The Hasselblad X1D 50C and X1D II 50C contributed to the process of redefining the paradigm of medium format photography by enclosing a large sensor into a compact and aesthetically pleasing body. Now that it has been released, the X2D 100C not only has a resolution that is twice as high as that of its predecessors, but it also has a plethora of other remarkable enhancements and brand-new capabilities. In this review, we take a look at the camera and discuss what features it offers and what to anticipate from it.
I had the opportunity to try out the X1D 50C for a few hours a few years ago, and while I absolutely loved having a medium format sensor in such a compact body and the gorgeous files it produced, I found it to be a frustrating camera to use, with a difficultly slow interface and performance. I was only able to use the camera for a few hours.
Therefore, when I was given the opportunity to utilise the X2D 100C, I had high hopes of achieving the same level of image quality as the Hasselblad and achieving those lovely colours in a more compact and speedy package. You may continue reading for additional information, but if you want the gist in one sentence, the camera satisfies expectations.
Design and Body
The 100-megapixel medium format sensor with 16-bit colour is, of course, the feature that draws the most attention, and as you’ll see in the next paragraphs, it lives up to its billing by producing files that are incredibly detailed and rich in colour. Because you can be sure that you’ll end up with renderings that are completely one of a kind, having these kinds of files makes you want to take pictures of even the most boring of subjects.
In addition to that, Hasselblad included a wide variety of other enhancements and brand-new functions. There is also a 7-stop image stabilisation system, which did an outstanding job overall. During the whole month that I had the camera, I did not use a tripod once, and every single file came out extremely clean and sharp.
The autofocus system gains nearly three times as many possible zones and also receives an improvement in its phase detection, which results in a noticeable increase in speed. The PD 3.0 rapid charging capability is a fantastic addition to the device’s quality of life, and fast Wi-Fi makes it possible to download files quickly. In point of fact, I have never once removed the battery; all I have done is added more charge to it while pulling data from the internal SSD via the USB port.
Regarding the one terabyte solid-state drive (SSD), it’s a nice upgrade. This is something that I have been asking camera makers for years, and I am pleased to say that it has finally been implemented here. The performance was lightning quick, and I never had to open the camera even once when transferring pictures from a memory card.
After charging the camera and downloading pictures through USB, I never want to go back to using memory cards or battery chargers again, therefore I hope that more manufacturers will start integrating this feature along with rapid charging in the near future.
The one significant function that is not included in the video, and Hasselblad has said that they do not have any intentions to include it at this moment. To tell you the truth, I could care less about it. Because this is not the kind of camera that any video professional would use, Hasselblad has gone to great lengths to ensure that the user interface is both intuitive and uncluttered. This is done so that the user can maintain their attention on the creative process rather than getting distracted by adjusting settings and navigating menus.
It keeps the alluring appearance of the models that came before it, which is a significant aesthetic achievement. The body is just somewhat bigger and heavier than the X1D versions, yet it is still extremely portable at 31.6 ounces (895 grammes). It is just 35% heavier than a Sony a7R IV and only 21% heavier than a Canon EOS R5, but the camera has the impression of being exceptionally sturdy and long-lasting despite these comparisons. The new lenses, which are equally tiny, look great with the dark grey finish, which has a contemporary and appealing appearance and combines well with them.
The colour top display is fairly large and includes all of the typical information that you would anticipate, such as the exposure settings, the camera mode, the amount of remaining memory space, and the battery life. A convenient feature of this camera is that it immediately notifies you of the remaining battery % whenever you connect it to a power source to be charged.
Because the buttons and dials are logically arranged and easy to understand, I found that I very quickly adapted to the arrangement of the camera, and eventually I was able to operate it without having to take my gaze off of the viewfinder. The shutter button, like the other buttons, has extremely gratifying motion and feedback, and it is easy to make your way around the dials using your thumb and fingers.
It is apparent that Hasselblad had analysed the exact measurements, including the grip as well as the positioning of the buttons, to guarantee that the camera would be easy to use and would feel natural.
Let’s speak about that electronic viewfinder, which, based on my experience, is easily the nicest one I’ve ever used. To begin, it utilises OLED, which enables an endless range of contrast ratios. This is supported by a resolution of 5.76 million dots and a frame rate of 60 frames per second. But if we’re being honest, the feature that stands out the most is the incredible one-time magnification, which is astoundingly high and provides for a terrific shooting experience.
It is much simpler to make decisions regarding composition and to move around with the camera without becoming disoriented if you are someone who likes to shoot with both eyes open. This is because the image in the viewfinder and what your other eye sees are generally going to be close in size to one another.
Let’s move on to the touchscreen and see what it has to offer. It is responsive in addition to being accurate. When compared to the excellent touchscreens found in smartphones, those found on cameras, which often have a slower response time, can be a little frustrating to use. However, this is not the case with this particular model. In addition to that, the screen is really good to look at, which makes it simple to examine photographs and control settings.
The User-Friendliness of the Interface
The user interface is fantastic in my opinion. It is really easy to use and guarantees that you will never waste time getting lost in a menu rather than focusing on the creative process. Immediately upon opening the packaging, I was able to locate everything that I required straight away.
