It was three years ago when Hasselblad introduced the world to the first mirrorless, medium-format camera, which brought the kind of image quality and optical technology you’ll normally find in pro-grade studio quality cameras into a package far less than a fifth of the price. Suffice to say, it was a big deal. This year, the outfit is giving that revolutionary shooter a well-deserved upgrade in the form of the Hasselblad X1D II 50c.
The second-generation of Hasselblad’s medium-format camera, it’s a shooter that’s faster and more user-friendly than its predecessor, with the outfit essentially taking the old camera and reworking it for better performance. It’s significantly more affordable, too, which should put it at a better position to compete with other cameras that joined the compact medium-format category like the Fujifilm GFX50s.
The Hasselblad X1D II 50c shares plenty of similarities with its predecessor, from the size and design to the same 50-megapixel CMOS sensor and 117-point autofocus system. We know, a couple of those things could have used a change, but for now, it looks like they’re sticking to what works and overhauling what doesn’t. Chief among those are major improvements to the old camera’s sluggish performance. With the new model, they managed to reduce the startup time by 46 percent, they sped up continuous shooting by 35 percent, and increased the live view frame rate by 62 percent. All of those add up to a more responsive shooter, with better autofocus performance, that should be a lot more fun to use.
Of course, there’s some new things onboard. There is, for instance, a larger 3.6-inch touchscreen with a 1024 x 768 resolution, giving you more screen real estate for interacting with the camera’s menu system, as well as an improved OLED electronic viewfinder that boasts larger magnification and 55 percent more pixels. It’s also capable of tethering to an iPad over the USB-C slot, enabling fast and reliable image transfer directly to the tablet – the first device in the category to allow it. Of course, it also supports a wireless connection to mobile devices over Wi-Fi, which should allow for wireless image transfers (much slower than the tethered option, though) and remote operation of the camera.
The Hasselblad X1D II 50c has an integrated GPS, allowing it to tag its 16-bit RAW files and JPEGs with location information, as well as two memory card slots to ensure you can capture a whole load of images before you need to swap fresh ones. It retains the same rechargeable 3400 mAh battery as its predecessor, which had a pretty short battery life on the older model, so make sure to bring a power bank along if you’re taking this out on the road. If you’re a fan of the old camera’s looks, then you’ll love that they maintained everything here, from the ergonomic shape and the milled aluminum alloy chassis to the clean surface finish and minimalist control layout.
The Hasselblad X1D II 50c is available now, priced at $5,750.