Hasselblad has announced an update to its cropped medium format mirrorless camera, in the form of the new X1D II 50C. Although it shares the same 50MP cropped (essentially 44 x 33mm) MF CMOS sensor as the original, it has some improved features and a new processor to speed up operation. This includes quicker start-up (now just under 4 seconds, from my time with the camera at the London launch) and continuous shooting now at 2.7fps, while black-out times between shots has also been reduced, claim the company. Other improvements include a new, larger 3.6-in 2.36-million-dot touchscreen at the rear with some menu and UI changes. The viewfinder display has a 3.69-million dot OLED with a relatively high magnification of 0.87x, and faster refresh rates courtesy of the new processor.
The new model will be supported by the new Phocus Mobile 2 app. Installed on suitably equipped iPads (iPad Pro and iPad Air, 2019 models), users can import, edit and rate RAW images directly, as well perform tethered capture and camera control via either US-C or Wi-Fi.
Hasselblad has also announced a new XCD 35-75mm (28-65mm equiv.) F3.5-4.5 zoom, which is claimed to offer quick autofocus and edge-to-edge sharpness to rival XCD primes. “This really is the best lens Hasselblad has developed – its performance is extremely high, competing with our prime lenses. I can even go as far to say that it’s probably the best zoom lens currently available on the market,” says Per Nordlund, Hasselblad Lead Optical Designer.
This brings the total number of XCD lenses to nine, though not all are supplied by Nittoh Kogaku, as mentioned during the launch of the original X1D 50C. In an interview I had with a senior executive with the company in London, Hasselblad has since adopted a second “supplier”. The executive declined to name the second supplier and to ascribe which lenses were made by them. In many respects it is irrelevant, as all of the XCD lenses are designed and developed by Hasselblad optical engineers in Sweden to exacting standards. The new zoom and the high-speed XCD 80mm F1.9 were both available at the launch to handle and are exceptionally well-made.
The new zoom will be available from October priced at £4,859/$5,175.
The new X1D II 50c camera will be available in July 2019, priced at £5,400/$5,750/€5,000. For more information see the Hasselblad website.
The new X1D II 50C and XCD 35-75mm F3.5-4.5 can be pre-ordered from the following dealers
This news story has been updated since first published.