“The refined X1D II makes medium format’s case for being the next full frame, but comes up short of a must-have.”

Excellent 50MP photographs

Large 3.6-inch LCD

60FPS refresh fee

Significantly cheaper than X1D-50C

Beautiful design and craftsmanship

Still comparatively gradual

Contrast-detection autofocus

Low mild AF principally unusable

The medium-format X1D II 50C is a refinement of Hasselblad’s authentic X1D-50C, recognized for its nice picture high quality and irritating consumer expertise. Far from a revolutionary replace, it’s constructed on the identical sensor and makes use of the identical design (albeit with a brand new, and fairly engaging, graphite grey coloration), however brings quite a few small enhancements.
There is one headline replace, nonetheless. The value. At $5,750, it’s 1000’s lower than the unique, pitting it towards flagship full-frame DSLRs from Nikon and Canon, to not point out competing medium format fashions from Fujifilm. This dramatic discount in value is thrilling for high-end fanatics and professionals, and indicators that Hasselblad may see medium format — a minimum of this specific 44mm x 33mm selection — as the subsequent full body.
As full body continues to develop extra reasonably priced, photographers could begin wanting towards a brand new aspirational format for the subsequent step up in picture high quality. The 50MP sensor within the X1D II is a number of years previous, however as a result of it has about 70% extra floor space, it gives a marked enchancment in noise and dynamic vary in comparison with many full-frame sensors. It’s not an enormous distinction in comparison with one of the best full-frame cameras, however for the precise conditions, it may be value it.
I’m unsure the Hasselblad X1D II will encourage most photographers to look past full body. It lacks most of the niceties widespread to cameras from Canon, Sony, and Nikon. Still, it’s value proves Hasselblad is keen to make its model slightly extra obtainable.
What’s new for model II
The authentic X1D left a lot to be desired, however one factor it nailed was the design. The X1D II has left effectively sufficient alone, and it’s nonetheless probably the most lovely digicam available on the market.
It isn’t kind over perform, both. This is a streamlined digicam, nevertheless it places the important controls the place you want them. It additionally has one of the best contact interface within the trade, which helps you to simply rearrange icons to suit your private desire, identical to you possibly can on a telephone. All that is made higher due to a 3.6-inch monitor. The digital viewfinder, in the meantime, now makes use of an OLED panel.
Another new function is the USB-C port, which might now cost the battery whereas within the digicam. I don’t know if many working professionals will benefit from this, nevertheless it’s a pleasant contact, and one thing I used typically all through this overview.
The earlier Hasselblad X1D-50C suffered sluggish efficiency, however that’s been addressed for the X1D II. Start-up time has been minimize in half, though it’s nonetheless a methods away from the instant-on of most full-frame cameras. The refresh fee of the monitor and EVF has elevated to 60 frames per second, an enormous enchancment over the odd 37 fps fee of the unique. Continuous taking pictures has bumped as much as 2.7 fps from simply 2 fps.
User expertise
Performance positive aspects make the Hasselblad X1D II really feel extra usable day-to-day, however make no mistake. This nonetheless isn’t a digicam constructed for quick pictures.
You should benefit from the work of pictures to get probably the most out of it, nevertheless it gives a rewarding expertise for individuals who do. The weighty metallic physique and the deliberate, wait-for-it shutter (which is definitely within the lens) make each publicity really feel like a choice made by committee. Even would-be snapshots or check images tackle a brand new sense of goal. It is the exact opposite to taking photos together with your telephone.
The digicam’s deliberate nature feels exact whenever you wish to take your time. It’s additionally annoying whenever you’re in a rush. Compared to the Fujifilm GFX 100, which I used to be fortunate to be testing on the identical time, the Hasselblad feels antiquated. While the Fujifilm impressed me with its skill to maintain up with a 9-hour wedding ceremony shoot, the Hasselblad doesn’t lend itself to unpredictable shoots. This is generally because of the autofocus, which nonetheless depends on gradual distinction detection and works poorly in low mild.
Autofocus was unreliable whereas taking pictures portraits in a makeshift studio with restricted ambient mild. Often, it could fail to seek out focus in any respect. I had to make use of handbook focus simply to have an opportunity at a pointy shot. That’s irritating when any sub-$1,000 digicam would have been tremendous.
I feel that makes the X1D II an incredible digicam for panorama and tremendous artwork pictures, however there’s no denying that it lacks the flexibility of sooner full-frame cameras.
In a twist, the gradual taking pictures expertise is paired with a contemporary and responsive contact interface. Navigating menus and settings on the X1D II is quicker and simpler than most. Only Blackmagic Design, with its Pocket Cinema Camera line, makes a contact interface equal to Hasselblad’s.
Hasselblad additionally has a brand new tethering resolution for the X1D II that permits you to shoot immediately into an iPad Pro utilizing the Phocus Mobile app. I wasn’t capable of check this function, nevertheless it may very well be a useful gizmo for business photographers.
Image high quality
The X1D II is a high performer on the subject of picture high quality. The largest change over the unique X1D is you can now shoot full-resolution JPEGs, which is good if you happen to want a fast deliverable, however anybody shopping for this digicam is shopping for it to shoot RAW. The RAW recordsdata stay among the many finest within the enterprise and maintain up effectively even towards these from the newer, higher-resolution sensor within the Fujifilm GFX 100. If you don’t want 100 megapixels — few amongst us do — you possibly can’t get higher picture high quality than the X1D II.

