I am honored to be the first batch of trial photographers for Hasselblad X1D II 50C. I have experienced this epoch-making medium format digital camera and experienced an unparalleled imaging experience. I think it is the best digital camera for me.
X1D II 50C is a medium format mirrorless digital camera launched by HASSELBLAD, a technology leader in high-end medium format digital camera. Equipped with a medium format sensor with 50 million pixels, it perfectly takes into account the advantages of image quality and portability in the medium format digital camera system. So, it is the best digital camera.
X1D II 50C continues the image quality and portability of the previous generation, and is also upgraded on the basis of the previous generation, including a new electronic platform, a large touch screen increased to 3.6 inches, and a higher-pixel OLED EVF viewfinder. X1D II 50C is equipped with a 50-megapixel medium format CMOS sensor, which can present 16-bit color depth and 14-level dynamic range.
Hasselblad officially released the new generation of medium-format mirrorless camera X1D II 50C on the evening of June 19. While bringing minor updates to the new machine, the official also lowered the price of the new machine. At the same time, I also bought two new lenses, XCD 65mm F2.8 and XCD 30mm F3.5.
After a week of experience, I found that the X1D II 50C still focuses on image quality. Although the performance of the X1D II 50C may not be satisfactory to all full-frame old users, the excellent image quality performance of the medium format is definitely a reason to experience and buy.
- The appearance has really not changed much
In terms of styling, the design of X1D II 50C can be said to be almost the same as the previous generation.
▲ The volume comparison of the old X1D-50c and H6D-50c
Compared with the traditional medium-format camera H6D series, the X1D II 50C has a more compact shape, and the general one-shoulder camera bag can fit a camera with two lenses at will. For photographers who often go out to shoot, X1D II 50C is also very convenient to carry.
Hasselblad has reduced the weight of the X1D II 50C. The new machine is 766 grams with a battery and an SD card, and the single body weighs 650 grams. Compared with the old body of 750 grams, the X1D II 50C probably reduces the weight of a battery.
However, although the X1D II 50C has reduced the body weight by 100g, the actual hand-held feeling has not changed significantly.
The handle of the X1D II 50C is large enough to give people an impression of a very stable grip. If you are a user who is accustomed to the two generations of Sony α7 or α7 II, then you can get a significant improvement in grip from the X1D II 50C.
The part of the inner side of the handle that connects to the fuselage has a slot, which allows the user to hold more space to adjust the posture. The back of the handle also has a naturally raised design, which is convenient for the user to transfer part of the supporting force to the thumb and improve the stability of the hand. The front and rear dials on the handle are easy to reach, and it is also convenient to adjust the parameters.
However, even with the added benefit of ergonomic design, the X1D II 50C with the lens is still too heavy, and the handle cannot relieve the pressure caused by the hand.
So next I’m going to start probing.
The slot reserved for the middle finger of the X1D II 50C grip handle is not big enough. If the index finger wants to switch between the shutter and “ISO control” and “AF/MF” buttons, it must also span a certain space. When switching the buttons, the handle it will also hinder the palm of the hand. When the user switches between different buttons, the holding pressure will increase, and the machine will naturally become unstable.
X1D II 50C is not light. It weighs 1.4 kilograms with the XCD 60mm F2.8 lens, which is 150 grams heavier than the MacBook Air currently on sale.
But this is also forgivable. After all, in order to cater for the image quality needs of medium format users, it is impossible for the XCD series of lenses to be made small or light. Although it is lighter than the HCD series lens, it is not much different. In terms of portability, there is still a gap between the XCD and the 135 full-frame system.
In addition, in order to ensure the texture of the fuselage itself, it seems that Hasselblad has to abandon the all-metal fuselage. So even if it becomes the flagship portable X1D series, the X1D II 50C has not changed much in the handheld shooting experience.
