Yes, the rumors were true: Hasselblad has been working on a world's first type of mirrorless camera. Today, the Swedish company officially took the wraps off of its X1D, a compact shooter with a massive 50-megapixel, medium-format CMOS sensor. That is the largest sensor we've seen on a mirrorless camera to date, opening up the category to a whole new class of enthusiasts. What's also impressive is how light the X1D is, weighing only 725 grams (roughly 1.5 lbs) without a lens attached.
Other notable features include an XGA electronic viewfinder, a 3-inch (920,000-dot) touchscreen, 100 to 25,600 ISO range, dual SD card slots, GPS, WiFi and USB 3.0. Those specs are, more or less, what you would expect from a mirrorless camera in 2016. That said, video is limited to 1080p at 30 fps -- that's bad news for those who want a 4K shooter with substantial depth of field. Meanwhile, the X1D can capture stills at impressive shutter speeds (60 minutes to 1/2,000th of a second with full flash sync) and up to 14 stops of dynamic range, with support for both RAW and JPEG formats.
Couple all of that with the large medium-format sensor and you have yourself a powerful mirrorless camera. Hasselblad built two all-new lenses (45 and 90mm) for the system, though there will also be an optional adapter to make it work with the twelve Hasselblad H System lenses. The X1D is set to hit stores in August for a whopping $8,995, while the lenses cost $2,295 and $2,695 for the 45mm and 90mm, respectively.
The Hasselblad X1D next to an Olympus OM-D E-M1
Update: Earlier today, Hasselblad let us try the X1D at a press event in New York City. While we only spent about 45 minutes with the new camera, it didn't take long to appreciate its industrial design and, of course, that ridiculous 50-megapixel medium-format sensor. Not surprisingly, the X1D feels as premium as you'd imagine, especially considering its near-$9,000 price tag. That's mostly thanks to the one-piece aluminum chassis, which appears to be coated in a mix of blue and gray colors.
Unfortunately, since the demo unit was a prototype, we weren't allowed to export any sample images from the camera. Hasselblad says the hardware from our hands-on is final, but the current software still needs to be worked on. Speaking of, the user interface on the X1D is inspired by smartphones, featuring a minimalist black-and-white theme with large menu icons. You can browse those via touch on the 3-inch fixed LCD or, conversely, by using one of the two physical control wheels.
In terms of battery life, a Hasselblad spokesperson couldn't confirm exact numbers, but we were told there's a 3,200 mAh removable battery inside the X1D. That should be big enough to get you around 300 shots, if not more, on a full charge. All in all, there's a lot to like here, but we'll hold off on making any final judgements until we test a retail version of the camera.
According to Hasselblad, the X1D should be ready by "late" August. Until then, enjoy the pictures above.