New Mirrorless King? Hasselblad X1D Announced

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by eric_arnold, Jun 23, 2016.

  1. 50mp, compact size, 1/2000 sync, leaf shutter, $9000, $11,200 w/ lens.
    • DPR announcement here.
    • Ming Thein commentary here.
    • Thom Hogan commentary here.
    A game-changer? maybe. At $9000 for the body, the new Hassy isn't for everyone. The price will disqualify everyone but pros and well-heeled enthusiasts. But its announcement does appear to shift the goalposts for IQ junkies, with obvious implications for Nikon's 8xx line and the Sony A7Rs. Fuji is also said to be launching a MF mirrorless at Photokina, so things could get interesting in the high-end market.
     
    fotolopithecus likes this.
  2. I think that if a sensor is not 100% larger than 36x24mm it can't be called medium format - so it definitely is the 'mirrorless king', not the 'digital MF king'. I think it is basically a check-mate to DSLRs, other mirrorless systems and even some 'medium format' SLRs as far as image quality is concerned. It's smaller than a D810! Mind you, the lenses are bigger, so let's not get too carried away. ;-)
    Cost aside, I would much prefer this to any DSLR save for the D4/5, simply because the latter can do something very, very well that the X1D cannot match (not relevant to my needs but maybe to someone else's). I don't know if I'd prefer it to the Leica SL, which I think is its closest (and so far only) competitor. D810s and 5Ds are a distant third, IMHO. The A7 Mark II series comes in at second place for me. The Leica M and Q cameras are in a class of their own, as is the RX1.
    So, which is it: SL or X1D? :)
     
  3. If you don't like Medium Format, how about Macro 4/3?
     
  4. I'm in with 1 incher crowd
     
  5. It's mirrorless, but it's not in the same product class as virtually all the mirrorless offerings from the rest of the pack.

    It's a pro studio camera, basically. No interest for me.
     
  6. It's a pro studio camera, basically​
    not exactly. there are already plenty of those already like Phase One, Pentax 645D, etc., as well as the Hasselbad H5 and H6. The compact size of the body almost certainly means the X1D will see considerable time outdoors, and opens up new possibilities for travel and field use. It's only 100g heavier than an A7RII, so anywhere you might use one of those, you could also use the new Hassy. The biggest limitation right now is lenses; only 2 are available at launch, none of which are wide. The body itself doesnt have a shutter (it's in the lenses), which limits adaptability with other lenses. In any event, this camera will be used for landscapes, portraits, and architecture, as well as commercial photography.
    I don't know if I'd prefer it to the Leica SL, which I think is its closest (and so far only) competitor. D810s and 5Ds are a distant third, IMHO. The A7 Mark II series comes in at second place for me.​
    The SL has 1/2 of the resolution in a bigger package, and is more of a competitor to full-frame bodies like the Sony A7II and Nikon D750, based on specs. Costwise, anyone considering the SL might also consider the X1D -- when you add a lens, the prices are about the same. The SL has more advanced video and a faster frame rate, two things which may not matter to a prospective X1D buyer. I dont know that the X1D has any real competition at this point, since it's a new class of camera.
     
  7. People who think the X1D is just another camera have probably never experienced medium format digital. I have a CFV16 (16 MP) back for an Hasselblad V camera, which I have used almost exclusively for landscapes, pictorals and portraits for the last 9 years. The image quality is better than the 24 MP A7ii but not quite that of the 42 PM A7Rii. That's with a square sensor, 36x36 mm, 4080 pixels on a side. In terms of area, it is 70% larger than a FF Sony. This means less noise (or more pixels), and a full 16 bit depth. Greater pixel spacing places fewer demands on the lens (and the lenses are very good indeed). A resolution of 50 MP will put the X1D over the top compared to comparable FF cameras.
    According to the release, the X1D is also sealed against the weather. While you probably won't see them on the sidelines of NFL games, this is a very valuable attribute for outdoor photography, including landscapes, commercial travel, and fashion. The short flange distance makes it easier to design wide angle lenses, which are seriously lacking for MF SLRs, digital or otherwise. A rectilinear 30mm lens (23 mm equivalent) is not only feasible, but rumored to be the next in line for the X1D.
    The prices are surprisingly low, considering the ridiculous pricing of re-labeled Hasselblad/Lumix cameras. $9000 is a little more than the cost of a CFV16 back alone in 2007, and half that of a comparable Hasselblad H or Leica S, or a CFV50C (before the recent sale price of $13,500). The first two lenses, 45 and 90 mm, are priced a little over $2K, a threshold which has already been breached by Sony, and far below the original price for existing Hasselblad and Leica lenses.
    There are rumors that Sony and others will enter the mirrorless MF arena, but Hasselblad is first. and that counts for a lot in the field of marketing. Furthermore, Hasselblad has the credentials and resources attractive to those who make money from MF photography, or would like to step up to the next level. I don't think the X1D will languish on the shelves.
     
