photographer to customize a great number of the camera's
advanced features, tailoring the controls and settings to suit specific work
methods or situations."
While working equally well for both film and digital imaging, the H1's central
shutter lenses are specially designed and manufactured to meet the exacting
standards required by advanced digital photography. The camera features a single
magazine system that recognizes and uses either 120 or 220 film and is capable
of automatic recognition of film Bar Code system. In addition to the standard
film backs, several manufacturers are producing advanced, dedicated digital
backs especially for the H1. This will allow the new camera to function equally
at home in the film or digital world. Like the standard Hasselblad system, the
H1 system will offer interchangeable viewfinders, magazines, and lenses.
"It's almost as if each photographer can create their own camera,"
explains Ove Bengtson, product manager for the new H System. "These highly
customizable features mean that the camera will adapt to the photographer, not
the other way around. In addition, we have taken great pains to ensure that
the camera is as easy to use as possible. The H1 combines all of the professional
features needed for demanding photography and the renowned Hasselblad medium-format
image quality with an ease of use that is more like that of an advanced 35 mm