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Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview

We go hands-on with the new 50 megapixel Hasselblad X1D medium format mirrorless camera.

| Hasselblad X1D in Mirrorless Cameras

At the launch of the Hasselblad X1D – Hasselblad started with the fact that there have been 75 years of Hasselblad, with the Digital H system being introduced in 2002.

Perry Oosting, CEO of Hasselblad, explained that since 2015, Hasselblad has been working to re-invent itself, and the first fruits of this labour were seen with the introduction of the new Hasselblad H6D system in April 2016. When this was launched, we spoke to Perry Oosting, who hinted that something new and more portable was coming...

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad X1d Camera And Lenses

Enter the Hasselblad X1D

The World’s First Digital Medium Format camera system* the Hasselblad X1D features a 50-megapixel medium format sensor. With a mirrorless camera design, and the shutter unit built-in to the lenses, the camera body is extremely thin and compact considering the sensor size, and this means that the camera is smaller than a full-frame Digital SLR and similar in size to a full-frame digital rangefinder, and some APS-C mirrorless cameras:

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad Vs Ff Dslr
Hasselblad Vs FF (Full-frame) DSLR

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad Vs Ff Rangefinder
Hasselblad Vs FF Rangefinder

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad Vs Aps C Updated
Hasselblad Vs APS-C Mirrorless

We spoke to Ove Bengtsson, Hasselblad Product Manager about the new X1D, which has been in development for roughly 2 years, and uses electronics from the H6D-50c, including the image engine and sensor. The medium format sensor and lens mount offers a fresh challenge for lens design, however, Ove said that as long as the lenses are designed specifically for this camera, then the image quality possible is excellent, and that a short "flange distance" (the distance between the sensor and the closest lens element) can sometimes be an advantage when designing a camera lens. The sensor features an Infrared (IR) filter mounted in front of the sensor.

The X1D is handmade in Sweden, and is weather and dust sealed, with weather sealed lenses. 

The lenses use a new XCD lens mount, and the camera is being introduced with two lenses: a 45mm f/3.5 lens, and a 90mm f/3.2 lens. A 30mm f/3.5 lens is expected to be introduced at Photokina 2016, with availability due to be shortly afterwards. The lenses are designed by Hasselblad and use a Hasselblad shutter system that is shipped over to Japan so that the lenses can be manufactured by NITTOH. They also developed and manufactured the Hasselblad XPan lenses. Hasselblad has a lens roadmap planned for the future but were not able to share this outside the company.

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad X1D (9)

Due to the design of the camera, and the need for a mechanical shutter built-in to the lens, it is unlikely that there will be a traditional pancake lens made for the X1D camera system, although it's possible for Hasselblad to make lenses smaller than the new 45mm lens, and that the new lens mount opens up a variety of opportunities and possibilities for Hasselblad.

Hasselblad says that due to the price point of the camera, the larger medium format sensor, and the portability offered by the camera, they would expect the sales of the X1D to be noticeably higher than sales of the H6D system. They also considered using the larger 100mp sensor from the H6D-100c but said this would have added significantly to the size of the camera, as well as the expense.

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad X1d Sensor Close Up P6210190

Hasselblad X1D Key Features

  • 50-megapixel medium format CMOS sensor (by Sony) (same as H6D-50)
  • Up to 14 stops dynamic range
  • RAW (3FR) and JPEG
  • Dual SD cards
  • FullHD video in 25fps
  • USB3.0 connection
  • 3inch Multi-touch screen, 920K dots
  • ISO100 – ISO25600
  • Up to 1/2000s shutter speed (all with flash sync)
  • Electronic viewfinder (EVF): 2.36m dots (XGA)
  • Nikon flash compatible hot-shoe 
  • Wi-Fi, GPS built-in
  • Portability is a key feature
  • Weather-sealed aluminium body
  • Weight 725g with battery
  • 150.4 x 98.1 x 71.4mm (including grip)

The camera uses a contrast detection-based autofocus system, with instant manual focus override.

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad X1D In Hand (3)

The X1D will be available at the end of July / beginning of August for demonstrations. With an expected end of August / beginning of September delivery date for sales of the camera. The X1D is priced at 7900 euros excluding VAT, £5990 excluding VAT, or $8995 USD excluding VAT. The camera will be available at the same time as the two new lenses that have been announced:

  • Hasselblad XCD 45mm, f/3.5 (£1490 ex. VAT)
  • Hasselblad XCD 90mm, f/3.2 (£1790 ex. VAT)

Hasselblad says that they will be adding a 30mm f/3.5 lens at Photokina, with more surprises to come at Photokina. You can also use all H lenses with an adapter which means you'll have access to 14 lenses in total (including the 2 XCD lenses). 

