The new Hasselblad X1D

That iPad moment – The new Hasselblad X1D

Murray Laidlaw June 25th 2016

X1D_Front34_ViewSMLWhen Steve Jobs walked on to the stage back in 2010 and introduced the iPad there was no market for a tablet sized device yet just six years later every major computer manufacturer has a tablet in their product line.

Consider now the APS-C format… I first used the Leica X1 in Paris in May 2010, at the time APS-C was pretty much unknown but this camera broke the rules. Within months Getty had endorsed the images from the X1 as being of sufficient quality for their library. My review of the X1 appeared in Photo Pro magazine in November, the same month that Fuji announced the X100. Now every major player in the photographic industry has APS-C cameras in their range.

This is why the new X1D is such an important product. Right now there is nothing like it in the market, there is no market for a medium format compact camera. The nearest equivalent is the ALPA 12TC based Phase One A Series. There are two significant differences; in the X1D the sensor is built into the body and has an electronic viewfinder. The A-Series is a platform with interchangeable backs and lenses.  Viewfinder options include both an optical glass that mounts above the camera and a wi-fi connection for iPhone or Android devices. It also requires the user to prime the manual shutter and connect to the back with a cable. The only choice on the X1D is which lens to use, everything else is built in and electronic. What’s not to like?


Hasselblad have created a product for which there is currently no discernible market, as did Steve Jobs and Leica swiftly followed by all their competitors. Make no mistake this is a high spec compact medium format camera with a 50MP sensor and a range of top notch glass at a price point that will temp many photographers looking for that elusive combination of the highest quality and extreme portability.

If the X1D is a success and I believe it will be the price of MF sensors should start to tumble and it may be that in a year or two we could be looking at cameras from the other major manufacturers. This is why I believe this product is a game changer, not just for Hasselblad but for the industry.

Everything you could possibly want to know is here 

Images copyright © Hasselblad 2016


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