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back to article Hasselblad H4D-200MS medium format multishot camera

Having an enviable reputation for excellence in the medium format film world, digital photography presented a whole new range of challenges for Hasselblad to maintain its position among commercial photographers. Yet after establishing its H-System digital cameras in 2002, the company has continued to innovate and adapt the …

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Anonymous Coward

WOW, can't help marvel at such a beautiful piece of kit. Almost half tempted to start a photography studio again just to drool over the images.

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Wow is right.

I just downloaded the samples and pulled them up on my iMac.

Wow is right. It was the only thing I could say.

Yeah, I definitely want one... of course the Wife would kill me.... but damn. Incredibly cool images.

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Coat

Obviously..

.. you'll need an iWife..

Just give me my coat before I get asked to define such a creature and this dig a very big hole..

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Awesome

Maybe the set-up we are getting (48 core opteron machine with 256 GB RAM) , and parallel code we are developing for 1.2 and 2.4 GB satellite images (moving later to 1.5 terapixel) would find applications in that domain as well.

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Ru
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Meh

Still no competition for film, then?

Still doesn't have full frame (that would need to be 60x45mm in this particular format) and still can't get anywhere near film resolution, though it might just about get there by this sort of imaging hack. And even when it does, it won't have the most useful feature of film, its brightness response curve.

If you want photos as good as an H4D, get yourself any other 645 medium format system with a film back and find a decent film developer who'll do the scanning for you on a fancy scanner. Turnaround time per frame will be days rather than seconds, but with results that will be no worse combined with being well over an order of magnitude more affordable, what's not to like?

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Oh no

But the point is that this camera delivers its large image files immediately, something that may make sense in the commercial world.

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do be a square

I think you'll find that the format is 58mm x 58mm, commonly called 6x6.

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not anywhere near film resolution? Ok, when you use something like gigabit film, i.e. tech pan with a magic developer, and scan that wet mounted on a very expensive drum scanner. Back in the days I had some 700 MB files from 6x9 slides scanned on a Linotype-Hell Chromagraph.

Today I wouldn't know where to go for the scans.

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Whilst 37 x 49mm isn't full frame 645, it isn't as far short as this. 6cm is the full width of the film not the frame width, the frame size of 645 is 41.5 x 56mm. Given the chip yield goes down with about the cube of the size, and given these sensors are already about $10,000 for just the chip, I think they can be forgiven for for the size.

I still shoot 645 film. £35,000 buys one hell of a lot of film, even at the ruinous prices charged now. On the other hand, there is no film around that can achieve the resolution described here. When I win the lottery I will be buying one.

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With a Hasselblad you don't NEED full frame...

The quality a H4 delivers does not NEED a full frame sensor.

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Re: Still no competition for film, then?

Not in my lifetime, especially given the film used by this little camera:

http://www.gigapxl.org/faqs.htm

"The Gigapxl™ camera captures single exposures on film with enough resolvable detail to support scanning at resolutions up to four billion pixels."

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Happy

Gorgeous piece of kit

I love the irony of taking the accompanying photos in this article with Hipstermatic on an iPhone ;)

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Impressive tripod

You can hold a commercial camera steady enough that over 6 shots it doesn't move by a 1/10 of a pixel - and you are shooting a scene where nothing in the set moves by the same amount between the shots.

Still for magazine shots of lumps of granite it will be very very nice indeed.

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A lot of advertising is shot indoors. In last decades the cameras and the medium changed, but that's it. I remember my father blocking clockworks in watches he photographed for ads. A ISO 50 film at f32 needs several seconds exposure, even with studio lighting.

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Anonymous Coward

why only 90%?

I wonder what the reviewer took point off for. I sure hope it's not the image quality. It sure can't be the price..

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Handling and integration, probably. These cameras are several years behind consumer SLRs in that respect because whoever owns Hasselblad in any given week can't afford the R&D.

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And the colour filter arrays are several years behind those from the big Japanese electronics manufacturers too.

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Boffin

Hmm..