  8. I don't think the X1D will languish on the shelves.​
    hard to imagine a $9000 camera being bargained-priced, but the sensor costs $4k alone, and it's "handmade in Sweden," FWIW. What i like about the X1D is the clean aesthetic. there dont seem to be any extraneous bells and whistles, and the UI seems well thought out. i agree they probably wont show up at major sports events, but they're small enough to be a second camera in a bag, which opens up editorial possibilities. You could shoot a concert with a DSLR, then do a pictorial backstage with an X1D.

    What i think this release does is not only attract current MF shooters, but may also pause folks considering a major investment in a FF system. if you're mainly considering full-frame for IQ, you may decide you can make do with the limited lens selection. and as an object of lust, it seems a bit more practical than the Leica SL.
     
  9. It's a nice looking portable MF system for a (relatively) decent price. I like that it can adapt older Hassy lenses. Smart move. I look forward to all the inevitable comparisons. I could have gone all day without the "Handmade in Sweden" marketing stroke job but a nik pik. It could be sweet. Time will tell.
     
  10. I could have gone all day without the "Handmade in Sweden" marketing stroke job​
    i think Hassy knows who their target market is.
     
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    i think Hassy knows who their target market is.​


    Rolex? Check. Tesla Model X? Check. Young blond wife? Check. X1D? The obvious fit.
     
    Nick D. likes this.
  12. The SL has 1/2 of the resolution in a bigger package​
    Incorrect. 50Mpx is about 50% more resolution than 24Mpx. To double the resolution of a 24Mpx sensor, you need 96Mpx.
    What i like about the X1D is the clean aesthetic​
    Absolutely! It's amazingly well thought out.
    You could shoot a concert with a DSLR, then do a pictorial backstage with an X1D.​
    No reason why not. But one could shoot an entire gig just with the X1D, provided that you are okay with adapted telephoto lenses. You could easily use 35mm SLR lenses with a 1.4x teleconverter. A 180/2.8 becomes a 270/4, and the image circle should be big enough, based on rough arithmetic.

    Also, you could use SLR shift lenses with the X1D, as their image circle is slightly wider than the sensor's. You won't get much shift but you'll get a cheap wide-angle lens. Hopefully you won't have to stop them down too much.
     
  13. one could shoot an entire gig just with the X1D, provided that you are okay with adapted telephoto lenses.​
    not really. it's just 2.3 fps, and both the lenses are on the slow side for concert shooting. i mean, it could be done, but it would be far from ideal. i'm sure one could get some artsy shots, but you want something more responsive for action and documentary-style live music. also not sure how good AF-C tracking is.
    You could easily use 35mm SLR lenses with a 1.4x teleconverter.​
    unless the lenses have shutters in them, im not sure this is possible.
     
  14. Back in the day, photographers took excellent shots with manual film winding and limited focal lengths. Not a problem. Also, f/4.5 on modern digital cameras is not slow, IMHO.
    unless the lenses have shutters in them, im not sure this is possible.​
    Ah, I forgot about that! Maybe for video then - which, incidentally, I don't care about. I do wonder if they will enable an electronic shutter. Probably not.
     
  15. It's a pro level system. Will it attract possible Sony A7xxx users? Maybe (unless they need a fast frame rate of course). But no one who is looking seriously at the bulk of mirrorless systems for its small size and extreme portability (in other words, Fuji and µ43) is looking at it.

    Pro MF shooters mostly if not completely.

    DSLR shooters from Nikon and Canon probably need or already have invested in systems that they are already going to stick with. 2.3fps will keep those folks away.

