Speculation about a new Hasselblad X2D shows that there could still be fight left in the old Swedish dog.
Few camera brands on the market elicit such strong emotions and feeling as Hasselblad. The storied Swedish camera manufacturer has been there and has done it all — including sending their cameras to the moon.
However, Hasselblad, who makes expertly crafted and gorgeously designed cameras, has taken somewhat of a back seat to Fujifilm and their relatively affordable, yet feature-packed GFX Medium Format cameras. This, however, could change if recent speculation about a Hasselblad X2D is correct.
A Hasselblad evolution is sorely needed
Despite all the noise coming from camp Fujifilm, Hasselblad has indeed released a few mirrorless Medium Format cameras. However, the X1D 50C, the X1D II 50C and the 907X 50C haven’t set the world ablaze. Nevertheless, I will say that all of these cameras are exquisite.
The three cameras provide a sensual overload when you use them, thanks to the materials used to build them, the craftsmanship and how they feel in hand. The only other cameras that come close to providing this feeling are Leicas. However, the superlatives end there.
While the images I have produced with these three 50-megapixel cameras can be breathtaking, you need to have the patience of a saint to get the most out of them because of the antiquated contrast-detect autofocus system. It’s slower than molasses, there are no continuous focus or tracking capabilities, and there’s no face, eye or subject detection.
In addition, the lack of IBIS makes it much harder to get the most out of the sensor. Fujifilm has revolutionized the Medium Format space; unfortunately, Hasselblad has failed to keep up. However, all of the performance issues with the X1D II could be fixed by the Hasselblad X2D.
According to a recent post on Chassimages and Photo Rumors, we might not have to wait long for a new Hasselblad mirrorless camera. The Hasselblad X2D (you can see images here) keeps roughly the same shape as the X1D and X1D II. However, the camera appears to be much thicker.
There’s now a top panel display where the mode wheel sits on the X1D and X1D II. In addition, the rear LCD screen will now also be of the tilting variety. This is all we know about the Hasselblad X2D and how it looks, however, there’s certainly a lot to talk about regarding specs.
The X2D could be a giant leap forward for Hasselblad
The new Hasselblad X2D will reportedly feature a 100-megapixel sensor, putting it in the same resolution ballpark as the Fujifilm GFX100S. The Hasselblad X2D might also feature IBIS, which would explain why the camera’s body is thicker. On top of this, Hasselblad has apparently been hard at work perfecting a new autofocus system. Hallelujah!
Live View, which is nearly impossible to use on the X1D II, has also reportedly been improved. There’s no word on if the Hasselblad X2D will continue using UHS-II cards or if it will switch to CFexpress. There’s also no speculation about battery performance, EVF resolution, or weather sealing. I do hope that Hasselblad continues to use its current menu system. It’s the best on the market, and I hope they have also improved the tethered shooting experience. However, there is some noise about the price tag.
The Hasselblad X2D could hit the market this summer for roughly $8,000. If this price is accurate, it will be a cool two grand dearer than the Fujifilm GFX100S. The premium price tag will be worth it, though, if the Hasselblad X2D stirs up the emotions as much as the X1D II does.
I really do hope that Hasselblad has taken a giant leap forward regarding its autofocus system. If the new AF system and the IBIS system can rival systems found in the Fujifilm GFX100S, Hasselblad might have a fighting chance at taking back some of the Medium Format market share it has lost to Fujifilm.
Have you used a Hasselblad camera before? What was your experience like? What would you like to see in the Hasselblad X2D? Let us know in the comment section below.