Hasselblad just made a very exciting announcement for very rich, very enthusiastic photography nerds. And I have to admit, that even a not-so-wealthy nerd like me is aching at the site of the new X1D mirrorless camera. The selling point (if something this expensive can be said to have selling points) is that it’s got big medium format camera guts in a lightweight mirrorless body.
Haunt a photography forum or two and you’ll see the Hasselblad brand being treated with the kind of reverence most people save for saints or major political figures they admire. Hasselblad isn’t just another photography company. Its medium-format cameras are an industry standard and used by thousands of photographers looking to take images that more naturally replicate the world as our eyes see it.
A Hasselblad medium format camera also costs about the same as the GDP of some smaller countries. All that “beauty” and “extraordinary rendition of images” costs a fuckton of money.
Ok let’s face it, the X1D is absurd, but for that money, you’re at least buying into some innovation. It’s the first mirrorless medium format camera in existence! For that $9000/£6,076 (plus a minimum $2000/£1,350 for lenses) you can get 50-megapixel images as potentially rich and gorgeous as those from Hasselblad’s £20,000+ rigs.
But, you know, not really. It’s still a mirrorless digital camera and real photography aficionados know that digital, and especially a 1.5 pound mirrorless digital camera cannot compare to the rich and detailed goodness of an image shot on film with a camera. I mean what is this Hasselblad? Amateur hour?!
If you’re interested in replacing your £500 mirrorless camera don’t be. The Hasselblad X1D should be great for quick medium format photography on the go, but it can’t even shoot 4K video, and I can’t use my 4/3 lenses! Instead I have to spend actual money on the only two lenses being released alongside the X1D (for $2400/£1,620 and $2700/£1,823 apiece) or go and invest in one of the super pricey Hasselblad H System lenses.
Is this thing impressive? For sure. Worth it? That depends how many zeros you have in your bank account.