Hasselblad Strikes New Ground, Announces 50MP CMOS Medium Format Camera Back

Hasselblad Strikes New Ground, Announces 50MP CMOS Medium Format Camera Back

Hasselblad, who hasn't done a heck of a lot of innovating in the past few months, might finally have something worth talking about. They announced that they are working on the world's first 50 megapixel CMOS sensor back for their medium format cameras, rather than the CCD format previously used. This means faster capture rate, longer shutter speed capability and much greater ISO performance. It will also provide greatly improved Live Video in Phocus and will also be available with Multi-Shot functionality.

Further information and prices for the new H5D-50c models will be announced in March when they anticipate it will go on sale, but rest assured, this will be extremely expensive.

rumos are true hasselblad cmos back

Posted In: 
Log in or register to post comments

23 Comments

I was always wondering what kept Hass and others from going CMOS road. It's been while since DSLR's switched to CMOS technology. Is it cost issues? Or some technological problems?

I think it's mostly about an Elite attitude the big company have(in the most genuine Apple style, or IBM when it was it's time).

I can almost hear it: "We are the leaders, we always did like this and we don't need to change"... Except when they need to, in order to avoid loosing precious business ground to the competitors

Losing, losing, losing, losing, losing, looooooooooooooosing!!!! Oops, I meant losing!

Mike Yamin's picture

I don't think that's it at all. Most likely it's the cost of sourcing a new sensor manufacturer and doing all that R&D. The medium format companies don't have big bucks to spend like Canon, Nikon and Sony. However, it looks like Sony has been teaming up with Hasselblad lately, so perhaps that's what pushed this change.

'without knowing anything about the management of the company, the engineering, the r&d or the users of their products, I can safely say that they have an elite attitude'.

You = winner

Well, that comment is my opinon, not the law. I can safely express what I want. And I can safely do that knowing that I might be wrong.
Your problem is... ?

No one is stopping you from having or expressing your terrible opinion.

In the same way no one is stopping you for using "clever" sarcasm to insult people. Nice touch!

Cost is an issue. A CMOS is much more complex than a CCD, but cheaper to produce in large numbers. So, unless you're popping out a lot of them, CCD is cheaper. I would also bet that having suppliers retool and change process isn't cheap, unless you're sharing cost with another group.

CCD also generally allows for larger sized photosites. I would suppose that plays into the better dynamic range you see in MF.

I wouldn't be surprised if there's also be an attitude factor, in that they want to differentiate themselves from the hoi polloi. Sharing the same tech as your iPhone may not sound as nice in the sales pitch.

I don't know anything about what kept Hasselblad in particular from going CMOS at an earlier date. But, I do know that a lot of medium format photographers prefer CCD over CMOS because they think that CMOS images look "waxy" and "plastic." On the other hand, they also want live view and CCD can't do that as well as CMOS because of overheating.

woooooow what an innovation! a CMOS sensor twooo times bigger than an 35mm-style sensor! With the same pixel size! I am stunned! And all this for 10 times the price (per sensor)! Because it's innovative...

Hahaha that michael grecco add is awful! Those marble eyes are a ridiculously bad rookie mistake for that "10 top photographers in the world" bullshit

Patrick Hall's picture

Let's say there are 500 top photographers in the world....we have 10 of them :) Seriously though, Michael has the best selling physical book on photography lighting in the world!

Chet Meyerson's picture

Yes, that ad is awful!!!!!!!

I've been told that these machines capture skin tones a lot more accurate compared to their little 35mm sisters. Otherwise a Nikon D800E would be good enough in the 40 MP range.
Maybe someone can chime in and enlighten me on that.

Mike Yamin's picture

Skin tones are a subjective thing, but that's definitely one of the reasons some people love medium format so much. These cameras are about more than megapixels, though. I mean, there's a 40 megapixel phone out now, but since the sensor is tiny, there's no comparison to a D800E. Similarly, MF has a size advantage over the D800E, even if the differences are more subtle.

CCD vs CMOS is another debate. Some people say that part of the MF "look" comes from their CCD sensors—they argue that CCD cameras have better "local" color, while CMOS
cameras produce more "global" color, with less separation between tones
(i.e. an even wash of red on Nikon images, yellow on Canon). Others say that the MF manufacturers simply optimize their sensors for better colors and skin tones. No one seems to be able to prove anything either way, but there's definitely a different look to MF, wherever it comes from (and sensor size is part of it).

What is MF? Manual Focus? Milf? Mother F&/$/?? lol

Mike Yamin's picture

I thought it was obvious lol... I'm just abbreviating medium format as MF.

Jayson Carey's picture

As long as the dynamic range isn't affected, this is good news.

Emil Nyström's picture

It's a want and need kind of camera. Can't wait to see the skin tones and ISO samples!

Go Hasselblad Go!

Seems like a beast of a camera, and I can imagine it being priced well above 35 grand (UKP), so just how is a photographer supposed to make a profit when they have to splash out that amount of money? And even if you do, next year someone else will come out with something that will be even more impressive, and expensive, so where does it end? Of course, Hasselblads have never been the cheapest of cameras, and if you want the quality etc... but there's a bit of a difference between being able to kit yourself out for less than 10 grand (including 2 bodies) and this baby! Oh well, time will tell...

Full frame DSLR cameras are getting better and better, I don't even crave for medium format anymore. Just wait a couple of years, the line will blur completely.