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Hasselblad H4D-200MS 200 Megapixel Hands On Preview

We go hands on with the 200 megapixel digital back from Hasselblad with true focus.

|  Hasselblad H4D-200MS in Digital SLRs
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Hasselblad H4D-200ms Side

The H4D not only offers a 50 megapixel sensor, but also allows the use of multi-shot, for either true colour 50 megapixel images, or alternatively 200 megapixel shots of still subjects. Although be warned, the 200 megapixel RAW file weighs in at 1.2 gigabytes, so it's important to make sure your computer is up to the job of handling it!

Hasselblad H4D-200ms Features

  • 50 megapixel single shot for any subject
  • 50 and 200 megapixel multi shot or accuracy and true colour
  • H4D camera system with 3 inch display
  • Fully automatic Digital Lens Correction for improved image sharpness and detail
  • Ultra-Focus: integral optimization of digital lens performance, true focus
  • Hasselblad Natural Colour Solution
  • Integrated CCD cooling sink for lower noise
  • Direct ISO/WB control
  • Thumbwheel control of digital menus
  • GPS accessory option
  • Choice of eye-level or waist-level viewfinders
  • Field FW upgrade of H4D camera
  • Electronic spirit level built in
  • Easy sensor cleaning
  • Un-tethered and tethered operation
  • Hasselblad 3FR raw - or DNG export

1/30 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 800

The camera is capable of taking 50 megapixel single shot images, 50 megapixel 4 shot true colour images, and 200 megapixel 6 shot images by combining the shots from the 50 megapixel sensor and moving the sensor by either 1 or 1/2 a pixel at a time.

Another feature of the Hasselblad H4D system is true focus: this will auto correct for any camera movement. For example, we've always been taught to focus on the eye, so we point the camera at the subjects eye, make sure the focus point is on the eye, then move the camera to frame the subject, however what's happened is that the focus has changed as we've moved the camera ever so slightly. True focus takes into consideration how the camera has been moved and keeps focus on the subjects eye.

1/50 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 800

If you do want to shoot 200 megapixel images then it's important to be aware of the recommended minimum computer requirements: "When capturing 6-shot images with the H4D-200MS, 8GB of RAM should be considered the minimum and it is advised to use a reasonably fast disk to handle the large file sizes, such as 7200 or 10000 rpm drives."

Hasselblad H4D-200ms Handling

1/60 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 640

Buttons, Ergonomics and Handling: The demonstration camera was setup on a tripod to give a solid platform for shake free photos, which is especially important for multi-shot use. Also important was the use of uniform light source(s) so that the lighting for each shot taken by the camera is identical. There is no live-view built in, instead you use the impressively large optical viewfinder and then use the screen on the back to review the images, or using the camera tethered you can view the resulting images in very fine detail.

1/60 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 640

The camera is quite large and the black multi-shot sensor unit in the middle of the camera makes the camera larger than the standard H4D. The high quality lenses are also larger than the lenses you find on more traditional Digital SLRs, although smaller lenses are available and the lens shown here is one of the larger lenses available, the HC Macro 4/120-IImm.

1/60 sec | f/7.1 | 14.0 mm | ISO 800

The camera features a top LCD showing camera settings, battery life, flash settings and there is also the option to illuminate the LCD. A front and back dial and numerous buttons on the top, front and back are logically placed to give easy access to flash, focus, and ISO/WB settings.

Hasselblad H4D-200ms Rear Screen

The back of the camera features a 3 inch screen, with 4-way controller, zoom control and additional controls. The optical viewfinder features dioptre adjustment, and buttons for exposure.

Hasselblad H4D-200ms Performance

Photo: Milo profi fotografie
Photo: Milo profi fotografie

1shot, 4shot, 6shot (200mp) crops from the photo above, shown at 100%:

1 Shot (50 megapixel)   4 Shot (50 megapixel, full colour)
Looking at the 4 shot image, you can see not only improved colour and gradation of tones, but you can also see additional definition thanks to each pixel being given the full colour information - whereas the image on the left shows less clearly defined detail, and moiré is visible in the grill.
6 Shots (100% 200mp image crop)

With six shots you get a huge 200 megapixel image and the image quality and detail achieved is quite staggering. There is simply no sign of noise in the images and when viewed at 100%, as shown here, you are seeing much more detail than the 50 megapixel shots - and can see the smaller mesh in the grill on the bike helmet, that you could not make out in the 50mp image. For the ultimate in image quality and resolution there is very little that would come anywhere near as close as this camera system. Even the highest resolution digital backs from other companies offer "only" 80 megapixels in comparison.

Hasselblad H4D-200ms Verdict

The Hasselblad H4D-200ms gives simply unmatched image quality and versatility in it's ability to produce stunning colour in 50 megapixel photos, plus the advanced ability to shoot 200 megapixel photos of still life. With the high entry price of just under £35,000 including VAT, you want to know that you have invested wisely. Thankfully to reassure the expense, Hasselblad provide a full professional support system, including your very own "Hasselbuddy" who would deal with all your support needs, including providing emergency support 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week. However, if your budget doesn't stretch to the H4D-200ms, then the 31 megapixel H4D-31 starts at £8995 excluding VAT.