Hasselblad X1D Handling

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad X1D Top

The X1D is lighter than some Full-Frame Digital SLRs, yet features a medium format sensor, and it's also got an excellent handgrip, that extends forwards giving a good grip for your fingers. It extends back slightly, to provide another good area to hold on to with your thumb, and with the rubber texture surrounding the grip, the camera feels very secure in your hand. 

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad X1D In Hand (4)

With an aluminium body, the camera is weather-sealed and dust proof. The camera felt extremely solid in the hand, and very well built, with neat side covers. Under the side covers, you can find dual SD card slots, plus a number of additional sockets, including USB 3.0, HDMI, plus microphone and headphone sockets. The camera is compatible with Hasselblad's raw processing software Phocus 3.1, as well as Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. 

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad X1D Rear (1)

The 3inch touch-screen works well, and can be customised to show your favourite settings and options on the main screen. You can simply touch the screen where it shows the aperture and shutter speeds and change them directly, without having to first press a button to bring up another control panel, as you normally have to on other cameras with touch-screens.

It's also fully multi-touch compatible so that you can press and hold, or swipe and scroll to control the menus. The electronic viewfinder (EVF) has an eye-detection sensor so that the camera will automatically switch to and from the EVF when the camera is held up to the eye. This switch-over isn't the fastest we've seen, so could become frustrating for anyone who's not used to an EVF, but the quality looked good, and the display was clear.

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad X1D Mode Dial (1)

The camera features a lockable mode dial, you simply press it in to lock it, and press it in again to let it pop-up again. This is great for if you don't want to change the mode accidentally. The focus system wasn't the quickest we've seen, but as the camera we were looking at was a pre-production model, it's possible that the camera's speed and responsiveness, as well as the focus speed, will improve as the camera gets its final firmware.

Hasselblad X1D-50c Hands-On Preview: Hasselblad X1D Mode Dial (2)

Additional photos of the Hasselblad X1D can be found in the Equipment Database (click on Images), and we will be adding more on the new X1D as and when it becomes available. 

Hasselblad X1D Hands-On Photos of Equipment

*Not counting the digital back that can be attached to an Alpa body.

Hasselblad X1D Specifications

Image Sensor
Pixels50Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)8272
Pixels (H)6200
Sensor TypeCMOS
Sensor SizeMedium-Format
Sensor Size (width)43.8mm
Sensor Size (height)32.9mm
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution920K
Touch ScreenYes
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest60sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Program Variable
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Spot
  • Centre Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 25600
White balance
    Exposure CompNo Data
    Viewfinder Resolution2360K dots
    MagnificationNo Data
    Shooting Options
    Continuous shooting2.3fps
    Movie modeYes
    Video Resolution
    • 1920x1080 FullHD
    Video FPS25fps
    Stereo SoundNo Data
    Optical Zoom with VideoNo Data
    Other Features
    Image StabilisationNo Data
    USBUSB 3
    Card Type
    • SD
    • SDHC
    • SDXC
    File Type
    • RAW
    • JPG
    • RAW + JPG
    Power Source
    Battery TypeLithium-ion (7.2VDC/3200mAh)
    Battery Life (CIPA rating)No Data
    Box Contents
    Box ContentsNo Data

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    pablophotographer Avatar
    pablophotographer 12 2.2k 451
    23 Jun 2016 2:07AM
    Sounds great to me.
    Two little points:
    1) The body echoes Mamiya 6 Rangefinder Medium Format Camera.
    2) The hand grip at the back brings in mind Sigma DP2 Quattro.
    Nothing wrong with that, eh?
    kodachrome Avatar
    kodachrome 12 789
    23 Jun 2016 1:20PM
    Looks like the same bloke who designed the Pentax K-01 designed this Hasselblad
    RamblinSam Avatar
    RamblinSam 10 31 United Kingdom
    29 Jun 2016 12:43PM
    Congratulations Perry Oosting and Hasselblad's design team!
    DavidNikonD800 Avatar
    29 Jun 2016 4:31PM
    I think this camera is very interesting for landscape work, lightweight but problem is the price, how soon change from 50MP to 100MP????
    I think Nikon is planing next mirrorless camera, dont know if its meduim format or Full Frame, I rekon will have 75 ot 80MP, so how to compare with new Hasselblad.
    Heard Fuji is going to have medium format mirrorless too.
    I think the future of new camera will be mirrorless??? who knows

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