Medium Format Goes Mirrorless

hasselblad Jun 22, 2016

Today, June 22, 2016, Hasselblad announced in a Livestream event the world’s first medium format mirrorless camera, the Hasselblad X1D. Mirrorless medium format is something that I, personally, have been waiting for for a long time.

Hasselblad X1D

At first blush, the Hasselblad X1D’s design is vaguely reminiscent of Sony’s “plate and cylinder” approach used on the Alpha NEX line of mirrorless cameras. However, the Hasselblad X1D provides an ample grip with an integrated thumb rest to provide a firm, yet comfortable gripping area. I will report on how comfortable it actually is after I get my hands on one. The EVF is 2.4 mpx which is par for the course. On an interesting note, the flash hotshoe is Nikon compatible which means you use the Nikon version of popular flash systems. I imagine that the Broncolor system will work here as well.

Hasselblad X1D Top

The rear display is a 920k 3″ touchscreen. The menu system looks very clean in design. How well it behaves in real-world use has yet to be determined by me. The camera includes Wi-Fi, USB3 and GPS. 1080p/25fps video is supported, but this is a photographer’s camera, not a videographer’s.

Size-wise, the Hasselblad X1D is roughly the size of a Leica SL (albeit with a much larger sensor) smaller than a full-frame DSLR and larger than an APS-C mirrorless camera. The X1D weighs in at 725g which is light than the Leica SL (847g). The body and XCD lenses are dust and weather sealed.

The sensor appears to be the same one in the H6D-50c which is the same one in the Phase One IQ3-50. The sensor is made by Sony, captures in 16-bit colors/channel and has 14 stops of dynamic range. Max ISO is 25600 which is comparable to the Phase One IQ3. Like the Pentax 645z, the sensor is built-in to the camera and upgrading the camera means getting a new body.

Two new lenses were launched with the X1D:

  1. The XCD 45 – 45mm f/3.5
  2. The XCD 90 – 90mm f/4.5
    XCD is a native mirrorless lens format. The X1D can also use all H lenses with an adapter.

The X1D is aggressively priced (for a Hasselblad medium format camera) at $8995 USD. Availability is expected by the end of August 2016.

Press Release

Hasselblad announces groundbreaking X1D

The world’s first compact mirrorless digital medium format camera

Hasselblad is proud to introduce the groundbreaking X1D – weighing less than half that of a conventional digital medium format camera, the mirrorless 50MP camera is a game changer in the world of photography.

Inspired by the brand’s iconic design heritage, the camera is ergonomic and compact, offering a handling experience unlike any other. Handmade in Sweden, the X1D combines Scandinavian sensibility with beautiful performance.
Like the iconic V System, the X1D seamlessly combines portability with excellent optical quality for which the brand is renowned. Hasselblad has ingeniously introduced mirrorless technology to digital medium format for the first time ever, creating a precision performance camera that can sit in the palm of your hand. The 50MP CMOS sensor captures the nest details with true natural colors.

Commenting on the announcement Perry Oosting, Hasselblad CEO noted:

“The X1D marks a pivotal point in Hasselblad’s rich 75-year history. This camera makes medium format photography available to a new generation of Hasselblad users, while pushing the existing limits of photography to new heights.”

A completely new family of dedicated autofocus lenses has been developed to support optical quality and portability, offering a wide range of shutter speeds and full flash synchronization up to 1/2000th second.

Weighing just 725g and including HD video, Wi-Fi and built-in GPS, the X1D is a trusted partner and ideal travel companion. The robust exterior is dust and weather proof, providing durability to take with you wherever you go.
The X1D has been created with passionate photographers in mind, opening up Hasselblad to a new generation of creatives. Ideal for those who want to create the highest quality medium format images with a straightforward and easy to use camera that can fit in the palm of your hand.