Hasselblad Massive Price Drop Makes Medium Format Cameras Affordable

Hasselblad Massive Price Drop Makes Medium Format Cameras Affordable

There used to be a time when getting into digital medium format meant you had to put a mortgage on your house and your family. This time seems far gone now that a full kit can be found for under $20,000. With the promotion Hasselblad is running, it looks like Christmas is early this year.

Just like last year, Hasselblad dropped its prices by up to about 50%! It means you can get an H5D body along with a 50 megapixel back for just under $15,000. While it probably remains out of the budget most of us have, even as professionals, it is a very affordable prices for this kind of gear.

Amongst the couple of promotions, you will find the H5D-50 for $19,995 ($7,050 off), the H5D-60 with an 80mm f/2.8 lens for $24,595 ($7,805 off) or the same H5D-60 without a lens for $21,995 ($8,000 off). But the biggest promotion is on the H5D-50c, sold now for only $14,500 instead of $28,500. You'd still have to buy a lens to get a full kit, but that can be a very attractive offer!

If you cannot find an agreement with either your financial advisor or spouse before the promotion is over, you still have the option of buying the more affordable H5D-40. It's Hasselblad first price camera sold for only $10,995.

One can only wonder why Hasselblad is doing these huge rebates. Perhaps the big megapixel full frame cameras are making the medium format market even smaller. Or maybe it is just a way to make people talk a bit more about them.  Because it seems like Phase One is becoming more known and talked about than Hasselblad amongst the youngest generation of photographers. Those that haven't started with film probably don't have that love for Hasselblad. No matter what the reason is, I personally hope medium format camera will keep becoming more and more affordable in the next couple of years as I think they still have a place in a professional photographer's bag for some uses. What do you guys think? Is this a desperate move or very smart marketing move from Hasselblad? Any of you planning to make good use of this promotion?

 

via [Hasselblad]

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45 Comments

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Quentin Decaillet's picture

If you look back in my articles, you'll find one I wrote about Priolite strobes and their HotSync compatibility with the Pentax 645Z/D. So yes, I am aware that Pentax has got a camera with a larger sensor.
However, with a sync speed of only 1/125s it's hardly appealing to most users that want to get into the MF world.
Most people that use MF are commercial photographers and most of them use artificial lighting on set. One of the interest of MF cameras for them is x-sync the leaf shutter lenses offer (1/800s or 1/1600s). Having that limiting x-sync on the Pentax seems to discourage people to buy one. I personally thought about buying one when it was released, until I saw this spec. The 1/200s of the full frame DSLR is already bothering.
So sure, Pentax does a cheaper MF camera than Phase One or Hasselblad. But it's harldy a rival… except perhaps for landscape photographer in my opinion.

Pentax does offer leaf shutter lenses...

I should also mention that the old Pentax 67 had a flash sync of 1/30...it didn't stop many well regarded photographers from using that system over others...

Quentin Decaillet's picture

They did offer. I don't see any LS lens in their current product line. They used to have a 75 and 135mm if I'm not mistaken.
And sure, perhaps photographers used to be happy with 1/30s back then. But they also used to be happy with b/w film only.
Everything changes and if today so many photographers are interested in systems such as HSS or HyperSync, there must be a very good reason.

Certainly not arguing there is never a reason for it or even that it isn't a popular feature - I ended up with a Hasselblad film camera over the Pentax 67 partially because of the sync speed, so I'm not disregarding it at all. Just saying that it isn't the end of the world for many types of photography (including fashion).

And I should have said, it *doesn't* stop many well regarded photographers from *still* using that system over others. They're still happy with black and white film.

Michael Kormos's picture

When I see "deals" like "$7805 off" I can't help see a brand like Hassleblad in a new, devalued light. Would you want to invest in a system and brand whose prices fluctuate like the price of gas? It takes a lifetime to build a reputation for quality and value, and only a single moment to devaluate it all with silly deals like this. I don't think they'll be attracting new buyers anytime soon. Besides, most studios using med-format lease or rent their units. The depreciation doesn't make it financially feasible to own them.

Elias Hardt's picture

Just tosding ghis out there- couldn't you just get the A7RII (with a lens or two!) for far less than this? You'd be missing out on 8mp, but still... Is Hasselblad really worth the $15000? Never used one (and likely won't unless I'm willing to part with a kidney).

Perhaps this question will provide some insight to yours:

Do you think the Lumia 1020 41 mp camera phone is equivalent to the A7RII (at 42 mp)?

Answer: no. Sensor size does matter. Now is the A7RII good enough in comparison to the Hasselblad? Only you can answer that. For the price difference, I'd guess for most photographers the answer would be "hell yes".

Scott Weaver's picture

Thank you Nikon and Canon!

New member. This is my first post. After renting Hass and P1's so many times this is tempting. I have liked both brands. I keep going back and forth between pulling the trigger on this H5D-50 and P1's XF IQ3-50. Sync with leaf is a little faster on the new P1 and iso a little better on the new P1. But is that advantage worth the price difference? This price drop is keeping me up at night because no one has money to throw away (at least I don't). Internet article rumors about which maybe in trouble and who may be winding down just adds to the noise. Oy. Both are fine rigs, I guess I don't have enough information yet to pick. Meanwhile the price is only down for a short time?

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Just heard that the promo is most likely to end on the 24th and also according to Hasselblad's website there's no trade-in possible with the promo. However, it's not mentioned on B&H website, so perhaps B&H still does the trade-in, not sure…

Justin Bridges's picture

One obvious reason maybe that CCD is going on sale. Phase One is killing it with CMOS. I'm probably going to trade my CCD system in soon.

Quentin Decaillet's picture

Well… the H5D-50c has a CMOS sensor and is currently 14,000$ off.

A camera price drop sounds like music to my ears! But its important to pick the best one and not just the cheapest or the one with the biggest discount. I've been doing camera rental http://www.aimimage.com/camera-rental-central-london/ now most of the time, instead of buying, and I've found that its more cost effective for me.

We know now the reason for the massive price drop. They have the new cameras H6D-50c for $25,995 and the H6D-100c for $32,995. With shutter speed at 1/2000 and 15 Stop dynamic range. As well as new software and new connection USB-C. And few more goodies, sadly the GPS is not integrated, that will set you back at least another $800. This camera is for the professional and successful photograph. It is tax deductible; Still the price is certainly not for everyone and even then only for the very few who can and want that amazing piece of equipment.