It's always honorable seeing brands like Hasselblad create initiatives to celebrate women at making their mark into the photography industry and that is pretty male-dominated.
Let me start this review by saying that is the best product I have ever reviewed so far! Still a novelty but we love making reviews on ABDZ. Being able to test products and share our thoughts to you guys is quite rewarding; we will work effortlessly to do more in the upcoming new year. On the other hand, smartphones have changed so much during the course of 5 years time. Our standards are also higher in terms of features of what we want of our phone. We want a big battery, waterproof, fast charging and etc etc etc. For me, it’s all about the camera, I personally love photography. We all have heard the saying: “The best camera is the one you always have with you”, yes I can agree to that. As a user of the Google Pixel, it’s quite clear that I was ditching my DSLR at times, quite frequently to be honest. Well my perspective definitely have changed after using the Hasselblad X1D and let me tell you why.
This is the review of the world’s first 50mp compact mirrorless medium format camera, introducing the X1D by Hasselblad. I had the opportunity to try the X1D for one week, I tried my best to capture images in different situations including low light exposure. The results were so incredible that the images shown in this review are not edited, I really wanted to show you the quality of this camera and how this camera made me fall in love with photography even more.
My gear for the review
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My first Impressions
When you first hold the X1D in your hands, you can feel and see how much work went into the ergonomic and compact design. Every single detail has been carefully designed, I loved the grip where it’s also the battery storage. There is a great balance in the grip between big hands and small hands when you actually hold the X1D. Pretty impressive! I love the minimal approach and limitation of physical buttons on the camera where you have your AF/MF, ISO, option dial, shutter and power. It’s pretty much everything you need. The camera comes with a rear LCD screen with touch control; it’s sharp and gorgeous. The user experience of the interface feels just like a smartphone. You can easily access the settings with swiping and pinch to zoom. Within less than a day and you can be pretty familiar with the touch screen. It’s overall a very splendid camera to look, it's made of aluminium for a strong durability. There is also a note that says "Handmade in Sweden" that is just as big as the model signature. It’s a pretty bold statement and quite lovely.
Smartphone Vs Medium Format Sensor
As I mentioned earlier, the best camera is the one you always have with you. The X1D comes with a 50 megapixels CMOS large sensor powerful enough to basically capture anything. It's a mirrorless design combined with autofocus lenses capable of taking very high-resolution images. I personally felt the autofocus was slow for my own style, I used the X1D for street photography where the action really is. It's not recommended to do so but I wanted to test the X1D as if it was suiting my own photographic style. Besides that, the pictures I took were just breathtaking, you become suddenly in love with the simple things of life because you are now equipped with a performance camera that can capture the true natural colours. Here is a vivid representation of what your smartphone sensor is compared to a medium format like the X1D.
Hasselblad X1D Gallery
Hasselblad 3F Raw File vs JPEG
On the side of the X1D, there is dual slot for your SD cards, you would generally have them setup one for the RAW and the other one for JPEG. The X1D doesn’t shoot 50mp JPEG file, in fact the files are roughly around 5-6MB and 110MB for the RAW file. You can definitely use the JPEGs for sample and proofing but you won’t be able to have 50mp JPEG file.
Shooting with the Hasselblad X1D
During my week with the X1D, I took several rides around the city and tried to capture the city of Montreal in its authenticity. Shooting with this camera reminded of a beautiful track from a Korean movie: A Bittersweet Life, a song by Yuhki Kuramoto called "Romance". Yes, you have heard it right, I totally fell in love with the X1D. There is so much passion in the making of this camera that it becomes part of you are or become. This experience really has made me fall in love with photography, even more than what I was before. I use photography as a medium to express my creativity and with the X1D, I was able to go beyond photographing things in its purest form. What do you see with your eyes gets captured and the results are exactly what you saw. That's the beauty of the X1D because of its highest score on the DXOMark for its colour depth, dynamic range and low-light ISO. All the shots presented in this review are NOT edited.
Shot on Hasselblad X1D
- Stunning ergonomic and compact design
- 50mp medium-format pictures
- Worth the investment
- Slow autofocus
- Battery life can be improved
With the Hasselblad X1D, it is a clear statement that digital cameras are here to stay. We understand how technology has evolved and will continue to perfect the small sensor on the smartphones. But there is nothing more true to the essence of photography to carry your "big bulky camera" for a ride around your city, country or the world. Even though the Hasselblad X1D doesn't come at a cheap price, I would personally invest my money for my own perfection.