    Great for nature shooting, studio shots, portraits... everything that MF is really great for. Not so good for the things that people who can't afford it anyway don't gravitate towards.
     
    john_sevigny|2 likes this.
  16. I forgot to add weddings to the application list, for which the X1D is arguably the ideal camera. In addition to stellar image quality for formal portraits and groups, it looks like a "professional" camera. I'm not being cynical when I say appearances are important to your bottom line. At a recent wedding I saw three shooters using Hasselblads. The studio is highly regarded in an upscale community, and charges accordingly. It sets you apart from the crowd. Furthermore a lens shutter is quiet - much quieter than a Leica M of any vintage - and there is no film to wind nor mirror to flop.
    I am somewhat skeptical about a lens shutter working at 1/2000. Years ago, Kodak produced a shutter capable of 1/1000, but the blades turned a complete circle rather than reciprocating. I think there's an electronic shutter lurking in the X1D. That would be a logical choice, and easy to implement. It would also permit completely silent operation (which is unnerving, at times, to your subjects) and almost unlimited flash sync speed. (My D2x would work with flash at any speed, up to 1/8000, or was it 1/16000? Only the firmware, easily circumvented, limited sync to 1/500.)
    I don't see the X1D replacing the Sony A7Rii for candids, landscape and nature photography. In my case, it was the other way around. Beyond the cost (which isn't that high compared to the flagship Nikon and Canon DSLRs), you must use a tripod (or studio flash) to get 50 MP quality, or even 16 MP quality (my Hasselblad). The effectiveness of image stabilization (IBIS) and wide range of lenses makes the Sony better for my purposes, although I still need a tripod for best results. It has a higher ISO limit than the X1D, and the dynamic range is better than that of my CFV16, which dates from 2007. The 50 MP CMOS sensor is undoubtedly better in this regard.
     
  17. Edward, it is the ULTIMATE high-end wedding camera, even with only those two lenses you can probably get everything you want/need.

    That said, I have worked in churches since 2005, and most of the people who get married probably couldn't afford or wouldn't see the value in hiring the photographer who used this kind of rig and was therefore priced accordingly. Small market, but it's there...
     
  18. no one who is looking seriously at the bulk of mirrorless systems for its small size and extreme portability (in other words, Fuji and µ43) is looking at it.​
    i disagree. the X1D's small size and portability completely flips the MF paradigm. cost is the limiting factor here.
    DSLR shooters from Nikon and Canon probably need or already have invested in systems that they are already going to stick with. 2.3fps will keep those folks away.​
    Not if you're chasing IQ, in which case fps is irrelevant. There are folks who bough the D800/D810 on the strength of "medium format"-like quality. This is obviously one step closer to that ethos.
    most of the people who get married probably couldn't afford or wouldn't see the value in hiring the photographer who used this kind of rig and was therefore priced accordingly.​
    i think it's safe to say that all weddings arent equal. Certainly for high-end weddings, this is a possibility.

    i dont think it's the type of camera you'd use for casual shots and/or candids -- although it would be intriguing for street shooting in some situations-- and point taken about the in-body stabilization of the Sony's, but i think this will be attractive to A7RII shooters who print large nonetheless. If you aren't making large prints, you dont really need 50mp
     
  19. Eric, cost is indeed the factor, putting it in the purely professional and pro-wannabe range.

    It's not gonna sell in the numbers the Sony, Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus do even. It's many times the price. I mean... get real...
     
  20. I don't visit galleries on a regular basis, but in touristy places out west the abound with large prints of local scenery, mostly taken with large or medium format cameras. The owner/photographer of one in Colorado preferred a Mamiya 7 (rangefinder 6x7). Photos with horses and indigenous animals are very popular, but you usually have to take a lot of shots to get everything just so with uncooperative critters. I think the X1D will be a hit, and well within the gear budget for many of these people.
    Fifty years ago, the "journalistic" style of wedding photography was well established in the Chicago area - Leica or Nikon and dozens of rolls of film - volume over quality. Coming from a hick town, I used a Rolleiflex for formal shots and a Leica for the rest. Each has its place. That's pretty much how it still goes on the North Shore in metropolitan Chicago.
    If the bride gives me a list of 60 groupings, I give up and use a DSLR, so I can shuffle people in and out quickly without fussing with a tripod and lens changes. Wedding photography is 80% people management and 20% art. I haven't had (nor solicited) any wedding jobs since getting the Sony, but all things considered, it would be pointless to bring my Hasselblad.
    Using a Hasselblad on the street or tourist locations brings some interesting reactions, mostly "old fashioned" and "is that a video camera?" A compendium shade makes it a "view camera." After a dozen years, I'm still waiting for someone to recognize it for what it is, or better yet, ignore me.
     