Yet it’s a small distinction in comparison with full body, and never one which will probably be value it for almost all of photographers. Most full-frame techniques have a broader collection of lenses accessible, too, and whereas these lenses aren’t objectively higher than Hasselblad’s, they do create extra attainable views. But the X1D II doesn’t goal broad, it goals deep. If your model of pictures matches into its narrower use circumstances, it gives you breathtaking outcomes.

Our Take
In some ways, the X1D II appears like what the primary X1D ought to have been. It’s a gorgeous, expertly crafted machine that additionally occurs to be gradual and cumbersome. In one respect, that’s a part of its allure — the photographic equal of hammering keys on a mechanical typewriter — however is undeniably behind the curve.
The X1D II will discover a residence with tremendous artwork photographers who can make the most of and afford it. For the remainder of us, it’s extra worthwhile as a beacon of what’s to return. Between Fujifilm and Hasselblad, there’s now extra, and extra reasonably priced, medium format cameras than ever earlier than. The X1D II itself will not be able to take over full-frame territory, however the format is wanting more and more engaging.
Is there a greater different?
The closest competitor is the Fujifilm GFX 50R which makes use of the identical sensor and an identical (albeit much less engaging) physique. It’s additionally cheaper, though nonetheless not low cost at $4,500. The 50R doesn’t have all the fashionable tech of the GFX 100, like phase-detection autofocus and picture stabilization, so it doesn’t outperform the X1D II like its $10,000 large sibling does. Whether you prefer it greater than the Hasselblad comes right down to the lenses; Fujifilm’s GF lenses are sometimes inexpensive than Hasselblad’s XCD lenses, however we’ve been impressed with the XCD lenses we’ve examined.
At the danger of sounding like a damaged file, most photographers are nonetheless higher off with a full-frame digicam. The Sony A7R IV will web you extra megapixels for much less cash, plus it has higher autofocus and steady taking pictures velocity.
How lengthy will it final?
This is a really effectively made machine that’s constructed to final for years. Since Hasselblad makes use of lens-based leaf shutters, there’s additionally little in the best way of shifting components throughout the digicam physique itself. Just hold some sensor cleansing provides shut at hand, because the digicam doesn’t have an auto-cleaning sensor.
Should you purchase it?
No. There’s a distinct segment group of photographers who may discover this digicam effectively suited to their wants. However, most individuals — together with professionals — will want a sooner, extra responsive digicam.

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