The Hasselblad X1D.

Prosophos - Hasselblad X1D

Image courtesy of Hasselblad.

I’m not sure if this is accurate, but the following may be of interest to you:

“The camera is not fast, however. It takes a long time to boot up, a long time to write images to its dual SD cards, and navigating the interface isn’t exactly smooth. The autofocus system is slow and ponderous, and you can hear the lenses cranking away as they rack back and forth trying to lock focus. This is definitely not a camera for sports photography or any fast action.

But for portraiture, landscapes, still life, or any other slower photography discipline, the X1D promises to provide a level of image quality you can’t get with smaller format cameras. We’re looking forward to spending more time with the camera and evaluating the image output from a final production version when the camera hits stores later this summer.”

The Verge.

This is the first hands-on report I’ve read that goes into any detail about the handling of the Hasselblad X1D.

It’s what I feared, but expected.

As long as photographers understand that the main draw of the X1D is that it is lighter than any other digital medium format camera, then “it’s all good” as they say.

Who knows? Maybe the final production version will be more speedy.

Just don’t bet on it.


4 thoughts on “The Hasselblad X1D.

  1. Careful what you wish for. I notice often with stills camera reviews that there is an assumption that the camera should be able to do everything. Most people don’t expect a truck to win a Grand Prix or a Formula 1 car to pull any weight.
    I tend to think of Medium Format as like a truck. Fantastic image quality, heavy, expensive and generally used to earn a dollar.
    I used an old Hasselblad 500cm for about 15 years as my main shooting camera for weddings and family portraits, but in the last 15 years I have been mainly using small format digital. While small format is convenient and fast I miss the look and feel of medium format.
    I enjoy manual focus and manual exposure (the 500cm did not have a meter).
    I feel the act of manual focus and exposure makes you more engaged with your photography – forces you to work a bit harder.
    Peter, apart from when you are shooting sport, do you feel any different when manually focusing a M9 vs the auto focus of the D810?
    I wonder if any camera was perfect if we would miss the challenge of good technique.

  2. andygemmell says:

    I did come across this. If i was a betting man, I’d say there will be a few firmware upgrades required to sort all sorts of issues out with this camera (which is mostly only normal process in fairness) and the user being happy with it! I’d love to see it succeed though as it’s a great step for photography.

    I think the M9 will still be camera of the year :-)!!

    For people interested in this camera…

    Just of note from Hasselblad in response to a few questions on a FM blog post directed at Hasselblad…

    “Here are some of the answers I can give at this very moment. All of our Swedish engineers are already gone celebrating the Swedish Midsummer – the biggest Swedish holiday during the year here in Sweden

    1: Will the HTS 1.5 work with the X1D and H lens adaptor, and will adjustments be transmitted to metadata for automatic corrections in Phocus? – Yes, it is in the plan. If it works fine without compromising optical and image quality, the feature will be introduced.

    2: Is there plans to implement an electronic shutter feature so that people may take the liberty of using the X1D on such platforms as the Cambo Actus, or indeed adapting third party lenses without leaf shutters? – No, X1D will work only with the new XCD lenses or with all the existing HC/HCD lenses using the adapter. This is mainly to secure the the highest possible image quality which is key for Hasselblad.

    3: Is the refresh rate of the live view feed in the EVF 30fps, and is this specification limited by the capacity of the sensor itself in that it can’t output any quicker and retain the same level of detail? – X1D EVF performance is outstanding, no need for any quicker rates in here. There are EVFs out there with higher fps but the actual performance does not live up to Hasselblad quality standards. We suggest to book a demo and check out EVF’s performance on your own at

    4: Can you please confirm here that the autofocus point can be moved across all areas of the sensor area? – It will, yes. At this stage it is central single focus point, but we are about to launch selectable single focus point feature.

    5: Lastly, does the X1D have a focus peaking function to aid in manual focusing and checking the precise focus point? – Autofocus metering via contrast detection with instant manual focus override.

    I hope this helps!

    // The Hasselblad team”

    Info PM Quote

  3. Archiver says:

    The X1D interests me greatly, not as an action or decisive moment camera, but as something that I can use to produce very high quality still lifes, streetscapes and landscapes. For a few years, I shot with the Sigma DP1, which is notoriously slow to focus and operate, and it became very calming and meditative for me. Knowing that the images would be unique and interesting was even more rewarding. The X1D could be a superb camera for travel if you don’t need speed, but want the highest quality images in a package that small. It’s been a long time since a camera has intrigued me this much.

  4. G.A. says:

    One thing I like of Hasselblad is that they bet to improve.
    The lunar was a capricious experiment but that seems a handy high resolution precise instrument. Good to carry anywhere.
    The electronic viewfinder it’s not my favorite thing to look through though.
    Thanks for the article

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