Hasselblad Introduces the X1D II 50C Along With a Few Other Treats

Hasselblad Introduces the X1D II 50C Along With a Few Other Treats

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.

What's New?

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.

Performance

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.

Efficiency

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.

Related Releases

Hasselblad 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5

Hasselblad 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5

Hasselblad 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5

Hasselblad 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5

Hasselblad CFV II 50C

Hasselblad CFV II 50C

Hasselblad CFV II 50C

Hasselblad CFV II 50C

Price

  • X1D II 50C: $5,750
  • 35-70mm f/3.5-4.5: $5,175
  • CFV II 50C will be announced in the near future.

Conclusion

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? 

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16 Comments

Marius Pettersen's picture

Looking forward to seeing results from the V-series cameras/lenses with a modern digital back. Love the vintage design!

Since the new digital back works on the new CFV II 50c camera and the older 500 series of cameras, I wonder if the older film backs would work on the new CFV II 50c camera. That would be truly outstanding. Probably not but that would have been cool.

Marius Pettersen's picture

Interesting thought, but can you operate the film back without controls on the 500-series body?

Matt Williams's picture

This wouldn't be possible. No way to control it. This newer CFV II 50c is basically a mirrorless camera, which is why it's so small (and uses the X1D lenses of course). So you'd have no way to focus the lens (since it's focus by wire, not helicoid) or aperture control.

Obviously you could use an old V-series lens but then you'd need a body in between to compensate for the flange distance but at that point.... you're just using a regular old Hasselblad film camera.

So this is just useful (and very nice!) if you want to use the digital back with a film body or if you want to use it with the new mirrorless lenses (or both of course).

But, no, essentially shooting a film back would not be possible without switching out every component that makes this a CFV II 50c haha.

Tamas Nemeth's picture

Why do you consider a back having a roughly 6 years old sensor modern?

Marius Pettersen's picture

Why not? Where do you draw the line on what constitutes modern technology or not?
And because it is much better than the older alternative backs for the 500-series.

Matt Williams's picture

It's a modern back. There is no one else that has what is essentially a mirrorless camera back.

And it can be used on regular old film bodies.

There isn't a newer sensor of this size and megapixel count out there. Who cares how old the sensor is, it's still one of the best on the market.

Excuse me... You said “tether to iPad”? Is it exclusive Hasselblad feature?

Garrett Reid's picture

Not for long I think. Apple’s new iPad OS will open up the usb-c port to actually be used. Scroll about half way down. Exciting stuff. https://www.apple.com/ipados/ipados-preview/

barry cash's picture

Thoughts nice move for updated EVF and LCD a real boost for the camera. Now what firmware functions did they update to go along with those. Well you can read data in EVF not a breakthrough but expected relief and definitely helps with the flow.

Considering the time since the rumors and older product discontinued one would of expected a bigger chance of them releasing product for sale instead of build to order. This is not indicating good business sense but lack of capitol.

Still lacking
Tillable lcd
Cable Release through any port of hole in camera.
AF upgrades questionalbe (no jog)
Black out lag-time?
Bracketing still elementary.
Phocus mobile app elementary
Biggest issue prolonged delivery date in JULY and zoom lens in OCTOBER both of those dates are a real turnoff.

What is more exciting is that the CFV II 50C digital back will work on the 500 series of cameras and that would be amazing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNJPmk5wIHw

rodney simba masarirambi's picture

I've never wanted a camera so much and I thought I wanted the Mark 2!!!!!

Jared Wolfe's picture

They have had digital backs for the 500 series for a loooooong time. CFV-16 was one of the first. 35mmx25mm square CCD sensor - 16mp. There many phase one backs that work on teh 500 series - I have been using a p45 for the past 3 years.

Matt Williams's picture

How did they not put a damn tilt screen in the X1D II???

That was one of, if not the, most requested feature(s).

The bigger screen and nicer EVF (.87x magnification!) is awesome, but seriously - they put a tilt screen in the CFV back but not the mirrorless one??

Increased start-up time, shutter lag, and better autofocus are definitely great.

I knew it was a very very very long shot for them to take my suggestion of a leaf shutter/focal plane shutter combination (i.e. Leica S series), but still disappointed. That would've made it a much easier choice over a Fuji GFX for me.

Oh welllll.... at least the price is good and should lower the cost of second-hand X1D's a good bit.

I have waited for a real affordable Hasselblad digital back for years. I don’t know what the price of the new CV II 50c will be but I’m clearing deck space out for it. Although its not a new innovation, more like common sense, the integration of the battery into the body of the back is a major plus factor, and will add value to the motor driven Hasselblad bodies. That almost non-existant, ridiculously priced, battery holder for the motor-driven Hasselblad should go into the photography hall of infamous gadgetry. The Hasselblad CV II 50c digital back, if priced right makes all Hasselblad analog bodies relevant in the digital age. And would improve both Hasselblad’s fortunes and its prestige.

Farhad Farajov's picture

Folks,

I'm selling my Phase One IQ140 Kit (645DF+ Camera, IQ140 Digital Back and 80mm SK Leaf Shutter Lens).

Please let me know if anybody is interested.

Thanks