A subjective review of the Hasselblad X1D-50c by Hylton Boucher
As someone who has always loved Hasselblad cameras, I’ve been frothing to test the X1D since I first heard of its announcement. It’s lived up to all expectations. The X1D is literally a pocket sized H6D, and in my opinion the future of digital cameras.
I’m not going to bore you too much with the technical aspects – megapixels, sensor, blah blah blah…that stuff bores me. But yes, the resolution is incredible. At 50MP on a mirrorless sensor, it’s changed the game of quality in compact form. It’s got the traditional 4×3 (close to 4×3 ratio with a sensor size of 44x33mm) aspect ratio, a shutter sync of 1/2000, the fastest ever made, second to the Hasselblad C system and some old Nikon models (1/1000), and the best ISO quality of any digital medium format camera.
The X1D’s ergonomics are near perfect. It is undoubtedly one of the most comfortable and slickest cameras ever made. It’s small, but not too small. The grip is magical; it has a similar feeling to a Mamiya7. You feel great holding the X1D; it makes you feel confident, and that’s important.
However, it’s pretty slow. But then again, it’s a Hasselblad. The start up time is sluggish and both the X1D and H6D shoot at roughly 1.5fps (To be honest, I could not care less about this). I’m sure many will find this annoying, but people shouldn’t compare it with similar camera systems, as the X1D is in a class of it’s own. It’s a new generation of camera.
In many ways, the X1D outshines all equivalent camera systems, Fujifilm, Sony, and even Canon. Most notably the Canon 5DSR, which has the same megapixel count but a sensor roughly 65% smaller than the the X1D, with significantly smaller pixels and higher pixel density, but is heavier than the X1D and has nowhere close to the sync speed (let’s not even begin to mention the 5DSR’s focus issues).
Sure, the X1D currently has only three lens options with the new XCD lens range, a 30mm f/3.5, 45mm f/3.5 and a 90mm f/3.5. The 45mm is roughly a 30mm equivalent on a 35mm camera system and the 90mm is roughly a 70mm equivalent. Though what more do you really need if you’re shooting with a Hasselblad anyway? There’s also an adaptor in production for HC and HCD lenses which will be available to order soon. Four More lenses are also in production, and should be available late this year/early 2018 (22mm, 65mm, 120mm macro, 35-75mm zoom).
The truth is that all photographers will love the X1D; it’s just that special. Nothing like it has even been made. It has set a benchmark for digital photography, and it will be interesting to see what competitors bring out in the near future.