Hasselblad, a Swedish company known for photographing space and their medium format cameras, has just released a new version of their X1D. With competition from Fujifilm and Phase One, the X1D II 50C is a very portable, sleek, and versatile medium format camera compared to its competitors.
A few months back, I was able to play with Hasselblad's 50-megapixel medium format camera, the X1D. After some hands-on time with it, I found myself really liking a lot of things about the camera. While the camera preformed well in certain situations, there was still more reason for me to favor my a7R III at the time when it came to speed, convenience, and lens choices.
The X1D II 50C has no changes to the sensor or optics. In fact, this entire upgrade was done to help enhance the performance of the camera. The first thing that stands out is the new color of the body (grey). It is very sleek compared to its previous silver version and is more of an throwback to its previous limited edition black version. While on the topic of "looks," which can sometimes be a reason to buy a camera, the rear display is 43% larger with 156% more pixels. On the back, you can find a 3.6" display (versus the previous 3"), which is brighter and more vivid than the former X1D. Also, the new OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) can come in handy, boasting 55% more pixels and a (.87x) magnification to see even more clearly.
Aside from the looks and display of the camera, Hasselblad's intention was to make shooting with their medium format system more convenient for creatives. Some spec improvements like a 46% faster startup time, reduced shutter lag, and improved autofocus, which all help when comparing this to a much faster yet smaller system like the 42-mp full frame Sony a7R III. Having more processing speed and performance in a medium format body can make shooting with a camera like this a lot more efficient, like some of the top full frame cameras out there.
One of the main upgrades was updating the user interface (UI). This may sound silly, but if you notice, a Hasselblad doesn't have as many buttons as a Sony, Canon, or Nikon. It has a very refined, minimal look. That being said, there are a few shortcut buttons on the back along with a very interactive touch display. Being able to access the menu, adjust settings, and just navigate the camera in general will now be even smoother than it was before. One of the most useful upgrades is being able to access the menu in the EVF.
Using USB type C, you can tether, transfer, edit, and work directly from an iPad, providing an extremely portable workflow. With Hasselblad's Phocus Mobile, you have access to the full raw file and many other editing features. If you prefer tethering to a computer, the USB type C connection provides very fast transfer speeds, which can help with the large files from the camera.
The X1D II 50C also uses the same battery as the older X1D, has GPS onboard, and the battery can be charged through the USB type C port from either a computer or power bank.
- X1D II 50C: $5,750
- 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5: $5,175
- CFV II 50C will be announced in the near future.
I really think these minor improvements will be pretty major to previous users of the X1D and for people just getting into medium format photography. It's good to see Hasselblad tune up some of their products and even come out with new, unique bodies like the CFV II 50C. I feel like the name is known because it is on a Mavic 2 Pro, but these new cameras released today truly speak Hasselblad.
With more and more competition in the medium format market with cameras like the Fujifilm GFX 50R, the X1D II 50C takes a new stance on looks and performance. What are your thoughts on the new Hasselblad products?