As soon as Hasselbald announced the XID, I was intrigued. “A mirrorless medium format camera? HOLY SHIT!” So I went to their website to find out more info, saw the specs and the camera’s body and specs. I was impressed and in awe of such a beauty! Hahaha!
As most of you know, I’ve been shooting and developing my own 35mm film recently and I will not lie, I’ve been eyeing film medium format cameras for some time now. But the added cost and pain in the ass that it is to roll a 120 film onto a film reel in the dark is just way too much for me. So when I heard this announcement, I had to find out more.
As I was navigating Hasselblad’s page, I saw the “request a demo”button and clicked on it. I created an account and signed up for a demo. The next day, I received an email from a Hasselblad sales rep, Jim Reed, and he told me that he would have a preview camera for me to check out in New York City. So I wrote back to him and let him know that I would be there on Monday to check out the camera. Below are my impressions.
Look at that 50mp sensor. IT’S HUGE! (43.8mm by 32.9mm)
The first thing I noticed was how light the camera was in my hand. The grip was very comfortable too.
Very simple interface. I dunno how I feel about that color choice for that shutter button (I would’ve gone with a velvety red), but it was very easy and comfortable to access. The mode dial was pretty neat! It’s retractable like a pen! So just one click and it pops up and you can easily switch modes. Click it again and it becomes flush with the machined aluminum body.
The screen’s okay. I can’t really judge it for 2 reasons. 1) It’s a preview camera. 2) The screen protector was in the way. It’s 3 inches with 920k pixels, touch functionality too! You can navigate menus and change settings like aperture and shutter speed with the touch screen. Pretty responsive. You can also pinch, and stretch just like current cellphones to zoom in and quickly check the sharpness of the image.
The electronic viewfinder was, again, okay, nothing to write home about, really. It took some time to switch from live view to the viewfinder. So I didn’t really like that. It wasn’t quick and snappy.
Dual SD card slots. A 16GB card will get you around 240 shots according to the promotional materials. I liked the hinges on the covers. They slide back and pop open and stay open with a spring.
The battery is flush with the camera body itself. It has a locking mechanism that holds it in place so the battery doesn’t fall out when you activate the lever. You press it once, it clicks and the battery pops right out. I asked the reps there about battery life. They couldn’t tell me, so I don’t really have an answer. The rep did tell me the battery has a capacity of 3200 mAh. So figure it out I guess.
The guy holding the camera is Jon. Very nice and very helpful.
Here’s a view from the side.
Here’s two dudes and the camera to give a you a sense of scale.
Well, these were the images I managed to snag with my LG G3 cellphone. I apologize for the bad quality. I had my D750 with me, but I just wanted to get the shots quickly without a lot of fuss.
All in all, I think it’s a pretty cool camera. It’s got some issues, but I can’t really make a final judgement since this is a preview camera and not a final product. I do have some concerns though. The write speed was atrocious. I would take a shot and it would take forever to display after pressing the preview button. Now, I know it’s a medium format sensor writing a 50mp file and it could’ve just been the SD card’s fault. But I still think it’s bad considering the price of the camera: $8,995.00. The viewfinder didn’t impress me at all and made me feel the same way about all electronic viewfinders: I don’t like them. But it’s mirrorless, so I get it.
Hasselblad is onto something with this little guy and I hope they fix some of the little problems I encountered. Again, this was only a preview camera, so anything can change ( I don’t know how much though) and this was only a first impressions post and my opinion. I’m sorry I couldn’t post any actual images taken by the camera, we weren’t allowed to do so. So let me know what you think about it so far and ask me any questions. I’ll answer them as best as I can. Thanks for stopping by and have a wonderful weekend!
Fernando A. López