Hasselblad’s latest big thing is surprisingly small

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The Hasselblad X1D is a compact mirrorless medium format camera

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Hasselblad is celebrating its 75th anniversary of making cameras in the only way it knows how, by launching another new camera. Following the H6D it revealed in April, the X1D is billed as the world's first compact mirrorless medium format camera, and squeezes a large 50-megapixel sensor into a surprisingly small and portable body.

While the X1D looks more like a compact mirrorless camera than a traditional medium format shooter, it still manages to pack a 43.8 x 32.9 mm 50-megapixel CMOS sensor, like that in the H5D-50c. Though that's smaller than the 53.4 x 40 mm sensor of the H6D-100c, it still dwarfs that of full frame 35-mm format cameras like the Sony A7S II and Nikon D5.

This should allow the X1D to deliver very high quality images for the professionals and deep-pocketed enthusiasts it's aimed at. The camera offers 14 stops of dynamic range, and has an ISO range of 100 to 25,600. As is the norm for medium format cameras, a maximum capture rate of 2.3 fps (frames per second) isn't going to set any speed records.

While the camera also shoots video, this is limited to Full HD 1080p at 25 fps (frames per second) which isn't going to cut if for videographers who demand higher frame-rates and 4K resolutions. However, it does boast other mod cons such as built-in GPS and Wi-Fi, which can be used to preview shots and control the camera wirelessly using Phocus Mobile on an iOS device.

Physically, the Hasselblad X1D is an undeniable looker, and a world away from the dubiously re-styled and wood covered Sonys we've seen the firm roll out in the past. It has a sleek and stylish body made from milled aluminum, and features both weather and dust sealing.

Measuring 150 x 98 x 71 mm (5.9 x 3.8 x 2.8 in) and weighing just 725 g (25.6 oz), the X1D is considerably smaller and lighter than your typical medium format beast, and indeed many full frame 35-mm cameras. This is going to make it a good option for photographers who need medium format image quality, but want to travel (relatively) light.

Most of the camera's front is taken up by the large lens mount with that whopping sensor behind. The X1D will use a new line of Hasselblad XCD lenses, with a 45-mm F3.5 and a 90-mm F3.2 launching alongside the camera, and a 30-mm set to join them in September. Any H-series lens can also be used via an adapter.

On the back of the camera there are a number of control buttons and dials along with a 3-inch multi-touch screen with 920K dots. The camera uses a minimalist user interface which builds on that of the H6D. There's also a large 2.36-MP electronic viewfinder which can be used for composing shots and viewing settings changes. RAW and JPEG files can be recorded to dual SD memory card slots, and the camera also has USB 3 connectivity.

The Hasselblad X1D, which will be handmade in Sweden, is expected to start shipping by the start of September when it will cost €7,900 (around US$8,950).

You can check out a promo video for the Hasselblad X1D below.

Product page: Hasselblad X1D

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