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Hasselblad X1D announcement: 50MP, mirrorless, medium format, 1080p video

The news leaked yesterday, which rather takes the shine off Hasselblad’s big show of secrecy: they’re launching a new digital medium format camera body called the X1D. It is expected to be priced around $9,000 US and well, might feature a video mode…

It’s the first mirrorless digital medium format camera, and given how the technology has shaken up the DSLR market it will be interesting to see if it makes the traditionally stratospherically expensive medium format, er, format, any more attractive to users who want the ‘ultimate’ in digital capture.

Watch the livestream above (UPDATE: Well it’s over now obviously but the event is still available to view on YouTube) from 2pm Swedish time (1pm GMT) – and our own Chuck Fadely will be reporting back with more details later today. Updates below in GMT as they happen…

13:36 Perry’s wrapping up. That’s all folks, we’re back to beautiful advertising video. Wonder if it was shot on an X1D… So a 50MP medium format sensor in a surprisingly compact package that shoots to cheap SD cards and uses all new lenses (not so cheap, probably) – most importantly for us it only appears to shoot 1080p video though. Is that enough to tempt you? $9k US body-only buys you an awful lot of video camera these days…

13:34 Q:More rebadged luxury cameras from Hasselblad? A: No more rebadged cameras. This is product 2 of 2016. More to come. Maybe at Photokina – ‘more surprises’ there.

No more of these...
No more of these…

13:33 XCD lenses as good as H lenses? These lenses – same performance level as H lenses. They’re ‘spectacular.’

13:32 Q: Who is this camera aimed at? A: Pros and ‘dedicated amateurs’ – upgrade from full frame DSLRs. Second body for Hasselblad shooters.

13:31 Q:Why is the price so low? (sic) A: H system is an established system, upgradeable and trade-in able. We want to reach more people with this camera. Through size as well as MP.

13:30 Questions from around the web – was it designed in conjunction with Fuji? Perry: Nope.

13:29 Price ‘competitive in medium format market’ – €7,900

13:28 Demo: July/August. Deliver: August/September. Hit delivery targets with the H6, they aim to do the same here. Collaboration with Billingham to make a custom bag for the camera.

13:27 Perry is back. Journos are welcome to go to Sweden and see the cameras being handmade in Sweden. Excuse me, I’m going to look up flights now…

13:27 ‘If Victor could see us now he would be very proud.’

13:26 All new XCD lenses, AF and MF. Central lens shutter same as H-series lenses. 45mm f/3.5 and 90mm f/3.2 lenses to start with. At Photokina there’ll also be a 30mm lens. H lenses will work with X1D via an adapter.

13:24 14 stops of Dynamic Range – 100-25,600 ISO same CMOS sensor as H6D. Raw or jpeg. Dual SD card slots with full HD video recording @ 25fps.

13:23 Viewfinder is an EVF with customisable displays – WB, gridlines etc

13:22 UI builds on ‘professional’ H6D cameras – interesting, sounds like this is being positioned at a more ‘prosumer’ market. Demo of touchscreen menu (not on stage, VT again) looks smooth and jerk free.

13:21 X1D about the same size as a full frame rangefinder camera – smaller than a DSLR but of course with a much bigger sensor.

13:19 Product manager Ove Bengtsson takes to the stage – stresses importance of portability to Hasselblad. X1D weighs as much as half a Macbook Air – 725g.

13:18 A ‘key partner’ who had a camera under NDA has described the camera as ‘real sexy.’

13:16 First glimpse of camera! Mirrorless as reported yesterday, new lenses, 50MP CMOS sensor.

13:14 More VT. Birds. Dancers. A drone flying over fields. ‘This is home,’ ‘This is life,’ ‘This is creativity.’ This is a brand video.

13:13 Victor Hasselblad was a keen birdwatcher – designed the 1600/500 cameras to be more portable than existing options, with great optical quality. Also, modular.

13:11 A new plan for Hasselblad – lots of money into R&D. 2016 needs great ‘product’ – H6D was designed from scratch. Sold enough in a month to fulfil expectations for the rest of the year.

13:10 (That wasn’t ‘whoops’ as in he fell over – ‘whoops’ as in ‘cheers’)

13:09 Famous photographers use Hassleblads to take pictures of famous people. VT ends. Whoops from the crowd as Perry Oosting, Hasselblad’s CEO takes to the stage. Whoops!

13:08 Pointing out the X-Pan was mirrorless (albeit film-based) in 1998

13:06 Cut to VT of earth from space. A space shuttle! Inspirational music. BTW Hasselblad made cameras that went to space. In space! Still if your cameras had been to space I suppose you would drop it into conversation now and again.

13:04 Reminding us the H6D system launched earlier this year. Awkward pause. Moon landings!

13:02 And we’re off with Damien Demolder, selling Gothenburg as a tourist destination. Also the camera is ‘gamechanging.’ That’s press launch bingo – take a drink, everybody.

13:00 The holding image says ‘1941-2016’ with the second half of each in orange. 75 years. 75 Megapixels? 75mm sensor?

12:58 Been listening to the same jazzy, trancey music loop for about 10 minutes now. Soothing.

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