  21. I like the concept, but one really has to have a load of disposable income to make a leap like this without knowing the gremlins. There is a, "get real," factor in this.
     
  22. It's not gonna sell in the numbers the Sony, Fuji, Panasonic and Olympus do even. It's many times the price. I mean... get real...​
    At $9000, obviously, the X1D is not a mass market camera. but then, it doesnt have to be. it's the most affordable digital Hasselblad ever. it's in a different league than DSLRs in terms of image quality, and comes to market with proven sensor technology. Safe to say it's not for everybody, but it does raise the bar considerably for mirrorless. Hasselblad is claiming the camera is already backordered in the US throughout 2016, so that should say something about market demand. As for the "gremlins," the AF is contrast-detect only, and there's no stabilization either in body or lenses. However, the 1/2000 flash sync speed mitigates this a bit. Overall, though, there appear to be far more goodies than downsides, other than price. For instance, the in-lens shutters are rated to 1,000,000 exposure cycles, which is more than 3x the shutter life of a pro DSLR like the Nikon D5. That's worth considering if you are looking at this as a long-term investment.
     
  23. Wel, yes, the real soul searching truth is, the wanting of X1D is just painful, so I'll turn away, verses saying something about this jaw dropping Camera that isn't true! Ha!
     
  24. the wanting of X1D is just painful, so I'll turn away​
    haha, i agree it's a lustworthy bit of tech, and certainly out of my price range at the moment. looking forward to seeing some tests and real world reviews, though.
     
  25. For instance, the in-lens shutters are rated to 1,000,000 exposure cycles, which is more than 3x the shutter life of a pro DSLR like the Nikon D5.
    But the shutter replacement cost is just a few percent of the purchase cost of the D5 so it's like having a car serviced - normal practice and nothing to be concerned about.
    In my view the flash sync speed in itself creates a market for the new Hasselblad camera for those who do location portraiture with flash outdoors. However the system is limited in its introduction and if it is becomes successful then it should become very attractive, both for flash based formal photography as well as a portable high quality system for landscape. I don't see how it could be used to shoot a wedding in a candid style however, since the lenses are slow and often one needs to shoot in extremely dimly lit churches with no flash allowed. As a complement to a 35mm format DSLR it should be nice. But then the question is will the client actually notice anything... ;-)
     
  26. I don't see how it could be used to shoot a wedding in a candid style however, since the lenses are slow and often one needs to shoot in extremely dimly lit churches with no flash allowed.​
    i dont think wedding photography was the primary goal of the X1D design team, but FWIW, the camera can use existing H system lenses with an adapter. a quick look at the Hasselblad product page shows there are a few relatively fast lenses with apertures between 2.2 and 2.8. however, these are even more expensive than the system lenses, so i don't know if this makes sense as an investment if you dont already own them. In any event, the system just launched, so i'm sure we'll see more and faster lenses down the line. Whether the AF and high-ISO performance holds up in low-light conditions remains to be seen, but according to Hasselblad, it wasn't possible to put phase detection on this sensor at this time. Future iterations will probably address this.
    FWIW, there are already plenty of wedding photographers who use medium format and the Pentax 645z in particular; but that body is large and cumbersome. with the X1D, it's small enough to fit in a bag with a second body/lenses.
     
  27. OK, so the shutter is rated for 1,000,000 actuations? And that's per lens? On a camera not designed for spray-and-pray? Yup, no problem here.
    I really like the use of leaf shutters. No shock, full flash sync without reducing the power of the flash, it's a great match.
     