Sub-pixel shift for increased resolution... hardly new. Here's a patent application from 2002 : http://www.google.com/patents/about/10_317_219_Machine_vision_system.html?id=swKIAAAAEBAJ

(with which I had some involvement, I should probably add)

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sad, they will run windows 7 64 bit

This is why 64 bit carbon framework was needed for Mac. Instead, Apple asked developers to rewrite apps consisting of millions of lines and professionals use/ expect 100% backwards (not 99.9999) compatibility.

So, the photographer of such a league will simply run Windows64 unless he and his customers love nostalgia.

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Anonymous Coward

I don't get it

Hasselblad's Phocus is available on OSX (used here tethered to the camera via Firewire 800), there's also Adobe Lightroom as shown in the article.

Phocus actually only started to support Windows earlier this year, with version 2.6.

Is this some particular workflow you're thinking about?

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Facepalm

Phocus Windows support...

Phocus was supporting Windows nearly 2 years ago. How do I know?

I ran Phocus on my Windows XP box on March last year.

:-)

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Anonymous Coward

Photoshop on Mac IS 64bit

I'm quite sure Photoshop CS5 on the Mac is already 64-bit, at least that's one reason Adobe keeps using when telling me to upgrade...

@SP I stand corrected, it was the Phocus Mobile connection that only appeared on Windows later

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Happy

My favourite detail

I just luuuurve the way they use their own "H" for the grip pattern on the lens ring

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Happy

I want to know when Pentax will be issuing a firmware upgrade for my K7 - they already have the movable sensor so it shouldn't be that hard. OK I still won't get 200MPixels but even 40 wouldn't be bad on a sub £1K body.

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Hmm.

OK; I've been doing a bit of pixel peeping. I know, it's a terrible habit, but anyway...

The original 50MP images look lovely at 100%, possibly a tiny hint of noise, but I'd be very happy with them.

The 4x images have occasional artifacts, but they do generally show more detail than the single shot files. Mostly not a problem.

The 6x files... At 100% they're not so nice in places. Lots of artifacts. Yes, you do get even more detail, but the artifacts just look odd in places. They do look better than the original when downsized to 50MP, but then it's not the promised 200MP image.

I wouldn't like to guess how bad they'd look if anything moved...

You're a good reviewer, but I would really would have liked a bit more of actual conclusion. I know it's difficult to find fault when you're under the gaze of the manufacturer's rep, but... In places your conclusion reads more like a finance advert than a critical conclusion and you don't really mention the image quality at all, which is truly bizarre for something costing over £35k.

Sorry if this seems harsh, it probably is, but I expected better from you!

,

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You're paying £35K for a camera because, in part, of its 200MP headline feature. Why on Earth *wouldn't* you do pixel peeping? The individual pixels all contribute in some way; if all anyone wanted was some low resolution photos for a web site - or even A4 prints - then single digit megapixels would do. If you're not interested in the pixels don't buy the camera.

The 4x images are pleasantly reminiscent of Foveon sensor output and gives me hope that the rest of the camera market, based on Bayer sensors, might in time adopt similar technology at more "everyday" prices. Then we'd have proper per-pixel sharpness and that extraordinary sense of depth that Foveon images can give, without the drawbacks of excessive shadow noise and colour accuracy problems... And with more manufacturer choices than Sigma-or-nothing.

The 6x images, on the other hand, are just plain broken and surely, at *any* price, such messy, artefact riddled output would be considered a fault. At £35K, it's a bad joke. I don't care *what* the name on the body of the unit is - it's real, factual, forget-the-brand-mythology-nonsense performance that counts. At 4x and 1x the output looks great, but 6x is broken - perhaps the review unit was genuinely faulty?

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Anonymous Coward

"which goes to show why you shouldn't really be doing this stuff on an iMac"

but i thought iMac's were for creative types

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I think creative types spending 35k on camera equipment tend to use dual chip Mac pros

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Facepalm

Photo professionals use...

Mac Pro boxes. Not iMacs.

:-)

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Anonymous Coward

Of course, the first thing you do when you buy one...

is take a photo of your junk, just to see what it looks like blown up 200 times.

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