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Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 1

The star of Hasselblad’s booth at Photokina is the X1D – a compact, mirrorless medium-format camera with a 50MP sensor. Announced earlier this year, the X1D has yet to to start shipping, and the Swedish company’s booth was thronged with photographers eager to get their hands on the new camera.

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 2

Weighing just 750g without a lens, one of the main selling points of the X1D is its small size and weight compared to traditional medium-format digital products. The X1D (and Fujifilm’s just-announced GFX 50S) dispenses with a conventional mirror box, which allows the camera to be slimmer, and much lighter than DSLRs with equivalent-sized sensors.

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 3

The X1D is beautifully designed, with relatively few external controls. It’s a bit strange to see a mid-range DSLR-style exposure mode dial on a $10,000 camera, but in use, it’s very convenient. A neat ‘pop up to use, pop down to lock’ design means that the dial can be kept flush with the camera’s top-plate until you need to change exposure mode. 

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 4

We’re seeing more and more cameras being designed with a smartphone style ‘app tile’ interface, and the X1D makes good use of its large, 920k-dot rear touch-screen. The screen is nice and responsive, but this kind of resolution is low compared to the screens found on (for example) the Nikon D5 and D500, which boast 2.3 million dots and look sharper.

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 5

The X1D’s relatively low-resolution rear screen is partially mitigated by its excellent 2.36-million dot electronic viewfinder. This view also gives you a good idea of just how slim the X1D is, despite its large sensor. The hotshoe is compatible with Nikon flashguns. 

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 6

Here’s that large 50MP sensor, in all its glory. Hasselblad is calling this new lens-mount ‘XCD’ and as well as a new range of XCD lenses, the company is also offering an H lens adapter, which extends support to Hasselblad’s existing H lens system with full autofocus operation.

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 7

The X1D is a luxurious, pricey piece of equipment but as we’d expect from Hasselblad, its standard of construction and finish is exemplary. We’re looking forward to testing a shipping sample as soon as one becomes available. 

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 8

Hasselblad is also showing off an upcoming lens. The XCD 30mm F3.5 offers the same field of view as a 24mm on full-frame, and can focus down to 0.4M. No pricing or availability information has yet been given. 

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 9

If there’s one thing Hasselblad likes to do, it’s make special limited editions. This is the 4116 edition of the X1D, in matte black. We actually prefer the way this one looks, compared to the more traditional two-tone finish but at $12,995 with a 45mm lens, it’s a bit rich for our blood.

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 10

It does look nice though…

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 11

As well as the X1D, Hasselblad is also showing off a concept camera – the 75MP V1D 4116 Concept. There’s no word on whether or not this concept will ever become a reality, but it’s certainly a very attractive mockup.

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D

Photokina 2016: Hands-on with Hasselblad X1D 12

The V1D 4116 Concept is built around a (presumably hypothetical) 75MP square-format sensor, and like the classic Hasselblad SLRs of old, it features a modular design.


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