Hasselblad X2D 100C Review (2023): Truly Gorgeous Images

Hasselblad’s title is synonymous with medium format pictures. From the long-lasting 500 collection movie cameras to 2016’s X1D, which was the primary digital, compact (effectively, comparatively), medium format mirrorless digicam. The authentic X1D’s picture high quality was excellent, however sadly, the remainder of the digicam left a lot to be desired. Even the second mannequin, which sped issues like autofocus and processing up significantly, was nonetheless not fairly there (6/10, WIRED Review).

Now Hasselblad has launched the X2D 100C, together with some new XCD V lenses, and I’m completely happy to say, that is the digicam Hasselblad followers have been ready for. It delivers gorgeous, huge RAW recordsdata, is lots quick sufficient, and stays compact sufficient to really feel such as you’re capturing with a DSLR.

But it is nonetheless a Hasselblad: At $8,200, plus one other $4,000 or so for a lens, it is not an reasonably priced digicam for amateurs. And but, for the correct of photographer, the X2D delivers.

Finally Faster

The centerpiece of the X2D is a brand new picture sensor. The sensor is identical bodily dimension as that of the X1D II, however the megapixel rely is double. The sensor is 11,656 x 8742 pixels, which really places it barely over 100 megapixels, and it has a 4:3 facet ratio. Hasselblad additionally touts the 15 stops of dynamic vary its 16-bit recordsdata will ship. Do these stats sound acquainted? It could be as a result of Fujifilm’s GFX100 medium format mirrorless makes use of a really related sensor.

Photograph: Hasselblad

That hefty sensor dimension renders some extremely sharp photographs with very good micro-contrast within the particulars. It is in each manner higher than the earlier sensor Hasselblad used within the X1D, and among the best in the marketplace proper now. The solely draw back is that you just get some huge picture recordsdata. If you find yourself with an X2D, remember to seize some spare SSD storage drives (and we’ve a guide to SSDs here), as a result of RAW recordsdata from this digicam are over 200 megabytes per picture. Even the “fine” JPEGs are between 60 and 80 megabytes, relying on the scene.

The different, to my thoughts, even higher improve within the X2D is a brand new processor. Huge picture recordsdata are good, however not so nice if it takes without end to shoot them, because it did with the X1D. This time round I discovered that, whereas no pace demon, the X2D is quick sufficient that I did not discover any lags. The processor improve is paired with an autofocus improve that now makes use of 294 part detection factors, which covers practically all the sensor. That helps make it noticeably quicker.

While the autofocus system within the X2D is a big enchancment, it is nowhere close to what you may discover in full-frame flagship cameras just like the Sony A9 or Canon R5. It jogged my memory quite a lot of Fujifilm’s autofocus system, which on paper is not very spectacular, however out in the actual world, at the very least for the type of capturing I do, each the Fujifilm and Hasselblad autofocus techniques are adequate 90 p.c of the time. The X2D is just not the digicam I’d seize to shoot sporting occasions, and it undoubtedly had some bother in backlit scenes (which is the place all autofocus techniques fall down), however for many conditions it was correct sufficient, although it does are likely to hunt at occasions. The different factor to notice right here is that to get the complete good thing about the brand new autofocus pace, you may must be utilizing certainly one of Hasselblad’s new lenses. While the corporate’s legacy glass will work with the X2D, it will not be practically as quick to focus.

The X2D now contains in-body picture stabilization, which Hasselblad says provides as much as seven stops of stabilization. The firm says you’ll be able to shoot handheld at as much as one-second shutter pace, which was borne out in my testing. I’m fortunate to have fairly regular arms, and I used to be in a position to shoot all the best way as much as 1.5 seconds with out blur. On the flip facet, any shake may be very seen with a sensor that information this stage of element.

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