Unveiled: Hasselblad H6D DSLR Brings 100MP Stills and 4K Video to Medium Format

By | December 22, 2016

Astounding megapixel counts have always been the domain of medium format digital, and Hasselblad has stepped it up a notch with the release of the H6D-100c and H6D-50c DSLR cameras, featuring 100MP and 50MP CMOS sensors, respectively. The 50c, while impressive, is similar to what we saw with later iterations of the H5D, so the real groundbreaking announcement revolves around the 100c, which boasts an almost 50% larger 53.4 x 40.0mm CMOS sensor that is much closer to traditional 645 format film than previous digital backs have provided. Also, Hasselblad has unleashed Full HD and UHD 4K raw video recording for capturing motion with the distinct medium format look.

Photographers will be able to capture highly detailed and malleable 16-bit raw files with the new 100MP CMOS sensor, which will provide almost unmatched image quality. It has been measured with an astounding 15 stops of dynamic range and, surprisingly, has managed to achieve a high sensitivity with a maximum ISO 12800, thanks to large 4.6 x 4.6 μm pixels. The 50MP 43.8 x 32.9 mm CMOS sensor is still impressive, with a rated dynamic range of 14 stops and a maximum ISO 6400 with 5.3 x 5.3 μm pixels. Both record to Hasselblad’s lossless compressed 3FR format and utilize the Hasselblad Natural Color Solution to present images with exceptional color rendition.

Besides outstanding image and sensor quality, the H6D systems provide a plethora of contemporary electronic solutions for operating the camera. Speed is the key with large file sizes, and the implementation of both CFast and SD card slots will help with both high speed capture and compatibility. A USB 3.0 Type-C connector provides a data throughput of up to 5 Gbit/s, meaning lightning-fast transfers to a connected computer. Also, built-in Wi-Fi enables users to connect wirelessly to a tablet, smartphone, or computer for remote camera control and image previews.

Another boost in resolution comes via the rear touchscreen LCD. It has full touch support for control and image review, along with 960k-dot resolution for displaying the fine detail in these high-res images. There is a new live view setting with a 30 fps frame rate for checking images on the screen prior to capture. Photographers receive a bump in capture rate—the 50c is able to reach 1.7-2.3 fps. At this time, the 100c’s official specification is still to be determined.

The H6D system has a wide range of other operational features that make it a professional system, including flash sync in and out, AC power inputs, a shutter speed range of 60 minutes to 1/2000 second, depending on the lens used, and more. The H6D also has an autofocus system with central cross-type sensor with an operating range of 1-19 EV at ISO 100 and a TTL flash system for flashes compatible with the Metz SCA3002. Users will have access to multiple metering modes, including spot, center-weighted, and center spot.

As a system, Hasselblad has always had versatility and customization. The H6D is no exception—it is compatible with multiple viewfinders, such as the included 90° eye-level HVD 90x with built-in flash and an optional waist-level viewfinder. The new body is compatible with select film backs, meaning that you can take advantage of the modern system’s advanced feature set while shooting film. Also, the top panel has an LCD for quick viewing of settings while set up on a tripod or support system.

Unique to the H6D-100c is UHD 4K video recording at 30 fps, a first for Hasselblad. This enables videographers to capture video with the very distinct medium format look, something previously only attainable with high-end digital cinema packages that are very difficult to access. Video can be recorded in a proprietary Hasselblad RAW format for maximal quality and a mini-HDMI output and audio in/out ports are available for expanding your video capabilities. UHD 4K video is limited to raw recording, while Full HD can be saved to either raw or H.264 compressed video. The H6D-50c benefits from many of the same video aspects, but can only record a maximum of Full HD at 30 fps.

Almost overshadowed by the release of the H6D, Hasselblad has made significant improvements to its entire line of HC and HCD lenses. The headline-grabbing feature is the upgrade performed on the central shutter system, which allows for shutter speeds up to 1/2000 of a second, even with flash. The twelve H System lenses are fully compatible with the new 100MP sensor and are marked with orange to distinguish them from previous versions. The lenses are supplied with a limited 2-year or 1,000,000-exposure warranty, to make sure your lenses continue to operate smoothly.

Finally, alongside this release, Hasselblad has updated its Phocus software to version 3.0, providing a multitude of new capabilities. Most importantly, the company has added support for its raw video, offering the ability to work with and convert it to edit-friendly Apple ProRes. It utilizes a revamped GUI for simplified and faster workflows along with expanded raw processing, so photographers can get the most from their files. Local Adjustment tools and adjustment layers provide exceptional control over specific corrections, limiting to just where you need them. And, they have implemented automatic moiré detection with will detect interference patterns and can be corrected globally or locally.