However, as a one-week user of best digital camera, I suggest that you always have a shoulder strap, because you can hold a 1.4 kg camera for street shooting without a shoulder strap, which is not only a test my camera of shooting, but also a test my camera of muscles.
In terms of framing, Hasselblad replaced it with a 3.6-inch 2.36 million-pixel touch screen this time, which is a bit larger than the 3.0-inch screen used in the previous generation. X1D II 50C has also been replaced with a 3.69-million-pixel OLED electronic viewfinder with a refresh rate of 60fps. While the viewfinder size has become larger, the refresh rate has also been increased to 60fps.
The dual SD card slots and interfaces of the X1D II 50C are placed on the left side of the fuselage, and are also covered by a dust cover. Hasselblad provided two 3.5mm ports this time, one for external microphones and the other for monitoring, which is convenient for users who use X1D II 50C to shoot videos.
The USB-C interface next to the 3.5mm interface is used for data transmission and charging. Users can connect the computer, iPad and X1D II 50C through the USB-C to USB-C cable, and then use the Phocus or Phocus launched by Hasselblad Mobile 2 transfers and processes pictures.
The battery compartment is placed at the bottom of the grip handle, and Hasselblad has added a double insurance design here. After opening the lever, the user needs to press it lightly to remove the battery.
However, although this can reduce the loss of the battery compartment, it can also prevent the battery from being dropped. Here, if the user does not pay attention and wants to forcibly remove the battery, it will damage the structure.
In terms of appearance, the changes of the X1D II 50C compared to its predecessors are almost negligible. Although the weight loss of 100 grams is considered an improvement, it does not actually change the substantial manipulation experience.
It is considered a lighter one in medium format equipment, but there is still a big gap between it and full-frame equipment.
So where is the upgrade of this new product? Let us find out.
- Upgrade 1: Brand new processor, camera speed is more block
Compared to the previous model, the Hasselblad X1D II 50C with a new processor has a significant improvement in overall response and data processing speed, including camera startup speed, continuous shooting speed, shutter time lag and picture display speed. After the hands-on experience, I found that this speed increase is effective in the shooting process, making the whole shooting process more smooth.
- Upgrade 2: After the upgrade, the electronic viewfinder can see more clearly
The Hasselblad X1D II 50C uses a brand new 3.69-million-pixel OLED screen material electronic viewfinder, with a magnification of 0.87 times and a refresh rate of 60fps to obtain a smoother picture in real-time viewing. Thanks to the characteristics of the OLED screen material, the contrast of the electronic viewfinder is higher, and the picture seen through the viewfinder is clearer even in strong light or backlit shooting environments.
- Upgrade 3: The largest display screen, touch control is easier
Up to now, the Hasselblad X1D II 50C camera has the largest display screen in the field of interchangeable lens cameras, which means that photographers can more easily view images or adjust parameters on the screen. The pixels of the display screen are significantly larger than those of the previous generation. Upgrading is more conducive to delicately restoring every detail of the photo.
Following the interactive design of the previous generation of products, the Hasselblad X1D II 50C camera still supports gesture operations such as single-click, double-tap, two-finger zoom and edge sliding, which greatly improves the efficiency of operations. On top of the original foundation, the function of adjusting the focus point size directly through two-finger zooming and adjusting the focus point position by tapping or dragging in the live view mode has also been added to make shooting easier.
- Upgrade 4: Optimized user interface, easier to use
Hasselblad has greatly optimized the UI interface of the X1D II 50C camera to ensure that it is more suitable for large-size displays. The layout of the parameter interface maintains the high-resolution design of the previous generation of products.
The three important parameters of sensitivity, aperture, and shutter speed are clearly located. In addition, more quick settings have been implemented on the functional modules, such as the adjustment of shooting modes, in the main interface You can switch between different modes by downloading, and at the same time support the setting of related parameters in this mode.
With the “speed dial” design on the main interface, users can customize common functions and edit the layout of the “speed dial” by dragging or long pressing, just like a smart phone. The deepest four-level menu structure with multiple gesture operations makes everything simple.
