Hasselblad to announce H5D-50c medium format camera with CMOS sensor

After Hasselblad quietly replaced its CEO (does this means the end of the Lunar and Stellar?), the company announced today the launch of the H5D-50c - the world's first medium format camera with a 50MP CMOS sensor (medium format sensors are CCD). Some of the main advantages of the CMOS sensor are better ISO, faster capture rate and longer shutter speed.

Press release:

Hasselblad set to launch world’s first medium format CMOS sensor camera

Hasselblad is set to launch the world's first 50MP medium format camera using CMOS sensor technology. The groundbreaking H5D-50c will go on sale in March.

Ove Bengtson, Hasselblad Product Manager said: "This pioneering 50 megapixel CMOS sensor camera is based on our H5D-50 model but will offer a faster capture rate; longer shutter speed capability and much greater ISO performance. It will provide greatly improved Live Video in Phocus and will also be available with Multi-Shot functionality."

He added: "We believe this will provide a highly compelling option for professional photographers who prefer a more versatile camera that enables them to immediately embrace a wider range of photo-disciplines but still encapsulating the exceptionally high-end image quality associated with Hasselblad."

Hasselblad's new CEO Ian Rawcliffe said: "We are extremely excited about this highly adaptable new camera which will offer an even broader palette of shooting options for our high-end customers.

"This is a world-first and underpins Hasselblad's status at the forefront of camera technology. It will be the first of a number of medium format capture innovations we have planned for the coming months."

Further information and prices for the new H5D-50c models will be announced in March.

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  • TinusVerdino

    Hasselblad should make this and nothing else. MF

    • Morris

      hopefully it has the lunar and stellar design!!! (hasselblad is reading)

    • Przemyslaw Stroinski

      exactly, Sony clones is some misunderstanding

    • saywhatuwill

      Well, I wouldn’t mind if they suddenly dropped a 6×6 digital back for the V-series cameras on our lap. If it was somewhat affordable I can see the 500 and 200 series cameras start drying up on the used market.

  • jason

    So… this is an announcement announcement?

    • bob2

      We are pleased to announce the announcement of the forthcoming Hasselblad announcement to be announced shortly after an announcement. The announcement about future announcements will be announced when announced.

  • LarryC

    This looks interesting. I might step down from my D800 for one of these.

    • Wouldn’t that be a step up?

    • saywhatuwill

      At over $60000 are you sure you want to do that?

    • Ludwig Gerhardt

      a small step in photography, but a big step in banking business. Yes, it is worth to step over, if you need that quality, and hang your prints on house walls only. 60 grant is somewhat expensive, and do not forget the lenses, the 3 terrabyte disk, the octacore processor, 256 gig ram, and what all you need to rework a 180 mb large file. MF sucks for the normal user.

  • camerageek

    It won’t be the only one

  • camaman

    Replacement of CEO means more Sony influence and mre Stellar Lunars…

    • Hm, new CEO is the previous COO. I don’t feel good about that. Operative guys worry about costs, production and the ERP system.

      • Neopulse

        Yeah, but it doesn’t work as in the form of the Vice President taking the place of the old President. It takes a board of directors to vote and choose an new person or even contract one from somewhere else.

  • Dpablo unfiltered

    Phase 1/ Mamiya, Pentax, Nikon, Canon, Sony take note.
    They were only pretending to be dead.

  • Dpablo unfiltered

    I’m thinking that it will now be possible to make something in that format that actually beats the low light champions while also beating everything for resolution. It would be nice if they offered a back or a camera for their manual lenses…

  • Sky

    “The groundbreaking H5D-50c
    – Pay attention people. Someone actually used word “groundbreaking” in a right context. That doesn’t happen often when done by marketing people!

    • zev hoover

      yup, MF sure is heavy. you dont want to drop this thoug…

  • george

    What is exactly that’s so exciting about this development?
    What type of user is this camera targeted towards that doesn’t already have a superior alternative?
    Those after resolution can get 80mp backs, those that require high speed/high ISO will prefer other camera/lens systems better suited for those jobs (read SLR, fast primes, tracking autofocus etc).

    • hexx

      yeah, that’s why so many MF shooters shoot on 33 and 39mp backs – please do yourself a favour and try one of the lower mp backs and report back how it compares to current high mp 35mm cameras

      • george

        Well, I did, with both the Leica S2 and a Phase One 39mp, versus a D800. Yes, resolution is marginally better (only visible in controlled conditions), but as far as ISO, speed and especially dynamic range (which is the big surprise in such comparisons), the D800 runs circles around both…

    • elaura@hispeed.ch

      Better low light quality might only be second on the list of improvements, however proper LiveView for focussing those 50 MP is a huge step forward.

