Skip to main content

Hasselblad’s sleek new X1D II 50C is faster and cheaper (and looks great)

Three years after launching the world’s first medium-format mirrorless camera, the X1D 50C, Hasselblad announced its replacement on June 19. Called the X1D II 50C, this second-generation model seeks to smooth out the X1D’s various rough edges with a refined user experience, improved speed, and upgraded screen and viewfinder. The 50-megapixel, 43.8 × 32.9mm sensor returns, offering 1.7 times more surface area than a full frame. Also returning is the minimalist, all-metal body and ergonomics that photographers loved about the first X1D, albeit in a new “graphite gray” color that, we have to admit, looks really good.

Hasselblad says that improving operational speed was one of the primary goals of the X1D II. To that end, the camera uses a new processor and boasts a claimed 46% improvement in startup speed. Shutter lag and viewfinder blackout time have also been reduced. Image playback and menu responsiveness should all be snappier, with speed improvements of 30 to 40% across the board.

Related Videos

The LCD screen is entirely new, now measuring an expansive 3.6 inches with a resolution of 2.36 million pixels. It is still touch-sensitive, and the user interface has been redesigned to make it even easier to navigate. The menu system is now also available in the electronic viewfinder (EVF), making it easier to change settings on bright days where the screen might be washed out.

That’s not the only new thing about the EVF. It’s now an OLED panel with a resolution of 3.69 million dots and has even greater magnification than before, at 0.87x. Both the EVF and the LCD monitor now refresh at a rate of 60 frames per second, a significant improvement from the 37 frame-per-second refresh rate of the original X1D.

While the X1D II still relies on contrast-detection autofocus, Hasselblad said that it is faster than before thanks to that higher refresh rate. Continuous shooting speed has also been bumped up to 2.7 frames per second. That’s not fast in absolute terms, but for a camera that’s all about slower, more methodical types of photography, it’s enough to let photographers shoot short sequences when they need them.

Hasselblad also rolled out a key workflow improvement in a new version of Phocus Mobile. With it, photographers can shoot tethered straight to an iPad Pro over USB-C or wirelessly through Wi-Fi. Both JPEGs and full-resolution RAW images can be culled and edited right on the iPad. The camera can also be remotely controlled from the iPad.

But perhaps most important of all, the X1D II will launch in July at a price significantly lower than the launch price of the original X1D: $5,750. That’s still a big chunk of change, but it puts the X1D II below the MSRP of flagship full-frame DSLRs like the Nikon D5 and Canon 1D X Mark II.

Hasselblad’s sharpest zoom lens

While previously announced as part of the XCD lens road map, Hasselblad also took this opportunity to officially launch the 35-75mm f/3.5-4.5 zoom lens. It is the first zoom for the X1D system, and the company is calling it its sharpest zoom ever, designed to give photographers the image quality they expect of the very good XCD primes. This is good news for both current and future X1D customers, who now have a more versatile lens option.

In full-frame terms, the new zoom offers an equivalent focal length of roughly 28-60mm and aperture of f/2.8-3.6. The variable maximum aperture and just over 2× zoom power may not sound exciting, but these compromises are what allows the lens to maintain the relatively slim profile associated with Hasselblad’s X system. The lens incorporates a leaf shutter offering shutter speeds as long as 68 minutes and as fast as 1/2,000 second, with flash compatibility at any speed.

The XCD 35-75mm will arrive in October for $5,175.

Editors' Recommendations

Fujifilm’s GFX 50S II is the cheapest medium-format camera ever
Fujifilm GFX 50S II

Fujifilm announced the GFX 50S II, a digital medium-format camera costing $3,999 for the body only, or $4,499 in a kit with the GF 35-70mm f/4.5-5.6 WR lens, at its September X Summit event today. This makes it the cheapest digital medium-format camera ever -- it comes in at a full $2,000 less than its predecessor, the GFX 50S, at launch. This is a major step in Fujifilm's ongoing push to drive the cost of medium-format down and give it more mainstream appeal.

The GFX 50S II isn’t just cheap for a medium-format camera; it’s remarkably light and compact as well, at only 1.98 pounds. Despite its small size, Fuji still managed to pack in a whopping 51.4-megapixel sensor that’s 1.7 times bigger than a full-frame sensor. Fuji has also improved the autofocus compared to the previous generation of the camera (thanks to the new X-Processor 4) and included 5-axis in-body image stabilization (IBIS) that provides 6.5 stops of stabilization.

Read more
New Audio-Technica M50xBT2 headphones add new features, retain iconic design
Audio Technica ATH M50xBT2 cups seen from the side.

Audio-Technica has announced the ATH-M50xBT2 Bluetooth headphones. An update to the first-generation ATH-M50xBT launched in 2018, they continue to share the iconic design made popular by the original wired M50 headphones, which have long been a staple sight in recording studios since release in 2007. For this new pair Audio-Technica has updated, rather than drastically altered, the features and technology inside.

On the audio side support for the AAC and LDAC codecs has been added, increasing the headphones versatility, but there’s no mention of AptX in the press release, which was a feature on the M50xBT. A low latency mode for gaming and video has been added and is controlled through an accompanying app, which also has the option to select your voice assistant of choice. The headphones support Siri, Google Assistant, and Amazon Alexa. Also in the app is an adjustable equalizer and a find-my-headphone feature.

Read more
Nokia completely revamps budget phone lineup, launches 6 new models
nokia c series g x news hero

Nokia is shaking things up a bit. Its parent company, HMD Global, has announced a total of six new Nokia-branded handsets across three news series of smartphones, with two devices in each series. The new phones will replace Nokia's current budget slate and will set the stage for future Nokia phone series that push into the higher-end. These announcements come alongside the company's new mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which it is launching in the U.K.

The lowest-end series is called the C-Series, and its phones will range in price up to around $130. Next is the G-Series, which will have phones ranging between around $110 and $300. Last but not least is the X-Series, which will have phones costing $250. Safe to say, none of these are truly high-end phones.

Read more