  28. Since the X1D is eye level, it should be possible to shoot any style of wedding photos, from formal to candid. For the latter, a lot depends on how well flash is implemented with this camera. It has a "Nikon" compatible flash shoe, but that doesn't say much. Nikon probably has the best on-camera flash automation of any camera. The flash itself will work on any shoe with a center contact, but not in TTL mode.
    With flash, the speed of the lens is nearly irrelevant. I've shot thousands of photos with a Rolleiflex, using a completely manual flash with a distance/aperture card taped to the reflector. More recently I've had good results using a Nikon flash on an Hasselblad in the "Automatic" mode, where a sensor on the flash sets the exposure based on the aperture setting on the lens. A diffusion cap aimed at a reasonably low ceiling has the effect of room light without the dark shadows under the eyes. Two of my Hasselblad bodies are equipped with a TTL sensor, and I have a Q-flash with the interface module. However, the Nikon flash in Auto mode works just as well, and often better. For multi-flash, I use radio remotes and a flash meter.
    There's nothing to keep you from using a more facile camera (e.g., DSLR) to shoot candids, reserving MF for the formal shots. The choice between formal v candid, quality v quantity depends on your business model and the market in which you operate.
     
  29. It is revolutionary camera which solved mirrorless camera's current issues such as focal plane shutter. Hasselblad used leaf shutter basically and the price is similar with Pentax 645Z's initial price. Pentax should feel pressure about this.
     
  30. Pentax should feel pressure about this.​
    Ya think? I'm sure Hasselblad looked hard and long at the 645Z, the X1D's most immediate competitor. The Hassy seems to improve performance parameters in a number of key areas, and also enables handheld use by dropping the weight by one-half. The 645Z's max flash sync speed is only 1/125; the X1D's is 1/2000. That's before getting into the minutiae of the touchscreen and streamlined UI; the 645z is pretty cluttered. Slightly lower cost, and maybe wider available lens selection, would be the only thing which would compel me to get a 645z over an X1D, but that might even out once you start adding lenses.
     
  31. I'm pretty certain at this point that there is no focal plane shutter, digital or otherwise, in the X1D. This means it will be very difficult to use legacy lenses on this camera, at least the V variety. However the benefit of using legacy lenses may be illusory.
    Several articles published over the years in Luminous Landscape have demonstrated how these same lenses fall short when used with a high resolution digital back, on an Alpa "modular" camera for example. Best results were with Schneider lenses designed for MF digital from the ground up, without the design compromises needed for mirror clearance. Looking over some of the thousands of images I've taken with a 16 MP CFV back, I can't find any which I would describe as "pixel sharp," that is where fine details or edges were defined by a single line of pixels. Uncertainty of two or three pixels is typical.
    I have had a similar experience with the Sony A7Rii. While legacy lenses, principally Leica and Zeiss, do very well, "pixel sharp" is illusive with them, but attainable with lenses designed specifically for that camera (heavy tripod, IBIS off, cable release, etc). Consequently not one of the older lenses remains in my camera bag. Using lenses tightly integrated into the Sony "system" is the clincher.
    The X1D represents a fresh start for Hasselblad, and those likely to adopt it. If you can afford (possibly justify) that camera, lenses to suit are relatively affordable (half the original price of most V lenses). On the other hand, if you wish to revitalize older equipment, I see that the cost of a new CFV50c back has been reduced from $16K to $10K. If Hasselblad still has a trade-in policy, that might be just doable for me, but I'm not sure it would be worth it, all things considered. I extended the life of my old system by 9 years, and for that I have no regrets.
     
  32. I'm pretty certain at this point that there is no focal plane shutter, digital or otherwise, in the X1D. This means it will be very difficult to use legacy lenses on this camera, at least the V variety.​
    the X1D can use H system lenses with an adapter.
    I see that the cost of a new CFV50c back has been reduced from $16K to $10K.​
    this only makes sense if you already have V lenses and a V system body. the X1D has the same sensor in a much smaller package with updated features, at a lower price.
     
