Full-frame mirrorless cameras? Pah, they’re old hat these days. The new battleground for high-end pro cameras is mirrorless medium format – and Hasselblad has struck back against Fujifilm’s impressive GFX series with the new X1D II 50C.
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Medium format camera sensors are significantly bigger than their full-frame equivalents, which means greater light-gathering powers for landscape or studio duty – but also, traditionally, camera bodies that have been too big, bulky and expensive to get anywhere near the mainstream.
That’s started to change with cameras like the Fujifilm GFX 50R and GFX 100 recently, though, and the 50-megapixel Hasselblad X1D II 50C is the latest mirrorless medium format camera to tempt well-heeled enthusiasts, rather than exclusively pros.
Okay, the X1D II 50C isn’t cheap at £5,400, but that’s significantly more affordable than its X1D predecessor, which cost £7,188 in the UK when it arrived in 2016. The Fujifilm GFX 50R is even more affordable at £3,999, though Hasselblad badge has always charged a big premium.
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So is the X1D II 50C a competitive addition to the mirrorless medium format family? It certainly brings big improvements over the X1D, including speedier operation, a higher resolution EVF (now a 3.69-million-dot affair), a larger 3.6-inch rear screen and reduced shutter lag.
But it’s not necessarily a more powerful camera than its closest rival, the Fujifilm GFX 50R. The X1D II’s fastest burst shooting rate is 2.7fps, slower than its Fujifilm foe’s 3fps and its autofocus system remains unchanged from its predecessor. It does, though, have a potentially handy new ability to tether over USB-C to an iPad, which makes it a very neat medium format option for on-location studio work.
This is bolstered by the option of charging the X1D II via its USB-C port using a power bank and its relatively (for a medium format camera) low weight of 755g, which is only 10g more than the GFX 50R.
If that’s all enough to compel you to snap up a Hasselblad X1D II, despite its lack of video specifications (Hasselblad says this will be available at a later date), it’s available for pre-order now and will ship in July 2019.