[Video] The Nikon D800 Vs Hasselblad H4D-40

The Nikon D800 is an impressive 36mp which puts in the same realm as SOME medium format cameras. The Camera Store decided to film a video comparing the D800 and the similarly equipped Hasselblad H4D which has a 40 megapixel sensor. The Hasselblad has the advantage of a much larger sensor and a better, sharper lens but the D800 censor is designed to shoot at higher ISOs. Which camera will win each test? You'll have to watch to find out.

Posted In: 
Log in or register to post comments


what they're missing is the use of highlights/whites, shadows/black in lightroom - just the adjustment of exposure doesn't justly show the capabilities imho....

the other critique is not having ISO numbers of the shots they "edited" (or did i just not catch them saying it?)

nonetheless very cool to have a full on comparison :)

george washington's picture

 im still waiting for canon fanboys to start complaining how fstoppers isn't posting comparison reviews between canon 5dmarkiii and medium formats

George canon 5dmk3 is for different market that Nikon d800. And there is no point to compare canon with Hasselblad.

Wondering why Canon Fanboys read any website that talks about anything other than just how Canon is the best, cuz we all know they know that Canon outbest E V E R Y T H I N G !!! :)

James Atria's picture

These types of idiotic statements serve no purpose whatsoever except to incite or what we call flamebait. I bet you are the same type of person that thinks that "that picture is amazing it must be the camera". It is sad that people are so focused on the gear that they forget that the photographer is the number 1 tool in the arsenal. Of course I blame Fstoppers for fueling this sort of attitude with their articles.

Sandy Phimester's picture

True. It's pretty strange to see people arguing like teenagers on a video game forum, making statements like that. No one mature, serious or professional would bother with such silly questions. It's like talking to a child, more or less. Take some photos, stop blaming gear for ANYTHING, and then talk to us like a normal adult human being. Please, and thank you.

 I am a teenager*on*a*video*game*forum and I am offended.... :)) Seriously now , I agree with you, the tool is rarely the problem, and if it is, one shouldn't whine about it; try something different or learn how to overcome it's problems.

Sandy Phimester's picture

Yes, it's too much of a generalization, but you know what I mean. Apple vs. Android, Mac vs. PC, Nikon vs. Canon. As if any of it matters. I really feel like these people who come and say comments like the ones above, are just being extremely immature and only make themselves look foolish.

I find it strange that anyone who wants to focus on being creative would want to post anything with such childishly negative behavoir! And you're right, I've met plenty of 15 year olds who act more mature. :)

Fanboy this or fanboy that. I'm not a fanboy. I'm a photographer! Many of us are. Let's forget about this stupid internet fanboyism behavior. It's so stupid! Haha. Because I own any system doesn't make me a fanboy.

     To a certain extent, the camera does make the photograph.  I'd call myself a semi-professional photographer.  I supplement my income with my photography work and have been published in several international magazines and newspapers.  I shoot Nikon, but this summer I'm switching to Canon because of their color rendition, especially with skin tones.  
     I know I am on the one who sees and makes the shot, and I know how to use Lightroom and Photoshop to tweak the colors to be the way I want them.  But I also know that if the hardware I use can more easily give me an image I want, then that plays a part too.  I will miss being able to switch my focus point with only one button press and will hate relearning a system, but at the end of the day it truly is the right tool for the right job.  Looking at and learning from my peers' works has helped me decide (without going to 'which is better?' flamers) that one system is a more useful tool in my hands than another and not that 'one is better than the other because of blah blah blah.'  The tool does matter to an extent.

I assume, you haven't seen the color profile menu setting in your Nikon and shot with original "Normal" profile, which is, by default, cooler than slightly over-saturated Canon default profile. 

Nikon fanboys are no better than Canon fanboys. It's like the Democrat/Republican argument.

Hasselblad H4D-40isn´t that much better than Nikon and i will not mention pricetag. And a good photographer will not let overexpose a skin if He/She doesn´t want that.

Nursultan Tulyakbay's picture

Anyone else catch their comment of how important it is to have a "better" (more expensive) camera then other people on the set? Anyone seen their work? I'm curious about how much of a gear investment the work is.


Appearances matter... it's like a realtor showing a two million dollar home and driving up in a Ford Focus. Not that I'm equating the D800 to a Focus, but people look at these things. These two shoot pretty big ads and don't want the person who hired them to see them using a camera you can get from Best Buy. Also, many people will rent a Hasselblad when they need it instead of shelling out the $30,000 or whatever.

Nursultan Tulyakbay's picture

I don't know what Best Buy you are shopping at, but the ones around me you will not even see a D7000 let alone a D800. If I can satisfy a client with a $3000 camera and they need 10X that, then I guess I have a better profit margin.

Pixyst's picture

I agree that often ignorant people control money and there is the need to pander to them, because we need to get paid. That said, I wonder if there aren't other ways to convince your client of you ability to deliver in every case without having to waste money on needlessly expensive gear. Take Chase Jarvis for instance, he makes some extraordinary videos that clearly demonstrate his capability for excellence. If after watching those, a person still needs to see expensive gear as a measure of ability then that goes beyond ignorance into the realm of stupidity... and there is no cure for that.

