In the world of digital photography, it is difficult to stand out among so many models, especially at the high end. Hasselblad has returned to the medium format with the Hasselblad X2D 100C, with a huge 100 MP sensor, with features that competitors can only dream of. And it finally has a stabilized body that allows handheld shooting of such a large camera.
Photography is increasingly dominated by cell phones, with small sensors and artificial intelligence far outweighing all the technical problems that come with their size limitations. If you want to make a difference, the solution is simple, increase the sensor size. And one of the giants of the medium format is precisely Hasselblad, as we saw at its factory. And it’s hitting the table with the new Hasselblad X2D 100C.
Hasselblad X2D 100C technical details
|Hasselblad X2D 100C|
|Sensor||Back-illuminated CMOS (BSI),|
|Resolution||100 MP (11656 × 8742 pixels, pixel size 3.76 μm)|
|ISO Sensitivity||ISO Auto, 64, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800, 25600|
|Capture Rate||3.3fps with 14-bit color depth|
|Focus||Single-shot autofocus (AF-S) and manual focus (MF). Instant manual focus override. Autofocus by contrast and phase detection. Focus indicator: 100% zoom or Focus Peaking in MF. Up to 294 autofocus phase detection zones (PDAF – Phase Detection Autofocus).|
|Visor||OLED, 5.76 million pixels. Viewed area: 100%. Magnification: approx. 1.00x|
|Screen||3.6″ TFT, 24-bit color, 2.36 million pixels. Touch functionality: full. Tilt angle: 40°, 70°.|
|Stabilizer||built-in camera body: 5-axis 7-step|
|Storage||1TB internal SSD hard drive. CFexpress Type B card slot (max. 512GB)|
|Battery||Li-ion battery (7.27 VDC/3400 mAh) rechargeable from the camera via USB-C port.|
|Dimensions||148.5 × 106 × 74.5 mm|
|Weight (Grams)||895g (camera body with battery); 790g (camera body only)|
Hasselblad makes professional cameras very easy to use, one of its main assets. The tricky part, as always, is that we have to be good photographers. With this camera, it’s all up to us. The exposure, the focus point, and all the technical issues that cell phones and artificial intelligence free us from. In a way, it is a return to the origins of the best of today’s technology.
Hasselblad X2D 100C, the most complete medium-format camera of the moment
The great classics of chemical photography had a hard time getting into chemical photography. It seemed that they were losing their identity, which is nothing more than an ode to mechanics and technical perfection, added to the mythical aura that their brands exude.
Leica and Hasselblad are a perfect example of a faltering beginning that has finally turned into a phoenix. At the Swedish company, they found their way back to popularity with the X1D-50c and its excellent upgrade, the X1D II 50C. And with the Hasselblad X2D 100C set the standard for what a medium format camera should be in the 21st century.
The secret is to offer the same as a mirrorless camera, matching the size and technological features, but offering a larger sensor size, which allows higher quality thanks to a higher resolution, which in this case reaches 100 Megapixels, making it one of the cameras with more millions of pixels in history.
These technological features are, apart from the new back-illuminated sensor, the body stabilized with a 5-axis system that allows shooting with up to 7 steps, an autofocus system with 294 phase detection zones (until now its Achilles heel); and a 1 TB SSD hard disk to store all the photographs of a session.
Hasselblad’s new flagship camera
The new Hasselblad X2D 100C improves on all the negative points of the previous model. To begin with, the autofocus system is similar to that of most modern cameras, as it has a phase and contrast detection system that refines and improves focusing precision, although it only has 294 points, far below 1053 of the OM System OM-1, for example.
It also incorporates a 5-axis stabilization system that allows shooting up to 7 points below normal. This makes it a perfect candidate for handheld shooting without fear of shaking, a problem the previous model faced time and time again. So we can turn it into an expensive street photography camera.
Availability and price of the Hasselblad X2D 100C
Along with the new camera, Hasselblad has introduced the new XCD 2.5/38V, XCD 2.5/55V, and XCD 2.5/90V lenses in the XCD series. They feature brighter and more compact lenses than their predecessors, but with an improved focusing motor to assist the new focusing system of the Hasselblad X2D 100C.
Medium format camera lenses have a central shutter that allows flash sync at any speed, making them the best for studio work. For example, mirrorless cameras can only shoot, on average, at 1/250 at full power with a studio flash. With medium format cameras, we can go up to 1/4000 without any trickery.
These new lenses allow you to switch from manual to autofocus by simply moving the focus ring, like some competitive models. If we get all three, we have a wide angle, normal, and short telephoto lens at our fingertips, which covers the needs of any photographer.
Again, the problem may be the price, as the XCD 2.5/38V and XCD 2.5/55V cost €4,199, and the XCD 2.5/90V costs €4,799. The best news, for those who can afford this equipment, is that they are already available.
It’s not a system for everyone, but it’s a perfect kit for studio and landscape photography. The difference will be noticeable in any setting, but it will be evident when the photographer is making large enlargements. And it also allows you to go back to the days when the photographer was responsible for every step that needs to be taken to achieve perfection.
It is heavier, a bit bigger, but with more features than the previous model. The only problem it has, in the eyes of many photographers, is the price. It costs €8,699, which means it is more expensive than the highest resolution mirrorless cameras on the market, such as the Sony A1 (50.1 MP) or the Nikon Z9 (45.7 MP) which cost about €1,000 less.