Hasselblad H4D-200ms Pros

Unmatched image quality
200 megapixel images
50 megapixel true colour images
True Focus keeps focus on what you want
High quality lenses
Lots of system versatility

Hasselblad H4D-200ms Cons

Demanding computer requirements (storage space)

Hasselblad H4D-200MS Specifications

Effective MagnificationNo Data
Image Sensor
Pixels50Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)6132
Pixels (H)8176
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor SizeMedium Format
Sensor Size (width)36.7mm
Sensor Size (height)49.1mm
Aspect Ratio
    LCD Monitor
    LCD Monitor3in
    Screen resolution230k
    Touch ScreenNo
    Focusing modes
    • Autofocus
    • Manual
    • True Focus
    Exposure Control
    Shutter speeds shortest1/800sec
    Shutter speeds longest128sec
    Bulb modeNo Data
    Exp modes
    • Manual
    • Program
    • Aperture-Priority
    • Shutter-Priority
    • Program Variable
    • Centre-weighted - Average
    • Spot
    • Centre Spot
    ISO sensitivity50 - 800
    White balance
      Exposure CompNo Data
      MagnificationNo Data
      Shooting Options
      Continuous shootingNo Data
      Movie modeNo
      Video Resolution
        Video FPSNo Data
        Stereo SoundNo Data
        Optical Zoom with VideoNo Data
        Other Features
        Image StabilisationNo Data
        HDMINo Data
        USBNo Data
        Wi-FiNo Data
        Card Type
        • CF
        File Type
        • RAW
        Power Source
        Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion battery (7.2 VDC / 1850 mAh)
        Battery Life (CIPA rating)No Data
        Box Contents
        Box ContentsNo Data

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        cameracat 18 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
        Lets face it guys & gals, For 35k plus, Its gotta be good, Maybe the best on the planet.

        Makes you realise just what good value your 500 quids worth of DSLR/Compact/Bridge is.....Grin
        User_Removed 18 17.9k 8 Norway
        LOL!!! Right on the button Vince... Wink
        I can't see the button to order one, is there one?????????

        ill take six...lmao
        What is price in "Dollars"?????
        The question is - Is it value for money? - personally I doubt it.
        I can hardly believe that the specifications are so limited with regard to ISO, Shutter speed and Screen resolution, I know nothing about studio shooting, but more flexibilty would surely be useful, and at this price probably expected.??
        Well, to be honest, I do not like the design of this camera. And I agree with some commnents, I would have expected better functionalities and higher specifications ina camera like this, which is supposed to be aimed at a high prof level.
        wow, one day I guess this spec will come standard on a 1000 DSLR Tongue
        arhb 15 3.4k 68 United Kingdom
        Limited functionality?
        Who cares when you get a 'Hasselbuddy' from 8 til 8.......Wink
        This would go well with my collection of vintage cars and aeroplanes ...
        The true focus feature sounds great! But as far as studio cameras are concerned, tilt and shift are the most obvious needs... What I mean is that I would not take such camera outside of the studio, and, as far as inside goes, I'd prefer a digital view camera...
        Of course this is high class gear, but this is also a lot of money. What for?
        randomrubble 17 3.1k 12 United Kingdom
        Wow. What an amazing machine, I'd love one of these, a couple of wide-standard primes and an HTS 1.5, but so expensive.

        Undoubtedly worth it for some though, at the highest level there are guys who will use the best tool regardless of cost. So often when I see really outstanding tonality in an image it seems to be from a H series Hassy.
        Is it value for money? If you can provide matchless quality studio images that attract high end companies to your door, it's unlikely that you'll be working for 60/hr. Anything is good value if you can generate the ROI.

        @Gothic - the specs are this 'limited' because the shots taken will be without the compromises that permit higher ISO speeds, particularly sensor noise. When your light is controlled (in a studio) you can operate very happily within a 'narrow range of spec'. This isn't designed to be carried about on holiday, after all.
        Nice Bike BTWGrin
        for 35k I could probably get Rankin to be my Hasselbuddy!! ... well for a day at least Wink
        throw in the bike as well and we might have a deal.terry
        I don't want to sound negative but the claim of unmatched image quality is too bold, try a Phase one P40+ or the IQ range, mind blowing quality, I would advise everyone to test drive the Phase one system before buying into Blads closed systemGrin
        Screen resolution only 230K???? Makes my Canon 60D look pretty good!!!!

        Quote:What is price in "Dollars"?????

        $56,000 +/- Makes it sound even more affordable. Yeah.
        davey_griffo 13 213 165 England
        Let's face it. For 35k, would you take it outside of a studio? In the controlled lighting set up, who needs a wide ISO range anyway.

        Having said that, since it only goes up to 800 ISO, it's a no brainer that there won't be any noise, & it was kinda asking for it to make such a big thing of this in the review. Smile

        Let's face it guys, this is up there with the Ferrari & the mansion that we'd all have if we were on that kind of money. It's why we watch Top Gear. Not because we're looking for a replacement for a Mondeo, but because we want to see how the other half lives.

        A fabulous piece of kit but simply a pipe dream for the majority of us. But that's no reason for ePZ to stop reviewing such stuff.

        Quote:Screen resolution only 230K???? Makes my Canon 60D look pretty good!!!!

        This should resolve this problem:
        I'm waiting for EPZ to offer it in the xmas quiz?????
        perhaps EPZ can put it on flea bay afterall its second hand now.
        My bid 10 provided you throw in the 12hr buddy for free
        ianrobinson 12 1.2k 8 United Kingdom
        I think my house would be in a recession if i brought on of these bad boys.
        not only would i need a new computer to take all that power but i would need a massive memory card i the camera too.
        acstrath Junior Member 8 3 Spain
        Let's face it. This camera is never going to leave the safety of the studio. Shutter speed and Iso will not be an issue hence, neither not being weather sealed for that matter.

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