  33. this only makes sense if you already have V lenses and a V system body. the X1D has the same sensor in a much smaller package with updated features, at a lower price.​
    Isn't that what I said?
    They might not be the best way to start anew, but there are a lot of 200/500 series cameras and lenses out there, some on their second or third life in the barely-used circuit. They've been around for over 60 years in one form or another, and probably outnumber H system gear by a ratio of 10:1. The price reduction for the CFV50c back is probably not driven by improvements in technology, rather to clear the shelves in anticipation of the X1D.
    For a few weeks or months, there is a splendid chance for owners of older cameras to upgrade for the price of less than 500 rolls of film & processing. If you already have $10K-$20K invested, and it gets the job done, why not invest in a new back?
    Older Hasselblads must be pretty popular. The number of used offerings at KEH have nearly dried up in the last 5 years or so. People who buy them, keep them. The same is true of digital backs. (Auction sites are misleading. The asking prices are inflated, and the only ones you see are those which haven't sold.)
     
  34. there are a lot of 200/500 series cameras and lenses out there, some on their second or third life in the barely-used circuit​
    well, i see the point, and i could add that for just $14,500, you could buy a H5D with the 50c back. but then, i could also note that, as Ming Thein pointed out, going the 200/500 route isn't necessarily a smooth road.
    There’s a catch, though. A number of them, in fact, and they’re fairly large. Firstly, the V system has no lenses wider than 38mm – which is 32mm in 35mm-e terms – which isn’t very wide. And you’ll need an SWC body for that, which generally doesn’t play that nice with digital backs (mine didn’t, at any rate, and other owners report the same). Next, there’s effectively no hope of any new lenses. The best lens for digital on the V system is probably either anything above 120mm, or the 4/40 IF FLE – which cost a fortune when new, and is even more expensive today. It’s also enormous and heavy – just for a 35mm-e FOV. You’re also limited to 1/500s, which is great for studio work, but not so good for available light – especially when there are no low ISO pull settings on the sensor below 100. This means very little depth of field control. Finally, you’re going to have to manual focus – and you’ll need a 90deg prism finder if you’re going to shoot portraits, because the sensor isn’t square (or a 33x33mm crop really isn’t that exciting). The V system was really designed to be shot square, and it shows.​
    However, getting into the viability of older Hasselblads starts to become somewhat off-topic; this thread is actually about the X1D, and its viability as a potential game-changer in the world of mirrorless cameras, and the implications of its release on mirrorless, DSLRs, and Medium Format systems. If you'd like to have a discussion just about older Hassys instead, there is a Medium Format forum for that.
    If you're not already invested in older MF Hassy systems, i'm not sure it would make sense to do so at this time, rather than buy into the new X1D. Just looking at a spec comparison between the CFV50c, the X1D has a much wider latitude of ISO range, which has significant implications as far as how the camera can be used: if you're no longer constrained to the lower end of the ISO scale, available-light shooting becomes much more feasible. The top shutter speed on the 50c is 1/800; the X1D can do 1/2000. And the new body has wi-fi and GPS, as well as touchscreen focus. On top of that, there will be more lenses coming for the new system -- including zooms. So, this is a camera which looks ahead to the future while drawing on the legacy of the past. It's already excited the rumor mill about the possibility of a more-affordable Fuji MF offering, as well as thrown down a gauntlet to Pentax and Leica, and perhaps even Sony, Canon, and Nikon users chasing the resolution/IQ envelope.
    What i like about the X1D release is that it opens up the possibilities for mirrorless to be a high-quality yet portable imaging system which gets medium format out of the studio and into the field. It makes you think from a long-term investment perspective about whether you want to put all your eggs in a DSLR or FF mirrorless basket, or perhaps aim a little higher on the IQ scale. In other words, it moves the conversation forward at a time when the camera industry as a whole is struggling. Hasselblad in particular was in need of reinvention; not only does the X1D seem to check all the boxes for innovation, but its presence on the market could spur other camera makers to step up their games in innovative ways.
     
