Hasselblad continues to expand and adapt its legendary medium format systems to provide the best quality and performance for photographers. The latest in this journey is the upgraded X1D II 50C, a next-gen mirrorless camera with numerous changes that should make the X System even more appealing and intuitive. Alongside this release is a new lens for the ever-growing mirrorless lineup: the XCD 35-75mm f/3.5-4.5, a mid-range zoom that promises stellar quality. That’s not all for today, as Hasselblad has revealed initial details on its CFV II 50C Digital Back and 907X Camera Body. Both of these upcoming products draw from the history of Hasselblad to provide a distinct imaging experience.
The Next Steps in the Mirrorless Journey
Portability and power are the calling cards of the X System, and the X1D II continues that trend by packing a 50MP 43.8 x 32.9 mm CMOS sensor into a body with a smaller footprint than many smaller-format DSLRs. With a sensor 1.7x larger than full-frame, a dynamic range of 14 stops, and 16-bit raw imaging combined with Hasselblad Natural Color Solution (HNCS), the X1D II will deliver nearly unmatched image quality. Photographers can even record full-res 50MP JPEGs and enjoy improved image quality. This may not have changed all that much from the previous model, but it still sits among the best cameras in its class.
Significant changes have come to operability and handling. Most immediately noticeable are the upgrades to the rear display and electronic viewfinder. The back of the X1D II now has a massive 3.6" touchscreen with 1024 x 768 (2.36m-dot) resolution and brighter, richer colors. Photographers will appreciate that, though the OLED EVF’s higher magnification of 0.87x and 1280 x 960 (3.69m-dot) resolution is likely going to be the star of the show when it comes to composing images while out shooting. Bolstering performance is faster speed throughout with start-up time being reduced by 46%, reduced shutter lag and blackout time, and a higher frame rate in live view of 60 fps, compared to the previous 37 fps.
Overall system speed has been boosted, bringing the continuous shooting rate up to 2.7 fps, improving autofocus accuracy, and quickening menus. The updated interface brings the menu system to the EVF, a more logical menu structure, a touch-to-select focus point option, and more minor changes all meant to improve usability. Additionally, the battery can be charged via the camera’s USB Type-C port and GPS is now fully integrated into the body, no longer requiring an additional accessory.
A World-Class Mid-Range Zoom
Being the first zoom lens to join the X System lens line means the XCD 35-75mm f/3.5-4.5 lens has some high standards to meet. Per Hasselblad, this zoom should deliver the same performance as its primes, though offering greater versatility throughout its 28-59mm equivalent zoom range. By offering a wide-angle to slight telephoto range, photographers will find it to be a great choice for traveling or allowing a variety of shot types without needing to change lenses. Also, it has an integral central shutter with a shutter-speed range of 68 minutes to 1/2000 second with full flash sync at any setting.
Create an Entirely Mobile Workflow
X System cameras were developed as a sign of the changing times, pushing cameras to be smaller while still exceptionally well featured. Another sign of the times is an updated Phocus Mobile 2 app that enables the transfer of raw and full-quality JPEGs directly to an iPad Pro or iPad Air (2019) via USB Type-C and Wi-Fi. This helps create an entirely portable shooting and editing workflow with an extremely lightweight kit. Phocus Mobile 2 boasts its own changes: faster processing, full-quality export, tethered shooting, and direct camera control.
A Modern Take on Classic Design
Classics are classics for a reason, be it an excellent design or a yet-to-be-beat function that still steals the hearts of many. Sometimes bringing these classics up to contemporary standards is a very welcome change, and hopefully that is what we are getting with the CFV II 50C Digital Back and 907X Camera Body. The CFV II 50C brings a modern 50MP (43.8 x 32.9 mm) CMOS sensor to most V System cameras made in the year 1957 or later. It also offers a tilting touchscreen and full-integrated battery that keep its size and weight down while a USB-C port offers convenient charging and other functionality.
A recommended approach is to pair the CFV II 50C with the new 907X Camera Body for gaining a traditional waist-level shooting experience of the original V System. The 907X is quite up to date, offering support for X System Lenses as well as classic H System, V System, and XPan optics via optional adapters. The design also enables the use of other lenses via third-party adapter, and the 907X can be enhanced through the addition of a 907X Control Grip or the 907X External Optical Viewfinder.
Hasselblad has always been a significant brand in the history of photography, including being part of the first mission that put humans on the Moon 50 years ago. This is the next leg in its ongoing mission to create phenomenal photographic equipment for professionals, and is a great sign of what is to come. Are you interested in the X1D II? What would you like to see from Hasselblad in the future? Please leave a comment, below, with any and all of your questions or thoughts.