Hasselblad’s new $6,400 digicam is extraordinary

I thought I would be cute and shoot the product shots for this review on film. Then, I promptly ruined the roll of film, so here's a stock shot. Sorry.

I assumed I might be cute and shoot the product photographs for this evaluate on movie. Then, I promptly ruined the roll of movie, so here is a inventory shot. Sorry. (Hasselblad/)

Capturing pictures with an old-school Hasselblad movie digicam is a really fantastic analog expertise. They sometimes make use of a waist-level finder, which suggests you look down on the prime of the digicam to compose your shot and focus. The lenses are meticulously sharp, and the design provides only a few options that aren’t completely obligatory. That’s largely what I used to be anticipating once I threw the 907X 50C strap round my neck and headed out to shoot. I shortly realized, nevertheless, that this digicam is one thing completely different. Regardless of its lofty price ticket and its dapper look, the 907X is enjoyable—it feels significantly much less formal than its film-based predecessors whereas turning out extraordinarily high-quality photographs.

What’s it?

The flat raw files stand up nicely to editing.

The flat uncooked recordsdata rise up properly to modifying. (Stan Horaczek/)

The Hasselblad system has at all times been modular. The unique fashions employed a movie “again,” which held the movie in a cartridge. That hooked up to a physique, which enclosed the viewfinder and mirror field that allow you to see what you had been capturing. Then, a lens attaches to the entrance. The 907X works on mainly the identical thought, solely the physique is way smaller because it doesn’t want a mirror. Your viewfinder is the display screen on the again of the digicam, which reveals you a reside feed instantly from the sensor. It feels such as you’re holding a chunky Rubik’s Dice with a lens caught on the entrance.

Capturing with it

The medium format lenses give a nice sense of depth.

The medium format lenses give a pleasant sense of depth. (Stan Horaczek/)

The very first thing you need to do when capturing with the 907X is to determine maintain it. The three-inch, 920,000 dot display screen on the again works simply positive should you maintain it up in entrance of your face, however the lack of grip makes it really feel barely awkward. Whenever you maintain a digicam as much as your eye, you may truly press it into your face a little bit to regular it. Holding the 1.6-pound (with out a lens) 907X away out of your face feels barely awkward.

The display screen flips up, nevertheless, so it’s parallel with the bottom, which suggests you may depart it hanging on the strap and look right down to shoot, similar to you’ll with a movie Hasselblad. I drastically most well-liked this technique as a result of you may put some pressure on the strap round your neck, which provides stability.

The display screen flips up so it’s completely flat, which may be very good, however solar glare could be a problem if you’re out capturing through the day. Some form of display screen shade could be a wonderful addition to battle glare and make the picture extra seen.

The auto white balance isn't exceptionally accurate, but it's easy to fix in post.

The auto white stability is not exceptionally correct, however it’s straightforward to repair in submit. (Stan Horaczek/)

The lens mount accepts Hasselblad X lenses, that are sometimes meant for cameras just like the natively digital X1D mirrorless digicam. They’re sharp and exquisite, which you’d in all probability count on from pricy Hasselblad glass.

At first, I used to be relying closely on the built-in autofocus, however I shortly realized that’s a mistake in lots of circumstances. When you’re used to a contemporary, high-end mirrorless digicam, the 907X’s AF will really feel paltry. You get 117 autofocus factors, however all of them are contrast-based—there’s no hybrid focusing right here. Whenever you activate the AF, you’ll seemingly discover it discover your required topic, the go barely previous it, earlier than snapping again into focus. That’s very typical for contest AF and never significantly conducive to super-fast motion. However, that’s now what this digicam was made for.

Glasses and shadows show up with great details.

Glasses and shadows present up with nice particulars. (Stan Horaczek/)

I discovered the most effective success when manually focusing. The 907X provides wonderful focus peaking, a system which makes use of stripes and descriptions on the digicam’s display screen to point what elements of the picture will seem in focus if you take the image. I discovered myself focusing extra shortly with guide focus in comparison with AF in many various conditions.

Picture high quality

This is a severe crop of a much larger image.

This can be a extreme crop of a a lot bigger picture. (Stan Horaczek/)

Contained in the 50C again, you’ll discover Hasselblad’s 50-megapixel (8,272 x 6,200) medium format sensor, similar to you’ll discover within the different mirrorless choices. It has a 4:three facet ratio, which is wider than the 1:1 previous Hasselblad movie cameras used to supply, however not fairly as broad as the three:2 ratio you’d get with a professional DSLR.

The photographs that come out of the sensor are merely lovely. When you hit the main focus and also you get the publicity fairly shut, you’re going to return away with a file that can look superb as a completed picture. The bigger sensor provides the picture a extra three-dimensional look than what you sometimes get, even with a pro-grade full-frame SLR.

With no tweaking, the colors look wonderfully rich at sunrise.

With no tweaking, the colours look splendidly wealthy at dawn. (Stan Horaczek/)

The 50-megapixel decision provides you a pair choices on the subject of capturing. Stick the digicam on a tripod and you may meticulously body your shot to make use of up each final little bit of the sensor to seize a scene. I appreciated the additional decision, nevertheless, as a result of it permits for capturing a little bit looser after which refining the body by cropping in submit.

The 16-bit recordsdata have spectacular dynamic vary. It performs fantastically in backlit conditions and does a wonderful job differentiating between related tones. Even in super-high-contrast settings, it manages to maintain the highlights in examine whereas pulling numerous element out of the shadows.

I applied perspective correction to this image because the camera isn't super easy to hold totally level.

I utilized perspective correction to this picture as a result of the digicam is not tremendous straightforward to carry completely stage. (Stan Horaczek/)

Who can buy it?

After just a few weeks with the 907X, I nonetheless discover the digicam barely confounding. It’s a genuinely enjoyable digicam and it provides a really distinctive capturing expertise. However, for many shooters, it received’t be terribly sensible. That’s often not an issue, however when the digicam physique itself prices greater than $6,000, you want a concrete cause to put down a bank card. I might see panorama photographers actually appreciating the mix of massive decision with a small digicam physique. For road photographers, I might see the enchantment of the superb lenses and focus peaking together with the comparatively compact kind issue (at the very least in comparison with different medium format cameras).

Detail abounds.

Element abounds. (Stan Horaczek/)

I didn’t personal any classic Hasselblad lenses once I examined the 907 (I’ve since acquired some, at the very least partly as a result of how a lot enjoyable I had with the 907X), however I think about utilizing some previous glass by way of the lens adapter would make this factor tremendously gratifying. Medium format was by no means about being the quickest or probably the most environment friendly—it was about producing large, lovely photographs, and the 907X does that with aplomb.

The shadows still show good detail in a contrasty scene.

The shadows nonetheless present good element in a contrasty scene. (Stan Horaczek/)

It handles high-contrast images like this one shot at noon.

It handles high-contrast photographs like this one shot at midday. (Stan Horaczek/)

Stopped down, the lenses resolve an impressive amount of detail.

Stopped down, the lenses resolve a powerful quantity of element. (Stan Horaczek/)

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