Niklas Carlsson's picture

Being a photographer myself I can say that it does matter what kind of camera you're using. Having a client say "oh, thats the same camera that I'm using" is pretty damaging. And I could try to educate my clients as much as I want to. But even though I could technically take a lot of pictures with just a basic camera like the most inexpensive Canon DSLR or even my Lumix GX1, the fact is that you're selling more then the image when you're a professional photographer. You're selling confidence in what you do, and to do that, you need gear thats the average guy or girl isn't able to get. I know this is silly, but it's still a fact that I can't change.

John MacLean's picture

Terry Richardson used to shoot major ad campaigns and show up with a 35mm point and shoot film camera!

If you have a well known name you can do anything even show up with a point and shoot. But not as a Joe Average pothographer.

Alex Sheridan's picture

I really wouldnt say a Hasselblad is for beginners haha

I don't like
how they came to the conclusion that the skin tones aren't as good...
you can't just white balance a file and expect the best results. Now,
I'm not talking about tweaking the heck out of the colors to get there,
but some cameras work better with different raw converters and some
color profiles are better for skin than others. They just threw the
Nikon into their existing workflow, and that isn't a valid comparison.

From what I've read so far, including someone who shoots medium format
almost exclusively, the D800 is right up there in terms of skin tone.

John MacLean's picture

I agree with Mike, and I'm surprised no one else said anything about this. I guess everyone is too caught up in the Ferrari mentality bullshit. 

I feel like I wasted 17 minutes of my life watching this. When are these comparisons touting top gear going to get more scientific? I want to see a damn X-Rite 24 patch chart in both frames under the guy's face. I want them both WB to the light gray patch and custom calibrated in ColorChecker Passport, so they're using apples to apples Camera Calibrations in LR4. Then show me skin tones.

Then and only then will I feel like they're creating a fair and even playing field. And I would hope for that c@$h the Hassy is still going to kick some ass! 


Nikon created the D800 not to compete against any of the current Canon, their main goal was to compete MF ~40MP. 99% of the world will not see the small difference between the DR from HB and D800 and the DOF won't really be a big factor as we saw the difference. 

The only difference that will remain is that lots of amateurs will buy he D800 and not the HB. Lots of photographer lately are starting to believe that you project a better work when you show up with a bigger camera, I think it's true in some way but it always depends what kind of work you do...

Having the "appearance" of being professional because of the size or brand of the camera is silly. The quality, for the price difference, is negligible. Having used both DSLR & MF (owned one MF with 16 megapixel back) the bottom line is $. I'd much rather spend $3000.00 on the D800 than even rent a MF for 4 or 5 days and spend the same amount. The savings can be passed along to the client.  

I find that too.

the industrie is fueled by the ignorance of clients. If the clients sees you coming up with a "good-but-not-top-of-the-line" camera, he suspects you're no good. So you have to pay more just to shut up the critisism of stupidity....

Companies like Profoto, Elinchrom, hasselblad must be hella-happy but it's sad to see the cost of being a photog go up, simply because of miss information on the clients part...

(Note: I'm not saying that those companies are overpriced piece of shit, just that the extra price tag and over the top performance isn't justified in the eyes of a client... not always at least.. :S

By the way if you want to impress clients with size show up at a shoot with a 4x5 view camera I still use mine once in a while and it always gets respect!

I thought it was a great review. I was thinking of getting a medium format camera and part of that plan was to sell off our second vehicle. Now, I can simply sell my backup camera (D700) and with a little cash I am in the game. The other benefit for me is that overall it's more versatile than any medium format camera I would have purchased. I thought the face recognition feature would be especially useful for flash photography.

To everyone that is saying that "appearance" is a silly reason to spend all of that money you are right that it is silly but at the same time it is very real. Clients that care about what camera you shoot with don't have budgets so saving them money isn't going to sway them. In fact, offering to save them money will make them find a more expensive photographer.  Let me explain it to you this way. 

Let's say you are a car salesmen and someone comes into your dealership and says they want to buy a Porche. You explain that they will probably never drive the Porche over 100 MPH so speed and horsepower isn't  relevant in their decision. Instead they should buy a Kia Rio because it's actually a smoother ride, gets better gas mileage, when it breaks it is way cheaper to fix, AND they will save $70,000! Guess what, you just lost a client. They will just go to another dealership to buy the Porche. 

The same goes for wedding photographers. If a brides father gives her $10,000 to spend on a wedding photographer and your highest package is $8,000, it doesn't matter how good your pictures are, you are perceived as "not good enough". She is going to spend every bit of that $10,000 because it isn't her money. 

As men, we should totally understand this. Why would we be proud to drive a Carrera  and embarrassed to drive a Rio? Why would we prefer a Rolex watch over a Timex when they both do THE EXACT SAME THING? Perceived value is silly but it is very real. 

Chad Andreo's picture

^^^ What he just said. Its sad but true. 

Perceived value is real....because consumers/clients are uninformed and not willing to do the research.

The laziness of the masses is what creates idolsl. Any first comer with 80k$ that drives off the Porsche dealer is a disaster waiting to happen. Why? Porsche jave very particular handling and if pushed to the limit...they bite. The customre didn't read or informed himself before hand. He should have bought a sports car that is within is driving limit....

Same here in photography. How many dumbass charge 2000-3000$ and don't deliver? Alot.
Why people still lend their money to stranger and surprise them selves they lost it all to a scam?

People don't read anymore... they just beleive headlines and salesmen bulletpoint. If they didn't, we would have "perceived" value...

Ranting off.. :S

More comments