  35. One of the major drawbacks of the V system is the lack of truly wide angle lenses, especially with a cropping digital sensor. Ming Thein correctly points out that the 38mm Biogon resides in an SWC body with no mirror, and doesn't play nice with a digital back. The X1D promises to change that, starting with a 30 mm lens (24 mm FX equivalent). Don't expect really small wide angle lenses, because corner performance will demand inverted telephoto design.
    Thein is a little misleading implying that you need a tripod for a Hasselblad V but not for an X1D. My experience is that you always need a tripod for medium format, unless you are working under studio strobe lights. The faster shutter of the X1D mainly lets you exclude ambient light better when working outdoors under studio strobe lights. Hand-held under normal lighting, you can't deliver details worthy of medium format. A tripod, mirror up and cable release is part of the MF routine. If anything, it contributes to the contemplative side of photography. Even the Sony A7Rii, with IBIS for routine work, needs help when pixels count.
    As I noted before, I suspect that V lenses aren't quite up to the demands of a 50 MP sensor, since they are barely adequate at 16 MP. Unless the CFV50c is thinner than earlier backs, a modern 90 degree prism will not fit (the eyepiece drops below the top). For other finders, using the camera in portrait orientation gets challenging.
     
  36. My experience is that you always need a tripod for medium format, unless you are working under studio strobe lights.​
    We'll see if this holds true with the X1D. Hasselblad's promo shots show it being handheld casually, and the portability and compactness should appeal to serious street photographers. If 50mp is too much resolution to get sharp shots without a tripod, some of the plusses of a smaller/lighter body would be erased. In any event, i know some folks who shoot handheld with Mamiyas or Rolleiflexes, so it would seem this is not an absolute rule.
     
  37. Street photography hardly demands the technical quality of landscapes or architecture. Of course you can shoot hand-held and get results as good as with a small format camera, but why use an MF camera for that? I used a hand-held Rollei a lot for newspaper work in the 60's, but a big photo was 4 columns wide, about 6". (Large negatives were more forgiving of exposure with better shadow detail, and could stand rough handling and more cropping. Newsprint is not shadow-friendly.)
     
  38. Of course you can shoot hand-held and get results as good as with a small format camera, but why use an MF camera for that?​
    documentary or on-location commercial work. travel situations where you'll be printing select keepers for gallery exhibition. The point is that you can now use MF digital for that without taking an extra suitcase, should you require it. Hasselblad encourages field use by making the camera weather-sealed, so it shouldnt surprise anyone if it's used this way.
     
  39. There is a rather common belief that medium format is better because it is bigger. To some extent that's true, but only to the extent it is capable of rendering better detail and producing larger prints than a smaller format. That distinction is somewhat eroded with the availability of high resolution and better lenses in smaller formats. Higher resolution comes at a price of placing greater demands on the photographer to achieve that potential. Medium format is subject to the same limitations imposed by camera shake and shutter speed as any other format, perhaps more because more is expected.
    A lot of photographers eschew the use of a tripod, including it seems, Ming Thein. Perhaps his pictorial style doesn't demand high resolution, but most nature and landscape photographers would tend to disagree. Tripods are standard fare at www.Luminous-Landscape.com, and part of the working kits of nature photographers Moose Peterson and Art Wolfe. For the last decade or so, my main travel camera has been an Hasselblad, which in my experience would not be worth while without using a tripod. Not just for medium format either. Image stabilization helps, but doesn't replace a solid support and careful technique.
    Weather-resistant construction means you can be more comfortable under difficult field conditions, including blowing sand.
     
  40. My impression of Ming Thein improved significantly after reading his reviews of the X1D. I thought his opinions of the A7Rii were dismissive based on incomplete knowledge, but he is clearly conversant with medium format photography, and in a position to make valid comparisons
    https://blog.mingthein.com/2016/07/06/hasselblad-x1d-early-impressions-with-samples/#more-13288
    He confirms my suspicions that older Hasselblad glass is not likely to produce the best results from high resolution digital backs (q.v., the Q&A in the link below). He doesn't expand on the "tripod" issue in this review, and it's hard to tell what he used for these examples. They're all JPEG files with compression artifacts which obscure edge details, and not as sharp in general as I would expect. MTF data for the new lenses is impressive within the medium format framework (90% at 10 l/mm is good for MF, but mediocre for FX). Notably, there is very little falloff in the corners.
    https://blog.mingthein.com/2016/06/22/announcing-the-hasselblad-x1d-50c/
    While not as interesting from an artistic standpoint as Ming's examples, these from DPreview are much sharper, demonstrating the sense of (skin) texture you get from really sharp, high resolution digital images. They were taken using a studio strobe unit (Broncolor).
    http://www.dpreview.com/news/4962516765/hasselblad-x1d-pre-production-samples
     

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