Hasselblad H6D experience roadshow report from Hong Kong

Hasselblad H6D medium format camera 1
Shriro, the local distributor for Hassy and Broncolor, has been holding low-key roadshows on the new H6D and several other lighting accessories at several camera stores, and having missed out a few weeks ago, I managed to make up for some lost opportunity a day ago. Although, I didn't get to test it for long periods (I only had around 30 minutes prior to store closing).

Hasselblad H6D medium format camera 2
Anyway it's good to see Hassy with some new stuff competing in the pro market dominated by Phase One. Not sure how many pros are still sticking with Hassy (new and old) but I'm sure there's certainly a handful. But as expected there are both loves and hates with the H6D system.

Hasselblad H6D medium format camera 4
Take a look at the attached pics. The demo unit comes with a 50MP back. Camera operation is pretty similar to previous generations and does require crash course for those who are not totally familiar with the controls (like me). But the camera back looks and feels smaller than the Phase One counterparts. Operation-wise the Hassy seems to win, due to its redesigned GUI with large fonts (truth to be told, Phase One's GUI is not easy to tackle), although I'm a bit shocked that HK-bound models only come with three language choices (English, Japanese, simplified Chinese). Even so, the latter language interfaces look great down to the fonts, and do not exhibit any typos whatsoever. Touchscreen operation is OK and convenient, although a bit on the less sensitive side. Also for some menu choices you have to tap twice to proceed to adjustment.

Hasselblad H6D medium format camera 10
As expected there's only one USB type-C port behind a side trapdoor, as opposed to Phase One's dual terminals (USB3 type-AB and 1394b 9-pin). But while the Hassy's CFast implementation allows for faster write speeds, it seems that the CFast slot is reserved for primarily video applications (just look at the HDMI and headphone jacks on the LHS). And while some end customers are amazed at the back's video capability, I'm not amused by that at all since constant video usage is going to stress out the back and possibly result in premature sensor-related problems. Meanwhile the auxiliary SD card slot inclusion provides users to utilize SD cards effectively, although honestly I still miss the days with CF which was also the studio pros' de-facto standard. Had Hassy been less aggressive with the video approach I'm quite sure CF would be more than enough.

Hasselblad H6D medium format camera 11
Anyway my time with the camera and lighting hardware was short. However, I did overhear from store staff on two important things. First, the camera is totally capable of normal flash sync up to 1/2000s without the need for HSS (which reduces flash output). The other thing is that even with very long exposures, it takes about two minutes to write into the card (which I believe is the SD card the staff was referring to) whereas with the Phase One, data inscription is a real-time affair.

Para88 reflector 2 Para88 reflector
Other equipment showcased at the store include a small Para88 reflector, a "beauty dish-type" octabox, a Move 1200L power pack (costing at ~HK$50k locally) and a Kudd tripod-installed laptop/tablet stand with Velcro fixture.

The H6D with 50MP back costs at around HK$210k. The 100MP version, not shown during the roadshow, costs around HK$260k and is available for reservation, with the second shipments arriving in around July.

Hasselblad H6D medium format camera 3

On separate note, I also tried out the Pentax K-1 (but didn't take any snaps on the camera itself). Overall very nice and has its exclusive functions eg. Pixel Shift multi-sampling tech, which does work like a magic. The Philippine-made camera body also exhibits very high QC, especially with the multi-view rear monitor mecha which can withstand a LOT of weight, per store staff's claims. But the camera is bulky and too thick to hold, and in fact it has a very close resemblance to the Pentax 6x7. Operation-wise it is said to be easier to use than Canon or Nikon, although I must disagree, in that Pentax's own menu GUI takes time to familiarize with. Also with the quick selection dial next to the viewfinder prism housing it is highly suggest that the rear monitor is tilted up so that you know what adjustments you're making. Lastly, the rubber cup around the viewfinder eyepiece is way too soft. The K-1 costs around HK$16k locally and is regarded as one of the best bargains available.

Hasselblad H6D medium format camera 5 Hasselblad H6D medium format camera 6 Hasselblad H6D medium format camera 7
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