Hasselblad has launched a new medium format camera range designed specifically for the needs of aerial photographers. To prevent unwanted image-spoiling movement that can occur due to aircraft vibration, the A5D System aerial camera range has been created with no moving internal parts, and can be used with locking aerial versions of Hasselblad lenses.
Aimed at surveying and mapping users, the A5D aerial camera range combines large medium format sensors boasting resolutions up to 60-megapixels, with use-specific features such as locking mounts for both the digital capture unit and lens, secure connections, and that no-moving-internal-part design. These features are all about ensuring reliable image capture in unreliable conditions.
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The compact system also offers a reduced footprint over previous versions (though it's no Phase One iXU 180) along with improved weather and dust sealing. However, it could be the improved connectivity which makes the system appeal to some users. Camera connections for DC power, FMS (flight management system) and camera synchronization are now LEMO self-locking connectors to ensure increased reliability even in high vibration environments.
The three LEMO connectors on the top of the A5D camera allow up to eight cameras to be synchronized to within 20 microseconds with a bus-type cable connection between all cameras. This sort of synchronization is required when using multiple camera capture for mapping, to avoid problems in post production.
There will be three sensor unit options for the A5D, the A5D-40, A5D-50c and A5D-60. The A5D-40 and A5D-60 will use CCD sensors which measure 40-megapixel 32.9 × 43.8 mm and 60-megapixel 40.2 × 53.7 mm, respectively. Meanwhile the A5D-50c will use a 50-megapixel 32.9 x 43.8 mm CMOS sensor, which benefits from a wider ISO range.
Storage is either on-board CompactFlash, or external via a Firewire 800 connection, which also has a locking mechanism to ensure the connection is not lost. On the back of each unit is a 3-inch monitor with 460,320 pixels. Cameras will also be available with or without infrared filters to allow infrared captures from 750 nm to 1,000 nm. This allows them to be used for things like environment surveying or crop management.
Nine of the compatible H System Lenses are also available in aerial versions (24-mm, 28-mm, 35-mm, 50-mm, 80-mm, 100-mm, 150-mm, 210-mm and 300-mm) which means they have secure locking mounts to minimize flexing ensuring the image plane and sensor stay parallel at all times.
There's currently no word on how much the Hasselblad A5D will cost, or exactly when it will be available.
Product page: Hasselblad A5DView gallery - 6 images