Hasselblad X2D 100C: Incredible resolution, beautiful imperfections

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aAfter releasing two previous models, Hasselblad finally seems to have nailed a compact medium format camera. X2D 100CDouble the resolution of its predecessor with a 100-million-pixel back-illuminated sensor that promises stunning image quality and an attractive design. However, it has limited autofocus capabilities, no video, and a high price. Is this just a luxury item or for serious photographers?

My friend Nathaniel Charpentier, a professional photographer, wanted to know. He wanted to know if the X2D could help him take more creative photos than he does today. Sony A1 And the A9 camera. At the same time, he was looking to use it to complement his existing setup in certain situations, rather than replace it.

While the X2D clearly works well and takes great shots in a controlled studio environment, Nathanel wanted to test it in more challenging scenarios such as live events. As such, he filmed theater groups, several professional scenarios, musicians, and night outs. I used both Hasselblad and his Sony A1 for comparison. He also shot himself for testing in low light, landscapes, etc.

Body and handling

X2D is Fujifilm’s 100 million pixel GFX 100SOn the one hand, the Fuji model comes with more advanced tech like AI autofocus that detects eyes and faces. However, Hasselblad offers better industrial design, handling and build quality.

Physically, there are no more differences. The GFX 100S looks like other Fuji mirrorless cameras, only bigger, but the X2D is sleeker and more modern. It has almost the same design and controls as the . X1DⅡ and X1D first introduced in 2017, with some improvements. It’s great because the body is beautiful and practical. However, it has some usability quirks.

Gallery: Hasselblad X2D 100C | | 23 photos

The control layout is sparse compared to the GFX 100S and most other modern mirrorless cameras. There are front and rear dials for key settings, along with ISO/white balance, mode, power, exposure lock, display and menu buttons. They are generally responsive and have a high-quality feel.

At 895 grams it’s relatively light for this category, but still quite heavy. Luckily, the large, non-slip grips are easy to hold and the X2D is comfortable for all-day sessions. Ergonomically, it’s generally easy to use, but I missed being able to move the AF point with the joystick. This has to be done using either the display or the dial, which can be tricky.

The menu system is similarly simple. The main settings he has available on one screen, and all others have their own categories such as focus, exposure and general settings. Again, it’s easy to use, but a few extra manual controls come in handy when you need to make adjustments on the fly.

The X1D II had a fixed display, but the 3.6-inch has a 2.36 million-dot touchscreen. Fortunately it’s bright, sharp and responsive as it’s the only way to change many settings. Unlike past models, it tilts up, but only 70 degrees, which is insufficient for very low shooting angles. Also, looking straight down is slightly obstructed by the large protruding viewfinder (EVF).

Steve Dent/Engadget

Speaking of which, the organic EL EVF is also a strength. It features a sharp 5.76 million dots resolution, a 60 fps refresh rate and a huge 100% magnification. We also offer electronic diopter adjustment for those who wear glasses, which has proven to be effective and cool. is like taking an eye test.

Above the CFexpress Type B slot, the X2D has a built-in 1TB SSD, enough to hold over 3,000 RAW and JPEG shots. It has enough speed and capacity to hold and transfer huge images. I’ve never used the CFexpress slot except as a backup, but it’s also nice to have a high speed card slot for fast transfers.

At 420 shots, battery life is better than its predecessor, but still on the low end, and the numbers are pretty accurate in our experience. It can be fully charged in about 2 hours and run on AC power in the studio. Still, we recommend an extra battery and optional dual battery charger ($155 surcharge).

Hasselblad X2D 100C: incredible resolution, beautiful flaws

Steve Dent/Engadget

If you’re shooting in the studio, you can use the Phocus app (Windows or Mac) for remote triggering and photo organization. Offers exposure bracketing, but no live view or way to change settings.

Finally, while the X2D 100C is well made, Hasselblad doesn’t say if it’s weatherproof. So for landscape photography in bad weather, the GFX 100S might be a better choice as it’s rated by Fujifilm for dust and splash protection.

Nathaniel: My first impression is the handling. We found the ergonomics to be very good. It is quite heavy, but it has a high grip, so you can always hold it firmly. It was easy to change key settings such as ISO, shutter speed and aperture, but moving the autofocus point was a bit cumbersome. I was able to shoot fairly quickly once I got used to the controls.


With the new processor, the X2D boots much faster than before (2 seconds compared to 4 seconds) and is generally significantly faster than the X1D II. Hasselblad has three new Series V lenses (38mm f/2.5, 55mm f/2.5, and 90mm f /2.5).

Hasselblad X2D 100C: incredible resolution, beautiful flaws

Steve Dent/Engadget

Speed ​​isn’t what the camera was designed for, but it can handle about 3.3 images per second (14-bit mode only). This isn’t bad considering the 215MB RAW frame size. expensive.

Past models only had contrast-detect autofocus, but the X2D finally has excellent hybrid phase-detect AF. However, the implementation is not ideal. The single, small AF point was often not accurate enough for very shallow depth of field.

Eye and face detection are also not available, although Hasselblad has indicated that they will come in a future update.Engadget has reached out to the company to confirm when that will happen.

In any case, Nathanel didn’t care too much about perfect AF, often preferring manual focus. As with any mirrorless camera, manual manipulation of the focus ring activates the magnification system. However, this is the best implementation I’ve seen. The high resolution of the sensor allows for a large 100% zoom and is very sharp on the high resolution display. At the same time, the improved focus clutch on the new V lenses makes fine-tuning focus much easier.

Hasselblad X2D 100C: incredible resolution, beautiful flaws

Steve Dent/Engadget

Hasselblad’s famous mechanical leaf shutter built into the lens minimizes noise and vibration and allows flash sync up to speeds of 1/2000. Like Fuji’s GFX100, the extreme rolling shutter makes the electronic shutter practically unusable for most moving subjects.

Finally, the X2D is equipped with a new stabilization system developed from the ground up by Hasselblad for large sensors. A claimed 7 stops of blur reduction is possible compared to 6 stops on the GFX 100S. This allowed me to take sharp pictures even at shutter speeds as low as 1/5th of a second.

Nathaniel: Initially, we shot mostly in manual focus. I didn’t mind as there are some tools that help a lot with that. Turning the focus ring zooms in, and you can clearly see the focus. Later, as I learned all the quirks of autofocus and found ways to make it work better, I started using it more often. I took sharp pictures most of the time.

image quality

Gallery: Hasselblad X2D 100C sample image gallery | | 28 photos

The X2D’s biggest weapon is its new 100-megapixel back-illuminated sensor. Probably the same one used by Fujifilm on his GFX 100S and proprietary sensor. H6D-100CFor reference, the X2D has a pixel size of 3.76 micrometers, the same as Sony’s 61-megapixel A7R V. You can shoot JPEG, 10-bit HEIF, or 16-bit RAW photos.

Hasselblad says it has over 15 stops of dynamic range, which is greater than any camera I’ve tested so far. We are offering

All in all, the X2D offers the best images I’ve ever seen directly from a camera. The color rendering is excellent and, of course, the images are sharper and more detailed than almost any camera on the market. This is backed by new XCD V-series lenses that offer incredible sharpness right to the edge of the frame.

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