A Fujifilm GFX User's First Impressions of the Hasselblad 907X

Fujifilm has lowered the bar of entry to digital medium format cameras significantly, allowing many to enjoy the larger sensor size without having to spend the price of a new car. However, Hasselblad has options that are now in line with higher-end full frame cameras, so how do they compare?

I have owned and used both Hasselblad and Fujifilm digital medium format bodies, and there is a lot to say about them. While I love both systems and enjoy using them, the GFX is closer to my workhorse due to little else than dollars and cents. Not only could I get the Fujifilm GFX 50R at a low price, but the lenses available — both Fujifilm and from secondary manufacturers — are at a lower cost and offer a wider selection. If my budget had been larger, however, what would I have bought?

It's difficult to say for sure, but since its announcement, I've longed after the Hasselblad 907X 50C and an XCD 80mm f/1.9 in an irrational way I haven't felt since the GAS stage of my early life as a photographer. The form factor certainly went a long way with me, but it's more than that. Using a Hasselblad is an experience that's difficult to unpack. It's a slower, more tactile process — as most medium format cameras are — but it felt more rewarding than with my full frame bodies. Then there is the dynamic range, the superb colors, and so on. I would love to have that combination, but the question was whether my love for that pairing was worth more to me than $4,000+ extra in my pocket.

In this video, ZP Productions goes through some of the differences between the two systems, the benefits of each over the other, and why he would still like a 907X.

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Robert K Baggs's picture

Robert K Baggs is a professional portrait and commercial photographer, educator, and consultant from England. Robert has a First-Class degree in Philosophy and a Master's by Research. In 2015 Robert's work on plagiarism in photography was published as part of several universities' photography degree syllabuses.

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This is not really about the Hasselblad but rather about cheaper and lighter flashes. After an introduction at about minute 7:00 he argues about the flash power needed and states that the flash could be smaller and lighter when using a leaf shutter compared to a focal plane shutter with HSS. And that(!) is why one should prefer a leaf shutter system. But there is an alternative:
It is worth noting that this is not the case when using H-Sync (Broncolor, Elinchrom). You would think that if a Hasselblad is affordable, so is the money for a decent flash system.

I think lighter flash can have some value, but considering the size of the reflector used, a heavier head would not actually hurt and he should have either an assistant or at least use sand bags. Just like Jan said above, bring the right equipment and true Hypersync is by far way more flexible than HSS.
Here is the way it works in the real world outside of youtube. Client I have shot almost exclusively product for since 1999 asked me to shoot a portrait of a retiring employee. Then CEO calls me to explain what he wants and I shoot two days later. I bring my two battery powered monos capable of 2ws to 400 ws. I have hypersync where I can shoot as fast as 1/8000 with true 400ws if ever needed, color accuracy and many options built in one unit. I know I can do what ever where ever the client wants, inside, outdoors what ever and it's reliable equipment. I actually do a few each year of those for various clients where I don't have control of time of the day, location, or even length of time to shoot and prepare and typically they come through a phone call or a text same day or day before. Now I have a happy client, I charge decently for the shoot, I keep the client, I get more work and the investment is peanut because it's guarantied to pay back fast. Yes there are many ways around things, have two sets of camera for either strobe or not is a little complicated of a deal in my opinion. I love my set up it's so flexible, if I had to start over I would buy the same exact items.