Q&A with Michael Hejtmanek, President of Hasselblad Americas on Breaking the Medium Format Mold

Posted by on Wednesday June 22, 2016 | Camera

X1D_Front

With the X1D, Hasselblad is attempting to redefine the medium format category.

We sat down briefly with U.S. President Michael Hejtmanek for his take on the camera and its place in the Hasselblad universe. What follows is a condensed version of the talk that’s been edited for length and clarity.

On new lenses for the X1D

“We’re going to be very aggressive out of the gate with lenses for the camera,” Hejtmanek says. First up will be a 30mm f/3.5 at Photokina, “then we’ll get feedback to see what’s next.”

On the X1D’s limited video capability at launch

“We want to see how the market will use it for video,”Hejtmanek says. “It’s a still camera with video functions, but we can improve the feature set with feedback from our users. We’re very excited to see what people will do with video—it’s 1080p but it will look and feel very different than what people are used to.”

While some of the X1D’s video features can be changed via firmware, the 1080p video can’t be upgraded to 4K, he adds.

On why Hasselblad built the X1D

The goal wasn’t to build a camera that users would use in lieu of the H6D or other medium format backs but one that would tempt mirrorless shooters to step up to medium format, he says. “This gives them a way to buy a medium format camera that looks and feels like a compact camera.”

What it is not, Hejtmanek stressed, is the Hasselblad name on another manufacturer’s product. “This was conceived by and built by Sweden, through and through. It’s the camera our engineers have wanted to build—it’s the pinnacle of our development. We’ve created the future of medium format. We’ve redefined it.”

Read: Early hands-on with the Hasselblad X1D


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