Hubert Burda Media

The World’s First Mirrorless Medium-format Camera is Here

Those of you who are well-acquainted with the world of photography would’ve heard by now that Swedish camera-maker Hasselblad has claimed the accolade for the world’s first mirrorless medium-format camera. The rest of us “casuals” might still be wondering what a medium-format camera is, let alone a mirrorless one. But fear not, all will be clearer soon enough.

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What is medium-format?

The term “medium-format” means a larger than normal sensor, measuring 43.8mm by 32.9mm. By comparison, sensors in full-frame cameras measure 36mm by 24mm and those in APS-C cameras measure 23mm by 25mm. What this means is that when the pixel counts in all three cameras are equal, the pixels on the medium-format will be largest. Thus, the image quality will be proportionately better than the other two. Click here if you need a more detailed explanation about this. Tom’s Guide also provides a useful comparison between digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras and mirrorless cameras.

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Hasselblad X1D

By incorporating a huge 50 megapixel sensor into a relatively compact body, the Swedish camera-maker aims to give its competition a run for their money. The entire camera, without a lens attached, weighs only 725 grams (lighter than any DSLR models). Essentially, if you get your hands on the X1D, you’re going to have a compact shooter capable of taking ultra-high quality pictures. So what’s the catch?

Firstly, one of the downsides of the X1D is the lack of choices when it comes to lenses. Although there are two all-new lenses for this system (45mm and 90mm), there are only 14 compatible ones in all, which a lot less than dominant brands Canon, Nikon, and Sony. Secondly, the camera is expensive. Very expensive. The X1D will retail for USD$8,995 and the lenses will cost USD$2,295 and USD$2,695 for the 45mm and the 90mm respectively. 

Is this camera worth burning that big a hole in your pocket? Continue to watch this space for updates.