Hasselblad X1D II 50C Full Review: how the medium format mirrorless camera preforms in the studio


I tested Hasselblad’s 50MP mirorrless camera in the studio and put it though its paces next to the 45 megapixel Canon EOS R5 while shooting portraits and flowers.

Hasselblad X1D II 50C: https://amzn.to/2EVoEjP
Hasselblad 120mm F/3.5 XCD Macro: https://amzn.to/30rGq5M
Hasselblad 80mm f/1.9 XCD

Canon EOS R5 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only) https://amzn.to/3a62CpF
Canon BG-R10 Battery Grip https://amzn.to/2Xk2gGK
Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R https://amzn.to/313dAZ3
Sigma 85mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Canon EF https://amzn.to/36svfKw
Sigma 50mm F1.4 Art DG HSM Canon EF https://amzn.to/36qmzE5
Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L IS USM Macro https://amzn.to/2Esgy20

Test charts: https://www.the-digital-picture.com/Reviews/ISO-12233-Sample-Crops.aspx?Lens=1085&Camera=979&Sample=0&FLI=0&API=5&LensComp=1418&CameraComp=1221&SampleComp=0&FLIComp=0&APIComp=5

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In today’s video we’re going to review the Hasselblad X1D Mark II.


Hasselblad provided this camera to me free of cost for about a month. I used it on 4 shoots and used it sparingly on a few of others and would’ve used it more if it wasn’t for Covid related problems. All of my tests were with soft light but I intended to do one more with hard light but I had to cancel.

I hate to say it but originally I didn’t like this camera. The auto focus system is slow. The EVF isn’t great. The black out time is long and the software is a little clunky.

But the more I used the camera and the more that I looked at the images in the computer the more I liked it. There is something about it that feels very tactile and immersive compared to my Canon R5 which I was using a long side it for comparison purposes.

Essentially this camera makes you slow down and be deliberate about your work so that you don’t need to shoot, well as I normally do, about 600 photos during a session. With this cameras I only needed to shoot about 300 frames to get the same results.

But the image quality is what really makes this camera shine.

As a portrait photographer, you’ve got a wait for the strobes to recycle anyway, so this camera just makes you take a little more time to put a little more value into the outcome of each pop. If you’re someone who likes to schizophrenically change your framing or who likes to shoot really wide-open f-stops this camera may not be for you. But if what you’d like to do is to take a picture with solid depth of field where you perfect the posing and the lighting, then you’re going to enjoy the results from this camera. I don’t think this camera is for people who want to run and gun or shoot anything that’s moving.


So first off let’s talk about the design. It’s slightly bigger than a DSLR and the lenses are bigger and heavier than lenses with the same equivalent focal length in the 35 mm format, but the camera itself looks sort of retro and sort of modern at the same time. I like the design overall but one thing that I didn’t like was I had trouble using touching drag autofocus while shooting vertically with my right elbow tucked down and I also frequently changed the shutter speed and f-stop dials by mistake while handling the camera, which isn’t something that usually happens with my Canon camera. When it comes to the LCD and the menus, the user interface is very simple and the interaction with the camera is more like interacting with a smart phone.

Sensor is 4:3

The sensor on this camera is not 2:3 like a DSLR, it’s 4:3 which makes it a lot closer to an 8 x 10 format which has become very popular on social media thanks to Instagram. If you’re cropping the 45mp R5 35mm sensor to 8 x 10 and you crop the 50 megapixel Hasselblad sensor to 8 x 10, the Hasselblad image will be 137 MB versus 107 MB from the Canon camera. 7750 by 6200 and 6830 by 5464 pixels respectively. But the sensor surface area you’re using to create that 8×10 is about twice the size on the Hasselblad and in theory lower pixel destiny results in lower noise and higher image quality.

The electronic viewfinder looks great outdoors and the image that you’re looking at takes up more of your field of view that the image that you see through a DSLR viewfinder. When I was bouncing back and forth between the x1DII and the R% it felt like I was looking at a big image and then through a port hole. However, the X1D EVF becomes quite noisy when shooting in a studio environment and that causes the EVF image to feel very low quality and it’s not a great experience, so hopefully they will improve this with future models.

I think that it is contrast based auto focus and you’re gonna hear a little bit of a sound coming from the lenses too. You have to be patient as it moves in and gets the job done but overall it is pretty accurate as long as you give it time and are patient.

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