Hasselblad Unveils Second-Gen X1D II 50C Mirrorless Camera

Hasselblad X1D II 50C

Hasselblad understands that customers who embraced its first mirrorless effort, the X1D-50c, did so because of its solid ergonomics and excellent image quality. Users put up with its foibles—a less-than-great viewfinder, disappointing battery life, and generally slow performance—because of the way the camera handles, and the size and quality of its lenses.

It targets a few of those deficiencies with the second-generation X1D II 50C. The body design is very similar—the controls are in the same place and the grip feels the same—but the camera now has a much nicer EVF, a bigger rear display, more modern memory and tethering options, and an integrated GPS, to name just a few changes.

The sensor is the same, which is a little surprising. Fujifilm just tipped its 102MP GFX100, which uses the same sensor format. Both Hasselblad and Fujifilm medium format cameras use sensors sourced from Sony.

Hasselblad X1D II 50C

The older field sequential LCD viewfinder has been dropped in favor of an OLED. It’s very big—magnification is 0.87x—and sports 3.7 million dots of resolution. Likewise, the rear display is bigger—3.6 inches here versus 3.0 inches—and it boasts 2.4 million dots of resolution.

A new processor speeds up performance. The camera is quicker to power on and the feed from the sensor to viewfinder is smoother. It refreshes at 60fps, versus 37fps for the first-generation model, and it can now fire images at 2.7fps, up from 2fps. To support the faster burst rate, the dual memory card slots now both support UHS-II speed.

The autofocus system isn’t changed. Hasselblad promises improved accuracy, but that’s because the contrast-detect areas can be made a bit smaller, for more precise placement over a subject. Lenses still focus on the slow side—I tried the camera with the 65mm F2.8 lens and it shows a noticeable lag as the motor drives to lock onto a subject.

Likewise, we don’t see a big improvement in battery life. Hasselblad says to expect between 150 and 200 images per charge, which is not good. You can top the battery off on-the-go via the USB-C connector.

Hasselblad X1D II 50C

The USB port is also the main connection for tethering. You can connect to a computer and use Phocus software just as you would with any other Hasselblad camera. The X1D II’s USB-C connection also makes it work with Phocus Mobile 2, an app for the Apple iPad Pro, to provide a desktop-like tethered experience with a tablet. Tethering via Wi-Fi is also an option—the X1D II supports 802.11ac networks.

Video isn’t supported at launch, but it will be added via firmware. The camera includes microphone and headphone jacks, but omits the HDMI connection found on the original X1D.

In addition to the refreshed X1D, Hasselblad is adding its first zoom for the X system, the XCD 3,5-4,5/35-75. It’s also the most expensive X lens yet, at $ 5,175.

The company also announced development of two products coming later this year. The first is a new digital back for legacy V-system manual focus cameras. The CFV II features a 50MP sensor and a tilting touch LCD. It will be joined by the 907X camera body, which omits its own digital sensor. It works with the CFV II back and features an X-mount, and can also be used with H and V SLR lenses using an adapter.

The X1D II 50C will start shipping in July. It’s priced at $ 5,750 as a body only, with lenses starting around $ 2,350.

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