  • saywhatuwill

    Finally, a 16-bit CMOS sensor. Low light capability with an ISO faster than 800. Seems Hasselblad will put Phase One on their ear if the IQ is good and will force them to finally play catch up. Of course CMOS will come at a price and Hasselblad is out to make sure it’s 4x more than any competitor out there.

    • Neopulse

      I think using current CMOS technology might bring the price down in comparison to the CCD sensor.

      • saywhatuwill

        Well, let’s hope it does, but after seeing the price of the Lunar and the Stellar I don’t think the savings will be passed to the customer.

        • Neopulse

          Yeah…. you’re probably right 🙁

      • jk

        yeah but no mf shooters want that happen , the CMOS plastic look is extremely boring and bad for serious studio work.
        oh well, if this is really true, many many current hasselblad users move to Phase system.

        • saywhatuwill

          Remember, people used to complain about digital when film ruled the roost. Then people complained about cellphone cameras as compared with what they were using. People get used to things and eventually people will get used to the “plastic” look. I agree that CCD, especially for skin, look very nice, but the majority of people will just see “high ISO,” We’ll see what happens after this comes out.

          • Neopulse

            For me the CCD render of skin tones was great, just not a fan of the 1/800 max speed.

        • Neopulse

          Hmmm…. I guess post-processing and color management will be of top priority now if it ever becomes bought or released. Chances are the Phocus software will have corrections or ways to bring back that classic look. Don’t rule it out yet 🙂

  • mallo

    Does that means that there is a possibility to have video in medium format? That sound interesting.

    • fjfjjj

      Why would it mean that? CMOS vs CCD? Most video cameras were CCD based until recently.

  • Ken Elliott

    Given the rather small size of the medium format market, I bet you’ll see all the players announce similar products within a month. I believe the CMOS chip foundries need more than one customer to justify a production run – unless it is a large order. I doubt Hassy needs that many chips, so look for new products from Phase One, Leaf, Sinar and perhaps Pentax.

    But this might indicate Nikon or Canon is about to enter medium format. The current players use CCD sensors, so I suspect the market size has been too small for a CMOS production run. But if a new competitor is placing a large-enough order to justify a production run, then the foundry would be looking to piggy-back smaller orders on that run.

    (BTW – I’m not in the chip business, so I could be off on everything I wrote. Love to get feedback from someone in the semiconductor business.)

    • saywhatuwill

      Well, it just happened with PhaseOne.

      • Ludwig Gerhardt

        The problem we have is that the new cmos in 50 mpix used by Hassy is the same Sony sensor that Phase One wants to put on the market. Now, what will Phase One do? play the game and beat the price? We will see. Anyway, Phase one makes backs for other camera systems, Hassy makes complete cameras only. The sensor is the A7 24 mpix x 2, it is 36×48 in size and has the same pixel pitch as the 24 mpix A7 sensor. Let’s wait and see the result. My wallet tells me that I better leave that for the freaks that can afford that.

  • fjfjjj

    Where’s my lightweight digital MF mirrorless, Hassy?

  • Le Cochon

    I am not sure how to read this. Does this mean it is going to be a 56×56 sensor? I agree for a V series back at a reasonable price. Quantity if priced accordingly could be significant. I am however afraid, for the greed to take over and render all “medium” format sensors relatively too expensive to meet practical numbers. The market needs a $3K at least at full 56×42 if not at 56×56. Good luck with that.

  • waterengineer

    Any speculation if we will see, low noise at high(er) ISOs or more than 1.1 fps?

  • mark luzzi

    I guess their Sony CLONES didn’t go over so well????????????

  • mark luzzi

    Next time make your own cameras.Not overprices and ugly rebadged SONY

  • RH Boks

    The new sony 33×44 mm 50MP CMOS sensor is now avaible for:
    Phase one, Hasselblad and Pentax will Leica enjoy?
    That means that Sony produce a large order for 33×44 sensors.
    Serious rumours and indication of several new lenses by Nikon shall maybe introduce the Nikon MX format based on Sony 50 MP sensor.
    (Nikon has a long history in making medium and large format lenses and camera systems such as Makina, Plaubel and Zenza Bronica)
    Rumours say that the new Pentax will be around 11,000 US $ or around 8500 Euro.

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