You can see that a lot of attention went into making things easy to understand and accessible by the way Hasselblad designed its products. Although there are fewer ways to customise the camera than with some other models, the options that are available are organised in a way that is quite intuitive and simple to use.
The articulating back screen of the X2D 100C is a novel feature that allows the camera to tilt between 40 and 70 degrees, making it suitable for low compositions. It’s always helpful to have something like that on hand since it allows you to avoid getting down on the ground in order to capture a dramatic photo from a low viewpoint, and I found that I used it a few times while I was shooting.
In conclusion, it is important to point out that the speed with which one may do tasks while using the camera is much improved. When I was using the first generation of the X1D, there were instances when I would lose photos because the camera would randomly stall for a second after I clicked the shutter button. Additionally, moving through things was choppy, and the experience as a whole simply seemed sluggish. This is not the case. The X2D 100C has adequate of power for both typical use and managing those enormous files; you can zoom in to verify the focus without any lag or difficulty using this device.
Another area that has seen a significant amount of progress is this one. The decision made by Hasselblad to use a phase detection technology this time around resulted in a noticeable improvement in performance. When compared to the X1D, I felt that it was a great deal simpler to obtain focus quickly enough that it did not slow down my workflow. In addition to that, accuracy is impeccable. During the period that I had the camera, it did not fail to capture any images.
On the other hand, the autofocus technology that is now available is excessively straightforward. I say “at the moment” because Hasselblad does have plans to introduce features like eye autofocus and tracking, but at the moment, you are limited to a very simple system with only a few point/area sizes and the option to track or single-shot. I say “at the moment” because Hasselblad does have plans to introduce features like eye autofocus and tracking.
People who use medium format cameras with a maximum frame rate of 3.3 frames per second are definitely not the kind who will require really complex autofocus tracking functions, but features such as eye autofocus will undoubtedly be pleased to have. In the meanwhile, the functionality of what is already present is satisfactory.
On paper, the 5-axis, 7-stop in-body image stabilisation of a Hasselblad camera places it among the finest in the business. This is significant because, with 100 megapixels, even the slightest camera shake will be noticeable in the final image. In actual use, it performs really well.
During the course of the month that I had the camera, I made the conscious decision not to use a tripod. Despite the fact that I put the camera through a number of challenging situations, I never once experienced the camera shaking. For instance, the accompanying photograph of fireworks is absolutely crisp despite having been taken with a shutter speed of only 0.7 seconds. In point of fact, I used that shutter speed for a series of ten photographs, and every single one of them produced crisp results. That is such a stunning accomplishment.
According to Hasselblad, the X2D 100C can take 420 images on a single charge, and my own experience mirrored this number. I took 162 photos during the day and did a lot of reviewing on the back screen; as a result, I only used 34% of the battery, which is equivalent to having a battery life of 476 photographs. That is a really good performance for a mirrorless medium size camera.
In addition, thanks to the rapid charging capabilities of PD 3.0, I just needed a brief top-off before I was ready to go again. It is recommended that you bring along a spare battery, although, for the purposes that the vast majority of people use their medium format cameras, a single battery should be plenty.
Quality of the Image
This is why you are presumably here, of course, and the good news is that the X2D 100C creates files that are brimming with detail, have lots of space to be pushed in post-processing, and provide colours that are really stunning, particularly when you are shooting in 16-bit.
Because the hues and particulars were so appealing to my eyes, I frequently found myself directing the camera’s viewfinder toward really unremarkable topics that, under normal circumstances, I would have paid no attention to at all. And while we’re on the subject of particulars, a resolution of 100 megapixels ensures that there is plenty of space for everything.
The addition of that extra resolution allows for more than only the production of enormous prints or the delivery of exceptionally high levels of detail to customers. Additionally, it allows you to crop in and build numerous compositions in post-processing while still keeping a sufficient amount of resolution, making the files far more adaptable.
The progressions in tone and hue are natural and especially seamless. As was noted earlier, there is also a significant amount of leeway for post-processing. For instance, in the photo of the fireworks that were just above, the shadows were nicely brought up approximately two stops and kept together astonishingly well, with very little noticeable noise.
|Body type||SLR-style mirrorless|
|Max resolution||11656 x 8742|
|Effective pixels||100 megapixels|
|Sensor size||Medium format (44 x 33 mm)|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|Image stabilization notes||5-axis|
|CIPA image stabilization rating||7 stop(s)|
|Number of focus points||294|
|Lens mount||Hasselblad X|
|Focal length multiplier||0.79×|
|Touch screen||Yes (TFT)|
|Viewfinder magnification||0.79× (1× 35mm Equiv.)|
|Minimum shutter speed||68 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/4000 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed (electronic)||1/6000 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Flash modes||TTL centre-weighted system, compatible with Nikon System Flashes|
|Metering modes||Center-weightedSpotSpot AF-area|
|Storage types||CFexpress Type B|
|USB||USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 GBit/sec)|
|USB charging||Yes (30W, USB-C PD)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/a/g/n/ac/ax, Wi-Fi with 2×2 MIMO|
|Battery description||USB-C PD (up to 30W)|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||420|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||895 g (1.97 lb / 31.57 oz)|
|Dimensions||149 x 106 x 75 mm (5.85 x 4.17 x 2.93″)|