Hasselblad Shakes Up Market with Mirrorless Medium Format X1D

Posted by on Wednesday June 22, 2016 | Camera

X1D_Lifestyle

 

One of the Internet’s long-running photo gear rumors was that Sony would introduce a medium format mirrorless camera, but it’s fallen to Hasselblad to take the first stab at it. [Update: we’ve published a short hands-on preview below.]

The X1D sports a 50-megapixel medium format CMOS image sensor (43.8mm x 32.9 ) with 14 stops of dynamic range, 14-bit color and an ISO range of 100-12,800 (expandable to 25,600). It’s housed in a compact, lightweight body that promises to handle more like an advanced compact camera than a bulky medium format body.

It will sell for $8,995 and is due to ship by the end of August. It’s available for pre-order now.

Shutter speeds will range from 60 minutes to 1/2000 sec. with flash sync throughout the range. Frame rates clock in at between 1.7 and 2.3 fps in continuous shooting.

X1D_Rear_Menu

You’ll compose your image through a 3-inch touch display with a 30 fps refresh rate or through an 2.3-million dot EVF.

Key features of the X1D include:

  • contrast-detect AF system
  • Wi-Fi
  • GPS
  • HD video recording at 25 fps (24 fps will be added via firmware)
  • dust and weatherproof build
  • dual SD card slots
  • USB 3 Type-C port
  • mini HDMI out

XCD45_XCD90_lenses

The camera will work with a new line of XCD autofocus lenses with full flash synch up to 1/2000th second. Two lenses will be available at launch: a 45mm f/3.5 ($2,295) and a 90mm f/4.5 ($2,695). A 30mm f/3.5 lens will be launched at Photokina in September of this year. Hasselblad will also sell an adapter for use with H system lenses.

UPDATE: We had an opportunity to get a few minutes with a preproduction model–the build was final but the firmware wasn’t. It’s amazingly lightweight but feels incredibly well built. It’s sturdy and the ergonomic grip has a nice, rubberized feel. We don’t have the precise numbers in front of us but we wouldn’t be surprised if it’s lighter than Leica’s SL full frame mirrorless. When Hasselblad calls the camera “compact” they’re not kidding.

The mode dial pops up to allow you to change modes and then pops into the camera body to lock your choice. The rear touch screen is very responsive–you simply swipe down from the top of the screen to bring up a menu with all your shooting settings (shutter speed, ISO, etc.) that can be changed with the press of a finger. All the icons are large and easily manipulated by touching and swiping. There are two dials (one on the front and one on the rear) to adjust exposure settings.

In addition to three custom slots on the mode dial, potentially three more of the camera’s button will be programmable so you can reassign functions if you want to customize the body. There’s no dedicated video recording button.

The EVF isn’t the sharpest we’ve looked through, but is relatively responsive. Live view on the display was fairly crisp. The AF system in the pre-production model is single point but touch focusing and continuous AF should be active in the final model, we were told. Shot to shot time wasn’t blazing–and as suggested by the continuous shooting rate cited above, this isn’t a speed demon (though we’ll reserve judgement until the firmware is finalized).

What’s still to be determined is battery life, which won’t be announced until the company has tested the final firmware.

X1D_Front X1D_Front34_View X1D_Side_View X1D_Top_View X1D_Lifestyle_Sitting X1D_Lifestyle_InHand


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