- Picture quality is the real reason to attract us to upgrade
You should know that the reason why pictures can be taken with texture and objects can have a better three-dimensional effect is mostly presented by the tones produced by light. The advantage of medium format over full frame is precisely that the middle tone between light and dark have more delicate layers, which brings better texture.
In terms of image quality, the X1D II 50C is still equipped with the classic 50-megapixel medium-format sensor with a size of 43.8 × 32.9 mm. It also has 16bit color depth and 14-stop dynamic range. It also supports Hasselblad’s own HNCS Hasselblad Natural Color solution.
As you can see from the proofs, the pictures of X1D II 50C have a good texture. The excessive light and shade in the photo are very natural, the highlights and dark details can also be preserved, and there is enough room for post-production.
Users can use post-production software such as Lightroom and Hasselblad Phocus to restore the details hidden in the highlights and shadows.
Color is also a major advantage of X1D II 50C imaging. With the blessing of Hasselblad HNCS, the pictures taken by the X1D II 50C have good color effects. While this color is prominent and bright, it can also ensure the effect of natural color, and the color transition is natural.
Of course, the focus of the 50-megapixel sensor is still on image resolution.
▲ 100% zoom in original image
As you can see from this photo of a high-rise building, the details of the photo are very prominent. After 100% magnification, the details of the room windows, air conditioners and protective nets can also be clearly preserved.
In addition to the advantages of high pixels, the X1D II 50C outsole is easy to shoot with shallow depth of field. Even if the distance is not too close, the X1D II 50C with XCD 65mm F2.8 and XCD 30mm F3.5 lenses can get a very natural blur effect.
The picture quality of the X1D II 50C is indeed very good, but it is not easy to control the picture quality. If you are a user accustomed to the 135 system, you have to adapt to some changes after switching to X1D II 50C.
The most important thing is the angle of view and the viewfinder ratio. The X1D II 50C is the same as other cameras using the “4433” medium format sensor. The viewfinder ratio is also 4:3, which is different from the full-frame 3:2 ratio.
When calculating the equivalent vision, the equivalent coefficient of a medium-format camera with a larger sensor than the full-frame is less than 1. This calculation method is also different from when we usually use a machine with a smaller frame than the full frame.
For example, X1D II 50C and Sony A7M2, Sony A77M2 are connected to a 50mm lens, and then calculate the equivalent focal length according to their respective equivalent coefficients:
- A77M2 uses an APS-C sensor with an equivalent coefficient of 1.5, and the focal length after equivalent 35mm format is about 75mm
- A7M2 uses a full-frame sensor with an equivalent coefficient of 1, and the equivalent focal length of the 35mm format is 50mm
- X1D II 50C uses a 44×33 format medium format sensor, the equivalent coefficient is about 0.78, and the focal length after equivalent 35mm format is about 39mm
After the equivalence, the angle of view of the X1D II 50C is actually shorter than the focal length of the lens, and the angle of view, picture distortion and other elements will also change. The user needs to adjust the shooting distance when shooting, and also needs to adjust other parameters according to the focal length, in order to take a suitable photo. In this process, users also need time to adapt.
As a picture quality machine user who has not updated the camera for a long time, I can also intuitively feel the substantial improvement in picture quality from the proofs. Especially the Hasselblad Natural Color Science HNCS, the improvement of resolution brought by high pixels, and the natural transition effect of light and dark in medium format imaging, etc., these are the reasons that attract me to update.
Although the X1D II 50C does not have the visual impact of a 100-megapixel camera, the X1D II 50C is also attractive in imaging for users who want to transition from the 135 full-frame body to the medium-format camp.
However, the operating mode and response of X1D II 50C is indeed a bit awkward. If Hasselblad can further improve the performance of the camera, the X1D II 50C will be more comfortable to experience. However, it is still the best digital camera in my mind